If the New York Jets were to construct a Mount Rushmore of the most recognizable players on their 2019 roster who would it consist of?
Mount Rushmore is one of the most sacred historical landmarks in all of the United States. The four individuals forever eternalized as a part of this magnificent sculpture all made substantial contributions to their country and as such received this glorious honor.
But what if instead of former presidents’ faces carved into a rock formation it was current New York Jets players?
Who would those players be? How could you even go about determining which Jets were worthy enough to represent an entire NFL franchise?
That’s precisely what we’re set to accomplish today.
To select the players for this mock Mount Rushmore we must look beyond simply talent and contributions, although those will certainly play a factor. Instead, we will be looking for the four players who are the best representatives of the New York Jets organization.
In essence, these are the faces of the team and as such, their faces will be immortalized. Or at least in this fantasy scenario, they will be.
The following four players are not just talented stars. They are established leaders, franchise cornerstones, and organizational dignitary.
These are the members of your 2019 New York Jets Mount Rushmore.
4. Quincy Enunwa, WR
There were plenty of Jets considered for the fourth spot in this Mount Rushmore but ultimately the decision was made to give it to Quincy Enunwa.
No Enunwa isn’t the most well-known name around the league and you could argue he’s not one of the top four players in true talent on the team, but he is a player you want representing your organization. The 26-year-old has developed into one of the team leaders over his tenure with the Jets serving as one of their five captains for the 2018 season, a theme that will be common as this list goes on.
Despite missing the entire 2017 campaign with a neck injury, Enunwa served as the Jets Walter Payton Man of the Year nominee for that season. His off-field charity work with the Jets Play 60 Challenge and the Jack Hoffman Foundation make him a perfect brand ambassador for the team.
Aside from his off-the-field contributions, Enunwa has been a very solid contributor when healthy. The Nebraska product is one of just two drafted players on the Jets roster to have received a second contract with the team which is equally as sad of a stat for the team as it is praise for Enunwa.
Regardless, Enunwa represents the core values of what it takes to be a leader and face of an organization. Thus, he deservingly claims the first of four spots on our list.
Next: 3. Leonard Williams
3. Leonard Williams, DL
Leonard Williams is a player who has received his fair share of criticism over the past two seasons but make no mistake about it, he remains one of the faces of the franchise.
While not putting up the dominant stat lines that many would hope for, Williams has remained a locker room leader and a true homegrown veteran presence on a team severely lacking in that regard. Much like Enunwa, Williams was selected as one of the Jets five captains for the team in 2018 solidifying his place as one of the team’s leaders.
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Although he is just 24-years-old, the 2015 first-round pick has already been in the league for four seasons and will be entering his fifth come September. On a team full of young, inexperienced talent, Williams is a voice of guidance in the locker room serving as one of the more experienced players on the roster despite his age.
Now, Williams statistical production has undoubtedly been down over the past two years and it’s most definitely fair to question his recent performance. Still, you’d be hard-pressed to find a player on the Jets who would be a better fit for this spot with his combination of talent and leadership.
Consider Williams the Teddy Roosevelt of this fantasy Mount Rushmore. A hard-nosed, tough leader who certainly speaks softly off the field, but “carries a big stick” with his aggressive on-field demeanor.
Next: 2. Sam Darnold
2. Sam Darnold, QB
Admittedly, there’s a bit of a gap when it comes to the No. 3 and No. 2 entries on this list. Nonetheless, the young Sam Darnold secures the second spot on this list after just one NFL season.
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Darnold has been hailed as the franchise savior and as such it’s only fair that he takes his rightful place as one of the four core members of the New York Jets organization. While his professional career may just be getting started, Darnold has already established himself as one of the cornerstones of the franchise.
The USC product has been tasked with dragging the Jets out of the depth of obscurity that they have inhabited for the better part of the past decade. As the deemed “quarterback of the future,” the future success of the franchise has been placed solely on his shoulders.
Although he struggled early on his career, Darnold turned it on late in the season and showed glimpses of the top-tier quarterback he could be. With the right supporting cast, Darnold will hopefully be able to reach his full potential and remain a key cog in the Jets annual Mount Rushmore for years to come.
Here’s to hoping that Darnold isn’t just a temporary resident of the Florham Park Mount Rushmore, but a recurring mainstay.
Next: 1. Jamal Adams
1. Jamal Adams, S
It’s only fitting that the reigning “President” of One Jets Drive headlines the 2019 Jets Mount Rushmore.
Sam Darnold may be the one to eventually lead the Jets out of the bottom barrel of NFL franchises, but the complete organizational change begins and ends with Jamal Adams. Adams has wasted no time becoming one of the premier young players in the league earning a Pro Bowl invite in just his second season.
But while the LSU product is an incredibly gifted player, the value he brings to the team far succeeds any on-field success he has had thus far in his young career. Adams brings the swagger, the confidence, and the attitude that the Jets have long been without.
He exudes energy and charisma and his teammates can’t help but feed off his infectious personality and incredible work ethic. Players listen when he speaks and he uses the attention he gets to motivate those around him.
There is no player on the Jets roster that is a better fit as a leader, as a motivator, and as a president. That last term is Adams so-called moniker and he embodies it both on and off the field. It is not just a title, it is a personification of his true character.
Unlike the others on this list, he isn’t just a president.
He is the President.