What should New York Jets fans know about their new WR, Calvin Jackson?
Washington State wide receiver Calvin Jackson went undrafted in the 2022 NFL draft and was brought in for a tryout with the New York Jets. He impressed enough during rookie minicamp to earn a contract with the team.
Jackson was in demand, as he was on his way to try out with the Miami Dolphins after doing so with the Jets. New York would sign Jackson to prevent him from reaching the division rivals in Florida.
Here’s what Jets fans should know about Jackson.
Jackson played for four years at Washington State (2018-21). He appeared in 26 games. Throughout his four seasons with Washington State, Jackson recorded 104 catches for 1,403 yards (13.5 per catch) and 10 touchdowns.
In 2021, Jackson had a breakout season, by far his best throughout college. In 13 games, he caught 66 passes for 987 yards (15.0 per catch) and seven touchdowns. He was awarded second-team All-Pac-12 honors.
Jackson’s breakout success could be directly related to his move into the slot. Washington State move Jackson to the inside in 2021 after utilizing him on the outside in prior seasons.
The slot is where Jackson likely projects best in the NFL.
Physical measurables and athletic testing
Jackson has a small frame as he stands in at 5-foot-9 and 193 pounds.
His pre-draft athletic testing was average (5.73 Relative Athletic Score). Jackson put together his best results when it came to the explosiveness aspect of testing as he had a 36″ vertical jump and a 124″ broad jump.
In terms of speed, Jackson tested above average. He had a 40-yard dash time of 4.53 and a 10-yard split time of 1.57. Jackson’s agility was not great and brought his score down. He had a 7.23 3-cone and a 4.26 20-yard shuttle.
Jackson offers some big-play threat ability as shown by his average of 15.0 yards per catch last season. He is capable of making tough catches in traffic and finishing in the end zone which is proven by his seven touchdowns in 2021.
After the catch, Jackson offers some potential to make defenders miss in space and gain extra yardage with his quickness.
Calvin Jackson Jr. to the house!
— Washington State Football (@WSUCougarFB) October 30, 2021
— Carson Brown (@CarsonBrownWSU) October 2, 2021
Jackson’s exact age is unknown, but for a rookie, he is likely on the older side as he spent time at junior college and then four years at Washington State.
It has been fairly well documented that Jackson and new Jets rookie Jermaine Johnson were teammates at Independence Community College in Kansas. Johnson congratulated Jackson for making the team in a video on Instagram.
Jermaine Johnson showing love to his former teammate, Calvin Jackson Jr… Both played at Independence Community College… Jets fans are fired up‼️ Much love @ii_jermaine @PrimetimeCeej #TakeFlight pic.twitter.com/0PPEVV5jEc
— J. Gray ✈️ (@J_GrayJets) May 9, 2022
As is the case for most undrafted free agents trying to make an NFL roster, being able to contribute on special teams is key. If Jackson can prove himself on Brant Boyer’s unit, it would improve his chances of making the Jets’ final roster.
Jackson was working as a punt returner at the Jets’ rookie minicamp.
Jets assistant Leon Washington making things tough on punt returner Calvin Jackson with his broom. pic.twitter.com/UhyXUrQEJ4
— Dan Leberfeld (@jetswhispers) May 6, 2022
Currently, after Elijah Moore, Garrett Wilson, Corey Davis, and Braxton Berrios, the Jets’ wide receiver unit has some unknowns.
It does seem like Denzel Mims has a strong chance of being the fifth wideout of the group. Jeff Smith has been with the team for some time and seems likely to be the sixth player at the position. However, there is an opportunity for Austin to take a spot with a strong showing this summer.