After years of turmoil, mismanagement, poor coaching, poor drafting, and more, the New York Jets may have had their best offseason in years. With new GM Joe Douglas, they may actually have a plan for how they want to construct this team. With some cornerstone pieces in place, let’s take a look at who Douglas added this offseason, in hopes of helping this Jets team win some games.
Douglas’ main priority was always going to be the offensive line, as he said when he arrived. Starting in free agency, he was able to pick up what looks to be 3 starters for the Jets. Center Conor McGovern should slot in as the team’s center, after starting every game the last 2 years for Denver. He didn’t commit any penalties last season, and allowed 0 sacks, which should bode well for New York. Guard Greg van Roten and Tackle George Fant are less proven, but should start at RG and RT, and if nothing else, be small upgrades over last years starters on the right side. The big acquisition (literally) was Mekhi Becton in the draft, who should be the team’s franchise left tackle. He ran a 5.1 40 yard dash at 364 pounds, the heaviest player ever to run a sub-5.1 40. With his massive frame and great agility, he should be a pristine protector of Darnold for years to come.
Another glaring weakness for the Jets were their offensive weapons for Darnold. Free agent Breshad Perriman will fill in Robby Anderson’s role as the team’s deep threat, after a rejuvenated his career in Tampa Bay last season. The most important offensive addition however was Denzel Mims, out of Baylor in the draft. Hopefully, he becomes Darnold’s go to target. He has a big frame, he’s track-star, and can make contested catches, something the Jets haven’t had since Brandon Marshall. They also made a few sneaky good depth pickups later in the draft, which needed to be done. Lamichal Perine should give the Jets a good change of pace at running back, and James Morgan is a huge improvement as the team’s backup QB. In games the Jets have played without Darnold the last 2 seasons, they have averaged a measly 7 points per game. They needed someone who can step in and give the team a chance, and they got that with Morgan.
Defensively, the team had a few glaring holes and Douglas did his best to fill them. They already had talent on their d-line, linebackers and their safeties, so the others needs were addressed. They acquired potentially their 2 new starting corners with a trade for Pierre Desir, and drafting Bryce Hall in the 5th round, who fell due to injuries. Neither projects as a star, but an improved performance from their 2 starting corners will go a long way to fixing this defense. Another thing the Jets have struggled to do is create pressure on the QB. There were no big names acquired here either, but Florida edge rusher Jabari Zuniga, should hopefully offer some athleticism and speed coming off the edge.
This offseason does not excite fans a ton, as there are no huge names or marquee free agent signings to write home about. However, their team needs were addressed and many players will benefit from these moves. Notably, Darnold and running back Le’veon Bell, should have much better years in 2020 with a vastly improved offensive line, and a few new weapons to take some pressure off them.