May is the time to sit back and take stock of where you are. The first and second wave of free agency has largely passed, the draft is in the bank and rookies are starting to get acclimatized to being part of a professional franchise.
Media outlets usually start to release power rankings around this time, and while they mean absolutely nothing when all is said and done, I like to take a look to see how well they match up with my own perception of where the team sits.
Personally, I still believe we have some work to do if we want to be championship contenders. But, I also believe that we’re a playoff team right now. So if I were asked to rank the Jets, I would have them between 5-10. I don’t think we’re as good as the Chiefs or Eagles, I think we’re slightly behind the 49ers, Bengals, and Bills but I could easily see us having better records than all of them if everything comes together.
What do the professionals think:
#9 - Moving back two spots in the first round as the “sweetener” in the Aaron Rodgers trade proved potentially costly, as New York watched the last of the four top offensive linemen in the first round come off the board a pick before the Jets went on the clock at No. 15 overall. The ensuing selection of Iowa State defensive end Will McDonald IV felt like a pivot, but no one in Florham Park will complain if McDonald finally gives the team a consistent threat on the edge. When one of the most important weeks in franchise history wrapped, you could see the sense of accomplishment on the faces of GM Joe Douglas and head coach Robert Saleh. “It’s been a fun week, a fun week,” Saleh said with a smile. “To get Aaron here, it’s a blessing. ... We got better this week — a lot better this week.”
Teams ranked ahead of us in order: Chiefs, Eagles, Bengals, Bills, 49ers, Cowboys, Ravens, Jaguars
#6 - The Jets made major moves this offseason, signing quarterback Aaron Rodgers and constructing a new-look receiving corps that includes Randall Cobb, Allen Lazard and Mecole Hardman. They also signed Billy Turner and drafted Carter Warren and Joe Tippmann for offensive line depth to protect their new quarterback.
Teams ranked ahead of us in order: Chiefs, Eagles, 49’ers, Bengals, Bills
#9 - N.Y. Jets. It’s logical to think Aaron Rodgers will lift all Jets, and I believe he will. Rodgers is the kind of person who can set his mind to something—such as showing the Packers and the world he’s not kaput entering his age-40 season—and go out and do it.
Teams ranked ahead of us in order: Eagles, Chiefs, Bengals, 49’ers, Bills, Lions, Ravens, Dolphins
#7 - This team entered December at 7-4 and narrowly missed the playoffs in part due to atrocious quarterback play. Even if Aaron Rodgers is no longer MVP-caliber, he’s a significant step up at the game’s most important position. The depth along the offensive line is troublesome, but the talent at the skill positions and on defense helps offset that concern. The hype in the Big Apple is totally justified.
Teams ranked ahead of us in order: Chiefs, Eagles, Bengals, Bills, 49’ers, Ravens
Hype man: Did you even watch us last year? We had a top-five defense and a great cast of offensive weapons. The only thing holding us back was the worst quarterback play in the league, and now we have one of the best ever leading the ship. This is our year, baby.
Duane Downer: Who’s going to play quarterback if there’s an RFK Jr. campaign event on a Sunday this fall?
Teams ranked ahead of us in order: Chiefs, Bengals, Eagles, Bills, Jaguars, 49’ers, Ravens
#8 - They’ve made a big leap up these rankings after getting Aaron Rodgers. The talent is all over this roster, but now comes the tough part for the young guys, which is handling expectations.
Teams ranked ahead of us in order: Chiefs, Eagles, Bills, Bengals, 49’ers, Jaguars, Cowboys
#6 - I wasn’t as frustrated with the Will McDonald IV pick as some others might have been. While it seems pretty clear the Jets were leapfrogged for the last value tackle on the board, they added a lot of speed and athleticism to their roster. Israel Abanikanda is a special player out of Pitt, and reminds me a lot of the prototypical lean and fast backs the 49ers have churned out over the years.
Teams ranked ahead of us in order: Eagles, Chiefs, Bengals, Bills, 49’ers