One of the featured writers they added to their roster was draft scouting guru and former TJB Podcast guest Matt Miller, who - along with several other film junkies - is spearheading the B/R NFL 1000 project, where they attempt to rank the NFL's top 1,000 players. The project is now into its third year and they've just started releasing this year's results. For more on how the project works go here.
For the receivers, they rank Stephen Hill in 98th place, David Nelson in 67th place and Jeremy Kerley in 61st place. Also of interest, Santonio Holmes is 79th, Eric Decker is 19th and DeSean Jackson is 20th. In terms of safeties, Dawan Landry is 39th and Antonio Allen 44th. Ed Reed is 56th. Remember, this is based on 2013 as a whole and is not supposed to take into account prior achievements or potential for growth.
Here's what they said about Reed:
It’s somewhat sad to watch a Hall of Fame player fall so far. Reed can’t cover enough ground to be a free safety anymore. That was repeatedly exposed in 2013, both in Houston and in New York ... Reed decided to come back after the Baltimore Ravens’ Super Bowl victory in 2012, but he doesn’t seem capable of competing at this level anymore.Read Bent's thoughts after the jump.
I'm a big Ed Reed fan so it's disappointing to see him criticized like this. Needless to say, I don't agree with their assessment. When the Jets signed Reed, I broke down his performances in detail for this site (here) and while Reed did make some mistakes, I disagreed with the prevailing notion that he was washed-up and completely finished. Sure enough, he performed well for the Jets after some initial struggles, grading out positively as a Jet per PFF, intercepting three passes and making significant unheralded contributions to rookie Dee Milliner's late season improvements.
As Miller and his colleagues suggest, Landry and Allen are two middle-of-the-pack safeties with Allen hopefully primed to continue delivering on the promise he showed in 2013. I still think bringing back Reed would give the Jets a solid three man rotation without needing to invest big salaries or high draft picks. Hopefully that group would benefit from playing another season together and Allen can establish himself as a core starter for the next few years.
In terms of the receiver group, the rankings give an interesting perspective on the depth of the Jets receiving corps now that they've adding Decker to the mix. While you can nitpick some of their analysis (I'm not sure why they're so negative about Kerley's route running and speed), it's probably fair to suggest that the Jets' top four receivers last year would all have been the second or third option on most NFL teams and the rankings reflect this.
Some people have suggested that Miller is biased against the Jets, so it's good to get his take on Decker, who would obviously have been evaluated as a Bronco. Interestingly, Decker gets a perfect score for his route running. It doesn't sound like "nobody was open" is an excuse whoever quarterbacks the Jets next season will get to use.
We'll continue to keep an eye on this project over the offseason.