For the 11 straight year, the New York Jets will miss the playoffs, extending their already league-leading mark. Over those 11 years, New York has attempted numerous rebuilds, started various quarterbacks, and hired multiple head coaches. All to lead them to a 3-10 record so far in the 2021 NFL season.
As Gang Green gears up for the final stretch of the season, the team is bound to give different players a chance to prove themselves. With such a youthful roster, it is time to evaluate each and every player to determine what the team’s biggest needs are this off-season. That being said, let’s rank the Jets biggest needs to address during the 2022 off-season entering Week 15…
Ranking New York Jets Biggest Off-Season Needs Entering Week 15
5.) Wide Receiver
Finding out that rookie Elijah Moore would be hitting injured reserve was heartbreaking for Jets fans. One of the few bright spots of the 2021 season, the Ole Miss product may have established himself as the team’s top wide receiver one for next season. From Week 8-13, Moore totaled 35 receptions (51 targets) for 459 yards and five touchdowns. He even added five carries for 54 yards and another score in the ground game.
Nevertheless, the Jets have decisions to make. The supposed number one option, Corey Davis, will be under contract at least for another season. He caught four touchdowns on 34 receptions, totaling 492 yards receiving before needing season-ending core muscle surgery. New York will also have to replace Jamison Crowder, Keelan Cole, and Braxton Berrios, all of who are due to be free agents. Not to mention Denzel Mims, whose future in Gotham Green continues to get cloudy.
Has C.J. Mosley been perfect in his first full season with the New York Jets? No. He hasn’t been the fearsome run defender he once was, but his instincts, experience, and leadership make him a lock as a starter next season. The question becomes though who is starting alongside Mosley?
Jarrad Davis has not been the upgrade the team had hoped when he returned from injury mid-season. Rookie Jamien Sherwood showed promise prior to tearing his Achilles tendon Week 7. Fellow safety turned linebacker Hamsah Nasirildeen has only played 49 defensive snaps after seeing significant reps with the first-team defense during training camp. Meanwhile, Quincy Williams has provided a spark as a starter, but may not be a long-term answer. In other words, investing significant capital to add talent to the linebacker corps has to be on General Manager Joe Douglas’ to-do list this off-season.
3.) Tight End
Given Mike LaFleur’s background with the San Francisco 49ers, it wouldn’t have been surprising for the tight end position to become more involved in the passing game for the Jets. Yet here the Jets are with only 37 receptions (59 targets) and three touchdowns this season.
For the Jets offense to take off in year two with Zach Wilson as their starting quarterback, the Jets must upgrade at tight end. Veteran Tyler Kroft is due to be a free agent and has missed time hurt. Ryan Griffin is under contract, though could be cut to save cap space. Daniel Brown nor Trevon Wesco are locks to make the roster next year eiither, and Kenny Yeboah has only played in one game. Adding a playmaker who can work the middle of the field similar to how George Kittle does in San Francisco would do wonders for the Jets offense.
2.) Right Guard
One of the lesser trades of the season, the Jets acquisition of right guard Laurent Duvernay-Tardif may not have shocked the world, but it has drastically changed the offensive line. Now backup Greg Van Roten’s struggles impacted the entire unit, whereas Duvernay-Tardif’s consistency alone has boosted the blocking. Nonetheless, with Duvernay-Tardif set to be a free agent and Van Roten being a potential cap casualty, adding a starting-caliber right guard is a must. After all, Duvernay-Tardif has proven that a quality right guard might be the missing puzzle piece to completing the Jets revamped offensive line.
Long-term, the Jets need to find answers in the secondary. Starting cornerback Bryce Hall has shown out this season, proving to be a capable outside corner. Even second-year safety Ashtyn Davis is playing the best football of his career, aligning himself as an option as Marcus Maye’s replacement next season. At the same time, slot corner Michael Carter II looks like a nice day three find. Outside of them, it is hard to pinpoint the 2022 starters.
Rookies Isaiah Dunn and Jason Pinnock have been underwhelming in limited playtime. Veteran Justin Hardee only plays when on special teams. Outside of Javelin Guidry and Brandin Echols, it is hard to determine who deserves a roster spot in 2022. At safety, Elijah Riley has been a nice addition off the Philadelphia Eagles practice squad, though no other safeties on the roster stand out. Thus, leaving the secondary the number one priority for the Jets to upgrade this off-season.
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