One thing can be said, our pass catchers are better than last years. While we did not go after a WR very early (WHY!?) We did add some nice pieces on the perimeter, slot, and TE.
Decker is our guy now. Thats not fantastic, but it doesnt have to be. A lot of great teams do not have great WR, just guys who can run their routes, catch the ball, and move the chain. You get enough of those guys, someone will be open.
Decker is the established #1 Perimeter guy. The question is, who will join him on the opposite site? In an Ideal world, Stephen Hill will become the Josh Gordon he was drafted to be, but I've come to a beautiful realization: we don't need him to be. All we need is reliability, short and intermediate routes and to win with our run game. If Hill can't do it, I think David Nelson can for the time being.
I'd like to see some more 2 TE/ 2 WR sets this year, in which case we can move Kerley out wide on plays that he doesnt need to be in the slot, as he is our 2nd most polished WR at this time, Also keep an eye out for Saunders, he was effective outside during college.
If there is a dark horse to be a week 1 starter it is Shaq Evans, but I think it can happen. In formations when Kerley and Saunders bump inside, Shaq can be that reliable No. 2 guy with a higher ceiling than David Nelson (think James Jones, Donald Driver, Amani Toomer). Decker and Shaq outside is pretty Decent.
I am all the sudden excited about our slot WRs. Kerley reminds me a bit of chrebet. He's a heady player who can move the chains. Saunders has more playmaking and big play ability, is a bit faster, and better YAC. Like him coming on drags across the middle or occasionally going deep and testing the safeties.
This year we will see some growing pains, but a year or 2 from now we will have an excellent young core. I would rather let our young guys grow than bring in a mediocre stop gap (Miles Austin, Danario Alexander, Meachem, Collie, Bess) and see what we are working with on home grown talent. However some of those names do interest me, but would add on to the already-existing logjam or mediocrity we have at WR.
This is all without talking about Amaro. Amaro will be a Pro-Bowler. He adds a wrinkle to our offense and can play in the slot while also posessing the TOOLS to be a good blocker, hes just gotta use em. I think His ceiling is a faster more vertical jason witten, and his floor is a dallas clark. He just always seems to be open.
I don't like the idea of a Cumberland/Amaro 1-2 set. The reason being is that neither is a very good blocker. Amaro is already from day one just a better version of cumberland. Im curious as to why we didnt pick up a cheap blocking tight end either in free agency or the draft. There are still some options out there (AC Leonard i believe is available, could be wrong). We need tight ends who can block to have a decent run game. I like the kid Sudfeld but do we know if he is a decent blocker/can develop into a quality #2 TE? There are some decent options in free agency for a in-line tight end (Scheffler, Hartsock, Bear Pascoe, Alex Smith) are all obviously very average, but dependable veterans who can block. This would allow Amaro to stick to his specialty joker tight end role and allow cumberland to be a very good #3 TE. I can also not stress enough how much I would love to have Colt Lyerla get signed. Amaro+Lyerla= Gronk & Hernandez minus the murders. Lets get Lyerla on this team.
Overall, our pass catchers are trending upward, and while Decker was not my first choice for FA WR for price and fit reasons (Maclin, Emmanuel Sanders, Hakeem Nicks) as well as a few decker clones being available in the draft (abbrederis + jordan Matthews), I think he is a good football player who will be a great Jet we can root for. Getting a polished savvy route runner like marqise lee wouldve been nice, but our 2 slot guys saunders and kerley show a ton of promise and seem not to be limited to just the slot. They remind me of Coles and Santana Moss a little bit and can cause terror on the inside, while Shaq evans can polish up his routes and become an excellent no 2. posession guy (thinking Jason Avant).
I haven't talked about a few players a lot here. Stephen Hill out of sheer disappointment, I was waiting for him to become something big, but now more than ever his future looks bleak because hes rawness of route running and being a long strider make him ill-fit for our passing game. Maybe we could trade him for a late pick or a blocking TE. Jacoby Ford also doesnt have a great chance at making the roster now, which is unfortunate because he is one of my favorites. Really great dude who always used to answer my fan messages. It Just seems like a waste to have him AND saunders and kerley as slot guys, not to mention some DBs who can return kicks, Im pulling for him though, maybe he can transition to the outside. Also David Nelson: love what he did for us last year. Very Reliable. But im guessing the coaches and idzik want Shaq evans to supplant him (nelson) as they fit the same niche. Im pulling for nelson as well. lastly, I dont know anything about the Enunwu guy from Nebraska. Seems like a raw unheralded project just like Hill. pick seemed un needed. Hopefully I'm wrong. Which of these guys do you want to see make the team?
The only thing we are "missing" from having a pretty darn good receiving corps is another perimiter guy. We dont necessarily need a megatron or fitzgerald in this offense. NE doesnt have one, Seattle doesnt, Packers dont, 49rs not really. we just need guys who fit the system. We could use a true dual threat TE who can line up next to the tackle and be an effective run blocker while also being a semi-threat in the passing game for a 5-10 yarder every now and then, Im thinking like an Anthony Fasano to pair up with Amaro. Guys like that are around this league and can be had for a cheap trade. Lets find one please.
As for WR, we just need a guy to establish himself as the #2. Marqise lee or beckham wouldve been the perfect compliment, even abbrederis, but I have confidence in our guys now to be greater than the sum of its (their) parts. There are always camp casualties from other teams to bring in as well. Overall, I'm pretty excited about our skill position guys,
What you think?