Through moves in the offseason and the draft, the New York Jets now have a completely revamped receiving group. Robby Anderson is in Carolina, Quincy Enunwa was released and new guys have come in. One guy that remained, is Jamison Crowder, who had a solid campaign last season. The team drafted Denzel Mims, signed Breshad Perriman and, most recently, signed AFC East journeyman Chris Hogan. The group looks different for sure, but whether or not they can produce at a higher rate, is the question. Let’s look at what each receiver may be capable of this season:
Perriman spent his first four NFL seasons across three different teams: the Ravens, Browns and Buccaneers. Last season with Tampa, he put together his best one so far. Through 14 games, he totaled 36 receptions for 645 yards and 6 touchdowns, all career highs. In fact, over the last five weeks of last season, he led the league in deep targets, deep receptions and deep receiving yards, per NFL Next Gen Stats.
New Jets WR Breshad Perriman led the NFL in deep targets (17), deep receptions (9), and deep receiving yards (267) over the last 5 weeks of last season (Weeks 13-17). https://t.co/bIS31YCHwa
— Next Gen Stats (@NextGenStats) March 24, 2020
This is exciting to see, especially because the player he’s replacing in Robby Anderson, was known as a deep threat. Perriman, who’s not necessarily mentioned as a top deep threat, was THE top deep threat to close last year. That should continue with Darnold and the Jets.
Now with a new team and, probably, many more targets, Perriman should be able to replicate last season’s numbers easily. He should be among the team leaders in targets, therefore leading to more receptions, and among the top in yards. Perriman may not be a 1,000-yard guy for the Jets, but it’s probably safe to say that he could be within the 750-800 range. He’ll be a nice addition for Darnold for sure, but he’s not going to be a pure number one guy.
Mims was the Jets’ second pick in the recent draft (round 2, pick 59). He had a great career at Baylor, finishing sixth in career receiving yards, fifth in receptions and third in touchdowns. However, an injury has already made his transition to the NFL even more difficult. According to Adam Gase, Mims took a weird step and hurt his hamstring.
Hopefully Mims can rebound from this setback quickly, but hamstrings are tough. Everyone responds differently and it could be a lengthy injury. If he can get back on the field soon, that’d be a great sign.
Mims can become a favorite target for Darnold relatively quickly. He’s a quick player that can make people miss and track the ball downfield as well. He’s shown some inconsistency while in college, but he can provide some nice assistance. If he stays healthy, Mims should be expected to be one of the top guys in the receiving group throughout the season.
Crowder rounds out the projected top-three receivers on this Jets team. He’s one of the few contributors from last season that is expected to play a substantial role, in terms of receiving. Seemingly from the very beginning, he became Darnold’s go-to guy on the outside, posting 14 catches in Week 1. He’s another guy that can contribute every game, but most likely isn’t going to eclipse the 1,000-yard mark.
Last season, Crowder finished with a career-high 78 receptions for 833 yards and 6 touchdowns. He was easily the best receiver on the team and Darnold’s trust in him proved that. He should be around the 800-yard, 5 touchdown mark once again this season. I assume he’ll lead the team in targets this season, as he tends to be more of a safety option at times because of his route tree. Nonetheless, he’ll produce.
As a group
The Jets have some other guys that will contribute, but they’ll mostly be rotational guys. This includes Chris Hogan, rookies Lawrence Cager and George Campbell, Braxton Berrios and Vyncint Smith. They’ll be on the field, for sure, but their playing time and production will be much more limited than the three players mentioned above.
The team definitely has its top-three guys in terms of playing time and production it seems, but, once again, there isn’t a clear number one just yet. As a result, this is going to be a group that has multiple key contributors throughout the season. The group is going to have to produce as a unit to be successful in the long run.
Don’t expect one guy to ever command that number one spot, as it’ll probably change week-to-week. However, there are a ton of exciting players and options for Darnold to work with this upcoming season.