The NY Jets won’t receive many passing grades on this 2020 bye-week report card.
At 0-9, no NY Jets players receive excellent grades on this report card. Sometimes, it’s not just the students; you have to blame the teacher.
With 28 quarters of football to go, this 2020 Gang Green season will soon come to a merciful close. That also means there is plenty of time for players to state their case — for this organization or another franchise.
We know a complete overhaul is about to come for this historically bad franchise. There has never been a winless team that’s gone into a season expecting to perform at a playoff-caliber level.
Not until these Jets, who have now officially become the worst team in this franchise’s 60-year history, going back to the Titans at the Polo Grounds.
There’s no reason to dwell on the sins of Adam Gase, Mike Maccagnan, John Idzik, Mike Tannenbaum, Terry Bradway, Rich Kotite, et al.
But the time is now for general manager Joe Douglas — who deserves his share of the blame, with some very questionable offseason moves — to clean up this mess once and for all.
This bye-week report card identifies both contributors on the active roster and injured players with a realistic chance to remain in Florham Park in 2021 and beyond. Suffice it to say that no player partaking in this winless morass receives an “A.”
NY Jets’ Offense
Mekhi Becton – B+
Only Adam Gase could ruin such a feel-good story. The start of his possibly dominating rookie All-Pro season got derailed by coaching malpractice.
Braxton Berrios – C-
The Miami product would be a nice back-of-the-roster contributor for any team. But he lacks the productivity of a starting slot receiver or punt returner.
Jamison Crowder – B+
This franchise’s best free-agent signing in the past half-decade. A major offensive weapon who’s squandered his career with the Jets and Washington.
Sam Darnold – D+
Gase got brought in here to develop the most talented quarterback of the 2018 NFL Draft. But the USC kid looks lost — he is still making game-killing rookie mistakes.
Chuma Edoga – D
When Becton went down, so did the season, forced to play another unsound lineman. This was the third-rounder they acquired for Teddy Bridgewater.
George Fant – B-
The converted tight end looked woeful early on but has started to play like an above-average right tackle. He might be worth another look next season.
Joe Flacco – C
The 35-year-old Super Bowl-winning veteran has performed okay in limited play. He’s certainly an upgrade over Luke Falk or David Fales or Mike White or…
Frank Gore – B+
Give Gase credit for bringing into the locker room a future Hall of Famer. But never should a 37-year-old be leading any NFL franchise in rushing yardage.
Ryan Griffin – C-
Late last season, Joe Douglas gave a big contract to this productive tight end, which has been invisible. A few decent games of late improve his grade.
Chris Herndon – F
All throughout training camp, we heard of “The Unicorn” evolving into the next Gronk or Travis Kelce. He may be an all-time Jets tight end flop like Johnny Mitchell or Jace Amaro.
Alex Lewis – B
One of Douglas’ best moves came last preseason with the acquisition of this nasty interior offensive linemen. Another beefy blocker that is worthy of another chance.
Connor McGovern – C+
The Jets sorely needed a center, and this former Bronco was universally rated as the team’s best free-agent signing. Sometimes the experts are wrong.
Denzel Mims – B
This may seem like a high grade for just a few games, but this second-rounder flashes No. 1 wide receiver potential. One of this front office’s better personnel moves.
La’Mical Perine – C+
It’s tough to grade this rookie running back, between nagging injuries, poor blocking, and the general turmoil. He’s got the speed and power to excel at this level.
Breshad Perriman – C
Douglas’ messed up replacing Darnold’s safety blanket Robby Anderson with this oft-injured first-round flameout. Good when he plays but rarely does.
Jeff Smith – C-
A training camp star the past two preseasons. But when called upon in big games, he gets hurt or drops the ball. The ex-QB might get one more chance.
Greg Van Roten – C+
Another Jets lineman hurt by the lack of pandemic-era practice time. The Long Island gridiron legend looks better week by week, so the jury is still out.
Trevon Wesco – C-
Another player woefully mishandled by Gase’s rigid play-calling. With a new coach — or on another team — Wesco would excel in his natural FB/TE role.
More from The Jet Press
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- NY Jets officially place the franchise tag on safety Marcus Maye
NY Jets’ Defense
Henry Anderson – D
The Jets should be prohibited from ever again acquiring another Colts castoff. His current contract ranks as one of the worst of the Maccagnan error.
Blessuan Austin – C
A rangy cover corner with subpar tackling skills. Blessuan Austin is the last in a long line of Maccagnan picks with Olympic-level athletics and Pop Warner acumen.
Tarell Basham – C+
For all their draft picks wasted on underachieving outside linebackers, the Jets’ best high-motor edge-rusher might be this former third-rounder outta Ohio University.
Ashtyn Davis – C-
This third-rounder was expected to watch and learn, but he got forced into action with the Jamal Adams’ trade and Bradley McDougald’s injury. Looks better week after week.
Folorunso Fatukasi – B+
The best part of the midseason trade of Steve McLendon is the rise of this local Queens product. An unrelenting nose tackle whose best days lie ahead.
John Franklin-Myers – B-
This 2019 waiver pickup from Stephen F. Austin has a long injury history. But when JFM gets on the field, he is the definition of a disruptive force.
Neville Hewitt – B+
With C.J. Mosley out and Blake Cashman on perpetual IR, Hewitt has become the Jets’ MVP at linebacker. Another baller this GM must compensate ASAP.
Bryce Hall – B-
The fifth-rounder who missed much of this season with an ankle injury flashed serious upside over Pierre Desir against the Patriots. A cornerback brimming with potential.
Bryce Huff – B
The Jets may have struck gold with his UDFA edge-rusher, who lacks prototypical size, but never gives less than 100 percent. Could be a player to build upon.
Lamar Jackson – C
His numbers may look weak, but this undrafted Nebraska cornerback has made some big plays. It may take another year or three for him to take that next step.
Jordan Jenkins – C
Teams around the league questioned whether the fifth-year pro flashed padded stats. He re-signed at a steep discount and had his worst-ever season.
Harvey Langi – C
The former Brigham Young star excels in practices and disappears in most games. One of the most erratic and frustrating contributors to this roster.
Marcus Maye – B+
The team’s only legit talent at safety. Sure he flopped in his temporary move to Adams’ strong safety position, but the Jets must show Maye the money.
Brian Poole – B+
A reliable veteran nickel corner stuck in an impossible position. If Poole is indeed as smart off the field as on, he’ll get the heck out of Florham Park.
Nathan Shepherd – D
The former Day 2 selection looked like he’d be the breakout talent of Gang Green’s defensive line. Easily one of this season’s greatest disappointments.
Quinnen Williams – B+
The No. 3 pick in the 2019 NFL Draft flashes dominant moments. Now, if he could just overcome all the mindless roughing the passer penalties.
Jabari Zuniga – D
Sure, the rookie third-rounder has been injured, but when he plays, he gets overwhelmed. Chances are, he might need time to adapt to the speed of the game.
NY Jets’ Special Teams
Braden Mann – B+
It’s never great when a punter is a team’s biggest contributor. But when was the last time anyone outside of Florham Park thought of Lachlan Edwards?
Thomas Hennessy – B+
The good news is that the Jets have a long-term answer at long-snapper. The bad news is, he’s one of the most consistent contributors on this roster.
Sergio Castillo – B
This 30-year-old veteran of every secondary football league ever invented knows how good he’s got it — finally, a viable replacement for Sam Ficken.