The Jets have gone from a potential sleeper team to make the playoffs this year to a franchise with uncertainties surrounding the offense and a fire sale going on the defense. With Sam Darnold going down for 3 games, it really took all of the wind out of the sails for the season. After moving Leonard Williams and the rumors of moving Jamal Adams and LeVeon Bell running rampant around the football world, the Jets seem to be looking toward next season now. Lets see what could help the Jets make a splash next season.
Is Sam Darnold the Answer?
Remember a time when the NFL used to give quarterbacks 3-4 years in order to tell if they are going to be a boom or a bust? Ask Josh Rosen how that’s working out for him. Anyway Sam Darnold has had a tumultuous start to his NFL career. 22 tds to 23 interceptions is not a great stat, but he has not had the best talent around him to say the least. His best receivers are Robby Anderson and an aging Demaryus Thomas. He does have a quality running back in LeVeon Bell, but they are loading 8 in the box to make Darnold beat them in the passing game. Darnold is not a guy that can really create or extend a play with his feet. He is not a guy that is going to wow you with his athleticism. Do the Jets need to find a guy that can create something out of nothing?
Buy Low and Sell High
The Jets made some big splashes this year by signing LeVeon Bell and CJ Mosley in order to try and compete with the New England Patriots in the AFC East. Surprisingly, the Jets have done well enough in the draft with the picks of guys like Leonard Williams, Jamal Adams, Sheldon Richardson, and Quinnen Williams, yet they have not been able to put all the pieces together since 2010. If the Washington Redskins have taught the NFL anything, its overpaying massively for quality free agent players does not pay off as often as teams hope it would. The Jets should continue to build through the draft and build their team around young and hungry newcomers other than overpaying for proven players and it not working out.
Find Some Wide Receiver Help for Sam Darnold
Whether it is Sam Darnold or another quarterback, they are going to need a better receiver core than Demaryus Thomas, Robby Anderson, and Jamison Crowder. As I have mentioned in previous blogs, this is a deep wide receiver class. A guy in the second round like Laviska Shenault Jr (Colorado) would give the Jets a great upgrade at wide receiver.
Offensive Line Help
Sam Darnold was not just seeing ghosts on his own. His offensive line was not giving him much protection for him to get any downfield passes going. Andrew Thomas (Georgia) needs to be their first round pick whatever the cost is. Having a 10 year offensive tackle would be a great building block for their offensive line for the foreseeable future.
The Jets have a good defense with a work in progress offense that do not need many pieces in order to be a playoff contender in the near future. A wideout and some help on the offensive line could turn the future of the Jets around fairly quickly. The core is almost complete with the Jets; its just going to take a little extra to get them over the monsters of the East that are the Patriots.