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New York Jets 2023 Off-Season Preview: Wide Receiver

Jets Wide Receiver

As the New York Jets gear up for the 2023 off-season, it is time to preview where each position stands. Whether there is talent already under contract, or New York acquires players through free agency and the draft, General Manager Joe Douglas looks to build a contender out of the franchise. That being said, let’s take a look at the Jets wide receiver preview for the 2023 off-season.

New York Jets 2023 Off-season Previews: Quarterback, Running Back

New York Jets 2023 Off-Season Preview: Wide Receiver

Jets Under Contract for 2023

Now, the New York Jets could retain the entirety of their 2022 receiving corps. Outside of Jeff Smith, who is a restricted free agent, everyone is under contract. However, in a potential make-or-break season, Douglas cannot afford to leave the position untouched. As a matter of fact, a handful of changes are coming.

It goes without saying that 2022 Offensive Rookie of the Year Garrett Wilson is safe. Elijah Moore and Denzel Mims, barring a trade, will remain and could be in for bigger roles with new Offensive Coordinator Nathaniel Hackett at the helm. Where things get tricky is with Corey Davis and Braxton Berrios. Both are potential cap casualties, who New York would need to replace. Davis is a starting receiver held back by injuries, whereas Berrios took a major step back after a breakout 2021 campaign.

The rest of the Jets wide receiver corps is made up of Diontae Spencer, Malik Taylor, and Irvin Charles. Spencer, who is a return specialist and slot receiver, already leaves the Jets with a possible replacement for Berrios on the roster. Taylor, who is familiar with Hackett from their time with the Green Bay Packers, has special teams experience and knows the scheme. Lastly, Charles brings a 6’4” and 219-pound frame and flashed his upside as a big target a year ago during training camp.

2023 NFL Free Agency Wide Receiver Options

As previously mentioned, Jeff Smith is the lone receiver who could hit the free agent market. A restricted free agent, Smith has spent the first four years in the league with Gang Green. Converted to wideout back at Boston College from quarterback, Smith has been a rotational player for the Jets for three years now. Occasionally a spot-starter with injury, Smith’s snap count has declined by year with the influx of talent. Also valuable as a special team player as well, so tendering Smith is not the worst idea.

With the expectation that the Jets will need to replace both Corey Davis and Braxton Berrios, Douglas will need to get creative thanks to an underwhelming free agent class. The first name to watch is Allen Lazard, who played for Hackett in Green Bay. He’ll likely command a similar contract to the three-year, $37-million deal Davis signed with the Jets in 2021 per Spotrac. At the same time, Douglas may not want to overpay for a Lazard, Jakobi Meyers, or JuJu Smith-Schuster. Some cheaper options with upside include Marvin Jones Jr., DJ Chark, Mecole Hardman, or Mack Hollins.

In replacing Berrios, the Jets are looking for a gadget-type slot receiver. Fitting that bill on the market is Parris Campbell and Richie James. Campbell was the 59th overall pick by the Indianapolis Colts in the 2019 NFL Draft out of Ohio State. At 6’0” and 208 pounds, Campbell is a versatile weapon who is coming off of his first fully healthy season. James on the other hand is a former seventh-round pick by the San Francisco 49ers back in the 2018 NFL Draft. When given the opportunity, he has proven productive, as he is coming off of a career year with the New York Giants.

Trade Market Options at Wide Receiver

Should New York walk away with the majority of their draft capital and still land “their guy” at quarterback”, is a trade for a wide receiver possible? Maybe… depending on who is made available. Off of the bat, DeAndre Hopkins or Davante Adams would be a dream, but a costly one. Wideouts like Tee Higgins, Michael Pittman Jr., Jerry Jeudy, or Brandon Aiyuk would be amazing acquisitions, though, none of those teams are looking to deal. Thus, boiling the Jets choices down to those in either contract years or looking for a new deal. Names such as Keenan Allen, Brandin Cooks, Mike Evans, or Tyler Boyd could come up on the trade market. With their ages and contracts, the trade offer could start with just a late day two/early day three selection.

2023 NFL Draft Wide Receiver Options

Free Agency will determine whether or not the Jets select a receiver in the first two rounds of the draft for a fourth-straight year. Nevertheless, there are plenty of enticing prospects early on. Reuniting Ohio State product Garrett Wilson with Jaxon Smith-Njigba is fun in theory, though would require the use of the 13th overall pick. On day two, Josh Downs (North Carolina), Zay Flowers (Boston College), Rashee Rice (SMU), Cedric Tillman (Tennessee), and Jayden Reed (Michigan State) are all talented day-one impact players.

In the later rounds, watch out for Michigan’s Ronnie Bell. The 6’0” and 192-pound receiver is a fantastic route runner with after-the-catch ability, who offers return specialist upside. Parker Washington of Penn State is another intriguing prospect, who needs to grow as a route runner. His 5’10” and 207-pound frame brings versatility to an offense, especially considering his elusiveness with the ball. Lastly, BYU’s Puka Nacua brings a strong catch radius and ball skills to the perimeter.

Jets Running Back Roster Construction Prediction

Garrett Wilson, Elijah Moore, and Denzel Mims will all be joined by Diontae Spencer, Malik Taylor, and Irvin Charles for training camp. Chances are, neither Corey Davis nor Braxton Berrios will be wearing Gotham Green in 2023. Whether or not the Jets tender Jeff Smith, Joe Douglas will be searching both the free agent market and NFL Draft class to add another two, even three receivers to make the final roster.


Main Photo: Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports


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