New York Jets wide receiver Braylon Edwards raised a few eyebrows yesterday when he told the media that he believed he could still play at an “elite” level. Someone might want to check if he got hit too hard in practice, because that statement makes absolutely no sense.
Edwards was once the No. 3 overall pick in the draft, and he was elite in 2007, when he totaled 80 receptions for 1,289 yards and 16 touchdowns. However, that was the only season he has ever produced at an elite level. While he has been solid at other points in his nine-year career, he has never again been elite.
Excluding his monster 2007 season, Edwards’ career highs are 61 receptions, 904 yards and seven TDs. Solid numbers for sure, but I don’t think anyone would call any of those figures elite. Edwards has only played 16 games four times, and his production has been in steady decline the last two seasons.
Over the last two years, Edwards has appeared in 22 games with Jets, San Francisco 49ers and Seattle Seahawks, and he has managed just 33 catches for 380 yards and one touchdown. Now 30 years old, there is no reason to think that Edwards will return to anything even close to elite. The reality is that Edwards was solid in 2006 and 2010, elite in 2007 and average at best the rest of his career.
Now I’m all for players believing in themselves. But this goes a little over the top. Truth is, Edwards isn’t even a lock to make the team, and he should be far more worried about that than trying to return to an elite level. With Stephen Hill, Jeremy Kerley and Clyde Gates ahead of him on the depth chart and Ryan Spadola looking more likely to make the team everyday, Edwards is battling fellow veteran Ben Obomanu for the final receiver spot. Elite receivers don’t have to do that.
Many Jets fans have this ridiculous belief that Edwards will somehow be the answer to the Jets receiving woes and that he is a top player who has just been injured or in a bad situation. It’s not true. Edwards is just not that good. Other than 2007, he never has been. Edwards will not save the Jets’ passing game, and he will not be a key figure for this team, if he even makes it.