The draft has come and gone, and the Jets are still trying to figure out who their No. 2 wide receiver is going to be in 2009.
The Jets chose not to address the wide receiver spot during the draft and intend to head into camp with a battle between David Clowney, Brad Smith, and Chansi Stuckey, to see who will get the job.
Clowney offers the Jets the lightning. He has that deep threat ability to take the ball all the way. Put it in his hands and Clowney won't disappoint you.
Brad Smith has slowly but surely made the switch over from being a college quarterback to a wide receiver in the NFL. Smith's touches on offense took a step back in 2008 (12 receptions) from his 2007 numbers (32 receptions).
At this point, the best thing going for him as that, when he steps on the field, it creates a distraction for the other team's defense not knowing if he's going to pass, run, or catch the ball.
Chansi Stuckey broke out during 2008 under Brett Favre after an injury in his rookie season. In 15 games, he hauled in 32 passes for 359 yards and caught three touchdown passes. He is your prototypical slot receiver and is best kept in that spot in this offense. You won't see much of him on the outside.
The slate is clean and the Jets now have seven picks for the upcoming draft, once again. Could they make a training camp run at one of these two guys if they can't find their man from within?
Not even a day after the draft, the talk of the town wasn't Mark Sanchez, but it was the rumors that the Jets were interested in former Giants receiver Plaxico Burress. It has since cooled, but Jets' general manager Mike Tannenbaum stated that he made contact with Plax's agent, Drew Rosenhaus, to inquire about his pending legal situation.
The odds that the Jets sign Plaxico are remote at best.
The free agent wire still has a couple of potential names available. The most attractive options include former Colts' wide receiver Marvin Harrison, former Bucs' wide receiver Ike Hilliard, and former Giants' wide receiver Amani Toomer.
All I ask is that one of these players provide depth at wide receiver.
As it stands, I'd be willing to bet that Mark Sanchez will be the Jets' starting quarterback come week one. The best thing that the Jets can do for him would be to give him a couple of sure targets and right now. He currently has both Jerricho Cotchery and Dustin Keller, but to be able to give him a steady veteran on the other side or in the slot at times would pay dividends.
Marvin Harrison was released by the Colts on Feb. 25. His physicality appeared to diminish as the season went on during the 2008 campaign and, with Anthony Gonzalez set to take over his spot, the Colts decided to move on. If Harrison would be willing to accept a role that would give him the opportunity to prove that he is still capable of playing in this league, then the Jets should bring him on board.
Harrison's 2008 Stats—60 receptions, 636 yards, five touchdowns.
Ike Hilliard was tied with Warrick Dunn as the Buccaneers' second leading receiver in 2008 behind Antonio Bryant. The former first-round pick of the Giants spent the first eight seasons of his career in New York before heading to the Bucs for the past four years. Hilliard has played in all but one game during his tenure in Tampa and put up 109 receptions for 1,146 yards and five touchdowns over the course of the last two seasons.
Hilliard's 2008 Stats—47 receptions, 424 yards, four touchdowns.
Amani Toomer finished the 2008 season neck and neck with fellow teammate Domenik Hixon as the second leading wide receiver for the defending Super Bowl champions. While Plaxico Burress was off shooting himself in the leg, Toomer managed to give the Giants solid consistent play from the wide receiver position. The 13-year veteran has spent his entire career with the Giants until they chose not to re-sign him this offseason.
Toomer's 2008 Stats—48 receptions, 580 yards, four touchdowns.
Personally, I would absolutely love to see Amani Toomer in green and white come week one of the NFL season.
The former captain of the Giants would provide a veteran presence at the wide receiver position and could act as a mentor to the young receivers such as Clowney, Smith, and Stuckey. Toomer's size (6'3") would benefit the team as well in the end zone. The Jets tallest receiver is currently Brad Smith who stands at 6'2".
The 34-year old Toomer has stated that he would like to play for another two or three years.
The Jets intend to wait until after the first minicamp in June to see what they have first in Clowney and Smith before they choose to target a free agent veteran wideout.
Hopefully Toomer will still be on the market, because he could truly help this team's learning curve for both the receiving core and for rookie quarterback Mark Sanchez.
Give Amani a two-year, $6 million deal. You won't be sorry.