Elijah Moore, NY Jets, Stats, 2022, Prediction, Odds
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How many yards, touchdowns will the New York Jets’ best receivers earn in 2022?

A few days ago, I predicted how many targets the New York Jets will give to each of their projected top-8 offensive weapons in the 2022 season.

Let’s take things a step further. Using those predicted target totals as a basis, how many catches, yards, and touchdowns will the Jets’ top pass-catchers produce this year?

As a refresher, here are my targets-per-game predictions:

Starting from the bottom with Berrios and working our way up, let’s predict each player’s receiving stat-line by working off of the targets-per-game average that I predicted for them.

8. Braxton Berrios (2.0 targets)

Throughout this breakdown, there are two primary factors we will focus on: catch rate (CR) and yards per reception (YPR).

Since we already have a value for each player’s volume of opportunities, we now just need to predict what they are going to do with those opportunities. What percentage of the targets will they catch? Then, how many yards will they gain with each catch?

Braxton Berrios projects as a high-CR, low-YPR receiver in the Jets’ offense. Berrios rarely runs deep routes in the Jets’ offense and is primarily utilized in the underneath game. Additionally, many of his targets are plays specifically designed for him, giving him easy catches to boost his CR.

Players of that ilk tend to catch a high percentage of their targets but gain a low number of yards per catch.

This is exactly what Berrios did in 2021. Berrios had a strong catch rate of 70.8% (46 catches on 65 targets) but only averaged 9.4 yards per reception (431 yards on 46 catches). For reference, the 2021 league averages for wide receivers were 63.1% and 12.5, respectively.

I think we will see Berrios in the same ballpark this year.

While I do not see Berrios accumulating much production in the passing game when everyone is healthy, it is important to remember that his impact will not be limited to the passing game. In addition to his returning abilities, the Jets will rely on Berrios as a rushing threat.

PREDICTIONS:

  • 67.6% catch rate
  • 9.6 yards per reception
  • 17-game totals: 23 catches on 34 targets for 220 yards and 1 touchdown
  • Per-game totals: 1.4 catches for 12.9 yards

7. Michael Carter (2.0 targets)

Running backs usually have a high CR and a low YPR, which is a natural result of how they are used. Most of their targets are short dump-offs, which are easy to catch but typically do not gain a ton of yardage.

Carter caught 65.5% of his targets and averaged 9.0 yards per reception in 2021. That’s a fairly high YPR for a running back, but the CR is poor. Carter ranked 13th among 50 qualified running backs in YPR and 48th in CR.

Those splits make sense for Carter’s skill-set. He’s somewhat drop-prone (tied for 6th among RB with 5 drops last year) and his catch radius is tiny as he stands at 5′ 7⅞” with 29⅛” arms. These limitations will hurt his catch rate. However, as one of the most elusive running backs in the NFL, Carter will make the most of the receptions that he does secure.

I believe Carter’s efficiency will be similar this year.

PREDICTIONS:

  • 64.7% catch rate
  • 8.6 yards per reception
  • 17-game totals: 22 catches on 34 targets for 190 yards and 1 touchdown
  • Per-game totals: 1.3 catches for 11.2 yards

6. Breece Hall (3.0 targets)

I think Breece Hall is going to have a strong year as a receiver. He’s going to consistently turn dump-off catches into big gains through his elusiveness, and he will toss in some deeper receptions as well, those coming on the strength of his route-running upside and ability to make contested catches.

I foresee Hall producing some very efficient receiving numbers. Right now, I have him at 10.0 yards per reception on a 68.6% catch rate. This would give him 6.9 yards per target, which is excellent efficiency for a running back. It would have ranked 12th-best out of the 50 running backs with at least 30 targets in 2021.

PREDICTIONS:

  • 68.6% catch rate
  • 10.0 yards per reception
  • 17-game totals: 35 catches on 51 targets for 350 yards and 2 touchdowns
  • Per-game totals: 2.1 catches for 20.6 yards

Jets X-Factor Membership

5. C.J. Uzomah (4.0 targets)

While I think C.J. Uzomah will make a handful of big plays this year on the strength of his tremendous YAC ability, I see most of his production coming as a security blanket on short throws. This is the type of production that Uzomah has provided for his entire career. He owns a career CR of 70.3% with a YPR of 9.8.

Uzomah has been extremely consistent throughout his career. His resume does include any seasons that stand out as a significant outlier. For instance, he’s never had a YPR of 11.0+ or below 9.0. His yards per target rate has ranged from 6.1 to 7.9. These are very small ranges of outcomes for a guy who has played 79 games in the NFL.

I believe we’ll see Uzomah continue these trends, putting up numbers that are respectable but possibly not quite what fans will be expecting of him due to his price tag.

