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Top 25 bold predictions for the Jets in 2017

By Luis Tirado Jr.
EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - AUGUST 12: Josh McCown #15 of the New York Jets calls out the play in the first quarter against the Tennessee Titans during a preseason game at MetLife Stadium on August 12, 2017 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - AUGUST 12: Josh McCown #15 of the New York Jets calls out the play in the first quarter against the Tennessee Titans during a preseason game at MetLife Stadium on August 12, 2017 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
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EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ – AUGUST 12: Josh McCown #15 of the New York Jets calls out the play in the first quarter against the Tennessee Titans during a preseason game at MetLife Stadium on August 12, 2017 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ – AUGUST 12: Josh McCown #15 of the New York Jets calls out the play in the first quarter against the Tennessee Titans during a preseason game at MetLife Stadium on August 12, 2017 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

The New York Jets are ready for a rollercoaster of a year as here are 25 bold predictions for a young team searching for an identity.

The 2017 NFL regular season is finally upon us and well, it’s been a long offseason. From the 2017 NFL Draft class to all of training camp and preseason action, it’s a glorious time that regular season football is back. The New York Jets might be considered one of the worst teams in the NFL but make no mistake about it, this team will fight and work hard all season long.

In case you didn’t know, the Jets had a massive purge this offseason. They parted ways with a plethora of aging, overpaid, and unproductive players to do a full rebuild. Of course, a rebuild comes with a sacrifice since it’s hard to imagine this team being anywhere near a playoff contender.

With lots of young players, new coaches, and a culture change focused on the team first rather than the individual, the Jets are preparing for a rough season ahead. Yeah, they’ll more than likely lose a lot of football games but at the end of the day, they’ll fight every step of the way.

Without further ado, here are 25 bold predictions for the Jets heading into the regular season. The truth be told, they’ll be a lot of heartache, frustration, and anger, but this season won’t be a total waste of the year thanks to some players earning valuable regular season experience and yes, even a few that could have breakout seasons to further their development.

Next: 25. Tight ends will finally be used

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ – AUGUST 31: Austin Seferian-Jenkins #88 of the New York Jets fends off Tre Sullivan #49 of the Philadelphia Eagles during their preseason game at MetLife Stadium on August 31, 2017 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)
EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ – AUGUST 31: Austin Seferian-Jenkins #88 of the New York Jets fends off Tre Sullivan #49 of the Philadelphia Eagles during their preseason game at MetLife Stadium on August 31, 2017 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)

25. Tight ends will finally be used

When it came to tight ends over the past few years, the Jets didn’t know how to cover one on defense, let alone, utilize one properly on offense. Luckily, all that is about to change thanks to not only drafting a solid tight end but bringing in more to the mix.

Besides tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins, rookie Jordan Leggett will bring a nice dimension on offense. Seferian-Jenkins has committed to playing his best football yet and slimmed down the offseason. Leggett, on the other hand, made a name for himself at Clemson as he totaled 1,598 receiving yards, 112 receptions, and 18 touchdowns.

Just those two alone should inject some life into a forgotten position on the Jets this upcoming season. Plus the Jets recently picked up via waivers tight end Will Tye, who brings, even more, experience to the table.

Expect to see tight ends finally be used and more likely than not, be a nice chunk of the game plan on a daily basis, especially against teams that struggle in covering them. It’ll be a welcomed sight to see for the Jets compared to the lack of talent and usage in the past.

Next: 24. Growing pains at wide receiver

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ – AUGUST 12: Charone Peake #17 of the New York Jets celebrates his touchdown in the first quarter against the Tennessee Titans during a preseason game at MetLife Stadium on August 12, 2017 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ – AUGUST 12: Charone Peake #17 of the New York Jets celebrates his touchdown in the first quarter against the Tennessee Titans during a preseason game at MetLife Stadium on August 12, 2017 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

24. Growing pains at wide receiver

The Jets have a young yet promising wide receiver corps this season. They lost Quincy Enunwa for the year due to a severe neck injury as the next potential playmaker for the Jets they just recently acquired.

Jermaine Kearse immediately becomes the Jets No. 1 receiving option after they traded defensive end Sheldon Richardson to the Seattle Seahawks to acquire his services. Besides Kearse, Robby Anderson also figures to be able to keep those chains moving but aside from these two, everyone else will easily experience growing pains as they do their best to adjust to what will be a tough season ahead.

