In a similar light to the Jets offensive line, the receiving corps of the New York Jets is set to face its unique share of competition.
While Breshad Perriman isn’t necessarily young, he is new to the Jets offense. Despite his impressive end-of-season games for the Buccaneers, he can expect a lot more attention this coming season. Without Mike Evans on the other end of the field, Perriman will garner a lot of attention. But that doesn’t mean smooth sailing for the likes of standout slot receiver Jamison Crowder, or newly drafted outside threat Denzel Mims.
Before Bye Week
Tre’Davious White (vs/@ Bills, Weeks 1 & 15)
White is coming off an All-Pro and Pro Bowl selection year. He was in a three-way tie for most interceptions this past season. An elite talent who is finally starting to solidify himself as a top corner in the NFL, he will certainly have the company of Perriman or Mims, depending on the matchup.
Richard Sherman (vs. 49ers, Week 2)
Earning his 5th Pro Bowl selection this past season, Richard Sherman is still one of the better corners in the NFL. While he’s a step off his Legion of Boom days, the veteran is still a player to be wary of, especially for whoever comes to his side of the field.
The cornerback duo of King and Hayward might be one of the most under-appreciated teams in the NFL. Combining for 1 All-Pro award and 2 Pro-Bowl selections, Hayward can line up on any outside receiver. King possess the unique ability to dominate from both the outside, as well as the slot. Considering the performance of Jamison Crowder this past season, a King/Crowder matchup could not only be a challenge, but open up opportunities for whoever the Jets will have as the number two receiving threat.
Stephon Gilmore (vs/@ Patriots, Weeks 9 & 17)
The reigning Defensive Player of the Year earned that award and then some. Gilmore has earned the reputation as the best cornerback in the league currently, and the Jets receiving core gets the challenge of facing him twice a season. With the ability to shut down top NFL receivers, but at the same time tie for most interceptions in the 2019 season, Gilmore is a threat to both the receivers and Sam Darnold.
The Miami Dolphins quite literally spared no expense in this duo. The team is home to the two highest-paid cornerbacks in the NFL. Howard was only able to play five games this past season but was coming off his first Pro Bowl selection where he had intercepted 7 passes in 2018. Byron Jones on the other hand, while having zero interceptions was Dallas’ lockdown corner. He allowed a grand total of 34 completions off 15 games.
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After Bye Week
Jalen Ramsey (@ Rams, Week 15)
Coming off a Pro Bowl season (split between Jacksonville and LA), Ramsey only intercepted one pass. However, in his time spent with his new Rams team, the former All-Pro selection allowed zero touchdowns. Settled into his new team, whoever he lines up against will be another match to break the impressive statistic.
Ward allowed for only an impressive 48.2% completion rating. Williams is coming off a season plagued with injury. That being said, neither cornerback allowed a touchdown. The duo is young and has the potential to be one of the best in the league. Two cornerbacks coming into their own can prove a challenge for the receivers and quarterback alike.
What Success Means for the Jets
If the Jets offense is able to win these matchups, it’s a positive sign for both Sam Darnold and the receiving core. If the teams’ young QB can beat these elite defensive backs, it will show tremendous growth. In a similar fashion, if the new receiving core is able to perform, it would be a welcome sign of improvement to Jets fans everywhere. A quality receiving group is something Gang Green has lacked for a few seasons now. The added talent is putting their feet to the fire immediately. Quality performances, however, could lead Jets nation in the most optimistic direction we’ve been in a long time.