Jabari Zuniga
Jet X Graphic, Getty Images

What do the advanced numbers say about Jabari Zuniga’s chances of solving New York’s everlasting weakness on the edge?

The Jets have not had an edge rusher rank top-25 at his position in pressures during a single season since the stat was first tracked in 2006. They have not had one accumulate more than 10 sacks in a season since John Abraham picked up 10.5 in 2005, his final season with the Jets.

Since Abraham was traded, the Jets defense has been held back by a lack of pass-rushing juice off the edge for 14 seasons running. The absence of a player who can provide that electricity was once again among the team’s most glaring issues coming into the 2020 offseason.

Unfortunately, with so many pressing needs on the offensive side of the ball, the Jets were unable to make a premium investment at EDGE in the 2020 offseason.

Their lone newcomer of note as things stand today is Florida product Jabari Zuniga, taken with the 79th overall pick in the third round of the draft.

Can Zuniga do what his former teammate Jachai Polite could not and give the Jets a pass-rushing steal out of the third round?

Let’s head to the numbers.

Positives

Outstanding 2019 production in small sample

Zuniga only played six games* and 188 snaps in 2019 due to a high ankle sprain, but he was fantastic when on the field.

*some outlets have Zuniga listed as only playing five games in 2019, excluding the game against Kentucky in which he was injured

Over 124 pass-rush snaps, Zuniga picked up 19 total pressures (4 sacks, 2 hits, 13 hurries), generating pressure at a 15.3% rate. That mark would have ranked at the 94th percentile among qualified edge defenders.

Zuniga was highly active in the run game as well, picking up seven run stops (tackles in the run game that constitute a negatively valued result for the offense) on just 64 run defense snaps for an incredible rate of 10.9%. That would have ranked fourth-best in the nation among EDGE and second-best at the position in the SEC behind Alabama’s Anfernee Jennings, who was drafted by New England eight picks after Zuniga.

Solid production over large sample from 2017-18


Jets X-Factor Membership
Sorry, the content stops here if you’re not a Jet X Member, not currently logged-in, or viewing from an outside source such as Google AMP or an RSS Feed where logged-in status is not possible.

Get Started with the button below to access this Jets X-Factor article and the best damn New York Jets content in the world for free (after becoming a member, search for this article near the bottom of the Membership Confirmation page):
Jets X-Factor Membership, Get Started
Log In with the button below if you’re already a member:
Jets X-Factor, Log In
Connect with the button below if you’d like to create a free account first:
Jets X-Factor, Register, Connect

Audio Version available to members only: Learn more here

Download Jet X Mobile on the App Store and Google Play.

Want More NY Jets News & Jets X-Factor Content?

Download the free Jet X Mobile App to get customizable notifications directly to your iOS (App Store) or Google/Android (Google Play) device.

Add Jets X-Factor to your Google News feed to stay up to date with the New York Jets.

Follow us on Twitter @jetsxfactor for all the latest New York Jets news, Facebook for even more, Instagram for some of the top NY Jets images, and YouTube for original Jets X-Factor videos.

Join the official Jets Discord community to connect with likeminded fans.

Michael Nania is the best analytical New York Jets mind in the world, combining his statistical expertise with game film to add proper context to the data. Nania scrapes every corner, ensuring you know all there is to know about everyone from the QB to the long snapper. Nania's Numbers, Nania's QB Grades, and Nania's All-22 give fans a deeper and more well-rounded dive into the Jets than anyone else can offer. Email: michael.nania[at]jetsxfactor.com - Twitter: @Michael_Nania

Comments

Please Login to comment
  Subscribe  
Notify of