However, to make up for that, I think another tight end on this roster will soar far beyond what fans might be expecting.

PREDICTIONS:

  • 67.6% catch rate
  • 9.8 yards per reception
  • 17-game totals: 46 catches on 68 targets for 450 yards and 3 touchdowns
  • Per-game totals: 2.7 catches for 26.5 yards

4. Garrett Wilson (4.5)

My prediction for Garrett Wilson might be the hottest take of this article – and that’s saying something considering the type of season that I see Elijah Moore having.

Personally, I think Wilson will experience some growing pains in the NFL before he reaches his ceiling. I don’t see him being an instant-impact star. I believe he will have an up-and-down debut season before breaking out in his second year.

For now, I think the Jets will rely on their more experienced and proven weapons to be the backbone of the passing game, while Wilson will be an occasional source of big plays who struggles with consistency.

From a statistical standpoint, I think Wilson’s main weakness in his rookie year will be a low CR. There are a few reasons I see him having a rocky start in this category.

Firstly, I think the Jets are going to feature Wilson in the intermediate and deep ranges, which means he will get a lot of low-percentage targets. If Garrett struggles to get on the same page with Zach Wilson on these low-percentage/high-reward throws, he’s going to have a lot of incompletions thrown his way.

Secondly, I can see Wilson having some drop woes in his first year. Wilson’s drop rate in college was higher than you would prefer for an NFL prospect. He had 6 drops last year, earning a 7.9% drop rate that ranked at the 45th percentile among qualified FBS receivers.

I do think Wilson will have a solid YPR mark. When he does make a play, it will tend to be a big one. His YAC ability should shine in this offense, allowing him to churn out some unexpected big plays on shorter catches. Additionally, his knack for making acrobatic catches will allow him to snag some jump balls down the field.

PREDICTIONS:

  • 50.6% catch rate
  • 12.8 yards per reception
  • 17-game totals: 39 catches on 77 targets for 500 yards and 2 touchdowns
  • Per-game totals: 2.3 catches for 29.4 yards

Don’t take this as me saying that Wilson will not be successful – I am a big fan of his potential. I just think that his rise to the top will be incremental rather than instantaneous.

Plenty of great receivers did not have amazing rookie years. Demaryius Thomas (28.3 yards per game), Roddy White (27.9), Reggie Wayne (26.5), Mike Williams (9.5), and Santana Moss (8.0) are just a few first-round wideouts who averaged under 30 yards per game as a rookie before going on to have careers that featured multiple 1,000-yard seasons.

3. Tyler Conklin (5.5 targets)

To this point, most of my predictions have been fairly modest. I’m sure many people reading this would even say that they are slightly pessimistic.

The optimism begins now. I am particularly bullish on the outlook of the top-three players on this list.

As one of the NFL’s best separators at the tight end position, Tyler Conklin is poised for a big year. I believe he will quickly earn the trust of Zach Wilson, racking up production at a fairly high volume with solid efficiency.

Conklin probably won’t be a high-YPR guy. Most of his work will come underneath. But I think he will have a very good CR. He has excellent hands and will create plenty of high-percentage targets for himself with his smooth route-running.

I see Conklin registering slight improvements on his 9.7 YPR and 70.1% CR from the 2021 season. When coupled with his uptick in targets from 5.1 to my projection of 5.5, he will boost his reception and yardage totals to career-high levels for the second consecutive year.

PREDICTIONS:

  • 72.3% catch rate
  • 10.0 yards per reception
  • 17-game totals: 68 catches on 94 targets for 680 yards and 3 touchdowns
  • Per-game totals: 4.0 catches for 40.0 yards

2. Corey Davis (6.0 targets)

I feel like Corey Davis is going to have a bounce-back year. He should be more comfortable without the pressure of being the Jets’ No. 1 guy. I really do see him establishing himself as the team’s clear No. 2 wideout this season.

Davis had a career-high 15.0% drop rate in 2021, which was well above his previous career average of 5.9%. This was the main reason for his low CR of 57.6%.

With a return to the mean in the drops department, I think Davis will get his CR up a few points this year. He should also be able to stay near his career average of 13.9 YPR, as he did post a 14.5 mark in 2021 despite all of his struggles.

PREDICTIONS:

  • 60.8% catch rate
  • 13.7 yards per reception
  • 17-game totals: 62 catches on 102 targets for 850 yards and 3 touchdowns
  • Per-game totals: 3.6 catches for 50.0 yards

This would actually be a decline for Davis compared to the 2021 season in terms of catches per game and yards per game. He was at 3.8 catches for 54.7 yards per game last year.

