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Most likely NY Jets player to win each major NFL award in 2024

Aaron Rodgers, NY Jets, QB, Comeback Award
Aaron Rodgers, New York Jets, Getty Images

The New York Jets have many great players, but how many can win awards in 2024?

The New York Jets have a lot of star-level talent on their team. They clearly must if ESPN’s Mike Clay ranked their roster the second-best in the NFL. They’re all-in on 2024, and if injuries break their way, many of their players could contend for major awards.

Which Jets player has the best shot of winning each of the NFL’s biggest awards?

Most Valuable Player

The last non-quarterback to win the MVP was Adrian Peterson in 2012, so it’s pretty safe to say that this award is Aaron Rodgers or bust for the Jets. Rodgers’ current DraftKings odds of winning the MVP are at +1600, the 10th-highest. Patrick Mahomes leads the pack at +600.

Considering that Rodgers is a four-time NFL MVP, there’s always the possibility that he will win the award again and tie Peyton Manning’s record of five. Tom Brady won MVP at 40 years old in 2017. Can Rodgers follow in his footsteps?

Rodgers recently told Eric Allen of the Jets’ official website that he believes he can win MVP again. In his four MVP seasons, he averaged 4,360 passing yards, 42 touchdowns, 5 interceptions, and a 117.0 passer rating. Those are lofty numbers for him to aspire toward in 2024.

The only New York Jets player ever to win MVP was Joe Namath in 1968.

Offensive Player of the Year

The Offensive Player of the Year is often the MVP for non-quarterback offensive players. Christian McCaffrey won it in 2023 after posting 2,023 scrimmage yards. Breece Hall has a chance to break the 2,000-yard plane if Rodgers and the Jets’ offensive line can stay healthy. He ranked second among running backs with 1,585 scrimmage yards behind a putrid Jets line in 2023.

The Jets’ acquisitions of John Simpson and Morgan Moses clearly signaled a change to the gap scheme. As Michael Nania explained, this could greatly benefit Hall, allowing him to reach full speed more quickly. McCaffrey thrived in the 49ers’ gap scheme in 2023. 2024 could be Hall’s moment.

No Jets player has ever won the OPOY in its 52 years of existence.

Defensive Player of the Year

While Sauce Gardner has been a first-team All-Pro in each of his first two seasons, the last time a cornerback won the Defensive Player of the Year was Stephon Gilmore in 2019 — a year in which he posted six interceptions, contributing to a 47.4 targeted passer rating. Gardner has just two interceptions in his career and did not have any in 2023. Sauce does face a gauntlet of receivers in 2024, though, so perhaps a Revis-like performance would gain him some recognition (though it’s noteworthy that Revis somehow did not win the DPOY in 2009).

However, the Jets’ best shot at the DPOY remains Quinnen Williams. He finished seventh in the voting in 2022 due to his 12 sacks. If he can get back to racking up the sacks while maintaining his 2023 pressure rate (15.1%, second to Chris Jones among interior defensive linemen), perhaps he could finally win the award. That being said, Aaron Donald posted pressure rates of 17.4%, 18.2%, and 17.2% in his three DPOY seasons, a level Quinnen or any other defensive tackle has yet to approach. The last non-Donald DT to win the award was Warren Sapp back in 1999.

Jermaine Johnson still isn’t consistent enough as a pass rusher to contend. The top edge rushers in the league post pressure rates in the 17-20% range, and Johnson’s was 12.5% for the entire 2023 season. Even excluding the first three weeks, he had a 14.4% rate the rest of the season. His 7.5 sacks came mostly through second effort rather than winning cleanly off the line. It’s not impossible if he takes another leap, but it’s unlikely.

If anything, Haason Reddick has a better shot because of his general tendency to turn pressure into sacks. He’s had at least 11 quarterback takedowns in each of the last four seasons. However, his consistency doesn’t always match, as he posted a 12.1% pressure rate in 2023 and has never exceeded 15.2%. Still, he finished fourth in the DPOY voting in 2022, so perhaps he has a shot.

No New York Jets player has ever won the AP Defensive Player of the Year, although Joe Klecko won the award from other organizations in 1981.

