All four have a good chance of happening
Although the New York Jets season ended in disappointment, they can still finish it off with a bang.
Tonight’s NFL Honors ceremony features four Jets players on center stage, all of whom can come away with the ultimate personal accolades for their current circumstances.
Four honors. Four exceptional players. Which awards are the Jets most likely to garner?
1. CB Darrelle Revis, first-ballot Hall of Famer
If there’s any lock for first-ballot Hall of Fame, it’s Darrelle Revis.
Revis Island’s 2009 season is perhaps the greatest individual cornerback season in NFL history. On a weekly basis, he held the game’s biggest star receivers to their lowest production totals and shut down half the field. The poster from ‘NFL Throwback’ says it all, and this is just the regular season.
Overall, Revis was a seven-time Pro Bowler and four-time first-team All-Pro in 11 seasons in the league. He may be the finest man corner in NFL history and is certainly the last of an era. No longer does a corner consistently travel with the opponent’s top receiver without safety help.
Even Richard Sherman, Revis’s biggest cornerback rival and sparring partner on Twitter, acknowledged that there is no one like Revis.
This one is automatic. No. 24, say hello to Canton.
2. CB Sauce Gardner, Defensive Rookie of the Year
If Revis was the OG, Sauce Gardner has created a persona of his own. Revis Island vs. Sauce: which is a better nickname, Jets fans?
The lanky No. 4 overall pick was everything the Jets could have asked for and so much more. 20 pass breakups, 0.54 yards per cover snap, 27% forced incompletion rate, 53.9 passer rating against, and on, and on—Sauce was even greater than the sum of his numbers.
Yes, Tariq Woolen had more picks. Yes, Aidan Hutchinson showed off as an athletic freak with his 9.5 sacks and three picks from the edge position. No, they are not going to beat out Sauce for Defensive Rookie of the Year.
Only Revis, the ultimate lockdown corner, could be more of a lock than Sauce.
3. DL Joe Klecko, Senior Hall of Fame Honoree
Jets fans have been clamoring for Joe Klecko to make the Hall of Fame for decades. It’s almost criminal that no member of the New York Sack Exchange is enshrined in Canton, and Klecko is the most deserving member of the bunch.
Klecko is the only player ever to make first-team All-Pro at two distinctly different positions on the defensive line. He did so in 1981 at defensive end and again in 1985 as a nose tackle. A four-time Pro Bowler at three different positions (he also made it at 4-3 defensive tackle), Klecko has waited long enough.
Finally breaking through as a senior finalist was a huge deal for Klecko, who has languished for years on the semifinalist list. Things are looking up for No. 73.
4. WR Garrett Wilson, Offensive Rookie of the Year
Earlier in the season, it appeared a different Jets player was a shoo-in for OROY, as Breece Hall was running away with the award prior to his ACL tear in Week 7. However, his teammate picked up the mantle quite admirably.
Garrett Wilson hit the NFL scene with a bang, posting eight receptions for 102 yards and two touchdowns in his second NFL game. After entering the season as the No. 4 receiver on the Jets’ depth chart, Wilson established himself as the clear No. 1, the guy that other teams worried about on a weekly basis.
A stat line of 83 receptions for 1,103 yards and four touchdowns would be impressive from any rookie receiver, but when you consider who was throwing Wilson the football, his numbers become mind-blowing. Zach Wilson, Mike White, and Joe Flacco were the worst quarterback trio in football by many different metrics, including completion percentage, quarterback rating, and QBR.
Wilson should win the award on his own merit, but the QBs he played with kick him up a notch. Kenneth Walker III had a nice rookie season, but he also had games in which he posted 1.7, 1.9, and 2.8 yards per carry; nearly half his yards came on breakaways (45.8% of his yardage came on runs of 15+ yards), making him the ultimate boom-or-bust back.
In fact, Walker averaged over 4.5 yards per carry in only three of his 10 games in which he received at least 10 carries. He’s good, but he’s no Breece Hall.
If Chris Olave had been a finalist, it would be a lively debate between the former Ohio State teammates. Olave also had 1,000 yards receiving and was a better deep threat than Wilson while also posting better efficiency metrics.
However, Olave was nosed out by Brock Purdy for the final three in a total mockery of the term Rookie of the Year. Purdy should not even be in the discussion.
Between Wilson, Walker, and Purdy, Wilson seems like a no-brainer to me. The main reason he’s No. 4 on this list is that it appears the voters see things differently based on Purdy’s selection as a finalist.
What do you think—will the Jets go 4-for-4?