With the New York Jets 2021 season looking bleaker by the week, it’s common for the fanbase to look to the future.
As Jets supporters, we know this feeling all too well. Fortunately, the Green & White rookie class has shown tremendous promise and with another nine draft picks on the way in 2022, the franchise may be on the cusp of its long-awaited turnaround.
For now, GM Joe Douglas will attempt to help this roster in any way he can, and that includes practice squad pickups that may have been overlooked by other organizations. A recent Jets signing struck a chord with me and I’m sure I’m not the only one.
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2 Years Later, Jets Listen to Fans
During the 2019 season of HBO’s “Hard Knocks: Training Camp with the Oakland Raiders,” wide receiver Keelan Doss became a star. The hard-working hometown kid from Alameda, California was an undrafted rookie out of UC Davis at the time.
He impressed head coach Jon Gruden throughout the HBO documentary and won the hearts of many fans who cheered him on as he attempted to make the active roster. In the end, Doss was cut by the Raiders before accepting a practice squad deal with the Jacksonville Jaguars.
The fairytale story didn’t end as planned, but Doss’ career continued and he actually ended up back with Coach Gruden from 2020-August of this year. After a brief stint with the Atlanta Falcons, the lovable wide-out is now a Jet after signing to the practice squad on November 16.
Back in 2019, Gang Green had a much weaker wide receiver core than they have now and many Jets fans begged the franchise to go after Doss should the Raiders choose to release him. Jean-Ralphio tweeted at the time: “Jets should sign Keelan Doss. I don’t understand how such a hard worker isn’t picked up.”
Another fan going by CK 10 on Twitter said: “Jets better sign Keelan Doss. He [is] better than most of our WRs.”
Brooks Cathell even suggested that the Jets trade wide receiver Robby Anderson for a third-round pick and Doss.
In the end, the Jags claimed the rookie off waivers, but two years later, Douglas answered prayers like these. Although I never sent the tweet myself, I was also dazzled by Doss at the time.
Maybe it was that classic Hard Knocks allure that sucks you into a roster bubble’s journey or maybe it was the flashes of talent we all saw, but this practice squad addition definitely excites more than the average pickup.
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Hard to See Where Doss Fits in Right Now
Obviously, the Jets wide receiver room is not the easiest place to break into this year. This group has been strangely healthy for NYJ standards and it’s also jampacked with ability.
Even if Doss sticks with the franchise, it’s hard to see him suiting up in green anytime soon — if ever. At the same time, the ex-TV star already showed the world that he’s a fighter that is willing to do whatever it takes to live out his dream, so you never know what might happen in the future.
Douglas also has several major decisions to make at the position in 2022.
- Is there any chance Jamison Crowder returns?
- Will he re-sign the enigmatic Keelan Cole or the specialist Braxton Berrios?
- Any truth to the Denzel Mims trade rumors earlier this year?
Outside of those four question marks, captain Corey Davis and rookie Elijah Moore are the two locks of the group moving forward and role players like Jeff and Vyncint Smith could stick with the roster as well. If you factor in fellow practice squad member D.J. Montgomery, that puts Doss at the end of a long list of names.
In nine career games, the sure-handed ex-Raider caught 11 of 14 targets for 133 yards and six first downs. He stands at 6-foot-3, 215 pounds, and turned 25 last March.