This month, we're going to conduct an in-depth breakdown each of the Jets' undrafted free agent signings. We started last week with fullback Dimitri Flowers but today we're moving on to look at wide receiver Jonah Trinnaman.
The 22-year-old Trinnaman is listed at 6-foot-0 and 190 pounds, and was undrafted out of BYU. He initially signed for the Arizona Cardinals but was released after rookie camp. Trinnaman, a junior college transfer, caught 52 passes in two seasons with the Cougars, including one for a touchdown.
Trinnaman was a highly-rated receiver prospect out of high school and initially committed to go to Utah State. However, he ended up having to attend a junior college.
In 2015, he caught 47 passes for 803 yards and eight scores and a was an all-American as a kick returner with a 33 yards per return average.
Having earned a transfer to Utah, he had a promising junior year with 28 catches for 321 yards and a touchdown. He was expected to have a big 2017 season as the number one receiver but his production was disappointingly down as he had fewer receptions and yards with no touchdowns.
After the draft, Trinnaman was invited to the NFLPA Collegiate Bowl but did not play and was not granted a combine invitation. He turned heads with an impressive pro day though.
The Cardinals signed Trinnaman as an undrafted free agent, but released him two weeks later following rookie camp. After a tryout with the Packers and interest from the Bears, the Jets signed him last month.
Let's move onto some further analysis of what Trinnaman brings to the table, based on in-depth research and film study.
Trinnaman's fantastic workout numbers were sure to draw interest around the league, in spite of his modest collegiate production. His strength and agility numbers aren't great but his speed and explosiveness are elite:
In a private workout with the Bears, Trinnaman apparently ran even faster than he did at his pro day as he was clocked at 4.25.
Here's an example of Trinnaman's athleticism:
Trinnaman played almost exclusively on the outside at BYU. He had a few more snaps in the slot in 2016 than in 2017 and had some good success, including his only career touchdown.
He has experience of playing in the slot and as a motion receiver during his junior college days.
In high school, he also played some defensive back and it was reported that the Packers were working him out with a view to giving him a role in their secondary.
Trinnaman's ability to get deep is perhaps his best attribute and he's made some big plays at BYU. In addition, his film includes a lot of plays where he got separation deep but the quarterback failed to get him the ball. With better quarterback play, his numbers could easily have been much better.
His only touchdown at BYU was this 75-yarder, where he just blew past his man to get deep:
Interestingly, when he was still playing at the junior college level, the coaches praised how much he had improved in terms of tracking deep passes. However, BYU fans were complaining that this is something he struggled with.
The impression you get from watching Trinnaman run routes is that they lack precision and he perhaps needs to sharpen up his technique.
He can be effective on slants and stop routes, but didn't generate much separation out of his breaks.
Here's a play where he is open on a whip route, although the delivery is a little late, which might be part of the issue as to why he rarely gets much separation unless he's going over the top:
When running deep, Trinnaman usually just relies on his straight line speed rather than using any deception or double moves.
Trinnaman seems to catch the ball naturally and can go up to get it or hang on in traffic. However, his catch rate was a disappointing 51 percent in 2017. It was 61 percent in 2016, which is more reasonable, especially for a player that goes deep a lot. However, he does also pad his numbers with a lot of receiver screens.
He hasn't had major issues with drops, another area where he was said to have improved a lot while at junior college. However, there were some catchable passes he failed to come up with, like this one:
He can come up with tough catches too though, as he does on this badly underthrown deep throw, which also serves to reinforce the point made earlier about quarterback play hurting his production:
Yards after the catch
With his speed, you'd expect Trinnaman to be effective after the catch but he really hasn't produced much in that area. He rarely breaks a tackle and isn't as elusive as you'd expect from someone with that kind of quickness as he seems to run with a high center of gravity.
However, he shows some potential in that area here. Perhaps his lack of production in this area is a function of the fact he's not making many catches in stride while in space:
Trinnaman produced nothing in the red zone while at BYU, but some of the catches he made going up to get the ball suggest that he could be effective there. He did have eight touchdowns in 2015 while at junior college.
Trinnaman isn't especially big or strong but, from what his film shows, gives a decent effort as a blocker. Since he plays mostly outside, he doesn't get too many opportunities to contribute.
He does a nice job of turning his man to the inside on this play:
However, on this play, he is driven off his spot and allows his man to get off the block to get in on the tackle.
Physicality is another area where Trinnaman suffered from the increase in standard moving up from junior college to the NCAA. There were times where he was bumped off his route, outphysicalled at the point of the catch and, as noted, he didn't break many tackles.
Trinnaman put up some great numbers while at junior college but was less effective when used on kick returns in 2017.
He averaged less than 20 yards per return and only had one return of longer than 30 yards. That was this one, where he was brought down by a shoelace tackle from the kicker, otherwise he might have taken it the distance:
Trinnaman was also apparently a core special teamer with experience at the gunner position. However, he had just one tackle in two years, which came after an interception.
Trinnaman's instincts have come under question due to his inability to produce more and his lack of success breaking yardage after the catch.
He shows good recognition to come back to the ball on this play though:
Trinnaman was regarded as a leader at junior college and worked hard at improving his game, but still had disappointing production once he moved up to the NCAA level. He doesn't appear to have any red flags.
Trinnaman has likely been targeted mostly for his fantastic athleticism rather than in terms of any specific role they might have earmarked for him.
However, if he manages to show enough to end up on the roster you could perhaps expect to see him used in a similar way to how fellow speedster Saalim Hakim was a few years ago - as a gunner, occasional return option, deep threat and for end arounds.
Trinnaman doesn't seem to have missed any time with injuries, but could be susceptible to leg injuries as he does appear to run high.
This acquisition is presumably more about picking up a long-term project rather than any immediate contributions the Jets could get from Trinnaman.
He definitely has elite athleticism, which will make him a challenging cover for any defensive players he works with in camp. However, the team will hope that Trinnaman could respond well to pro level coaching and become a potential contributor at the NFL level if he can sharpen up his route running and learn to be more physical.
His best shot at an NFL future would be to show enough that the team will keep him on the practice squad and look to continue to develop his skill-set.