New York Jets Position Group Grades: Wide Receivers

Breshad Perrimen, New York Jets

As the season looms, I decided to take a deep dive into each New York Jets position group within the organization and grade each group. Today’s group is one I had to do before I had a meal in my stomach because of the extreme lack of depth this group has. For a team that values putting pieces behind its franchise quarterback, this group is fairly pathetic. Nonetheless, I’m going to evaluate each target and grade the group as a whole.

WR 1: Breshard Perriman

Perriman joined the team on a prove-it deal after finishing the season in Tampa on a really strong note. Perriman was a blue-chip prospect that has struggled to truly make an indent on the league. At 26, you could firmly make the case that he’s just on the cusp of his prime. After struggling in Baltimore and Cleveland, he had a really impressive end to the season in 2019 and now looks to build on that with the Jets.

Perriman put up 36 catches for 645 yards and 6 TDs but only played 56 percent of snaps. Perriman now has to adapt to a new offense on a shortened practice schedule because of COVID. To make matters worse, he’s had injury issues throughout camp, and that’s not a good sign. I truly think Perriman would be a solid second option, but his potential as a lead target is worrisome to me because he isn’t as proven as you would hope for. Then, add in the severity and longevity of his injury issues, and I don’t have the highest of hopes for Perriman.

WR 2: Chris Hogan

Hogan was a late roster addition due to the depletion of the initial receiver core. The former Super Bowl champion was a favorite option for Tom Brady in his years in New England. His crisp route running style and high football IQ made him a valuable commodity when he hit the free-agent market in 2019. After finding a home in Carolina, he was sidelined for the year with a knee injury. Now, Hogan is back and has reportedly picked up the offense quickly. The journeymen receiver may end up being the number one option until Perriman and Mims are at a hundred percent. Hogan will inherit a lot of pressure and will be forced to form an in-game connection with Sam Darnold quickly. I do think Hogan is a good player, but I’m worried about the change of scenery this offseason and the quickly acclimation and how he’ll handle that.

WR 3: Jamison Crowder

My favorite receiver on the roster and overall the most talented one, Crowder, is likely facing his biggest season yet. The vet took very little time finding a role within the Jets as the premier slot option. Now, as he enters his second year in the green and white, more teams are aware of his connection with Darnold. If teams give Crowder more attention, that could open up opportunities over the middle for guys like Herndon and even opportunities over the top for Perriman. As long as Crowder can continue to stay healthy, he is the most talented receiver on the roster and the most important to Darnold’s development.

WR 4: Denzel Mims

Mims is the highly anticipated rookie. Mims, though has missed significant time in camp. Now, in terms of true quantity, it was not that significant. In terms of lack of time to get a grasp on the playbook, it is truly impactful in a season like this. With minimal time to adapt to the roster and the lack of in-game reps, how quick Mims picks up the offense fully is something to watch. Still, Mims is a really talented receiver. Mims is a deep threat and a physical receiver. He fights for 50/50 balls and has an insane catch radius. Mims is everything Darnold needs as a long term option. It’s just a matter of how quickly Mims can get acclimated to the offense and proper usage by Sam Darnold.

The Rest

The rest of the receiver room shows a complete lack of depth. Braxton Berrios is a special teams stud and solid burner as a backup. Aside from him, there isn’t much here, though. Donte Moncrief is likely going to have to hurry to pick up the offense before getting any real reps. Vyncnt Smith will be back quicker than expected, but he is still going to miss a few games early. When he does get back to 100%, he will likely play a big factor. Jeff Smith and some of the other practice squad pieces could play a role, but the fact I’m reaching for names that deep should say something. The receiving group lacks serious depth, and with the injury history of all four lead receivers, that is not encouraging. The Jets need to watch the trade market and waiver wire actively because upgrades are needed desperately.

Grade: C-

If all of the Jets receivers stay healthy, this group could be a solid one. That also factors in proper usage by Adam Gase and consistency with Darnold. All of that feels like too much uncertainty to give this group a high grade. The potential is there, and I’m hoping for the best. I just have a lack of faith in Gase to use these guys properly and for all of them to stay healthy.

New York Jets: What to expect from new receiving group

New York Jets, Jamison Crowder

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:

Breshad Perriman

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.

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.

Denzel Mims

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.

Jamison Crowder

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.

 

New York Jets add receiver with Championship experience

New York Jets, Chris Hogan

Per Tom Pelissero, the New York Jets have signed a wide receiver! After Adam Gase talked briefly on Friday about wanting another veteran target, Joe Douglas went out and got one for him. In lieu of Denzel Mims’ injury and now Vyncnt Smith not practicing today with a core muscle issue, adding another receiver was of the utmost importance. Adding 31-year-old veteran, Chris Hogan, with two Super Bowl rings could be a game-changer to the team’s receiving corps.

