It’s been but a New York minute that Aaron Rodgers has been with the Jets, but he’s already enamored with his new No. 1 wide receiver.
Having taken to the practice field this week for the first time with the Jets, Rodgers has hooked up with Garrett Wilson and came away reminded of his former top target, Davante Adams.
“Obviously Garrett, you know, he’s a talented guy,” Rodgers said Tuesday on The Pat McAfee Show. “I threw him a pass today and just kind of turned and was like, ‘Wow.’ His ability to kind of get in and out of his breaks … there’s another [No.] 17 I played with for a long time who does it better than anybody. The explosiveness in and out of breaks, the 17 here, is pretty similar.”
Wilson got out to a sensational start to his career in 2022, recording 83 receptions for 1,103 yards to go with four touchdown catches and The Associated Press NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year.
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Donning No. 17 in Gang Green, Wilson receiving comparisons to Adams, who wore No. 17 in Green Bay and now wears it with the Las Vegas Raiders, certainly whets the appetite for what is to come when Rodgers and the Ohio State product hit the field in 2023.
Adams was a five-time Pro Bowler and three-time All-Pro during an eight-year run catching balls from Rodgers.
Anticipation for what the Jets can do in the upcoming season is at a high, but Wilson’s career trajectory is likewise something to be plenty excited about — and that was even before Rodgers’ arrival.
since #JetsTwitter asked so nicely…@AaronRodgers12 ➡ @GarrettWilson_V pic.twitter.com/2UocepKe2o
Presuming the Rodgers-Wilson connection will produce a touchdown or two in 2023, it will serve as history for the future Hall of Fame quarterback.
One of five players to have hit 500 career touchdown strikes, Rodgers has connected with just one former first-rounder — tight end Marcedes Lewis — for a TD in his career, per NFL Research. In comparison, the other four QBs in that esteemed group have thrown TDs to at least nine different first-round picks: Peyton Manning (nine), Drew Brees (12), Brett Favre (14), and Tom Brady (20). So, if/when Rodgers and Wilson hook up for six, Wilson will become just the second first-rounder to haul in an A-Rod TD and the first opening-round WR to do so.
For now, though, May is barely underway and Rodgers is still getting used to his new surroundings.
“It’s the offseason, so we’re easing into it for sure,” he said. “I obviously have a deep familiarity with coach [Nathanial Hackett’s] offense and everything he wants to do. There’s a few new terms he’s changed, actually for the better, honestly. Just some simplifications of some formations and changed some verbiage around that makes more sense to him. So, it’s learning little things like that, but cadence — it’s gonna be my cadence that I’ve used my entire career. I was doing it today in some of the QB-center exchanges, testing those guys with different inflections, long counts and short counts and all that stuff. It’s fun to be here and be a part of it.”
New York signed offensive tackle Billy Turner this week, marking yet another former teammate of Rodgers’ to head to Gotham after wide receivers Allen Lazard and Malik Taylor, and backup QB Tim Boyle.
However, seeing Rodgers develop a quick chemistry and appreciation for the talent that was already in the Jets locker room only increases the buzz and anticipation for the 2023 New York Jets — whether it’s the springtime or not.
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