Originally written on Turn On The Jets  |  Last updated 7/15/13
The New York Jets may have a wide receiver problem. You can make an argument they have the weakest group in the NFL. This isn’t an ideal situation when you have a shaky veteran and a rookie battling for the starting quarterback job. Let’s run through the receivers currently on the depth chart and give a realistic assessment of what the team currently has. Santonio Holmes - The vetearan of the group and the team’s most talented overall receiver. Unfortunately, Holmes is still recovering from serious Lisfranc surgery and hasn’t even been able to run yet. It remains possible he could start the season on the PUP list, further watering down an already weak positional group. Best Case - He is ready to play in week 1 and gives the Jets a solid 65-75 reception, 750-900 yard season. Worst Case - PUP List. Misses the first six games of the season and is never able to get his feet under him as an impact player on offense. Jeremy Kerley - The only sure thing right now in the Jets receiving group. Kerley led the team in receptions and receiving yards last season and showed that he can be more than just a slot receiver. It is likely the Jets will lean on him heavily again this year, particularly early in the season while Holmes works his way back and Stephen Hill continues to develop. Best Case - Puts up similar numbers to last season (56 receptions, 827 yards) but increases his touchdown total (only 2 last year) and remains a reliable, go-to option each week in the passing game. Worst Case - Regresses after a breakout 2nd year by having inconsistencies catching the football and being unable to handle more defensive attention on him. Stephen Hill - A great unknown. Hill has immense physical potential but struggled as a rookie to catch the football and run routes. He is also dealing with lingering knee issues. The Jets badly need him to play to the level of a 2nd round talent and become a deep threat on offense. Best Case - Stretches the defense with his speed, providing desperately needed big plays to the offense while also becoming a more reliable underneath receiver. By the middle of the season, is a competent 40-50 rep per game guy. Worst Case - Continues to struggle with drops and staying healthy. Appears to be on his way to joining Vlad Ducasse and Kellen Clemens as recent Jets 2nd round busts. Clyde Gates - Currently the de facto #4 guy, which is horrifying. Gates is a borderline NFL player who has great straight ahead speed and not much else. Best Case - Improves his route running and ability to catch, becoming a serviceable role player and deep threat. Worst Case - More of this. Ben Obomanu - A veteran who had some decent moments in Seattle but is probably best served as a role player and special teamer. The Jets stretched a similar player, Chaz Schilens, too thin last year and may be forced to do the same with Obomanu. Best Case - An improved version of 2012 Chaz Schilens on the Jets. Worst Case - A worse version of 2012 Chaz Schilens on the Jets. Jordan White - We were high on White’s potential last year and still think he deserved more of a chance down the stretch. In college, he demonstrated good route running ability and a knowledge of how to find a soft spot in zone defenses, both needed traits in the Jets new offense. However, without a strong training camp White could find himself unemployed. Best Case - Becomes a weapon as a slot receiver and is able to step up if there are injuries in front of him. Worst Case - Doesn’t make the team. Zach Rogers - An intriguing undrafted free agent, who stood out during OTAs and mini-camp. The Jets are an ideal place for a UDFA at receiver and Rogers played and produced at the highest levels of college football. Keep an eye on him. Best Case - Becomes an impact player as a rookie, slowly working himself into more and more playing time as the season progresses. Worst Case - Doesn’t make the team. Ryan Spadola – Another intriguing undrafted free agent who made an early impression. Spadola played at a smaller school (#LehighUp…I see you Patriot League) but has a nice skill-set that could be translatable to the NFL. It will be fun to watch him, Rogers and Marcus Davis compete for a roster spot. Best Case - Makes the team and carves out a role for himself on offense by year’s end. Worst Case - Doesn’t make team. Marcus Davis - A UDFA with a nice combination of size and speed. Davis is built like a true split end, so if Stephen Hill struggles in camp or can’t stay healthy, the Jets may give extra consideration to keeping him around. Best Case - Becomes a deep threat on offense, helping pick up the slack from the players in front of him on the depth chart. Worst Case - Doesn’t make team. The Jets also have Vidal Hazleton, Joseph Collins, Thomas Mayo, KJ Stroud and Ryan Titus on the roster but I could see them quickly being knocked off in favor of a veteran who becomes available during camp.
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