The NY Jets could see a number of players make their first Pro Bowl in 2020.
The NY Jets haven’t exactly had the most success when it comes to post-season accolades in recent years. Whether we’re talking about Pro Bowl nods, All-Pro honors, or end-of-the-year awards, there haven’t been too many Jets representatives being celebrated.
But perhaps that’s set to change in 2020.
Perhaps this is the year that the Jets finally have everything go their way and see certain players reach their true potentials. And if anything, let’s just try and imagine it for now.
With so much negativity swirling in the world right now, why not try and spread a little optimism?
The Jets have a number of players just waiting for their breakout season that earns them their first Pro Bowl nomination.
Some of these players may have already found success and are just waiting to be recognized. Others could be looking to take the next step from being a solid starter to a true standout player. Or maybe the player is simply waiting to finally show the NFL world what they are capable of.
Either way, the Jets have a few players who could reach the Pro Bowl for the first time in 2020. And in the spirit of optimism, let’s take a look at three of those players right now.
Next: 3. Jamison Crowder
3. Jamison Crowder, NY Jets
As with all of these entries, it’s going to take a lot of things to go right in order for a Pro Bowl nomination to actually occur. In the case of Jamison Crowder, everything will revolve around the success of the offense.
If the offensive line could show substantial improvement, if Adam Gase’s offensive system could take a major leap this season, and if quarterback Sam Darnold can finally take the next step, Crowder could be in-line for a career year.
The soon-to-be 27-year-old has always been a role player in every offense he’s been in. Whether playing second-fiddle with the Washington Redskins or handling underneath work with the Jets last season, Crowder has never been the featured receiver in an offense.
But in 2020, he might be forced to become one.
Crowder is the only returning receiver who Darnold has any sort of chemistry with and he’ll be tasked with being the young quarterback’s primary target — especially early on in the season.
The projected starting outside duo of Breshad Perriman and Denzel Mims is inexperienced and unproven. Meaning that Crowder could be in-line for his largest share of targets ever.
Last season, the Duke product hauled in a career-high 78 catches for 833 yards and six touchdowns. And if the above circumstances fall in place (offensive line/Gase/Darnold), Crowder could top the 1,000-yard mark for the first time in his career.
Now, slot receivers don’t always get the same love as their flashier counterparts. But if Crowder could put up large enough numbers in an offense that is sure to feature him plenty, he could sneak into the Pro Bowl.
A lot will need to go right, but we’re being optimistic right now, aren’t we?
Next: 2. Brian Poole
2. Brian Poole, NY Jets
2019 was Brian Poole‘s coming out party, so to speak. The former undrafted free agent put together a career year in his first season with the Jets finishing as Pro Football Focus’ No. 9 ranked cornerback in the entire NFL.
And yet, despite his overwhelming success, he didn’t receive the same league-wide acclaim as his position-mates did. Perhaps you could chalk that up to his work out of the slot — a role that’s still not seen in the same light as a boundary cornerback.
Realistically, however, some probably wrote Poole’s 2019 season off as a one-year fluke. After all, the former Falcons cornerback had a couple of underwhelming years in Atlanta before signing a cheap free-agent deal with the Jets in the 2019 offseason.
In fact, his numbers, analytics, and play-style projected very similarly to the player he was brought in to replace — Buster Skrine. Evidently, Poole was a massive upgrade over the penalty-plagued Skrine.
If Poole could put together another season like he did last year, it might be too much for voters to ignore. After all, one season could be declared a fluke. But two seasons of fantastic play indicates consistent success.
And he should be given every opportunity to replicate his phenomenal season playing in Gregg Williams’ system that seemed to fit him like a glove last year.
Look for Brian Poole to pick up where he left off last season and force the league to take notice.
Next: 1. Sam Darnold
1. Sam Darnold, NY Jets
This is the one we all want, right?
It should be pretty evident to most that Sam Darnold has the potential to be a top-10 quarterback in the NFL. But it should also be pretty evident that he hasn’t received nearly the amount of help necessary to get him to that point.
And unfortunately, the clock is ticking.
But what if everything goes right in 2020? What if the offensive line additions made in the offseason pay off twofold? What if Adam Gase figures out how to maximize his talent on offense in a way he couldn’t last year?
What if Sam Darnold is this year’s breakout star?
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It may seem like a pipedream to some, but it is possible. But much like the other two entries on the list, it requires a lot of things to go right.
The Jets will need not only the offensive line to exceed expectations, but they will need someone (maybe two someones) in their receiving corps to step up in a big way.
Maybe that player is rookie second-round pick Denzel Mims who proves he’s more NFL-ready than most assumed. Maybe it’s tight end Chris Herndon who returns with a vengeance and takes the Mark Andrews-like leap that we all hoped he would take last year.
Nonetheless, Darnold is going to need help. But he himself is also going to have to prove Jets fans right.
If Darnold finally receives the help he’s been desperately needing, all the pressure will then fall on him to live up to the hype. And if he does, a Pro Bowl could be in his near future.
Honestly, he wouldn’t even need to put up numbers like Patrick Mahomes or Deshaun Watson. Remember, players like Tyrod Taylor, Teddy Bridgewater, and even Trevor Siemian have made the Pro Bowl in the past putting up merely above-average numbers.
It’s certainly possible for Darnold to reach that standard in 2020 provided he gets some assistance from his teammates and coaching staff.
Let 2020 be the year of Darnold.