7 biggest surprise standouts from the NY Jets' 2021 season

NY Jets, George Fant
NY Jets, George Fant / Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports
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NY Jets
NY Jets, Quincy Williams / Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

4. Quincy Williams, LB, NY Jets

Jets general manager Joe Douglas has made a habit out of striking gold on a number of waiver-wire pickups throughout his tenure with the Jets. Look no further than players like John Franklin-Myers and Braxton Berrios for examples of that.

Douglas returned to the waiver-wire well this season claiming former Jacksonville Jaguars linebacker, and brother of Quinnen Williams, Quincy Williams off waivers following final roster cuts.

Williams was almost immediately thrust into a starting role with Jarrad Davis sidelined, making his first start in his first appearance in Week 2. Always a volatile player, Williams developed a knack for the big hit and seemed to make at least one splash play per game.

In an inexperienced linebacker group that was hit hard by injuries to rookies Jamien Sherwood and Hamsah Nasirildeen, Williams stepped in and was a consistent force in the middle of the Jets' defense.

He was far from perfect, but Williams did seem to improve as the year went on and it was telling that he regained his starting job from Davis only a couple of weeks after the former Detroit Lions' first-round pick returned from injury.

Williams was the superior option and the Jets realized this pretty quickly. The 25-year-old finished with 110 total tackles which trailed just C.J. Mosley for the team lead. He also added a team-leading nine tackles for loss, two sacks, and four QB hits.

From waiver claim to bonafide starter, Williams has earned a role on the team next season.