Offensive Rookie of the Year

The Jets don’t have a good contender for Offensive Rookie of the Year because their first-round pick was an offensive tackle. An offensive lineman has never won the award. That leaves third-round receiver Malachi Corley as the most likely to win the award, but given that he’s third or fourth on the Jets’ depth chart, that is unlikely.

Of course, Puka Nacua would have won the award if not for C.J. Stroud’s rookie breakout, and Nacua was a fifth-round pick on a team with Cooper Kupp. Still, Corley doesn’t run the full route tree, and Rodgers likes his star receivers, making Garrett Wilson the target-eater in the offense.

If Mike Williams can’t stay healthy (or Wilson gets hurt), Corley could take on a bigger role in the offense. Still, the odds that he breaks out enough to win the award are slim, particularly with the likes of Marvin Harrison Jr. and Malik Nabers taking over immediately as their teams’ No. 1 receiver.

If Breece Hall got injured early, that would give Braelon Allen a shot (as it did in his rookie season when Wilson ultimately won the award). If the Jets’ run-blocking holds up, it’s not out of the realm of possibility that Allen could compete as Hall was in his rookie season.

Garrett Wilson was the first and only Jets player to win the OROY.

Defensive Rookie of the Year

The Jets drafted just two defensive players, Qwan’tez Stiggers in the fifth round and Jaylen Key in the seventh. Key has an outside shot to make the team, and the Jets will likely do whatever they can to keep Stiggers off the field as a cornerback. That almost makes undrafted free agents Leonard Taylor, Braiden McGregor, or Eric Watts more likely to win the award if they make the team. We’ll go with Taylor because of his untapped potential and the Jets’ thin depth chart behind Quinnen Williams.

Five Jets players have won the DROY: safety Erik McMillan (1988), defensive end Hugh Douglas (1995), linebacker Jonathan Vilma (2004), interior defensive lineman Sheldon Richardson (2013), and Sauce Gardner (2022).

Comeback Player of the Year

Rodgers is actually the league-wide favorite to win the Comeback Player of the Year at +100. Because Joe Burrow is nipping at his heels (+200), he’ll need to play well and not just stay healthy to win the award.

Chad Pennington is the only Jet ever to win the CPOY, doing so in 2006 after suffering a severely torn rotator cuff and bone spur in his shoulder in 2005. He led the Jets to a 10-6 record and a playoff berth.

First-team All-Pro

We’ll throw this in there because it’s also a major award. This one most likely goes to Sauce Gardner, who has made it in back-to-back seasons. He has the least competition because cornerback play tends to fluctuate wildly.

After Gardner, Quincy Williams also has a decent chance of repeating simply because of his speed and highlight-reel plays. He’s more inconsistent than Jets fans realize, but his punishing hits will earn him a continued reputation.

If Hall contends for the Offensive Player of the Year, he’ll also be in the conversation for first-team All-Pro. Ditto for Rodgers as the MVP. Garrett Wilson has too much competition at receiver, making his chances slimmer. Quinnen Williams likely deserved at least a second-team nod in 2023, so he’ll continue to have a shot.

On the offensive line, Tyron Smith and Alijah Vera-Tucker will both have a chance if they stay healthy.

Will Michael Carter II ever get the recognition he deserves? Maybe 2024 is the year. After all, slot cornerback was added as an All-Pro position in 2023. Reddick was a second-team All-Pro in 2022, so he’s a candidate.

The Jets’ team record for first-team All-Pros in a single season is four, accomplished twice. In 1969, defensive end Gerry Philbin, receiver Don Maynard, running back Matt Snell, and defensive lineman John Elliott all made it. In 1982, it was tackle Marvin Powell, defensive end Mark Gastineau, running back Freeman McNeil, and interior offensive lineman Joe Fields. Since 2000, the Jets have never had more than two first-team All-Pro players in a single season.

Will that change in 2024?

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Nevada Buck
Nevada Buck
19 days ago

Rivka, the Jets also drafted a defensive dude named Olu. Though unlikely, he’d have to be the top candidate for DROY