Elijah Moore is driven to be great. The Jets’ talented second-year receiver is striving for that.
“He looked at me straight in the eye right after the year last year and said, ‘I want to be the best,’ and he means it,” Jets offensive coordinator Mike LaFleur said. “He puts in that work.”
Moore is versatile and explosive with the ball in his hands. He’s one of the reasons the Jets and their fans are excited about the future. He showed glimpses of what he can do in his rookie season that was cut short by injury.
Drafted in the second round out of Ole Miss, Moore finished with 43 catches for 538 yards and five touchdowns in 11 games as a rookie. All five touchdowns came in his final five games.
Moore believes he’s only going to get better from here.
“I feel like I got so much to do, so much to accomplish,” Moore said. “I feel like just understanding the offense in and out. When you understand the offense, you’re going to ball. Get on the same page as Zach [Wilson], score a lot of touchdowns.”
The two players who came in together have been strengthening their bond that began last season.
Moore said he and Wilson, who spent time training together away from the Jets' facility this offseason, have talked a lot on the phone and in person about what they want to accomplish and how they plan to get there. Wilson said Moore is a unique player with remarkable drive.
“He has an ability not a lot of people have,” Wilson said. “His ability to stop, his work ethic, he has freakishly good hands. The ability to catch from any radius and his ability to transition up the field.
“I think his best quality is how bad he just wants it. He’s going to be a good one for us to have and he’s going to keep learning the offense just like I am. We’re going to keep adapting together. But I’m really excited about him.”
Moore was slowed during last preseason with a quad injury. He suffered another quad injury in-season that landed him on IR and kept him out of the final five games.
He said not being on the field was tough to overcome, but he relied on his faith and got through it by praying.
“I was down at first,” Moore said. “It really was getting to me, to be honest. But obstacles come. I’m a person who strives off not off of what I did, it’s about what I’m going to do. I know what I can do. So just put your head down and grind.”
That’s what Moore has done.
Coach Robert Saleh said Moore is “by far one of our hardest workers.” Saleh said Moore is in tune with his body and all the offensive schemes. The Jets ended their offseason program this week and won’t return until training camp in late July. LaFleur said he is not worried about Moore during that break.
“Elijah’s going to come in tip-top shape,” LaFleur said. “It’s really just him fine-tuning his game, being so on it from a playbook standpoint that all he has to do is worry about being the best route runner, being the best blocker and just putting himself in a situation. I’m excited to see what he can do.”
Moore has shown he can line up anywhere — in the slot or on the outside and he’s a weapon in the run game on jet sweeps and reverses. Moore had five carries for 54 yards and a touchdown last year.
The Jets will continue to utilize Moore’s versatility in an improved receiver group that also features Corey Davis, rookie Garrett Wilson and Braxton Berrios.
“I feel like we’re all Receiver 1s,” Moore said. “Having all three of us, all four of us, whatever, whatever the lineup is going to be. The way we’re going, the way we’re flowing, I just feel like it’s going to be unstoppable.”