The Jets are packed with power, but devoid of any noticeable speed. We've known that for years, time and time again we've gone into the off-season needing to upgrade our pass rush from the OLB position. Year after year draft experts mock edge rushers to the Jets and year after year we ignore that position. John highlighted yesterday how there is more to pass rushing ability than just sacks The Jets aren't doing horribly in this category, but the Jets lack speed throughout their linebacker core. Whether it's rushing the passer or dropping back into coverage, the Jets struggle and have done for years. Will we finally address the issue this off-season?
Todd Bowles knows there is an issue with a lack of speed or any resemblance of an edge rush
I don't think we're getting off on the edge very fast. We don't have a fast edge-rushing team. We have a bunch of power guys inside and some guys that can make some plays on the inside. I don't think we have the true speed guys on the outside yet. So we blitz more here and there to cover up for some of those things.
Here is the problem with that. If you need to blitz more to get pressure from your linebackers, you leave yourself vulnerable to big plays in the secondary. Especially when you face elite receivers and elite passing options from the backfield. In fact 9 of the last 10 touchdowns the jets have conceded have come from 20+ yard passes. The only other touchdown we've give up was the Devin Smith fumble return.
We are one of the most aggressive blitz units in the league and defensively, we're doing well. However to take this unit to an elite level, finding that speed edge rusher must be a priority. Mauldin has the speed to play on the outside, but as Bowles mentioned, he still has a lot to learn:
He's fast enough. He's getting more snaps as he goes. Lorenzo is playing a lot more as he goes and as he goes, I think he'll be a very good pass rusher. He's got to learn some things. Obviously, he's got a lot to learn about the game. As a pass rusher, I think he's got potential.
I've been impressed with Mauldin and think he could develop into a very good edge rusher. Obviously there is a long way to go and he's not playing a lot at the moment, so it's hard to really get a good grasp on his development, but the early signs are good.
It the Jets wanted to go with an outside linebacker early in the 2016 NFL draft, there are some options. Jaylon Smith from Notre Dame is a future 3 down guy. A lot of people like Scooby Wright from Arizona and it's not hard to see why. I also really like Leonard Floyd from Georgia, who's lightning fast off the edge,. We'll get into all the prospect s alot more in the off-season.
How do you think the Jets should address the OLB position.