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Jets Projected Defensive Starters: Now vs. One Year Ago

Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports

Earlier this week, we took a look at how the starters for the Jets on offense compared to how things looked one year ago at this time. Now let's compare the lineup on the defensive side of the ball.

Position 2014 2015
DE Muhammad Wilkerson Muhammad Wilkerson
NT Damon Harrison Damon Harrison
DT Sheldon Richardson Sheldon Richardson
OLB Quinton Coples Quinton Coples
ILB Demario Davis Demario Davis
ILB David Harris David Harris
OLB Calvin Pace Calvin Pace
CB Dimitri Patterson Darrelle Revis
CB Dee Milliner Antonio Cromartie
S Calvin Pryor Calvin Pryor
S Dawan Landry Marcus Gilchrist
Slot Kyle Wilson Buster Skrine

On offense, the thing that really jumped off the page was the monumental upgrade Brandon Marshall presented at wide receiver. The same can be said at cornerback. Patterson and Milliner were not exactly a duo who inspired much optimism, but they barely played anyway. Patterson did not make the final cut out of the preseason, and Milliner played in just three games due to various injuries. I'm not sure you could upgrade a position more than the Jets did giving 1,000+ snaps to both Revis and Cromartie and taking them away from players like Antonio Allen, Darren Walls, and Phillip Adams.

One interesting note is no rookies are projected in the starting lineup. That isn't to say the Jets will get no contributions from rookies. Leonard Williams is probably going to play a lot as the Jets mix their fronts. Devin Smith will also likely see time in some capacity. This is a good thing at any rate. The rookies can come along at their own speed. If a rookie is ready to be a player, nothing is to stop that guy from earning a spot in the lineup. For once,  though, the Jets don't need their rookies to be good right off the bat. It is good to be in that position.