When the New York Jets cut CB Darryl Roberts, it stood to reason that GM Joe Douglas had a move in mind to add a veteran at cornerback so Gregg Williams and the defensive coaching staff didn’t have to go into the draft with Bless Austin and Arthur Maulet as the only options on the outside. Well, not even 24 hours later that move happened as the Jets signed former Colts CB Pierre Desir.
Pierre Desir will now pencil in at one of the starting cornerback positions, and is instantly an upgrade over Trumaine Johnson, who the Jets cut a few days ago. That may not sound like a high bar to clear, but this was a Jets defense that was 17th in passing yards allowed and 13th in yards allowed per pass attempt despite getting virtually nothing from their first round pick and literally nothing from their highest paid cornerback.
With a healthy CJ Mosley in the middle for a full season, it stands to reason that even competent play at the cornerback position would go a long way towards bringing that unit into the top 10. Desir allowed 9.4 yards per target and was 19th in the league in average yards of separation (defined as the average distance between the DB and the WR when the pass is completed). Desir had a burn rate of 1.4%, good for top 40 in the league, and he defended the 21st most routes last year with 298. Rex Hogan was in the Colts front office last year before rejoining the Jets, and so he is familiar with Pierre from his time in Indianapolis.
It is a one year deal for the soon-to-be 30 year old veteran, so if i’m the Jets I add another veteran cornerback and I draft the corner that will replace one of them in 2021. Alot of people will mention Logan Ryan, and he wouldn’t necessarily be the worst signing, but he allowed the most receptions of any corner in the league last year (80 receptions on a league-high 114 targets). The guy I would look to add is former Ravens CB Jimmy Smith, who had a top 10 coverage grade last year as measured by how often he was targeted versus how often he broke a pass up or got an interception. Chad Alexander knows Jimmy Smith well, and Douglas seems to be leaning on his staff as almost every player they’ve acquired has a connection to one of his deputies. Leaving free agency with Desir and Smith, and then turning to the draft and taking Amik Robertson from Louisiana Tech or Michael Ojemudia from Iowa in round 3 lets you really have a young nucleus of corners that can compete with two veterans for playing time.
Another good signing for Joe Douglas, in my opinion.