4 forgotten NY Jets players who can make a difference in 2023

NY Jets, Michael Carter
NY Jets, Michael Carter / Jim McIsaac/GettyImages
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3. Bryce Hall, CB, NY Jets

There was a time when Joe Douglas drafted Bryce Hall in the fifth round of the 2020 NFL Draft and it was widely considered a steal because of Hall's elite skill set and tape that slid down the board due to injuries.

It took him a while to get healthy, but in Robert Saleh's first year as head coach, Hall was the CB1 for the team and performed admirably against the likes of Stefon Diggs, A.J. Brown, and Ja'Marr Chase.

At this point last year, Hall was third in the entire NFL in most incompletions forced since 2020. Fans nicknamed him 'The Hall Monitor,' but evidently, Saleh and the Jets brass weren't too impressed. They drafted superstar cornerback Sauce Gardner fourth overall in the 2022 draft and signed a Saleh-favorite, D.J. Reed, in the offseason as well.

Hall started 2022 training camp as CB4 after those guys (Michael Carter II was CB3 in the slot), but struggled mightily in the preseason, had an especially bad showing in the Atlanta Falcons game, and lost his CB4 role to Brandin Echols, who retained that role all season.

At 25 years old, this is the last year of Hall's rookie deal — he is essentially playing for a second contract in the league. He's still buried on the depth chart, but one unavoidable occurrence in football is injury.

Last season, the Jets suffered no major injuries on the defensive side of the ball, so while everyone would hope that remains the same this year, it is almost a mathematical certainty that it will not.

An injury to any of the players in front of him would mean more snaps for Hall, and the player that seized his top reserve role will be missing Week 1 for a suspension.

Can Hall do what fellow 2020 draft pick Denzel Mims hasn't been able to do and somehow earn the respect and consistent opportunities of this current coaching staff?

If he does find his way back onto the field, will he continue his dominance in forcing incompletions? Or will the 'difference-making' play stated in the title of this article refer to him getting burned by Travis Kelce or Dallas Goeddert the way he was burned badly by Kyle Pitts in last year's preseason?

We obviously hope it's the former, but if anyone goes down get prepared for either possibility.