Last season, the kick-returners for the Jets at some point were Percy Harvin, Saalim Hakim, Walter Powell, TJ Graham, and Chris Owusu. The punt-returners were Jalen Saunders, Walter Powell, and Jeremy Kerley. Powell and Saunders both had muffing issues, and "fair-catch" Kerley took over as the season went along. Percy Harvin is an elite returner, but he is gone. Hakim, Powell, and Graham have not shown much. Owusu flashed a little potential with an 87 yard return against the Dolphins in week 17, but he only returned one other kick besides that. The unit needs somebody who is truly a threat to the other team.
There are plenty of options to help in the return game in this draft class. I think the Jets will find someone who can contribute as a rookie if they draft a guy in the second, third, or fourth rounds. The Jets don't have a pick in the fifth or sixth rounds. Looking at some names, I think the Jets should seriously consider Tyler Lockett, Jamison Crowder, Phillip Dorsett, Nelson Agholor, Ameer Abdullah early in the draft. While, looking at guys like Marcus Murphy and Kaelin Clay later in the draft. Lockett is probably the highest rated returner in the draft. He averaged 28.5 yards on returns at Kansas State, while returning two punts for touchdowns in 2014. The Jets need to look at him in round three. Dorsett, Agholor, and Abdullah are all probably round two prospects. Phillip Dorsett does not have a lot of experience at return man, but he has amazing speed and has great potential. The sleepers that I mentioned in Murphy and Clay, could be good options in the seventh. Marcus Murphy from Missouri had three return touchdowns last season and led the SEC in kick-off return yard average. Kaelin Clay is probably most remembered as dropping the ball before he went into the end-zone. He led the nation in punt return touchdowns.
The Jets could fill two needs at once with some of these guys. The team needs some more depth at receiver, but also needs a legit return man. A home-run threat on special teams can win you games in the NFL.