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The best-case scenario for the NY Jets’ receiving corps in 2024

Xavier Gipson, NY Jets, NFL, WR, Scenario
Xavier Gipson, New York Jets, Getty Images

The New York Jets can only dream of this production from their receiving corps

New York Jets fans love to sound the alarm bells. Sometimes, that happens even when it’s a good thing.

Such was the outcry when Jets X-Factor’s Robby Sabo posted on X that Xavier Gipson is currently the Jets’ starting slot receiver. The primary reaction came from the Malachi Corley lovers, outraged that Sabo would cast aspersions on their darling.

Never mind that a Year 2 breakout from Gipson would be a tremendous asset for the Jets’ offense; never mind that Corley can still be productive even if he’s not a starter. Never mind that Gipson’s ascension may push Allen Lazard down the depth chart, which can only be a good thing.

During OTAs, I posted my prediction for the targets, receptions, yards, and touchdowns for each of the Jets’ pass-catchers.

  • Garrett Wilson: 153 targets (9.0 per game), 98 receptions, 1,312 yards, 6 TD
  • Mike Williams: 100 targets in 14 games (7.1 per game), 61 receptions, 856 yards, 8 TD
  • Tyler Conklin: 83 targets (4.9 per game), 58 receptions, 551 yards, 3 TD
  • Breece Hall: 80 targets (4.7 per game), 68 receptions, 551 yards, 4 TD
  • Allen Lazard: 55 targets (3.2 per game), 29 receptions, 375 yards, 4 TD
  • Malachi Corley: 50 targets (2.9 per game), 37 receptions, 361 yards, 3 TD
  • Jeremy Ruckert: 25 targets (1.5 per game), 15 receptions, 143 yards, 1 TD
  • Braelon Allen: 12 targets (0.7 per game), 8 receptions, 55 yards
  • Xavier Gipson: 9 targets (0.5 per game), 4 receptions, 28 yards
  • Jason Brownlee: 9 targets (0.5 per game), 5 receptions, 30 yards

It never occurred to me that Gipson would see anything more than spare playing time. However, imagine what the Jets’ receiving corps could look like if Gipson truly has built chemistry with Aaron Rodgers.

Rather than Gipson taking away receptions and yards from Corley, I see him taking them away from Lazard. Instead of Lazard seeing 55 targets, we could see him in the 30-35 range. Conklin will also likely see fewer dump-off passes in the flat, as they can go to the speedier and more shifty Gipson (as well as Corley). This will only increase Conklin’s efficiency even if his counting numbers are lower.

Furthermore, if Gipson truly has a feel for zone coverage, he could take on an early 2023 Puka Nacua-type role for the Jets. Don’t get me wrong; I’m not saying Gipson will be Puka Nacua or anything close to him. But Nacua’s biggest assets early in his rookie season were his feel for zone coverage and his chemistry with Matthew Stafford.

Nacua doesn’t necessarily have the most varied releases off the line of scrimmage, but his feel for coverage is so strong that it hardly matters. Gipson’s release package is quite limited. Still, if he’s playing off the line, that won’t matter as much as his ability to find the holes in a zone. With his quickness, he can become one of those pesky slot receivers who never puts up a ton of yardage but keeps the chains moving.

There’s another advantage to having Gipson break out: he costs almost nothing. The Jets will clearly release Lazard after the 2024 season, and they’ll likely need to replace Mike Williams, too. Having Wilson, Corley, and Gipson on rookie deals will allow them to spend more money on a No. 2 receiver.

I’m not going to make a new prediction for the Jets’ receiving yards breakdown. It’s too early to know how the Gipson/Corley/Lazard trio will break down. But for the Jets, if Gipson is as improved as he appeared in OTAs, that can only be an ideal scenario.

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7 days ago

I’m in on Gipson, and have been. I fully expect him to improve and there were some signs last year during camp that Rogers sees something in him. I know he’s got work to do, especially with ball security (so does Garrett…just a side note), but players do improve.

I like his burst, he’s slippery, and can get to the house. This isn’t a guy you give up on after a meh rookie season. Let’s see what he does.

Corley will take time, I’d be shocked if he makes a huge immediate impact. My feeling is there will be a bunch of fans who are disappointed. This is NOT to say I don’t like his talent.