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Garrett Wilson has that ‘it’ factor, says NY Jets WR coach

NY Jets, Garrett Wilson, NFL Coach
Garrett Wilson, New York Jets, Getty Images

New York Jets WRs coach Shawn Jefferson gave rave reviews on budding star Garrett Wilson

Since being drafted 10th overall in the 2022 NFL draft, New York Jets wide receiver Garrett Wilson has been the team’s most consistent offensive player. The Ohio State product won Offensive Rookie of the Year in his first season in the league. And despite dealing with some of the worst quarterback play in the NFL, he has quietly put together back-to-back 1,000-yard seasons.

Jets wide receivers coach Shawn Jefferson sees the talent, too, and believes Wilson has the makeup to become a superstar in the NFL.

“When you’re that guy, understanding what the defense is going to try to do against you and the things that they’re going to do to try to stop you. And the little nuances of, okay, when we see this, you do that,” Jefferson said to the media on Monday. “I mean, really, the sky’s the limit for this kid. He has that it factor, he has that dog. And the thing that’s really impressive is he works, he works, he works. I think I’m going to have to probably save him from himself, because he works like crazy.”

As for Wilson, he’s shown that he’s far too humble to admit he’s at a superstar level. Yet when Jefferson returned to the Jets this offseason, the 23-year-old’s talent was clear.

“Just watching him on television and everything like that, he’s as advertised,” Jefferson said. “This kid can be exactly or whatever he wants to be. He has that, if you talk about that it, he has it, he has it.”

Going into 2024, the Jets’ wide receiver room is an open competition. Other than Wilson, there isn’t a guaranteed role for any receiver in the room. And that opportunity has helped iron strengthen iron during OTAs.

“[They’re a] very hardworking group, extremely hardworking,” Jefferson said. “They take tough coaching and I think [they are] a very unselfish group. I got guys in the room explaining to the younger guys, so I got a bunch of second coaches in the room that’s helping. So [a] very engaging group. Things that stick out about them, they’re competitive and they work and they work and they work.”

With Aaron Rodgers at quarterback, Wilson has a chance to unlock his full potential. So far, during OTAs, there’s been a clear connection between the third-year wide receiver and the 40-year-old signal caller. Yet Wilson isn’t the only receiver in the room that has impressed their coach.

While third-round rookie Malachi Corley has been the butt of Wilson’s jokes for his note-taking, Jefferson thinks Corley could become a damaging slot player. The Jets coach likened Corley to Jarvis Landry, a nine-time Pro Bowler who led the NFL in catches in 2017 with 112.

“I think this kid can play ball,” said Jefferson. “He can play ball and it’s up to me to put [him] in positions, the things that he does best … When he [Corley] gets that ball in his hand, I wouldn’t want to be in front of him. So yeah, he’s going to be a good player for us.”

For the New York Jets, the offense will need every member of the receiving room to step up. Last season, the team was given a 63.0 receiving grade from PFF, the second-worst in the NFL. The wide receiver room itself only had 1,696 receiving yards. To put that in perspective, there were three players in the NFL with more yards than the entire receiving room for the Jets (Amon-Ra St. Brown, Tyreek Hill, and CeeDee Lamb). Outside of Wilson, the rest of the wide receiver room was non-existent, with Allen Lazard’s 23 catches for 311 yards placing second among the group.

If the Jets hope to make a playoff push this year, this group can’t falter.

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