The offense had themselves a very productive practice. The offensive line still struggled in spots, but Sam Darnold and the receivers were able to find some success. No Breshad Perriman again today (knee swelling), and still no Denzel Mims, allowed three others to shine. Nate Hairston broke up a couple of passes, Bless Austin and Marcus Maye continued to play well in coverage. But the three things that stood out the most today were three separate receivers.
JAMISON CROWDER DOMINATED
Today belonged to Jamison Crowder. The quick, slot receiver made play after impressive play. Diving catches, twisting his body to catch passes thrown way too far behind him. Snatching passes then immediately juking a defender and bursting into open space. He even had luck on his side on the one play where he was blanketed.
Maye had excellent coverage on Crowder, swatted his arm in front of the receiver to knock the ball out of the air. The only problem was the ball bounced off Maye’s arm and into Chris Herndon’s arms. It was that type of day for Crowder. He could do absolutely no wrong. Everything was working for him and it was just another reminder that he’s going to be the receiver Darnold has to rely on the most.
CHRIS HOGAN WILL BE A WEEK ONE STARTER
Chris Hogan had another solid practice today. He’s looked good every practice so far and there’s no reason to expect that to change. The receiver formerly known as 7-11 isn’t your ideal number two, outside, receiver but with Mims still not practicing, he’s what the Jets will have.
We are rapidly approaching the start of the season and even if Mims got on the field tomorrow, it might be too late to catch Hogan by the opener. This isn’t to say that it will stay that way throughout the season. But it seems destined to start that way. Right now you’re looking at Perriman and Hogan on the outside, with Crowder in the slot. When Mims hits the field his immediate competition will be with a fellow rookie, battling for the fourth spot on the depth chart.
LAWERENCE CAGER ALMOST HAS TO MAKE THE ROSTER NOW
Now, don’t get too excited. Don’t get too carried away and think this means Cager will be a superstar. Or that he’ll even stay on the active roster the entire season. But right now, unless a veteran or two shakes free from another roster I don’t see how Cager won’t make the opening day roster.
Those first couple days of practice were rough for the undrafted rookie. There were too many drops, he was far too slow in and out of his breaks. But he’s started to settle down and beginning to figure things out. He had another good day today before having to leave with a knee injury.
Mike White threw the ball up for grabs about 25 yards down the sideline, it was a jump ball, up for anyone to grab. Cornerback Javelin Guidry’s eyes got huge as he readied himself for the pick, but then came Cager. Cager saw the ball, attacked the ball and straight up bullied Guidry to make the catch. He snatched the ball from mid-air, swung his elbows to protect it AND managed to hit a double toe-tap and drag to complete the pass.
As good as Cager has looked in recent practices he’s still going to be limited in what he can do this season. But what he can do is use his size, strength and physicality in the red zone and keep the chains moving. Now the Jets just have to hope the knee injury isn’t serious.