Some rookies can be caught off guard as they transition from college to the NFL, struggling with the speed of the game. Jets second-round pick Elijah Moore is not one of them.
"Surprising? Not for real," Moore said. "I had dudes like A.J. [Brown] and D.K. [Metcalf] give me examples and critiques on what it would be like. I definitely had my ears open to that, but football is football. At the end of the day, I know this game is going to be played at a higher level here, but you have to adjust. I'm here for a reason."
Brown, Metcalf and Moore were teammates at Ole Miss from 2018-19. Brown and Metcalf hit the ground running in their NFL careers and are regarded as some of the game's best young wideouts. Brown has posted back-to-back 1,000-yard seasons and Metcalf finished seventh in the league with 1,303 receiving yards in 2020. Moore is trying to become the next in line to make an immediate impact, but is trying to stay where his feet are and take it one day at time.
"Just like anything, the more you work at it, the more comfortable you get," he said. "We're just out there repping it and the more days that I go out there, the more comfortable I'm getting at running the routes, adjusting to the scheme, reading the defenses. Every day I'm really trying to craft, trying to focus on that one thing and put my best foot forward of course."
Moore joins a WR's room that's been revamped this offseason. He's the young addition, but there are other new faces such as Keelan Cole and Corey Davis, who was Brown's teammate in Tennessee the last two seasons.
"As soon as Corey got here, we chopped it up," Moore said. "I know he's a great player. He went like five overall a couple years ago. I already know what type of time he's on, his [mentality]. I just know he wants to be ready and show people everything that he didn't get the opportunity to show at the other place. I feel real confident that I have him on my team. It's definitely a blessing."
Moore was a dynamic player for the Rebels last season, leading the nation in receptions (10.8) and receiving yards (149.1) per game. He finished with a school record 86 receptions for 1,193 yards and 8 TDs before opting out of the final two games of the season.
Even though there are no stats kept in OTAs, Moore flashed his playmaking ability early. He caught the first pass in team periods last Friday on play action from fellow rookie Zach Wilson. Wilson dropped the throw into Moore's bucket, who then turned upfield and showed off his 4.3 speed. The pair has quickly developed chemistry, which has extended beyond the field (they went out to eat in New York City at the end of rookie minicamp) and it's translated to the field.
"We're both out there learning, trying to critique ourselves," Moore said. "It's always something better that we can work on or something better we could've done. It's just constantly critiquing each other whether it's he could've put the ball better here or if I could've ran flatter here, but we're just out there working, getting better. Even when we win and we score, there's always something better that we could've done."