From Charone Peake, ArDarius Stewart, Chad Hansen, and recently acquired Jeremy Kerley, the Jets will hope that as the weeks pass, these players will develop into a formidable group. It won’t be easy since it’s a lot of hope versus reality.

The hope is these young receivers can pan out and actually develop their skills by earning a lot of regular season experience. Reality says, expect a lot of wrong routes, injuries, and dropped passes early on in the season. There is only so much players like Kearse and Kerley can do as starters. This group has a very long way to go before being something defenses are scared of and need extra time to prepare for.

Next: 23. A steep learning curve for two rookie safeties

23. A steep learning curve for two rookie safeties

Rookie safeties Jamal Adams and Marcus Maye look to be quite the tandem in the future. Unfortunately, just like most rookies, it’ll take time for them to develop into cornerstones on defense.

They’re both bright defensive players but remember, the supporting cast around them is still a work in progress. The secondary of the Jets were abysmal last season, especially at safety. That’s why the Jets completely cleaned house and drafted a safety in the first two rounds of this year’s draft to address it.

Clearly, the Jets are building for the future but both rookie safeties will face a steep learning curve the first few weeks of the regular season. Just the first five weeks alone, the Jets defense will face quarterbacks Tyrod Taylor, Derek Carr, Jay Cutler, Blake Bortles, and DeShone Kizer, respectively.

Don’t let the names fool you, even though many believe Cutler is past his prime, he’s still a veteran that will more than likely drop a lot of yards against rookie safeties that are adjusting to life in the pros. Give Adams and Maye time to develop as things will be hard to watch until the midway point of the regular season.

Next: 22. Todd Bowles will make demotions if needed

PITTSBURGH, PA – OCTOBER 09: Head coach Todd Bowles looks on during the second half while playing the Pittsburgh Steelers at Heinz Field on October 9, 2016 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Pittsburgh won the game 31-13.(Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
PITTSBURGH, PA – OCTOBER 09: Head coach Todd Bowles looks on during the second half while playing the Pittsburgh Steelers at Heinz Field on October 9, 2016 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Pittsburgh won the game 31-13.(Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

22. Todd Bowles will make demotions if needed

We all remember the horror stories of last season. Players coming late to team meetings. Cornerback Darrelle Revis given starting reps because of the name on the back of his usually clean jersey. Quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick throwing for so many interceptions in a single game that any other head coach would have demoted him to the practice squad right after.

But head coach Todd Bowles didn’t grasp that concept and by the time he realized he should have demoted unproductive players to give their backups some playing time, it was too late. The season was already lost by then but this time around, expect to see Bowles learn from his past mistakes.

He’s made it clear all offseason long that it’s all about the team first, not the individual. It’s a saying that has been resonating all throughout training camp and preseason action as Bowles won’t be afraid to demote any player if it means winning more football games.

Expect to see players get demoted and held accountable if they’re inconsistent on the field or bring distractions off it. Bowles knows that there will be no room for distractions by players doing or saying dumb things that take away from the task at hand. Expect to see an even stricter Bowles in 2017.

Next: 21. The downfall of Josh McCown

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ – AUGUST 31: Josh McCown #15 of the New York Jets passes under pressure from Jake Metz #64 of the Philadelphia Eagles during their preseason game at MetLife Stadium on August 31, 2017 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)
EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ – AUGUST 31: Josh McCown #15 of the New York Jets passes under pressure from Jake Metz #64 of the Philadelphia Eagles during their preseason game at MetLife Stadium on August 31, 2017 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)

21. The downfall of Josh McCown

The Jets brought in quarterback Josh McCown for a couple of reasons. Just like they did a few years ago with Fitzpatrick, they wanted a veteran presence to continue developing the younger quarterbacks on the roster.

Bryce Petty might have won the backup quarterback spot but he’ll have to wait a bit before the keys are turned over for him to run things. Hackenberg, on the other hand, has a very long way to go before even being in the conversation of starter material. Regardless, don’t expect to see McCown starting for the Jets all season long.

Throughout McCown’s career, he’s been defined as a quality leader in the locker room but when it comes to his play on the football field, where it matters most, he’s a below average quarterback at best. He also is injury prone as it’s safe to say with the inconsistencies around the offensive line of the Jets, the downfall will probably hit him the first few weeks of the regular season.

Whether he gets hurt or plays so bad that it warrants a quarterback change, McCown can’t be depended upon to get the job done consistently. No, there won’t be any McMagic as it would be surprising to see him starting and lasting by Week 6.

