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2019 Team Report: New York Jets

Offensive Philosophy

The Jets hired new head coach Adam Gase largely for his reputation as an offensive chameleon, someone who is able to tailor his scheme to his available personnel. Gase has talked about how the strength of the Jets is their large outside receivers in Robby Anderson and Quincy Enunwa, but of course the real centerpiece will almost certainly be newly-acquired do-everything running back Le'Veon Bell. Gase has also said that, deep down, he loves to attack down the field, something he didn't have many opportunities for with the Dolphins but which he can hopefully take better advantage of with the Jets.

Quarterbacks

Starter: Sam Darnold
Backup(s): Trevor Siemian, Davis Webb, Luke Falk

Starting QB: The New York Jets' 2018 first round pick had an up and down season for his new team, but Sam Darnold showed a lot of progress and improvement towards the end of the season. He has a ton of room for more improvement, and the Jets have helped him out a little by signing running back LeVeon Bell as well as former Packer Ty Montgomery. He still lacks a consistent top-shelf wide receiver, but it's not a wasteland. He has the tools at his disposal. He needs to make better and more consistent decisions, continue to play with confidence and rust his targets. The Jets need to get him more receiving help and continue to shore up an offensive line which at times let him get clobbered in 2018.

Backup QB: Trevor Siemian has proven to be a decent backup and could get the Jets through a rough patch if they needed him to due to a Sam Darnold injury. He was never fantastic in Denver as a starter, but he is competent enough to be a back up. Whether signing Davis Webb was meant to be a thumb in eye of crosstown rival New York Giants for talking Webb up and then cutting him or not, but they clearly like him enough to keep him around. Decidedly overmatched even in the little preseason action he saw for the Giants, Webb has some raw tools which make him a potential backup, if he can continue to improve. After spending 2018 as a reserve in Miami, Luke Falk is likely just a camp arm for the Jets this year, though nobody outside of Sam Darnold is a sure thing to make the roster, so anything can happen.

Running Backs

Starter: LeVeon Bell
Backup(s): Bilal Powell, Elijah McGuire, Ty Montgomery, Trenton Cannon, DeAngelo Henderson
Fullback(s):

Starting RB: If there was one signing Jets fans wanted this offseason, this was it. LeVeon Bell will have a massive impact for this offense, both running or catching the ball as well as making it easier for receivers to get open by pulling defenders into the box just by lining up in the backfield. He'll be able to bail quarterback Sam Darnold out of trouble as a receiver, and even if he's behind a shaky offensive line-and we don't know how good or bad this group is yet-he will gain yards rushing the ball. Having a year to rest his legs is a good thing as well, and could extend his time in NY and the NFL. Some questions are still unanswered though. What shape is he in? If reports are to be believed, he swelled up to 260 pounds while he held out. Will the time off help his legs but leave him with rust that could hinder his ability this season? And we know he came to NY in part for the off-field business opportunities-he released a rap album the night he signed-so will those things be a distraction? If he holds it together, the Jets will have one of the best backfields in the NFL. If he falters in one area or another, the team will struggle to recover this year.

Backup RBs: The Jets were very high on Elijah McGuire heading into last season, but he was on Injured Reserve until Week 9, and so the year didn't go the way anyone hoped. McGuire can run the ball effectively, and catch the ball well, but he pales in comparison to LeVeon bell. He'll mostly be a change of pace guy or someone who the team uses to spell Bell. Ty Montgomery is also a potential change of pace guy, but is more likely someone who will function as a third-and-long back, a receiver built like a running back who can punish defenders after the catch. It would be intriguing if new head coach Adam Gase used both Bell and Montgomery in the backfield, because Sam Darnold could choose either one, making it hard for the defense to cover both effectively. Trenton Cannon was at one point the last man standing in the backfield, once Bilal Powell and Isaiah Crowell (both now gone) were downed by injuries. He's a solid runner, but undersized and there are durability concerns. He could move back to kick or punt returns with Andre Roberts gone, assuming Cannon can overcome his issues hanging onto the ball. De′Angelo Henderson is going to have a hard time sticking on the roster, and he was cut last season to make room for Elijah McGuire's return from injury.

Fullback:

Wide Receivers

Starters: Quincy Enunwa, Robby Anderson
Backups: Jamison Crowder, Josh Bellamy, Deontay Burnett, Charone Peake, Quadree Henderson

Starting WRs: New Jets head coach wants to use Quincy Enunwa in new and different ways, which is exactly what he said over and over about DeVante Parker in Miami, but it never ended up meaning anything. The Jets did hamper Enunwa last season, keeping him close to the line of scrimmage, which was in part due to concerns about Sam Darnold as a rookie. It would be good for the team to expand Enunwa's role, both vertically and in the slot. He and Robby Anderson's futures are both tied to Darnold, as they will both help-and be helped or hindered by-what the second-year starter can do this season. Anderson's production went backwards in 2018, both because of that link to Darnold as well as some issues Anderson had dealing with the coverage that comes with being a number one receiver. He, like Enunwa, seemed to be forced into roles he wasn't always comfortable with in Jeremy Bates offense. With Bates gone, the jets might turn Anderson loose as well.

