Have the Jets finally found their QB of the Future?

Will Parkinson offers his thoughts on Zach Wilson.

It’s no secret that the Jets have been looking for their franchise Quarterback since Joe Namath moved on to the Rams in 1977. There have been flashes of hope–with Ken O’Brien, Boomer Eisasion, Vinny Testeverde, Ryan Fitzpatrick, Chad Pennington, Mark Sanchez, Geno Smith, Christian Hackenberg, and Sam Darnold–but Joe Douglas and Robert Saleh believe they finally have the guy to buck the trend and be the Jets’ franchise QB for years to come. When the Jets traded Sam Darnold to the Panthers back in April, it became abundantly clear that Zach Wilson would be the Jets’ pick at #2 overall. Wilson is an uber-talented player who could have gone #1 overall in a draft, if not for Trevor Lawrence. The Jets feel like they found their guy and are doing everything they can to make Wilson successful. 

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TOJ Pod ft. Connor Rogers

Will Parkinson interviews Connor Rogers on this episode of TOJ Pod.

On this episode of TOJ Pod, Will Parkinson interviews Bleacher Report’s Connor Rogers about the New York Jets. They discuss the following topics:

– Zach Wilson already a top 20 QB?
– Why is no one discussing Cory Davis?
– Must watch matchups
– Camp Battles
– Still high on Mims?
– Class of 2022 preview

TOJ Pod ft. Mike Tannenbaum

Will Parkinson interviews former Jets GM Mike Tannenbaum on this episode of the TOJ Pod.

On this episode of the Turn on the Jets podcast, Will Parkinson interviews former Jets GM Mike Tannenbaum about a variety of Jets-related topic including:

      • Zach Wilson
      • How the Jets young roster can make strides to compete and be sustainable like what Mike built in 06/07 and 08-10
      • Recapping moves like Revis, Vilma, Favre, Sanchez
      • Preview the Offensive line
      • Keys to Jets success in 2021
      • The QB extension market

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The Jets’ Game Wrecking Strength

Will Parkinson talks about the strength of the Jets’ DL.

The Jets finally have a position group that other teams will have nightmares to scheme against. This is Saleh’s bread and butter. The DL has the potential to be scary and one of the most elite in the NFL. In this article, I will dive into this topic in more depth.

If you told a Jets fan in 2005 that it would be 15 years until they had an edge rusher like John Abraham on the roster, they would’ve called you crazy. This offseason, the Jets hope that they have solved their glaring EDGE hole by adding Carl Lawson. Lawson joins an already talented group of young defensive linemen. While the Jets struggled heavily in 2020, the defensive line was one of the lone bright spots. Going into 2021 this group is the strength of the team and features exciting players like Quinnen Williams, Sheldon Rankins, John Franklin Meyers, in addition to Carl Lawson, and a bunch of other depth pieces. Between the talent on this unit and the 4-3 scheme change, under Robert Saleh and Jeff Ulbrich. This unit should be one of the best in the NFL if they can live up to their potential.

When the Jets drafted Quinnen Williams back in 2019, most evaluators thought they were getting the best overall player in the draft. Williams is supremely physically gifted for an interior defensive lineman. He showed some flashes in 2019 but took a huge leap in 2020, becoming one of the best young defensive players in the NFL. Williams produced 7.0 sacks, 10 TFL, and 14 QB hits in his second year, playing somewhat out of position in a 3-4 defense. Williams was a stud at Alabama playing in the 4-3 under front at the defensive tackle role, which he will be playing in 2021 and beyond. The scheme change and addition of talent will allow Williams to pin his ears back and create havoc in the backfield. This scheme will create more one on one matchups and allow him to use his size and speed versus smaller and slower IOL. He can get to the double-digit sack mark in his third year and compete for a pro bowl, maybe even an all-pro bid. On the TOJ Pod, Marcus Spears said, “I think for Quinnen Williams he can turn into that guy, where defense say we got to make sure we take care of that guy!” For the Jets, if Williams takes another leap in 2021, it should not only allow him to gain more recognition but the defense as a whole.

The Jets long search for the next John Abraham is hopefully over. In the offseason, the Jets signed talented pass rusher Carl Lawson to a 3-year 45-million-dollar deal. Lawson ranked sixth in pass-rush win rate over the past two seasons, ranking only behind superstars like TJ Watt, Myles Garrett, and Joey Bosa according to PFF. Austin Gayle of PFF is very high on Lawson, saying, “injuries remain a concern, but Lawson is easily one of the league’s premier pass-rushing talents when healthy.” Lawson had 64 QB pressures and 32 QB hits in 2020. His sack numbers (5.5) in 2020 weren’t as high, but he projects to have a large jump this year based on those pressures and hits, combined with playing with talented guys like Williams, Rankins, Franklin-Meyers, and others. Injuries have been a concern for the talented pass rusher from Auburn, as he missed major chunks of 2018 and 2019 in addition to injuries in college, which caused him to fall in the draft. With Lawson screaming off of one edge, the Jets defense will have a dimension that they have been sorely missing, as well as one that will help protect their incredibly young and unproven cornerback room.