Next: 20. Bryce Petty will get his shot

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ – AUGUST 12: Bryce Petty #9 of the New York Jets celebrates a pass during warmups before the preseason game against the Tennessee Titans at MetLife Stadium on August 12, 2017 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ – AUGUST 12: Bryce Petty #9 of the New York Jets celebrates a pass during warmups before the preseason game against the Tennessee Titans at MetLife Stadium on August 12, 2017 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

20. Bryce Petty will get his shot

During preseason action, Petty really lit up the offense of the Jets. There was just something about him when he was clicking on all cylinders and hitting receivers in stride. Despite suffering a knee injury, Petty was able to play some inspiring football at and the end of the day, rightfully deserves to be the No. 2 quarterback on the depth chart.

When will Petty get an opportunity to once again start for the Jets? By the looks of it, it’ll more than likely be a few weeks into the regular season before injury or a steep decline in play hits McCown as previously mentioned.

Since Petty is the next man up, he will undoubtedly get his shot and prove that he’s more than capable of getting the job done. He outperformed Hackenberg all throughout training camp with third stringers and practice squad players. Imagine what he can do with better talent around him?

Expect to see Petty get his rightful shot at some point this season. With all odds against McCown being able to consistently deliver good quarterback play, it’s only a matter of time before Petty gets his moment to shine.

Next: 19. Christian Hackenberg will also get his shot

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ – AUGUST 26: Christian Hackenberg #5 of the New York Jets calls out the play in the first quarter against the New York Giants during a preseason game on August 26, 2017 at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ – AUGUST 26: Christian Hackenberg #5 of the New York Jets calls out the play in the first quarter against the New York Giants during a preseason game on August 26, 2017 at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

19. Christian Hackenberg will also get his shot

Just to set the record straight, I don’t see the Jets winning many football games in 2017. It’s just my gut feeling since there are too many question marks across key positions on the team, especially at quarterback. Not only will Jets fans see a good chunk of McCown to start the season, they’ll see Petty get his fair share, and once they are eliminated from playoff contention, expect to see Christian Hackenberg as well.

The Jets are again, rebuilding for a brighter future and have a very tough decision to make when it comes to their quarterback situation next offseason. If they do end up with a top-five draft pick in the 2018 NFL Draft, they will more than likely go with a franchise quarterback. All of which means they’ll have to part ways with one or even some of the quarterbacks currently on the roster.

It’s expected McCown won’t be back next season and the Jets have to decide if they want to keep either Petty or Hackenberg around. 2018 will more than likely have one of them starting for the Jets but the jury is still out on Hackenberg and if he can be trained and developed towards being starting material.

This is why the Jets will more than likely end the last few games of the season with Hackenberg under center to get one more look at what he can do. By this time, he would have several months of learning from the sideline until his number is called. This could very well be his last chance to prove he’s worth keeping around or part ways with next offseason to make way for the next franchise quarterback of the Jets.

Next: 18. Inconsistencies on offensive line

18. Inconsistencies on offensive line

When it comes to winning football games, the common theme has always been true. You will leave games victorious if you win the battle in the trenches. Unfortunately for the Jets, their offensive line leaves much to the imagination.

This positional group will be rough to watch since even during preseason action, they lacked cohesion and the ability to not only protect the quarterback but also do their part to establish the run game. With new faces in the mix, it will be hard for them to play consistently in order to let the offense get into any kind of rhythm.

It’s expected that in Morton’s West Coast offense, it will mostly consist of short, quick passes which will be about 70 percent of the game plan with 30 percent going to rushing plays. If the offensive line doesn’t gel soon enough, 2017 will indeed be one incredibly long season.

Inconsistency will be what defines the offensive line of the Jets as they have decent starters and depth behind them but expect to see a lot of shuffling around until they find the right group to hold the fort.

Next: 17. The emergence of Bilal Powell

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ – JANUARY 01: Bilal Powell #29 of the New York Jets runs with the ball during the first quarter of their game against the Buffalo Bills at MetLife Stadium on January 1, 2017 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Ed Mulholland/Getty Images)
EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ – JANUARY 01: Bilal Powell #29 of the New York Jets runs with the ball during the first quarter of their game against the Buffalo Bills at MetLife Stadium on January 1, 2017 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Ed Mulholland/Getty Images)

17. The emergence of Bilal Powell

Considering that running back Matt Forte has dealt with a nagging hamstring injury for the majority of the offseason, it looks like it’s going to limit his ability to deliver consistent results as a starter. Yes, Forte is one experienced running back and could indeed add a nice dimension out of the backfield by being a receiving option, but this will be the year of Powell.

