Forgotten Jets Veteran Dominates Practice: ‘If He’s Available, He’s a Problem’

Corey Davis

Getty New York Jets wide receiver Corey Davis during the 2022 preseason.

The past couple of days within the New York Jets community have been overtaken by Denzel Mims trade speculation after the disgruntled former second-round pick finally requested to be dealt.

It’s a unique situation because generally, an organization’s sixth or seventh wide receiver on the depth chart wouldn’t generate many headlines but the failed draft selection tends to dominate them. The Jets 2022 season won’t ride on Mims though, that’s the honest truth.

It will ride on players like Zach Wilson or Carl Lawson and within the NYJ wide receiver corps, a forgotten veteran named Corey Davis should be key. The former top-five pick had a quietly successful training camp this summer and the exclamation point came on August 26.

Jets Camp: WR Corey Davis Has Insane Practice

With so many new rookies and free agents to talk about, Davis took a backseat from the spotlight this offseason and the results have been positive.

After initially noting that he shed some weight over his time away from the game — to help with his health and agility — Davis has been one of the more consistent playmakers throughout OTAs and camp. His best area has been in or around the red zone, catching a large number of touchdowns during team practices and drills.

On August 26, the final day of NYJ training camp, the 27-year-old went crazy with his most effective practice yet. Davis hauled in not one but two impressive touchdown grabs, and the Jets posted a highlight reel afterward to allow fans to get a good view of each one.

After the second of the two connections from quarterback Joe Flacco, The Athletic’s Zack Rosenblatt voiced that the “chemistry is building” between the pair of veterans.

Davis has always gelled well with Wilson too, however. When healthy in 2021, he registered three of his four touchdowns with the younger of the two QBs (the fourth was from third-stringer Mike White).

His inaugural campaign as a Jet was disappointing for two unrelated reasons — dropped passes and injuries. There is some positive news on the former: Davis has never had the highest catch percentage throughout his career but his 8.5% drop percentage was the worst he’s ever had by a wide margin. The year before in 2020, he played five more games and only dropped three passes (charged with five drops last season).

The injury front is another story, but head coach Robert Saleh said it best after the practice. “If he’s available, he’s a problem [for opposing defenses],” he praised.

“He’s internally motivated to be his best every single time he steps on the field,” the Jets HC concluded. “When you are that type of person, you trust that results will be good.”

This is a crucial campaign for Davis. If he falters again, the 2021 offensive captain profiles as a cap casualty next spring — considering the front office can save $10.5 million by releasing him.

WRs Take Center Stage on Final Day of Camp

Although Davis was undoubtedly the top star on August 26, two other receivers were trending in media circles too — but for polar opposite reasons.

The first was the aforementioned Mims, who ended up having a lackluster showing on Friday which began with some special teams work on punt and kick return as a blocker. Rosenblatt actually detailed Mims’ entire practice in full during a unique piece on The Athletic.

It included an illegal formation penalty, a near-touchdown catch where he was unable to keep his feet in bounds, and a couple of decent blocks in the run game. No receptions in what could have been his final practice as a Jet.

The other was incumbent rookie Calvin Jackson Jr., who continued to thrive as he attempts an unlikely roster push that has gained some steam. The latest big moment from the undrafted prospect was a leaping touchdown grab over second-year nickelback Michael Carter II.

Jackson is small in stature but his ridiculous verticle was on full display as he juggled the ball and hung on at the front corner of the end zone. SNY’s Connor Hughes referred to the play as “absurd,” and watching it again, there’s no doubt that his description was accurate.

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