New York Jets’ turnaround can begin now that Sam Darnold has weapons

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Adam Gase and Le’Veon Bell couldn’t restore the Jets to glory of their first years in New York, however 2019 held some excessive notes for the group. Victories over the Cowboys, Steelers, and Payments helped showcase the Jets’ defensive expertise. Leveling up Sam Darnold to satisfy his first-round potential would go a good distance in pairing a lackluster offense with a rising D.

The query is whether or not Gase and a handful of recent additions can improve the offense and get the Jets again to the postseason for the primary time since 2010.

New York Jets (7-9), missed playoffs

New York gutted out some shocking wins final season. This was tempered by losses to previously winless groups just like the Dolphins and Bengals that made 2019 appear a lot worse than 7-9 suggests. Right here’s what the Jets can enhance to keep away from one other underwhelming slog via the common season.

Earlier than free company:

  1. Offensive line: Jets quarterbacks had been sacked on greater than 9 p.c of their dropbacks final season. Bell averaged a career-low 3.2 yards per rush. There’s loads of room for enchancment in the case of the group’s blocking.
  2. Broad receiver: Robby Anderson was the group’s second-most focused participant in 2019, behind Jamison Crowder. He’s a free agent, and group would profit from including some additional playmakers to Darnold’s arsenal anyway
  3. Edge rusher: Solely two Jets had greater than three sacks final fall; one was security Jamal Adams. The excellent news is that leaves loads of alternatives for progress alongside the membership’s entrance seven. New linebackers to bookend the 3-Four lineup would additionally present a significant increase for a protection that might make a significant leap in 2020.

What Gang Inexperienced Nation needs most this offseason: The Jets desperately have to improve their offensive line. The 2019 Jets couldn’t set up a run recreation and left Darnold to fend for himself towards a persistently collapsing pocket continuous. This group has a number of obvious holes, however the offensive line must be the primary, second, and third priorities. — John Butchko

After free company:

New York was an lively participant in free company, making it clear 2020 was all about giving Darnold a greater probability to succeed in his potential. Somewhat than watch for the draft, New York signed Connor McGovern, George Fant, and Greg Van Roten to overtake its OL. That’s helped improve a restricted offense, however left some work for the protection within the draft.

  1. Cornerback: Trumaine Johnson was a nasty signing who lasted solely two years with the group. Darryl Roberts was additionally launched. Choosing up former Colt Pierre Desir is a step in the suitable route, however the Jets want extra our bodies at nook so {that a} sturdy security mixture can actually shine.
  2. Edge rusher: Patrick Onwuasor is a stable rotational piece with the potential to overachieve, however New York wants so as to add extra cross speeding threats to decelerate the AFC’s high quarterbacks.
  3. Tight finish/WR: Breshad Perriman brings one other talented-but-inconsistent deep risk to Darnold’s huddle. Perriman seemed like a WR1 in stretches final yr, however he’s by no means had greater than 36 receptions in a season. Maybe 2020 may very well be the yr he realizes his first-round potential. Including one other impression goal — possibly that’s only a wholesome Chris Herndon — would assist create area for him to make performs downfield.

After the draft:

The Jets continued to provide Darnold extra safety and weapons within the draft. With their first-round decide, they took large left deal with Mekhi Becton. Within the second spherical, they lucked into huge receiver Denzel Mims, who some projected to be a first-round decide. La’Mical Perine is a bruiser who can complement Le’Veon Bell within the floor recreation.

They waited a bit later to get assist at edge rusher (Jabari Zuniga, third spherical) and cornerback (Bryce Corridor, fifth spherical). Each include dangers, although in addition they have potential to be impression gamers.

Dan Kadar’s draft grade: B+

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