The New York Giants need to rebuild their wide receiving corps in 2023. Not only do they need a true number one receiver, the Giants need to fill out the rest of their depth chart.
Last year we saw the Giants primarily use RPO and quick game passing concepts which emphasized short passes, schemed separation, and run-after-catch opportunities. While we hope they’ll expand the passing game in 2023, those concepts will likely remain in some capacity.
If so, Maryland receiver Rakim Jarrett could catch the Giants’ eye as a depth piece and potential offensive weapon in run-after-catch opportunities.
Red Flags: Knee injury (2022)
Weight: 200 pounds
Games Played: 28
Yards (YPC): 1,552 (13.0 per catch)
Games Played: 11
Yards (YPC): 471 (11.8 per catch)
Best: Quickness, agility, speed, run after catch, blocking
Worst: Size, play strength, consistency
Projection: A receiver with positional versatility starting upside in a run-after-catch focused offense.
(Jarrett is Maryland WR number 1)
Rakim Jarrett is a quick, athletic, and versatile receiving prospect from the University of Maryland.
Jarrett most commonly aligned in the slot in Maryland’s spread formation, but he was also used as a wide receiver, as well as on the line of scrimmage and removed from the LOS in bunch formations. Jarrett was also frequently put in jet motion prior to the snap, both as a receiving option and to add an element of misdirection to the play.
He is a very sudden athlete who accelerates off the line of scrimmage with very little wasted motion. Jarrett has the tools to be a plus route runner at the NFL level with a great burst off the ball, as well as out of his breaks. He has great quickness and agility, allowing him to make quick cuts and carry speed through his breaks. Jarrett was frequently asked to run sharply breaking routes such as curl and dig routes and was able to generate separation through his quickness and route running.
While Jarrett was primarily used in the short to intermediate area, he was used as a vertical threat on occasion as well. In particular, he showed good downfield speed on slot fades. Jarrett also showed the ability to locate, track, and make adjustments to the ball in the air. He is a “hands” catcher who does a good job of positioning himself to shield the ball from the defender, as well as extend to maximize his catch radius.
He also proved dangerous with the ball in his hands. Jarrett’s athleticism allows him to turn a glimmer of space into a big gain, and was frequently used on wide receiver screens.
Maryland also made surprisingly heavy use of Jarrett as a blocker, both on the play side in their running game and on screen plays for other receivers. He is a willing and competitive blocker who fights to sustain his blocks without drawing penalties.
While Jarrett is competitive as a ball carrier and as a blocker, there were incidents where he visibly throttled down when the play was away from him. There were also times in the tape viewed when he may have suffered from concentration drops. Fortunately, he seems to have a short memory in those instances, he will need to focus on securing the ball before turning upfield.
Jarrett has something of a slender build which could limit how some teams are willing to use him at the NFL level. He is competitive as a blocker, but lacks the mass to be a dominant one. Likewise, he’s a tough receiver but is easily brought down when defenders can get a clean hit on him – nor is he able to bully many corners at the catch point.
Overall Grade: 6.7
Rakim Jarrett projects as a rotational receiver with positional versatility and starting upside in an offense that focuses on creating run-after-catch situations.
Jarrett has the potential to be a dangerous route runner with plenty of athleticism to win with his route running and gain separation out of his breaks. He still needs to develop as a technician and become more savvy before the catch, but the tools are there.
Jarrett’s evaluation is complicated by the fact that while he was Maryland’s second-leading receiver (by four receptions and 80 yards), he wasn’t a primary focus of the offense. Jarrett was most often used as a blocker for his teammates, which is curious given how dangerous he can be with the ball in his hands. That means that most of Jarrett’s evaluation happens without the ball in his hands.
That could lead to NFL teams not being quite sure what to make of him at the next level.
Jarrett likely has upside as a kick or punt returner, though he wasn’t asked to do either in college. Teams will likely want to at least see if he can use his athleticism in the return game while they work him into the offense.
Jarrett will likely begin his career as a depth player, but he could be a weapon for an offense that uses him in a similar manner to Tyler Lockett, Brandon Aiyuk, or Deebo Samuel.