Our ratings of the roster move on to outside linebackers. Click here for a refresher on how the ratings are determined.
Calvin Pace (2-B)
If it was only based on what happened in 2010, Pace would probably get a lower grade. I will give him the benefit of the doubt, though. He is a decent pass rusher if not great. My perception is that he is more of a power guy who uses his hands and strength than a guy who gets around the edge. He is also strong enough to hold the edge in run defense, although he can be a bit inconsistent there. He has been a bit of a disappointment in pass coverage. Pace is not great value at his salary, but he is a solid starter.
Bryan Thomas (3-E)
He's versatile. He's good against the run. He's solid in coverage. He does not rush the passer well, though. One of the most glaring weaknesses on the roster is the pass rush. The hybrid outside linebacker/defensive end spot is where that is supposed to come from. Thomas does not provide much there. It is the most important attribute for his position. You can get guys good against the run and in coverage in other spots on the field. Pace gives the Jets something in this area. Thomas does not.
Jamaal Westerman (3-E)
It sounds like Westerman is going to get a real chance to contribute. If he had not been banged up last year, he probably would have seen more time already. The coaching staff has had a lot of good to say about him over the past two years. He picked up the system quickly enough to make calls for the second team in practice during training camp as a rookie. To date his most significant contribution was probably his near miss of a blocked punt in the AFC Championship Game. He was a few inches from getting it and giving the Jets a chance to score a touchdown and cut Pittsburgh's lead to 7 early in the second half. If the team cannot add somebody in free agency, he might be the best bet to find a breakout pass rusher.
Cody Brown (3-D)
He was Arizona's second round pick in 2009. I am never a big fan of early Draft picks a team gives up on quickly. Considering the investment, teams have incentives to give guys every chance as long as there is a small chance they can develop into good players. Brown never really got a chance in Arizona, though. He spent his rookie year on IR with a wrist injury. It's not like that took away any of his athletic ability.
Brandon Long (4-F)
The Jets are the land of opportunity for pass rushers.