by Ray Kuhn
While we still have time left in the off-season for the Jets to add another veteran wide receiver, I’m not sure how likely of a possibility it truly is. Adding rookies (Denzel Mims) is a different story as they often start out slowly, so that leaves Breshad Perriman as the veteran, downfield option for Sam Darnold.
But are things really that simple?
As far as the depth chart goes Jamison Crowder is atop the list when it comes to wide receivers, but he is truly a slot option. Last season to say he was busy would be an understatement, as Crowder was targeted 122 times while he caught 78 passes for 833 yards and 6 TD.
The veteran proved he could be quite dependable, but with just 10.7 yards per reception he is not exactly a downfield threat. Crowder’s 7.8 yard average depth of target is below average, and his 1.17 air yards per snap doesn’t do him many favors. So while Crowder is once again going to be a vital part of New York’s offense, and a go to target for Darnold, a deep threat he is not.
And that brings us to Perriman, who will be taking one of the outside spots for the Jets. What can we expect from the former first round pick (2015) who was acquired to replace Robby Anderson?
As far as production to be replaced, Anderson was targeted 96 times last season. Efficiency wasn’t exactly his best attribute, as that translated to just 52 catches but he did go for 779 yards (15 yards per reception) and 6 TD. To start with that as a projection for Perriman is probably a reasonable assumption. Or is it?
Based on the fact that he was selected in the first round by Baltimore in 2015, we can’t argue with the talent. The problem is that hasn’t translated to on field production. Health has not fared him well, but things changed pretty dramatically towards the end of last season.
So how much is a five week stretch worth?
Perriman capitalized on the opportunities available to him, namely Mike Evans hamstring injury, and he didn’t slow down. In that aforementioned block of games, Weeks 13 through 17, it was hard to find many better receivers. To close out the season he caught 25 passes for 506 yards and 5 TD as he gained 100 plus yards in each of his last three games.
A 51.4% catch rate leaves a lot to be desired, but we also have to take into account the nature of routes Perriman is running; a 16 yard average depth of target. To his credit he also wasn’t charged with a drop in 2019.
Considering Darnold has yet to find his footing as an NFL quarterback, there isn’t much we can do to prop Perriman up after playing with Jameis Winston. In fact, as far as offenses going he is taking a step back in his situation.
Currently (mid-April) Perriman is the 51st wide receiver coming off the board (WR5) with an ADP of 148. The price is fair, and takes into account that any value is coming off a five game stretch, as overall last season he caught 36 passes for 645 yards and 6 TD.
Despite the presumed boom or bust aspect to being a deep threat, Perriman was consistent once he found success for the first time in his career. Considering the role he will likely have in New York’s offense, a 1,000 yard season with 10 TD is very possible, and it’s worth the gamble as the investment is minimal.