3 NY Jets players who were vastly underutilized in 2023

These three Jets were overlooked in 2023

NY Jets, Will McDonald
NY Jets, Will McDonald / Bryan Bennett/GettyImages
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1. Will McDonald, DE, NY Jets

The Will McDonald pick was a head-scratcher for the Jets at the time, and it hasn't aged better in the months following it. McDonald played sparingly as a rookie, and while he flashed at points, he didn't do much to justify the selection.

The Jets passed on numerous other needs and a host of talented rookies who contributed this past season in favor of their fifth-string defensive end. McDonald is expected to take on a larger role in 2024, but it will likely come at the expense of Bryce Huff.

The Jets seem intent on letting Huff walk in free agency, with the plan that McDonald can replace his production. The only problem is we barely got to see what McDonald can do this past season.

McDonald played just 184 total defensive snaps all year — the fewest by a Jets rookie first-round pick since Vernon Gholston. He didn't play more than 30 percent of defensive snaps in a single game and was even a healthy scratch at one point.

That's bad roster management. Throw in the fact that McDonald was an old rookie (he's basically the same age as Huff and Jermaine Johnson), and you have a soon-to-be 25-year-old — who you invested a significant asset in — who remains a question mark.

There's a chance that McDonald can still become the player the Jets drafted him to be. He's clearly a very talented pass rusher, and head coach Robert Saleh has a strong track record of developing defensive talent.

Wouldn't it have been nice to know more about the guy before being forced to make a significant decision on Huff's future, though? McDonald should have played more in his rookie season.

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