While mostly intended to provide the players with a chance to heal from any lingering injuries, the NFL bye week also presents an opportunity for teams to identify and implement changes to their current use of players. For the New York Jets, two changes are perhaps most glaring (and, no, neither has anything to do with quarterback Zach Wilson).
Should Randall Cobb continue to be Wide Receiver 3?
To date, wide receiver Randall Cobb has been bad. How bad? Well, really bad, with an overall PFF grade of 46.5 and a receiving grade of 48.8. For a team with playoff aspirations, you need more from your WR3 than a guy who is generating .16 yards per route run and 1.7 yards per target.
Unfortunately, the Jets lack any established internal options after trading wide receiver Mecole Hardman to the Kansas City Chiefs. The best option for the Jets may be rookie wideout Xavier Gipson, who seems to be currying favor among the New York Jets despite little production to date. As said by Robert Saleh:
“While [Hardman] was trying to get himself back up to speed and being limited, here comes this undrafted rookie you don’t expect anything from,” Saleh said during a Zoom call on Monday. “But you’re like, ‘Wow, this guy’s pretty good’ in OTAs. And then in training camp, it’s like, ‘Man, this guy is really freaking good.’ It’s just an opportunity for us to develop a young guy.
This quote from Saleh also aligns with recent speculation from SNY beat writer Connor Hughes, so the odds of such a change being made do not appear to be 0%.
Fascinating nugget from @Connor_J_Hughes on #JetsClass: WR Xavier Gipson ‘is a player that I’ve been told has developed to the point, even in this short time, that he looks like the player the #Jets hoped they were gonna get in Elijah Moore’ believes the Randall Cobb reps will… pic.twitter.com/U3yztfi3yP— Paul Andrew Esden Jr (@BoyGreen25) October 20, 2023
Should tight end Jeremy Ruckert receive more reps?
Taken in the 3rd round of the 2022 NFL draft, last season seemingly functioned as a red shirt year of sorts for Ruckert, who saw little playing time. This season though, the Jets investment in Ruckert seems to be paying off, as he has an overall PFF grade of 72.6 with a 67+ grade in the receiving, run blocking, and pass blocking categories.
Typically, an uptick in performance like this would allow a second year player to see some significant playing time. However, Ruckert does appear limited to a bit of a narrow role as he has only 92 snaps through 6 weeks. By comparison, fellow New York Jets tight ends Tyler Conklin and C.J. Uzomah have 254 and 147 snaps, respectively.
While the three tight ends all appear to be performing at roughly similar levels overall (Conklin’s overall PFF grade is 65.1 and Uzomah’s is 71.3), the ways that Conklin and Uzomah earn those grades is a bit different. Conklin is best in the passing game (PFF receiving grade of 67.4) but is poor in the run game (PFF run blocking grade of 52.4), while Uzomah is best in the run game (PFF run blocking grade of 82.2) but poor in the passing game (PFF receiving grade of 60.8). This implies Conklin and Uzomah are limited in their skillsets, while Ruckert’s appears to be a bit more well rounded, as he can contribute in all areas based on his PFF grades. This creates a potential opportunity for Ruckert to take over the full-time TE1 role while Uzomah and Conklin move into more narrow role player roles, but it remains to be seen whether the Jets have any intent to move on from their veteran tight ends in Conklin and Uzomah.
Would you make either of these changes?
This poll is closed
Only Gipson replacing Cobb
Only Ruckert moving to the TE1 role