A guy gaining a lot of momentum is Baylor WR Kendall Wright, RGIII's top receiver. Wright had a dominant season with 108 catches for 1663 yards and 14 TDs, but he's no one year wonder, posting 950 yards in 2010 and at least 650 yards in every season. Walk with me after the jump.
One thing I think we can all agree on is that the Jets severely lacked explosiveness on offense. We had 3 plays of 40+ yards all season: a quick screen to LT that went for 74 yards (with 2 broken tackles and some great blocking), and a 41 pass on a wheel route (if I remember correctly) to Dustin Keller when we were being stomped by Philly, and a 42 yarder to Matthew Mulligan thrown by Jeremy Kerley in that embarrassing final game against the Fins. That's it, no rushing plays, no other pass plays. Last year, while we were hardly the Chargers or the Eagles, we ranked a really good 6th in 40+ yard pass plays with 11, and had another 2 on the ground. We also saw a decrease in 20+ yard plays: 44 through the air and 11 on the ground in 2010, as opposed to 7 on the ground and 41 through the air this season. Any way you slice it, the big gains were down this season. While short passes, 4 yards and a cloud of dust, and high percentage plays are legitimate ways to move an offense, I don't think anything flips a game faster than big plays. Look at the Broncos- Tebow completes like 46% of his passes, but when he completes the ball he gets 13.7 yards per completion... against Pitt, the Broncos drove the ball, what, 3 times the whole game? They were all big plays. Ideally you want a Drew Brees who gives you big plays at high efficiency, but even if you don't have the most consistent QB (like Sanchez), you want the big play element in the offense that can mitigate the inevitable 3 and outs.
This is where Kendall Wright comes in. Though I like both Alshon Jeffrey and my fellow Rutgers mate Mohamed Sanu, they simply don't have the seam splitting speed to take the top off of the defense. Jeffrey has been pretty successful down the field and has the YPC to show for it, but sorta like Braylon Edwards that's more of a result of his size and being a big target to be able to give the QB a window and come down with it in traffic. That's a great skill to have on the team, but it doesn't back the defense up and soften the middle so you can be more efficient over the middle nor does it grant the quick 6 ability. Kendall Wright is different. He looks to have 4.4 speed and the explosiveness to get over the top of defenses. He's not very big at 5-10 190, but he plays tough and could likely pack on 5-10 on his frame without losing speed. Another thing he gives is the ability to run after the catch, which IMO is an underrated ability. He was used a lot in the Wildcat (throwing 2 touchdowns in his career), a lot of his catches come on quick screens, he's used at times on reverses and even as the option trigger man. Kerley and Tone have shown some ability to get yards after the catch, but it's been limited. Another weapon
There's concern that Wright is a slot WR only and won't be a go-to #1 target who can get you 75+ receptions a year. IMO, I wouldn't even be concerned about that. He doesn't have to be your go-to #1 guy. If he can be a playmaker, stretch the field, haul in 900-1100 yards a year at a high YPC and give us a real down field presence, I think it's worth dropping a late 1 or early 2, even if Jeffrey, Floyd, or Sanu look like sturdier, #1 type receivers (I'm not even sure about Sanu in that regard either). Even if he's a #2 or plays in the slot, the impact of slot receivers has risen recently, with guys like Wes Welker and Victor Cruz doing major damage from the slot. Kendall Wright gives us something we truly need: a reliable, explosive, downfield threat who can take a screen and turn it into big yardage. Thoughts on moving down and potentially picking up more assets for a guy like Wright?