The TOJ Roundtable is back. Make sure to give everybody a follow on Twitter and to let us know your opinion down in the comment section below! Today’s question is…
New York Jets fans are sleeping on ______ for the 2015 season…
Joe Caporoso – Mo Wilkerson. The 25 year old All-Pro who is one of the five best 3-4 defensive ends in the NFL. Wilkerson’s value and impact has always went beyond the stat sheet (even though he still eclipsed 10 sacks in 2013, despite playing a position not built on primarily getting after the quarterback). A key component in Sheldon Richardson’s Defensive Rookie of the Year campaign and year two continued ascendance was the presence of Wilkerson alongside him. Wilkerson was his usual dominant self last year before missing a few games down the stretch, likely creating recency bias among fans who have forgotten just how GOOD he truly is.
Leonard Williams is a great prospect. He also hasn’t played a down in the NFL. We have no idea what his ceiling is at this level or if his rookie year will mirror Wilkerson or Richardson’s or look more like Quinton Coples first year. Wilkerson has not become expendable or any less dominant because of the Williams selection, as some fans are now making him out to be. The same people lauding him six months ago are now talking about him like he is barely a difference maker, which is comical.
Dalbin Osorio – Geno Smith. I think Jet fans have given up on him and, while I understand most of the arguments behind it, I don’t agree with the sentiment. I think this is a kid who has flashed a ton of talent but has just been maddeningly inconsistent. In fact, Geno is frustrating because you can see he can play. Jet fans seem to assume that Fitzpatrick is gonna waltz in here and take the job from him, but I don’t see that happening at all. This is his make or break year, and I think Geno is going to be this team’s QB when it is all said and done.
Johnny Regina – Dee Milliner. With all the hype regarding the Revis and Cromartie reunion some might forget about the in-house talent the Jets already had at CB. Milliner, the 9th selection in the 2013 NFL draft, has struggled the majority of his short career. After being benched several times in his rookie season and dealing with a variety of injuries that plagued his 2014 campaign, Milliner is finally in a good spot to contribute. The pressure is lifted off his shoulders now that he’s not considered the best player in the secondary (thank god). Bowles also plays with a 4 CB set fairly often, and with Cromartie’s age and injury history, Milliner will see a lot more playing time than most would think. Not to mention playing with one of the best CB’s of all time, he’s bound to learn a few things. Milliner will finally hit his stride this year and will be icing on the cake for this Jets defense.Seth Plaut – Eric Decker: I have never believed Decker was a number one receiver like some fans did when we signed him a year ago. However, he can be a highly effective number two receiver like he was in Denver, and I believe we will be seeing more of that this season. I do not believe we appreciated him enough as a fan base because of the situation he was placed in, as opposed to the type of player he actually is.
With the addition of Brandon Marshall to become the primary receiver, and adding a deep threat like Devin Smith in the draft, Decker is going to get a lot better looks and be covered by inferior defensive talent. Moreover, I expect Geno Smith’s play will improve with the additions on offense during the off-season, which will only help Decker’s play even greater.