The first two seasons of Devin Smith’s career with the Jets have not lived up to expectations. A punctured lung and torn ACL have largely robbed Smith of the opportunity to showcase why he warranted a 2nd round pick.
At Ohio State, Smith scored a touchdown one out of every four times he caught a pass. He finished with 30 touchdowns on 121 catches.
He only has one touchdown in the NFL – a 16 yard post route – it was not of his signature variety.
Coming out of Ohio State, Smith showcased some of the best ability to separate over the top and track the ball through the air. Unfortunately, his skill set did not mesh with Ryan Fitzpatrick. The Jets tried to utilize his strengths but Fitzpatrick would frequently underthrow Smith or was unable to adjust for his speed. Fitz does not have the best arm strength for downfield throws and would have to put more air on it, allowing defenders time to recover.
(H.t. to Alvin from JetsNation for the Gifs http://www.jetnation.com/2015/09/30/jets-passing-offense-film-review-week-3/#sthash.QVk0Ppi1.dpbs )
The time is now for Smith to shine. The Jets current depth chart for receivers is Quincy Enunwa, Robbie Anderson, Eric Decker (assuming he isn’t traded), Quinton Patton, Charone Peake, Smith and Jalin Marshall (assuming he isn’t dumped because of his suspension). Enunwa and Anderson are the only receivers likely with any assurances for playing time.
John Morton is taking over the offense. If he does follow in the footsteps of Sean Payton and Jim Harbaugh a vertical element will be important to the passing game. Additionally, whether Bryce Petty or Christian Hackenberg wins the starting role, their vertical passing skill sets will compliment Smith more so than Fitzpatrick ever could.
What should fans expect from Smith this year? Smith should win the WR3 spot in camp if healthy. Depending on the formation he and Robbie Anderson will swap Y and Z responsibilities to exploit the defense. In those roles, look for the Jets to take a deep shot at least once a game to Smith.
If anything, Smith wants the Jets fans to know, he is working hard to return and make an impact.
Comments are encouraged below and retweets are greatly appreciated!