Skip to main content

Jets Wide Receivers Review: Big Plays, Injuries, Lots of YAC

Crowder, Anderson Showed the Way for the Unit, but What of Robby's Future in Green & White?


On the Roster in 2019

Table inside Article
Player GP/GS/DNP/IA Off/ST Snaps
Robby Anderson 16/15/0/0 926/0
Jamison Crowder 16/13/0/0 801/4
Demaryius Thomas 11/10/0/4 459/3
Vyncint Smith 13/4/0/0 317/127
Braxton Berrios 16/0/0/0 85/95
Josh Bellamy 7/0/0/1 63/123
Quincy Enunwa 1/1/0/0 65/0
Josh Malone 2/0/0/0 21/0
Jeff Smith 1/0/0/0 14/4

Injured Reserve: Enunwa, Bellamy, Smith

Practice Squad: Keon Hatcher

Reserve/Future Signing: Hatcher, Jehu Chesson

Potential Free Agents in 2020
Unrestricted: Anderson, Thomas
Restricted: Malone
Exclusive Rights: Smith

Looking Back
Like many other position on the 2019 Jets, the wideouts had plenty of moments, some worth remembering, some not. It's getting repetitive in our position review stories to mention injuries, but health concerns hit WRs coach Shawn Jefferson's unit as well. Quincy Enunwa was placed on Injured Reserve after one game with a neck injury, Josh Bellamy, who mostly contributed on specials, went to IR shortly after playing in Game 7, and Jeff Smith, activated from the practice squad for Game 14, landed on IR after just 14 offensive plays and his first pro catch vs. the Ravens. Demaryius Thomas stayed off IR but missed four games, including the last three, with hamstring/knee issues.

On the other hand ...

Robby Anderson didn't lead the Jets in receptions or yards — Jamison Crowder did — and his season wasn't the best of his career — 2017 was. But Robby's campaign was still very good, especially in the big-play area. His 13 receptions of 20-plus yards led the team, his 15.0 yards/catch equaled his career season best, and his 92-yard catch-and-run vs. Dallas was the second-longest scrimmage play in the NFL in the regular season and the second-longest scrimmage play in franchise history.

Crowder's totals of 122 targets, 78 catches, 833 yards, 6 touchdowns, 41 receiving first downs and 19 third-down conversions all led the team, and his targets, catches and first downs were all career bests.

Thomas, when healthy, was a reliable target for Sam Darnold and his 433 receiving yards moved him to within 231 yards of the NFL's exclusive 10,000-yard career club.

Vyncint Smith, acquired off the Texans practice squad in September, was a quick study and fleet afoot, which he demonstrated with his key 37-yard catch-and-run that helped the Jets top the Dolphins, 22-21, at MetLife, and with his 17.3-yard average on 3 rushes, which outpaced his 13.2-yard average on 17 receptions.

And Braxton Berrios, used predominantly as a sure-handed punt returner, chipped in with catches here and there, including his 69-yard dash against Oakland, 58 of which came after the catch — the most YAC on one catch by a Jets receiver since Enunwa went 69 yards, 62 after the catch, vs. Baltimore in '16.

As a unit, the WRs were mostly in the middle of the pack among NFL teams, but one thing they did well was motor after the catch. By's calculations, the Jets' 4.9 YAC average was 7th-best among the NFL's wideout groups.

Looking Ahead
Adam Gase made it clear how he felt about Anderson when Robby went on his late November/early December surge when the HC said, "He's really made some huge strides for us and I think he's a guy that's really popped off on tape." But Anderson can become an unrestricted free agent next month and said he wants to at least test the market. He, his reps and GM Joe Douglas have decisions to make about where Anderson will play in 2020.

The venerable Thomas, entering his 11th season, can also become a UFA. Josh Malone, who came off the practice squad for some spot play in the final two games, can be a restricted FA. Keon Hatcher, who was signed to the Jets' PS in mid-December, and Jehu Chesson both inked reserve/future deals after the season to join this year's group.

Combined with the possible return of Enunwa, a veteran free agency acquisition or two, plus the upcoming draft class that appears to be loaded at wideout, the Jets' WR room could have its share of comings and goings this offseason but still should have plenty to contribute to now third-year QB Darnold and the new Jets offense.

Related Content