Jets QB Zach Wilson's trust in Corey Davis is 'priceless' in Robert Saleh's eyes

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Jets WR Corey Davis after scoring touchdown vs. Panthers
Jets WR Corey Davis after scoring touchdown vs. Panthers

It was pretty apparent on Sunday in the loss to the Carolina Panthers that Jets rookie QB Zach Wilson has a favorite target.

And it's something the Jets must love to see considering that person, WR Corey Davis, was their top receiver target in free agency and they landed him.

Davis came to the Jets with something to prove. He was considered the No. 2 during his time with the Tennessee Titans due to A.J. Brown bursting onto the scene as one of the NFL's top targets. But Davis is a No. 5 overall pick, which means No. 1 receiver is in his draft stock.

After coming close to 1,000 yards last season, he's gotten off to a solid start with New York, catching five balls for 97 yards and two touchdowns from Wilson. And those touchdowns came from pure chemistry, first on Davis scrambling back toward Wilson rolling out of the pocket, and the second on a perfectly timed out route to the pylon.

Jets head coach Robert Saleh couldn't say enough about how big Davis's influence is on and off the field, especially for the guy throwing him the rock.

"First off, his preparation, his communication on the sideline and practice and everything," Saleh said. "He’s big because that veteran presence just for the organization in general, right? But to have that with Zach and to be able to communicate and have knowledge of coverage and how to get open and create separation and be that reliable, sure-handed guy that you know he’s gonna be exactly where he’s supposed to be when he needs to be there. And he’s going to do it exactly the way it needs to be done.

"For a quarterback to have that trust is priceless and that’s what Corey gives the quarterback.”

But there's a challenge moving forward for the Jets now that they saw what Davis and Wilson could do in Carolina, especially in the second half when the latter felt more comfortable in the pocket. Defense will be wary of their connection, especially "one of the best chess players in the world," which Saleh called Bill Belichick. The Patriots are on the schedule next and will surely look at tape and see they need to pay attention to Davis.

However, Saleh knows that Davis's presence can help others on the roster, which was always the thought. Special attention to one receiver means someone else is open.

"We feel like we got more than one guy," Saleh said. "When you look at, and I know Elijah [Moore] probably wants some of the plays in the game back and it’s a great first game for a rookie. You got Jamison [Crowder] coming back, [Braxton] Berrios is capable of winning 1-on-1s. You got the pass game out of the running backs. There’s [Tyler] Kroft is every bit deserving in the past game. So there’s going to be opportunities for other guys to get open if they want to double a guy.”

Still, Davis' speed, size and route-running abilities, which were all on full display in Week 1, make it hard even when there is a double team. He can carve up zone or man coverage, and more importantly, Wilson looks for Davis in a time of need when he's outside the pocket. That could happen more with left tackle Mekhi Becton gone for some time, and the rest of the Jets' O-line not putting the best showing up on film against the Panthers.

Overall, it's pretty clear Davis's No. 1 target aspirations, and that the Jets' thought he could become one has gotten off to the right start.