NY Jets made some improvements to their offense but still have a lot of question marks.
The NY Jets will open up the 2020 season with a brand new set of wide receivers and offensive linemen to hopefully revamp an offense that struggled mightily last season.
General manager Joe Douglas addressed the biggest issues this offseason and restructured an offensive line that ranked 28th in the NFL last year according to Pro Football Focus.
Douglas also addressed the wide receiver position as well after losing Robby Anderson who signed a two-year deal with the Carolina Panthers.
Change was needed, but change doesn’t always lead to improvement. The offseason additions will breathe new life into a hapless offense, but no one knows if that “new life” will lead to actual on-field success.
How will the offensive line fare after the offseason overhaul? And how will the new-look wide receiver corps look with a bunch of new inexperienced faces?
These are just some of the questions the Jets offense faces heading into 2020.
Next: 1. Will the offensive line improve?
1. Will the NY Jets’ offensive line see a major improvement from last season?
The first question mark for the Jets offense has to be the offensive line. The offensive line was pitiful and ranked in the bottom-five in nearly every analytic last season.
McGovern and Roten were both ranked in the top-15 last season at their positions last season according to PFF. However, it also comes down to how Becton pans out in his first season with the team.
His size and speed are rare as an offensive tackle which certainly got people’s attention when he was coming out of college.
The question is can this offensive line be sustainable enough to give Sam Darnold time to throw in the pocket and open up holes for Le’Veon Bell in a run game that was ranked 31st in the league last season?
The other two linemen who are projected to start Week 1 alongside McGovern, Van Roten, and Becton are left guard Alex Lewis and either Chuma Edoga or the aforementioned Fant at right tackle.
Edoga will have to outplay the Jets’ veteran addition of Fant, but the Jets are still high on him as a long-term starter so he might have the leg-up. Both Edoga and Lewis were starters on the line last season.
Next: 2. Will Sam Darnold take the next step?
2. Will Sam Darnold take the next step with the NY Jets?
Another question concerning the offense is will Sam Darnold take that next big step. Last year was supposed to be the year Darnold took that next big step and grew as a quarterback in the NFL.
In some aspects he did, however, his situation was a little murky after going down with a case of mononucleosis a few days after their Week 1 loss to the Buffalo Bills.
And on top of that, he had a terrible offensive line blocking for him, subpar receivers, and a lackluster offensive scheme. But even with those setbacks Darnold still showed promise last season.
Darnold’s touchdown-to-interception ratio improved last season. In his 2018 rookie campaign, Darnold had 17 touchdowns and 15 interceptions. A year later Darnold would minimize his turnovers by throwing for 19 touchdowns and 13 interceptions.
It may not sound like that big of an improvement, but Darnold is slowly minimizing his turnovers which is a sign that the Jets young signal-caller is moving in the right direction and maturing as an NFL quarterback.
Bottom line is that Darnold needs the offensive line to give him time to throw and he needs to build a chemistry with his new group of wideouts.
Next: 3. Which wide receivers will step up?
3. Who will step up for the NY Jets at wide receiver?
The Jets have a new group of wideouts after the departure of Robby Anderson who was Darnold’s number one receiver last year. The Jets’ current wide receiver group is unproven and incredibly inexperienced.
Breshad Perriman is coming off a career-best year in 2019 with 36 receptions for 645 yards and six touchdowns with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The biggest downside on Perriman is that he has been stricken with injuries throughout his four years in the NFL.
Josh Docston, who is another veteran the Jets picked up in free agency, is on his last opportunity in the NFL.
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After a disappointing three years with the Washington Redskins and a short stint with the Minnesota Vikings where he only appeared in one game, signing with the Jets is Doctson’s last chance to make an NFL roster.
Denzel Mims was the player Jets fans were clamoring for to drop in the draft and he did as the team selected him with the 59th overall pick. Mims is a big, physical wideout who can use his height and athleticism to beat defenders.
For a lot of young receivers entering into the league, it may take a player like Mims some time to develop his skills for the pro level. Mims has the potential to become a number one receiver in the league and Jets fans hope that is the case.
Last but not least is Jamison Crowder, who led the team in receptions and receiving yards last season. Crowder is the one wideout on the team that has a secure spot on the roster as he was one of Darnold’s favorite targets last season and is a consistent receiving threat out of the slot.
Other notable wide receivers on the roster who will be fighting for a roster spot come training camp are undrafted receivers Lawrence Cager and George Campbell, second-year wideout Vyncint Smith, and Braxton Berrios.
According to the Pro Football Focus, the Jets’ current receiving corps is ranked in the bottom five going into the 2020 season (28th).
But Jets fans will be hoping that the team’s receivers outplay their projections this season.