Expect to see Powell finally get the nod and emerge as an x-factor on offense this upcoming season. He’s shown glimpses in the past but now, he has a golden opportunity to prove he’s more than capable of being starting material.

Powell is coming off his best season yet. In 2016, Powell totaled 722 rushing yards, 131 rushes, and three touchdowns. As a receiving option, Powell totaled 388 yards, 58 receptions, and two touchdowns.

Those were his stats in mostly a backup/situational role, imagine the damage he can unleash given more reps? Expect to see a whole lot of Powell in 2017 as he’ll be one of the brighter spots for the Jets.

Next: 16. Elijah McGuire will surprise many

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ – AUGUST 12: Elijah McGuire #35 of the New York Jets celebrates in the first half against the Tennessee Titans during a preseason game at MetLife Stadium on August 12, 2017 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ – AUGUST 12: Elijah McGuire #35 of the New York Jets celebrates in the first half against the Tennessee Titans during a preseason game at MetLife Stadium on August 12, 2017 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

16. Elijah McGuire will surprise many

Make sure to remember the name, Elijah McGuire. He’s a rookie running back out of Louisiana-Lafayette that made quite the name for himself on the college football scene.

How big of a name? Well, he had a combined total of 5,695 yards from the line of scrimmage. As a running back, he ended his collegiate career totaling 4,301 yards, 710 rushes, and 42 touchdowns. As a receiving option out of the backfield, McGuire totaled 1,394 yards, 130 receptions, and 10 touchdowns.

Imagine if he can bring such results as he transitions to the pros? Of course, it’ll take time for him to be eased in on offense but once he gets acclimated to life in the NFL, just wait and see what kind of impact player he will be.

Expect to see McGuire bring a nice spark and dimension on offense as he’ll be a force to reckon with in 2017. McGuire will easily be something to look forward to when watching Jets games this season.

Next: 15. A natural born playmaker in Chad Hansen

BERKELEY, CA – NOVEMBER 19: Chad Hansen #6 of the California Golden Bears reacts after running in for touchdown against the Stanford Cardinal at California Memorial Stadium on November 19, 2016 in Berkeley, California. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
BERKELEY, CA – NOVEMBER 19: Chad Hansen #6 of the California Golden Bears reacts after running in for touchdown against the Stanford Cardinal at California Memorial Stadium on November 19, 2016 in Berkeley, California. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

15. A natural born playmaker in Chad Hansen

It’s been a long time since the Jets had a natural born playmaker that was drafted and literally had a huge impact in his rookie season. Since the Jets will want to see what all their younger players can do in 2017, expect to see rookie wide receiver Chad Hansen thrive in the slot role due to his ability to make huge plays the moment the football is in his hands.

In just two years at California, Hansen totaled 1,498 receiving yards, 111 receptions, and 12 touchdowns. More impressive of all, he averaged 13.5 yards per reception and is known for making big plays at any given notice.

As a solid route runner, expect to see Hansen be a bright spot for the Jets in 2017. He’ll develop slowly at first but will easily be a player to keep track of all season long.

Things will start to really take off once Petty or Hackenberg gets under center since Hansen will be groomed to be a 3rd down favorite as the season progresses due to his natural abilities to always come through in the clutch.

Next: 14. Holding players more accountable

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ – SEPTEMBER 11: Head coach Todd Bowles of the New York Jets looks on against the Cincinnati Bengals during the second quarter at MetLife Stadium on September 11, 2016 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Steven Ryan/Getty Images)
EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ – SEPTEMBER 11: Head coach Todd Bowles of the New York Jets looks on against the Cincinnati Bengals during the second quarter at MetLife Stadium on September 11, 2016 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Steven Ryan/Getty Images)

14. Holding players more accountable

Last season, veteran players were late to meetings and others caused a lot of embarrassment from having distractions off the field. All that will change this season as Bowles looks like he’s playing no more games this time around.

Even as early as rookie training camp, Bowles, and his coaching staff, were screaming and coaching like it was a drill practice in the military. To be honest, that’s how it should be done considering that last offseason, the atmosphere was more relaxed and upbeat.

When you have a team that lost 11 games the previous season, there is a time and place for everything. Sure, there will be times for smiles and laughter but at the end of the day, these players need to be disciplined and focused on execution.

