With training camp just days away, here’s out position battle preview for the New York Jets safeties heading into 2019.
We are just days away from the New York Jets returning to Training Camp for the 2019 season, and it’s shaping up to be a very good season for Gang Green. The Patriots are still dominating the AFC East, but with Sam Darnold and Jamal Adams leading the way, the team could be quite good going forward.
But it’s the position of the latter that we will be looking at today, as the Jets could possibly have one of the best Safety combinations in the entire NFL. So we know that the Maye/Adams connection will be the big story at Safety for the Jets heading into Training Camp, but who could possibly surprise and win some playing time throughout the year?
No. 1: Jamal Adams
While the Jets have plenty of talent all over the field, it’s the leadership and work ethic of Jamal Adams that will be the biggest key in any success this team will have going forward. ‘Pres’, as he is known is arguably the best Safety in football, and he’s got so many fantastic attributes that it’s hard to nail down his best. From the aforementioned work ethic to the physicality to the football IQ, Adams is the best player the Jets have had since Darelle Revis, and he will be leading this group going forward.
Adams can play on all 3 levels, making plays in the run game and the passing game, and if the team is to succeed and make the playoffs, Adams may be a contender for Defensive Player of the Year. Not only is Adams the best Safety on the Jets, but he’s the best in all of football, and with Marcus Maye by his side, this will arguably be the best combo in the NFL, and all Jets fans should be excited for them.
No. 2: Marcus Maye
While all the talk of the 2016 Draft was Jamal Adams, the Jets actually drafted his partner in the second round, and despite an injury plagued 2018, Marcus Maye is still an incredibly talented player. Jamal Adams is an all around playmaker, but Maye brings the hard-hitting element that Safeties have become famous for, and it’s a fantastic combination.
He suffered several different injuries throughout the 2018 season, but when healthy, the combination was exactly what Jets fans were hoping for, and with a change of number in 2019, we hope for a change of fortunes. The Jets may need a few of the other guys on the team to be ready if Maye can’t completely recover or has another unfortunate injury, but it looks like those are behind him, and the Jets may finally see the best of the Adams/Maye combination as they look to lead the team to a playoff push.
No. 3: Doug Middleton
Doug Middleton signed with the Jets back in 2016, and while he hasn’t put together a full season yet, he contributed after the loss of Marcus Maye in 2018, improving each time he saw playing time. He played 7 game a year ago with 4 starts in the place of Maye, and his playing experience from a year ago will be invaluable anytime he’s needed in 2019.
Middleton came from Appalachian State, and has gone under the radar his entire career, but Jets fans better not overlook him heading into 2019. If Maye and Adams stay healthy all year, Middleton may make an impact on special teams, but it’s safe to say that if he does need to step in and fill a role, the team will be confident in Doug’s ability.
No. 4: Rontez Miles
There are many different routes to get to the NFL and to a starting role, and while Miles won’t have a starting role in 2019, his story is quite an up and down ride. He came from California (PA), a division II team, and was undrafted way back in 2013, and since then, he’s been permanently linked to the Jets.
Since 2013, he has been up and down with the Jets and their practice squad, and following a devastating injury back in 2017, he’s finally healthy and ready to contribute to the Jets. He may just have one career INT in all of those seasons, and at 30 years of age, this is probably his last shot, which is why he may be one of the best stories in camp.
No. 5: Brandon Bryant
Brandon Bryant signed with the Jets in 2018 after failing to be drafted in the Supplemental Draft, and after spending the season on the practice squad, he’s been promoted to the team heading into Training Camp. Bryant has great physical tools, and while he’s not as polished as all of the other Safeties on the roster, he has great potential going forward.
With Jamal Adams leading the way, all of the young Safeties on the team will be gaining great knowledge about the game and how to prepare, and that will help them down the line. As the 4thSafety on the Depth Chart, Bryant will likely be back on the practice squad throughout the 2019 season, but if he continues to work, he will one day be a contributor to this team.
No. 6: Santos Ramirez
The Draft is often about measurables and physicality, and unfortunately, those are two areas that the former Arkansas Razorbacks Safety struggles in. Throughout his college career, Ramirez was a 4 year player (starting every game in the final 2 years of his career), totaling 87 tackles, 3 INT’s and 5 Forced Fumbles, but that may not translate to the NFL game.
One big positive about him is that he improved throughout his career, and at just 23-years of age, he has plenty of time to develop into a great NFL player. With someone like Jamal Adams pushing the entire group, it could bring the best out of Ramirez, but unfortunately, it doesn’t look like he’ll be cracking the 53-man roster anytime soon.