The Jets have concluded their 2017 season, and with that, I shall conclude my Roster Power Rankings series. Thanks to everyone who followed along and added input throughout the year.
Below, I have linked all of the previous editions of the list. Take a ride back in time and laugh at our takes and varying vibes from the weeks of the past!
And with that, here is my final stackup of the team’s top 10 performers in 2017.
10. Morris Claiborne, CB (Last week: 9th - 11th consecutive week - Peak: 2nd)
Claiborne didn’t finish the season with a strong second half, but he was the only thing close to stability the Jets had at the cornerback position. In the first half of the year, he provided some very solid performances, including a lockdown of Julio Jones. His PFF grade is ghastly, like his play in the second half, but it’s easy to imagine this secondary performing much worse if you simply subtracted Claiborne.
9. Steve McLendon, DT (Last week: 8th - 4th consecutive week - Peak: 8th)
McLendon is a very solid player. He’s up there, soon to be 32 this Wednesday, but McLendon was consistently solid on the interior. Assuming he can keep up this level of play, him and Leonard Williams are a very formidable pair inside to build around, and should become more noticeably dominant if the Jets can add an edge rush.
8. Jermaine Kearse, WR (Last week: 7th - Perfect 15th consecutive week - Peak: 2nd)
Kearse was one of the biggest surprises of the season with his productivity. He started out as McCown’s top target before easing into a #2 role behind Robby Anderson. Kearse certainly isn’t consistent enough to be a top-flight receiver, but he was reliable and productive this year. He put up career highs of 810 yards (50.6 per game), 65 receptions, and 5 touchdowns. The Jets have a decision to make with him, as they can save $5M by cutting him. Quincy Enunwa will be coming back. Is Kearse worth keeping at that price? At that average per year, he’d be the 35th highest paid receiver in the league right now.
7. Bilal Powell, RB (Last week: 5th - 13th consecutive week - Peak: 3rd)
There might still be an argument that Powell didn’t touch the ball enough, as he only took less than half of the carries between the trio featuring him, Matt Forte, and Elijah McGuire, but Powell did have a nice year with a career high in rushing attempts. He collected a career high 51.5 rushing yards per game, easily outdoing his fellow backs with a solid 4.3 YPC mark. With the line play the Jets got, an above-average mark like that is impressive. Going on 30 next season, the Jets can’t expect Powell to yet again increase his workload, but he is still a weapon.
6. Marcus Maye, S (Last week: 4th - Perfect 15th consecutive week - Peak: 1st)
Maye finished the season on a cold streak, but overall provided a ton of promise to the fanbase. Safety is one of the toughest positions for a young player to adjust to in the NFL. Maye and Adams were far from perfect, but made a large share of plays and still maintained impressive discipline and smarts most of the time. Safety is perhaps the only position on the team where significant investment would be unwarranted, perhaps only in addition to defensive tackle.
5. Jamal Adams, S (Last week: 6th - Perfect 15th consecutive week - Peak: 1st)
Adams made some mistakes, but he also made quite a few splash plays as well. All in all, for a 22-year old rookie safety asked to take on a dizzying number of roles, Adams still was a plus-impact player and showcased a very high longterm ceiling. His play against the run was very strong, though he could stand to improve his tackling technique (he dove and missed too often). After yielding a lot of production to tight ends early on, he tightened up in the second half of the year, highlighted by his role in keeping Gronkowski silent in Week 17. The box score won’t show it, but Adams made a quite few splash plays (don’t forget the 2 picks he was responsible for in Buffalo and Miami) and could become an interception machine if he could catch even half of the balls he was in position for.
As long as he continues to progress, Adams has star potential. If he doesn’t, he is still a solid starter, which a team needs even if it is uninspiring from a 6th pick.
4. Josh McCown, QB (Held off last 3 weeks due to injury, Lastly at 6th in Week 14 - 5th week on the list - Peak: 4th)
The last few weeks of the season showed you exactly how valuable McCown was this season, whether you like it or not. Same offensive line. Same receivers. A complete nosedive in production. The Jets put up 20.4 points in the games McCown started with a 5-8 record, and followed it with 10.7 points and an 0-3 record under Petty. Josh wasn’t a top-eleven quarterback like his rating would tell you, but he balanced his untimely mistakes with a highly impressive rate of big plays downfield and some clutch usage of his legs.
