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NY Jets should pursue this veteran WR no matter who they draft

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The New York Jets should add an experienced depth piece to their WR room no matter how the draft plays out

Last night, the New York Jets shocked, delighted, and enraged Jets fans by selecting Olu Fashanu with the 11th overall pick in the 2024 NFL draft. Fashanu addresses the major injury concerns of the Jets’ offensive line. He’s an elite pass protector who is just starting to scratch his potential. The ability to develop and learn behind Tyron Smith is a perfect opportunity for the 21-year-old.

Drafting an offensive lineman in the first round means the Jets can turn to wide receiver as their next priority in the draft. The Jets aren’t in a terrible situation at wide receiver, as Garrett Wilson and Mike Williams are two of the better wide receivers in the NFL. Allen Lazard should be better suited as a third option, especially with the return of Aaron Rodgers.

However, the Jets can still stand to improve at the position. There is no guarantee that Williams will be the same in his return, and the Jets are one injury away from disaster.

There are plenty of good wide receivers still available in the draft. Unfortunately, the Jets haven’t done a great job with their later offensive picks, so it’s hard to rely on that as their sole method of improving the unit.

Enter former Cincinnati Bengals receiver Tyler Boyd, who remains a free agent. Regardless of what happens over the next two days, the Jets should still look to add the veteran slot receiver.

Boyd has been an afterthought in free agency, but he could be exactly what the Jets need. The wide receiver market wasn’t as rich as people expected. With a talented and deep wide receiver class in the draft, teams felt comfortable waiting to address the position in the draft. That left Boyd with few suitors.

The last significant report regarding Boyd was that the Steelers offered him a two-year $10 million deal that he rejected. At that price range, Boyd should be a no-brainer for the Jets.

Boyd is 29 years old and has had at least 600 receiving yards in six consecutive seasons. Boyd was a rising star in 2019, coming off back-to-back seasons with over 75 receptions, 1,000 yards, and 5 touchdowns. However, the emergence of Tee Higgins and then Ja’Marr Chase sent Boyd tumbling down the depth chart. Still, even with Higgins and Chase, Boyd served as a reliable No. 3 receiver over the past three seasons, averaging 64 receptions, 752 yards, and 4 touchdowns per season.

Boyd is coming off his worst season statistically since 2017, but he still accumulated a respectable 67 receptions and 667 yards despite Joe Burrow’s injury-plagued year. An experienced slot receiver, Boyd would be a perfect fit in that role with the Jets while still having the versatility to bounce outside.

Boyd’s greatest strength is his reliability. He’s missed only three games over his past four seasons and played in all seven playoff games. His hands are also consistent with only eight drops since 2020 despite racking up 271 receptions (2.9% drop rate).

Between his cost, production, and reliability, signing Boyd should be a no-brainer for the Jets regardless of who they draft.

Boyd’s market could change as teams re-evaluate their rosters after the draft. His price could very likely go up as teams missed out on the players they wanted. Still, the Jets would be smart to make the call, even if they need to pay a bit more. While they could add a talented receiver over the next two days, they shouldn’t stop there. It would be smart to add as much depth to the unit as possible.

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