The NY Jets’ young core of under-25 players was recently ranked in the top half of the NFL.
The NY Jets may not have one of the most talented rosters in the NFL, but this team isn’t meant to win-now. While that may be a tired trope that Jets fans are done hearing, it’s the truth.
The current projection of the team may not be too promising, but the future projection provides a bit more optimism. And for that reason, many feel as though the Jets’ young core is one of the better cores in the league.
Evidently, the folks over at ESPN seem to agree.
ESPN recently released an article ranking all 32 NFL teams by their young cores, or more specifically, by the players on their roster under the age of 25. And perhaps somewhat surprisingly, the Jets finished in the top half of the league.
Gang Green was ranked 14th in the NFL — a drop from their No. 7 overall ranking last year, but still higher than many would have predicted.
For each team, ESPN classified a few players as “blue-chip” prospects or players who they feel represent the best of that team’s under-25 talent. The Jets had three such players.
Who did ESPN call the NY Jets’ blue-chip players?
The first player labeled such was quarterback Sam Darnold — an expected inclusion.
Darnold is entering his third NFL season and while he hasn’t taken that huge leap just yet, the article made sure to point how his improvements and the fact he is still younger than the likes of Baker Mayfield, Josh Allen, and Joe Burrow.
No player on the Jets is more important to the Jets’ success both in 2020 and beyond than Darnold. If he can take the next step towards stardom this season, it’s likely the Jets rank even higher on this list next year.
The second player ESPN listed as a blue-chip prospect was first-round pick Mekhi Becton. The Jets selected Becton with the No. 12 overall pick in this year’s draft with the hope that he can be the long-term answer at the left tackle position.
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While there are still technical flaws in his game to smoothen out, there’s little question that he had the most physical upside out of any offensive tackle in his class. Becton’s development will be one of the primary storylines to watch in 2020.
Finally, ESPN referred to second-year defensive lineman Quinnen Williams as one of the Jets’ three blue-chip prospects. Williams underwhelmed in his rookie season, but there are plenty of reasons to expect the former Alabama superstar to break out in his second NFL campaign.
The Jets will hope to see Williams live up to his draft status with a standout sophomore season. In fact, the fate of the Jets’ defense could ultimately fall on his shoulders.
It might come as a surprise to many that the Jets’ young core still ranks in the top half of the NFL, especially following the departure of Jamal Adams. But analysts around the league remain high on the Jets’ future prospects.
Here’s to hoping that the organization finally follows through on their supposed potential.