NY Jets: John Franklin-Myers has earned a starting role in 2021

NY Jets, John Franklin-Myers Mandatory Credit: Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports
NY Jets, John Franklin-Myers Mandatory Credit: Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports /

NY Jets’ defensive lineman John Franklin-Myers has earned a starting role in 2021.

It has been years since the NY Jets have had a consistent pass rush, and the emergence of John Franklin-Myers has earned him a chance to be more than a rotational rusher in 2021.

This offseason, the Jets’ front office is going to have their work for them. The team needs talent. Everywhere. And there is only so must cap space and draft capital to go around.

Who knows who will be under center in 2021? Figuring that out will be their top priority.

From there, they need to add weapons for him to throw to and continue to tinker along the offensive line. There is also the need at cornerback, as they need experience around Bryce Hall and Blessuan Austin.

With so many needs, there is bound to be a position the Jets look to solve in-house. Gang Green has tried time and time again to solve their pass rush woes, with no solution.

Then, this past season, buried in the team’s heavy defensive line rotation, John Franklin-Myers has emerged as a bright spot for New York.

In his second season with the Jets, Franklin-Myers has continued to evolve from a depth piece to an excellent all-around interior pass rusher.

In 14 games, Franklin-Myers has three sacks, 13 quarterback hits, four tackles for loss, and two fumble recoveries. He also owns a 78.7 pass-rush grade from Pro Football Focus, which ranks 14th among 113 defensive linemen.

Simply put, John Franklin-Myers is more than just a waiver-wire pickup.

John Franklin-Myers has been a pleasant surprise for the NY Jets

A fourth-round pick in 2018 by the Los Angeles Rams, he has always flashed his potential. Coming out of the draft, NFL.com’s Lance Zierlein wrote how “Franklin-Myers flashes power at the point of attack and the ability to get a quick win when he’s working around the edges.”

As a rookie, he put up two sacks and a forced fumble and had a strip-sack of Tom Brady in the Super Bowl. The Jets were lucky enough that depth forced Franklin-Myers out of Los Angeles, as the Jets claimed, and later placed him on injured reserve.

All season long, Franklin-Myers has seen his role increase, having played in at least 50 percent of defensive snaps over the last four games. Should the Jets also remain in a 3-4 defense next season, he makes for that third defensive lineman.

New York already has two stout defenders along their line in Quinnen Williams and Folorunso Fatukasi. In his second season, Williams not only developed into a top run defender, but one of the league’s most efficient interior pass rushers with seven sacks.

As for Fatukasi, he currently grades out as the league’s top run defender among interior defensive linemen.

With Williams and Fatukasi, the Jets can afford to let Franklin-Myers continue to develop as a run defender. To this point, he has primarily been used as a pass rusher, though with Williams now on injured reserve, he is stepping up against the run.

Not to mention, Nathan Shepherd and Kyle Phillips are both under contract for another season, providing decent platoon options too.

The Jets have a lot of work to do this offseason to avoid another 13-loss campaign in 2021. With the emergence of John Franklin-Myers this season, the Jets should not add another defensive lineman.

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Instead, they should focus on adding an outside linebacker who can get after the quarterback opposite of him. After all, Franklin-Myers has earned a shot to start in 2021.