5 NY Jets players with the most to prove in 2023
By Nathan Smith
2. Carl Lawson, DE, NY Jets
When the Jets' current front office regime took over, one of their first big moves was to land emerging star pass rusher Carl Lawson from the Cincinnati Bengals, but before he could play a snap for the Jets, he suffered a season-ending Achilles injury.
In his first full season back last year, Lawson recorded seven sacks but wasn't the impactful player he was expected to be as a big free agent. With the Jets drafting edge rushers in two straight first rounds, the pressure is now on him to produce at an elite level.
With speed, explosiveness, and power, Lawson has plenty of ways to get to the quarterback, and if he wants to remain in New York, now is the time to finally put all of those tools together to make the biggest impact possible.
1. Mekhi Becton, OT, NY Jets
It goes without saying that the Jets have been disappointed with their returns from former No. 11 overall pick Mekhi Becton, and while he can't help injuries, the 2023 season needs to be a big one for the offensive tackle.
It's been well documented that Becton has gone through a massive weight transformation over the past eight months, and now he needs to turn that into success on the field, especially with stiff competition at the position from the likes of Duane Brown and Max Mitchell.
However, we've seen just how physical and dominant Becton can be when healthy, and if he gets to that point again, there's no reason why he can't take the next step toward becoming an elite protector up front.
Given that he's entering the final year of his rookie contract, that's exactly what he needs to do.