Oct 17, 2016; Glendale, AZ, USA; Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald (11) tries to break away from New York Jets cornerback Darrelle Revis (24) during the second half at University of Phoenix Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports
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This offseason will be very critical in improving the New York Jets after a horrific performance this past season. Here are the top five areas that must be addressed if they’re to rebound in 2017.
After a 5-11 horrific performance this past season, the New York Jets will look to address certain areas of the team. They have a ton of work ahead of them to hopefully bring them back into the playoffs over the next year or so. It won’t be easy but it’s important to address these areas and also add quality depth in case injury or a decline of play occurs.
They have struggled a few times these past few seasons for how old and slow they are on the field. If they are able to get younger and quicker, this could help the team turn things around quicker. General manager Mike Maccagnan has a lot of tough decisions to make which hopefully, he’ll make the correct ones to help this team bounce back in 2017.
Let’s take a look at the five areas of the team that the Jets should address this offseason.
Oct 17, 2016; Glendale, AZ, USA; New York Jets center Nick Mangold (74), guard James Carpenter (77) and offensive tackle Ryan Clady (78) against the Arizona Cardinals at University of Phoenix Stadium. The Cardinals defeated the Jets 28-3. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
5. Offensive line
One of the biggest problems the New York Jets have had over the years was a reliable offensive line. They possibly have gone through multiple offensive tackles in trying to fix the situation but they haven’t had luck. They need to be aggressive in the 2017 NFL Draft and select young athletes that will be future cornerstones on the team.
The perfect example of how it’s done is by looking at the Dallas Cowboys, who have the best offensive line in the entire NFL. They were in the Jets shoes a few years back and now have a very productive and efficient offensive line. They have been able to keep their quarterback safe and be a huge part in the running game.
The one person they should look to take from the draft is Cam Robinson who is a top 10 pick that is a very powerful offensive lineman. They need to become younger, quicker, and stronger at offensive line. They need to get rid of these older players who can’t stay healthy anymore. The game is only getting faster and these older players will have trouble in consistently staying healthy and executing.
The Jets will continue to have this problem if they don’t start bringing in a higher quality of talent, especially those that can don’t often get hurt. It’s important to address the offensive line since it’s so important for long-term success.
Oct 17, 2016; Glendale, AZ, USA; New York Jets cornerback Darrelle Revis (24) against the Arizona Cardinals at University of Phoenix Stadium. The Cardinals defeated the Jets 28-3. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
On the defensive side of the football, the Jets this past season were amongst the worst in passing yards allowed. They are very old and slow at cornerback as they got beaten on many plays that allowed opponents to attack that weakness. They gave up a total of 243 passing yards which was in the top 20 for yards given up.
Some of the players they should let go are Buster Skrine, and Darrelle Revis unless he is willing to switch to another position. Skrine has been a disappointment in his tenure so far as he hasn’t been aggressive like when he was with the Cleveland Browns early on in his career. In this year’s draft, there are plenty of excellent corners who would help the Jets right from the start.
One person who would be a big help is Trumaine Johnson who has been amongst the best in his position. If the Jets want to add a top cornerback from this year’s draft, Marquez White out of Florida State would be ideal. These two players could be a huge big upgrade for the Jets.
The Jets need to release a few of the players in this positional group and bring in young aggressive players who aren’t afraid to go up amongst the best.
Dec 24, 2016; Foxborough, MA, USA; New England Patriots cornerback Eric Rowe (25) intercepts a pass intended for New York Jets wide receiver Brandon Marshall (15) in the second quarter at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports
3. Wide Receivers
Another position that needs to be addressed is the wide receiver corps which the Jets lack depth in. Once Eric Decker went down for the season it was difficult for the Jets to get any similar production. Brandon Marshall had one of the worst years of his career. Quincy Enunwa is on the rise to be the leader of the Jets and they need to continue to add people around him.
The Jets passing offense was ranked amongst the worst in the league as they averaged only 213 yards in total. They don’t have a quarterback which doesn’t help but that is no excuse, everyone must step up. The one hope they have that could develop into something is Robby Anderson who was an undrafted player.
The person they should look at in free agency is Kenny Britt who is a big physical player who can help in opening the field up. In the draft, the Jets should look into is Mike Williams out of Clemson who is another game changer that will be someone to build around.
The Jets need more playmakers on offense since no matter who is under center, they need dynamic receivers that can keep those chains moving. Injuries and age have caught up to the positional group, which is why better talent is needed this offseason.
It is important to improve the team in areas they need help in, especially in the running back position. They will need to continue to get younger on the entire roster since many offensive players are older.
Powell will need to be more physical and be more dominant of a runner to help his game out. There are a few good players available in the free agency market as well as the draft.
In this year’s draft, the Jets should look at Dalvin Cook from Florida State University. He is able to break it loose in the open field and he isn’t afraid to take hits. In free agency, the best person to add is Darren McFadden who is very productive and a big running back that could be quality depth behind Matt Forte and Bilal Powell.
A game-changing running back could be exactly what their offense needs to push the envelope. It will be a big risk though to consider rebuilding for a brighter future.
December 11, 2016; Santa Clara, CA, USA; New York Jets quarterback Bryce Petty (9) passes the football during the fourth quarter against the San Francisco 49ers at Levi’s Stadium. The Jets defeated the 49ers 23-17 in overtime. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports
This is a repetitive word the Jets keep saying and have been unlucky to find for their franchise. The Jets have gone through multiple quarterbacks that have had one good year and then they play horrific the following season. It is understandable that it is hard for any quarterback to be productive because of the offensive line but the Jets don’t have a clear answer as to who is best under center.
The quarterbacks they should focus on in free agency are Kirk Cousins and Tyrod Taylor. In the draft, the Jets should look at are DeShone Kizer and Mitch Trubisky. These four quarterbacks are very physical and are good leaders.
The Jets need to either get a new quarterback that can come right in and take care of business or stick with who they have and build around them. Something has to change because fans are getting frustrated with this constant carousel of different quarterbacks being used.
The Jets need to be smart on this decision and will have to make it quick. Only because anything can happen in free agency, so they must decide whether to keep their in-house quarterbacks of Bryce Petty and Christian Hackenberg or bring someone in that is ready to step in and make a difference.