Photo courtesy of New York Jets
The group of New York Jets players ranked 11 through 20 were full of unknowns who may or may not pan out.
However, with a few exceptions, this group of top 10 players contain more proven assets. Here is a ranked list of the most valuable Jets players heading into the 2020 season.
10. Le’Veon Bell, RB
If you ask Jets fans, Bell had a disappointing first year with the team in 2019. While his stats from last year will back up that assessment, the struggle in the run game was mostly due to the offensive line. Bell remains a versatile piece on the Jets’ offense that can produce in both the run game and as a pass catcher. However, his value as a running back is limited to how his team helps him out.
9. Denzel Mims, WR
Mims was general manager Joe Douglas’ 2020 second-round draft choice out of Baylor. His ability to be a possession receiver and make plays on the 50-50 balls provides as asset that the Jets have been missing the last few years. Expect him to be one of quarterback Sam Darnold’s primary options in the passing game this season.
8. Avery Williamson, ILB
The six-year veteran out of Kentucky was one of several missing key pieces on the Jets’ defense, who missed the year due to injury. Williamson is an elite run stopper, but is also when solid dropping into coverage or rushing the passer. While he is unlikely to be a Pro Bowler, a healthy Williamson will vastly improve the Jets’ front seven.
7. Jordan Jenkins, OLB
Jenkins, who usually functions as an edge defender, is perhaps the best pass rusher on the entire Jets’ roster. Coming off of an eight-sack season, Jenkins earned himself a one-year extension with the organization. It would not be surprising if he gets a longer-term deal after another productive year.
6. Jamison Crowder, WR
The Jets’ lack a superstar wideout, but expect Crowder to be the top option in the passing game. When it comes to the aerial attack, New York hopes to take a step forward. Crowder has yet to break out and reach the 1,000-yard plateau, but with the offense featuring him more heavily, he certainly has the tools to do so in 2020. While he is short and has a small catch radius, he makes up for it with his quickness after the catch. Crowder functions primarily out of the slot and should be among the league leaders in receptions this year.
5. Marcus Maye, S
The second-round pick out of Florida was an instant success as soon as he touched the field. Now entering his fourth season in the NFL, Maye is looking to replicate two consecutive years in which he finished in the top 20 in both overall and coverage grades among safeties. With questionable cornerbacks and another safety in Jamal Adams, who has been involved in trade rumors, Maye is a very reliable piece in the Jets’ secondary.
4. Brian Poole, CB
After three underwhelming seasons, Poole emerged in 2019 as one of the elite slot defenders in the league. Poole comes from the same college defensive backfield as Maye and they complement each other well. Poole is a speedy corner, who will rarely get beat downfield. Allowing the occasional explosive play is the one thing Maye struggles with, on the other hand.
3. C.J. Mosley, MLB
Mosley is a field general, who has always been known for his tremendous coverage skills. This ability, along with his tackling skills, convinced the Jets’ front office to sign him to a five-year contract worth $85 million last offseason. In the fourth quarter of a Week 1 contest against the Buffalo Bills, Mosley got injured and the Jets’ defense was substantially affected. Although defensive coordinator Gregg Williams’ unit had a statistically solid year, having Mosley back in 2020 will be huge.
2. Jamal Adams, S
All of the news regarding Adams lately has been trade-related, but he nonetheless, is considered on of the best safeties in the NFL. His versatility allows him to make plays in the backfield, on balls in the air, and make punishing hits in open space. Adams is now in the final year of his rookie contract, but the fifth-year option is likely to be used. With plenty of control, Douglas should be sure to get significant return value if he is traded.
1. Sam Darnold, QB
Although Darnold has a ton left to prove, nothing compares to the value of an adequate starting quarterback in the NFL. Approaching his third season as the Jets’ signal caller, Darnold has high expectations to prove himself worthy of the investment made in him. The promising sign is that his arm talent is certainly great. Good coaching will allow him to improve his ability to read the field and make better decisions with the ball.
While the Jets are not staked with household names, they have a substantial core of talented players with financial control. As long as they can remain healthy, the Jets can certainly compete for a wide open AFC East division.