The New York Jets are in the right direction. Joe Douglas had his first offseason this year and spent the downtime looking to surround and help Sam Darnold any way possible. The offensive line is completely remade, including their first-round selection being spent on an offensive tackle. Unfortunately, though, the Jets still have Adam Gase who is once again on the hot seat heading into the 2020 season. Gase will have to show some development from Darnold to keep his job at all.
Make sure to check out all of our in-depth power rankings here.
- Overall – 76.418 (25th)
- Offense – 74.865 (27th)
- Defense – 78.745 (22nd)
- Coach and Culture – 76.75 (24th)
- Home Field Advantage – 77.5, 26th (4% Defense, 2% Overall)
Quarterbacks – 76, T-23rd (36% Offense, 27% Overall)
Darnold took a small step forward from his rookie campaign in year two. Despite missing a few games due to mononucleosis, he threw for over 3,000 yards and 19 touchdowns. While Darnold has shown some elite play in some games, he has also shown some strides in games that make him look like a third-string quarterback. The Dallas game last year is an example of him looking like an elite quarterback, while the nationally televised game against New England was an example of the latter. Darnold’s decision making needs to take a step forward this year or else the Jets could start to look in a different direction.
Joe Flacco was brought in to mentor Darnold after a year in Denver. Flacco is on his third team in as many years after mentoring Lamar Jackson in Baltimore and Drew Lock in Denver. If Darnold were to get hurt again this year, Flacco could also come into games and provide a spark if needed. David Fales has had some action in some games but he and Mike White will be battling for a roster spot; potentially on another team. James Morgan was selected in the fourth round in a puzzling move as instead of addressing a bigger need, the Jets decided to take a raw, developmental quarterback that won’t be playing this year unless both Darnold and Flacco suffer injuries.
Running Backs – 83, 14th (4% Offense, 3% Overall)
The addition of Le’Veon Bell didn’t work out in the first year. Bell only totaled 789 rushing yards and three touchdowns last season. He suffered from an abysmal offensive line, as he only averaged 3.2 yards per carry. Most of Bell’s production came in the receiving game as he caught 66 passes for 401 yards. With another year in Gase’s system and an improved offensive line, Bell should be more productive this year and will need to be if the Jets plan on being competitive in the AFC.
The Jets selected Lamical Perine in the fourth round of the draft and has a surprisingly similar skillset to the one that Bell already brings. Perine had almost 2,500 yards in his career at Florida and 22 touchdowns. Helping Perine this year will be Frank Gore, who the team brought in after the draft. Trenton Cannon is the third-down and change-of-pace back who should stick on the roster while Josh Adams and Kenneth Dixon fight for roster spots. Adams had some spectacular moments for the Eagles in 2018 but couldn’t find the field for the Jets last year.
Pass Catchers – 77.5, T-26th (17% Offense, 8% Overall)
Jamison Crowder comes in as the number one option for Darnold in the slot. Crowder had 78 catches for 833 yards and six touchdowns last year and should be able to produce similar stats with the departure of Robby Anderson. Denzel Mims was added in the second round of the draft, which many thought of as a steal as many saw him as a first-round prospect. Breshad Perriman was added from Tampa Bay where he had a career resurgence last year as he caught 36 passes for 645 yards and six touchdowns. The trio is intriguing, but Crowder is the only sure thing of the group and he has had some problems staying healthy.
The Jets do have some players who could be in for some serious production that many fans haven’t heard of. First-round draft bust, Josh Doctson has shown some flashes but hasn’t been able to stay healthy. Josh Malone and Jehu Chesson were developmental projects on their former teams but couldn’t make the stacked depth charts in Cincinnati and Kansas City. Vyncint Smith played well last year in a limited role catching 17 passes for 225 yards and could take over for Anderson as the deep threat. Braxton Berrios backs up Crowder in the slot and won’t have much playing time unless Crowder were to go down with an injury.
Chris Herndon hoped to continue off of his great rookie season but suffered from a plethora of injuries last year, only securing one catch. Ryan Griffin had a solid season filling in for Herndon as he caught five touchdowns. Quincy Enunwa had a great season in 2016, as he caught 58 passes for 857 yards and four touchdowns. Since then though, Enunwa hasn’t been able to stay healthy and likely be forced to miss the 2020 season due to a neck injury.
Offensive Line – 73, 24th (24% Offense, 12% Overall)
The Jets surrendered 52 sacks last year. With Darnold coming into his third year and Bell having a horrendous first year in New York, Douglas made the offensive line the number one priority during the offseason. Mekhi Becton was selected with the 11th pick in the draft and will start at left tackle this year. While Becton’s highlight tape is phenomenal, he has some flaws in his game, especially with pass rush counters. Outside of Becton and Connor McGovern, who New York signed to start at center, the offensive line is a major question mark as to who will start at which positions.
