The New York Jets have been without a 1,000-yard receiver since 2015 when Brandon Marshall went for a whopping 1,502 yards with Ryan Fitzmagic behind center. Fast forward seven years and the Jets are still looking for its next alpha wide receiver. With the No. 10 pick in this year’s draft, the Jets are hoping they finally struck gold with Ohio State wide receiver Garrett Wilson.
Garrett Wilson is a former 5-star prospect, who was one of the impressive wideouts that forced fellow first-round pick Jameson Williams to transfer out of Ohio State . In a COVID-shortened sophomore year, Wilson had his breakout season and established himself as one of the best wide receivers in the nation, posting 43 receptions, 723 yards, and six touchdowns in just eight games.
In his final season with the Buckeyes, Wilson shared the field with fellow first-round pick Chris Olave and the highly touted 2023 prospect Jaxon Smith-Njigba. Wilson still posted over 1,000 yards receiving in just 11 games while sharing the field with two elite-level receivers.
WILSON’S ELITE SKILL-SET
Dane Brugler of The Athletic outlined Wilson’s laundry list of strengths in The Beast Draft Guide:
“Elite body control and ball skills to make fluid midair adjustments … explosive twitch in release package … defenders better get their hands on him quickly, because he has the short-area explosion to create separation in tight spaces … rare understanding of route leverage for his age … snatches without breaking stride and instinctively sets up his cuts … decelerates on command to give tacklers the slip … plays bigger than he is, and shows the reflexes and contortion skills to win when covered (impressive 61.8 percent success rate in contested situations) … physical with the ball in the air to high-point with his long arms, strong hands and terrific hand-eye coordination”
OPPORTUNITY IS KNOCKING
In 2021, the New York Jets “WR1” was Elijah Moore, who posted 43 receptions for 538 yards and five touchdowns as a rookie. Moore is a talented receiver but will be lining up in the slot for the majority of snaps this upcoming season and he looks like more of a possession receiver than an elite-upside-alpha.
Wilson’s only other competition to be Zach Wilson’s WR1 is from Corey Davis. The annual fantasy bust has yet to post 1,000 yards and has amassed 100 targets just once in his five-year career. Davis lacks the ability to be an alpha wide receiver and leaves Wilson in a great spot to be the Jets’ X wide receiver this season.
“Dude is special. Dude is real special,” Davis said about Wilson.
In reality, the offense’s success depends on Wilson making a significant year-two jump. Wilson is looking to improve after a dismal rookie season plagued with injuries, inconsistencies, and mishaps all year long.
“It’s hard for a rookie to come in and learn a scheme, learn an offense, but he’s very decisive with the ball,” Robert Salah said about his quarterback during Jets minicamp. “He’s getting it to where it needs to go, his footwork is a lot cleaner and obviously, he’s going to ride the roller coaster of ups and downs as he continues to grow and master the offense, if you will. But he looks good. It’s been a really good and productive offseason for him.”
Zach Wilson should improve with the rookie additions of Breece Hall and Wilson, along with a highly talented offensive line that should be one of the better ones in the league — if healthy. If Zach Wilson can continue to develop as a passer, the Wilson-to-Wilson combination will be a staple for the Jets for years to come.
RSJ RANKINGS SUMMARY
The Wolf’s 2022 Fantasy Rankings & Big Board — 115 OVR (+3 vs ECR) WR51 (-4)
The Wolf’s Dynasty Rankings – 39 OVR (+11), WR20 (+2)
The Wolf’s 2022 Rookie Rankings – 6 OVR (-3)