The Jets continued to build around Zach Wilson and drafted Ole Miss wide receiver Elijah Moore with the No. 34 pick on Friday.
Moore made it clear he is ecstatic to link up with Wilson. When asked about his future quarterback, he immediately smiled.
“Aw man. Great arm, I’m just ready to catch a lot of touchdowns,” Moore said.
There was some buzz that Moore could go in the first round, but he ended up falling to the Jets in the second. GM Joe Douglas couldn’t believe that he wasn’t selected earlier. So Gang Green will be getting a first round talent.
“We really didn’t think that Elijah had any chance to make it to us,” Douglas said. “To get a player of his caliber, sitting there, at pick 34, I really feel like we’re sitting here with a unique opportunity to add three players that are really top 25 players on our board and all three first round caliber players that can be impact players for us.”
Even though Moore is in a good situation, he said the wait was difficult.
“Definitely super tough but I leave everything up to God,” Moore said. “I woke up in the morning, it’s a new day, it’s a new blessing, and God makes no mistakes. So, he put me in a spot to showcase my talent and showcase who I am as a person. So I’m just ready for what’s next.”
Moore is a dynamic playmaking receiver. In 2020, he had 86 catches for 1,193 yards and eight touchdowns. The 5-9, 178-pound dynamic wideout has the ability to create explosive plays down the field. He’s also a speedster and ran a blazing 4.32 40-yard dash at his Pro Day.
Moore’s strongest trait is that he’s an excellent route runner, who’s quick in and out of his breaks, which allows him to create separation. He credits his dedication for that skill.
“I just understand craft. Being a receiver is just more than just catching the ball and just running,” Moore said. “I feel like you got to understand what you’re doing and the art of getting open. I just take more pride into it. It’s a lot more that goes on out there than just what everybody sees on a TV. If they really understood they would think it’s something beautiful.”
Head coach Robert Saleh believes Moore’s abilities should fit well into offensive coordinator Mike LeFleur’s offense, which is expected to resemble Niners’ Kyle Shanahan’s. He could be used similar to how Deebo Samuel is in the 49ers offense because of his ability after catches.
“He’s dynamic, when he gets the ball in his hands, he becomes something different,” Saleh said. “His ability to separate in routes, his ability to run the jet sweeps, get the ball in hands and come out of the backfield. He’s extremely versatile. Got ecstatic that he was able to get back to us at 34. So, it was a really cool start to the night but. There’s not a lot of things he can’t do.”
Moore also sees himself as a great fit.
“I feel like I’m a person that adapts to anything,” Moore said. “So, whatever it is I’m gonna be able to adjust and get the job done. I turn into a running back. I played running back my entire life so really after the catch is what I do.”
The Jets got Wilson a stud left guard in Alijah Vera-Tucker and now are providing him with a weapon in Moore.
The receiving core will now feature Corey Davis, Denzel Mims, Jamison Crowder and Moore. That receiver room excites him.
“Man I’m ready, I’m definitely open minded, ready to learn from them, pick their brains,” Moore said. “Build off each other that’s really what is about, team and work together.”
The Jets deserve credit, even though they haven’t addressed their defense through this draft yet, they’ve provided Wilson with weapons and an improved offensive line — important keys to developing a rookie quarterback.
Wilson has to be cheesing with the draft selections the Jets have made.