Joe Douglas has a serious task ahead of him, and to accomplish that feat, he will need to address the New York Jets’ most desperate needs.
Eleven men are needed to complete a football unit. Period. An offense or defense (at any level in football) is only as good as its weakest link, and until all 11 individuals are focusing on their specific task while coming together as one, highly-functioning unit, potential is limited; players’ ceilings are squashed.
“Best available player” is a silly notion for the New York Jets, a team whose units are both severely handicapped. (That’s right; Jamal Adams has not even hit his possible ceiling.)
For Joe Douglas to get this program headed in the right direction, he’ll have to play the smart big-board game with specific positional targets in mind for the squad’s most desperate and specific needs entering the 2020 NFL draft.
- Athletic, versatile edge No. 2
- Man-to-man cover corner No. 2
- Zone-blocking, laterally-quick interior offensive lineman
- Shifty, smart route-running receiver
- Versatile third-safety to play in the big dime
- Game breaking third-down back
The Jets are so deficient at both edge and cornerback that the second of two needs pop up as notables.
While Jordan Jenkins represents a much-needed body at the edge, he’s only the top dog due to his weak surroundings. Jenkins, much like Henry Anderson or Kyle Phillips when forced to the edge, are much better against the run and favor power-moves when rushing the passer. Two athletic, versatile edges who can play in space are desperately required for Gregg Williams’s defense.
Yes, another laterally-quick interior offensive lineman is needed despite the presence of four potential starters (Connor McGovern, Greg Van Roten, Alex Lewis and Brian Winters). Competition is a great offensive line’s best friend and a laterally-quick guy who can navigate in space is an essential part of Adam Gase’s offense.
Jamison Crowder is fully entrenched as the slot man, but another route-running, shifty wideout would be a blessing. To route it out, a third safety who can both play two-deep and sniff the line of scrimmage alongside Adams and Marcus Maye in Williams’s big dime is key.
Lastly, the Jets offense needs a little lightning to Le’Veon Bell‘s thunder. While it’s true, Bell is an excellent receiver and third-down back in his own right, his No. 2 should be a game-breaker. Allow Bell’s short-yardage power to contrast with his third-down back. Think mid-to-late rounds in the draft fo this selection.
5. Do-it-all offensive X-factor
Interestingly, a back Douglas may snag in the draft could fill this role. Also interestingly, perhaps not.
This is the guy that’s needed to run all the jet-sweep-type stuff the Jets offense will want to run. Crowder, as good as he is in the slot, does not fit that bill. Neither does Breshad Perriman, Vyncint Smith, Braxton Berrios or any of the backs on the roster.
This do-it-all offensive X-factor must showcase hips and elusiveness that will translate beautifully to kick and possible punt return duties