What Hogan Brings to the New York Jets: 

The Jets’ receiving room is in a unique spot currently. They have, as I’ve previously highlighted, a lot of boom or bust players. If Breshard Perriman is on, he could be a dangerous weapon for Sam Darnold. If not, he could be a significant liability to the young QB.

As for Jamison Crowder, last season he was the receiver the Jets hoped he would be, but with a history of injuries, he’s no sure thing. Denzel Mims is going to be far behind when he does return due to his injury and an abbreviated offseason. Vyncent Smith was supposed to be the fourth option, but with him not only being inexperienced, now he has core muscle tightness which could be an issue. 

Then, the rest of the group is highlighted by other guys like Lawerence Cager and Braxton Berrios who could make an impact, but more than likely are backups for this season.

So, adding another receiver was paramount. The Jets signed Chris Hogan, who’s coming off a year where he spent a lot of time on the IR after getting arthroscopic surgery on his left knee. Prior to that, he had 8 catches for 67 yards.

So, looking back to 2018, his last full season, Hogan was very productive. Hogan had 532 yards on 35 receptions, adding 3 touchdowns. This role was also not as a starter in the Patriots’ offense. So, in a likely starting role, his production could increase a lot more. Now, as he joins his 4th AFC team, Hogan still is no sure thing. He’s bounced around the league, he’s coming off a fairly serious knee injury, and he only has a short amount of time to refresh himself on Adam Gase’s playbook. If the former college lacrosse player can do that, then this addition could be just the boost that the receiving room needs. If he can’t, then he adds himself to the list of the other boom or bust receivers on the Jets roster.

New York Jets: How important is Jamison Crowder to the Jets’ offense?

New York Jets, Jamison Crowder

The New York Jets completely overhauled their offense this off-season, making 2019 signing Jamison Crowder their longest-tenured wide receiver. Playing in all 16 games last season with Gang Green, he posted 833 yards, six touchdowns, and a 63.9% catch rate. He led the team and overall yards and was tied with Robby Anderson in touchdowns.

It is quite problematic that Crowder remains the Jets’ longest-tenured pass catcher, but he is crucial to an offense that lacks veteran leadership in the locker room. Featuring at the slot position, Crowder is a fantastic security blanket for Sam Darnold in the passing game, and the instability in the wide receiver corps for the Jets makes him even more valuable.

The team has failed to draft quality players at the position in recent years, missing on players like Ardarius Stewart, Chad Hansen, Charone Peake, and Devin Smith.

However, general manager Joe Douglas invested a second-round pick in the 2020 NFL draft on Baylor receiver, Denzel Mims. Mims is a big body who can go up and snag contested balls, and he’s also a great contributor in the blocking game. While he did struggling to hold onto balls in 2018, he alleviated most of those concerns last season, entering the NFL as a fantastic option to take over the number one pass-catching spot for Darnold.

If the Jets really want Darnold to succeed, they must provide him with the resources necessary. They already have running back Le’Veon Bell and Mims as a fantastic option for him in the passing game.

Nonetheless, I do believe that Crowder will remain his top pass catcher and act as a sense of stability in both the locker room and on the field.

Ultimately, it boils down to health for Crowder, who missed seven games in 2018 due to injury. Last season was the second-best overall in his career, only seeing better numbers in 2016 when he posted 847 yards and seven touchdowns. I expect him to improve on his production last year with a better offensive line and more time for Darnold to survey the field in the pocket.

New York Jets: What WRs Could Jets Draft?

The New York Jets lost their best receiver this week to Carolina. With Anderson gone, the Jets brought in Breshard Perriman on a one year deal. With him on a prove-it deal, Quincy Enunwa with injury question marks galore and Jamison Crowder best suited in the slot, the Jets need to add to their receiving corps in the draft.

Day 1

The Jets have pick 11. I’m a firm believer that they should take and offensive lineman with that pick. If they went receiver though, it’s between 3 guys. Jerry Jeudy, CeeDee Lamb, and Henry Ruggs are the top 3 guys in this LOADED class.

Jeudy stands out to me above the other two. Jeudy is versatile and can play in a lot or on the outside. Jeudy is one of the crispest route runners I’ve ever seen and he’s a future number 1 receiver.

Lamb is a deep threat who can high point the ball like nobody’s business he’d fit Sam Darnold’s play style the best of the three and would give him that deep threat he had in Anderson and then some.

