Elijah Moore
Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

The stage is set for Elijah Moore to dominate in 2022. The Jets have faith the second-year wide receiver will build off a highly promising rookie season that saw him lead the team with 538 receiving yards and five touchdowns. This would be great, considering the entire offense (including quarterback Zach Wilson when he returns from injury) must improve from a lackluster 2021 campaign.

On Friday, current starting quarterback Joe Flacco was asked if Moore reminds him of anyone he’s ever played with. The veteran’s answer should be music to the ears of this desperate fanbase, especially with Moore’s expectations in mind.

“In some ways, I think of Steve Smith [Sr.], just because of how explosive Steve was. Steve didn’t necessarily run routes like everybody else did, but he was always in the right spot,” Flacco, who played with Smith in Baltimore from 2014-16, told reporters. “And I think Elijah has some of that in him. He can kind of feel when he’s open. And you might not always get the same depth or he may run the same route several times, completely different every time.”

“When I think of Steve, he was always in the right spot, always with the right timing. And I think Elijah is there 90% of the time. It’s just that last little bit…with a guy like that, with a guy that has his physical abilities, he’s going to be a little bit different than everybody else. And you have to let him use those superpowers to his advantage.”

No, Flacco isn’t saying Moore is exactly what Smith was when he was dominating secondaries throughout the 2000s. But the similarities are there, with speed, elusiveness, and superb awareness headlining the overall playstyle.


Regardless, it’s relieving to hear this from the 37-year-old signal-caller. Because Moore is developing into a No. 1 receiver and the organization desperately needs him to play a huge role in the improvement of both this offense and Wilson. The aforementioned skills should help the former second-round pick reach that next level.

Listen to ESNY’s Wide Right Podcast on Apple here or on Spotify here.

Ryan Honey is a staff writer and host of the Wide Right Podcast.