5 NY Jets players who could be nice surprises in 2024

Don't overlook these Jets players in 2024
Tyler Conklin
Tyler Conklin / Danielle Parhizkaran/NorthJersey.com /
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4. Will McDonald, DE, NY Jets

Despite the addition of All-Pro pass rusher Haason Reddick, the Jets still seem to have plans for Will McDonald in 2024. The former first-round pick played sparingly as a rookie, playing the fewest offensive or defensive snaps of any first-round pick in the 2023 draft.

McDonald was modestly productive and efficient with his limited snaps, but he remained buried on the depth chart throughout the year. Even after trading for Reddick, the hope is that changes next season.

The Jets saw 2022 first-round pick Jermaine Johnson break out with a Pro Bowl season in 2023 following an unspectacular rookie year. Perhaps McDonald could be primed for a similar leap in his second NFL season.

McDonald likely won't receive the playing time Johnson did, but he has an opportunity to force his way onto the field, similar to how Bryce Huff did last season. The Jets remain very high on his potential.

3. John Simpson, LG, NY Jets

The Jets revamped their offensive line this offseason, adding three new starters via free agency and the trade market. Tyron Smith is a future first-ballot Hall of Fame left tackle. Morgan Moses has 144 career starts under his belt and was among the better right tackles in football last season.

John Simpson, the team's third new lineman, doesn't have the same pedigree. The former Las Vegas Raiders fourth-round pick was waived before the end of his rookie contract and nearly found himself out of the league before revitalizing his career in Baltimore.

Simpson is coming off easily the best season of his NFL career, and still at just 26 years old, the arrow is pointing up. He'll also have the advantage of playing alongside an All-Pro left tackle and a promising young center.

If Simpson could keep his penalty numbers in check, he has a chance to surprise and outperform his "weak link of the offensive line" expectations. There is still untapped potential here.