The Jets have had a disastrous season to this point. The team is 0-11 and has shown no signs of improving. Aside from a couple of games, the Jets have lost by at least two scores and several games have been blowouts.
The offense has been a disaster as Sam Darnold has taken a huge step backward. The defense has not been on their game either. The offensive line has been a disaster yet again, and Darnold has been significantly hurt as a result. Lastly, the coaching, especially Adam Gase, has been downright dreadful. You add all that up and you get a team who hasn’t won a game all year.
Are the Jets Actually Tanking?
So that leads to the question of whether the Jets are indeed tanking for the first overall pick. The easy and quick answer is yes, yes they are. Whether the Jets would like to admit it or not, it’s clear what their intentions are.
They don’t have to necessarily tell anyone their plans as they seem pretty self-evident at the moment. One of the main indicators of this is the refusal to fire head coach Adam Gase. Although Gase has been saved by Christopher Johnson for the moment, it is highly likely he will be gone. However, if he does remain, there will likely be a revolt among Jets fans, and rightfully so.
Jets Have Their Eyes on Trevor Lawrence
The Jets have their eyes on the prize. The prize is, of course, landing the first overall pick in the NFL Draft. And as of right now, they are on that trajectory. They are currently 0-11 and don’t really have a winnable game left the rest of the way.
This is music to the ears of Jets fans and Jets brass alike. Trevor Lawrence is the consensus prize that would await the Jets should they have the opportunity to land the first pick. Lawrence recently said his goodbyes to his college team in social media posts, indicating his intentions to enter the 2021 draft.
This comes after many public pressures to remain for his senior year, and burn the Jets. Many articles were written insisting and pleading that Trevor Lawrence does everything he can to refuse to play for NY. This of course would not be unprecedented for the Jets.
Peyton Manning Spurns The Jets
In 1997, Peyton Manning was a quarterback at the University of Tennessee. In March of that year, Manning held a news conference, in which most expected was his intentions to enter the league. Unfortunately for the Jets and Jets fans, he didn’t.
This was a huge blow to the Jets, who had just hired Bill Parcells to be their head coach, and they were looking forward to having their quarterback of the future. Manning threw all those plans out the window and what was exhilaration in Tennessee, was heartbreak in NY.
The Jets were rightfully stunned by the decision and Jets fans were emotionally distraught. Thus, it would not be something out of the ordinary to be spurned yet again. However, not one Jets fan or member of the front office wants to even imagine such a dark and depressing scenario.
Lawrence Shows Improvement Each Year
Lawrence has the potential to be a special player, should the Jets have the honor of drafting him. He is the most compelling prospect in the draft class since Andrew Luck and he is ready for a breakthrough in the NFL.
He has played three seasons at Clemson University and has improved each year. In 2018, he played in fifteen games and had 259 completions in 397 attempts for a completion rate of 65.2 percent. He also threw for 3280 yards and had 30 touchdowns and four interceptions. In 2019, he increased his completions slightly to 268 and attempts slightly to 407 in 15 games. He also improved to 36 touchdowns, but also thew four more interceptions.
In 2020, he has only played seven games to date, but his paces far outpace his previous two seasons. He is on pace to have over 340 completions on 487 attempts, for a completion rate of 70.6 percent. That would be five percentage points higher than either of his last two seasons. He is also on pace to throw around an enormous 4,785 yards, which is significantly improved from 2018 and 2019. Lastly, he currently has 19 touchdowns and two interceptions, for which he is on pace to get around 40 touchdowns and just four interceptions.
Lawrence Is A Special Talent
Lawrence’s big arm and the right amount of arrogance is going to be a perfect combination in the league. He trusts in his ability to make every throw and his arm strength supports that. His athleticism and ability to make subtle moves to avoid rushers and then be able to find open targets down the field is incredible.
He is comfortable navigating the pocket in every direction and uses his patience to allow for routes to develop. Thus, he doesn’t panic and lets the routes find themselves and then is able to unleash. In college, Lawrence has been a man amongst boys. He has demonstrated good poise and comfort under pressure and hasn’t let the bright lights get the best of him.
And while the NFL is a completely different animal, Lawrence is more than prepared to deal with the pressure and challenges that come along with it. As a result, Lawrence is indeed a special player and is going to be able to shine in NY if he indeed does end up there and the Jets brass supports him with quality offensive targets and a strong offensive line.
Jets Have Their Work Cut Out For Them
Many argue that his abilities are likely to be hurt in NY due to the lack of talent with the club. General manager Joe Douglas has a lot of work cut out for him to alter those perceptions. The Jets’ current quarterback has clearly taken a significant step backward this year.
This has led to worries that the Jets won’t do everything they can to protect Trevor Lawrence and give him the weapons to succeed. On the other hand, it seems that Trevor Lawrence has been the goal for a while now. There are many ways the Jets can go to build up their roster, but as the old saying goes, Rome wasn’t built in a day.
The Jets have some legit talent that can be used as the building blocks of the future. Denzel Mims, the Jets second-round pick this past year, has looked good. Quinnen Williams has turned it on in his second year in the NFL. Mecki Becton is only going to get better as well. While there a still a lot more needs for the club, there is a good starting block of players to build around.
The good news for the Jets is they will have a lot of wiggle room to do what they need to upgrade the club. They have a lot of draft capital and a lot of money. Whether it’s through free agency, trades, or the draft, the Jets are going to have a very busy offseason. They will try and follow the trajectory of the Arizona Cardinals and Miami Dolphins over the past couple of years. Both clubs had top four picks in the draft and selected a quarterback. Currently, both teams are in competition for a playoff spot. Joe Douglas and company are hoping for similar outcomes, though patience will be key, at least for one or two years.
To conclude, the Jets are very well tanking for the first pick, and rightfully so. The club has been a disaster all season and they aren’t going to get better. Adam Gase has been a huge help to the tank, as he has been a complete disaster. This should be his season as head coach as he clearly hasn’t deserved to coach another year. He has been incompetent at the top and has burned many bridges with players. He has been a bad look for the organization and has only supported the dumpster fire that the Jets have been. Christopher Johnson must admit that he made a mistake and let Gase go after this year,
Anyway, the Jets will worry about that when the time comes but for the moment, everyone has their eyes on losing so that they will be able to pick first overall. This would of course bring Trevor Lawrence to NY, which would be a monumental change for the franchise. And while many may fear the Jets failing to support Lawrence as they did with Darnold, remember who’s in charge. Mike Maccaganan was incompetent as the team’s general manager. Joe Douglas seems to have a more developed plan for how he’s going to fix the NY Jets and the fans are just going to have to trust in him, as difficult as it may be.