There are a lot of players on this team exceeding expectations right now. A few guys like Braylon Edwards and Dustin Keller have had relatively disappointing careers and finally are making good on their vast physical ability. Antonio Cromartie entered the year with high expections, lowered them to the floor after Week 1, and has come on strong over the past three weeks. Aside from a Week 1 sack, nobody has really noticed that Alan Faneca was replaced by Matt Slauson. Mike Devito is playing extremely well pressed into a starting role by Kris Jenkins' injury. Mark Sanchez has improved a lot and might have the makings of a top signal caller.
My pick, though, is Nick Folk. A lot of Jets fans were worried when the team let Jay Feely go to Arizona. How could anybody not love Jay? He is accurate. He is not afraid to mix it up and tackle on kick returns. He is articulate. He can take criticism. He engages his fans on his Twitter account. Even though the Jets used his slot to sign Jason Taylor under the final eight rules, people had legitimate concerns.
The replacement, Nick Folk was only 18 for 28 last year, lost his job on kickoff duties, and was eventually cut. I had cautious optimism. Folk was a former Pro Bowler and never was right after hip surgery a year ago. With adequate rest, it seemed possible he could return to his old form. It was not a guarantee, though.
What has Folk done? While he is far from an elite kickoff man, he hasn't killed the team. Mike Westhoff has a history working around kickers with a limited leg on kickoffs (Mike Nugent). Folk has been a machine on field goals. He is 13 for 15 and 13 for 14 inside 60 yards. He has a pair of 50+ yarders to his name.
A kicker's job is to make field goals. Kickoffs impact field position. Field goals impact points. The Jets have gotten excellent work from Folk.
I think he is the most pleasant surprise to this point.
What do you think?