The New York Jets have a great duo at wide receiver with Brandon Marshall and Eric Decker as their main wide receivers. Both Marshall and Decker had over 1,000 receiving yards last year, an accomplishment that has not been surpassed since Wayne Chrebet and Keyshawn Johnson in 1998. They also have a former 6th round pick from 2014, Quincy Enunwa, serving as their 3rd wide receiver who also has the ability to play h-back. When the Jets had to trim down their roster to 75 players, they send wide receiver Devin Smith to the PUP list. Smith suffered a torn ACL in December, and he will miss the first six weeks of the season. On Saturday, when final cuts were being made Todd Bowles decided to keep all three rookie wide receivers — Jalin Marshall, Charone Peake, and Robby Anderson. He choose the rookie wide receivers over keeping veteran Kenbrell Thompkins and Jeremy Ross. Each of the rookies have a different skill-set to help contribute to the Jets offense.
Jalin Marshall: Marshall is a speedster type at the wide receiver position who also has the ability to contribute on special teams. He is a versatile play-maker who played h-back, running back, and slot wide receiver at Ohio State.
His versatility is and his speed makes him an asset on the Jets offense. He is a different type of wide receiver compared to Peake and Anderson who are more of a possession type wide receiver. During his debut during preseason, he had an 84-yard kickoff return against the Jacksonville Jaguars. Last year, the Jets struggled to find an explosive play-maker at special teams and finished in the bottom at kick returns. His biggest competition during preseason came from veteran receiver Jeremy Ross. Marshall offers more upside as a wide receiver, while Ross was the more proven veteran at wide receiver. During preseason, he had 8 catches for 77 yards. He also had the ability to play with the first team offense against the New York Giants while Brandon Marshall had sore hips. Jalin Marshall will start as the Jets returner against the Cincinnati Bengals.
Charone Peake: Peake was a 7th round pick in this year’s draft. He was projected to go as high as a mid-round pick however his injury kept teams away from drafting him. He is a good athlete who has good size, footwork and speed at wide receiver. At Clemson he played with talented wide receivers such as Sammy Watkins, DeAndre Hopkins and Martavis Bryant. During preseason, he had 9 catches for 103 yards and 1 touchdown. He is a possession type wide receiver similar to Anderson who has also has good speed.
Robby Anderson: Anderson is an undrafted free agent from Temple University. He trained with former NFL wide receiver Chris Johnson before the NFL draft. He is an intriguing wide receiver who has great speed and knows how to use his body to his advantage against defenders. He is a good route runner who has reliable hands. He also had the opportunity with Jalin Marshall to play on the first team offense against the New York Giants during preseason. During preseason, he had 11 catches for 203 yards and two touchdowns. His play-making ability could potentially help him gain more playing time during the season.
Overall, each and every one of the wide receivers Bowles kept has something different to offer on offense. Each have good speed and offers a lot of upside to the Jets wide receiver core. I believe Bowles made the right call keeping all three of the rookie wide receivers together on the New York Jets. Each have the potential to be key parts of the future wide receiver core while they currently serve as important depth to Brandon Marshall, Eric Decker, and Quincy Enunwa.