Devin Smith from the defending champion Ohio State Buckeyes, was selected early in the second round by the New York Jets. Smith is a wide receiver who became a big play machine in his four years at Ohio State. Smith’s touchdown production increased every year of college. He had 12 touchdowns his senior year despite only catching a total of 33 balls. He was not overly productive as an every down receiver but made all the big catches and has the ability to turn any catch into a touchdown. His coming out party was in the 2014 Big-Ten championship game, when Smith caught three touchdowns and racked up nearly 140 yards on only three catches. He is a fast receiver who can go up and get the ball at its peak. In his senior season, Smith caught over half of his balls for 25 yards or more. He is the ultimate big play receiver and will look to do the same thing in New York.
Graphic via waitingfornextyear
The Jets do have Eric Decker and Brandon Marshall, but Smith could fill in as the deep threat. He has the speed to be very productive in the NFL, but does not have the best hands overall. Weighing under 200 pounds he could also use a little more muscle to be physical on the line. Smith could also learn to adapt and look for other openings in the defense when the big play is not available. For now he is mostly a one trick pony, but what he does, he does as well as anyone. He has the natural ability to haul in deep balls without slowing down, as he can catch the ball over his shoulder easily. Smith was likely to be the 3rd or 4th receiver on New York this year, but unfortunately his training camp was cut short last week when he suffered a few broken ribs and a punctured lung. It is anticipated that Smith could miss 4-6 weeks which may put the season opener in jeopardy.
The injury could hurt some of Smith’s progress but he will be able to sit back and learn the playbook. If he is able to come back from this injury without any issues he will likely still be a cog in the New York offense this year. The lack of a productive quarterback could be what hurts his production level in his rookie year. Geno Smith will need to show a better capability of throwing the long ball or the use of Smith’s speed could be for not. It will be tough for him to beat out Jeremy Kerley for the third receiver position so he will likely be a fill in for big play potential.
Graphic via isportsweb