1. George Fant, OT, NY Jets
This one was fairly obvious. Viewed as more of a fringe starter than anything going into the year, George Fant proved to be one of the best overall players on the Jets roster in 2021.
Fant's first season in green and white was rather lackluster as the former Seattle Seahawks swing tackle finished with a lowly 61.6 Pro Football Focus grade that ranked 64th out of 79 qualified offensive tackles.
The expectation was that Fant would compete with the newly-signed Morgan Moses for the right tackle job in the summer. Fant actually managed to win the job and start Week 1 on the right side, but an injury to Mekhi Becton changed everything.
Suddenly, Fant was asked to play his natural position of left tackle again, and he would go on to start 15 games at that spot. The 29-year-old was legitimately one of the best pass-blocking left tackles in football this past season.
Fant allowed just 18 pressures in 15 starts which ranked second among all left tackles in the NFL. Only Andrew Whitworth and Tristan Wirfs allowed fewer pressures among all qualified offensive tackles in the league.
It's unclear what the future holds for Fant with Becton expected to return in 2022. But that doesn't change the fact that he put together easily the best season of his career this past year.
No Jets player showed more improvement from 2020 to 2021 than George Fant did.