Jamison Crowder set a career-high with a team-leading 41 receiving first downs in 2019. Can he soar even higher in 2020?
The wide receiver room has gone through some major changes. Robby Anderson is out the door, and at the moment, it appears Demaryius Thomas (still a free agent) will not be back, either. To fill their shoes, the Jets went out and added Breshad Perriman and Denzel Mims, while Josh Doctson, Vyncint Smith, and Braxton Berrios headline the competition for the final spots on the roster.
While filled with explosive potential, it’s still one of the thinnest groups of outside wide receivers in the game. What will this mean for Crowder in the slot? Will he shoulder an even heavier load than before? Or, will the Jets diversify their target distribution to avoid relying too heavily on their slot man?
Let’s dive into the numbers to set a ceiling, floor, and baseline prediction for Crowder’s 2020 production.
Having already led the team in targets by a wide margin while also ranking third league-wide in targets among slot receivers, it’s tough to imagine Crowder getting more involved than he already was. This is especially the case when you factor in the potential return of Chris Herndon, who should absorb a good chunk of targets.
However, considering the uncertainty at wide receiver, it is possible that Crowder takes on a larger portion of the wide receiver targets than he did last year. With Anderson out, the wildly volatile Perriman taking his place, and a second-round rookie slated to play a big role, perhaps Crowder steals enough targets from the rest of the wide receivers to make up for the targets lost to Herndon.
All of this is to say that an optimistic projection for Crowder’s 2020 stat-line needs to include him staying around the same level of volume – which seems very possible given the circumstances.
From there, the most important key to an improved 2020 for Crowder is efficiency.
With his massive target load in 2019, Crowder was considerably less efficient on a per-target basis with the Jets than he was throughout his four years with the Redskins. Much of that had to do with the fact that the Jets’ porous offensive line prevented the downfield game from developing, often forcing Crowder to become a checkdown option and thus limiting his production.
If the Jets offensive line can improve to an adequate level, Crowder should be able to get back to the solid levels of efficiency he displayed in Washington.
Here is what Crowder’s 2020 stat-line would look like if he produced at his 2015-18 efficiency level with his 2019 volume. The Jets would certainly be thrilled if Crowder managed to put up these numbers.