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ESPN’s Clay assigns grades for entire New York Jets roster

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - OCTOBER 14: Inside linebacker Avery Williamson #54 of the New York Jets celebrates with teammates defensive end Leonard Williams #92 and free safety Marcus Maye #26 after breaking up a pass in the endzone on a third own against the Indianapolis Colts during the second quarter at MetLife Stadium on October 14, 2018 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)
EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - OCTOBER 14: Inside linebacker Avery Williamson #54 of the New York Jets celebrates with teammates defensive end Leonard Williams #92 and free safety Marcus Maye #26 after breaking up a pass in the endzone on a third own against the Indianapolis Colts during the second quarter at MetLife Stadium on October 14, 2018 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)
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Mike Clay of ESPN recently went through and graded every position group for every NFL team. As expected, the New York Jets didn’t fare too well.

As we all know by this point, the New York Jets are a roster void of talent at most positions. They have more holes than a package of swiss cheese and will look towards free agency and the draft to address those holes.

But as it stands right now, the Jets roster isn’t all too impressive. Sure there are a few solid pieces that will serve as building blocks going forward, but the majority of the roster is relatively thin at the moment.

As such, they’re ranking when compared to the rest of the NFL likely isn’t too high. ESPN’s Mike Clay proved this when he released grades for every NFL franchise, sorted by positional groups.

The Jets ranked in the bottom-10 coming in as the 25th most talented roster in the league. This placed them ahead of division foes the Buffalo Bills and the Miami Dolphins and ahead of cross-town rivals the New York Giants.

As a whole, this seems pretty fair for a team coming off a disappointing 4-12 seasons after two consecutive 5-11 years. If anything, this grade may be a bit generous.

The grading system gets even more interesting when it is broken down positionally. The Jets offense didn’t receive much praise — nor should it have — grading out as the 24th best offense in the league. But interestingly enough, one position stood out among the rest on the offensive side of the ball.

The Jets tight end position scored a healthy 6.1 grade which was good for 14th in the NFL. Rookie Chris Herndon impressed last season finishing among the rookie leaders in receiving categories at his position. If the Miami product is already considered a top-15 tight end, then the future certainly looks bright for the Jets at that position.

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The offensive line predictably graded out low but wasn’t actually the worst offensive unit on the team. Running back scored a lowly grade of 2.2 which tied for the worst in the league. The Jets offensive line grade was likely helped out by the solid play of their offensive tackles but their interior line remains one of, if not the worst in the league.

On defense, the Jets scored some pretty impressive grades. The safety position graded out fabulously with a 9.5 rating, tied for the highest at the position in the league. With Jamal Adams and Marcus Maye anchoring the last line of defense, the Jets should hopefully be set at the safety position for years to come.

Another position that graded out surprisingly well was the linebacker spot. The Jets scored a very impressive 9.2 at the position which stunningly tied for second in the league. Both Darron Lee and Avery Williamson performed well in 2018 with the former having a true breakout season but this grade does seem a bit inflated.

At the same time, the Jets edge and cornerback groups graded out very poorly scoring 2.5 ratings placing them in the bottom five in each category. In fact, the edge position tied for the worst grade in the entire NFL.

The Jets will have plenty of needs to address this offseason and this chart gives fans an interesting perspective on how much work still needs to be done. Still, it also helps show that the Jets do have strengths to build around, and it’s even more encouraging to see those strengths at positions of youth.

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Hopefully, if ESPN does these grades again next year the Jets will grade out a bit higher. The process of improvement will begin shortly as the team prepares for what is likely to be a very busy free agency period.

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