Make no mistake, though. McCown doesn’t have a place in Florham Park in 2018, unless he wants to coach. A team armed with the 6th pick and elite cap room in a relatively strong QB market has no business starting a 39-year old who has never won more than five games in a season.
3. Leonard Williams, DT (Last week: 3rd - Perfect 15th consecutive week - Peak: 2nd)
Leo seemed to take a lot of heat from fans this year, but I maintain my stance that he continued to play very high level football. The Jets’ lack of an edge rush redirected a ton of attention towards Williams, in turn limiting his statistical production with a mere 2.0 sacks. However, Leo still found himself tied for 10th in the league with 24 quarterback hits. His play against the run is also consistently stout. I know fans want bigger numbers from a guy heralded as a team face and even by some as the most talented player in his draft class, but Leo played his role about as well as he could have this year.
2. Robby Anderson, WR (Last week: 1st - 9th consecutive week - Peak: 1st)
Robby was the team’s biggest bright spot offensively. He is literally the only Jet offensively you can realistically expect to be a plus contributor for years to come going forward. Anderson led the team with 941 receiving yards (58.8 per game) and 7 touchdowns, gaining a robust 14.9 yards per reception. He unfortunately was one of the biggest losers from Bryce Petty’s taking of the QB position, but Anderson developed a great rapport with McCown. Josh averaged 9.4 yards per attempt and had a 92.3 quarterback rating targeting Anderson.
1. Demario Davis, LB (Last week: 2nd - 12th consecutive week - Peak: 1st)
I wrote this about Davis in the Week 6 edition:
After two straight weeks in the “Knocking on the door” column, he’s here! If you told me after the Oakland loss that Davis would find his way into the ranks of the team’s best players, I would have laughed extremely loud. Nevertheless, Davis is here.
Yet now, Davis finds himself at the summit of my rankings at season’s end. Demario Davis was a huge reason the Jets started the year 0-2 while giving up 185.0 rushing yards per game. He looked like the Davis of Jets’ past, fiery and tough but slow and lost.
Since then, we’ve seen not only a great career renaissance, but an in-season one as well. Davis has been great since Week 3. In the run game, where he was incompetent early on, he has become elite. His gap-filling has been disciplined and intelligent, while he has finished tackles with force and high consistency. He’s seen lots of opportunities as a pass rusher and was highly productive with those chances, leading the team with 5.0 sacks and leading all inside linebackers with 15 quarterback hits. His coverage, once one of the biggest targets of opposing offenses, is still imperfect but improved.
The Jets definitely need to make bringing back Davis a priority.
Others featured on the list:
Kony Ealy: 9 weeks, Weeks 3-11 - Peaked at 3rd
Darron Lee: 6 weeks, Weeks 10-16 - Peaked at 6th
Austin Seferian-Jenkins: 4 weeks, Weeks 6-9 - Peaked at 6th
James Carpenter: 3 weeks, Weeks 3-5 - Peaked at 4th
Josh Martin: 2 weeks, Weeks 3-4 - Peaked at 6th
Jordan Jenkins: 2 weeks, Weeks 3-4 - Peaked at 7th
Jeremy Kerley: 2 weeks, Weeks 7-8 - Peaked at 9th
David Bass: 1 week, Week 5 - Peaked at 10th
Mike Pennel: 1 week, Week 3 - Peaked at 10th
Brandon Shell: 1 week, Week 3 - Peaked at 5th
Buster Skrine: 1 week, Week 17 - Peaked at 10th
In the coming days, a fan poll will be released to gauge the community’s take on the roster.
Thanks again to everyone who read, commented, and voted on the roster rankings throughout the year! If you have any suggestions to improve the roster rankings for 2018 or other comments on the format, be sure to leave them!
Jets 2017 MVP?
This poll is closed