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Analyzing the Jets Wide Receivers
Analyzing the Jets Wide Receivers

Associated Press

November 18, 2022

The Jets have one of the most expensive wide receiver rooms in the NFL, measured by draft capital: two top ten overall picks in Garrett Wilson and Corey Davis and two second-round picks in Elijah Moore and Denzel Mims. 

Three of these picks were made by the club and all by current GM Joe Douglas (Davis was signed by Douglas as a free agent). 

Mims is not listed on the app. Here’s how the Mojo market ranks the rest:

Wilson (age 22 season): $14.71 (here is how Mojo prices are determined)

Moore (22): $11.38

Davis (27): $10.71

Let’s put together some models and look at some deeper stats regarding how they are being utilized and how they perform with Zach Wilson behind center. Our objective will be to see if these prices are reasonable bets. 

Let’s start with Wilson, the No. 10 overall pick in the 2022 NFL Draft. In an average Jets passing offense measured by volume (36 pass attempts per game, though much more pass happy with Joe Flacco), he’s on pace for 129 total targets or 7.6 per game. 

Let’s first see the receivers in the Target Era (since 1992 when targets were first tracked) who have averaged between seven and eight targets per game as 22-year-old rookies:

Brandon Aiyuk

Aaron Dobson

Andre Johnson

Keary Colbert

Wayne Cherbet

Corey Coleman 

Greg Little

Jerome Pathon

Wilson though was a top-half of the first-round pick. The only players above who were even first-round picks were Aiyuk (25th overall), Johnson (3rd) and Coleman (15th). 

This is not very actionable. Coleman earned about $1.50 in his career and Johnson nearly $23 (I have no data on big plays, so it’s just a very close approximation). Wilson is right in the middle here, just above Aiyuk ($12.37) and well below borderline Hall of Famer Johnson. That seems reasonable. 

A draft-capital only model of active players selected top 10 overall like Wilson pulls Julio Jones ($22.83), Mike Evans ($24.50), A.J. Green ($17.85), Sammy Watkins ($12.38), Davis ($10.71), Ja’Marr Chase ($22.06), Jaylen Waddle ($17.52), DeVonta Smith ($13.89) and Drake London ($14.11). Kevin White has accumulated just $0.50 of Mojo Value and is not in the market right now.

That’s an average of $17.34 (without White). If you believe that Wilson is an average top-10 pick, there’s room for profit at his current price. I wouldn’t expect a big return but you can throw a multiplier on it at five times any future gains

What about usage and effectiveness? 

Overall, Wilson, according to ESPN Tru Media, is 16th in yards per route (of 50 qualifiers thus far in 2022) at 2.25 and 12th in yards per target, 9.85. 

With Zach Wilson only, and only in the slot where he’s mostly played with Wilson at QB, it’s 2.54 yards per route (very good) and 10.8 yards per target (great). When lining outside, with Wilson, he’s 1.57 yards per route and 7.1 yards per target. (We can already see the reason why Moore, most effective in the slot, isn’t playing much.)

Zach Wilson targets Garrett Wilson on 23.4% of slot routes and 21.3% of outside routes — both solid usage rates. 

When Moore is on the field with Garrett Wilson and with Zach Wilson at QB, Moore has run 23 routes in the slot with, incredibly, no targets. He’s run 62 routes outside (eight targets). And overall with Zach Wilson at the helm, just 7.4% targets/routes and 3.6 yards per target. 

Moore’s lack of targets caused a major rift with the front office that got him inactivated for a game and largely benched since. His snap rates since his return are his two lowest rates of the season by far

While a lot of people want to pin this on a lack of chemistry with Zach Wilson, note that the move of Moore almost completely out of the slot is the bigger factor here; Moore is clearly nowhere as good a slot receiver as Garrett Wilson, despite Wilson’s ability to remain somewhat effective as an outside receiver.

There was a report from ESPN’s Rich Cimini on Thursday that Moore is being moved “unofficially” (whatever that means) back into the slot. But I’ll believe it when I see it as that would be madness given how Wilson and Moore perform in the slot. 

A bet on Moore mostly is a bet on draft capital. And also, to some extent, his rookie season (No. 2 PPR wide receiver his last five games of his rookie season). That rookie performance is not terribly relevant on this current Jets roster, however. 

Still, let’s look at active WRs drafted between overall picks 30 and 40, where Moore was selected (34th overall):

Sterling Shepard (ACL but current Mojo price $7.49)

Deebo Samuel ($15.77)

Curtis Samuel ($11.53)

Courtland Sutton ($12.98)

Tee Higgins ($18.79)

Zay Jones ($8.42)

Michael Pittman ($14.27)

N’Keal Harry (no price)

Christian Watson ($7.05).

The average here is $12.04. Moore is $11.38 but doesn’t seem to have a role on his current team. He’s also undersized and has little versatility (has to be a slot receiver). Maybe there’s a little room here but a positive change of scenery seems mostly priced in. 

Corey Davis is interesting. He has missed some time so his stats are messy. We’re interested in Davis with Zach Wilson. And the numbers are very good: 23.2% targets on routes and 2.93 yards per route. Also, 12.6 yards per target and 15.5 air yards per target. Actually, these are crazy good numbers.

What about when Davis is on the field with Garrett Wilson with Zach Wilson at QB?

Davis drops to 18.7% targets/routes, but still a robust 11.7 yards per target. Garrett Wilson is 24.1% targets/routes, 6.2 yards per target. 

Davis is guaranteed snaps as one of the best blocking wide receivers in the NFL. Blocking is one of the reasons that Mims is getting so many snaps ahead of Moore, too. It’s not just the Jets punishing Moore (and maybe is not that at all, the deeper we dig into the numbers). Mims, like Davis, just overpowers smaller cornerbacks when the Jets are running the ball.

Davis at just 27 still seems like a good value. He’s a solid player and you can see he has a role on this team that doesn’t conflict in any way with Garrett Wilson. In fact, it complements it. He also has proven to have very good chemistry with Zach Wilson. 

This isn’t a home run and it depends on Zach Wilson developing much further as a passer, but Davis should be priced about a couple bucks higher. Again, not a killing (though you could utilize his 10x Multiplier). But, as Warren Buffett famously said, “No one ever went broke making money.

Prices are current as of 11/18/22 at 1:00 PM EST
Michael Salfino is a Contributing Writer at Mojo. All trades you make are with Mojo, which sets the lines as the “house”. Recommendations are for entertainment purposes only. Please use your own judgment and data to make trades. 21+. Must be in NJ to trade. Gambling Problem? 1-800-GAMBLER
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