The Jets shored up their offensive depth on Monday by signing wide receiver Calvin Jackson Jr. and lineman Derrick Kelly — two players who stood out during preseason tryouts in past weeks.
The two players participated in rookie minicamp for Gang Green, and were awarded NFL contacts for the coming season, team beat writer Ethan Greenberg reported.
Jackson Jr. is the son of Calvin Jackson Sr., who was a defensive back standout in college at Auburn, and who spent 5 years with the Miami Dolphins after entering the league as an undrafted free agent in 1994. The elder Jackson died in 2021 of an illness at the age of 48.
His son now also joins the AFC East with Gang Green as an undrafted free agent.
For more coverage of Calvin Jackson, Derrick Kelly and the Jets, head to amNY.com.
The 6’ 2” Jackson Jr. now finds himself as one of several options on a team still searching for a number-1 option, behind Elijah Moore, Braxton Berrios and D.J. Montgomery. The Jets have been linked to several free agents and trade targets this offseason — most notably when they lost a bidding war for former Chiefs pass catcher Tyreek Hill to the Dolphins.
The Jets need for passing help comes as they rally around second-year starting quarterback Zach Wilson, who came to MetLife Stadium as the second overall selection in the 2021 NFL Draft.
New York’s front office has won widespread praise for their most recent haul of draft picks last month, but the wide receiving department continues to be barren — which comes as bad news for Wilson, as he looks to make a lead after a forgettable rookie season.
Kelly, meanwhile, will look to aid the team’s porous offensive line, which allowed the 4th most sacks of any NFL team last season.
At 6’ 5” and 320 pounds, Kelly has the NFL frame to be a competitive player in the league, but the Florida State product has failed to find a permanent spot thus far, after going undrafted in 2019.
He had played brief stints with the New Orleans Saints, but was waived in the 2021 offseason, and spent last year on the Giants practice squad.