The 2020 New York Jets offseason saw the team hire a new head coach and draft a possible franchise quarterback. This offseason was about putting in the right piece around that head coach and quarterback to turn the franchise around.
Improvements: A great draft night
Last season the Jets were not a good team going 4-13, which means all they could do was get better. They added a lot of free-agency talent to start to retool the roster, but they made the biggest splash in the NFL Draft. They filled three significant holes in the roster with three first-round draft picks.
Introducing the 2022 New York Jets draft class.
Come see ’em this fall ➜ https://t.co/rxJ1DzztEI pic.twitter.com/YDQLbVH2k9
— New York Jets (@nyjets) May 1, 2022
With the fourth pick, they selected corner Ahmad “Sauce” Gardner, one of the best corners in the draft and will surely make an impact in Week 1. At 10, they drafted wide receiver Garrett Wilson, who is an immediate upgrade for young quarterback Zach Wilson. Finally, at pick 26, defensive end Jermaine Johnson II, who had 12 sacks in his final year at Florida State and was the ACC Defensive Player of the Year.
Stayed the same: Safeties
Last season, the Jets’ secondary was a prevalent issue, allowing the third-highest passing yards. Drafting Gardner and signing D.J. Reed at corner is a massive upgrade of what they had last season. However, the Jets let Marcus Maye leave for the New Orleans Saints. He had been one of the team’s best players the last few years when healthy.
The Jets did sign replacement Jordan Whitehead in free agency from the Buccaneers. He played his best football of his career last season, so the Jets will need to hope he continues to get better and improve on what Maye has done.
Got worse: The Offensive line
With all the strides in the Jets’ right direction, the offensive line was one hole they did not fill. 2020 first-round draft pick Mekhi Becton got hurt in the first game of the season, and 2021 first-round draft pick Alijah Vera-Tucker played well. However, the line still needs work, and the Jets’ front office did not address that.
They did sign Laken Tomlinson, a solid guard, away from the San Francisco 49ers, many of the coaching staff’s former team. However, the deal was pretty significant for someone going into their age 30 seasons, after being just a part of one of the best offensive lines in football. Now being the headliner of the Jets offensive line, he might suffer from having lesser players around him.
Just about every move the Jets made this offseason was great. They used the draft to add possible star-level players to the team while filling in gaps in free agency. The team is still a ways from a potential playoff push, but the Jets are building a team every team in the NFL will need to prepare for.
- Week 1: 9/11 vs. Ravens, 1 p.m., CBS
- Week 2: 9/18 at Browns, 1 p.m., CBS
- Week 3: 9/25 vs. Bengals, 1 p.m., CBS
- Week 4: 10/2 at Steelers, 1 p.m., CBS
- Week 5: 10/9 vs. Dolphins, 1 p.m., CBS
- Week 6: 10/16 at Packers, 1 p.m., Fox
- Week 7: 10/23 at Broncos, 4:05 p.m., CBS
- Week 8: 10/30 vs. Patriots, 1 p.m., CBS
- Week 9: 11/6 vs. Bills, 1 p.m., CBS
- Week 10: BYE
- Week 11: 11/20 at Patriots, 1 p.m., CBS
- Week 12: 11/27 vs. Bears, 1 p.m., Fox
- Week 13: 12/4 at Vikings, 1 p.m., CBS
- Week 14: 12/11 at Bills, 1 p.m., CBS
- Week 15: 12/18 vs. Lions, 1 p.m., Fox
- Week 16: 12/22 vs. Jaguars (Thursday) 8:15 p.m., Prime Video
- Week 17: 1/1 at Seahawks, 4:05 p.m., Fox
- Week 18: 1/7 or 8 at Dolphins, TBD, TBD