However, I think Davis’s improved play will go beyond his raw stats.

Last year, Davis’s performance was very messy in spite of his surprisingly solid production on paper. He fumbled twice, had 5 interceptions thrown on targets in his direction (3 of those being largely his fault), dropped 6 passes, consistently struggled to separate against man coverage, and caught only 46% of his contested targets after eclipsing 64% in each of the previous two seasons. Plus, a lot of his production came in garbage time.

I think Davis will clean all of these things up in 2022. The fumbles, drops, and contested catches should trend closer to his previous career averages. He’ll have better chemistry with Zach Wilson, leading to fewer turnovers when they attempt to connect. The improved chemistry should also allow Davis to make more catches in crucial situations as opposed to last year.

Finally, I think Davis will be a better separator in man-to-man situations thanks to his newly slimmed-down frame. Davis says he dropped 10-to-15 pounds this offseason.

Look for Davis to post similar per-game numbers to last year – but in a much cleaner fashion that leads to him creating a more positive impact.

1. Elijah Moore (8.0 targets)

Elijah Moore is the sole reason that I could not go with gaudier predictions for the rest of the cast. My expectations for him are so high that he ate up an enormous chunk of the available production, meaning I had to cut down everyone else’s numbers to keep things realistic.

Eight targets per game are probably more than you think. It would put Moore on pace for 136 targets over 17 games, a total that would have ranked 12th-highest among wide receivers last season.

I think Moore is going to demand a high target volume thanks to his stellar route-running. While handling that high volume, I think he will maintain a solid level of efficiency – giving him Pro Bowl-caliber numbers on the whole.

PREDICTIONS:

  • 62.5% catch rate
  • 13.4 yards per reception
  • 17-game totals: 85 catches on 136 targets for 1,140 yards and 7 touchdowns
  • Per-game totals: 5.0 catches for 67.1 yards

Complete list / What the predictions mean for Zach Wilson

There are so many mouths to feed in this offense. It’s a daunting task to try and predict how big a slice of the pie each player will get.

Unless you see the Jets having the best offense in football, you have to choose some players who will underwhelm a little bit on the stat sheet. It’s the only way to make sure the numbers add up to a realistic total for this particular team and quarterback. For me, I went with Wilson, Uzomah, and Carter. They are certainly the guys who have the best shot of out-producing my predictions.

Here are my predictions for the Jets’ top-8 weapons in the passing game:

  • Elijah Moore: 85 catches on 136 targets for 1,140 yards and 7 touchdowns
  • Corey Davis: 62 catches on 102 targets for 850 yards and 3 touchdowns
  • Tyler Conklin: 68 catches on 94 targets for 680 yards and 3 touchdowns
  • Garrett Wilson: 39 catches on 77 targets for 500 yards and 4 touchdowns
  • C.J. Uzomah: 46 catches on 68 targets for 450 yards and 3 touchdowns
  • Breece Hall: 35 catches on 51 targets for 350 yards and 2 touchdowns
  • Michael Carter: 22 catches on 34 targets for 190 yards and 1 touchdown
  • Braxton Berrios: 23 catches on 34 targets for 220 yards and 1 touchdown

If you put all of these numbers together, you get 380 completions on 596 targets for 4,380 yards and 24 touchdowns. I think that’s a realistic expectation for Zach Wilson (efficiency-wise).

Admittedly, the yardage total is probably too high – it’s mainly a product of the 35 passes per game, which is the approximately league-average number that I chose as the basis for this study. With the Jets projecting to have a top-notch run game, there is a good chance that Wilson will end up throwing significantly fewer passes than that.

If you cut Wilson down to 30 passes per game while maintaining the same yards-per-attempt average that I have him pegged at, he would drop from 4,380 yards (257.6 per game) to a more reasonable 3,747 yards (220.4 per game). In 2021, 257.6 YPG would have ranked 11th among 33 qualified quarterbacks while 220.4 YPG would have ranked 20th.

Of course, though, if you cut over 600 yards off from the above list of predictions, you would have some very difficult decisions to make regarding whose stats should take a hit. I already feel like I undersold quite a few players, so if you took a significant slice of targets out of the pie, you’d have to choose a player or two to put up some highly disappointing numbers. That’s just the harsh reality of sports, though. Not every player on your favorite team is going to hit their ceiling.

Putting the volume aside and looking at these predictions from an efficiency perspective, they seem like fair expectations for Wilson.

A 63.8% completion percentage (380/596) would have ranked 23rd out of 33 qualifiers last season, and it would represent an 8.2% improvement over Wilson’s league-worst 55.6% mark. That’s an even larger jump than the one Josh Allen made from his first to second season (+6.0% — 52.8% to 58.8%).

