Projecting Receptions by Position: AFC East


New York Jets

2017 Totals
Josh McCown: 267 completions on 397 attempts
WR Group: 138 Receptions
RB Group: 74 Receptions
TE Group: 55 Receptions

2018 Projections
Josh McCown/Sam Darnold: 330 completions on 500 attempts
WR Group: 200 Receptions
RB Group: 80 Receptions
TE Group: 50 Receptions

I fully expect Sam Darnold to start the season warming the bench for Josh McCown. However, once the season is lost (or once McCown gives himself another concussion on an ill-advised dive for a first down), Darnold should step in. Fortunately, I don’t foresee any major changes happening in the offensive scheme when that switch does occur so the stat lines should match reasonably well. Speaking of offensive scheme, previous offensive coordinator John Morton was fired and QB coach Jeremy Bates was promoted to take his place. Ultimately they run similar enough schemes that the offense should look fairly similar, depending on Bates’s ability to call plays. The bigger impact will be on Sam Darnold’s development. I’m not sure I’d go so far as to call Bates a QB guru, but he sure as heck beats out Morton on that front. With competent guidance, Darnold should be able to step up when called on. Regardless of who’s under center though, it doesn’t seem likely that they’ll be throwing all that much; the defense is underrated and the Jets put a lot of effort into building up the RB room. With new additions Isaiah Crowell and Thomas Rawls, it seems likely that New York will go with a run heavy approach to protect Darnold while he gets up to speed or protect McCown from himself. I see about 500 attempts, with a similar accuracy from last year resulting in about 330 completions.

While the offensive scheme itself might not be changing all that much, the major changes in personnel necessitate changes in target shares. Notable losses include TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins and RB Matt Forte. Bilal Powell has the receiving chops to pick up most of what Matt Forte left, but Clive Walford and 4th round draft pick Chris Herndon are unlikely to do the same with Seferian-Jenkins’s lost production. The WR room is a different story. While still not a premier group by any stretch, they are no longer just a band of misfit toys. Breakout star Robby Anderson and Jermaine Kearse are joined by Terrelle Pryor and a hopefully healthy Quincy Enunwa. With a more reliable receiving corps, the WR’s should command more targets as a group than last year, most likely eating into the TE production from last year.


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