New York Jets’ rookie class is drawing national praise
On Thursday evening, Pro Football Focus’ college football Twitter account (@PFF_College) shared a tweet that featured the statistical service’s four highest-graded NFL rookies since Thanksgiving.
Two Jets made the list.
— PFF College Football (@PFF_College) December 16, 2021
New York’s second-round pick, wide receiver Elijah Moore, placed second with an 83.1 overall grade, trailing Detroit offensive tackle Penei Sewell (91.3) and squeaking by Miami wide receiver Jaylen Waddle (82.3). Ranking fourth is New York’s fourth-round pick, running back Michael Carter (80.1).
Moore racked up 139 yards from scrimmage and a touchdown over his two post-Thanksgiving games. On the year, he ranks second among rookie wide receivers in total touchdowns with six, trailing only Ja’Marr Chase of the Bengals (10). Moore’s total of 592 yards from scrimmage ranks fourth behind Chase, Jaylen Waddle, and DeVonta Smith.
Carter has not played since rushing for 63 yards on nine carries and earning an 80.1 overall PFF grade against the Dolphins on the Sunday of Week 11, which was the week prior to Thanksgiving. It appears that PFF screwed up the graphic – the grades shown are actually since Week 11, which was pre-Thanksgiving.
In that case, Moore’s grade in the graphic above also includes his 156-yard performance against the Dolphins in Week 11.
As for Carter, the North Carolina product exited the aforementioned Dolphins game after a hot start and would miss the following three games with an ankle injury. Carter has been activated off of injured reserve and is expected to return for another matchup with the Dolphins this week.
Moore landed on injured reserve prior to Week 14 with a quad injury. He missed his first of a minimum of three games on Sunday when the Jets lost to the New Orleans Saints.
The great importance that Carter and Moore have for their team was evident in New York’s 30-9 loss to New Orleans. The backups who replaced each player were abysmal. Carter’s backups broke few (if any) tackles in the run game while dropping passes galore, and Moore’s backups could not create any separation. This pair is already the backbone of the Jets’ offense.
Not cracking PFF’s list is Alijah Vera-Tucker, who has been one of the most impressive rookie offensive linemen this season. Michael Carter II has been a solid slot cornerback while Brandin Echols is starting and showing flashes at right cornerback.
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The future is bright for this class. If Zach Wilson can get it together and become the Jets’ franchise quarterback someday, it has a chance to go down as one of the better classes in franchise history.
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