zach wilson elijah moore jets
Ron Chenoy | USA TODAY Sports

The Jets emphasized adding an impact wide receiver in this year’s NFL draft. But Pro Football Focus believes they already had one on the roster.

Elijah Moore is No. 3 on PFF’s second-year player breakout rankings. Analyst Mike Renner believes the 2021 second-round pick can take off as long as quarterback Zach Wilson does the same.

From PFF (via ESPN):

This breakout might have already happened in 2021 were it not for New York’s quarterback situation and the fact that Moore missed the last five games of his rookie campaign with a quad injury. Flip on the tape, and it’s clear Moore can get open. Fellow rookie Zach Wilson simply couldn’t find him in rhythm enough.

For the other Jets quarterbacks who filled in when Wilson went down for four weeks with a posterior cruciate ligament injury, finding Moore wasn’t a problem. In those contests, Moore averaged 2.92 yards per route with four touchdowns. In the other seven games with Wilson at the helm, the rookie receiver averaged 1.05 yards per route with only one score.


While that obviously means Moore’s breakout hinges heavily on Wilson showing considerably improved mastery of the offense in Year 2, it also means the breakout is imminent if Wilson does make that leap.

If Wilson doesn’t take a big step in 2022, it won’t be general manager Joe Douglas’ fault. The Jets have built a good offensive line around Wilson (with a Mekhi Becton caveat). And they’ve gotten him weapons. Moore, wideout Garrett Wilson (the No. 10 pick in this year’s draft), running back Breece Hall, veteran pass catcher Corey Davis. And if Denzel Mims ever does anything … the pieces are certainly there. This team can win 7-10 games if everything breaks right. Starting with Wilson.

No Giants players made the list. Which makes sense because of Dave Gettleman.

James Kratch can be reached at [email protected]

 

James Kratch is the managing editor of ESNY. He previously worked as a Rutgers and Giants (and Mike Francesa) beat reporter for NJ Advance Media.