What does Garrett Wilson bring to the New York Jets?
Throughout the offseason, there was plenty of discussion around the Jets needing to add a big-time starting wide receiver; one who could join Elijah Moore and Corey Davis to form a strong trio for Zach Wilson as he enters a crucial second season.
Garrett Wilson is a 21-year-old prospect with proven production at an elite program, and he still has even more room to grow.
Here are some of the most important things for Jets fans to know about Wilson.
Pre-draft measurables and production
Wilson brings a 5-foot-11, 183-pound frame with 32″ arms. He has big 9 7/8″ hands which he uses to his advantage.
Athletically, Wilson tested solid with a 7.78 Relative Athletic Score (RAS). His speed was his best attribute throughout the pre-draft process. Wilson had a fast 4.38 40-yard dash with a 1.53 10-yard split and 2.56 20-yard split time. These times put him in elite territory.
When it came to his explosiveness testing, Wilson’s vertical and broad jump were both above average. His vertical was 36″ and broad was 123″. With the agility aspect of testing, his poor 20-yard shuttle time of 4.36 ultimately brought his RAS down.
Wilson attained plenty of production in college. Throughout his three years at Ohio State (2019-21), Wilson played in 32 games and had 143 catches for 2,213 yards (15.5 per catch) and 23 touchdowns.
On the ground, Wilson totaled six carries for 143 yards (23.8 per carry) and one touchdown. He had four carries for 76 yards and a touchdown in 2021.
Wilson is coming off his best season in 2021. In 11 games, Wilson had 70 catches for 1,058 yards (15.1 per catch) and 12 touchdowns.
From a talent perspective, Wilson offers just about everything.
Wilson brings positional flexibility. He gained experience as a slot receiver in 2020 and then played on the outside in 2021.
Use the term “inside/outside flex” with WR prospects (align out wide + in the slot).
Key vs. the split-safety coverages we see in the NFL — ability to create vertical matchups vs. a safety (Quarters coverage).
— Matt Bowen (@MattBowen41) April 29, 2022
Wilson has quick feet which he uses in his releases to win against press coverage. From there, Wilson is a good route runner who can gain separation at the top of his break. He can efficiently run most routes on the route tree.
Garrett Wilson (WR) with the lightning quick clean release at the goal line pic.twitter.com/QfWAgtnlRx
— NFL Prospect Clips (@NflProspectClip) April 13, 2022
Vertical body language on release gets DB to overplay it and open the gate. Gain ground!
Slips the hip into the DB’s blind spot. Pushes vert to depth.
Violent and sudden break to win underneath. Trigger step + pulls inside leg through to 🛑. Trigger…1, 2. pic.twitter.com/DqQyZXWN5X
— Receiver Daily (@ReceiverDaily) November 19, 2021
In terms of catching the football, Wilson makes some impressive grabs. While he needs to eliminate some concentration drops on easier targets, he is very effective at reeling in 50-50 balls and making acrobatic catches.
Good Morning! Can’t believe Garrett Wilson is a Jet pic.twitter.com/kBFbI1TdM9
— J. Gray ✈️ (@Justin_Jets) May 3, 2022
Not just about the explosive plays for Garrett Wilson. Makes a diving grab here, gets his arms underneath the ball and pulls it in. With most receivers this is an incomplete pass. pic.twitter.com/tiLXUtVNjM
— Glenn Naughton (@AceFan23) May 1, 2022
Wilson is fast with his 4.38 speed. He offers vertical threat ability, which is the part of the field where he runs some of his best routes. In the red zone, Wilson can be very impactful despite being a shorter receiver.
Two areas Wilson especially thrive in are contested-catch situations using his elite body control and his ability to make defenders miss after the catch.
When the ball is in the air, Wilson can easily adapt his frame, hang in the air, and high-point the football to make special catches. After the catch, Wilson is very quick and shifty in space, excelling at beating tackle attempts.
Wilson will have a big role in the Jets offense right away. Considering the versatility he offers, anticipate Mike LaFleur utilizing Wilson in a multitude of ways from the start.
The Jets offense will likely rely heavily on 11 personnel (1 RB/1 TE/3 WR) and 12 personnel (1 RB/2 TE/2 WR). Wilson figures to play alongside Moore and Davis in most of the Jets’ three-receiver sets. When two-receiver packages are deployed, there could be a rotation between Wilson, Moore, and Davis depending on the situation.
Over time, Wilson has what it takes to be a top-flight wide receiver in football. With more time and reps, he should continue to grow and play even stronger on the field.
Wilson can become a more complete player by sharpening his releases and route running. As broken down on film by Blewett’s Blitz, Wilson has plenty of potential in these areas but can improve his fundamentals to get the absolute most of his gifts.
Wilson has a high floor. When it comes to fulfilling his potential, he will benefit greatly from getting the chance to grow alongside a young and talented quarterback in Zach Wilson. Also, playing opposite Elijah Moore, another immensely gifted young wide receiver with superstar potential, gives Wilson an even better chance of maxing out his ability in the future.
Wilson is a great person off the football field with quality character traits and work ethic.
This video from the draft, featuring Wilson’s father speaking on the type of person his son is, has gone viral.
“1 truth teller is worth 50 yes man.” -💯 https://t.co/lYuiuJshLS
— Garrett Wilson (@GarrettWilson_V) May 2, 2022
Shortly before the 2022 NFL draft, Wilson’s position coach at Ohio State, former NFL wide receiver Brian Hartline, said of Wilson, “I think his ability to transition to the NFL will be smooth. Inside or outside, he’s a plug-and-play. You can put him anywhere you want.”
Hartline also stated great things about Wilson’s competitive drive.
“Garrett’s an ultimate competitor. He wants team periods every single minute of practice, he hates scout team periods. That’s how he’s wired. He always wants to compete, he always wants the game on the line. That’s just how he’s operated, both in high school and college.”
Wilson provides all of the off-field traits that the Jets have looked for in young prospects.
Wilson was a thrilling acquisition for the Jets with their second first-round pick. He was a very highly regarded prospect throughout the draft process.
The talent Wilson offers can be game-breaking for many years to come. Hopefully, the Wilson-to-Wilson connection can become the next great thing for the Jets, especially considering Zach’s arm strength and Garrett’s deep-level route running. Garrett and Elijah Moore also have the potential to become a top-tier wide receiver duo for the Jets over the long haul.
Overall, the successful production, athleticism, speed, big-play threat ability, and character provided by Wilson give him a strong chance of being a great Jet for a long time.