Who will be MVP of the Jets in 2019?
By Luke Easterling
The New York Jets have tons of talent on both sides of the ball, but which player will end up proving to be the most valuable during the 2019 season?
There’s a new head coach, a second-year quarterback, a dynamic running back and plenty of other headline-worthy storylines for the Jets this year.
Adam Gase will be hoping to bounce back from his disappointing tenure with the Miami Dolphins, Sam Darnold will be working to build on the success from his rookie season, and Le’Veon Bell will try to prove he didn’t lose a step while sitting out the entire 2018 season.
On defense, the Jets have defensive lineman Leonard Williams (a former top-10 pick) entering an all-important contract year, star safety Jamal Adams coming off his first Pro Bowl nod in just his second NFL season, and a pair of blue-chip offseason additions in free agent linebacker C.J. Mosley and No. 3 overall pick Quinnen Williams.
Who will have the biggest hand in changing the fortunes of the Gang Green in 2019?
The easy money is obviously on Darnold, the No. 3 overall pick in 2018 NFL draft. Quarterbacks are the biggest target for both praise and blame, and it’s safe to assume the overall success of the Jets this season will rest on whether or not Darnold can take the next step in his development. If he shows much regression, the Jets could be in trouble.
To that end, the Jets broke the bank for Bell this offseason, giving Darnold arguably the most versatile and dynamic weapon the NFL has at running back. Bell’s ability to make big plays on the ground and through the air could easily make him the team’s most valuable player in 2019.
Speaking of big money, Mosley got a huge contract of his own from the Jets in free agency, instantly becoming the focal point of one of the league’s more promising defenses. His leadership, intelligence and playmaking ability could lead to big things for the Jets defense in 2019, making life easier on Darnold and the offense in the process.
Adams is just two years into his NFL career, and has already established himself as one of the best safeties in the entire league. He’s a vocal leader and a versatile playmaker who can take over a game all by himself.
The same can be said of Quinnen Williams, who turned his only season as a starter at Alabama into being arguably the best overall prospect in the 2019 NFL draft. If he keeps up his dominant ways at the next level, he could prove to be even more valuable than Leonard Williams, his new defensive line-mate.
There are also dark-horse candidates like wide receivers Robby Anderson, Quincy Enunwa and Jamison Crowder, all of whom could have a massive impact on the Jets’ success this season. The addition of veteran guard Kelechi Osemele (via trade with the Oakland Raiders) could also stabilize an offensive line that struggled in recent years, which could cause massive improvements for the entire team.
Then there’s Gase, who holds the most responsibility and pressure. After a failed stint in Miami, can he bounce back with an aggressive offense that takes full advantage of the vast array of weapons on the roster?