Ruggs is the most electric of the 3. He lit up the 40-yard dash and has flashed his in-game speed as well. If he developed as a route runner he’d have the most upside of the 3. They’re all phenomenal talents and would immediately bolster the Jets receiving corps now and in the future.

Day 2 & 3

This receiving class is loaded. That’s why I’d prefer the Jets to wait till day 2 & 3 to pick a weapon or two for the same. Rather than go through all the incredible talent I highlighted 4 guys I think would be the best fits or are my favorite receivers.

Justin Jefferson is one of my favorite prospects in this draft. He’s a receiver’s best friend and if he slips to day 2 and the Jets pick, the New York Jets should take him. He’s got a great mix of size and speed and would immediately become Darnold’s favorite target.

Chase Claypool is a unique guy. He’s a lot like Evan Engram. Engram is a good tight end but sometimes he’s more like a receiver. Claypool is a good receiver but sometimes he’s more like a tight end. He’s a unique hybrid that is faster than most tight ends and could be both a great threat in space and a beast in the red zone.

Michael Pittman is a former teammate of Sam Darnold. His catch radius is off the charts. He’s dynamic and he’s got that connection to Sam. Pittman would become a great piece of this offense and he’s a good personality on and off the field.

Antonio Gandy Golden is a guy who’s going to be available later in this draft. Golden reminds me of a slightly shorter and at this timeless talented Megatron He’s physical, lengthy and can make plays happen. Golden can develop and become a key piece of any offense.

Other guys like Denzel Mims, Tee Higgins, Donovan Peoples-Jones, Brandon Aiyuk, and KJ Hamler are all beasts and guys I like as well. The point is with all this talent, the Jets have no excuse not to upgrade their receiving corps.

Report: New York Jets land talented WR Breshad Perriman on prove it deal

New York Jets, Breshad Perriman

Just as New York Jets nation pondered where Joe Douglas and the front office would go next at wide receiver, Douglas made a move. The Jets have signed wide receiver Breshad Perriman. Perriman had a phenomenal end to the season last year and now receives a one-year, $8 million dollar deal with $6 million guaranteed from Gang Green.

How Does Perriman Fit?

Quincy Enunwa is expected to be back next year, but with the injury question marks, he can’t be counted on right now. Jamison Crowder is a slot guy who had 833 yards and 6 TDs last season, but he’s not the outside deep threat. The Jets lost their number one receiver and key outside deep threat to the Panthers earlier today.

Now, that role will be filled by a former first-rounder in Perriman. Perriman was a first-rounder with the Ravens and was drafted while Douglas was there. At 26, he’s hitting his prime. He’s struggled in the past and ended up joining the Browns before finding a home in Tampa last year.

He had a really strong end to the season and now looks to build on that with the Jets. Perriman statistically produced similar numbers to Robby Anderson last season in 2 fewer games. Anderson had 52 receptions for 779 yards and five scores and played 91 percent of snaps. Perriman had 36 catches for 645 yards and six scores but played 56 percent of snaps. Perriman received a higher volume of targets than Anderson and still produced well.

What’s Next?

Well, Perriman must now be counted on to build off the strong finish he had to last season if he can then the Jets will have got a good player on a cheaper deal than Robby Anderson. Douglas said he wanted playmakers, and Perriman can fit that mold.

The Jets can now continue with their plan to target an offensive lineman with their first-rounder, but they need to grab one of the talented receivers in this class in the first three rounds. If the Jets can do that, then they will have a solid receiving corps.

As for other sides of the ball, the Jets finally have the answer to the Anderson question and can now try to add a complimentary piece or two to Jordan Jenkins on the edge. They can add some depth at other spots like corner and running back. They also should look to add a backup quarterback to ensure if Sam misses time they have a quality backup. Matt Moore could be a target.

New York Jets WR Jamison Crowder is Having a Quietly Great Season

New York Jets, Jamison Crowder

Jamison Crowder was one of the first free agents the Jets signed in 2019. So, far Crowder is overperforming his contract.

When Jamison Crowder signed his free agent contract with the Jets fans weren’t happy. They saw the big price tag and thought the Jets had overpaid. After all, they were paying Crowder the 26th highest salary of any WR in the NFL. A mark that made no sense based on his production in 2018.

Crowder currently ranks 36th in the NFL this season in receiving yards. However, that number is misleading. Crowder has spent three games away from his starting QB, a three-game stretch that saw him put up a combined 75. With Sam Darnold in the lineup, Crowder has averaged 69.5 yards per game. That’s a staggering difference.

