The New York Jets were nearly a playoff team in 2013, so it wouldn’t be much of a stretch to say they look like a playoff contender in 2014. But have they done enough this offseason to push themselves over the hump in the AFC?
We know the Jets play good defense, and despite the polarizing figure that Rex Ryan is, he’s actually a very good football coach.
We also know the Jets’ offense was the poster child for ineptitude in the NFL last season, led by some issues at the quarterback position as well as a lack of playmakers offensively.
With a ton of picks in this year’s draft, the Jets set out to fix specifically that after adding big name free agents like Eric Decker, Michael Vick, and Chris Johnson.
If this were 2010, the Jets might have something seriously dangerous here.
Still, New York made some interesting draft picks that caused me to go back and look at this roster makeup. What players will they keep, and who will they have to let go?
We saw New York give a ton of money to Eric Decker, and in recent years they have invested only one truly ‘high’ draft pick in an offensive skill player still with the team, and that was on former Georgia Tech wide receiver Stephen Hill.
You have to think Hill’s roster spot is in jeopardy after the additions the Jets made in the draft and free agency. Here’s a quick rundown of the skill players they have added this offseason alone, as well as the incumbents.
- WR Eric Decker (Broncos)
- WR Jacoby Ford (Raiders)
- RB Chris Johnson (Titans)
- RB Alex Green (Packers)
- WR Jalen Saunders (Draft, 4th round)
- WR Shaq Evans (Draft, 4th round)
- WR Quincy Enunwa (Draft, 6th round)
- WR Stephen Hill (Draft, 2nd round)
- WR Jeremy Kerley (Draft, 5th round)
- WR Greg Salas
- WR David Nelson
- WR Clyde Gates
- RB Bilal Powell (Draft, 4th round)
- RB Chris Ivory (Trade, NO)
The Jets also selected Texas Tech tight end Jace Amaro in the second round of the draft this year. This might have been the best addition offensively they made outside of Decker this offseason.
Amaro has the ability to split out wide, he can play in-line, and he can eat up receptions and become a quarterback’s best friend.
What About Quarterback?
What the Jets plan on doing at the QB position remains to be seen. They have an intriguing crew taking snaps this offseason, including last year’s 2nd round pick Geno Smith, free agent pickup Mike Vick, and former Clemson star Tajh Boyd, a sixth rounder this year, in addition to Matt Simms.
There are a lot of people that believe Vick will win the job over Smith, and that may be the case, but if he does, it simply means that Geno will have to wait for his opportunity rather than earn it, since Vick is a near certainty to be injured at some point if he is a team’s starting quarterback.
Regardless of what happens, at least the Jets have attacked this area of their team this offseason. They made it a priority to add a lot of speed, playmaking ability, and competition, and they have done exactly that.
Will it translate to wins? I could definitely see that being the case.