Clayton Smarslok breaks down the New York Jets positional battle at defensive end
What has long been the premium position for the New York Jets, the defensive end spot has quietly lost some talent over the last couple of years. In 2015 the Jets were flushed with goods to say the least. Muhammed Wilkerson was having a career year, Sheldon Richardson was as versatile as it got for a man his size and Leonard Williams the sixth overall pick and arguably the best player in the 2015 draft. Not to mention they had one of the best nose tackles in the game with Damon “Snacks” Harrison as well. It’s unfortunate they weren’t able to win when those guys were on the roster but now we have a whole new cast of characters to take a look at, outside of Leo of course.
While this was a very busy offseason for the Jets, no position had more changes than defensive end. During the free agency period they released Wilkerson after not living up to the enormous contract hesigned following the 2015 season. The next move actually wasn’t until the draft. Draft weekend came along where they brought in three new guys; two rookies in Nathan Shephard and Foley Fatukasi as well as the 4th year man Henry Anderson who they acquired in a trade with Indianapolis. Those three will be fighting with Xavier Cooper for the remaining 3 spots at the position. With all of these guys in the mix, which one will come out on top?
Clayton Smarslok breaks down the battle for playing time at edge rusher for the New York Jets…
In my last piece, I went over how the Jets have lacked any serious talent at tight end for quite a while. As long as it has been at that position, it’s been even longer at the edge rusher position. John Abraham was the last one the Jets had that gave opposing coaches any kind of worry. To put that into perspective, Brooks Bollinger was still starting games for the Jets. D’Brickashaw Ferguson and Nick Mangold weren’t even drafted yet and their Ring of Honor careers are already over. Get the point yet?
Clayton Smarslok breaks down the New York Jets battle for reps at the tight end position…
Ever since Dustin Keller left via free agency after the 2012 season, the Jets have not been able to get any kind of consistent play out of the tight end position. That’s not to say they haven’t tried. They drafted Jace Amaro with a second round pick in 2014 and after he busted they picked up another second rounder from that year, Austin Seferian-Jenkins during the 2016 season. Seferian-Jenkins may have been the most successful since Keller’s departure but still had inconsistencies in his game before signing with Jacksonville in March.
This left the team with a bunch of question marks at the position. Those question marks include Chris Herndon, Bucky Hodges, Jordan Leggett, Neal Sterling, Eric Tomlinson and Clive Walford. While there are no names that really stand out, let’s take a look at the players that have the best chances of playing in green and white come September.