The New York Jets are rebuilding their roster. They have some very good young players, but still need more in key positions. They may have solved their issue at the most important position. They need to get him more weapons and more protection as well as a few upgrades on defense.
Here are the best players on the Jets roster and some predictions for this season.
Best Skilled Offensive Player
Anderson has good size and athleticism. He entered the league in 2016 as a long shot to make team. He wasn’t drafted and went to camp fighting for two roster spots against several receivers, including a draft pick and veteran expected to make the team. He was one of the best receivers on the team in the preseason and made it. Anderson quickly made his way up the roster and finished the season third on the team in receiving yards. Despite an offseason arrest, he came back in 2017 and led the team in receiving yards while playing all 16 games. Anderson is facing a potential suspension this season after another offseason arrest. The Jets have a lot of decent receivers on the roster, but, when on the field, Anderson is the team’s No. 1 receiver.
Best Offensive Lineman
Carpenter is a former first-round draft pick that took a few years to reach his full potential. He finally took over as a full-time starter in Year 3 with the Seahawks. He continued to start for the Seahawks the following season and then left for the Jets in 2015. He has started every game over his three seasons in New York at left guard. Carpenter is big and athletic with solid technique and high-end pass blocking skills. Carpenter is an anchor on the offensive line that could be the most important blocker on the Jets if he can be more consistent.
Best Pass Rusher
Williams is a big, strong and quick defensive lineman. He has the size and quickness to play anywhere on the defensive line. Williams had just two sacks last season, which was good for tied for fifth on the team. He had seven sacks in 2016, which led the team. The latter is more representative of his ability. Last season was an anomaly. He is a dominant or game-changing pass rusher but is the best on the Jets roster.
Best Pass Defender
Johnson has very good size, speed, physicality and aggressiveness. He locks on to receivers and uses his size to physically take them out of the play. He can shut down a third of the field and always is effective in run support. Johnson will be the No. 1 corner in his first season in New York. Johnson has 18 interceptions and 67 passes defensed in his six-year NFL career.
Stewart is a long shot with a performance-enhancing suspension to begin the season. When he returns, he has the size, speed and versatility to be a big-time weapon for the Jets. Stewart was used different ways as a rookie last season. He had seven rushes for 27 yards, six catches for 82 yards and 19 kickoff returns for 173 yards. With another offseason and more time for the coaching staff to draw up plays for his skill set, Stewart should get to 800 total yards from scrimmage, plus whatever he does on kickoffs.
Best New Addition
Williamson is a very tackler. He has the size and athleticism to play downhill and attack the running back in the hole. The Jets have a pretty good athlete, coverage linebacker in Darron Lee. Williamson is a terrific compliment to him. Williamson had 92 combined tackles, three sacks, two forced fumbles and two passes defensed last season for the Titans. His tackle production always has topped 100 the two previous seasons. He will be a big addition to the Jets’ run defense.
Not So Out On A Limb Prediction
Josh McCown will not start all 16 games this season.
The Jets are not going to challenge for a playoff spot. It does not make sense for them to play McCown, a 39-year-old journeyman quarterback, all season. Rookie first-round draft pick Sam Darnold is going to play at some to get him some game action. They are going to ease him in and have McCown start at least Week 1. The Jets also have Teddy Bridgewater, who has been pretty good so far in preseason. At some point, probably early in the season, they will make the change at quarterback.
The Jets will not have a rusher reach 700 yards.
The Jets have a lot of running backs capable of being the starter, but none of them are stars. The Jets added two veterans in the offseason that have had some success in the NFL. Isaiah Crowell had over 900 yards for the Browns. Thomas Rawls had an over 800 yards as a rookie for the Seahawks. Bilal Powell is a seven-year veteran, all with the Jets, with over 700 yards in each of the last two seasons. Along with limited upside, each of them is going to take carries away from each other as well as second-year sixth-round pick Elijah McGuire and rookie sixth-round pick Trenton Cannon. It is unlikely all five of them will make the team, but they all will play portions of the season with the Jets. Crowell has already suffered a concussion in the preseason and McGuire is doubtful for the opener with a broken foot that required surgery. Rawls has an injury history. No one player will get enough carries to reach 700 yards.