Expect to see Bowles hand out demotions, reprimands, and even sit out players entirely from football games if they don’t get the job done or do something away from the gridiron that takes away from the team’s mentality. Again, his mantra has been resonating all offseason long and will continue in that it’s the team first before the individual.

Next: 13. A huge step forward for Darron Lee

13. A huge step forward for Darron Lee

This offseason, Lee was involved in an off-the-field incident involving fellow teammate Leonard Williams. Luckily, the NFL reviewed everything and neither player was issued any kind of discipline. It was easily a wakeup call for Lee as he immediately blanked out all of his social media accounts and took some time away from it all.

Since then, Lee came back and was laser focused on making his actions define him as a football player, not someone that brings dumb distractions to the team. Lee easily learned a valuable lesson in everything. Regardless what happened that night, it was a huge wakeup call that it could have ruined a potentially huge NFL career. Lee has been more vocal in team practices and has been all over the field throughout preseason action.

Lee had a lackluster rookie season in 2016 as he totaled just 42 tackles, one sack, and two passes defended. He used the experience as a stepping stone for what should be an even bigger sophomore campaign.

Expect to see Lee use his speed, aggression, and experience to step up and progress into a top-notch linebacker. He’ll show leadership and be more vocal on defense which will be much more than anything Jets fans saw from him last season.

Next: 12. Austin Seferian-Jenkins will be an impact player

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ – AUGUST 12: Austin Seferian-Jenkins #88 of the New York Jets celebrates from the sideline in the second quarter against the Tennessee Titans during a preseason game at MetLife Stadium on August 12, 2017 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ – AUGUST 12: Austin Seferian-Jenkins #88 of the New York Jets celebrates from the sideline in the second quarter against the Tennessee Titans during a preseason game at MetLife Stadium on August 12, 2017 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

12. Austin Seferian-Jenkins will be an impact player

Seferian-Jenkins slimmed down this offseason and has been sharp in training camp. Even in the preseason, he hauled in an impressive touchdown pass which caused fans of the Jets that wear glasses to make sure they weren’t blurry. It’s been a long time since a tight end caught a touchdown pass, even though it was a meaningless preseason game.

Even though he’s suspended for the first two games of the season, once he gets back he will finally live up to his potential. The 6’6, 262 lbs. tight end will put his size, experience, and versatility to the test as he’ll be quite the impact player on offense for the Jets.

Expect to see a whole new kind of player this time around as Seferian-Jenkins put in a tremendous amount of work this offseason to not only get back in better shape but control his personal demons. Whenever a player gets back on track and dedicates himself to honing his craft dealing with such issues, the results are always fantastic.

Seferian-Jenkins will more than likely total a big season for the Jets which will be an amazing sight to see. It hasn’t been since Dustin Keller since they had a tight end worth mentioning.

Next: 11. Don't forget about Jordan Leggett

WINSTON SALEM, NC – NOVEMBER 19: Jordan Leggett #16 of the Clemson Tigers makes a catch against Thomas Brown #26 of the Wake Forest Demon Deacons during the game at BB&T Field on November 19, 2016 in Winston Salem, North Carolina. (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images)
WINSTON SALEM, NC – NOVEMBER 19: Jordan Leggett #16 of the Clemson Tigers makes a catch against Thomas Brown #26 of the Wake Forest Demon Deacons during the game at BB&T Field on November 19, 2016 in Winston Salem, North Carolina. (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images)

11. Don’t forget about Jordan Leggett

Like they always say in football, when the person ahead of you on the depth chart can’t play, it’s next man up. Rookie tight end Jordan Leggett will more than likely see a lot of reps the first two games of the regular season due to Seferian-Jenkin’s suspension.

With games against the Buffalo Bills and Oakland Raiders right from the start, it’ll be a huge test for Leggett. He’s no stranger to coming through in big moments as it’s what made him famous at Clemson.

In his collegiate career, Leggett totaled 1,598 receiving yards, 112 touchdowns, and 18 touchdowns. He has a knack for hauling in tough receptions and will easily be a security blanket for McCown early on this season.

Even when Seferian-Jenkins returns, expect to see Morton use both in two-tight end sets to really keep the defenses guessing as to what is coming next. If everything falls according to plan, Leggett could very well have a nice rookie season. Don’t forget about him since it won’t be long before he turns into a household name.

