- John Hazelet
Inside and Outside the Lines: WR Edition
New York Jets
THE BEST: To say the Jets have been lacking production from their WR’s over the last few years is as big an understatement as you can make. Arguably, it has been the position of the roster with the least amount of talent. Last year, the addition of Eric Decker was a major upgrade over any other WR on the roster. While Decker put up solid numbers in his first season in New York (74 Rec 962 Yrd 5 TD) . I feel the trade for Marshall should have Decker smiling ear to ear. Marshall being a true WR1 will surely allow Decker to see more single coverage than he did in 2014. I think this duo could be the best tandem the Jets have had since Keyshawn and Chrebet. Speaking of Chrebet, tell me you cant see Jeremy Kerley increasing his production in a similar role that #80 made the NFL trend. I have always felt Kerley would have success in this role if given the opportunity.
THE REST: The rest of the WR’s currently on the roster are kind of a mixed bag. TJ Graham, Saalim Hakim, Walter Powell and Quincy Enunwa I view more as special teamers than I do WR’s that I would count on. The two wild cards of the group are Chris Owusu and Shaq Evans. Owusu is an absolute freak athlete. If you haven’t seen the video of him jumping from a sitting position, you should check it out here.. https://twitter.com/sportscenter/status/575034840296247296 How does that translate to WR? That is the million dollar question. I see Owusu as a poor mans Percy Harvin. He will be one of the players I will be watching closely come training camp. I thought drafting Shaq Evans in the 4th round was a great pick. Unfortunately getting hurt last season has cost him what would have been a huge opportunity to help the team at a position that desperately needed a WR of his size and ability. Like Owsu, Evans will be a player I keep a close eye on.
THE GRADE: B- While the Marshall trade has helped improve this position on the Jets, I think the group is a little top heavy. I would love to see the team add at least one more impact player at the position. Amari Cooper or Kevin White with the 6th pick in the draft could make this group dynamic! However, this years WR class is loaded with talent. If the Jets wanted to move down in round 1 they could draft other WR’s who could contribute right away.
POTENTIAL DRAFT PICKS AT WR Round 1-2: Kevin white, Amari Cooper, Devante Parker, Dorial Green Beckham, Breshad Perriman, Jaelen Strong, Devin Smith, Phillip Dorsett could all be drafted in the first 2 rounds.
THE BEST: Losing Jeremy Maclin in free agency hurts the depth of this position dramatically. Jordan Mathews, last years 2nd round pick caught 67 passes for 872 yards and eight touchdowns during his rookie campaign . He will now be the WR1 in the Chip Kelly offense. Chip will look to last years 3rd round pick and former Oregon standout Josh Huff to step into the WR2 spot. Huff is an aggressive route runner with good ball skills. In the Kelly Offense, you can count on Huff getting the opportunity to shine. (fantasy sleeper alert).
THE REST: I have been pretty clear about how much I like Chip Kelly and the fact that I think he is an offensive genius… That being said, I am amazed with his fascination with Riley Cooper. I just don’t see it. I see Cooper as a very average player with a very average skill set. However, on this roster, he is a clear WR3. Miles Austin was an underrated signing. I like the veteran presence he brings to this team. I think Austin can be for this team what former Jet Jerricho Cotchery was for the Panthers last season. Will Murphy, Quron Pratt and Jeff Maehl make up the rest of the depth chart for the Eagles. They are all practice squad candidates who will struggle to make this teams final roster.
THE GRADE: C If Mathews can improve on his numbers from last year and Huff can take on a larger role, I think this C can easily become a B in this system. I am sure the Eagles will most likely look to add some quality and depth to this position in the draft. However, I don’t think they will do that with their 1st round selection. Look for Chip to add some WR anywhere from round 2-7.
POTENTIAL DRAFT PICKS AT WR Rounds 2-5: Devin Funchess, Nelson Agholor, Tyler Lockett, Ty Montgomery, Justin Hardy, Rashad Greene.