Heading into the 2017, the New York Jets will be fielding a young core of WR that they are counting on to produce big results.
Entering 2016 the New York Jets knew that they had proven veterans who put up years of consistent production at the WR in Brandon Marshall and Eric Decker. After both players were released this offseason in a roster purge, the Jets are now counting on a young core of WR to pick up the slack.
Regardless of who the starting QB for the Jets is in week one, they will have little experience to look to at the WR position. Third year WR Quincy Enunwa is the leader of the bunch and the player that the Jets are counting on to set the example for his young, inexperienced teammates. After totaling just 22 receptions for 315 yards and zero TD in his first 2 seasons combined, Enunwa had a breakout season in 2016. He made 13 stars last season after making just six starts in his first two seasons combined. He finished second on the team with 58 receptions while leading the Jets in receiving yards (857) and TD receptions (four). The former Nebraska Cornhusker also showed the ability to make the tough catch in big spots.
Opposite Enunwa, the other projected starter is second year WR Robby Anderson. Anderson was a pleasant surprise in his rookie season, recording 42 catches for 587 yards and two TD. Both Enunwa and Anderson have proven they can play at this level, but their ability to be consistent will determine if they become dependable 1,000 yard receivers or unreliable WR who show flashes of brilliance. Both complement each other well, with Enunwa being the dependable every down receiver and Anderson a game-breaking deep threat.
In addition to Enunwa and Anderson, the Jets are depending on receivers that have very little on their NFL resume. Second year WR Charone Peake has size and speed. Fellow second year WR Jalin Marshall showed promise in the clutch as six of his 14 receptions last season came on third down. Both combined for 34 receptions totaling 348 yards and two TD in 2016. While Peake will counted on immediately, Marshall will need to wait before showing what he can do in 2017. He is suspended for the Jets first four games after violating the NFLs performance-enhancing substance policy.
Looking at the rest of the Jets roster, they are counting on their third and fourth round picks in the 2017 draft to have an immediate impact. Both ArDarius Stewart and Chad Hansen showed promise and good chemistry at rookie minicamp. The Jets are hoping they can produce like last season’s rookies Anderson, Peake and Marshall who combined for 70 catches and 900 plus receiving yards.
On the outside looking in are undrafted free agents that hope to make their mark in training camp. KD Cannon (averaged 65 receptions, 1,037 yards and 9 TD per season at Baylor) and Gabe Marks (averaged 79 receptions, 863 yards and 9 TD per season at Washington State) both put up big numbers in college. Other players like Deshon Foxx, Frankie Hammond, Chris Harper, Myles White and Marquess Wilson only real shot to make the roster is as a return specialist.
While these young WR do not have the resume of proven veterans, the Jets are hoping the sky is the limit with the chances they will receive to make an impact in 2017.
Mark Kelly covers the New York Jets for ProFootballSpot.com. You can follow him on twitter @CkmagicSports. Looking for more Jets news and features? Like our Jets Facebook page and also follow @spot_jets on Twitter.