New York Jets General Manager Joe Douglas has spent the majority of the offseason racking his brain, searching for a monumental upgrade at the wide receiver position. Douglas’ interest in acquiring a game-changing receiver has been extremely public in a league that typically prefers to operate behind closed doors. The Jets made an aggressive offer in an attempt to acquire disgruntled receiver Tyreek Hill from the Kansas City Chiefs earlier this offseason, only to witness Hill prefer-and-agree to move to their division-rival Miami Dolphins instead. Since their efforts to acquire Hill failed, the Jets were loosely (and perhaps falsely) tied to blockbuster moves for D.K. Metcalf, A.J. Brown and most notably, Deebo Samuel. Douglas entered the 2022 NFL Draft with a pair of top-10 selections at his disposal and swiftly addressed the receiver position in a more affordable fashion, given the upheaval in guaranteed dollars the receiver market has experienced in recent months. New York’s offseason-long hunt to secure the services of a notable pass-catcher reached its ceremonial conclusion when they drafted former Ohio State standout Garrett Wilson with the No. 10 overall selection on Thursday. Wilson now fills out an impressive group of receivers that already included Corey Davis, Elijah Moore and Braxton Berrios, whom Douglas made sizable investments in over the two most recent offseasons.
In Wilson, the Jets are getting a dynamic receiver with and without the ball in his hands. Wilson is electric in the open field and was quite possibly the best run-after-catch receiver prospect in the entire draft class. Short-area quickness and well-developed feet have helped Wilson craft a diverse release package that places stress on opposing cornerbacks. It’s unclear whether Wilson will operate from the slot or on the boundary at the next level, but his abilities should pair well with Moore, who can match his inside-outside versatility. Should Wilson ultimately live in his expected landing spot in the slot, it shouldn’t be viewed as a less valuable selection. Elite slot pass-catchers are all the rage in today’s pass-happy league after we just witnessed Los Angeles Rams receiver Cooper Kupp lead the league in every meaningful receiver-related statistical category. It’s a copycat league and slot receivers are more important today than ever before.
Wilson’s explosive skill set should immediately form a fearsome pairing alongside sophomore-quarterback-to-be Zach Wilson, who showed considerably more promise as his rookie campaign progressed. After all, Wilson’s selection is centered around New York’s desire to invest all of their chips into their franchise quarterback. Zach Wilson’s off-script abilities and gunslinger approach matches well with Garrett Wilson’s skill set as a pass catcher. Adding Wilson to the fray at receiver should allow Offensive Coordinator Mike LaFleur to craft a more creative and balanced offense that commands spacing issues alongside a prominent vertical passing attack. It’s the way of the league today and Wilson certainly moves the Jets closer to achieving their desired offensive identity and output.
Douglas has completely revamped and retooled New York’s offensive approach by adding exciting, high-level talent since he marked his arrival in East Rutherford in June of 2019. Wilson is the latest example of his aggressive roster-building procedures. In addition to the Wilson’s, Davis, Berrios and Moore, Douglas has drafted or signed several intriguing talents including running back Michael Carter and guard Alijah Vera-Tucker. Douglas has also added three new starting-caliber tight ends this offseason alone by signing Tyler Conklin and C.J. Uzomah in free agency before drafting Ohio State’s Jeremy Ruckert with a late third-round selection. The signing of Laken Tomlinson helps fill a sizable hole at guard and the drafting of Breece Hall in the second-round gives the Jets more versatility in the backfield alongside the undersized Carter and Tevin Coleman.
Douglas is hellbent on cultivating one of the league’s best offensive attacks and he’s been willing to spend the capital necessary to bring his vision to reality. The Jets’ offense undeniably became more difficult to defend against at the conclusion of the 2022 NFL Draft. Wilson fits New York’s scheme and wishes like a glove so Douglas can finally sleep peacefully at night. His months-long search for a receiver has reached its end.
- Aug 12, 2022
- Aug 11, 2022