Kerley among NFL's top young prospects

July, 17, 2012
7/17/12
2:26
PM ET
Who's the next ... ?

NFL scouts are always asking themselves that question. Here, Aaron Schatz of Football Outsiders provides his list of the top sleepers in the league -- the top 25 unheralded prospects (ESPN Insider content).

The Jets landed one player on the list -- WR/PR Jeremy Kerley, 13th. Here's what he writes about Kerley:

Ignore the way the Jets messed around with Kerley in the Wildcat last year. He's really a Wes Welker type: a small, quick, slot receiver who's elusive enough to ring up yards after the catch. Right now he's ticketed to be the third receiver when the Jets go three-wide, but considering how raw rookie Stephen Hill is, it wouldn't be a surprise to see Kerley as a starter who then moves inside to the slot when the Jets go three-wide. He's also likely to run all kinds of fun reverses and end-arounds when the Jets go to their Tebow package of wackiness. Incidentally, Kerley had 17 of his 29 catches and 226 of his 314 yards against AFC East opponents. This is good because the Jets have to play those teams each twice; it's bad because they weren't particularly hard defenses to put up yards against.

Schatz uses the following criteria for his rankings:

• Drafted in the third round or later, or signed as an undrafted free agent
• Entered the NFL between 2009 and 2011
• Fewer than five career games started
• Still on their initial contract
• Age 26 or younger in 2012

Rich Cimini

ESPN New York Jets reporter

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