Quinnen Williams, DT
Williams did not light up the stat sheet (zero tackles, one quarterback hit), but for the first time, we saw glimpses of the dominant potential that made Williams the third overall pick. He had a few rushes in which he overwhelmed interior linemen with power to create pressure on the quarterback. He also drew a hold on one play. The box score didn’t capture it, but Williams made a lot of noise in Atlanta.
Alex Brown, CB
I went into the Falcons game hoping to see someone emerge from the pack at cornerback. It took awhile, but eventually Alex Brown caught my eye. He wasn’t necessarily spectacular, but I thought he was easily the most competent cornerback on the team in Atlanta. Brown made a couple of big hits underneath, and in coverage, I thought he looked solid. Playing off for most of his appearance, I thought Brown did a good job breaking on any shallow routes by his matchups, showing off impressive closing speed as he took away potential target options.
As a Joe Douglas pickup, Brown already had a little bit of an edge, but I thought his performance against the Falcons pushed him up the ladder just a tad further.
Sam Darnold, QB
Darnold impressed yet again. For the second game in a row, he led the Jets to a touchdown on their opening drive, as he opened up the game in Atlanta with an eight play, 66-yard drive. Darnold’s pocket presence was tremendous, doing a great job evading pressure and opening up a couple of throws using subtle movements to throw off defenders.
It is never smart to put too much stock into anything that happens in the preseason, but the offense led by Adam Gase and Sam Darnold has gotten off to a promising start.
Taylor Bertolet, K
New foot, same results. In his return to the Jets, Bertolet missed a pair of extra points, mimicking the performance put forth by Chandler Catanzaro a week prior.
Bertolet had a shot to seize control of the kicking job, but instead left the door wide open for yet another new competitor. We will see if Joe Douglas gives Bertolet another game to work things out, or if he brings in some competition ahead of the game against the Saints next Saturday night.
Elijah McGuire and Trenton Cannon’s rushing
McGuire and Cannon once again looked highly unimpressive as rushers. Against the Falcons, Cannon rushed for six yards on six carries, while McGuire picked up 14 yard on five carries. Meanwhile, Bilal Powell and Ty Montgomery each had their longest runs go for at least 14 yards.
Cannon opened the game with a nice kick return, taking the ball 34 yards upfield after catching it on the goal line. He seems to remain in the lead for the kick returner spot, while he continues to have a role on special teams.
McGuire is not providing the Jets with special teams versatility. While Cannon’s special teams role could land him on the roster, McGuire’s path to the final 53 continues to look murkier.
Williamson is not in this section because of his own personal mistakes or struggles. Unfortunately, he suffered a torn ACL after inadvertently taking a hit to the knee from teammate Tevaughn Campbell. His absence is a big one for the Jets defense, who will likely be relying on rookie Blake Cashman to fill in for most of the snaps Williamson would have played.