The 2016 season will not be remembered positively for Jets fans, but there still were a few bright spots. As we begin a season in review series, let’s take a look at three guys who stepped up this season.
- Quincy Enunwa: Enunwa quietly carved out an important role in the offense a year ago as a run blocker playing a lot of tight end. Near the end of the season, he began to flash a little bit of playmaking ability as a receiver. The question became how much value he could provide as a receiver in 2016.
Back in June I said:
He doesn't need to be a great option as a target. Becoming a reliable fourth or fifth option on offense would be a big help.
He actually did better than that. He put up 58 catches and 857 yards. He looks like a viable third or perhaps even second option in a decent passing attack. Add in his value as a blocker and his ability to line up in multiple spots to create mismatches, and you have a very valuable weapon.
I haven’t heard a single person mention it, but internal priority number one for the Jets this offseason should be to get Enunwa locked up long-term. He’s a free agent after next season.
2. Leonard Williams: Williams doesn’t finish first on this list because he already started from a pretty high point after a promising rookie season, but his second campaign was as good as the Jets could have hoped to see. He was a force against the run and started to develop as a pass rusher with 7 sacks. There were stretches where he was downright unblockable. Williams was the only member of the vaunted defensive line to pull his weight this season.
3. Robby Anderson: Anderson came out of nowhere to star in preseason and earn a roster spot. Through the years, Jets fans have seen plenty of shining stars in the preseason burn out once the regular season begins. It looked like Anderson would as well after getting a more prominent role in the offense due to Eric Decker’s injury. He left a lot of catches on the field. As the season moved on, Anderson got more comfortable, registering at least 4 receptions in 4 of the team’s last 5 games, including a 6 catch game in San Francisco where he made a pair of key circus catches. His 42 catch, 587 yard stat line doesn’t look too impressive on its own, but factoring in the quarterback play this team got, it’s very good for an undrafted rookie. Whether Anderson will eventually become a viable number one, two, or three, I don’t know, but I do think he is going to have a career in this league.
Honorable Mention: Brian Winters