When the New York Jets selected Western Michigan wide receiver Jordan White with their seventh round selection few people noticed. However, Jordan White led the nation in receiving last season with 140 catches for 1,911 yards. He also tallied 17 touchdowns for good measure. In 2010, he caught 94 passes for 1,378 yards and 10 touchdowns. The guy is a vacuum cleaner.
White fell in the draft because he will turn 25 years-old in June and has an injury history. In 2008, he tore cartilage in his left knee and in 2006 he tore his ACL in his right knee. White isn’t a burner, posting only a 4.69 40-yard dash and possesses only average size at 6-0, 215 pounds. However, White is an excellent route runner who gets physical at the line of scrimmage and will make tough grabs in traffic.
It was no secret the Jets needed help at receiver. Santonio Holmes had his troubles last season but still possesses number one receiver ability. Plaxico Burress didn’t pay the dividends the Jets were hoping for so the Jets drafted Georgia Tech wide receiver Stephen Hill in the second round. Jeremy Kerley seemed to emerge as a very nice slot receiver towards the end of last season but the Jets needed depth. Having Holmes and Hill on the outside with Kerley on the inside should help quarterback Mark Sanchez. However, the real wild card for the Jets is Jordan White.
I don’t think White will be able to replicate his collegiate statistics, which would be impossible. Rather, I think Jets fans will see White emerge as one of their better route running receivers who makes tough catches, especially on third down. White is not afraid of going over the middle and won’t shy away from contact. With Holmes and Hill stretching defenses and Kerley and White able to work underneath, the Jets passing game should drastically improve. It might not happen this year, although I think it will be better than it was last year, but in a year or two it should be worlds above where it was last season.
Of course, there is no guarantee that White will make the team, or even make an impact if he does. However, I think White has the ability to not only make the Jets roster but to actually make an impact within a couple of years. His work ethic is excellent, his route running might be the best on the Jets, and he catches the football if it comes near him. It’s those things that will force the Jets to make room for White and play him.