Veteran WR Says Elijah Moore Is 'Electric' With Ball in His Hands; Garrett Wilson’s Maturity 'Through the Roof'Eric Allen
After Braxton Berrios re-signed with the Jets in March, he didn't use his any of his guaranteed millions to make a big acquisition.
"Truthfully, honest answer - I have not made a major purchase," he said during the club's offseason program. "Maybe stocks, but I haven't made a major purchase for me."
Berrios, a finalist for the William Campbell Trophy, which is considered at the academic Heisman, had a 3.96 GPA in college and was the
valedictorian for the University of Miami business school in 2018. He's got a strong financial sense, but the humble Berrios says he's not having any luck with his recent activity in the stock market.
"I'm in the market," he said. "Not doing well, but I'm in it."
In regard to free-agency approach, Berrios said he didn't want to chase every penny and he wasn't trying to auction himself off to the highest bidder. Claimed off of waivers from the New England Patriots on Sept. 1, 2019, Berrios and Jeff Smith are now the longest-tenured receivers on the roster. Berrios (26) only trails Corey Davis (27) in age as the WR group has flipped personnel the past two offseasons.
"I think we're getting very comfortable with the playbook and that helps because then everybody can be versatile across the board, playing all positions, and I think that's huge because things in the season happen," Berrios said. "If we have multiple guys who can play multiple positions, it helps the group when things like that do happen."
The WR unit, coached by Miles Austin, includes Berrios and Davis, second-year pro Elijah Moore, rookie Garrett Wilson, Denzel Mims and Smith. The slot landscape will be different after Jamison Crowder, who paced the Jets in receptions in each of the past three seasons, departed in free agency and signed with Buffalo Bills.
Berrios said of the slot: "We'll see and again I think that's part of having a lot of players being able to do a lot of things. But obviously, it creates more opportunities and we're going to go out there and seize those."
Moore (5-10, 178) is a chess piece that can be moved across the board. In his first pro season, the second-round pick out of Ole Miss totaled 43 receptions, 538 yards and 5 TDs in 11 games.
"He's smooth, he catches the ball well, and he's electric with the ball in his hands," Berrios said. "He really became a huge playmaker for us."
Garrett Wilson, selected No. 10 overall in April's NFL Draft, played inside and outside at Ohio State. He flashed throughout the spring after a final college season that saw him catch 70 balls for 1,054 yards with 12 TDs. Teammates have raved about Wilson's approach to the game.
"Elijah Moore had the exact same one coming out of college," Berrios said. "They act and seem a lot older than they are, their maturity is through the roof, and I truly think that translates on the field as well."
Berrios, who was named an first-team Associated Press First Team All-Pro after leading the NFL in kick return average (30.4) and ranking second among punt returners with a 13.4-yard average, became the only Jets wideout with a rushing and receiving score in the same regular-season game when he accomplished that feat in Week 17 vs. the Buccaneers. His two rush TDs were the most by a Jets wideout and he was only one of two receivers in the 2021 season with two rushing and two receiving touchdowns. The excellent utility man also established career highs in receptions (46), receiving yards (431) and total TDs (5).
"It's huge to me," he said of his ability to have an impact on the game in multiple ways. "I'll do whatever to win and the fact that I can contribute in different phases and hopefully change the game at any point in time means a lot."
Offensive coordinator Mike LaFleur has more options for QB Zach Wilson in Year 2. The Jets signed TEs C.J. Uzomah and Tyler Conklin in free agency, and drafted RB Breece Hall and TE Jeremy Ruckert.
"I'm sure he'll do a lot," Berrios said of LaFleur. "Again, we have a lot of additions and I think we're highly skilled on offense. We'll see what that turns out to be."
Zach Wilson, who traveled to Tennessee, Florida and Arizona before OTAs to work with his some of his teammates, told reporters a July get together with his receivers and running backs was in the works. Berrios, who participated in the Florida workouts, figures to be there because he's already focused on making more investments.
"Train, honestly," he said of his summer. "That's where my focus is. Part of me wishes we didn't have this little dead period because it kind of gets mundane and you're just ready for the season. I'll go and see my family; I'll take a quick trip and then it's going to be all football."