Elijah Moore is Ready to Takeoff in the New York Jets Offense

Elijah Moore
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During Thursday night’s loss to the Indianapolis Colts, the New York Jets somehow were able to find a few bright spots. As the defense faltered in giving up 45 points, the offense managed to collect 30 points, albeit most of it during garbage time. With third-string quarterback Josh Johnson playing most of the game, the offense pieced together a handful of scoring drives in the second half. And at the center of it – wide receiver Elijah Moore.

Elijah Moore is Ready to Takeoff in the New York Jets Offense

Next Ole Miss Receiver Up

Think back to the 2019 NFL Draft and the receivers it produced. Players like Marquise Brown, Deebo Samuel, and many more of today’s young, budding stars were drafted. Yet, somehow, a pair of Ole Miss receivers in D.K. Metcalf and A.J. Brown were selected in the second round. Now, both are being considered “WR1s” and already with Pro Bowl campaigns under their belts.

Obviously, who knows what the NFL has in store for Elijah Moore. But one thing for sure is he may very well follow Metcalf and Brown in being the next Ole Miss receiver to become a star at the professional level.

All the Hype, All the Talent

Unlike the aforementioned Ole Miss receivers, Elijah Moore has a smaller, less physical build. At 5’10” and 178-pounds, Moore’s frame does not exactly scream “WR1”. However, it is his ability in open space that makes him a big-play threat.

At the 2021 NFL Combine, Moore put his explosiveness on display by running a 4.35 40-yard dash time. Time and time again that burst has been shown in-game, but it has always been a matter of simply getting him the ball.

Quiet First Half

During Training Camp, it was impossible to ignore Moore’s playmaking. Constantly he would be getting open, whether from the slot on short/intermediate routes or downfield. It appeared as if he would be an instant spark plug for a revamped Jets offense in 2021.

Instead, Moore got off to a quiet start in the NFL, in part because of the Jets horrid offense. Rookie quarterback Zach Wilson had struggled, with constant pressure and ineffective play-calling leading to an Adam Gase-offense type first half.

Over his first five games as a pro with Wilson at quarterback, Moore totaled just nine receptions for 79 yards and no touchdowns. Numbers that certainly disappoint coming from the 34th overall pick just a few months ago.

Elijah Moore has Caught Fire

That was until Wilson went down hurt, to which Mike White and Josh Johnson have taken over the starting job. White, who had never played a regular season snap prior, proved that his quick decision-making would boost the Jets offense. Meanwhile, Johnson’s years of NFL experience would help him do the same.

In the two games since offensive coordinator Mike LaFleur finally adjusted his game plan, Moore caught fire. Having 13 receptions on 14 targets over the past two contests, he has totaled 151 yards and two touchdowns in just five days. Most notably, the Jets have begun using his crisp route running ability to stretch the field. Thus, opening the offense to more dump-offs and establishing the run.

Simply put – the Elijah Moore the Jets we’re hoping would be a long-term piece has finally arrived.

Second-Half Outlook for Elijah Moore

Now, it certainly is concerning how effective White and Johnson have been in the Jets offense compared to how inept it was with Wilson the first six games. But, whenever Wilson does make his way back onto the field, do not expect Moore to suddenly disappear.

The New York Jets are a team building for the future, and the fact of the matter is Moore has the brightest of all their receivers. Corey Davis is with the team for two more years, as well as Denzel Mims (barring a trade). Veterans Jamison Crowder and Keelan Cole are both free agents following the season, and Braxton sherries could very well walk too.

That being said, in order for the Jets to consider the 2021 season a success (as in it being a developmental year), they need Wilson and Moore to build a strong connection. Take a look at LaFleur’s old stomping ground, the San Francisco 49ers. Their most important connection is Jimmy Garoppolo to Deebo Samuel. And their offensive production fell last season when Samuel was hurt.

Moore brings such a dynamic skill set to the Jets offense that he should never be off the field. With the talent to play in the slot, out wide, or even line up in the backfield, New York would be foolish to relegate him back to just a member of the receiver rotation. Elijah Moore is ready to play, and it’s up to Mike LaFleur and the New York Jets to let him take off.

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