Jets Work out 2-Way College Star With Elite Speed: Report

Rico Gafford Raiders

Getty NFL wideout Rico Gafford making a big time play in the preseason during his time with the Las Vegas Raiders.

The New York Jets never seem satisfied with where they’re at in this new regime and that mentality is refreshing.

Despite locking down their final 53-man roster ahead of the 2021 season, general manager Joe Douglas always seems to be tinkering with things behind the scenes.

That seems evident with the volume of workouts they’re conducting as they update their emergency lists and explore the market.

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Excellent Find in Free Agency

The Jets receiving core is the deepest and healthiest it has been in at least six years. So why would the team waste any time exploring options on the open market? You can never be satisfied or get complacent with what you have.

This week the Jets worked out free agent wide receiver Rico Gafford, per NFL Insider Aaron Wilson.

Although Gafford hasn’t been a receiver for long, he converted to the position back in 2018 during his time with the then Oakland, now Las Vegas Raiders.

Where he really cut his teeth was as a cornerback at Wyoming.

During his two seasons Gafford absolutely produced some video game numbers:

  • Six interceptions (with over 109 return yards on those picks)
  • Over 76 combined tackles
  • 11 pass deflections
  • Three forced fumbles

Although if you add the numbers from his first two seasons at Iowa Western Community College, his total is even more impressive: five more interceptions, three fumble recoveries, and another 77 tackles tallied.

Over the last several years he has bounced around the league spending time with the Tennessee Titans, Raiders, Arizona Cardinals, and most recently with the Buffalo Bills.

Unadulterated Speed: You Can’t Teach That

Another reason that Douglas is doing his homework on receivers is that he understands that you need to have several guys with varied skillsets.

Denzel Mims is a bigger receiver, Elijah Moore is shiftier/smaller, and Corey Davis is super physical. The more different options you have in the lineup the harder you’ll be to defend on Sundays.

Something else that Gafford brings to the table is a need for speed.

Coming out of college the speedster ran a 4.24 40-yard dash at the Wyoming Pro Day. That kind of speed can take the top off of a defense.

When you evaluate the Jets’ current crop of receivers, they have a lot of obvious talent but they don’t have many home run threats that as soon as they touch the ball they have a chance to take it to the house.

Gafford is a worthwhile kick of the tires for the Jets because of that ability to make things happen when he’s on offense, but also for his contributions on special teams.

Gang Green hasn’t had a dangerous return man since the Leon Washington and Brad Smith days, they need someone that can help make a difference in that department. Gafford would bring some juice to that spot and that’s just another reason to add this versatile player to the squad.

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