NY Jets: Two rookie draft picks leading the AFC in Pro Bowl votes

NY Jets Mandatory Credit: Kevin R. Wexler/NorthJersey.com via USA TODAY NETWORK
NY Jets Mandatory Credit: Kevin R. Wexler/NorthJersey.com via USA TODAY NETWORK /

Two NY Jets rookies, Mekhi Becton and Braden Mann, lead the AFC in Pro Bowl votes.

The NY Jets may not have a lot to celebrate this season, but the play of a few members of their 2020 NFL Draft class has certainly provided some optimism.

And while many fans are wallowing in the sadness — or apathy, for many — of a depressing season, that hasn’t stopped the fanbase from supporting their favorite players.

The first round of Pro Bowl votes was revealed on Wednesday and a pair of Jets rookies happen to be leading their respective positions in AFC Pro Bowl voting.

Left tackle Mekhi Becton currently leads all AFC offensive tackles with a whopping 41,193 votes at the time of writing. Meanwhile, punter Braden Mann leads AFC punters with 26,248 votes.

Despite an awful, winless season, Jets fans are still going out in droves to vote their favorite players to the Pro Bowl. And it’s showing in the results.

NY Jets fans are supporting their favorite players in Pro Bowl voting

Becton and Mann have both put together excellent rookie campaigns with the former, in particular, exceeding any and all expectations. The 11th overall pick was expected to experience his fair share of rookie growing pains in his first NFL season.

But to this point, those growing pains have been few and far between.

Becton is currently ranked as Pro Football Focus‘ No. 30 overall offensive tackle with a very impressive 73.9 grade. More importantly, he’s one of just 15 tackles with a PFF pass-block and run-block grade north of 72.0.

Now, does he deserve to have the most votes out of any AFC offensive tackle? Probably not. But he’s been very good this season and the metrics support that notion.

As for Mann, the sixth-round pick has lived up to the hype that followed him coming out of college. Mann currently leads all punters in yards with a whopping 2,239 punt yards and while a lot of that is due to quantity, his efficiency has been impressive as well.

The 23-year-old has only booted three touchbacks despite an NFL-leading 50 punts. He also leads all NFL specialists in tackles — a trait he’s carried over from his time at Texas A&M.

But again, much like Becton, it’s probably a stretch to say that he’s been the best punter in the AFC. The busiest? Sure. But his 44.8 yards per punt ranks third-worst in the NFL and his net average isn’t much better.

Braden Mann has been an impressive upgrade at the position, but he’s not the best punter in the AFC.

None of that matters though. In the face of a dark and difficult season, Jets fans are going all out to get behind their players regardless of the team’s record.

The Jets may very well finish with a winless record, but it seems as though they might still be well-represented in the Pro Bowl.

Next. NY Jets: Complete in-depth analysis of the race for the No. 1 overall pick

And if there’s any solace to seek out in a season like this, this is most definitely it.