With the first phase of 2020 free agency behind us, the NY Jets offense still has some pieces to add but should not be overlooked.
NY Jets‘ general manager Joe Douglas has been a busy man in the past few weeks. While the Jets haven’t been making the blockbuster moves like their division rivals up in Buffalo or down in Miami, Douglas has added some much-needed help to the offensive side of the ball.
While Sam Darnold and company may not be a force to be reckoned with yet, there is still plenty of firepower for Gang Green that opposing defenses should be wary of.
Starting with the captain of the offense, third-year signal-caller Sam Darnold will enter the season with some momentum coming in. The 2018 third overall pick led the Jets to a 7-6 record while under center, winning three out of their last four.
Darnold put up improved numbers from his rookie season, including increased touchdown passes from 17 to 19 and interceptions going down from 15 to 13.
While Darnold will have most of his weapons returning for another year, one of his favorites has departed as Robby Anderson signed as a free agent with the Carolina Panthers this offseason.
So who will Darnold throw the football to? His top two options will most likely be wide receiver Jamison Crowder and running back Le’Veon Bell.
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Both signed as free agents prior to last season and while neither lit up the stat sheet in 2019, both are viable options for Darnold as top targets. Now to the new additions that general manager Joe Douglas has made in his first offseason with the team.
One thing that Jets fans have probably noticed is the volume of offensive lineman Douglas has added to the roster.
The list includes Connor McGovern, George Fant, Greg Van Roten and the re-signing of Alex Lewis. Joining guys like Jonotthan Harrison and Chuma Edoga, the Jets now have a plethora of lineman they can use to protect Darnold.
Jets fans know that protecting the quarterback has been a problem for years and Douglas is making efforts to help do that. Adding depth, along with a good mix of youth and experience to the line.
This leads to what the Jets still need to add in the upcoming 2020 NFL Draft and in the rest of free agency to make that final push on the offensive side of the ball.
There are two major needs for the Jets as things still stand. A deep threat on the outside to replace Anderson and one more offensive lineman, preferably a tackle, to protect Darnold’s blindside.
While the signing of Breshad Perriman is a nice addition that will add another weapon for Adam Gase to use in his offense, the Jets are still missing that consistently dynamic playmaker on the outside.
With all that being said, I would expect the Jets front office to go out and grab one of the top offensive linemen whether it be Andrew Thomas from Georgia, Tristan Wirfs from Iowa, Mekhi Becton from Louisville, or Jedrick Wills from Alabama — all of whom are projected to go in the top half of the first round.
While the Jets may have the ability with the 11th overall pick to grab a wide receiver, whether it be Jerry Jeudy out of Alabama or CeeDee Lamb out of Oklahoma, I think the Jets will stay the course and go after a lineman.
This is a strategy that has worked for them in the past, back in 2006 when they drafted both Nick Mangold (29th overall) and D’Brickashaw Ferguson (4th overall) in the first round. Both of whom went on to have successful careers for the Jets that lasted more than 10 years.
Overall the Jets are close on offense.
They have a quarterback who is a budding star in the NFL, a rebuilt offensive line that should show improvement and allow Gase to get more creative as an offensive play-caller, and plenty of weapons — most of which are underrated — for Darnold to work with.
Once again the Jets may not light up the scoreboard, but a more consistent offense with fewer turnovers that can move the ball more efficiently will put the Jets in a position for success not only this season but for years to come.