The Jets reloaded their offensive weaponry in the 2021 NFL Draft, taking QB Zach Wilson, WR Elijah Moore, and RB Michael Carter with three of their first four picks. The other top pick was spent on G Alijah Vera-Tucker, which also helps the offense. The Jets’ offense has been the worst in the league over the past few years, but I expect things to change. In addition to the new players, they also added new offensive coordinator Mike LaFleur from the 49ers and, thus, the Kyle Shanahan system. To clarify the bold take, I’m saying that Wilson will throw for 4,000 passing yards and both Moore and Carter will have 1,000 all-purpose (rushing and receiving) yards.
Let’s start with Zach Wilson. Sure, only four rookie QBs have ever thrown for over 4,000 yards in NFL history, but there are a few things to take into account. This is the first year of the 17-game season, so Zach Wilson will have an extra game to reach the 4k mark. He has to average 235 passing yards per game to reach that. Six QBs have surpassed the 235-yard mark, and another 4 have been within 3 yards per game of that. Regarding Wilson’s talent, he is completely capable of it. He has the accuracy, decision-making, and arm talent to be a top passer, so one can say that Wilson is the real deal. In addition to all of that, the Jets’ defense is not very good at all and, while the addition of Robert Saleh will help out, it will also take top talent to be a top defense in the league. Because the defense is so poor, the Jets will be playing from behind in a lot of games, which means that they will be passing a lot.
Now, we’re going to tackle their second offensive weapon addition, WR Elijah Moore. In order to reach 1,000 yards in the 17-game season, Moore will need to average just under 60 yards per game. 23 rookie WRs have compiled 1,000 total yards, and Moore will have it even easier with an extra game. Early in camp, he has seemingly been one of Zach Wilson’s favorite targets, which is a great sign for the future success of the Jets offense. On top of that, Moore’s skillset plays right into the new Jets offensive system. Moore is a big-play threat who is productive after the catch, and he also led the nation in yards per game (149). If we know anything about the Kyle Shanahan offensive system that LaFleur learned under, they love run-after-the-catch wide receivers. Moore, like Wilson, will also benefit from an offense that should need to throw a lot.
Finally, the last piece of the bold take is RB Michael Carter. Rookie running backs rushing for over 1000 yards is commonplace in today’s NFL. Like Moore, Carter will only need about 60 yards per game to reach that mark. The Jets’ offensive system should also strongly involve the running backs just like the 49ers do. Their offensive line wasn’t great last year, but the addition of Alijah Vera-Tucker next to Mekhi Becton will help to improve the rushing attack. In a very underwhelming running back room, consisting of Tevin Coleman, Michael Carter, Ty Johnson, and La’Mical Perine, Carter should be the best one from very early on. Don’t be surprised at all to see him get the bulk of the carries. He is a good receiving back as well, and the Kyle Shanahan system loves involving the RBs in the passing game out of the backfield.
Sure, predicting three rookies on the same team to go 4k/1k/1k all at once is bold, but that’s the name of the game. The 17th game will help everyone get more yards, and a lot of things have seemingly fallen into place for this to happen for the Jets. A very depleted roster, a poor defense that will force them to play from behind, and a new offensive system that tailors to the three rookies will be the key ingredients as to why I see this bold take come to fruition!
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Edited By: Rupayan “Abs” Samanta.