Can the Jets be a top-5 defense in the NFL?
By Luke Easterling
The New York Jets added experience and talent to an already promising defense this offseason, but just how good can the unit be in 2019?
It’s hard to blame Jets fans for having high expectations for their defense heading into the 2019 season.
With a veteran anchor on the defensive line in Leonard Williams, a Pro Bowler in second-year safety Jamal Adams, a four-time Pro Bowler in the middle in C.J. Mosley, and No. 3 overall pick Quinnen Williams up front, the Jets are primed to make a huge leap this year.
Will it be enough to vault them into the top five among all NFL defenses? Jets linebacker Avery Williamson thinks so (via team reporter Ethan Greenberg):
Shoot, we can definitely be a top-five defense. We have all the talent right there, we just have to continue to be on the same page. We could be really great, we have the talent, man. I’m excited. We had a great squad last year. We didn’t have the best season, but we fought hard. So if we have all the pieces I feel like we do, we can really be something special.
The defense should also be helped by reinforcements and improvements on the other side of the ball. The Jets signed one of the most versatile and dynamic offensive weapons in the entire NFL this offseason, landing star running back Le’Veon Bell. Jamison Crowder gives them one of the league’s most explosive slot receivers, and second-year quarterback Sam Darnold should build on the success he had as a rookie, making a significant jump this year.
Having a talented, explosive offense should take some pressure off the Jets defense, allowing them to play more loose and comfortable throughout the year.
They also have a new coordinator in Gregg Williams, an experienced defensive coach with a long track record of producing successful defenses throughout his career. His aggressive, attacking scheme should put the Jets’ star defenders in position to make big plays all year long.
The Jets haven’t made the playoffs in nearly a decade, but this could be the year the tide turns for the Gang Green, and a much-improved defense will have a lot to do with the changing of their fortunes.