Elijah Moore Has Best Chance to End 2nd Round Curse

Elijah Moore Ole Miss

Getty Ole Miss WR Elijah Moore celebrating after a huge play.

The New York Jets have an overall terrible history in the NFL Draft. Although recently the specific area that has given them the most trouble is the second round.

Here is every second-round pick from 2008 through 2016:

  • Christian Hackenberg, quarterback, Penn State (2016)
  • Devin Smith, wide receiver, Ohio State (2015)
  • Jace Amaro, tight end, Texas Tech (2014)
  • Geno Smith, quarterback, West Virginia (2013)
  • Stephen Hill, wide receiver, Georgia Tech (2012)
  • Vlad Ducasse, offensive lineman, Massachuests (2010)

Only two of the six players are still in the National Football League: G. Smith has carved out a role as a backup quarterback with the Seattle Seahawks. While D. Smith is hanging on as a reserve receiver for the New England Patriots.

All of these busts are a major reason why the Jets haven’t been back to the playoffs since 2010. That’s currently the longest active playoff drought in the NFL.

Things seem to be trending in the right direction

The last few second-round picks may help end the infamous Jets curse.

Former Florida safety Marcus Maye received the franchise tag this offseason after a stellar year in 2020. While wide receiver Denzel Mims showed a lot of promise in his rookie season last year. Both players have the arrow pointing in the right direction.

Although the latest second-round draft choice, wide receiver Elijah Moore out of Ole Miss, has the best chance to officially put this lame curse to bed.

Elijah Moore Ole Miss

GettyOle Miss WR Elijah Moore celebrating after a huge play.

Moore is the highest-drafted second-rounder (No. 34 overall) the Jets have had since 1997, per Pro Football Reference.

In his final season at Ole Miss, Moore hauled in 86 receptions for 1,193 yards and snagged eight touchdowns. He’s a big-time playmaker that brings elite speed to the table (4.32 40 yard dash).

NFL Draft Analyst Jon Ledyard shared some more thoughts on him and how he fits with the Jets:

“Moore is a great athlete. He goes up and competes for the football. Has ball skills. Plays hard at the catch point even when contested. Elijah just wins in so many different ways: inside, outside, after the catch, running routes, speed, and he just gives you everything.

If he were a couple of inches bigger everyone would’ve been on board with him being a high first-rounder. His game translates and he’s going to have a ton of success in the NFL. It wouldn’t surprise me if Elijah Moore becomes the Jets best wide receiver as a rookie.”

Can Elijah Moore be the next Deebo Samuel of this offense?

The New York Jets are bringing a brand new offensive scheme to the table with offensive coordinator Mike LaFleur running things.

If you study that system and look at which players have produced, look no further than Deebo Samuel in 2019. During the San Francisco 49ers, Super Bowl run Samuel was the swiss army knife of the offense.

He finished second on the team in receptions (57), recorded 802 yards, and had six touchdowns (three receiving and three rushing). They just utilized him all over the field with jet sweeps, reverses, gadget plays, screens, and they just found creative ways to get the ball in his hands in the open field.

People have labeled him simply a slot guy, but he’s so much more than that.

Moore compared himself to a running back when the ball is in his hands:

“I turn into a running back. I played that position my entire life. So really after the catch is what I do best. So I’m more than comfortable doing that.”

Draft status. Athletic profile. Scheme fit. These are all legitimate reasons for optimism among Jets fans that this second-rounder can prove the doubters wrong and end the curse once and for all.

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