The NY Jets have not had many Pro Bowlers in recent years, but they have the talent to change that this season
Since 2017, the New York Jets have had one Pro Bowl player selected on offense or defense. He is no longer on their roster.
This side of Jamal Adams, there have not been many Jets players who were even under consideration. Perhaps Mekhi Becton‘s rookie year could have ranked, or Quinnen Williams‘s performance in 2020. Last season, some of their top contributors (Michael Carter, Elijah Moore) did not play enough to compile Pro Bowl-level statistics.
Sure, Jason Myers (2018), Andre Roberts (2018), and Braxton Berrios‘s (2021) Pro Bowl selections on special teams are nice. You don’t win in the NFL on special teams alone, though.
The Jets have put together a roster loaded with premium NFL talent this year. Maybe no name stands out like an Aaron Donald or a Tom Brady, but there is Pro Bowl potential at many positions on this team.
Which Jets are most likely to make the Pro Bowl in 2022?
Laken Tomlinson, LG
We need to start with the 2021 Pro Bowler himself. Laken Tomlinson has already proven he can be a top-tier guard in the league. He ranked 18th out of 63 qualifying guards in pass-blocking efficiency and 10th in overall Pro Football Focus grade (75.9). His Pro Bowl campaign in 2021 with San Francisco slots him right in to continue his dominance with the Jets.
Tomlinson is a wide-zone pro, a premium run blocker, and a more-than-capable pass blocker. He will anchor the left side of the Jets line this season and beyond.
Carl Lawson, EDGE
The Jets were cheated out of one of the top quarterback-seekers in the NFL when Carl Lawson tore his Achilles last training camp. Although it’s impossible to know how Lawson will play in his return, his pressure rate of 14.4% over the four seasons prior to his injury was the fourth-best among qualified edge rushers, trailing only the Bosa brothers and Von Miller. That’s elite company.
While Lawson never put up the sack numbers to warrant Pro Bowl consideration, his defensive linemates – John Franklin-Myers, Quinnen Williams, and Jermaine Johnson II, plus Jacob Martin as a situational edge rusher – will give him a strong supporting cast that can translate into more takedowns.
Elijah Moore, WR
The biggest obstacles to Moore as a Pro Bowler are beyond his control: the top-tier WRs in the AFC who may accrue many more targets than him, the other mouths to feed on the Jets offense, the fact that this offense is expected to be run-heavy, the possibility of injury, and Zach Wilson‘s Year 2 development.
From his own perspective, this kid is ready to break out. His five-week stretch prior to his season-ending injury translates to over 1,300 yards receiving in a season, and that’s with subpar QB play.
Moore is one of the Jets’ most exciting players. This season, expect the NFL to know his name and not just Jets fans.
Breece Hall, RB
Like Moore, the obstacle for Breece Hall‘s Pro Bowl candidacy is out of his hands: playing time. With Michael Carter as a battery mate, even if Hall gets 65% of the rushing snaps, he may not accrue the numbers necessary for a Pro Bowl berth.
Still, Hall’s home run ability will lead to chunk yards. His 0.31 missed tackles forced per rush in college can bring about some highlight-reel plays. The Jets offensive line is full of strong run blockers, which means that Hall will have the space to get through the hole and make people miss on the fly.
Since the rookie running back learning curve is lower than at other positions, expect Hall to hit the ground running (pun intended).
Quinnen Williams or John Franklin-Myers, DTs
These guys are here largely on the strength of their respective 2020 seasons. Williams took a step back in 2021 after appearing poised to break out the season before. JFM was the Jets’ top-graded player at PFF last season (80.3) but from an edge position. He is a better pass rusher on the inside, and his six sacks could turn into double-digits at DT.
Playing together on the inside with strong edge rushers to take away double teams leads to the expectation that one or both of these guys can have a monster 2022 season.
Alijah Vera-Tucker, RG
The Jets got what they expected when they traded up to select AVT at No. 14 overall. As advertised, Vera-Tucker showed his ability to get to the second level in the run game. He also got stronger in pass protection as the season went along.
Although he is moving over to the right side, AVT was predicted to be a perennial Pro Bowler. He flashed the potential to be so in 2021. If Mekhi Becton can come back healthy in 2022, the right side of the Jets line can be maulers.
D.J. Reed or Sauce Gardner, CBs
D.J. Reed comes into the season as the CB1 after a dominant year in Seattle, but many expect Sauce Gardner to quickly overtake him. Reed is undersized for an outside corner, but that did not hold him back at all. He allowed 0.63 yards per cover snap, ranking sixth-best out of 96 qualified cornerbacks. As Reed himself pointed out, he is a quality CB1.
Though the rookie learning curve is steep at cornerback, if anyone can play well out of the shoot, it would be Sauce. He demonstrated some ball-hawking capabilities in college, which could lead to 5+ picks based on the volume of targets his way. If Sauce can break away from some of his handsy tendencies, he could go to Vegas in Year 1.
Honorable mentions: Jordan Whitehead, SS; Tyler Conklin, TE; Mekhi Becton, T; Braxton Berrios, PR