Jamison Crowder Is Jarvis Landry But Available 4 Rounds Later

 


(Photo by Izaac Crayton on Unsplash)

Charles Herrmann (@HermsNFL)
The Lateral Chief Editor

Per the Mock Draft Series, it is fair to say that this author is quite familiar with the draft trends on ESPN at this point. A constant theme is top WRs on non-sexy teams falling late in drafts. New York Jets WR Jamison Crowder is a prime example. But when you really think about it, the question is why? There are a myriad of reasons and explanations for the other players who fit the same criteria, but why Crowder specifically?

Sure, not many people are going to be chomping at the bit to invest heavily in the Sam Darnold-led offense. It is a team best considered mediocre at best, and an Adam Gase offense is about as fun to watch as children's musical theatre, but if there are two things we know for sure about the Gase system, it is this:


  • Frustratingly inefficient RB usage
  • The passing game running through the slot WR


Look at the Jets target share distribution from 2019. Crowder running out of the slot led the Jets with a 23.33% share. That tracks with trends going back to Gase's days as the Miami Dolphins head coach. In 2016, 2017, and 2018 the target share leader on the Dolphins came from the same area, but for these purposes, take a look at 2016 and 2017. Crowder's 2019 role in the Jets offense most closely resembles WR Jarvis Landry's role in the Dolphins offense under Gase. Granted, Landry had ≈5% more of the share in that pair of seasons than Crowder did last year, but look at the opportunity available for Crowder to potentially expand his role, or at the very least maintain the hefty usage.

Taking a peek at this handy-dandy list of available vacated targets headed into 2020, the Jets appear 4th on the list. The players most notably absent from the 2020 Jets are WR Robby Anderson, now a Carolina Panther, and Demaryius Thomas, who is on his couch somewhere now. The team decided to replace the pair with WR Breshad Perriman and rookie Denzel Mims, both of whom inspire a certain level of sleeper upside but nothing more. It is a safe assumption that Crowder will once again lead the Jets in targets and target share. That said, let's go back to Landry for a minute.

Landry's performances were good enough to be the WR13 in 2016 and WR5 in 2017 in a PPR format. The big thing to point at here is the fact that Landry was considerably more efficient with his targets than Crowder was in 2019, and with Sam Darnold as his QB, I do not expect Crowder to reach that same Dolphins Landry level in 2020 by any means. Do not take this the wrong way. But what I am saying is that Crowder was able to come in as the PPR WR26 in 2019 with only 13 games of Darnold as his QB. That production was right on par with 2020 fantasy darling Calvin Ridley. Pretty cool, right? Now imagine Darnold is slightly better in year 3 (a perfectly reasonable expectation) and Crowder gets a bit of a bump with the WR corps around him being unfamiliar to Darnold and tough to count on (another perfectly reasonable expectation). Why couldn't Crowder be a top 24 or maybe even a top 20 PPR WR in 2020? He could be around as good as Landry in 2020.

The 2019 Cleveland Browns target share distribution and route profile shows Landry in a role like Crowder's, and that was good enough to be the (albeit unreliable) WR12 in 2019 in PPR. The difference between the two receivers in 2020 is that unlike Crowder, the Browns have the 5th fewest number of vacated targets and the team brought in high-priced free agent TE Austin Hooper, a player who is looking to take away rather inherit opportunity from incumbent Browns pass catchers given the lack of available targets leftover from 2019. That coupled with the fact that the Browns' changing of the guard at head coach with Kevin Stefanski now at the helm takes away continuity, something so vital in such an unusual off-season for... uhhh... obvious reasons.

Basically, what this all boils down to is Jamison Crowder possesses a greater opportunity to improve beyond WR26 and Jarvis Landry is likely to regress in 2020 away from WR12. To be honest, they are generally similar now if you ask me and both are fine fantasy WR3 targets. If you look at the live draft trends on ESPN at the WR position, Crowder's overall ADP is pick 115.6 to Landry's pick 67.7. That puts Crowder at around a 10th-ish round value and Landry at around a 6th-ish round value. So ask yourself, which WR is the smarter pick? The answer is Jamison Crowder.

Jamison Crowder is Jarvis Landry but available 4 rounds later. 



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