Jabari Zuniga
Jet X Graphic, Getty Images, AP Photo

Florida edge Jabari Zuniga joins the New York Jets, an NFL team desperate for athletic pass rushers who can get to the quarterback.

It would be tough to name a team that’s suffered at the edge spot longer than the New York Jets have. Since the 2006 season, the offseason John Abraham was traded to the Atlanta Falcons, the Jets have quite literally suffered at edge year in and year out.

From Vernon Gholston to veteran Jason Taylor, Lorenzo Mauldin and last year’s dandy of a bust, Jachai Polite, nothing has worked on the outside for the organization.

The 2020 season brings another edge hopeful along in third-round selection Jabari Zuniga. A kid whose injuries dropped him a bit in the draft, Joe Douglas is hoping this Florida product turns out a bit different than Mike Maccagnan’s from a season ago.

Blewett’s Blitz runs through the game film, asking the question, “Is Jabari Zuniga the answer to the New York Jets edge woes?”

***The clips come first with Blewett’s text analysis to follow. Only SUBSCRIBERS can view the entire article. 

***The FULL film breakdown in video form can be found at the bottom of this article (subscribers only) or on the Blewett’s Blitz homepage. A free preview can be found at the YouTube and Podcast episodes.

Zuniga (top edge) comes off of the ball a little late but is able to win the leverage battle with the left tackle as he is able to get under his pads and stand him up. Zuniga holds the edge to ensure the running back doesn’t get outside (good job extending with the left arm). He sees him cut inside and sheds to get in on the tackle.

This was a lot of the “raw” criticism of Zuniga (bottom edge). Zuniga rushes off of the edge but has no real “plan,” as he doesn’t set up the offensive lineman for a bull rush by getting the right tackle to open or attempt in any way to defeat the hands. Zuniga gets locked up on his rush.

Zuniga (bottom edge) gets off of the snap with good burst into the backfield and goes to long arm the RT. The issue is that Zuniga doesn’t set up the long arm well—not getting the right tackle to open or really getting “under” his long arm. Zuniga could have gone a few different ways here that would have been successful.

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