In just his second NFL game, Bryce Huff was elevated to a large role in the New York Jets defense, and he showcased moments of promise.
After ranking fourth among all edge rushers in college football with 64 pressures for Memphis in 2019, Bryce Huff strangely was not invited to the Combine and then suffered further bad luck when his pro day was canceled, leading to him going undrafted. He climbed aboard with the Jets, the perfect team for him to earn a roster spot due to their severe lack of talent in the passing game at outside linebacker and defensive end.
Huff was able to sneak his way onto the Jets roster thanks to the upside afforded by his speed off the edge, giving the team a young developmental prospect at a position group where most of their players are mediocre and lack untapped potential.
The Jets kept Huff inactive for their first two games until activating him for the Week 3 trip to Indianapolis, looking for a spark after two weeks of inept pass-rushing. While Huff only played seven snaps, he did show a couple of intriguing flashes in his short time on the field.
Gregg Williams saw enough to feel good about pushing Huff into a featured role against Denver on Thursday Night Football. In only his second professional appearance, Huff participated in 60% of the team’s defensive plays as he logged 42 snaps.
Huff had a solid all-around performance in his first game with extended action, recording two stuffs in the run game, collecting two pressures, and making a third down stop behind the line of scrimmage on a screen pass.
Let’s look back at some of Huff’s promising moments on Thursday night.
On this 2nd & 11 play, Huff lines up as the 7-tech (inside shoulder of the tight end) in a four-point stance. Before kicking out to block Marcus Maye, the left tackle throws out a jab with his right hand to try and deter Huff, but Huff swats it with his right hand before engaging the guard. Huff avoids the guard’s initial punch as he rotates his shoulders outside to dodge the contact, and then responds with a pair of two-handed swipes to win the battle. He dips his shoulder and bends the edge to get home and put some pressure on Brett Rypien, landing a little bit of contact as well.
Fantastic rush by Huff, showing off strong, relentless hands.
On this next play (2nd & 11), although Rypien gets the ball out too quickly for Huff to create any meaningful pressure, it’s a great rush rep by the rookie nonetheless. Huff moves the tight end back with a long-arm move that lands accurately in the tight end’s chest. Huff then pulls his arm out and rips through to clear the tight end and bend the edge. Had Rypien held the ball a few tenths of a second longer, Huff would have had a sack from behind.