Next: 10. Jermaine Kearse will be a difference maker

SEATTLE, WA – DECEMBER 24: Wide receiver Jermaine Kearse #15 of the Seattle Seahawks scores a touchdown against the Arizona Cardinals at CenturyLink Field on December 24, 2016 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Steve Dykes/Getty Images)
SEATTLE, WA – DECEMBER 24: Wide receiver Jermaine Kearse #15 of the Seattle Seahawks scores a touchdown against the Arizona Cardinals at CenturyLink Field on December 24, 2016 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Steve Dykes/Getty Images)

10. Jermaine Kearse will be a difference maker

The Jets were in dire need of a veteran receiver this offseason and luckily, even though it happened with just a few days to go before the regular season begins, they were able to land one in Kearse. He easily ends up as the best receiving option on the Jets and rightfully so.

For the proper development of any young receiver, sometimes they can’t always be the featured player on offense. Having a veteran receiver in the mix gives them time to breathe as defenses have to account for them since they can easily haul in a pass and take it to the house for a touchdown.

Kearse will be a difference maker not just in this aspect but when it comes to the overall development of all the younger receivers around him. There is only so much the coaching staff can coach and train on but players learn so much more from veterans that play their position.

Expect to see Kearse be the No. 1 premier receiving option on the Jets and provided he stays healthy, actually be a huge upgrade in the positional group. Now, the Jets have a reliable target that can take the top off of defenses and relieve some stress from the others to be “the guy” before they’re ready to deliver.

Next: 9. A breakout season for Leonard Williams

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ – AUGUST 11: Leonard Williams #92 of the New York Jets on the sidelines during an NFL preseason game against the Jacksonville Jaguars at MetLife Stadium on August 11, 2016 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images)
EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ – AUGUST 11: Leonard Williams #92 of the New York Jets on the sidelines during an NFL preseason game against the Jacksonville Jaguars at MetLife Stadium on August 11, 2016 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images)

9. A breakout season for Leonard Williams

When it comes to the development of rookies, it usually takes about three seasons of them actively playing to get a gauge on what kind of player they can be. Such is the case for Williams as he’s coming off his best season yet with the Jets.

In 2016, Williams totaled 36 tackles and seven sacks as he was as consistent as can be from the defensive end position. This will be the year that Williams lives up to his true potential and separates himself from the rest.

The defensive line of the Jets is easily a strength heading into the season to the point where it should be able to win them a few games. With Wilkerson as his partner in crime, expect to see a lot of quarterback pressure and yes, sacks from the positional group.

It’s been a few years since the Jets had a breakout player at defensive end but expect to see Williams end the season with a ticket to the Pro Bowl. Yes, he’ll be that good.

Next: 8. A defensive line that actually gets sacks

FOXBORO, MA – DECEMBER 24: Tom Brady #12 of the New England Patriots reaches for a loose ball during the second quarter of a game against the New York Jets at Gillette Stadium on December 24, 2016 in Foxboro, Massachusetts. (Photo by Billie Weiss/Getty Images)
FOXBORO, MA – DECEMBER 24: Tom Brady #12 of the New England Patriots reaches for a loose ball during the second quarter of a game against the New York Jets at Gillette Stadium on December 24, 2016 in Foxboro, Massachusetts. (Photo by Billie Weiss/Getty Images)

8. A defensive line that actually gets sacks

It hasn’t been since the New York Sack Exchange that the defensive line of the Jets amounted to something of great magnitude. This season, the talent is clearly there where the defensive line can actually silence critics by being a formidable group.

With Wilkerson, Steve McLendon, and Williams being a feared trio, this group can exceed even the wildest expectations when it comes to pressuring quarterbacks, getting sacks, tipping passes, and everything else in between. This time around, expect to see this group hustle and put 110 percent in every single play they’re in.

Last season, the defensive line of the Jets underachieved due to inconsistency and well, players not giving a complete effort. Thanks to the newfound culture on the Jets and the fact that each member on the defensive line has something to prove, they will live up to their potential and bring it consistently.

Defenses win championships and even though the Jets are far from such accolades, their defensive line will keep them in a lot of games, especially low-scoring ones. This group will easily overachieve in 2017.

Next: 7. A big trade before deadline

MIAMI GARDENS, FL – NOVEMBER 06: Matt Forte #22 of the New York Jets scoresa touchdown during a game against the Miami Dolphins at Hard Rock Stadium on November 6, 2016 in Miami Gardens, Florida. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
MIAMI GARDENS, FL – NOVEMBER 06: Matt Forte #22 of the New York Jets scoresa touchdown during a game against the Miami Dolphins at Hard Rock Stadium on November 6, 2016 in Miami Gardens, Florida. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

7. A big trade before deadline

Before the NFL trade deadline this season, expect to see the Jets make a big trade in order to either acquire more draft picks for the future or simply cut ties with a veteran player. Especially one that has some gas left in the tank and can help a team that needs a veteran presence for a late-season playoff push or to add as quality depth for the postseason.

