Elijah Moore is expected to be one of the more talented weapons of this Jets offense. How could the staff make use of his skills?
After acquiring offensive players with either of their opening-round draft picks (quarterback Zach Wilson and offensive lineman Alijah Vera-Tucker) the Jets continued the trend in the second round.
Ole Miss receiver Elijah Moore, a highly talented wideout in this draft, fell into Gang Green’s lap at No. 34 overall.
Superb hands, sheer athleticism, and effective speed provide Moore with spectacular potential.
He’s expected to be a significant asset of this Jets team early on, but what could his overall role entail during his rookie season?
No. 2-type target (in the slot)
No, Moore isn’t likely to be the team’s No. 1 wide receiver right off the bat.
Elijah is 21 years old — he will need time to develop and improve before taking on the responsibility of a top target in the NFL.
Given the Jets made a multi-year investment in Corey Davis (three years, $37.5 million), the veteran and former Titan is set to be the team’s No. 1 wideout while Moore figures to be more of a No. 2-type receiver (Jamison Crowder, Keelan Cole, and Denzel Mims will additionally be in the mix).
Moore’s speed could lead to him earning the majority of his reps in the slot, which is where he thrived during his collegiate tenure at Mississippi. Possessing a talented slot target to complement split end Corey Davis would assist in the development of both Zach Wilson and the offensive unit as a whole.
The versatility in Moore’s game could certainly lead to offensive coordinator Mike LaFleur utilizing him in a number of ways. Slants and bubble screen-type plays should be in Elijah’s future. Maybe sweep and end-around calls as well? A little creativity from the newly hired OC?
Special teams weapon?
The on-field qualities could also pave the way for Moore to succeed as a return specialist at the professional level.
Him partaking in this area would essentially be a repeat of what occurred during his Ole Miss tenure.
From 2018-20, Moore returned 27 punts for 133 yards (4.9 yards per return). In 2018, he returned 12 kicks for 222 yards (18.5 yards per return).
Bottom line: An immensely talented WR room for a young QB
Heading into this offseason, Joe Douglas and co. knew that regardless of who was going to be playing quarterback for them in 2021, that individual would need to develop.
Whether it was Sam Darnold, Zach Wilson, or any other quarterback in this year’s draft not named Trevor Lawrence, the organization needed to enhance the unit of offensive weapons for its novice signal-caller.
Thankfully, following the free agency and draft periods, the Jets now employ an immensely talented receiver room.
Moore, Davis, Crowder, Cole, and Mims will all need to fill their own respective roles. But one of the top goals for all of them will be to assist in the crucial development of Wilson, the 2021 No. 2 overall pick.
Moore will need to construct an effective connection with his quarterback early on. Not only would that help Wilson grow, but it would also aid in the young wideout doing so himself.
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