Every training camp a player that was overlooked ends up making a more significant impact than anyone could have imagined.
A playmaker has emerged for the New York Jets that is doing so well that they may be forced to keep him on the roster this season.
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The Jets have a first-world problem at wide receiver. With so many talented guys they may be forced to cut “NFL players” as head coach Robert Saleh put it during a recent presser.
One player making it incredibly difficult with his consistent play in training camp is wide receiver, Irvin Charles.
He was one of several undrafted free agents that the Jets added back in late April. Dennis Waszak Jr of the Associated Press said he is a wide receiver that “continues to stand out.”
Waszak always posts his training camp scorecard with some colorful emojis and after the third practice Charles earned the stock up emoji for his recent surge of excellent play.
He hasn’t been working with the first team, but when Charles has gotten his reps he has certainly made the most of him. Waszak said that he has continued to “make some plays early in camp.”
Charles has had a unique path from college football to the NFL. He spent three years at Penn State but was dismissed in 2017 for “violating team rules.”
He was then forced to sit out the 2018 season and re-emerged in 2019 as a member of the Indiana University of Pennsylvania. However, due to academic issues, he was ruled ineligible for that season. Then in 2020 COVID hit so there was no college football season to be played.
Charles had to wait until 2021 to finally play at IUP.
Although once you saw the level of production, it was well worth the wait per Jets X-Factor:
- 39 catches
- 792 yards (20.3 per catch)
- 12 touchdowns in nine games
He is so much of a mystery that on the official roster sheet from the Jets, he doesn’t have an age listed.
Although we do know his size: 6-foot-4, 219 pounds. That kind of size is a rarity in the Jets receiver room and certainly makes him stand out from the rest of the pack.
One of the interesting discussions as we get closer to cut days is how many wide receivers are the Jets going to keep? Charles certainly seems to have a clear path to the practice squad, but making the final 53 will be a much more difficult proposition.
If he keeps making plays the way he has been so far in training camp, this Jets coaching staff might not have any other choice.
Charles is an exciting player that can make plays down the field and that could be quite an attractive quality to keep in this receiver room. The cards are stacked against him, but that seems to be an area he is quite familiar with.