Chuma Edoga and George Fant figure to battle for the right tackle spot. Edoga started eight games last year and struggled at times, making Fant a solid addition. However, Fant was an overpay on the open market. Alex Lewis figures to be the starter at left guard to open the season but could battle with free-agent acquisition Greg Van Roten for the starting role. Rookie, Cameron Clark could also factor into the left guard spot or could force the Jets to cut veteran, Brian Winters. Douglas has taken a lot of dart throws at free agents, expecting plenty of players to battle for the five starting spots. If all goes well, the Jets could have three starters for the foreseeable future with Becton, Clarke, and Edoga.
Run Defense – 83.5, T-10th (6% Defense, 2% Overall)
The Jets finished second in run defense last year. Steve McLendon is one of the best nose tackles in the league at run-stopping and now has the task of tutoring Quinnen Williams after a horrific rookie season. Folorunso Fatukasi and Henry Anderson are great run defenders and could keep Williams off the field if he doesn’t get his head on straight. The Jets also selected Nathan Shepherd in the third round last year who is great against the run.
C.J. Mosley and Avery Williamson are great run stoppers as well. Williamson is coming off of a torn ACL and Mosley missed time as well last year with injuries. Gregg Williams does a great job at scheming up his defense. He could eventually land another head-coaching gig if he puts the Jets defense on the map this year.
Pass Rush – 69, 30th (21% Defense, 10% Overall)
Jordan Jenkins is the best pass rusher on the team and had eight sacks last year. Besides that though, the pass rush needs help desperately. Jordan Willis and Tarell Basham were high draft picks are on the roster to try and produce for the first time in their careers. The Jets drafted Jabari Zuniga in the third round this year. Undrafted free agent, Bryce Huff, could surprise and make the roster and carve a role on the defense early in the season. Jamal Adams had 6.5 sacks last year as a safety, which was second on the team. That can’t happen again this year.
Linebackers – 82.5, 10th (15% Defense, 4% Overall)
The Jets run four deep at linebacker. Mosley and Williamson are great run defenders who struggle in coverage at times. Both were injured last year, which severely hindered the defense. Blake Cashman was a great selection last year in the draft and is a quick defender who can help the Jets in coverage, albeit with injury concerns as well. Patrick Onwuasor was added from Baltimore and could find playing time in nickel and dime packages to relieve Mosley and Williamson. Onwuasor has started 31 games for Baltimore and could force the Jets to move on from Williamson.
Secondary – 79.5, T-17th (26% Defense, 17% Overall)
The secondary starts with Adams. While Adams plays in the box usually, he is all over the field at linebacker, safety, and edge rusher. Adams can flip a game all on his own. Then, the Jets also have Marcus Maye who they might not be able to pay with Adams likely to get a new contract unless he gets traded. Ashtyn Davis was taken in the third-round who could potentially replace Maye if they decide to let him walk. Matthias Fairley provides solid depth.
The cornerback room is full of a lot of intriguing prospects as well. Pierre Desir was brought in after he was surprisingly cut by the Colts during the offseason. Blessuan Austin was a great selection on day three of the draft last year and seemingly won a starting spot on the outside this year opposite of Desir. Brian Poole will start in the slot as a veteran who has tons of experience. Quincy Wilson was brought in after he couldn’t figure it all out in Indianapolis and could get playing time as the third outside cornerback.
The Jets brought in a ton of talented rookies who can play cornerback as well. Bryce Hall was thought of as a first-round pick early in the season but fell to the fifth round of the draft following a poor 2019 season due to injuries. New York also brought in Javelin Guidry and Shyheim Carter who will mainly play in the slot in New York, as well as Lamar Jackson who will line up on the outside. Arthur Maulet started six games last year but could potentially be cut in favor of the rookies. New York has a ton of talented players in the secondary and could be one of the surprising teams in the NFL if their defense comes together.
Coach and Culture – 76.75, 24th (19% Offense, 28% Defense, 15% Overall)
Gase makes the Jets a laughing stock. He continues to get coaching jobs when he doesn’t do much with the ones he had before. Gase hasn’t been able to make the most out of Darnold’s talents. Now he has a mishmash group of receivers for Darnold to throw the ball to. The Jets come in 29th for offensive coach and culture.
Williams is one of the better defensive coordinators in the league. He knows how to scheme against opposing offenses and has a no-nonsense approach to the way he coaches and how his teams practice. With a ton of talented but unproven players, Williams has his work cut out for him again this year. New York comes in at 13th for defensive coach and culture.
The Jets are improving fast. Douglas had a great draft and made plenty of free-agent acquisitions to help Darnold’s development. Gase is on the hot seat again this year. If the Jets get off to a slow start, he could be fired before the midway point of the season. New York’s defense is the reason why the Jets are a dark horse for the playoffs.
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