As training camp is slowly approaching, I wanted to spotlight 3 members of the roster the fan base should be excited about.
- Quinnen Williams – I know the instant reaction to Q being on this list will be “He was the #3 pick in the draft, we are aware of his hype”. Last year was rather uninspiring for the 2nd year man out of Alabama. Given Q was an absolute specimen at the combine and had a breakout season his last year in school, expectations were very high. Unfortunately, he did not deliver as the sack total wasn’t impressive. It became frustrating as the man who went before him in the draft was a borderline DPOY candidate and in the Super Bowl last year. Williams earned a 67.4 grade among interior DL from Pro Football Focus which ranks 55th in the league. That’s very average which is not making Jet fans feel great. However, Q did rank in the top 33 (out of 118) against the run which is promising as his pass rush impact wasn’t made. I think the combination of his documented offseason training and raw ability there should be a sizable jump in performance (only 3 sacks in 2019). Will he be a 10+ sack guy in 2020? I’m not sure, but I think he will definitely make his presence known every play with his speed and strength against less athletic offensive linemen. This play against the Cowboys is what keeps me excited.
2. Vyncint Smith – Denzel Mims is the obvious candidate that comes to mind at the WR position for the Jets when you think about potential. Believe it or not, I think Vyncint Smith can be a legit contributor to this team in 2020. His role in 2019 was mainly special teams, but he definitely has some dynamic playmaking ability. During the dark times of the Luke Falk era, Smith accounted for the Jets only offensive touchdown. It would have made a lot more sense for Adam Gase to run more trickery like this when he had an incapable QB for 3 weeks. I love the idea of turning Vyncint Smith into the 2020 version of Brad Smith. Coach Gase needs to develop a few plays with Smith running the wildcat. I think this is an excellent way to mitigate the offensive playmaker deficiencies the Jets have on the roster right now. I also love the idea of Darnold catching a pass and running in for a touchdown. It should also be noted that Connor Hughes pointed out last season how Demaryius Thomas had very high praise of Smith during their time together in HOU which led to the Jets giving him a shot on the roster. Thomas’ praise shouldn’t be taken lightly as he was one of the better receivers of the 2010s and knows what it takes to be a great receiver in the NFL.3. Bryce Hall – I’m sure a lot of Jet fans did their research on Bryce Hall when Joe Douglas took a chance on him with the 158th pick in the 2020 NFL draft. Hall was one of the better cornerbacks in college football during his junior season for the Virginia Cavaliers. He led the FBS in pass breakups in 2018 (21 total) while also recording 2 INTs. Hall tested his NFL Draft waters which had him receiving a draftable grade from the NFL’s Draft Advisory Board for the 2019 class. He ultimately decided to return for his senior season which was cut short due to an ankle injury (limited to 6 games). Ankle injuries can be tricky which ultimately led to his 2020 draft day slide all the way to the 5th round. He didn’t take part in most of the combine drills which didn’t allow scouts to see his speed and athleticism. If you watch his college highlights , you can see there is so much potential as Hall has a great combination of size (6’1) and speed. Most NFL cornerbacks are not above six feet tall, so this can be a huge advantage for Hall when he takes on more physically gifted receivers. The hope for the Jets is that Hall can be a mid to late season contributor similar to what we saw with Bless Austin last year. Health is the major question mark for Bryce Hall, but the talent is certainly there for him to make his mark in the NFL.