Reading the Tea Leaves: Land of the Giants?

Bob Levey

What kind of wide receivers does Idzik like?

Does John Idzik have a vision of what kind of receivers fit best in the Jets' system?  Judge for yourself.

Here is the complete list of wide receivers Idzik has brought in to compete for jobs since he became the Jets' general manager.  Notice any patterns?

Name

Position

Height

Weight

.




Saalim Hakim

WR

5' 11"

188

Zach Rogers

WR

6' 0"

172

Titus Ryan

WR

6' 0"

190

Ben Obomanu

WR

6' 1"

205

Thomas Mayo

WR

6' 2"

205

Michael Campbell

WR

6' 2"

205

Vidal Hazelton

WR

6' 2"

209

Greg Salas

WR

6' 2"

210

Ryan Spadola

WR

6' 3"

200

Joseph Collins

WR

6' 3"

200

K.J. Stroud

WR

6' 3"

205

Dwight Jones

WR

6' 3"

230

Marcus Davis

WR

6' 4"

232

David Nelson

WR

6' 5"

215


The primary thing that jumps out at me is the size of the guys on this list.  Only one guy, Hakim, sneaks in under 6' 0".  The average height is a shade over 6' 2"; the average weight is a shade under 205.  These are, as a group, big guys.  Only two guys on the list, Salas and Nelson, earned substantial playing time, and they averaged 6' 3"+ and 212+ lbs.  It is a picture of an approach that favors big receivers.

This may give us a window into the mind of the notoriously tight lipped Idzik.  If this track record is any indication of what the Jets' GM is generally looking for in a wide receiver, perhaps we can begin to predict guys who are likely or unlikely to attract the Jets' interest in free agency and in the draft.

So far we have heard the Jets will be targeting Jeremy Maclin and Emmanuel Sanders in free agency.  This report struck me as odd, given the tight ship the Jets have generally run since Idzik got here.  Either the ship is springing leaks, or this is at best unfounded speculation on the part of the sources, and at worst deliberate counterintelligence intentionally released by the Idzik team to throw off rivals as to the real targets.  Maclin goes 6' 0", 200 lbs; Sanders goes 5' 11", 186.  These two guys are at the very fringes of the kind of size package Idzik has so far sought out.  That in itself is hardly definitive proof of anything; talent trumps ideal size/weight combos, and Idzik can be expected to try to find the best talent/value package available.  Still, given the Jets' near radio silence since Idzik took over, the leaking of the Jets' interest in these two guys seemed odd, and their lack of size provides additional evidence that such interest may in fact be illusory.

If the Jets are truly interested mostly in larger receivers, who might fit the bill in free agency?  The following chart lists in alphabetical order most of the available free agents who fit the profile and have had at least minimal production recently.  This is not intended to be an exhaustive list, just a representative sample of most of the potential targets who have had decent production and fit the ideal size/weight profile.

Name

Position

Height

Weight

.




Anquan Boldin

WR

6' 1"

220

Dezmon Briscoe

WR

6' 2"

210

Kenny Britt

WR

6' 3"

223

Riley Cooper

WR

6' 3"

222

Eric Decker

WR

6' 3"

218

Darrius Heyward-Bey

WR

6' 2"

219

Jacoby Jones

WR

6' 2"

212

James Jones

WR

6' 1"

208

Robert Meachem

WR

6' 2"

215

Louis Murphy

WR

6' 2"

200

Hakeem Nicks

WR

6' 1"

208

Josh Morgan

WR

6' 1"

220

Jerome Simpson

WR

6' 2"

190

The chart suggests the Jets might be more likely to go after Riley Cooper than Jeremy Maclin.  If we assume knuckleheads don't appeal to Idzik we can probably remove Nicks and Britt as potential targets.  If Idzik is unlikely to go after the most expensive FAs then we can probably remove Decker from the list.  That leaves ten potential targets.  Which, if any, do you think the Jets might sign?

We can also put together a list of potential targets Idzik will likely have little interest in, if the model of big bodied receivers is accurate.  The following chart lists in alphabetical order available free agents who do not fit the profile and have had decent or better production recently.  This is not intended to be an exhaustive list, just a representative sample of most of the potential targets who have had decent production but don't fit the ideal size/weight profile.

Name

Position

Height

Weight

.

Deion Branch

WR

5' 8"

195

Nate Burleson

WR

6' 0"

198

Julian Edelman

WR

5' 8"

200

Jacoby Ford

WR

5' 8"

190

Ted Ginn, Jr.

WR

5' 9"

185

Mario Manningham

WR

6' 0"

185

Jeremy Maclin

WR

6' 0"

198

Dexter McCluster

WR

5' 7"

170

Santana Moss

WR

5' 8"

189

Andre Roberts

WR

5' 9"

195

Emmanuel Sanders

WR

5' 9"

180

Brandon Stokley

WR

6' 0"

194

Golden Tate

WR

5' 8"

202

It is notable that many of the receivers often mentioned here on GGN as possible free agent acquisitions, such as Sanders, Maclin, McCluster, Tate and Edelman, do not fit Idzik's wide receiver profile.  It will be interesting to see if Idzik's first free agency period with money to burn will reveal the pattern of wide receiver body types to be a definite prototype or simply a random result of a small sample size.  Do you think the Jets will aggressively target any of the receivers in the don't fit the profile chart?

Finally it might be instructive to look at the crop of potential wide receiver draftees.  Which of the top prospects fit the profile?  Below is a chart of some top rated wide receivers who fit the profile:

Name

Position

Height

Weight

.

Sammy Watkins

WR

6' 1"

200

Mike Evans

WR

6' 5"

225

Jordan Matthews

WR

6' 3"

205

Kelvin Benjamin

WR

6' 5"

234

Allen Robinson

WR

6' 3"

211

Jarvis Landry

WR

6' 1"

195

Donte Moncrief

WR

6' 2"

215

Brandon Coleman

WR

6' 6"

220

Davante Adams

WR

6' 2"

216

Cody Hoffman

WR

6' 3"

215

L'Damian Washington

WR

6' 4"

205

Martavis Bryant

WR

6' 5"

200

And here are some top rated wide receivers in the 2014 draft who don't match the profile:

Name

Position

Height

Weight

.

Marquise Lee

WR

6' 0"

195

Odell Beckham

WR

6' 0"

195

Brandin Cooks

WR

5' 10"

181

Paul Richardson

WR

6' 1"

170

Jalen Saunders

WR

5' 9"

157

Tevin Reese

WR

5' 10"

170

Ryan Grant

WR

6' 1"

191

Jeremy Gallon

WR

5' 8"

187

Robert Herron

WR

5' 10"

187

Bruce Ellington

WR

5' 9"

196

Cory Brown

WR

5' 11"

187

Willie Snead

WR

5' 11"

193

If Idzik really loves him some big bodied targets, then we can guess Evans, Matthews, Benjamin and Robinson will be on the Jets' radar in the early rounds of the draft (assuming Watkins will go too early for the Jets to draft him).  In addition, Lee, Beckham, and Cooks are among those who are expected to go early but may not be highly rated by the Jets.

What do you think?  Do you think big bodied wide receivers are a "thing" with Idzik, or is it just a coincidence based on a far too small sample size?  Will the Jets be going after the big boys in free agency and the draft, or will smurfs rule the day?

This offseason will in many ways define who Idzik is as a general manager. One of the many ways he might be defined is in the choices he makes at the Jets' position of greatest need, wide receiver.  It will be very interesting to see if the future belongs to the giants in Jets land.

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