New York Jets great Wayne Chrebet labeled the team’s draft as an “outstanding job by Joe Douglas and Coach Saleh”
Though he made the most out of gargantuan odds against him, Wayne Chrebet never experienced the euphoria of hearing his name called at the NFL draft. Fortunately, the New York Jets‘ most recent turn at the selections allowed him to live vicariously.
In the latest episode of the “Underdog Jets” podcast, Chrebet and Jets X-Factor founder/editor Robby Sabo addressed the latest green happenings of an optimistic spring, one where the release of the 2022 NFL schedule has Jets fans penciling in their highest tally of hypothetical wins in a long time.
Part of that confidence stems from a universally praised effort at last month’s draft in Las Vegas, one that welcomed the Jets’ hopeful answer to their long-standing issues in developing a homegrown receiver. To date, Jerricho Cotchery is the last receiver drafted by the Jets to earn a 1,000-yard season.
Chrebet is confident that Garrett Wilson, the middle part of the Jets’ three-player haul of Vegas’ opening round, has a strong chance of breaking that trend.
“It was the deepest draft, as far as receiver. I felt we got the best one,” Chrebet said of Wilson, who is expected to play a major role in the crucial second season of franchise thrower Zach Wilson (no relation).
The Hofstra alum previously sang the 10th overall pick’s praises in the lead-up to the draft, favorably comparing him to Drake London, who went to the Atlanta Falcons two picks prior. “London is more polished in terms of reading defenses, I think, but Wilson’s route running is better. Wilson’s feet are really good and I think his potential might be higher.”
Chrebet was equally enthused by the picks that sandwiched Garrett Wilson. For example, the former receiver labeled Ahmad “Sauce” Gardner as a “ball hawk” and “perfect fit for New York” thanks to both his play on the field and his personality off of it.
Chrebet was surprised when he learned that the Jets had traded back into the first round before opening night was over. His concerns were immediately lifted when it was revealed that the reentry was done in the name of adding Florida State pass rusher Jermaine Johnson.
“I’m like why would they trade up? Who is available that they want to get? Then I heard about Johnson and I was shocked he was still there. I was like ‘wow, this draft got even better’,” Chrebet recalled, comparing the transaction to the Jets’ previous gambit of trading forward to draft Alijah Vera-Tucker in the 2021 edition. “They essentially got the number one corner, the number one receiver, I felt, the number one running back (in) Breece Hall, and then (Johnson) came in first or second position. So it was an outstanding job by Joe Douglas and Coach (Robert) Saleh.”
Chrebet and Sabo also took time to review the Jets’ 2022-23 schedule, which kicks off on Sept. 11 at MetLife Stadium against Baltimore. It kicks off an uncanny quirk in the Jets’ schedule where they’ll face off against all four representatives from AFC North, as Cleveland, Cincinnati, and Pittsburgh all follow the Ravens. Chrebet believes that the opening slate, which sent two teams to the most recent AFC postseason (including the Super Bowl finalist Bengals), will allow Jets fans to “see what (their team) is made of right away.”
“You’d like to go 3-1 in that (against those teams), but if they come to 2-2 at least, I would say it’s a successful start to the year,” he added, also noting that Jets’ extra home game, coming against Jacksonville in Week 16, will be crucial to take advantage of. “The home games; you got to win all your home games, or a majority of them.”
Geoff Magliocchetti is on Twitter @GeoffJMags