One of the most underrated signings of the offseason around the NFL was the Jets bringing in Sheldon Rankins on a 2 year 18.5 million dollar deal. Rankins will be another talented interior defensive lineman to play alongside Williams and Lawson. Rankins was a dominant force in 2018 with the Saints, racking up 8.5 Sacks before tearing his Achilles in 2019. Rankins will look to return to his past form in 2021 and help provide stability and another dominant presence in the new 4-3 scheme. While durability this year and beyond is a concern for the Jets with guys like Lawson, Williams, and Rankins all who have missed time the past two years, if these guys can stay on the field at the same time, should provide a great force in the AFC and NFL as a whole.

The defensive line’s ability to create pressure and get to the quarterback without having to blitz is a massive key in today’s NFL. It’s why Joe Douglas and Robert Saleh put such an emphasis on it this offseason. Part of what made the 49ers so successful in 2019 was being able to get pressure with the front 4 and being able to provide protection their secondary, something the Jets will be relying on heavily in 2021. If Lawson, Williams, Rankins as well John Franklin-Meyers, who was a breakout player for the Jets in 2020, perform the way they are capable, this defense should be a top 12-15 defense. This is a must-watch group in 2021 and should produce at least one, if not two pro bowlers. 

Is Safety a Position of Strength for the 2021 Jets?

Will Parkinson shares his thoughts on the 2021 Jets’ safety room.

When the Jets traded Jamal Adams last year, nobody knew what to expect out of the safety room. Adams was an all-pro player, and while Marcus Maye is talented, the room had a gaping hole from a leadership and talent perspective. However, through the 2020 season, the Jets learned just how good of a player and leader Marcus Maye is and also saw serious flashes from Ashtyn Davis during his up and down rookie campaign. As the Jets go into 2021, the safety room looks like it could be a bright spot on a feisty defense. The group is deep and should produce, whether it’s another dominant year for Marcus Maye, a year two improvement from Ashtyn Davis, or a return to consistent play from LaMarcus Joyner, who is moving back to his natural position.

For Marcus Maye, 2020 was a career year, as he emerged as one of the League’s better safeties even without his tag team partner, Jamal Adams. Maye posted an 82.9 grade according to PFF in 2020, the highest of his career while playing both the center field free safety role and the box strong safety role. Sam Monson of PFF mentioned on the TOJ Pod that Maye’s ability to play in the slot and in the box makes him even more valuable than Adams going into 2021. This further supported his ranking of Maye as the seventh-best safety in the NFL, while putting Adams at 10th. Erik Coleman, who is a former Jets safety, also mentioned the importance of Maye getting extended, noting his “great leadership, both vocally and doing things the right way, to earn that next contract” on the TOJ Pod on Friday. The bottom line for the Jets is that Maye has been one of the lone bright spots over the past four years and certainly warrants getting a new contract. Ian Rapoport of NFL Network tweeted that Maye and the Jets will likely not be coming to an extension agreement before the July 15th deadline, so it will be interesting to see how it affects the locker room. Maye is deserving of an extension, but Jets GM Joe Douglas has not shown a willingness to pay non-premium positions big money. That, in tandem with Maye being 28 years old, means that it’s likely that he will play on the franchise tag in 2021 and have his contract situation revisited after the season.

One of the biggest keys to the Jets defense taking a big step in 2021 is the development of Ashytn Davis. The second-year safety from Cal Berkley flashed in 2020. On the other hand, he did struggle a bit, specifically against the Chiefs and teams who attacked him vertically. Jamal Adams previously mentioned that the biggest adjustment from college, and growing from year one to two, was developing his eyes. The speed of the game in the NFL is so much faster than the speed of the college game. As a result, if you catch yourself peaking into the backfield or watching guys’ eyes instead of their hips, and only play off your instincts, then you risk getting torched. Coleman mentioned his struggles in rookie-camp, watching Wayne Chrebet’s eyes and having to learn to just “play football” and not overthink. Davis is a top-tier athlete who makes plays on the football. If he is deployed in more “cover 1” and “cover 3” in this new scheme, he could grow into the Jets’ long-term answer at safety.

