The New York Jets cut wide receiver Jeremy Kerley today. It was not a surprise. Kerley did not have much success with the Jets this season, and this was the 4th time Kerley has been cut in the last 16 months. But for all Kerley’s JAG-ness (JAGivity? JAGulation?), he actually was a rare draft success story for the Jets.
Jeremy Kerley was selected with the 153rd overall pick in the 5th round of the 2011 draft. Unfortunately for Kerley’s legacy, an obscure cornerback by the name of Richard Sherman was selected by the Seattle Seahawks with the 154th pick, leaving Jets fans to always wistfully speculate about what might have been. Nonetheless, Kerley had more success in the NFL than most of the 2011 draft class.
Ranked by the infallible Career AV metric of Pro Football Reference, Kerley is currently the 59th best player in the 2011 draft with 22 career AV points. In other words, if a redraft of the class of 2011 were held today, Kerley would probably be drafted somewhere around the late 2nd round. Not bad for a 5th round selection.
Among wide receivers taken in the 2011 draft Kerley ranks 5th out of 28 in yards and receptions, and 1st in both categories among those selected after the 2nd round.
Among the 60 wide receivers drafted in the 5th round in the 15 years from 2000 through 2014 Jeremy Kerley ranks 1st in receptions with 268 and 4th in yards with 3109. And among all 65 Jets 5th round picks in the history of the franchise Jeremy Kerley ranks 11th in Career AV, 5th among those who spent the majority of their careers with the Jets. Finally, Jeremy Kerley ranks 19th all time for the Jets in both receptions and receiving yards.
A wide receiver who racks up 268 catches and a little over 3000 yards and who never had a 900 yard season may not seem all that great. In truth Jeremy Kerley was not all that great an NFL wide receiver. Kerley wasn’t fast. He wasn’t big or strong. He didn’t have great leaping ability. But he made the most of his athletic abilities. And he parlayed them into pretty great value for a 5th round pick, and one of the better 5th round careers in Jets history.