As the New York Jets prepare for the upcoming season, their situation at safety is going to be one to watch in amazement as the positional group is solid in all areas.
For the first time in a very long time, the safety position is a position of strength for the New York Jets heading into the 2016-2017 season. A few years ago, the Jets were starting aging veterans Ed Reed and Dawan Landry at the two safety spots. This season, the Jets do not have a safety on the roster over the age of 27-years-old. The four safeties that are all likely locks for the roster are Calvin Pryor, Marcus Gilchrist, Dion Bailey and Rontez Miles.
Calvin Pryor, The “Louisville Slugger” as he is nicknamed, had a terrific 2015 season in the NFL. After being forced to play out of position in 2014 due to injury, Pryor really emerged on the scene and stood out as one of the leaders of the Jets’ defense.
According to Pro Football Focus, Pryor finished the season as the 40th best safety in the league. One part of Pryor’s game that is obvious is his hard hitting ability. Pryor strikes fear in opponents with his vicious style of play. Heading into his third season, look for Pryor to be a leader on the Jets’ defense, both on the field and in the locker room. It wouldn’t be surprising if Pryor makes the Pro Bowl this upcoming season.
Gilchrist was an under the radar free agent addition before the 2015 season by general manager Mike Maccagnan, Gilchrist quietly had a great first season with the Jets. Gilchrist finished the year as PFF’s 19th best safety, a very high rank. Gilchrist seems to be able to do a little bit of everything for the Jets’ defense, at times playing center-field, as well as being able to cover opposing teams tight ends. While Gilchrist does not necessarily excel at one thing in particular, he is a very solid player who plays a big role on defense.
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After being picked up by the Jets last season after being released from the Seattle Seahawks, Bailey made his presence known right away seeing time in many packages.
Bailey is a very physical player, who is not afraid to lay the wood with a big hit.
Bailey’s versatility also allows him to hold his own in coverage.
Now fully recovered from an ankle injury, Bailey provides great depth at safety for the Jets, as well as the ability to play special teams.
A fan favorite ever since he signed with the Jets, Miles seems to have found himself a solid role on the Jets heading into 2016. Miles is a leader on special teams, especially punt coverage.
Along with his play on special teams, Miles also provides solid depth behind Pryor. Miles is a very aggressive and physical player who loves to hit. Look for Miles to see some time on defense, as well as being a main contributor for the Jets on all special teams units.