New York Jets 2018 team preview
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The New York Jets had a pop-up season a few years ago, but it didn’t last. Last season, they seemed to be ready to start over. There were question marks all over the field and a lot of unknown players on last year’s roster. However, they started 3-2 to begin the season and had a shot at the playoffs. Things turned from there and they won just two games the rest of the season. They were able to make some changes in the offseason that they hope will change the fortune of the franchise.

Here is a breakdown of the Jets for the 2018 season.

Head Coach

Todd Bowles is entering his fourth season as head coach of the Jets. He has amassed 20-28 record in that time. He also was the interim head coach of the Dolphins in 2011. He was 2-1 in that stint. In addition to his head coaching jobs, he has been the defensive coordinator of the Cardinals (two seasons), secondary coach and interim defensive coordinator of the Eagles (one), assistant head coach and secondary coach of the Dolphins (four), secondary coach of the Cowboys (three), secondary coach of the Browns (four), secondary coach of the Jets (one), defensive coordinator and secondary coach of Grambling State University (two), defensive coordinator and secondary coach of Morehouse College (one) and player personnel staff member of the Packers (two).

Draft Picks

Round 1, Pick 3 – Sam Darnold, QB, Southern California. Darnold has all the tools to be an elite quarterback. Many thought he should have been the first overall pick.

Round 3, Pick 72 – Nathan Shepherd, DL, Fort Hays State. Shepherd is a big and athletic interior defender. He may not be ready for an immediate starting role but has a high upside.

Round 4, Pick 107 – Chris Herndon, TE, Miami. Herndon is an athletic receiver with good size. He is a raw prospect with a lot of potential.

Round 6, Pick 179 – Parry Nickerson, CB, Tulane. Nickerson is a tough, undersized cornerback with blazing speed. His high football-IQ, speed and physicality should make him an effective slot corner.

Round 6, Pick 180 – Foley Fatukasi, DT, Connecticut. Fatuksi is a strong and versatile interior defender with versatility along the front. He has starting potential.

Round 6, Pick 204 – Trenton Cannon, RB, Virginia State. Cannon is an undersized back with explosiveness in the open field. He is very good on the edge and has change-of-pace back potential.

Notable Additions

QB Teddy Bridgewater (Vikings) – Bridgewater is an accurate and mobile quarterback with long-term starting potential. He is still an unknown as he comes back from a severe knee injury.

RB Isaiah Crowell (Browns) – Crowell is a between-the-tackles runner that gets downhill. He doesn’t take too many negative plays but also doesn’t get a lot of big runs.

CB Trumaine Johnson (Rams) – Johnson is a big and physical shutdown corner. He has plus speed and athleticism, but they aren’t his best traits.

C Spencer Long (Washington) – Long is a big, versatile interior lineman. He should be the starting center from Day 1.

WR Terrelle Pryor (Washington) – Pryor is an intriguing receiver. He is big and athletic with some proven success in the NFL. He has struggled with injuries and inconsistency over the last few years.

RB Thomas Rawls (Seahawks) – Rawls is a strong back that can grind out big runs. He doesn’t have too many negative runs but also doesn’t have too many home run plays either and injuries have been a problem.

LB Avery Williamson (Titans) – Williamson is a downhill linebacker. He is a big and strong run-stuffer with the strength to take on fullbacks and power runners.

Projected Starters

Offense

Quarterback – 15 Josh McCown; Running Back – 20 Isaiah Crowell; Wide Receiver – 11 Robby Anderson; Wide Receiver – 10 Jermaine Kearse; Wide Receiver – 81 Quincy Enunwa; Tight End – 86 Jordan Leggett; Left Tackle – 68 Kelvin Beachum; Left Guard – 77 James Carpenter; Center – 61 Spencer Long; Right Guard – 67 Brian Winters; Right Tackle – 72 Brandon Shell

Defense

Defensive Lineman – 92 Leonard Williams; Defensive Lineman – 99 Steve McLendon; Defensive Lineman – 97 Nathan Shepherd; Outside Linebacker – 95 Josh Martin; Inside Linebacker – 58 Darron Lee; Inside Linebacker – 54 Avery Williamson; Outside Linebacker – 48 Jordan Jenkins; Cornerback – 21 Morris Claiborne; Cornerback – 22 Trumaine Johnson; Safety – 33 Jamal Adams; Safety – 26 Marcus Maye

Specialists

Kicker – 8 Cairo Santos; Punter – 4 Lachlan Edwards; Long Snapper – 42 Thomas Hennessy

Biggest Question

When will Sam Darnold become the full-time starter?

The Jets drafted Darnold third overall for a reason. The Jets coaching staff appears to still favor Josh McCown starting in Week 1, but analysts raved about Darnold’s performance in his first preseason game. Somewhat forgotten in the mix is Teddy Bridgewater. He was showing promise before dislocating his knee. The Jets have a decision to make.

To Answer That Question

Some point this year.

Darnold is going to start at some point this season. There is no doubt about that. Predicting when is very difficult. The ideal time is right after a bye because he would have an extra week to prepare to start, but they come out of their Week 11 off week against the Patriots. It is at home, but he may feel too much pressure to go toe-to-toe with Tom Brady. Perhaps they make the move after Week 4, they face the Broncos and Colts at home before facing the Vikings (also at home). That seems like the best time to make the move.

Outlook

The Jets have young pieces to build around, but still, need to add more. They are going to struggle, as will two-thirds of the rest of the division, against non-divisional opponents. The Jets should have another four or five-win season.