It took Antonio Brown four seasons to develop into a top wide receiver in football. It took Jordy Nelson four years to become a top red zone threat. As Quincy Enunwa enters his third NFL Season, the talent and potential is there for him to become a legitimate number one target for whichever quarterback starts for the New York Jets.
A member of the loaded wide receiver class that saw Mike Evans, Odell Beckham Jr. and Sammy Watkins in 2014, Enunwa was second guessed and drafted in the 6th round. Although Enunwa had the overall size (6’2″) and strength (32 5’8″ arm length) to compete at the professional level, many people looked at his lack of elite speed and elusiveness and were turned away from the Nebraska product. The early numbers for Enunwa have proven those same scouts wrong.
Enunwa’s second-year numbers do not jump out the front page as an up-and-coming wideout (58 catches, 857 yards, 4TD’s) but it is in the expanded stats that show how reliable Enunwa was as a receiver last season.
Enunwa recorded 365 yards after the catch. A number that is seen mostly through top speed demons, Enunwa has shown to be a tremendous runner after the catch as his YAC total was 18th among receivers. That total was better than T.Y Hilton, and even Desean Jackson. Enunwa was also a top receiver when it came to making catches in traffic. Using his big frame, to attack the football in the air, Enunwa had a contested catch rate of 80% which was 11th best among receivers. To become a number one possession receiver, a receiver must be able to make tough catches consistently and have the ability to turn a simple five-yard slant into an eighty-yard touchdown. Quincy Enunwa has checked off both boxes in each category.
In the AFC East, top receivers must produce against some of the best corners in the game and Quincy Enunwa has done a very good job against just that. Enunwa dominated a Week 12 game against Malcolm Butler and the Patriots going for five catches and 109 yards plus a TD. In a Week two matchup against Stephon Gilmore and the Bills, Enunwa caught six passes for 92 yards. Five of those six catches were on third down. It is also important to note that Gilmore is now a Patriot, which means that Quincy Enunwa has torched both starting corners that the defending champs have.
One final point that proves Enunwa is about to have a breakout season as the number one target in New York is a stat that is never calculated but always appreciated; blocking at the receiver position. Hines Ward made a career off of being a possession receiver who blocked better than anyone. Enunwa has been exactly that for the last two season. Enunwa was used in the hybrid “H-Back” position many times during last season because of his physicality and aggressiveness. His role as a blocker also showed as he recorded 90.1% snap count rate- tops amongst Jets wide receivers.
An incredible blocker, an underrated receiver after the catch and a bigger target for whoever the Jets start at QB, Quincy Enunwa’s stats and performances against some top corners show that he is on the cusp of a breakout season for Gang Green.