Lastly, a key to the Jets safety group playing better in 2021, is Lamarcus Joyner. Joyner is a low-risk, high-reward signing for the Jets, especially if he can return to 2017 form. Safety is his natural position and had a career-best PFF grade of 91.0. Joyner is a talented football player but struggled out of position as a slot corner with the Raiders in 2019 and 2020. The Jets are hoping that, with a return to his natural position and change of scenery, they can get Joyner’s 2017 play


With Joyner hoping to return to his old form and Davis looking to take a leap in year two, the Jets are set up with strong depth and flexibility at the free safety position, while Marcus Maye dominates the strong safety position. Having built a top-tier defensive line and a returning star LB in CJ Mosley, the Jets should be able to cover up their question marks at corner, given their strength at safety. If they can do that, the Jets will be in a position almost every week to compete and give their young talented quarterback a chance to win a bunch of ball games.

What are fair expectations for Elijah Moore?

Will Parkinson offers his thoughts on Elijah Moore.

The hype train is humming over at One Jets Drive over the Jets second round pick Elijah Moore. The rookie wideout from Ole Miss who lead college football in yards per game last season has impressed in OTAs and minicamps thus far and the excitement from the coaching staff and fan base is skyrocketing. The question I, and many others, keep getting asked is “what are realistic expectations?” or “what is Elijah Moore’s ceiling?” The 5’9″, 178 lb. speedster is hoping to take the NFL and his Jets career by storm.

There have been many comparisons to Elijah Moore’s game and size from players like Steve Smith, Santana Moss and Tyreek Hill to guys like Antonio Brown and current Jet Jamison Crowder. While it is lofty praise for the 21 year old to be compared to Antonio Brown, who is arguably the best wideout over the past decade in the NFL, draft analyst Ryan Roberts said on the TOJ Pod that he would be wary of doing so: “…wow, that is some comparison and am a bit wary of something like that.” While Roberts didn’t feel great about the comparison, he did mention Moore’s elite ability to get open and create space saying that Moore is “…one of the best manipulators of space in this year’s draft.” While Moore’s style is like Brown’s, Moore has also reminded a lot of scouts and fans of Steve Smith and Santana Moss for their game breaking speed and ability in tight space but being incredible tough slot receivers with minimal drops. Moore has reps from the X and Z position as well but will function mostly out of the slot in this west coast Shanahan scheme for gang green. For the Jets’ sake, if Moore turns out to be any of the aforementioned players at pick at 34, he will be a homerun pick and building block for the future. 

Rookie wideouts have had the ability to come into the NFL right away over the past 2 years and make instant impacts, especially guys who possess an elite trait. Big bodied late 1st and 2nd round receivers like D.K. Metcalf, Terry McLaurin, Chase Claypool, Tee Higgins, AJ Brown and Brandon Aiyuk have all seen success because of their size, speed and ball skills early in their career. For guys like Justin Jefferson and Deebo Samuel who have used their elite quickness and route running to make massive impacts out of a primary slot position early in their careers. Jefferson and Samuel offer a great platform for a guy like Moore who posses those qualities and will be in a very similar scheme to the ones ran in Minnesota and San Francisco. 

Long term what kind of career is he projected to have? If you look at where he can get to as his NFL ceiling it becomes a bit more challenging. NFL Network draft analyst Daniel Jeremiah has mentioned Moore as “an outstanding route runner” and a “natural hands catcher,” which bodes well for Moore becoming one of the top slot wideouts in the NFL and someone who projects to be a heavy-target option going forward. In today’s NFL you don’t have to be the traditional big bodied X wideout to be a team’s #1 guy, and it is realistic to think Moore will be that guy over the next 5-7 years. He is a guy who will be talked about down the line as an 80 catch, 1200-yard, 8-10 touchdown a year player who is always in contention to be pro bowl level player. It’s something the Jets have been looking for since the days of Keyshawn and Coles, and Joe Douglas hopes this is the Jets cornerstone offensive weapon of the future.

TOJ Pod ft. Lindsay Jones of The Athletic

Will Parkinson chats with Lindsay Jones of the Athletic on this episode of TOJ Pod.

On this episode of TOJ Pod, Will Parkinson interviews Lindsay Jones, who is a senior writer for The Athletic covering the NFL and a frequent guest on The Athletic Football Podcast. Lindsay and Will chat about a variety of Jets-related topics including:

– The Zach Wilson Hype Train
– Potential Breakout Players
– How impressive was Robert Saleh in 2020
– Realistic Jets Expectations
– Watson or Rodgers to Denver?

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TOJ Pod: OTA Takeaways

Will Parkinson provides his thoughts a variety of Jets topics including the signing of Ronald Blair, his takeaways from OTAs, and a preview of upcoming guests.

On this episode of the Turn on the Jets podcast, Will Parkinson talks through:

– The Ronald Blair Signing

– OTA Takeways

– Morgan Mosses Visit

– Positional Battle Preview

– TOJ Guest Preview

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