Wide receiver Jalen Saunders has already started to make a name for himself as he transitions from college football to the pros. The speedy receiver is anxious to see what the NFL is all about as he does his best to make great impressions on the New York Jets. While Saunders does have his work cut out for him, he should get some opportunities to be worked into the team as the season progresses.
Even though most consider Saunders an undersized receiving option, don’t let the size fool you — he can catch like the best of them. He’s got very good hands and knows how to be effective at running routes to make plays for his team. One attribute that even head coach Rex Ryan mentioned he loves is his fighting spirit and the natural competitor that defines him to those around him. No matter which elite defenders are in his way, he’s going to do whatever is needed to ensure success for the Jets. That toughness he illustrates will be key as he continues to develop over time.
The Jets made sure to bolster the receiving corps during the offseason. They acquired Eric Decker and Jacoby Ford during the offseason in addition to drafting guys like Shaq Evans and Quincy Enunwa. It’s also worth mentioning that the veterans at wide receiver will be sure to put in the time and effort to make a name for themselves as well. Players like Jeremy Kerley, Stephen Hill, Clyde Gates and David Nelson are all a year wiser and ready to prove their worth. Needless to say, the Jets have infused a ton of possibilities at the position and only the best will be given the opportunity.
Saunders is in a very good situation since it’s expected Decker and Hill should be the main starting receivers opposite each other. Every spot behind them is up for grabs as the Jets want to make sure that only the best receivers with speed, intensity and huge playmaking abilities are on the field more than off of it. That’s where Saunders has a great opportunity to step in and make the most when his number is called.
Expect to see him get some decent playing time in various offensive packages, especially spread formations. The Jets want to mix and match receivers to take advantage of all the unique abilities they each possess and to utilize players like Saunders to the fullest of their capabilities.
It should be very exciting to see the impact Saunders makes on the team since many view him as a possible hidden gem who could surprise many across the league. Keep an eye out for him once he steps on the field as the sky is the limit to his potential.