After falling short of the postseason for the 12th season in a row in 2022, Joe Douglas, Robert Saleh, and the rest of the front office swung big this offseason. When you look at this current roster after the big moves made this past offseason, it is one of the most talented rosters we’ve seen on paper for the New York Jets. It is also currently on paper one of the favorites to win big this season.
Today let’s take a look at this roster and break down the two biggest strengths on offense and the two biggest strengths on defense.
Biggest Strengths on Offense and Defense for the Jets
Starting on offense, this is one of the easiest choices for the Jets and that’s QB. For many years now the Jets have struggled to find a QB, that however changed in a big way this offseason. Striking a trade for Aaron Rodgers puts this offense on the map for real. Rodgers is a Super Bowl Champion, 4x NFL MVP, 10x Pro Bowler, and a future Hall of Famer. Last season four different Jets QBs saw playing time in the regular season Zach Wilson, Joe Flacco, Mike White, and Chris Streveler.
Having stability finally at the position will be huge for the Jets that have desperately needed it for what seems like forever. Rodgers will be able to spread the ball around, utilize every weapon he has and get the most out of the talent on the offense. Expect key players like Garrett Wilson, Mecole Hardman, Allen Lazard, and Corey Davis to all have big productive seasons for this Jets offense. Randall Cobb as well even though he won’t get many snaps he has chemistry with Rodgers and is a reliable target in the red zone. Also, with the offensive system that offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett and Rodgers are implementing expect the tight end room to see an uptick in production.
This was a tough choice between running back and receiver because both positions are extremely talented. However, with the recent signing of Dalvin Cook the Jets RB room is complete with lots of talent. The Jets have five very qualified running backs but only four spots available on the 53-man roster. The newest addition of Cook provides much-needed veteran experience to a very young room. Before the signing of Cook, Michael Carter was the “veteran” in the room even though he is only entering his third season.
Now with the addition of Cook, you pair him with rookie standout Breece Hall and the potential is there to be one of the most lethal 1-2 punches in the game. Some may have forgotten but Hall was on his way to Offensive Rookie of the Year. Unfortunately, he tore his ACL ending his rookie campaign in Denver in week seven. Hall and Cook are your top two backs going into week one. Add new rookie RB from Pitt Israel Abanikanda and either Michael Carter or Bam Knight and you are set with a very talented and explosive RB room.
Where do you even start with how talented and deep this defensive line room is? Many fans coming up with names for it like Sack Exchange 2.0 and many others. Let’s just say the excitement level is very high for this defensive line. Joe Douglas has put together a nice mix of young talent and veteran talent.
Quinnen Williams is the biggest name on the defensive line fresh off of getting paid. Coming off a 12-sack season in year number two in Robert Saleh’s system he blossomed as one the best interior defensive lineman in the NFL. The Jets also added veterans like pass rusher Quinton Jefferson and run-stopper Al Woods from Seattle in free agency. EDGE rusher Will McDonald who was the Jets’ 2023 first-round pick has shown lots of flashes so far in Preseason action. Another EDGE rusher in Jermaine Johnson is primed for a breakout year in year number 2 after primarily being used in a developmental role last season. He put on a lot of muscle in the offseason and has had a fantastic Training Camp and Preseason. Also, can’t forget about other pieces like Carl Lawson, John Franklin-Myers, Micheal Clemons, Solomon Thomas, and Bryce Huff.
For many years the Jets have had major holes in their secondary specifically at corner but that has finally changed. The Jets last season statistically had three top 25 cornerbacks in the NFL. Sauce Gardner, D.J. Reed, and Michael Carter II quickly made their mark on this Jets’ defense last season.
The CB room is headlined by Sauce Gardner who took home Defensive Rookie of the Year leading the league in passes defended (20) last year. Sauce who was the fourth overall pick in the 2022 NFL Draft exceeded expectations last season for the Jets. Causing receivers to get “Lost in the Sauce.” Another big piece is Michael Carter II who took a real big leap from year 1 to year 2. Coming out of last season he solidified himself as one of the better slot cornerbacks in the NFL. D.J. Reed is the most underrated out of the three corners when you look at his production last season. Joe Douglas signed Reed in the 2022 offseason, after just one year he’s turned into one of Douglas’ best free agent signings. Reed has also been a really good leader for this Jets’ secondary and defense as a whole.
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