Jets Rookie WR Makes ‘Play of Practice’ at Training Camp

Calvin Jackson Jr.

Getty New York Jets wide receiver Calvin Jackson Jr. makes a huge reception with Washington State University.

If you’re an undrafted rookie, training camp is your moment to make a name for yourself.

For former junior college (JUCO) prospect and New York Jets rookie Calvin Jackson Jr., it’s been a long road to Florham Park but he’s definitely been putting his stamp on this talented 2022 wide receiver competition nonetheless.

Jackson had a strong spring but has been outshined by challengers like Rashard Davis and Irvin Charles over the early stages of the summer. Today on August 5, however, that huge moment finally came.

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Houston, We Have Liftoff!

On the early eve of the Green & White Scrimmage, Jackson made a monster reception that set the media into a frenzy.

“Calvin Jackson with a great diving catch in the back of the end zone on a ball from [Joe] Flacco,” team reporter Ethan Greenberg relayed. “Play of practice so far,” voiced Dennis Waszak Jr. in agreement, “Joe Flacco to Calvin Jackson Jr. deep into the back corner of the end zone for a TD. Nice catch by the rookie.”

The Athletic’s Zack Rosenblatt also called the diving grab “impressive” within his round-up article after practice.

Unfortunately, the Jets’ social team has not posted video of this highlight-reel catch as they’ve done with others over the summer, so we’ll just have to imagine its beauty.

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Latest on the WR Battle

It’s no secret that the Jets have several youngsters competing for two wide receiver roles — max. Those players are Jackson, Denzel Mims, Jeff Smith, Keshunn Abram, Tarik Black and the aforementioned Rashard Davis and Charles.

Seven promising pieces, two spots to fill.

Most days, Smith appears to get the most looks with the first and second-team offenses out of the group above, while Mims, Abram and Black have spent the majority of their time with Mike White and the threes.

Jackson, Davis and Charles have fluctuated, but appear to get more reps with Joe Flacco and the twos than the three wideouts above. If that’s any indication of the WR race so far, you might say Mims is falling behind once again after his hot start on day one of training camp.

Smith also looks like the firm leader at this stage, with one potential opening behind him.

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Friday’s Highlights From Florham Park

It was not a good day for the offense on August 5, and that goes for Flacco and White, as well as Zach Wilson and the starters. The pass rush was all over the offensive line on Friday and all three quarterbacks were pressured early and often.

That led to a few defensive highlights, including interceptions from CB Bryce Hall, S Will Parks and LB Hamsah Nasirildeen (one for Wilson, two for Flacco).

There were also several sacks from defensive linemen like Carl Lawson (two), John Franklin-Myers, Jabari Zuniga, Tim Ward and rookie Jermaine Johnson II.

Wilson did get a few passes to his running backs, as well as his tight end and early favorite target — Tyler Conklin. He also linked up with Garrett Wilson on a creative scramble-turned-flip under pressure. Flacco had one more deep ball to Black too, despite the pair of early turnovers.

Aside from a few skirmishes and a long run by rookie Zonovan Knight, there wasn’t much else to report from Friday’s practice. The annual Green & White Scrimmage will take place tomorrow, August 6, beginning under the bright lights of MetLife Stadium at 7 p.m. EST.


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