Your guess is as good as mine but never say never, regardless of any player. The Jets are all in when it comes to rebuilding for the future. Some signs point to them possibly trading Forte but again, there are so many factors when it comes to him specifically, it all depends on the trade value he has if such a move is to happen at that point in time.

It’s doubtful the Jets would trade any of their developmental players but again, no one can really be safe for a team that knows they have to do whatever it takes to make a playoff run in 2018 and beyond. Due to this, they will undoubtedly make some kind of big trade before the deadline, again, most likely to stockpile even more draft picks.

The way to building a championship team begins and ends with the NFL Draft. Make no mistake about it, the teams that are consistently playoff contenders follow this process because it always leads to winning and tickets to the postseason. The Jets need more draft picks to turn that into a reality one of these years.

Next: 6. Scouting for their next franchise quarterback

LOS ANGELES, CA – SEPTEMBER 02: Sam Darnold #14 of the USC Trojans prepares to pass in the pocket during the game against the Western Michigan Broncos at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum on September 2, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA – SEPTEMBER 02: Sam Darnold #14 of the USC Trojans prepares to pass in the pocket during the game against the Western Michigan Broncos at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum on September 2, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

6. Scouting for their next franchise quarterback

Expect to see the Jets consistently send their scouts to various college football games featuring quarterbacks like Sam Darnold, Josh Rosen, and Josh Allen. They need to constantly scout these top college quarterbacks and others since they could very well land a top-five draft pick next year and be in the running to select one.

Knowledge is power and for a team like the Jets that haven’t had an established franchise quarterback in decades, they need to thoroughly do their homework and be ready to make one of the biggest decisions ever for the team. If they do get a top five draft pick, they need to be crystal clear that if they do indeed select a quarterback, it’s a once in a generation kind of athlete.

You know, the kind that can step right in and take care of business. A franchise quarterback that has integrity, leadership, and knows how to play efficiently in clutch situations for the city that never sleeps. They need a quarterback that will play lights out football and turn this pretender into a contender.

Who is such a quarterback? Only time will tell who exactly but by the time the Jets are on the clock in next year’s draft, they will have all the information needed to make their final decision by scouting quarterbacks extensively all season long.

Next: 5. No tanking for a future franchise quarterback

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ – AUGUST 31: New York Jets general manager Mike Maccagnan stands on the sidelines during their preseason game against the Philadelphia Eagles at MetLife Stadium on August 31, 2017 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)
EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ – AUGUST 31: New York Jets general manager Mike Maccagnan stands on the sidelines during their preseason game against the Philadelphia Eagles at MetLife Stadium on August 31, 2017 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)

5. No tanking for a future franchise quarterback

For the past few months on social media, plenty of fans, analysts, and personalities all believe the Jets will “tank” this season in order to land the No. 1 overall pick in next year’s draft to finally draft a premier quarterback. Let me be the first say that in no way, shape, or form will this team quit and “tank” for such a silly reason.

The Jets are a professional football team. Say what you want about the owner, management, players, etc. but at the end of the day, this team will play with pride and give it their all, even if the results aren’t producing a plethora of wins.

There are too many high-quality players on this team to allow their fellow teammates to lay down and take a loss because of some secret agenda to go winless and secure the No. 1 overall pick. It’s a ridiculous notion and quite honestly, the Jets have the talent to win a handful of games.

They won’t win enough to make the playoffs but they will fight, claw, and crawl for anything positive they can take back this year to use in the future. Trust me when I say, this team won’t be tanking for a future franchise quarterback.

Next: 4. A better culture set around team first will work

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ – OCTOBER 23: Head coach Todd Bowles of the New York Jets looks on against the Baltimore Ravens at MetLife Stadium on October 23, 2016 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ – OCTOBER 23: Head coach Todd Bowles of the New York Jets looks on against the Baltimore Ravens at MetLife Stadium on October 23, 2016 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)

4. A better culture set around team first will work

The mantra of the Jets this season puts a heavy emphasis on teamwork. If you’ve seen any press conferences or interviews with players or even the coaching staff, there is only one message that’s consistent with them all.