Crowder is on pace to for 85 receptions and 899 receiving yards, both of those would be career-highs. He would need to average 73 yards per game to hit 1,000 yards this season. Crowder has over 75 yards in each of his last three games. his connection with Darnold is real, and it’s very possible that it leads to a 1,000-yard receiving season. Only 21 receivers broke 1,000 yards last year. The last Jet to have a 1,000-yard in a season was Brandon Marshall in 2015.

Crowder has also, been amongst the most clutch receivers in the NFL. Crowder has 14 first down reception on third down this year. That’s tied for seventh in the league with Stefon Diggs, Chris Godwin, DeAndre Hopkins, Julio Jones, George Kittle, James White, and Tyrell Williams. He’s only one first down reception on third down shy of Michael Thomas. Crowder is also on pace to set a career-high in total first down receptions with 43.

What really makes this remarkable is how consistent Crowder has been this year. Crowder doesn’t have a single 100-yard receiving game this season, yet he has a real possibility of breaking 1,000 yards. Crowder also has at least two receptions in every game this season. He has at least three receptions in every game he’s played with Darnold this year.

He’s also still on 26 years of. By the time his Jets contract ends he’ll only be entering his age 29 season. Crowder is slowly creeping into the conversation of best slot receivers in the NFL, and he’s only getting better.

Jets Win Their First Game Of The Season

New York Jets

The New York Jets won a football game on Sunday. The Jets beat the Cowboys 24-22 Sunday and capped off a perfect return for Sam Darnold. Darnold battled mono and his return set the stage for an upset by the Jets.

Darnold Fires On All Cylinders

The only mistake Sam made in this game was an interception. Darnold finished the game with a line of 23/32 338 yds, 2 TDs and an INT with a QB rating of 113.8. Darnold had a gorgeous BOMB to Robby Anderson and was able to hit him a few other times throughout the game. Darnold was able to spread the wealth and hit multiple receivers having over 200 combined yards between Jamison Crowder and Robby Anderson. Darnold looked like the player who finished last season and like a confident and calm QB playing damn good football. That is the kind of guy the Jets need on that field next Monday night against the Pats. If that guy is out in that field than mono will be in the past and a serious run could be in this team’s future.

Defense Did Their Thing

An underrated aspect of this squad has been their defense. I’ve highlighted how talented this defense truly is but, yesterday with offensive assistance they performed phenomenally. I said the keys to the game were bottling up Zeke, Amari Cooper, Michael Gallup, and Dak. Zeke had 134 total yards and played pretty well but Dak significantly underperformed. He was faced with pressure and when he was he didn’t react as well. The Jets defense played great and Gregg Williams is an absolute mastermind.

Jamal Adams Is That Damn Good

It’s almost a routine at this point that he is included in these things. Jamal had 9 tackles, 1.5 TFLs, a PD and a few key breakups and big hits. Jamal continuously impresses and gives this team a fire that nobody else can. He’s one of the best defensive backs in football and he constantly improves. Jamal is a special talent.

Robby Anderson Made His Presence Felt

For the first few games, it felt like Anderson was getting open but Luke Falk couldn’t hit him. Now Sam returned and Robby was the WR everyone expected. He was able to get separation and also find ways to get open on short routes. He played like a true number one WR. He finished the game with 5 receptions for 125 yards. Anderson and Darnold is a connection that makes the Jets a better team.

The fact is I could nitpick and dive into every detail that was slightly bad from the game or I could celebrate the team having some momentum for a change. C.J. Mosley and Chris Herndon will hopefully return against the Pats and the Jets will have a HUGE Monday night football game. The Jets won but now it’s time to ride this momentum and see how far it can take them.

New York Jets: Trevor Siemian To Start In Wake Of Darnold’s Absence

New York Jets, Sam Darnold

Mono, is a tough illness. It makes you heavily contagious and it’s a butt-kicker. It now has taken out the franchise quarterback, Sam Darnold. Darnold was reportedly very sick and dropping weight excessively, this resulted in him being sent home on Wednesday with “strep throat”. Symptoms progressed and Donald was diagnosed with mono. This will take him out of action for at least a few weeks. So now, in the week of his absence with a stretch of huge games coming up, Trevor Siemian must be trusted to step up and fill in for Darnold.

Trevor Siemian Has Experience

This is not Trevor Siemian’s first rodeo as a starting quarterback. When Peyton Manning retired and Brock Osweiler left Siemian became the QB 1 in Denver. Siemian inherited a defending super bowl championship squad and put up really solid first starting season numbers. Siemian finished the season with 3,401 yards, 18 TDs, and 10 INTs. Then with the job his to lose he started 10/16 games and finished his year with 2,285 yards, 12 TDs, and 14 INTs. Siemian struggled and ultimately lost his starting job because of it. Siemian went to Minnesota briefly but found a home for this season with the New York Jets as the backup to Sam Darnold. Coach Gase reportedly felt Siemian could be a capable short term starter. Now, Siemian will have to prove his coach right.

