Wednesday, August 10, 2022

Outbreak ‘imminent’ for Jet’s 22-year-old: ‘It’s clear’

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The New York Jets found several interesting pieces last year that could prove to be building blocks for the future.

One of those players is expected to break out in 2022 and that could have a big impact on the rest of the team.

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Pro Football Focus’ Mike Renner penned a column on ESPN in which he ranked the top sophomore breakout contenders heading into 2022.

Jets wide receiver Elijah Moore was third on that list and Renner believes his breakout is “imminent”:

“That eruption would have happened as early as 2021 were it not for the New York quarterback situation and the fact that Moore would have missed the final five games of his rookie campaign with a quad injury. Flip the tape over and it’s clear Moore can open. Fellow rookie Zach Wilson just couldn’t find him in the right rhythm.

Finding Moore wasn’t a problem for the other Jets quarterbacks, who filled in when Wilson was out for four weeks with a posterior cruciate ligament injury. In those contests, Moore averaged 2.92 yards per route with four touchdowns. In the other seven games with Wilson at the helm, the rookie receiver averaged 1.05 yards per route with just one result.

While this obviously means Moore’s breakout is heavily reliant on Wilson showing significantly improved offensive control in Year 2, it also means that if Wilson makes that leap, the breakout is imminent.

Of course, this potential breakthrough to fame has one caveat, quarterback Zach Wilson’s progression as a sophomore. Moron.

Wilson didn’t crack PFF’s 15-player list for breakout candidates next season.

The only big takeaway from last year is that Moore has been successful in not-so-great situations.

Moore was injured in training camp and got off to a slow start. Then his quarterback got injured and had to miss four games in the middle of the season. That forced the former Ole Miss product to play ball with a handful of journeymen as backup quarterbacks.

Despite these less-than-ideal circumstances, the talented recipient made chicken salad out of chicken:

Whenever you got the ball in Moore’s hands, good things happened. Pro Football Focus gave him excellent marks for his 2021 campaign with an overall score of 71.2, a receiving score of 73.8 and a rushing score of 66.4.

Many people have highlighted Moore as a possible breakout candidate this year. While that praise is certainly nice to hear, it begs the question, what does that look like?

Fantasy Pros gives him a total of seven touchdowns, 62 receptions and over 900 total yards from scrimmage.

Sports Illustrated’s Shawn Childs was even more aggressive when he predicted that Moore would finish as fantasy football’s No. 16 wide receiver next season:

If that happened, Moore would finish 16th in the Jets’ only season and earn yards record books. Even more impressive, however, is his placement of 16th versus 3rd on this list, separated by just 171 yards.

It would be a spectacular season and quite frankly one that is well within the realm of possibility.

If you break that out over a 17-week schedule, Moore would simply have to average 5.11 catches per game and 66.23 yards per game. Not asking anything crazy when you look at it that way.

This brings us back to the only other caveat outside of the quarterback game, which is health. Moore had a really good rookie season, even if he missed six games.

If he could stay healthy and quarterback play improved, Moore should very well be in the running for a big breakout in 2022.

The only thing more exciting is the fact that Moore is still only 22 years old.

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Many people have highlighted Moore as a possible breakout candidate this year. While that praise is certainly nice to hear, it begs the question, what does that look like?

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