The Athletic‘s New York Jets beat reporter Connor Hughes had this to say about rookie Elijah Moore: “While Moore will never be the most popular guy at these workouts, through two weeks, he is undeniably the most impressive.”
That’s what happens when you constantly make other players look bad, and that’s exactly what Moore has done since arriving in Florham Park, New Jersey.
The Jets’ second-round pick was highly regarded in the draft, which is why it came as such a surprise that the wide receiver slipped to day two. General manager Joe Douglas didn’t let him fall much further.
As we know, Sam Darnold never had any consistent weapons in New York, outside of Jamison Crowder. Douglas seems determined to make things different for quarterback Zach Wilson. Over the past two offseasons alone, the Jets have added Corey Davis, Denzel Mims, Keelan Cole and Moore himself, and that’s just at wide receiver.
The key though is longevity. Wilson must develop chemistry with these weapons long-term, and Moore seems to have a head-start in that regard.
The two have been linking up throughout OTAs, in part because of the rookie’s crisp yet explosive route-running. Moore seems to have a knack for finding open space within the defense, and a trait like that can turn you into a rookie quarterback’s best friend.
Moore Attracts Attention in Camp
Speed and route-running aren’t the only skills that Moore possesses, he’s got hands too. Brian Costello of the New York Post listed the rookie in his June 2 run-down.
Even DJ Bien-Aime of the New York Daily News was gushing over Moore after watching him play in person a few times.
As you can see, Moore has become quite the talking point in OTAs. He’s even one of the favorites to handle the punt return duties during the regular season.
Moore Addresses the Media
When speaking with the media on June 4, 2021, Moore remained humble, saying that he’s “blessed to be with the Jets” and that he’s “putting [his] best foot forward every day.”
The rookie commented on his strong play, saying that “the more [he] works at it, the more comfortable [he] gets.” He also noted that he’s focused on his craft and bettering himself every time he takes the field.
In terms of his relationship with Wilson, Moore replied that they’re learning and critiquing each other’s game together.
Another player that the Ole Miss product is excited to work with is Corey Davis. As a former Tennessee Titans teammate of Moore’s close friend and college role model A.J. Brown, the two have a built-in connection. Moore said having Davis on the roster makes him feel “confident.”
The future looks very bright for the rookie, but Moore didn’t want to talk about that. He said he’s “just trying to stay where [his] feet are at” and focus on OTAs.
The Moore Effect & Jamison Crowder
Unfortunately for Crowder, the better the rookie plays in camp, the more it hurts him financially. The Jets owe the slot receiver over $11 million in 2021, but they’ll only incur a $1 million dead cap hit if they choose to release him.
There looks to be very little chance that Douglas pays this contract in full, but that doesn’t necessarily put Crowder on the street just yet. Per Robert Saleh, the Jets are trying to restructure the wide receiver’s deal.
In other words, Douglas wants Crowder to take a pay cut, otherwise, he’ll get cut.
So long as Moore keeps crushing it on the field, Douglas holds all the cards in negotiations. Plus it doesn’t help that slot receiver Braxton Berrios has also been having a very productive camp.