I know we’ve had low expectations for the New York Jets as of late, but it is time to put that narrative to bed. The time is now for Gang Green. Finally they have a coach who knows what their doing in Robert Saleh. His energy should be infectious for a franchise that has been looking for a spark for so long.
The pieces are in place for an explosive offense. Zach Wilson is hopefully the QB they have been looking for. Personally, I don’t see Tevin Coleman making the team. He fell out of favor with the Niners because of a crowded backfield just like this one. La’Mical Perine got most of the workload as a rookie and drafting Michael Carter from North Carolina shows they wanted to add more power and speed.
Speaking of speed, that is what they have in new receivers Corey Davis, and second year player Denzel Mims. Rookie second round pick Elijah Moore from Ole Miss will look to use his speed to edge out Jamison Crowder for the starting slot receiver. The tight end position leaves a lot to be desired with Chris Herndon being the top option with not a lot of depth behind him.
New York opted not to draft an offensive lineman. Mekhi Becton and rookie first round pick Alijah Vera-Tucker from USC will have the left side of the line on lockdown. After that, it gets dicey. Center Connor McGovern, right guard Greg Van Roten, and right tackle Morgan Moses are all on the older side. Durability and performance are major concerns with these three. Again, not a lot of good depth behind them.
Can the Defense Get Off the Ground?
We’ll see. It won’t wow you on paper, but there is some up and coming talent by way of the draft. The Jets starting in round five spent the rest of their picks on defense, and added a pair of free agents on the defensive line. Carl Lawson coming over from the Bengals and Sheldon Rankins coming over from the Saints will definitely help. It may be make or break time for Quinnen Williams. Rookie seventh round pick Jonathan Marshall from Arkansas may have an opportunity to get into the lineup, but it won’t be easy. The addition of DE Vinny Curry doesn’t make sense.
So far, it looks like the Jets will use a 4-3 front. Blake Cashman adds youth on the weak side. C.J. Mosley is back from injury and opting out. The 29 year old will try to prove he can still anchor the middle of the LB group. Jarrad Davis moves on from Detroit and is the on paper LB on the strong side. Davis was a first round pick out of Florida in 2017 as a middle linebacker.
The DB Squadron
The good news is the Jets have two young starting corners. Bless Austin and Bryce Hall aren’t household names. However, they are young and hungry. The Jets also added three corners in the draft. Michael Carter II was drafted in the fifth round from Duke. Carter has played corner and safety, and could be in play as a nickel in the NFL. Jason Pinnock was also taken in the fifth round from Pitt. He is currently listed as the backup to Hall. Finally, Brandin Echols was drafted in the sixth round from Kentucky – not clear where he fits in yet.
In terms of the safety position, Lamarcus Joyner and Marcus Maye are getting older. Joyner is coming off a disappointing tenure with the Raiders. The Jets drafted two linebackers who have experience playing safety. Jamien Sherwood was taken in round five from Auburn. Sherwood has played deep safety and in the slot. Since he is comfortable in the box and not the best in coverage, he will most likely serve as a linebacker. However, he could be an option at free safety if necessary. Florida State’s Hamsah Nasirildeen was taken in the sixth round. He is viewed as a hybrid and could compete with Ashtyn Davis as the backup strong safety. Safe to say depth is no longer a concern.
In the long run, none of this matters if the Jets under perform again. But for the first time in a long time, there is an actual plan in place.
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