We all know how important this position is. We all know the Jets’ numerous failed attempts to fill it through the years. We also know that the Jets are almost certainly taking a new signal caller with the third overall pick. By the end of the weekend, we will not be able to say with certainty that the Jets have finally found their answer. There will at least be legitimate reason to hope they have for the first time in a very long time, though.
This position has been another chronic problem spot for the Jets. Calvin Pace had a few decent seasons for the Jets, but I think you would have to go back to John Abraham to find the last edge rusher this team had who actually struck fear into the hearts of opponents. Abraham’s last season with the Jets was 2005. To a lesser extent than quarterback, a top notch edge rusher can make everybody else’s job easier. Interior guys get more one on one matchups with edge guys drawing double teams. Corners don’t have to cover as long with pressure generated off the edge.
Defensive line has been such a strong spot for the Jets that it is easy to just take for granted that the Jets are set there. You just go on autopilot assuming the position is fine. But for the first time in a long while, things are unsettled at the spot. I’m not entirely certain what the plan is. Perhaps guys like Mike Pennel and Xavier Cooper will take on bigger roles. Perhaps they can handle it, but that is no guarantee.
The Jets do have some bodies at the position. Clive Walford has put up past production relatively similar to what the team got out of Austin Seferian-Jenkins in 2017. The thing is Seferian-Jenkins wasn’t that productive. The Jets also should have Jordan Leggett returning, but Leggett is a third day pick who didn’t play as a rookie. That isn’t a sure bet either.
The offensive line was a weakness for the Jets in 2017, but only one position has been upgraded. It feels like every member of this unit has a question mark. You could talk yourself into any of the five player individually, but can the Jets really count on a best case scenario playing out for all five?