My prediction of 7.3 yards per attempt (4,380/596) for Wilson would have put him 14th in the NFL last season, matching Mac Jones and Jalen Hurts. Last year, Wilson was 31st at 6.1.

With 24 touchdown passes on 596 attempts, my predicted touchdown-pass rate of 4.0% would have put Wilson 20th, tying Ryan Tannehill. Wilson ranked 30th at 2.3% last season.

Wilson’s interception total is the big X-factor in determining where he ranks in overall efficiency. Personally, I see Wilson at about 13 interceptions if he threw 596 passes. That would be an interception rate of 2.2%, which would have ranked 16th-best last year (tying Derek Carr and Justin Herbert). Wilson ranked 27th at 2.9% in his rookie season.

Rounding it all together, if Wilson completed 380 passes on 596 attempts for 4,380 yards, 24 touchdowns, and 13 interceptions, he’d have an 90.2 passer rating, which would have ranked 19th last season. It would be a 20.5-point improvement over Wilson’s league-worst 69.7 as a rookie.

If you want to take those same efficiency numbers and project them over a smaller sample of 30 passes per game (as opposed to the 35 passes per game of our base predictions), Wilson would register an approximate stat-line of 325 of 510 passes for 3,747 yards, 20 touchdowns, and 11 interceptions.

What do you think of all these numbers? Am I too high on the Jets’ weapons? Too low? Do the cumulative passing numbers make sense as a projection for Zach Wilson?

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Michael Nania is one of the best analytical New York Jets minds in the world, combining his statistical expertise with game film to add proper context to the data. Nania scrapes every corner, ensuring you know all there is to know about everyone from the QB to the long snapper. Nania's Numbers, Nania's QB Grades, and Nania's All-22 give fans a deeper and more well-rounded dive into the Jets than anyone else can offer. Email: michael.nania[at]jetsxfactor.com - Twitter: @Michael_Nania
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Matt Galemmo
Matt Galemmo
1 month ago

You’re a DC facing the Jets, you have to make Zach throw the ball, right? And if you’re LaFleur, facing 8 man boxes and man-to-man coverage, what do you do?

I think the answer is a lot of play action with 12 personnel, and Conklin has a huge year.

This could be really, really fun.

Richard Hausig
Richard Hausig
1 month ago

I can’t argue your work with the numbers Michael but I’m hoping the attempts per game will stay under 25. I think they will play a lot of 12 personal so the TEs should get their share and I think that’s a good scenario for the QB who is much better inside the numbers than outside.

I’m not bullish on Davis. He doesn’t have the body of work where you can say last year was a one off, maybe it was but when FAs start poorly it’s never a good sign.

Despite his golf swing, 😜 I think Wilson will surprise. He’s a smart kid and a strong route runner and they seem to develop faster (Justin Jefferson) because good route runners get open on time more than weak route runners. He will also benefit early from having opponents focused on Moore and Davis out there at the same time.

Moore looks like a player. Assuming health and decent QB play he should be a star.

Breece Hall seems like the perfect fit. You have to believe that the offense will look a lot like what SF ran while Salah and co. were there. That plays to his game and I could see him in the RoY conversation.

If they can run and be efficient in the short passing game opposing defenses will have to come up and stack which opens the sweeps, play action and then the deep pass. If they can do that and play defense, I think it gives the QB his best chance to improve.

Moore, Wilson and Hall each bring that run after catch ability if you get them the ball on time. Do that on the short and medium routes and then the longer stuff will be there. This season should be about baby steps. That’s how Josh Allen did it and for those old enough to remember that’s how Brady did it 20+ years ago too. He wasn’t a prolific passer his first few years, he executed and they won with defense, the running game and special teams. That would be the perfect formula for the Jets to get the most out of the QB this season, IMO.

rex
rex
1 month ago

Just to be clear and so as to stem the tide of football fans coming off as ignorant: core vs corps. “Core” is representative, in terms of sports teams, of the 2-3 players who are intrinsic to any unit’s/team’s success (i.e. Aikman, Irvin & Smith were the CORE of the Dallas Cowboy’s offense); while “corps” denotes an entire unit within the team (i.e. Denzel Mims and Jeff Smith are competing to be a part of the Jets WR CORPS). So, the depth of the Jets’ WR CORPS contains the CORE of the the Jets WRs in Davis, Moore and Berrios. Incidentally, this is why the military branch is known as the U.S. Marine CORPS and not the U.S. Marine CORE. All that said, I am convinced ignorance shall continue to remain supreme.

Richard Hausig
Richard Hausig
1 month ago
Reply to  rex

Well explained and, sadly yes, ignorance will always prevail.