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WR Reset: Jets HC Robert Saleh Says 'We Love Our Group' of Receivers

Garrett Wilson & Corey Davis Return; Allen Lazard, Mecole Hardman Jr., Randall Cobb Are Recent Vet Additions

Table inside Article
Jets Holdovers Garrett Wilson (Round 1b, 2022), Corey Davis (UFA-TEN, 2021), Denzel Mims (Round 2, 2020), Diontae Spencer (FA, 2022), Malik Taylor (FA, 2022), Irvin Charles (UDFA, 2022)
New Veterans Allen Lazard (UFA-GB, 2023), Mecole Hardman Jr. (UFA-KC, 2023), Randall Cobb (UFA-GB, 2023)
Rookie Arrivals Jason Brownlee (UDFA, 2023), Xavier Gipson (UDFA, 2023), T.J. Luther (UDFA, 2023), Jerome Kapp (UDFA, 2023)
Departures Elijah Moore, Braxton Berrios, Jeff Smith

Cornerstones and Contributors
Garrett Wilson broke onto the NFL scene like perhaps no other Jets rookie. He's the only Jet to be named NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year after leading the team with 83 receptions, 1,103 yards, four touchdowns, 56 first downs and 18 third-down conversions. His catches and yards were the most by any Jets WR since Brandon Marshall's outstanding 2015. "Garrett's so shifty and dynamic with the ball in his hands," Aaron Rodgers said. "He's got a chance to be a really, really good player in this league."

With the arrivals of three productive veterans from parts west, many thought Corey Davis would be a cap casualty. Not so fast, said HC Robert Saleh, who calls Davis "the epitome of a teammate." Davis' numbers have been depressed in his two Jets seasons due to injuries but one reason Saleh, OC Nathaniel Hackett and Rodgers are intrigued is Davis' chains-moving dimension — his 77.3% first-down conversion rate (66 catches, 51 FDs) in 2021-22 combined is the best in the league among qualifying wideouts.

Denzel Mims returns for his fourth Jets season, and Saleh said don't count him out: "He's competing his butt off. ... He's got size, length, strength. The big thing for him is to show up and keep finding ways to make his mark."

Newcomers and Outgoers
Each of the new vets has top-notch qualities and the quantity to go with them. Allen Lazard's 6-5 height and UDFA drive has enabled him to catch 168 passes for 2,229 yards and 20 TDs,, most of that from Rodgers, in his past four seasons with the Packers. Mecole Hardman Jr. has 4.33 speed and a desire to contribute even more in the offense than he did with Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs. He averaged 13.8 yards/catch and 6.3 yards/rush and scored 18 TDs for KC, and his unofficial 8.3 YAC average is second among WRs from 2019-22 behind only the 9.7 of the 49ers' Deebo Samuel.

Randall Cobb was a late free agent signing and he brings his vast veteran experience and production — 12 NFL seasons, 10 with Rodgers at GB, 625 career catches for 7,585 yards and 53 TDs — and impeccable leadership skills. "I still feel like he's got a lot left in the tank," ARod said of RCobb. "I'm glad he's here."

Are there more name wideouts to come for the Jets before opening night? "No, we love our current group," Saleh said. "I know there was some stuff with Odell [Beckham Jr.], but other than that, we love our group."

The Jets lost a couple of solid young vets in free agency. Elijah Moore was traded to the Browns for the second-round draft pick that the Jets then used as part of the Rodgers trade. Braxton Berrios, the "University of Miami multitool" who excelled as a situational receiver/rusher/passer, left as a UFA for the Dolphins one year after being named Pro Bowl/All-Pro as a kick returner. Jeff Smith, who contributed to the offense from 2019-22, also departed, for the Giants.

Saleh on Wilson:
"The challenge for second-year players is balancing the success they had as rookies, if they had it, and then the newfound success, the social life, the money, all of it. How do you balance it to keep the main thing the main thing, which is attacking football day in and day out? Knock on wood for that kid, he's having a really good OTA, he's a juicy route runner, he's gotten a lot stronger, and his mental makeup, his internal drive is second to none. So I'm excited for him this year."

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