Let's imagine you could pick one player from another team to put on the Jets. The Jets would not have to give his old team any compensation. The salary cap would be no issue. Since quarterbacks have an outsized effect on the game, let's eliminate them from consideration.
My pick would be Vikings running back Adrian Peterson.
- The pick really needs to be an offensive player. Most of the talent on the Jets is on the defensive side of the ball. In addition, Rex Ryan is supposed to theoretically make a defense better than the sum of its parts. The Jets offense has held the team back during the Ryan Era. Peterson is probably the most valuable non-quarterback in the league.
- Peterson would instantly give the Jets a play they could run in any situation and have a high probability of gaining good yardage, a handoff.
- Life would be made much easier on rookie quarterback Geno Smith. Defenses would have to play the run first. This would slow down pass rushers. Play action would freeze the defense. Other teams couldn't throw exotic fronts because defenders might run themselves out of plays. With the normal back, this results in a nice game. With Peterson, it likely means a touchdown.
- Life would also be easier on wide receivers. Since opposing teams would have to use both safeties in the run game, the receivers would have to face simple coverages and clean throwing lanes. The wide receivers on the Jets surely could use help like this.
I think Peterson is the obvious choice. Do you agree? Would you take somebody different? Remember, no quarterbacks allowed.