Heading into 2022, the New York Jets look much different compared to a season ago. Last season, they went 4-13 and received the fourth overall pick in the NFL draft. Though they did show some promise in a select few of their games, there were many growing pains for the young squad. This season, many young players should be vastly improved, and it should contribute to more wins for the Jets. Below, I’ll discuss three players I think can take a sizable leap in terms of production next season.
#3: Alijah Vera-Tucker, OG
After the Jets traded up with the Vikings to the 14th pick in the 2021 Draft, they selected left guard Alijah Vera-Tucker out of USC. Joe Douglas and Robert Saleh chose him with the hope of developing him into a franchise-changing player.
His rookie year was solid, especially blocking for a rookie quarterback in Zach Wilson. While he had some struggles from time to time, they are pretty standard for a rookie offensive lineman. He also improved throughout the season.
Many around the league expect Vera-Tucker to take a leap next season, and I think he will be one of the NFL’s top guards in 2022. His improvements were made throughout the season in his run blocking, though his pass-blocking still leaves a lot to be desired. However, if he can work on his pass-blocking skills, there is no doubt he can be a great player, which I think he will become in 2022.
I’m very excited to watch Alijah Vera-Tucker in 2022, as he and newcomer Laken Tomlinson should form one of the league’s best guard duos.
#2: Quincy Willams, LB
The team’s linebacker room is a significant question mark heading into the 2022 season. While many expected Joe Douglas to sign a linebacker or two this offseason, that hasn’t happened. Though the team may have faith in 2021 draft pick Jamien Sherwood to step up, it still would have been ideal if they added a linebacker this offseason. C.J. Mosley had an awful season last year, don’t let the tackle numbers fool you. He was awful in coverage. However, there is one Jets linebacker I think will break out in a big way this fall.
Quincy Willams is primed to make a huge jump in his second year with New York. Don’t get me wrong, he struggled mightily at times last season. However, he can be a great player. For the most part, in 2021, he was awful in coverage but showed flashes with his tackling ability. Come 2022; I expect him to improve those skills and become a solid linebacker.
#1: Zach Wilson, Jets QB
The Jets are expecting big things out of second-year quarterback Zach Wilson in 2022, and rightfully so. He was drafted second overall in 2021. Wilson had an extremely rough start to 2021, forcing throws left and right, playing too much “hero ball,” and was highly inaccurate. However, he showed signs of improvement towards the end of the season. Unfortunately, it was still an underwhelming season for Wilson.
This offseason, general manager Joe Douglas fulfilled his goal and got Wilson all his needed help. After adding offensive weapons such as Jeremy Ruckert, Breece Hall, Tyler Conklin, and many more receiving options to the team this offseason. I believe Wilson will have a great season next year due to this.