The New York Jets in recent years have been a subpar franchise. Whether they have underperformed in important games, overpaid for players in free agency, or made the wrong draft selections, this past decade has been a nightmare for the team. Coming into the 2020 season, the Jets are still a rebuilding franchise and have several holes on the roster. In 2018, the Jets pulled the trigger on quarterback Sam Darnold and tight end Chris Herndon in the draft. Additionally, they added star runningback and former Pittsburgh Steeler Le’Veon Bell in free agency. While Bell is capable of being a top running back and a leader in the Jets offensive unit, he struggled mightily in 2019 behind an atrocious offensive line and poor coaching.
At Wide Receiver, the Jets have outside options in veteran Breshad Perriman and 2nd rounder from 2020 and Baylor product Denzel Mims. In the slot, the have Jamison Crowder, who was Darnold’s top target a season ago. However, none of those options are what the Jets need. A true number one receiver. General manager Joe Douglas completed revamped the offensive line. With the additions of George Fant, Connor McGovern, and Greg Van Roten, this unit should be able to create holes for Bell and allow more time for Darnold to throw. While they improved it, it is by no means great and still a key weakness on this Jets offense.
With the loss of Robby Anderson, who signed with the Carolina Panthers in free agency, the Jets added Breshad Perriman and Denzel Mims. Even though that is a step in the right direction, the Jets lack a big-time playmaker at the position. Currently, the top free agents at the position are former Cowboys star Dez Byrant, former Bear Taylor Gabriel, and Josh Gordon.
Though each of those options could always be risky, a team like the Jets, who are in need of another WR, should pull the trigger on them and sign one of them to a short term deal. Furthermore, the 2021 NFL draft, like the previous two, is Wide Receiver heavy. Some top prospects at the position are LSU stud Jamarr Chase and Purdue’s Rondale Moore. To summarize, while this team may struggle due to lack of star talent at this position in 2020, there are more than enough future options.
From the start of 2019 to the finish, the Offensive Line was the Achilles heel of the team. Whether it was overpaid veterans or inexperienced youngsters. 2nd year General Manager Joe Douglas brought in 5 new starters for the 2020 season. While the team retained left guard Alex Lewis, they add tackles George Fant and Mekhi Becton. Additionally, they added center Connor McGovern and guard Greg Van Roten, a former Panther. Even though it is improved, there is still work to do on the line. In the 2021 draft, the Jets should take a look at Oregon Ducks left tackle Penei Sewell, if they have a top pick. Otherwise, they should look to target New England Patriots guard Joe Thuney in free agency.
This past offseason was quite eventful for the Jets defense. Arguably the best safety in the NFL, Jamal Adams was unhappy with the club, mainly for contract disagreements. As a result, he was traded to the Seattle Seahawks in exchange for two first-round draft picks and safety Bradley McDougald. Star linebacker and former Baltimore Raven C.J. Mosley missed all but 2 games in 2019, and due to COVID-19 concerns, he decided to opt-out of the 2020 season. However, the Jets LB core is relatively deep and it shouldn’t hurt them too much. The Jets have Avery Willamson back after missing all of 2019 and solid depth with Neville Hewitt and Blake Cashman.
Defense (cont.) Despite being strong at inside linebacker, the New York Jets have a very weak pass rush. Jordan Jenkins is a solid athlete, but there is nobody behind him. That is a major concern for the team. In the 2018 offseason, the Jets signed cornerback Trumaine Johnson a five-year, $72 million dollar contract. However, he was released this offseason after extremely poor play over the past 2 seasons. Other corners on the Jets consist of slot CB Brian Poole, and outside cornerbacks in Pierre Desir and rising star Blessuan Austin.
Although the Jets certainly upgraded this position, they still need another reliable option. With the loss of Jamal Adams, you would think safety is a weakness on this roster. Actually, it may be the strongest position the roster with the additions of McDougald and Ashtyn Davis in the draft. Marcus Maye is a great safety and should fill Adams’ role sooner than later.
Coming into this season, the New York Jets have practically nobody outside of 5th year rising star Jordan Jenkins at this position. That is definitely an area for concern, especially when squaring off against top pass offenses such as the Chiefs, Seahawks, and Saints. In the 3rd round of the draft, the Jets drafted former Florida Gator Jabari Zuniga. While starting the season on IR, once he comes back, he should have a huge role on the defense. In 2021 Free Agency, the Jets should look to pursue Ryan Kerrigan and Vic Beasley. In addition, they should take a look at can’t miss prospect Gregory Rousseau from Miami.
When the New York Jets signed former Rams cornerback Trumaine Johnson in 2018, the team had hoped he solved their issues at that spot. Unfortunately, he wasn’t the player the team was looking for and majorly underperformed. To replace him, the team added Pierre Desir, who played previously with the Indianapolis Colts. They also added Virginia cornerback Bryce Hall in the 6th round of the 2020 draft. Bless Austin and Brian Poole are both up and coming solid players as well. Since the team lacks a main lockdown corner, they should look to target Marlon Humphrey and Patrick Peterson if they enter free agency.