The Jets stunned many when they drafted Alabama wide receiver ArDarius Stewart in the third round. “Why would they do that? That is one position they are deep at! They have so many needs!” Several reasons.
Point 1: It turned out that Devin Smith had torn his ACL again just a few days before the draft. Unfortunately for Smith, his career with the Jets may be over. They Jets now had a need for another receiver. Stewart does not have the 40 time of Smith, but he is certainly explosive.
Point 2: The Jets are building up their skill positions around the quarterback. In all likelihood Christian Hackenberg should win the starting job in training camp (the team certainly would like him to). If he doesn’t become the player they drafted him to be, then it behooves the team to put as much talent around the position for the eventual franchise quarterback. At this point, the Jets can’t have enough talent at wide receiver.
Point 3: It seems new offensive coordinator John Morton was lobbying for Stewart.
That sounds like Stewart was a Morton guy. Good for the Jets to support their new OC with players he wants. Morton’s resume speaks for itself. In the past six years he has brought up or worked with, (Saints) Brandin Cooks, Michael Thomas, Willie Snead (49ers) Michael Crabtree, Anquan Boldin. Previously adding Quinton Patton in free agency certainly looks like the team values Morton’s input and plan.
Point 4: He’s good! He makes plays when he has the ball in his hands. He touched the ball 62 times last season and forced 21 missed tackles. In the game against Mississippi State, he totaled 156 yards, 111 of them came after the catch. He lead the team last year with 8 receiving touchdowns and had 16 yards per catch.
Film: Auburn, Miss. St, USC
- Plays from multiple positions – X,Y, Z and running back. Is a threat from all of them.
- He does the dirty work. Plays with passion.
- Suddenness to his route running. Varies between speeds, jukes and stemming receivers to get open. Can be a top 20 WR if he sharpens his routes.
- Recognizes coverage and adjusts to openings in zone. – High FBI.
Most scouting reports limit Stewart to a ‘slot guy.’ When you watch the way he plays, it is hard to limit his impact to just a ‘slot guy.’ His passion for the game is apparent when you watch him play. Often that is the difference between an impact player and the average football player. It isn’t hard to envision Stewart being one of the best in the league in a few years. He definitely looks like a great addition to the Jets.
***Hey, be sure to check out Bent’s latest articles on JetsFix.com