What a great day it is to be a Jets fan. None of knew what to expect, we thought the year was over after one play, and then we finish with arguably the most dominating victory of all the week 1 games.
Oddly enough though, the one thing that kept crossing my mind throughout the game wasn't Darnold's performance or the stout defense or the fact that we're running the score up on Patricia. What I was thinking throughout the game was "just imagine how much better this team can be next year".
This in NO WAY means I'm throwing away this year...not at all. This team is more than capable of being a wildcard contender. That, however, is what makes my thought so much more exciting...which is the bright future this team has.
With over $90M in cap room, a decent draft pick, and a promising 2018 campaign, the 2019 offseason is what can take this team from young and full of potential to a true Super Bowl contender.
So here are a couple of people on my early edition wishlist for next year:
1. Clelin Ferrell (DE, Clemson) - Our defense looks fantastic. What would make it elite? Easy, an All-Pro pass rusher. Assuming that Nick Bosa is already off the board when we pick, Ferrell is the next best option. He's no consolation prize either, this guy's damn good. Big body, freakish athleticism and is in the backfield practically every play. He has the potential to become a top 5 pass rusher in this league.
2. Daryl Williams (RT, Carolina Panthers) - Williams is due to be a free agent in 2019. His recent injury history is concerning, however when healthy, he is one of the top RTs in the league. I believe the first two spots we need to address on the o-line are both tackles and Williams would be a fantastic addition.
3. Donovan Smith (LT, Tampa Bay Bucs) - Following the o-line free agency trend, Smith will be one of the best left tackles available. He's shown an inconsistent track record, where some games he looks better than others, however he has the potential to be one of the better left tackles in the game. The bright side here is that he's only 25, meaning that he could be Darnold's blind side for the next 5-7 years.
4. Greg Little (OT, Ole Miss) - If we aren't able to land an OT in free agency and both Bosa and Ferrell are off the board, Little is the way to go. He's arguably the best offensive line prospect in the draft and could still be on the board when we're on the clock. Again, like the two options above, I'm going with youth/potential over a veteran with proven talent. It's a little bit of a risk, however if we're going all-in on the Jets youth movement, Little can be our LT for the next decade.
5. Tevin Coleman (RB, Atlanta Falcons) - The big debate in the offseason will be whether or not we go after Le'Veon Bell. There's a very good chance Pittsburgh lets him walk, and we have more than enough money to pay him. I'm kind of in the middle on this debate, leaning towards saying no. Rather than using half our cap on Bell, we can use it on several key players (like signing two young, elite offensive tackles), and then still bring in a playmaker if we want to. Tevin Coleman is poised to become a number one back. He's been stuck behind Freeman in Atlanta for long enough. I say we bring him in and give him the keys to the offense.
Just because the 2018 season just started, doesn't mean it's too early to look ahead to the future. When the future is as bright as the Jets' one is, you can't help but get excited for what could be.