As a rookie, New York Jets WR Garrett Wilson already impressed veteran Tyler Lockett
Eight-year veterans in the NFL are not going to take inspiration from just anyone, especially not guys with one first-team All-Pro selection and two second-team berths.
So when Fox Sports reporter Henry McKenna asked Seahawks receiver Tyler Lockett which younger receivers he likes to watch, it’s not surprising that Lockett mentioned Justin Jefferson and Ja’Marr Chase.
However, Lockett added a third name that might raise some eyebrows: New York Jets rookie receiver Garrett Wilson.
Typically, a rookie will spend his time studying a veteran to get better. But Tyler Lockett (@TDLockett12) says he studies @GarrettWilson_V.
— Henry McKenna (@McKennAnalysis) February 24, 2023
Despite Wilson’s Offensive Rookie of the Year award, he’s not yet a household name around the NFL like Jefferson and Chase. In fact, Lockett’s teammate Kenneth Walker III received more first-place votes for OROY; Wilson won by strength of ranked-choice voting.
Still, this is what Lockett had to say about Wilson.
“Garrett Wilson’s game is real savvy. I think he’s really elusive— when you watch the way that he gets off the line, you watch the way that he catches the ball. He’s able to catch the ball, make a move, and he’s able to take it to the house at any time.”
Lockett continued, “Despite all the stuff that may have happened there, he was consistent when given opportunities. He performed at the highest levels. [He] won Offensive Rookie of the Year. He was able to break 1,000 yards. He has a really promising future ahead of him.”
Anyone who watched Wilson this season would agree with this assessment. The Ohio State alum was often cited as the top receiver in the 2022 draft, but there were still questions about whether his route-running would translate immediately at the next level.
From Week 1 of the regular season, though, Wilson forced his way onto the field, first and foremost with his incredible elusiveness. By Week 2, his route-running demonstrated that he was going to be a force to be reckoned with when he totaled eight receptions, 102 yards, and two touchdowns.
Somehow, Wilson’s final stat line of 83 receptions, 1,103 yards, and four touchdowns seems to barely scratch the surface of his talent. (For reference, Lockett put up 84 catches for 1,033 yards and nine TDs.)
The Jets’ quarterback play was so putrid and Wilson was open so often that it appeared any Joe off the street could have gotten No. 17 close to setting rookie records.
With the Jets’ quarterback situation still up in the air, Wilson is confident that he’ll be even better next year, saying in his exit interview, “Put in an accurate ball, I’ll be able to make plays no matter who’s under center.”
If Aaron Rodgers wants another Davante Adams-type to work with, Garrett Wilson is Him.
“I believe that Aaron Rodgers could make Garrett Wilson into Davante Adams. … I actually do think with Aaron Rodgers they would have a shot at [the Super Bowl] next year.”
— Get Up (@GetUpESPN) January 27, 2023
And one highly talented NFL receiver, at least, recognizes it.