Backup WRs: Jamison Crowder might have come at a bit of a discount given his injury issues in 2018. He's been a solid receiver over the course of his four-year Washington career, as he caught most of what came his way from sometimes shaky options. He should work out of the slot most of the time. Deontay Burnett could get on the field as a fourth receiver if the Jets need him to. An old teammate of Sam Darnold's Burnett had a couple of good games with him last year. Charone Peake was supposed to have a breakout year in 2018, but didn't live up to expectations before getting hurt mid-season. Peake has some nice athleticism, and can go up and grab the ball, but has lacked that next gear and killer instinct he needs to survive at this level. Quadree Henderson and Joshua Bellamy will be a special teams players if they make the team.

Tight Ends

Starters: Chris Herndon
Backups: Trevon Wesco [R], Eric Tomlinson, Neal Sterling, Daniel Brown

Chris Herndon was a consistent bright spot for the New York Jets offense during his rookie season, and he could take a big jump this year building off that. The question mark could be new head coach Adam Gase, who doesn't always seem to use his tight ends, and under whom Miami Dolphins tight end Mike Gesicki was a wash. He'll be a fine blocking tight end and there is some potential for him as a receiver. But in the fourth round, for a team with only six picks and a ton of needs? Trevon Wesco out of West Virgina was a fourth round pick for the Jets, and looked good with blocking for the Mountaineers. He wasn't used a ton as a pass-catcher in college. His presence will spell doom for at least one, and maybe more, of Eric Tomlinson or Neal Sterling. Daniel Brown converted from receiver to tight end while with Chicago and was invisible last season.

Place Kicker

Chandler Catanzaro: The Jets had a pro bowl kicker in 2018 in Jason Myers. He made 6-of-7 from 50+ yards and 10-of-11 from 40-49 yards. He finished sixth in scoring and third in fantasy leagues that reward distance kicks. This offseason, the Seahawks signed Myers, leaving Chandler Catanzaro as the consolation for the Jets in free agency. Catanzaro was with the Jets in 2017 and performed well enough, but the team didn't retain him in 2018, which opened the door for Myers. Catanzaro was signed by Tampa instead, but didn't last the season due to repeated field goal and extra point misses. Carolina added him late in the season when Graham Gano went down and Catanzaro made all five of his field goal attempts, including two from 50+ yards. With this momentum, Catanzaro signed a one-year, $2.3 million dollar deal, but with only $600,000 guaranteed. The Jets could be playing rent-a-kicker again soon, perhaps as early as mid-season, like Catanzaro's last team. Catanzaro could have some fantasy value if he is consistent as the Jets tied for the fifth-most field goal attempts last year and the offense is on the rise.

Kick and Punt Returners

Kick Returners: Trenton Cannon, Quadree Henderson

Last year, the Jets featured a first-team All Pro returner in Andre Roberts who paced the league in total returns, total return yards, and yards per punt return. This year, Roberts has moved on and the team is left with questions about who can step up and replace his production. Running back Trenton Cannon and receiver Quadree Henderson both have the speed and dynamism to make splash plays on special teams and should contend for return duties in 2019.

Punt Returners: Trenton Cannon, Quadree Henderson

Last year, the Jets featured a first-team All Pro returner in Andre Roberts who paced the league in total returns, total return yards, and yards per punt return. This year, Roberts has moved on and the team is left with questions about who can step up and replace his production. Running back Trenton Cannon and receiver Quadree Henderson both have the speed and dynamism to make splash plays on special teams and should contend for return duties in 2019.

Offensive Line

Projected Starters: Kelvin Beachum, Kelechi Osemele, Jonotthan Harrison, Brian Winters, Brandon Shell
Key Backups: Tom Compton, Chuma Edoga [R], Brent Qvale, Jon Toth

The Jets' improved their line by trading a fifth-round pick to Oakland for left guard Kelechi Osemele. "KO" is a proven vet who can push the pile in running situations and fits with new head coach Adam Gase's philosophy on larger sized linemen. Brian Winters played every snap at right guard last season, as did left tackle Kelvin Beachum. Beachum and right tackle Brandon Shell are underrated by league standards and do a decent job on the whole. The team drafted Chuma Edoga in the third round from USC to develop as their left tackle of the future. The problem position is at center, where Jonotthan Harrison faces no real competition for the starting job. Tom Compton should be the first player off the bench and could even challenge Winters or Shell for snaps. Overall, this line grades in the mid-tier, with room to improve at the center spot.

