Randy LangeNYJets.com Contributor
The Jets enter this training camp with a wideout corps like none in recent memory. Gone are Brandon Marshall and Eric Decker, who accounted for 331 receptions, 4,473 yards and 36 touchdowns the previous three seasons. Remaining are 14 candidates, only four of whom have caught passes for the Green & White, none of whom has played in the league for more than four seasons, four of whom are rookies and three of whom are Jets “sophomores.” Position coach Karl Dorrell has a group that shares similarities to his WR units when he was head coach at UCLA, except that in the NFL the stakes are a little higher.
In the Spotlight
Quincy Enunwa is the young man with the Q-factor. The former sixth-round pick in 2014 has grown rapidly the last two seasons as a big-bodied (6’2″, 225) 25-year-old receiver who’s made some remarkable catches and provided a sometimes electric dimension after the catch. But is he the “one” in this year’s corps? He needs more consistency — he faded last season from 36 catches in the first eight games to 22 in the last eight. Yet he led the Jets with 857 receiving yards and four TD catches, and he has an earnest desire to elevate his game. He’ll have that opportunity this year.
In this atmosphere no jobs are guaranteed. Enunwa (13) and second-year man Robby Anderson (8) had the most Jets starts last year, but the field has been leveled with coordinator John Morton’s offense replacing Chan Gailey’s system from 2015-16. Two other returnees who showed promise as rookies areCharone Peake and Jalin Marshall, although Marshall will be playing catch-up ball after starting the season on a four-game NFL suspension. Two more mid-round rookies in this year’s draft class,Chad Hansen and ArDarius Stewart, will be closely watched as they fight for first-team reps.
More competition will come from a quintet of wideouts who have caught NFL passes elsewhere.Frankie Hammond has started and played in two playoff games with the Chiefs. Chris Harper had one catch for the Patriots in 2015 and 13 more with the 49ers last season. Devin Street has nice size (6’3″, 200) and 30 games with the Cowboys in ’14-15. Myles White was a Packer in ’13 and a Giant in ’15.Marquess Wilson has 56 catches in four seasons with the Bears. Who most wants to extend his career as a pro pass-catcher? There’s an opportunity to do it with the Jets in 2017.