In 2016, the defensive front of the New York Jets has the chance to make history and become one of the best defensive frontlines to ever play the game.
These past few seasons, the defensive line of the New York Jets was being built for greatness. Under the Rex Ryan era, he drafted a few amazing players in his stint with the team. He drafted defensive end Sheldon Richardson, defensive end Muhammad Wilkerson, and had signed undrafted free agent defensive tackle Damon Harrison. Although they lost Harrison to free agency this offseason, the Jets’ defense is still ranked amongst the best in the NFL.
The Jets added defensive end Leonard Williams in the 2015 NFL Draft, and linebackers Jordan Jenkins and Darron Lee to fill in the voids in the defense. Williams and linebacker Lorenzo Mauldin are expected to have big years for the Jets. They were able to make their defense younger and faster. With Harrison gone it had left a big void in the middle and the Jets went out and signed Steve McLendon who should do well in his first year on the team.
These first six weeks of the upcoming season will be tough as the Jets’ defense will be tested early right out the gates. Five out of their first six opponents all made the NFL Playoffs last season. The Jets will be without Richardson the first game because of him being suspended but their defensive line shouldn’t miss a beat. Even though Richardson will be out, Jenkins will fill the position on the defensive line nicely.
This defense line could very well be the next incarnation of the New York Sack exchange from the early 1980’s.
This year’s defensive line compares to the legends of that era Joe Klecko, Abdul Salaam, Marty Lyons, and Mark Gastineau. These four players made opponents days a nightmare. Now it’s time to bring in the same amount of fear decades later.
Williams reminds me of Salaam, Richardson is similar to Gastineau, Muhammad Wilkerson reminds me of Joe Klecko, and Mclendon is similar to Lyons.
These four players will have Pro Bowl caliber careers and one will be a Defensive Player of the Year.
These four players have something special about themselves that makes these predictions realistic in the grand scheme of things.
The Jets’ defense was ranked No. 4 in total yards given up per game at 319, and ranked 13th in total passing yards giving up 236 total yards.
They were second in total rushing yards with giving up 83 yards. They have drafted younger players in the defensive secondary to help out the veterans. Those tough six opponents early on in the season will have a real tough time in running the ball. The passing game of opponents will be very difficult to execute because of how fast and strong the defensive front is.
Overall, things are looking up for the Jets defensively. They could lead the team back to the playoffs and carry them very far. It will be interesting to see how they handle the pressure and take advantage of this opportunity towards greatness. This season could be very special and put the Jets back into being contenders again thanks to their defensive front.