Team Defense

The Jets team defense started the season as hot as any unit in the league with a five interception Monday night massacre of the Lions. They continued their production through mid-October, with high points against the Dolphins, Jaguars, and Colts, and then cooled off until the fantasy playoffs, when they peaked again vs. the Titans and Bills, and also had a return score against the Packers. Return specialist Andre Roberts is gone, but the team added Quinnen Williams to an already strong interior defensive line, and they spent big on CJ Mosley to upgrade the backbone of the defense. The edge rush is still lacking and Morris Claiborne was not retained in free agency. The Jets also have a new defensive coordinator in Gregg Williams. There's a lot of uncertainty here, but a season opener against the Bills at home will still make the short list of leadoff hitters for streamers.

Defensive Line

Starters: DE Leonard Williams, DT Quinnen Williams [R], NT Steve McLendon, DE Henry Anderson
Backups: DE Nathan Shepherd, DE Foley Fatukasi, DE Bronson Kaufusi

Starting DL: The Jets continue to spend high picks on their defensive line as they added Quinnen Williams (3rd overall) to a group that already included Leonard Williams (6th overall). Leonard certainly hasn't lived up to expectations as he's only topped 30 solo tackles once in his 4-year career, but he's still only 25 years old and may have more to give. Quinnen Williams was considered one of the truly elite players in this draft and he's an early favorite for defensive rookie of the year. With Gregg Williams now running the defense, look for more 4-3 fronts that will allow both Williams players to get after the quarterback on a regular basis. Steve McLendon isn't a traditional space-filling nose tackle but he offers very limited fantasy upside as mostly a 2-down player. Henry Anderson led the Jets with 7 sacks a year ago and is a very good 2-way player who will likely be undervalued in most IDP leagues.

Backup DL: Nathan Shepherd was a 3rd round pick a year ago who has some potential but may have trouble finding snaps here without an injury. Foley Fatukasi and Bronson Kaufusi will likely compete for depth spots on the roster.

Linebackers

Starters: ILB C.J. Mosley, ILB Avery Williamson, OLB Jordan Jenkins, OLB Brandon Copeland
Backups: ILB Neville Hewitt, OLB Jachai Polite [R], OLB Frankie Luvu

Starting LBs: The Jets signed perhaps the top IDP on the open market this spring when they signed C.J. Mosley to a 5-year, $85 million deal. While his production didn't always match expectations in Baltimore, he's a clear LB1 with a chance to hit 100+ solo tackles in the middle of this defense. Avery Williamson is coming off a career year but seems likely to take a step back this year with the addition of Mosley. He's excellent against the run but could lose some playing time in nickel and dime defenses. The weakness of this group has been the outside linebackers for quite some time and that's unlikely to change in 2019. Jordan Jenkins had a solid 7-sack campaign last year but that may be close to his ceiling as a pass rusher. Brandon Copeland should enter camp as the other starter due to his experience but he's likely a better fit as a reserve.

Backup LBs: Neville Hewitt provides additional veteran depth inside and plays on special teams. Jachai Polite was considered a 1st-round talent but fell to the 3rd round due to some character concerns. He has the talent to become the team's best pass rusher in a hurry but offers little against the run. Frankie Luvu was an undrafted free agent who posted 3 sacks as a rookie last year.

Defensive Backs

Starters: S Jamal Adams, S Marcus Maye, CB Trumaine Johnson, CB Darryl Roberts
Backups: CB Brian Poole, CB Parry Nickerson, S Doug Middleton, S Brandon Bryant, S Rontez Miles

Starting DBs: After an underwhelming rookie year, Jamal Adams lived up to his status as a top-10 draft pick. He finished as the top fantasy safety in 2018 and seems poised to remain among the elite at his position for many years to come. Marcus Maye is an ideal fit as the free safety but needs to stay healthy after missing 10 games to injury last year. Trumaine Johnson upgraded the cornerback position after signing a huge free agent contract last year. He posted 4 interceptions in just 10 games and was often asked to shadow the opposing team's best receiver. Darryl Roberts doesn't stand out and will likely need to be replaced at some point soon, but he's expected to open the year as a starter outside.

Backup DBs: Buster Skrine moved on in free agency and the Jets replaced him with Brian Poole. He's been one of the most productive nickel corners in the league during his time with the Falcons and should continue that trend here. Parry Nickerson is a player the team thinks highly of considering that they didn't draft any cornerbacks early in this year's draft. The depth at safety is not impressive but Doug Middleton is the player most likely to emerge if he gets a chance. Rontez Miles is one of the longest-tenured Jets but may be pushed by Brandon Bryant in camp.

Last modified: 2019-06-07 20:00:33