Trevor Siemian Could See Success

Unlike other analysts I’m not writing off the games Siemian starts. As I dove deeper into it, Siemian is very good at allowing the ball to be put into playmakers hands. He also will have a bunch of big playmakers who are perfect for check-downs and screen passes in Robby Anderson, Ty Montgomery, Le’Veon Bell, and Jamison Crowder. If those 4 are used to be his security blankets and allow him to dump it off to them, it could really help. The most familiar weapon he will have is new WR Demaryius Thomas. Thomas played some of his best ball with Adam Gase as his coordinator and if Gase can take advantage of his skill set in the absence of Enunwa it could look like a really good trade for the Jets. Thomas will be able to be eased in especially because his QB for the next few games already has a rhythm with him. Siemian and Thomas have been teammates since Siemian came into the league. They built a solid connection and Gase would be wise to use that to their advantage. The only major concern is the setup of the offense around Siemian. Darnold is mobile and with an offensive line that is still not cohesive, that is essential. Siemian is a pure pocket passer who may struggle in this situation. If he can utilize the Jets playmakers as I previously mentioned in check down situations that could ease the pressure slightly.

In The End, It’s Only Temporary

Sam Darnold will be back soon. However, the Jets face a huge stretch of games with some being must win. The New York Jets need to pull off a win against a few of these squads while Darnold is absent or the Jets can kiss their hopes goodbye. If they walk into the Bye Week at 0-3 they already will be in deep trouble. Quite frankly the pressure is on Siemian and if he can’t deliver the Jets are screwed.

New York Jets: What Can We Expect from Demaryius Thomas?

For the first time since 2000, the New York Jets and New England Patriots agreed to a trade, resulting in Demaryius Thomas suiting up for Gang Green. What type of impact can we expect from the 31-year-old veteran receiver?

Looks like Adam Gase was a man of his word after calling out the receiving corps following the New York Jets’ disappointing collapse against the Buffalo Bills in Week 1. If Gase’s words rang loud and clear, then his actions surely followed it up. As a result of adding Antonio Brown, the New England Patriots followed by trading away Demaryius Thomas to the New York Jets.

After seven straight seasons with the Denver Broncos (four of which were Pro Bowl seasons), Thomas has now found himself on four different teams in the past two seasons. (ProFootballReference).

After being traded midway last year from the Broncos to the Houston Texans, Demaryius Thomas suffered a ruptured Achilles that ended his season. After being signed, released, then re-signed with the Patriots this preseason, Thomas now finds himself as a New York Jet.

What type of production and impact can the Jets’ expect from the veteran wideout?

Prime Years Are in the Past

Demaryius Thomas accounted for five straight seasons of 1,000+ receiving yards from 2012-2016. He also accounted for double-digit touchdowns in three of the aforementioned five seasons. No surprise here, the Jets aren’t expecting to turn back the clock and revive the Demaryius Thomas of NFL past. Thomas wasn’t brought in to be the de facto number one wideout.

Even when he was racking up yardage and finding the endzone, Demaryius Thomas didn’t carry the reputation of having the most reliable hands. He averaged nearly 11 drops per season from 2012-2017, and his average career catch percentage is a mere 61%. Safe to say, the Jets are getting a Demaryius Thomas that his a shade of his former self.

Help Open Opportunities for Others

So the general consensus is that Thomas wasn’t going to be relied upon to suddenly handle the receiving load and lead the wideouts. But you don’t trade for him to ride the bench either. With the recent news of Quincy Enunwa likely to miss the remainder of the season with a neck injury, it is clear Demaryius Thomas will be up for filling the void.

So while Thomas won’t command double teams from opposing defensive backs, that doesn’t mean he can’t open opportunities for others. If he can prove to be reliable across the middle and with passes underneath, he can help keep defenses honest, possibly opening up Robby Anderson over the top as a deep threat.

Better yet, if he can prove reliable on the outside, it should give prized free-agent acquisition, Jamison Crowder, even more, room to work in the slot. Crowder had a whopping 17 targets and hauled in 14 of them for 99 yards receiving. The caveat: not a single touchdown reception. If there’s any way for Thomas to contribute, its to prove to be a reliable option, keeping defensive backs honest and allowing the other offensive threats the chance to exploit coverages.