Jets wide receiver Vyncint Smith is making the most out of his opportunity with the Jets. Signed off of the Texans’ practice squad in late September, Smith made his debut in Week 5 one to remember, scoring the team’s lone touchdown in a loss to the Eagles. Last Sunday against the Dolphins, Smith registered a 78-yard kickoff return, marking the 9th longest play in the NFL this season.
The 6’3”, 202-pound Smith appeared in seven games his rookie season with the Texans, hauling in five passes for 91 yards and a touchdown. He was later cut and signed to the practice squad before joining the Green and White. In five games with the Jets, Smith has six offensive touches and has averaged an impressive 37.8 yards on his four kickoff returns.
“It’s a lot to take in, but it’s great because I feel like I have such a high ceiling from where I’ve come from, and just to see what they see in me, it makes me more confident to go out there on the field,” said the undrafted free agent out of Limestone College about his adjustment. “It’s been crazy and there’s been a lot of changeover, but it just helps you grow. It’s another way to further my career and become the player I want to be.”
Jets’ veterans Robby Anderson, Demaryius Thomas and Jamison Crowder receive the majority amount of snaps at receiver. But with Josh Bellamy recently placed on injured reserve, Smith could continue to see an increase in his reps. He was on the field for almost a quarter of the Jets’ 70 offensive snaps Sunday in Miami.
“All of us have a really different skill set for the most part in the receiving room. I think all of us can do our job and know what our job is, and I think we all respect that a lot,” Smith said. “We want to get the ball spread around more and we all want more touches of course, but we all respect each other and our jobs and want to see each other be successful.”
One player who has had a significant impact on the Limestone College product is tenth-year veteran WR Demaryius Thomas. Thomas, who spent eight and a half seasons with the Denver Broncos, first connected with Smith when they both arrived in Houston last year.
“He’s [Thomas] a big help. He’s the reason I came over to the Jets when they were scouting my film,” said Smith. “They asked him about me, and he said, ‘Yeah bring him in, he’s going to be big.’ He helped me out in Houston and I helped him a little bit with the plays, and he helped me with everything else. Things like being a professional on and off the field, he’s helped out a lot.”
With eight contests remaining, the 23-year-old Smith will be a player to keep an eye on in the season’s second half.
“I think I’m a good fit because I’m learning from guys like DT, Robby, and Crowder, learning plays and just trying to pick up the playbook so we can move faster when I’m on the field,” he said.