Heading into the 2017 fantasy football season, few teams resemble a bleak, barren wasteland of fantasy production more than the Jets. Probably none if we are honest. One of the few bright spots on the horizon though was wide receiver Quincy Enunwa. Then, he injured his neck in training camp and was ruled out for the season making the bleakest of barren wastelands even bleaker and more wastelandy.
Now what? With the off season departures of both Brandon Marshall and Eric Decker, and now the injury to Enunwa, the Jets lost 3 of their top 4 wide receivers from last season. Now 255 targets are up for grabs. They have to go to somebody, right? Especially since the Jets will probably be trailing by 31 points during 15 of their games this season (they do get to play the Browns once). Last year’s breakout- undrafted rookie Robby Anderson- is now the lead dog in the Big Apple. Assuming he can stay off the police blotter. After Anderson, only 2nd-year man Charone Peake has any real NFL experience. Last season Peake played in 15 games and had 19 receptions for 186 yards and returned a fumble 40-yards for a touchdown. Josh McCown and Peake seem to have built a rapport already.
— NFL (@NFL) August 12, 2017
Who is this Charone PeakeI speak of? Coming out of high school in 2011, Peake ranked as the 14th best prep prospect according to ESPN and as a top 85 ranked player by all of the other significant prep ranking services. Injuries derailed his career at Clemson. His college stats aren’t the gaudiest as you can see below, courtesy of ESPN, but those numbers don’t tell the whole story.
I agree the stats are a bit underwhelming. Or a lot. But if you dig a little deeper, it might not be as bad as it seems. In case you hadn’t noticed, Clemson has performed damn well at football recently. A lot of that is due to excellent recruiting and some great players. Maybe other college players put up better numbers, but were other college players sharing targets with Sammy Watkins, DeAndre Hopkins, Dwayne Allen, Martavis Bryant, Jaron Brown, Adam Humphries, Andre Ellington, Mike Williams, Jordan Leggett, Artavis Scott and Wayne Gallman? That’s 11 NFL players. Peake had to compete with 11 NFL players for targets and touches over the course of his collegiate career. There is only one football to go around, and when finally healthy as a senior, he caught 50 passes for 716 yards with 5 touchdowns.
Heading into the 2016 NFL draft, Peake was projected as a 3rd round pick and graded out at 5.84 by NFL.com. Mockdraftable.com compared Peake to NFL players such as Michael Floyd, Marques Colston, Justin Blackmon and this year’s #5 overall pick Corey Davis. Heading into last year’s draft NFL.com’s draft analyst Lance Zierlein had this to say about Peake as a prospect: “[Peake is a ] rare combination of size and speed that can often be found in number one wide receivers. Peake was highly regarded coming out of high school but failed to post eye-popping production thanks, in part, to two knee injuries. While his small hands are a concern, his athleticism and ability to operate on all levels of the field warrant consideration inside the first three rounds if his medicals check out.”
The upside is there. The pedigree is there. He possesses the size and speed needed. Most importantly, for the first time in his football life since high school, the opportunity is finally there too. Now if he only had a quarterback. Or a supporting cast. Or a competent front office.
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