Gas in the Tank
Often times when a player like this is signed after a long career in other places, they tend to slow down. Jackson is hitting that milestone in a football player’s life, age 30, that tends to mark that trend. It may be a bit later for wide receivers than other positions, but 30 is a fair approximation of when the skills begin to decline.
Jackson does not follow that rule. Last year, he broke back into the 1,000 yard club with 1,005 yards receiving on 56 catches. He also led the league in average yards per catch for the third time in his career (17.9 yards per catch). That continues his career trend where whenever he plays at least 15 games, he has posted a minimum of 912 receiving yards. When DeSean Jackson is healthy, he makes plays. These are facts that are not in dispute.
Of course, there is always concern about speed. Again, that doesn’t apply for Jackson. As Conor Orr noted on NFL.com, Jackson’s top-end speed was faster in 2016 than it was in 2015 per “Next-Gen” stats. So it’s not as if this player has shown any signs to this point of being on the wrong side of his career. Jackson is a player with still a lot of ability and ready to contribute immediately.