The Jets season wasn’t disappointing last season, yet it was.
That sounds strange but it’s true. We knew that the team is in complete rebuild mode, but with all of the defensive upgrades in the secondary, and of course Sam Darnold, it seemed like there was a chance at nudging closing to .500.
But injuries, inconsistent play, and questionable coaching led to a 4-12 campaign. Now we have another draft done and gone and the speculation begins anew. Most of the sportsbooks have the Jets listed as -3.5 home favorites in their season opener against the Buffalo Bills. However, is this a result of a bolstered roster from the 2019 NFL Draft?
In part, yes.
The New York Jets get some help at tackle with the 3rd overall pick. Williams is strong, athletic, and fast. He gives the Jets’ defensive front exactly what it needed: more talent and depth. Many other teams behind the Jets in the draft would have been ready and willing to snag up Williams as a defense leading edge rusher. He is the type of player that can develop into a team leader on and off the field.
When the team was healthy last season, New York actually played pretty well on defense. They forced a lot more turnovers than we expected and with a draft pick that is projected as an instant with the potential of being a future Pro Bowler, Gang Green will be more formidable up front in 2019. With all of that said, we still have to wonder why the Jets went this another tackle and didn’t take Josh Allen at Edge … instead, they went this route and rolled the dice in the third round for the position that they arguably needed top talent at the most.
Maccagnan & Gase took a chance with the Edge rusher out of Florida. Polite was originally thought to be a first-rounder, but he fell hard during the post-season and combine. A few bad interviews, some not-so-great workouts sessions and an expanding gut and his projections went from a first-round pick with potential to a fourth-round or later bench player or special teams guy. Still, the Jets scooped him up
Jets brass is getting some heat for taking another player with questionable character. Chuma, who shoved an official back ion 2016 is one who has been semi black-listed as a player with maturity issues. That said, it might not have been a bad move to take Edoga. After all, he was teammates with Sam Darnold over at USC and protected the Jets’ star QB’s right side for 12 games in 2017. So, his familiarity with Darnold might help him coach-up faster in the Jets’ offense than he would elsewhere.
The question with Chuma is whether he’ll be able to pass protect well enough at the next level. He should be able to step into the run game effectively, but his pass protection is hit or miss.
Cashman might be the best pick the NY Jets made. Sure, Quinnen Williams was the best player available on the board for their first-round grab, but we are talking ROI here. A 5th round pick that has the potential to step right into a backup spot and add even more depth to a defense that got absolutely depleted last season.
Leadership. Even if he is a back-end backup, this is the kind of player that you want in the locker room and roaming the sidelines. In college, he was a walk-on who worked his way to team captain. He’s tough and has a way of finding the ball. With a massive chip on his shoulder, he’s the type of player that could end up leading the special teams unit.
All in all, the Jets should have a better defense in 2019. But it isn’t the only reason they’ll have an improved record in 2019. Now sans Todd Bowles, the Jets should have better leadership and last year there were moments when the team really seemed like they were starting to gel. Now, they have had some time and gained some experience and that will count for a lot in 2019.