New York Jets: Could they launch a top five defense in 2016?
The New York Jets have added top pieces to their overall defense in hopes of making their pass rush faster and younger. Could they field a top five defense in 2016?
When you look at the Jets’ defense on paper, it shouldn’t bring anything more than a smile to the faces of fans. Every tier of the defense is loaded with great players and possible outbreaks. From veterans to rookies, the potential for this defense is staggering.
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Looking at the returning players for the Jets on defense, you have to start with defensive end Muhammad Wilkerson. Coming off a gruesome leg injury at the end of last season, a lot of questions currently surround the superstar. Will he be able to play at the level he did before the injury? Was it a smart decision not to trade him at the draft?
At the same position, you have second year defensive tackle Leonard Williams. Having taken Williams in the first round the 2015 NFL Draft, he is poised to have a breakout year in 2016. With support from Wilkerson, Sheldon Richardson and need additions like Steve McLendon and Jarvis Jenkins, Williams has found himself in a phenomenal situation with the Jets.
Moving to the linebacker corps, the Jets are solidly built throughout. Anchor and defensive captain David Harris smack down in the middle. Having Harris in the middle is key because of the inexperience that surrounds him. With Lorenzo Mauldin getting a starting nod in 2016, first round pick Darren Lee and third round pick Jordan Jenkins filling out the linebackers, there is a lot of knowledge that can be passed down. Having veterans such as Erin Henderson and Bruce Carter on the roster doesn’t hurt when it comes to teaching the young guys how to do it.
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To think about the Jets and not mention its defensive secondary should be a crime.
The backbone of this team and the key as to how this team will fair in 2016.
Of course there is Darrelle Revis, the superstar cornerback that may not be as great as he used to be but is still a top tier cornerback in this league that injects fear into every quarterback/wide receiver he faces.
The Jets lost cornerback Antonio Cromartie this offseason, but added a replica by drafting Justin Burris in the draft this year.
This also means that defensive back Buster Skrine will have to step up as well and go out of his element playing the outside of the field when he is known as playing against slot receivers. It will also be exciting to see the “Louisville Slugger” Calvin Pryor play this season. He has all the tools to be a top safety in the NFL and could very well have a breakout season in 2016.
The Jets this upcoming season have a tough schedule but with a defense like this they can overcome anything. The key for this team is to stay healthy. If they can remain healthy throughout the season, the Jets can make a run to the NFL Playoffs.
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The defensive outlook is extremely promising and should get Jets fans very excited. The mixture of youth and veterans is at just the right level and should translate to a winning team in 2016. The future is bright for this stacked defense and hopefully, the Jets can seize the opportunity in ending their playoffs drought this time around.