Michael Nania heads to the numbers to compare the New York Jets’ 2019 draft picks against the rest of the rookie class.
A rookie season does not define a player’s career by any stretch of the imagination, but nonetheless, it is interesting to check up on where rookies stand amongst their peers following their first season of professional action. While a good start does not guarantee a good career and a bad start does not guarantee a bad career, there is no questioning that everyone would involved would much prefer to see things get off on the right foot.
Let’s see how the six members of the 2019 New York Jets draft class stacked up against other rookies at their position.
CB Blessuan Austin (R6, #196 overall)
When Bless Austin suited up for the first time in Week 10, he hit the ground running. He allowed just 5.3 yards per target and 25.7 yards per game over 58.5 snaps per game (37.0 in coverage) from Weeks 10-15. Austin allowed the 13th-fewest yards per cover snap out of 97 qualified cornerbacks over that span.
While he was benched against the Steelers after allowing an egregious end-of-half touchdown, Austin still recorded the second-best overall defensive grade from Pro Football Focus among qualified rookie cornerbacks, tied with Amani Oruwariye. He also ranked sixth in snaps per game (55.4).
Austin’s total of 2 AV may not be world-shattering, but it was enough to tie for fifth among sixth-round selections, as most of those players could not even get on the field. Besides Austin, 28 of the 40 players did not start a single game (70.0%), while 35 of 40 started fewer than five games (87.5%).