NY Jets Mandatory Credit: Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports
The NY Jets should have had these three representatives in the 2021 Pro Bowl.
The NY Jets have been arguably the worst team in the NFL this season. Entering Week 16 with a 1-13 record, it’s safe to say that the Jets have one of the least talented rosters in the league.
That said, despite their amazing incompetency for the vast majority of the season, they’ve had a few notable standouts. The majority of the roster may be subpar, but a few individuals have stood out as legitimate bright spots in an otherwise dark season.
Unfortunately, those individuals won’t be rewarded for their success in 2020.
The 2021 Pro Bowl rosters have officially been announced and the Jets are one of five teams that won’t have a single representative this year along with the Dallas Cowboys, Jacksonville Jaguars, Cincinnati Bengals, and Carolina Panthers.
Their record might support that logic, but the team’s lack of success shouldn’t take away from the play of a few select players this season.
In fact, you could make a strong argument that there are three members of the roster who were worthy of Pro Bowl nods.
The game won’t actually be played this year meaning that there won’t be room for any replacements as in previous years. That means that the current roster will stand and no Jets will receive recognition.
But which Jets players deserved the honor? We take a look at three Pro Bowl-worthy members of the roster.
Next: 3. Mekhi Becton
3. Mekhi Becton, OT, NY Jets
One player who seemed like a lock to make the Pro Bowl this season was rookie left tackle, Mekhi Becton. Becton has been one of the most promising standouts from 2020 and looks well on his way to becoming one of the league’s top offensive tackles.
And in a difficult season, Jets fans have latched on to Becton as they look to find any semblance of optimism. For that reason, it wasn’t a huge surprise to see him leading all AFC offensive tackles in Pro Bowl votes.
From the very first ballot to the last, Becton led his position in the fan voting portion seemingly indicating that he would make the team. But alas, when the three Pro Bowl tackles were announced for the AFC, Becton didn’t receive the call.
Now, it should be stated that while Becton has been excellent in 2020, he’s not one of the top three tackles in the conference just yet. His 75.5 Pro Football Focus grade is very good, but while it’s good for best on the Jets’ offense, it isn’t even in the top-20 tackles in the NFL.
It’s been a good year for tackle play around the league and while Becton has been superb, plenty of others have been marginally better. That said, you’d think that a player leading in votes the entire way would have secured a spot on the roster.
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Why even have the fan voting if it ultimately doesn’t matter?
The trio of Eric Fisher, Laremy Tunsil, and Orlando Brown have all been great this season, but their play has been very similar to that of Becton by pretty much all advanced metrics.
Becton led all AFC tackles in votes and isn’t much worse — if worse at all — than those three. He deserved the nod.
Next: 2. Marcus Maye
NY Jets Mandatory Credit: Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports
2. Marcus Maye, S, NY Jets
The Pro Bowl is a popularity contest. This isn’t exactly breaking news, but that notion was very evident this season as it always tends to be.
For that reason, a guy like Marcus Maye was never actually going to receive serious consideration. But based on his play this season, few players were more worthy.
Maye has been nothing short of phenomenal in 2020 as he’s made the jump from above-average starter to one of the best players at his position. The former Florida standout is currently PFF’s No. 3 overall safety with a superb 81.1 grade.
The three safeties that made the team over him, Justin Simmons, Minkah Fitzpatrick, and Tyrann Mathieu, are all fantastic players. But none of them have ranked better than Maye this season.
In 14 games, Maye has already set a new career-high in pass deflections, sacks, tackles for loss, has tied a career-high in interceptions, and is on pace for a new career-high in tackles.
His PFF coverage grade ranks fourth at his position and he’s played more defensive snaps than any safety in the NFL. Maye has done it all in 2020 and he certainly deserved to receive more Pro Bowl hype.
However, that’s just the way things are. Guys like Fitzpatrick, Mathieu, and now even Simmons are household names in the NFL who are widely regarded as being some of the best players at their position.
Maye has been very good in the past, but he’s been great this season. Unfortunately, the NFL world hasn’t caught on to that fact.
Next: 1. Quinnen Williams
NY Jets Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
1. Quinnen Williams, DT, NY Jets
Quinnen Williams has been nothing short of phenomenal in 2020. After an underwhelming rookie campaign, Williams has broken out this season and established himself as one of the bright young defensive stars in the NFL.
But despite his high-profile draft status and presence in a major New York market, his play this season has somehow gone overlooked. Chalk that one up to the Jets’ 1-13 record.
Williams has seven sacks in 13 games including four in his last five and has added 55 tackles, 10 tackles for loss, and 14 QB hits to his growing resume this season. All of which have either doubled or tripled his total from a year ago in the same amount of games.
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The former Alabama superstar is PFF’s No. 15 ranked interior defensive lineman and is one of just six players with a PFF pass-rush and run-defense grade north of 77.0.
His pass-rush win rate and run-stop rate rank in the top-five at his position meaning that there’s a legitimate case for Williams to be one of the five best interior defensive linemen in the NFL.
Reminder that he just turned 23-years-old this past Sunday.
But despite all evidence pointing to the fact that he should have made the Pro Bowl, the NFL opted against it. Now, you’ll hear no argument from me that either Chris Jones or Cameron Heyward didn’t deserve their spot.
But Calais Campbell? Williams is ranked higher than Campbell by pretty much every statistical and analytical measure.
Of course, Campbell is a household name who has been great for a long time. Williams is just getting started. But based on their 2020 play, Williams has been far and away the better player.
No player on the Jets should feel more snubbed than Quinnen Williams.