Grading the 2022 NY Jets rookie class at the bye week

NY Jets, Sauce Gardner
NY Jets, Sauce Gardner / Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports

The NY Jets' 2022 NFL Draft class has the potential to be special. At least that's how it seems now that we're halfway through each of their rookie seasons.

The Jets managed to almost completely transform the core of the franchise with a number of home-run picks in this year's draft. From future (and current) superstars to key role players, this Jets draft class has everything.

When the dust settles, we could look back on this class as not only the best in the 2022 draft, but as one of the best in modern NFL history. That's not hyperbole — it very well might be reality.

Let's take a look at some early rookie grades for each member of the Jets' 2022 NFL Draft class.

Sauce Gardner, CB, NY Jets

You could make the argument that Sauce Gardner is already the best cornerback in the NFL. At the very least, it's hard to argue he's not top-five at his position and it's impossible to make a case that he's not top-10 after the rookie year he's had.

The fourth overall pick in this year's draft has exceeded the sky-high expectations he had going into the season and looks well on his way to being named an All-Pro as a rookie. Gardner is already one of the best young defenders in the league.

Grade: A+

Garrett Wilson, WR, NY Jets

Garrett Wilson has flashed superstar potential when given the opportunity to shine this season. The 22-year-old leads the Jets with 42 catches for 521 yards and is likely the most explosive and talented offensive weapon they have right now.

Wilson has overcome poor quarterback play and has put himself in the Offensive Rookie of the Year conversation. He looks like the future WR1 the Jets have been searching years for. Wilson is everything the Jets wanted him to be and more.

Grade: A-

Jermaine Johnson, DE, NY Jets

We likely haven't seen the best yet of Jermaine Johnson as the rookie pass rusher is just six games into his NFL career. But in those six games, Johnson has managed 2.5 sacks and proven to be one of the team's most consistent run defenders.

Johnson hasn't flashed as much as some of his rookie counterparts, but he looks like someone who's going to stick around in New York for a long time. Don't be surprised if he starts to stuff the stat sheet more over the second half of the season.

Grade: B+

Breece Hall, RB, NY Jets

Breece Hall was the odds-on favorite for Offensive Rookie of the Year and one of the most dynamic and explosive players in the NFL before a devastating knee injury cut his rookie season short. Still, what Hall accomplished during that time can't be overlooked.

The second-round rookie was top-10 in scrimmage yards prior to his injury and the face of the Jets' offense. His loss has been difficult to overcome and has provided evidence of just how much he meant to this Jets' team.

Grade: A

Jeremy Ruckert, TE, NY Jets

Jeremy Ruckert is the only member of the Jets' star-studded 2022 draft class who hasn't made an impact this season. The Long Island native has been active for just five games and played just seven offensive snaps since Week 2.

Ruckert has only been targeted once this season, a Week 2 pass that he dropped. It's clear that the Jets don't trust him yet and would rather play a guy like Kenny Yeboah instead. It's still early in Ruckert's career, but the early signs haven't been too promising.

Grade: D

Max Mitchell, OT, NY Jets

The Jets drafted Max Mitchell with the idea that he would be a developmental swing tackle for the future, but that plan went out the window this summer following injuries to the likes of Mekhi Becton, Duane Brown, and later George Fant.

Mitchell was thrust into the starting lineup in Week 4 and went on to start the first four games of the season at right tackle. The fourth-round rookie held his own and showed signs that he could be a potential long-term starter at the position.

Grade: B+

Micheal Clemons, DE, NY Jets

Micheal Clemons was the cherry on top of a loaded 2022 draft class for Gang Green — somewhat of an afterthought in a highly-touted class of potential superstars. But he's proven this season that he shouldn't be overlooked.

Clemons has the fourth-highest PFF run-defense grade among all edge defenders in the NFL and has been a valuable and reliable part of the Jets' defensive end rotation. He's not lighting up the stat sheet, but his impact has been significant.

Grade: B+

Next. 4 NY Jets practice squad players who could be important after the bye week. dark