Ranking the Jets positional groups from strongest to weakest after the first two weeks of free agency. For an extensive breakdown, check out this week’s Badlands with Connor Rogers and a few other guests going in-depth on all of this and subscribe now so your subscription fee can go to the first responders and medical workers of Hoboken!
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1 – Defensive Line: The more things change, the more they stay the same. As always, the New York Jets have a deep, multitalented defensive line. Nose tackle Steve McLendon is arguably the team’s most underrated player. Quinnen Williams had a mildly disappointing rookie year but was the third overall pick for a reason. Henry Anderson is overpaid but is a competent starter. Backups Nathan Shepherd, Foley Fatukasi and Kyle Phillips all showed plenty of potential last season in limited roles and are excellent depth. The Jets should not waste a single dollar or draft pick at this position in the coming months.
2 – Safety: The team’s best overall player Jamal Adams resides here and if healthy, Marcus Maye is a more than adequate running mate. The reason this group is behind defensive line is concerns about Maye’s durability and the generally unproven options behind them in Matthias Farley and…nobody else at the moment since Marqui Christian walking from his contract.
3 – Inside Linebacker: Both starters, CJ Mosley and Avery Williamson, are coming off injury riddled 2019 seasons but if healthy, will be one of the league’s best duos. Behind the starters are plenty seasoned veterans Neville Hewitt, James Burgess and Patrick Onwuasor along with second year player Blake Cashman. It isn’t out of the question that all six could make the final 53 man roster but it is more than likely one will be moved before week 1.
4 – Tight End: Another position group, another range of injury questions. If healthy, this should be a deep, multi talented group led by Chris Herndon and supported by Ryan Griffin with blocking depth from Trevon Wesco and receiving depth from Daniel Brown. Herndon is an x-factor for the Jets offense in 2020. If he can build in 2018, it opens up so much more in their passing game. If he repeats the 2019 no show, the Jets passing game may be completely screwed.
5 – Running Back: Le’Veon Bell is still #good, Adam Gase’s feelings aside. The problem is the Jets currently have no backups on the roster. Bilal Powell will probably be back but they need further support behind Bell, who should benefit from some of the new offensive line additions.
6 – Interior Offensive Line: Connor McGovern was the headline addition of the offseason so far and solidifies a long shaky spot for the Jets at center. They got somewhat better by moving from Brian Winters to Greg Van Roten as a starter at guard and now have better depth with Josh Andrews and Jonotthan Harrison on the bench.
7 – Quarterback: Before you curse me out, remember the Jets have no backup quarterback on their roster right now and Sam Darnold has missed 3 games in each of his first two seasons…the Jets are 0-6 in those games. Darnold is currently a bottom third of the league starter HOWEVER he has more than enough talent to hop into the first third, if he can stay healthy and get the necessary support. Now, curse away.
8 – Cornerback: The Jets are betting Pierre Desir can replicate his 2018 and that Blessaun Austin can play a full 16 games, while supported by Brian Poole in the slot. The depth is OK at best with Arthur Maulet and Nate Hairston. They are likely to address this position during NFL Draft weekend.
9 – Edge Rusher: Despite getting Jordan Jenkins back, this is still generally a below average group. The Jets will again look to manufacture a pass rush utilizing other positions.
10 – Kicker/Punter: Nobody is currently signed…so there’s that. The good news is that outside of last year, the Jets have done a good job recently of finding one year answers at kicker. I am unsure why Lachlan Edwards is not signed yet.
11 – Wide Receiver: It isn’t smart to bet on either Breshad Perriman or Quincy Enunwa to start 16 games for you on the outside. Jamison Crowder is fine in the slot. The rest of the depth needs plenty of work. Bring on the NFL Draft. The Jets have to do better for Sam.
12 – Offensive Tackle: Another spot that needs draft reinforcements. To date, George Fant is not a NFL starter. To date, there is no reason to think Chuma Edoga can start 16 games either.