Previously in the series, I checked out Marcus Maye’s predraft scouting report and compared the player he looked to be to the player he was thought to be. Today we’ll continue with the Jets’ 2017 class on to their third selection, Alabama wide receiver ArDarius Stewart.
From NFL.com, here is a look at Stewart’s positives section.
Brings a physical play demeanor to the field at all times. Has takeoff to push cornerbacks into an aggressive backpedal. Karate fighting hands ward off jams and redirect attempts inside his route. Varies route speed to create uneasiness in defender. Sells route fakes with sharp head turns that tilt cornerbacks. Has a gas gear to race past defender and climb quickly over the top. Talented ball tracker with skills to win the deep ball on a consistent basis when matched one on one. Body control for mid-air adjustments is superb and his hands are like clamps. Very strong player and can take the ball away from corners when he needs to. Has kick return talent that translates into the NFL. Competitive runner after catch with skills that mirror a running back. Will elude certain tacklers and punish others. When asked to block and sustain, he’s willing to do his part.
What seems right?
- Well, I guess the note on his toughness is one I won’t question. Stewart certainly didn’t look to be a tackle-breaking force with the ball in his hands, but I think we saw a bit of an aggressive mindset.
What seems off?
- Lots of talk about skilled route-running ability here, such as “takeoff,” “karate fighting hands,” “varies speed,” “sells route fakes.” We didn’t see much of Stewart, but based on what we did see, it absolutely does not seem like route running was his forte. Most of his touches were manufactured.
- Kick return potential did not translate at all. 9 returns for a measly average of 19.2 yards. He only eclipsed the 25 yard line on three of those returns, and only hit the 30 yard line once.
Here’s a look at his weaknesses.
Burly through the hips and doesn’t have the build of the typical receiver. Saw 70 percent of his yardage gained come after the catch. Benefited from screens, pop passes and reverses. Routes could use more sharpness at his break points. Wasn’t asked to create route separation on short and intermediate routes very often. Will need to work aggressively back to the ball as a pro. Can you get too cute with the ball in his hands and run himself out of yardage. There is still room for improvement with his hands.
What seems right?
- “70 percent of his yardage gained come after the catch.” Definitely seemed like this was the kind of player the Jets were trying to use Stewart as, and he wasn’t very effective in the role. He was a highly limited factor as a traditional wide receiver, relegated to mostly gadget appearances.
- “Wasn’t asked to create route separation on short and intermediate routes very often.” Based on his diet of roles, it certainly seems like this was an area of weakness for Stewart.
What seems off?
- I don’t think anything in this section is off. All of these concerns seemed to be a factor for Stewart once he stepped on the NFL field.
ArDarius Stewart had some people scratching their heads when the Jets selected him in round three. While he had flashed some potential as a deep threat, he didn’t seem like a polished product as a complete WR despite the fact that at age 23 on draft day (and already 24 at this point in time), he was a very old rookie. Clearly, he wasn’t able to make the adequate developments as a receiver in year one, and he failed to make an impact in his limited manufactured touches, which was supposed to be his strong suit. We’ll see if he can clean up his all-around game, but for someone who is already set to turn 25 during just his second season, that might not be a great bet. I think this was a player you would’ve hoped to see immediate impact from.
Poll Choice: Choice 2
I didn’t see much positively or negatively from Stewart that made him look different than the player I thought the Jets were getting. His impact was highly underwhelming, though.
Is ArDarius Stewart the kind of player you thought he was?
This poll is closed
Yes, he’s what I expected skillset-wise, and beat my expectations performance-wise
Yes, he’s what I expected skillset-wise, but fell short of my expectations performance-wise
He’s the type of player I thought he was and performed almost exactly as well as I expected
No, he’s not what I expected skillset-wise, but in a good way; he beat my performance expectations
No, he’s not the style of player I thought he was, and he is also worse than I thought.