In this installment of the TOJ weekly roundtable, the TOJ writers consider the question: which player from another AFC East team would you add to the Jets? For this exercise QBs were not included because Josh Allen would be the obvious answer (for some, but not DA).
James Kuntz: If I could add any AFC East player to the Jets to make them a playoff team in 2021, I would add Patriots Offensive Tackle Michael Onwenu. A 2020 6th round pick, Onwenu greatly outperformed his draft selection last season and was as good as any rookie offensive lineman not named Tristan Wirfs. Pairing Onwenu with Mekhi Becton would create one of the most intimidating offensive tackle duos in the NFL.
Stephen Zantz: James going offensive line shows he’s wise beyond his years, but the Jets are in desperate need of cornerback help. If I could steal away any player in the AFC East, the no-brainer to me would be Xavien Howard. Howard is a top 5 lockdown corner in the NFL. He would be the closest thing to Darrelle Revis this franchise has seen since his initial 2013 departure. Adding Howard would allow Bryce Hall to slot into the #2 CB role where he is better suited due to his lack of experience. This would be a game changer for the Jets.
Dylan Price: Zantz, you beautiful man! I couldn’t agree more: the Jets have lacked a dominant number one corner since the Revis Island days. Adding Howard would give the Jets a legitimate ballhawk at corner. Howard put up 10 INTs last season and opposing passers had a 51.5 completion percentage against him. Howard would not only be a massive addition to the secondary, immediately slotting in as CB1, but he would also transform the entire defense. He’d open things up for the young guys to rotate, allow more time for the pass rush to develop and force turnovers, all elevating the Jets defensive standard of play, potentially to a playoff level.
Michael Meegan: I too went with a corner, but not the one TOJ Live’s standard-bearer and the author of Dylan’s Dimes Presented by DraftSZN chose. The AFC East is a very talented division with many choices but I decided to opt for who I believe is the 3rd best corner in the NFL: Tre’Davious White of the Buffalo Bills. Technically sound in every area and scheme versatile, White is everything you want in a modern-day NFL corner. He instantly gives a boost to the Jets current corner room, which is probably the worst in the NFL as we speak. With White, you could feasibly overcome the loss of Car Lawson and have a defense that’s in the top half of the league.
Will Parkinson: All defense and not a single offensive skill player? That sounds like All Gas, No Takes from my colleagues. This may come as a surprise to some people but I think a player that would help the Jets improve in a major way is Jonnu Smith of the New England Patriots. Smith was a guy that was heavily linked to the Jets this offseason: the way the Jets’ tight end room looks right now, Smith would add another dynamic to this offense that would make them very dangerous. Smith is bound for a big year with the Patriots and a Jets offense with Moore, Davis, Carter, Johnson, Smith, Mims, and Crowder coupled with the way Zach Wilson looks early this preseason, the Jets would have an even more enticing offense to watch in 2021.
Joe Belic: I love Will’s choice, and think corner is absolutely a sound choice, but James’s choice proves he’s the second wisest ut of all of us despite his age. I believe the Jets are more than a player away from becoming a playoff team, but adding another OL to the unit could potentially push them into the mix for that coveted 7th spot. Shaq Mason would be a huge upgrade over Greg Van Roten and help solidify an OL that will need to get this rush game going if they expect to have any chance at the postseason. While I love what I’ve seen from Zach Wilson so far, they’ll need to establish the run to help take the burden off his shoulders and open up the play-action game and this outside zone boot-style offense.