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Jets’ Garrett Wilson is ‘confident’ he will make an immediate impact

The NFL has seen rookie wide receivers make an immediate impact in recent years.

Justin Jefferson of the Vikings set an NFL rookie record in 2020 with 1,400 yards. That record lasted a year because the Bengals’ Ja’Marr Chase broke it in 2021 with 1,455 yards.

The Jets now have their own rookie receiver who believes he can have a similar impact as Jefferson and Chase.

“I’m very confident,” Garrett Wilson said Saturday after day two of the Jets’ rookie minicamp. “I think I can have that impact. I want to do whatever it takes to make a difference.”

The Jets don’t need Wilson to set records. They just need him to add spark to their offense and quarterback Zach Wilson a target to throw at. The Jets have not had a 1,000-yard receiver since 2015, when both Brandon Marshall and Eric Decker did.

Garrett Wilson catches a pass at the Jets rookie minicamp.
Garrett Wilson catches a pass at the Jets rookie minicamp.
Bill Kostroun/New York Post

The Jets picked Wilson as their No. 10 overall pick in hopes he can team up with Elijah Moore to give the Jets a young receiving tandem they haven’t had since the days of Keyshawn Johnson and Wayne Chrebet.

“Apart from the mental state, he has tremendous body control, range and great distance running ability,” said Jets coach Robert Saleh of Wilson. “He has great versatility. He can win those one-on-ones that we talked about yesterday in the men’s coverage when teams are in the press. Obviously there will be things he needs to work on like every rookie does. I’m really excited to have him and the versatility he will offer.”

Wilson became the second receiver to be drafted by USC after Drake London last month, who was acquired by the Falcons. It was a loaded draft for receivers that saw four more hit in Wilson’s eight picks.

The Jets rave about Wilson’s body control and ability to win in the air. Wilson attributes this strength in his game to his basketball background. He played AAU basketball and averaged 21 points per game as a junior in high school. His father Kenny played in the NBA for the Nuggets.

“I think basketball translates really well to football,” Wilson said. “The constant jumping and getting up on the floor. It’s so unpredictable. It’s not planned. You react most of the time in basketball. It’s not like running a course where you know where you’re going to break.”

Wilson was born in Ohio and lived there until his family moved to Texas when he was in sixth grade. He watched Lake Travis High School football games and their quarterback Baker Mayfield and began to feel the pull of football over basketball.

“[In Ohio] The football games had a good turnout, the basketball games had a good turnout, but the whole town was closing when I got to Lake Travis on a Friday,” Wilson said. “It was just totally different, the support behind the team. It’s really good to grow up there and be an athlete no matter what sport you do.”

Garrett Wilson addresses the media at the Jets' rookie mini-camp.
Garrett Wilson addresses the media at the Jets’ rookie mini-camp.
Bill Kostroun/New York Post

Wilson had offers to play college basketball but chose to play football for Ohio State, where he became a star on the Buckeyes’ high-profile offensive line.

At 5ft 11 and 183lbs, Wilson isn’t the tallest receiver you’ll see. He played indoors and out at Ohio State and the Jets appreciate his versatility.

“They came in all shapes and sizes,” Saleh said. “A lot has to do with that mental state. A lot of guys play bigger than they are, a lot of guys play smaller than they are. What I think sets him apart is that he has tremendous body control and range in terms of his length and all that stuff. He plays bigger than his measured size.”

https://nypost.com/2022/05/07/jets-garrett-wilson-confident-hell-make-immediate-impact/ Jets’ Garrett Wilson is ‘confident’ he will make an immediate impact

JOE HERNANDEZ

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