New York Jets Positional Breakdown – Secondary

Andrew Fialkow breaks down the New York Jets secondary heading into training camp…

Andrew Fialkow with a breakdown of New York Jets secondary…

Cornerbacks: Trumaine Johnson, Darryl Roberts, Brian Poole, Derrick Jones, Jeremy Clark, Parry Nickerson

Overview: This could and should be viewed as one of the weakest parts of the Jets roster. After signing Tru Johnson to a huge deal before last season, he delivered a subpar year in the 2018 season. He was disappointing on the field and also missed six games due to a quad injury throughout the year. His PFF ranking of 24th out of all corners was solid, but for the 26 million dollars he made last year, that won’t cut it. It looks like the Jets will move on from Mo Claiborne although he is still unsigned. That leaves the No. 2 corner job to Darryl Roberts. Roberts had seven PD’s last year and did show some promise in man coverage at times. It’s his job now to start opposite of Johnson and it remains to be seen how he’ll play with starting snaps. Brian Poole is the new slot corner and will be replacing Buster Skrine.

He will be an upgrade from Skrine who is four years older, had a worse contract and committed more penalties. Derrick Jones and Parry Nickerson will be needed to make strides in their second years as they are the current primary backups for the Jets at the CB position.

Safeties: Jamal Adams, Marcus Maye, Doug Middleton, Rontez Miles.

Overview: IF and that is a big IF Marcus Maye can stay healthy, the Jets will excel at the safety position in 2019. Due to injuries Maye only played six games last year. During those games, though, he was very effective and ranked as the 10th best safety on PFF with an 81.7 grade. Jamal Adams is the only certainty in this group, proving his consistency last season. Adams finished the season as the second best safety on PFF.

His versatility is unmatched as he played a remarkable 137 snaps as an edge rusher last season. He also finished first among safeties with the most pressures (22). Rontez Miles now with the clear backup position at safety will need to step up if asked for, or if used by Gregg Williams in three safety sets. It will be imperative for the top two guys to stay healthy for this positional group to reach its full potential.

Final Thoughts: Maye and Adams need to both stay healthy this year due to the lack of talent at the cornerback position. As training camp approaches, we will see if Joe Douglas will look to sign a cornerback to compete with Roberts but as of now it is his position to lose. The cornerback position is one that really concerns me. One injury and they will be forced to put Jones or Nickerson into action. These two young players, especially Jones who barely played last year, need more time to develop. The Jets secondary is seen as a weakness on the team.

This can be forgotten about if Gregg Williams schemes well where they have strengths, which is in the safety position. Trumaine Johnson who is coming off of the worst season of his career will need to bounce back. Johnson will be reuniting with DC Gregg Williams (his former rams DC) which can only help him progress back to the player the Jets envisioned him being. If Johnson doesn’t improve on last year, the Jets will be forced to use players that still need time to develop at the corner position, which will lead to problems.

The safety position has a good chance to be a bright spot for the Jets, which will help relieve pressure from the lack of experience and talent at the CB position.

Author: Joe Caporoso

Joe Caporoso is the Owner and EIC of Turn On The Jets. His writing has been featured in the New York Times, Huffington Post, MMQB and AdWeek. Caporoso played football his entire life, including four years at Muhlenberg as a wide receiver, where he was arguably the slowest receiver to ever start in school history. He is the VP of Social Media at Whistle Sports