By Matt Parkinson
The new leader of the Jets’ secondary, Jordan Whitehead, looks to bring some winning with him from Tampa Bay, while also living up to former Jet great and NFL legend, Darrelle Revis. The Safety inked a 2-year deal worth $14.5 million with $7 million guaranteed with the New York Jets.
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The family ties run strong for the new Jets’ safety, Jordan Whitehead. Growing up in Monaca, PA, he starred in athletics, looking up to his cousin, Darelle Revis. Whitehead even recalls being at the daft party when Revis was drafted by the Jets in 2007. While he has big shoes to fill, he seems up for the task, and if he plays on a level that is anything close to Revis, us Jets fans are in for a treat.
While starring at Central Valley High School in PA, Whitehead earned a 4-Star scouting grade according to ESPN.com for the class of 2015. Additionally, he was ranked the #1 player in all of Pennsylvania for the 2015 recruiting class by 2247sports.com. During his senior year as a two-way superstar, Whitehead totaled 35 TDs along with starring on Defense. He would ultimately choose to stay home and follow in the footsteps of his cousin and commit to play at the University of Pittsburgh.
Whitehead made an immediate impact when arriving at Pitt. His stellar play during his Freshman campaign in 2015 would earn him Freshman All-American honors as a DB. He was also named the ACC’s Rookie of the Year and Defensive Rookie of the Year by the Atlantic Coast Sports Media Association, as well as the ACC Coaches. Whitehead was so vital to his team that even saw time on offense, scoring 2 TDs. During the next 2 years, he would find more success, however, he would miss time in both seasons due to various reasons. Nonetheless, he would earn 2nd-Team All-ACC in 2016. He would also make contributions on offense yet again, starting on both sides of the ball in a game against Virginia. After the 2017 season, Whitehead would test his luck in the NFL Draft.During NFL Draft season, Whitehead was praised for his versatility and athleticism, along with his dog mentality and fearless style of play. Due to being slightly undersized and having health issues in college, experts projected him to be an early day 3 pick. With that, in the 4th round of the 2018 NFL Draft, the Tampa Bay Bucs used the 117th selection to pick DB Jordan Whitehead.
Since being in the NFL, Whitehead has emerged as one of the best young playmakers in the game at Safety. While he didn’t garner much attention in Tampa, he was a force to be reckoned with while playing alongside other studs, such as Antoine Winfield Jr. and Carlton Davis. The Bucs have fielded one of the best defenses in the NFL for the last few years with Whitehead staring in their secondary. Whitehead has a championship pedigree from Tampa that he can certainly spread to the young locker room in New York.
The 4 Quarters:
Best Play: Forced Fumble vs Green Bay – During a crucial 3rd Down in the 2nd half of the 2020-‘21 NFC Championship game vs the Packers, Whitehead flew down from the Safety spot to not only stop Aaron Jones from reaching the first down marker, but he also forced a fumble in the process, getting the ball back for Tampa Bay.Best Game: 5 TKL, 4 SOLO, 2 FF – During the same NFC Championship game as the play above, Whitehead put on a showcase causing 2 turnovers via Forced Fumble. Ultimately the Bucs would win and make it to the Super Bowl, where they would emerge victorious.
Best Quote: “Nah I just hit hard” – In a quoted tweet of a clip of him laying out Emmanuel Sanders
Best Attribute: Super Bowl LV Champion – Bringing a winning culture to the Jets’ locker room is vital and Whitehead is a proven winner.