The Buffalo Bills are about to take on their first repeat divisional foe of the 2022 season when the New York Jets come to town this weekend. Last time the Jets were victorious, as we all know. A primary contributor to that result was rookie wide receiver Garrett Wilson. The Jets ended with 136 passing yards. Wilson was responsible for 92 of them. Could that happen again? Let’s take a look at some film.
Garrett Wilson utilizes field vision and athleticism
There’s plenty to see here, but I’ll focus on two takeaways. The most obvious is the field vision and reaction time to usher cornerback Kaiir Elam aside like a Matador. Just prior to that move we see that the throw is a bit high and behind. Garrett Wilson jumps and contorts to make sure he comes down with the ball.
Wilson bails out Wilson
For this catch, once again Wilson is bailing out his quarterback. Notice the route is taking him into traffic too. Wilson also doesn’t make it easy to tackle him as he just refuses to fall.
Wilson is very acrobatic
Wilson starts off his route with a little trickery that provides a lot of early separation. Yet again he’s jumping and spinning to make the catch. For this play, his momentum is barely impacted by the acrobatics needed to make the catch.
Wilson exploits space
I think most receivers will look good when there’s this much space to start from. That’s not intended to discredit Wilson by any means. He turns and accelerates, puts on a little move, and gets a good chunk of yards as a result.
Wilson is lighting fast
This one is pretty much in the GIF. That’s a great cut inside at that speed, which is something Garrett Wilson has plenty of. Another great catch that looks better than the throw did.
Garrett Wilson is a problem
Last but certainly not least, a 60-yard pass that’s mostly Garrett Wilson. He’s hard to hit and bring down. Wilson is also able to hit high gear almost immediately. The open-field move is impressive, and if it hadn’t resulted in a toe grazing the line to be out of bounds, this is a touchdown.
This first chart comes from the Week 9 game against the Bills. The first thing that stood out to me is the route tree. This is a pretty diverse set for a single game. Similarly, he’s making catches lined up all over the place. Overall, that’s pretty impressive.
Now compare to the most recent game against the Minnesota Vikings. The route tree is still pretty diverse, but Wilson is being used heavily from one area of the field. Looking at these two charts (and the rest if you’d like), it suggests that the Jets aren’t locking Wilson into a niche. The game plan each week is dictating some aspects, but overall there seems to be a lot of comfort moving Wilson around if need be.
I’ll keep this short and sweet. Garrett Wilson already looks like a pretty complete player. He’s fast, tough, and has a complex route tree. He’s tough to bring down and can routinely bail out his quarterback. The only thing I don’t like about Garrett Wilson’s game is that it’s not being played in a Bills uniform.