The New York Jets draft class has become a major subject of conversation around the NFL over the past week and for good reason.
As you probably already know by now, Joe Douglas and the Jets were able to land a top-ranked cornerback, wide receiver, edge rusher, running back and tight end with their first five selections. Some analysts even considered each of those five the best prospects at their position.
During a segment of ESPN’s “NFL Live,” former NYJ No. 1 overall pick Keyshawn Johnson agreed with that assessment when discussing the wide receivers in this power-packed class.
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Keyshawn Predicts Garrett Wilson Will Be Best Rookie WR
The segment began with Johnson’s prediction for the best five rookie seasons at wide receiver. After going with Jahan Dotson, Treylon Burks, Christian Watson and Chris Olave from two through five, two obvious names were left — taking into account Jameson Williams’ injury.
Those two missing wideouts were Jets’ Garrett Wilson and Atlanta Falcons’ Drake London, the two highest-drafted receivers in 2022. One would end up earning the honor of Johnson’s No. 1 rank and the other would be snubbed.
“Number one is Garrett Wilson out of Ohio State,” the former Pro Bowler voiced. “When you draft a receiver in the first round, there is an emphasis… there is an emphasis on putting the football in the playmaker’s hands because you don’t want to waste it and I think Zach Wilson can grow with this young man, along with the rest of the receiving core.”
It’s easy to see the consistency at the college level. 432 yards receiving and five touchdowns as a freshman, 43 catches for 723 yards during an eight-game campaign in year two, and the 1,134-scrimmage yard season in 2021 (13 total touchdowns).
That’s exactly what Zach Wilson needs in this offense, a reliable weapon with good hands and a trustworthy track record.
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Fatherly Advice From Mr. Wilson
Garrett Wilson’s measurables may not jump off the page but his professionalism on and off the field does — as a player and a person. That high character and constant determination appear to stem from his father.
During a heartfelt message on social media, Kenny Wilson had some advice for his son.
“Choose good friends. One truth-teller is worth 50 yes men,” he began. “Anyone who deters you from your success and your destiny — no matter who, no matter what — let them go. Seek greatness, which is your destiny, not wealth. If you are great, wealth will come. Seek influence, not power. Influence is a testament to your brain, your character, and your heart. Own your mistakes, apologize, move forward. Seek respect, not popularity. Popularity is fleeting, phony, and ultimately childish. Respect sets you apart from everyone. People will talk, people will say things, don’t listen so closely, friend. What people say is really just talk. What you do is really your character… Stay humble, even when everything that happens says you shouldn’t be.”
If that doesn’t tell you that this young man has his head on straight, I’m not sure what would. Every first-round selection has talent, but sometimes character and personality separate the good prospects from becoming great.
If the former Buckeye is going to rise to the top of this rookie class, as Johnson believes he will, he’ll need to remember those words above. Your life changes when you’re drafted into the NFL as a top-10 selection and handling that transition seems to be more challenging than the game itself for many failed prospects.
Wilson’s father concluded: “The best thing about you is, you’re a wonderful person. A great human being, remember.”
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