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A run down of reasonable expectations for each of the 2017 New York Jets rookies. Since they only had nine draft picks this year, I added in three 2016 rookies who did not play a substantial amount of reps last year but are expected to have bigger roles this season.
1 – Jamal Adams, Safety – Start 16 games. Demonstrate versatility by playing effectively at the strong, free and slot position. Take on an immediate leadership role on and off the field. Be in the running for Defensive Rookie of the Year. Show a nose for the football and help clean up the amount of big plays the Jets defense allowed last season. Finish the season with the consensus being he is a future Pro Bowl/All-Pro caliber player.
2 – Marcus Maye, Safety – Start 16 games. Show an ability to move between free and strong safety, along with effectively complement Adams’ game. Help clean up the amount of big plays the Jets defense allowed last season and make a gradual progression of consistency throughout the year. Finish the season with the consensus that he is a 2018 starter and a likely candidate for a second contract here long term.
3 – ArDarius Stewart, Receiver – Play at least 20 snaps each week on offense and demonstrate an ability to make plays after the catch. Make an impact in some way on special teams. Show an ability to line up in multiple spots on the offense and that he should be considered an integral part of the 2018 offensive scheme.
4 – Chad Hansen, Receiver – Play on a weekly basis on the Jets offense and show an ability to make plays down the field, as well as after the catch. See a rep increase as the season progresses and clearly establish himself as a player who will be in the mix for more reps in 2018.
5 – Jordan Leggett, Tight End – Start the first two weeks while Austin Seferian-Jenkins is suspended. Play at least 20 snaps in most weeks after that, depending on the game plan. Show some type of competency as a blocker and be a reliable pass catching target with his likely fairly limited opportunities. Be a player marked for a bigger role in 2018.
6 – Dylan Donahue, Outside Linebacker – Start in the nickel defense and be a rotational player at outside linebacker. Immediately become a core special teams player. Finish the year with multiple sacks and potentially push Lorenzo Mauldin or Jordan Jenkins for their reps by the end of the season.
7 – Elijah McGuire, Running Back – Make the team and have a role in a set package of plays on offense to start the year, before gradually seeing more time down the stretch. Prove himself to be a useful option on offense, who returns in a backup role in 2018. Contribute on special teams.
8 – Jeremy Clark, Corner – Get and stay healthy. Make the active roster at some point this season. Contribute on special teams and push for defensive playing time in the final weeks of season.
9 – Derrick Jones, Corner – Make the team and an impact on special teams. Position himself for a chance to compete for defensive reps in 2018.
10 – Juston Burris, Corner – Play at least 60-70% of the defensive snaps on a week to week basis, showing the ability to be considered a long term starter at corner. Still contribute on special teams.
11 – Christian Hackenberg, Quarterback – Start at least 8 games and make the Jets contemplate their need to select a quarterback in the 2018 NFL Draft.
12 – Charone Peake, Receiver – Make the team. Show value as a depth receiver and special teamer. Be brought back into camp for 2018.
“Todd Bowles is the guy to watch this season. With a team that hasn’t even defined their Quarterback yet, the Jets are a work in progress, but it’s a long way to be on the top. Now that the training camps have started, we’ll be getting a better idea of Bowles intentions as the head coach and where he wants to take the team. But I don’t see the Jets changing that much from one season to another. Don’t be estranged if gets kicked out after a few bad games. Plus, the Jets betting odds are favored in the Under this season at 4½. So, we’ll just have to wait and see how this team kicks off the first few weeks of the Regular Season.” says David Strauss, line director at MyBookie Online Sportsbook.
Photo Credit: NewYorkJets.com