New York Jets Superstar Continues Ascension, Dominates Minicamp Practices

Wearing his old No. 5 jersey, New York Jets' wide receiver Garrett Wilson looks ready to really take off after back-to-back 1,000-yard seasons.
New York Jets wide receiver Garrett Wilson (17) gestures to the fans during warmups
New York Jets wide receiver Garrett Wilson (17) gestures to the fans during warmups / Danielle Parhizkaran/NorthJersey.com /
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It's only June, but New York Jets' wide receiver Garrett Wilson appears to be in mid-season form.

Coming off back-to-back 1,000-yard campaigns, the third-year pro impressed throughout offseason practices that were open to the media.

Granted, it's not exactly "real football" as a lot of times the defender is air and no live contact is permitted during 7-on-7 or 11-on-11 team drills.

Still, Wilson's smoothness and ball skills were easily noticeable this spring.

"Just get the ball to G5 and he's gonna make something shake," said starting cornerback DJ Reed after minicamp practice. "As far a route running, top-tier route runner. He has top-tier hands, jumping ability. He's really an overall great receiver."

If there were an MVP award for two days of June minicamp (as silly as that may sound), the soon-to-be 24-year-old Wilson would be this year's recipient. Even with future Hall of Fame quarterback Aaron Rodgers absent from practice, Wilson appeared at peak performance catching passes from backup Tyrod Taylor.

"I've been very impressed with him and I told him that the first week that I got here. I was always a fan of him from afar," said Taylor, who is entering his 14th NFL season. "I feel like I caught a lot of their games last year, so I got a chance to see him. then actually being around him, seeing the way he works, the way he's intentional about his approach."

The Jets' social media team shared a video clip highlight showing Wilson pulling in a deep pass from Taylor with Reed as the downfield defender.

It was one of multiple noteworthy plays made by Wilson during the two-day minicamp, which was open to invited media.

The soon-to-be 35-year-old Taylor, who won a Super Bowl as a rookie backup with the Baltimore Ravens prior to his stint as the Buffalo Bills' starter, attributes Wilson's success to the young receiver's demeanor.

"He has a veteran mindset. When I say that, just how he works, you don't really see a lot of younger guys that way. Super talented and he wants to get it right," said Taylor. "Obviously, a key part of our offense, but I think his attitude and his approach, day-to-day, also lifts up that room and brings high expectations across the board."

Over his first 34 career games, Wilson has totaled 2,145 yards on 178 receptions - the most ever by a Jets' receiver through one's first two seasons. The 2022 first-round draft pick has totaled 103 first downs and seven touchdowns despite instability at the quarterback position.

After wearing jersey No. 17 in 2022 and 2023, Wilson changed to his old college No. 5 for Year 3.

"Garrett's the real deal. G5 is real," said Reed. "I felt like he's gotten better. He's just a great football player."


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Ralph Ventre

RALPH VENTRE

Ralph, a former college football conference administrator, brings 20 years of media experience to the New York Jets beat. Prior to concentrating on Gang Green, he covered the NCAA Football Championship Subdivision for NFL Draft Bible on FanNation. Ventre remains as an official voter for the Stats Perform FCS Top 25 and the annual legacy awards. The Fordham University graduate is a member of the Pro Football Writers of America. The veteran sports media professional resides in his native state of New Jersey.