As you’ve seen mentioned several times, it’s team first, then the individual. This is an important part of what seems to be a better culture that can actually work in producing decent results this season.

Players are inspired that they’re playing with purpose, meaning, and pride. They play for the big apple and with that, comes a huge responsibility to play hard each and every time. Considering how much the media, fans, and analysts have constantly buried and ridiculed this team during the offseason, it easily could serve as motivation to exceed even the lowest expectations.

This team is far from a playoff contender but inspiration is a beautiful armor and well, these young players won’t let their coaches down and again, will do whatever it takes for the team to be successful. In the grand scheme of things, that’s a culture that easily builds a strong foundation from the top down.

Next: 3. The Jets won't go winless

3. The Jets won’t go winless

Besides many believing the Jets might very well tank this season to secure that No. 1 overall pick in 2018, a lot also believe they can go 0-16. Again, it’s easy to see why this team is considered to be the worst in the NFL but may I remind the football world, there are still football games left to be played.

To assume the Jets go 0-16 is ridiculous because they do have talent that will need time to develop as the season progresses, but they have what it takes to win a handful of football games. This isn’t a 10+ team win but they aren’t a 0-16 one either, regardless of their quarterback situation, offensive line, or all the young new faces in their defensive secondary.

The Jets won’t win many football games but they will win a few. There is absolutely no way this team goes winless for the entire year as they will have a surprise win here and there. They have too many players and coaches that will rally up the troops to ensure this isn’t the case.

Don’t believe what every naysayer is saying on the internet when it comes to the Jets going winless in 2017. It just isn’t going to happen.

Next: 2. A plethora of ridicule

SANTA CLARA, CA – DECEMBER 11: A New York Jets fan wears a bag over his head during their NFL game against the San Francisco 49ers at Levi’s Stadium on December 11, 2016 in Santa Clara, California. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
SANTA CLARA, CA – DECEMBER 11: A New York Jets fan wears a bag over his head during their NFL game against the San Francisco 49ers at Levi’s Stadium on December 11, 2016 in Santa Clara, California. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

2. A plethora of ridicule

The Jets will win a few games this season but that won’t stop the plethora of ridicule that will come all season long. Sorry Jets fans, but yes, this team will be a bad one when all is said and done. They’ll play with intensity but simply aren’t ready yet to make a serious run in 2017.

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Get ready for memes, highlights of bad plays, and well, just a lot of embarrassment on a steady basis. It will, of course, always start with the quarterback situation. Does anyone really see McCown leading this team all throughout the season? He’s one big hit or several pick-sixes away from sitting on the bench, where he belongs.

They’ll be some bonehead plays and even games where the Jets will more than likely get blanked out as it’s bound to happen. Who even knows how bad of a game the Jets will have against the reigning Super Bowl champion New England Patriots this season? Plus scary of them all, they play the Patriots twice since they’re AFC East rivals.

It’s going to be a long season ahead so make sure to stock up on your favorite liquor, play some of the newest video games coming out, and well, don’t get too excited for the Jets this season. Extra patience will be needed.

Next: 1. The final record

KANSAS CITY, MO – SEPTEMBER 25: A New York Jets helmet is held behind a player’s back during the national anthem before NFL action against the Kansas City Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium before the game on September 25, 2016 in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
KANSAS CITY, MO – SEPTEMBER 25: A New York Jets helmet is held behind a player’s back during the national anthem before NFL action against the Kansas City Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium before the game on September 25, 2016 in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

1. The final record

Looking at all their draft moves this year, free agent acquisitions, and how training camp/preseason has gone, everyone will have a different opinion on what the final record will look like. After spending countless hours writing about and covering the Jets all year long, I’ve come to the final number.

Expect to see the Jets once again go 5-11 when this season is in the books, They’ll have some losing streaks and will probably start the year off 0-4, maybe even 0-5 only because I’m in the minority that believes the Browns will actually be a decent team this season.

Could the Jets actually lose to the Browns? Yeah, I see it, and it’s a terrible thing to think about, let alone write about it. Once the Jets adjust as the season progresses and finally make some changes to starters, especially at quarterback, that’s when the spark hits. They’ll win some games, lose some, and end 2017 with the same record as 2016 at 5-11.

Must Read: Top 25 funny fantasy football team names to use in 2017

Overall, get ready for a rollercoaster of a season for the Jets. It’ll be a long one but hopefully, tailgating, spending time with fellow Jets fans and all the great holidays that are coming make up for what will be another abysmal season.

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