NY Jets: 3 under-the-radar players who might be traded before the deadline

NY Jets, Jordan Jenkins (Photo by Timothy T Ludwig/Getty Images)
NY Jets, Jordan Jenkins (Photo by Timothy T Ludwig/Getty Images) /
NY Jets
NY Jets /

NY Jets Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

The NY Jets could look to move these three under-the-radar players before the trade deadline.

The NY Jets are expected to be very active on the trade market in the coming days as we inch closer to the November 3rd deadline. Even if they don’t make any more trades, they’ll certainly be making some calls.

Following the release of Le’Veon Bell and the trades of both Steve McLendon and Jordan Willis, it’s clear that the Jets aren’t going to hesitate to move on from players this fall.

They’re going to do their best to recoup any assets that they can to better set themselves up for future success. And in doing so, it means that virtually no one — maybe with the exception of Mekhi Becton — is safe.

But while players like Marcus Maye and Quinnen Williams have already found themselves as the subject of trade rumors, they likely won’t be the only names that come up in discussions.

McLendon’s departure might have been predictable, but did anyone see Willis getting moved? Highly doubtful.

There will likely be at least one player that’s either traded or involved in discussions in the next few days that isn’t expected. Or at the very least, some players who haven’t been talked about just yet.

Let’s take a look at three under-the-radar players who could be traded in the next few days.

Next: 3. Nathan Shepherd

NY Jets
NY Jets /

NY Jets

3. Nathan Shepherd, DL, NY Jets

Admittedly, this is a serious under-the-radar player. But hey, if Jordan Willis can get traded, anyone can.

Nathan Shepherd is a player who finds himself finds himself in a very similar situation to the one Willis was in prior to being traded. The former third-round pick has been a healthy scratch in two of the last four games and has pretty much been phased out of the defense.

After playing nearly 40 percent of defensive snaps in Week 1, Shepherd hasn’t played more than 20 percent since Week 3. The coaching staff has clearly fallen out of favor with him and they certainly won’t hesitate to trade him if the offer presents itself.

But could the Jets really get anything of value back for him? Probably not much.

Shepherd underwhelmed in his rookie season but actually emerged as a pretty effective pass-rusher after returning from suspension in 2019. His 71.3 Pro Football Focus grade would have been top-40 at his position if he played enough snaps to qualify.

That said, his horrific 39.3 PFF grade in 2020 indicates that his play has been less than stellar. Still, at 27-years-old, perhaps someone would be willing to exchange late-round picks for the former third-round pick.

Both Shepherd and Willis were former third-round picks who were riding the bench. If Willis can get moved, why not Shepherd?

Next: 2. Avery Williamson

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NY Jets /

NY Jets Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

2. Avery Williamson, LB, NY Jets

Now on to someone who might net the Jets a little more value in linebacker Avery Williamson. Much like Shepherd, it doesn’t seem as though the coaching staff is fully behind Williamson.

After all, the veteran linebacker was sitting behind Alec Ogletree early in the season despite the former New York Giants’ abysmal play. And now with the Jets getting healthier at linebacker, it would make sense to move him.

The Jets still want to see more of 2019 fifth-round pick Blake Cashman and they seem pretty confident in Neville Hewitt as an every-down player. Not to mention that free-agent signing Patrick Onwuasor was just designated to return from injured reserve.

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Williamson’s contract is up after this year and it’s highly unlikely that he’ll be back in 2021. That means that his Jets career is coming to an end this season one way or another.

If the Jets can get anything of value for him, they’ll likely jump at the opportunity.

With the Pittsburgh Steelers’ linebacker corps reeling following the loss of Devin Bush for the season, Williamson seems like a sensible target for them.

If not, there are surely a handful of contenders who could benefit from adding a veteran such as Williamson who’s still playing at a starting-caliber level.

Expect the Jets to move Williamson if presented with the opportunity.

Next: 1. Jordan Jenkins

NY Jets
NY Jets /

NY Jets Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

1. Jordan Jenkins, OLB, NY Jets

Of the many disappointing players for the Jets this season, one guy who’s somewhat flown under the radar has been outside linebacker Jordan Jenkins.

Hidden amidst a host of other disappointing talents, Jenkins’ poor season has gone relatively unnoticed. Nonetheless, don’t think that the Jets aren’t aware of this.

The former Georgia standout returned in the offseason on a very cheap one-year, $3.75 million contract hedging his future on a standout 2020 season. Unfortunately for him, Jenkins has instead put together arguably the worst year of his career thus far.

Jenkins’ Pro Football Focus grade ranks 87th out of just 111 qualified edge defenders and he’s been a complete non-factor in pretty much every game.

Tackles aren’t the best way to judge value, but it speaks volumes that a player who plays 60 percent of defensive snaps every game hasn’t recorded a single tackle in three of the seven games he’s played.

Jenkins has just one sack on the year and the metrics show that he’s been even worse as a run-defender. And with guys like Bryce Huff and Tarell Basham outplaying him, it makes little sense to keep him around.

It’s unlikely Jenkins returns in 2020 given how poorly he’s played meaning if the Jets can get anything for him, they likely won’t pass on the opportunity.

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