NY Jets 2023 Spring Depth Chart Preview: Defensive line

NY Jets, Quinnen Williams, John Franklin-Myers
NY Jets, Quinnen Williams, John Franklin-Myers / Sarah Stier/GettyImages

The NY Jets' philosophy on the defensive side of the ball since Robert Saleh became the head coach has been centered around the depth of their defensive line and consistently putting pressure on the quarterback, and in 2022, they did that with great success.

Led by All-Pro Quinnen Williams, this unit has the ability to be one of the best in the entire NFL, and if they can stay healthy and stick to their game plan, there's no reason why they won't have opposing quarterbacks running for their lives for 60 minutes each and every week.

Depth chart

  • Carl Lawson (DE)
  • John Franklin-Myers (DE/DT)
  • Jermaine Johnson (DE)
  • Will McDonald (DE)
  • Bryce Huff (DE)
  • Micheal Clemons (DE/DT)
  • Quinnen Williams (DT)
  • Quinton Jefferson (DT)
  • Al Woods (DT)
  • Solomon Thomas (DT)

What are the pros of the 2023 NY Jets defensive line?

Unsurprisingly, the biggest positive along this defensive line is the depth, as the Jets will often run with eight players up front on game day, rotating them in and out. While it may be frustrating not having your biggest names out there every play, it's certainly been effective thus far.

With an All-Pro in Quinnen Williams flanked by a perfect blend of youth and experience, this is a team that's built to get to the quarterback in several different ways, and with the addition of Jermaine Johnson and now Will McDonald, they could be getting even better in 2023.

Ultimately, this is a unit with plenty of expectations on their shoulders, and if they can stay healthy and consistent, this could be one of the best defensive lines in the NFL. With an elite secondary, the Jets defense, as a whole, has the chance to be incredible.

What are the cons of the 2023 NY Jets defensive line?

While the Jets had a consistent presence rushing the quarterback on the inside last year, the same can't be said for the edge rush, as it was very inconsistent, with many games where there was little to no pressure for long stretches.

It was tough to expect much more from Carl Lawson as he saw his first action since his Achilles injury, but with the addition of Will McDonald in the draft and a year's experience under the belt of Jermaine Johnson, this team could turn that around in 2023.

Beyond that, this was one of the best units in the NFL in 2022, with the depth and talent required to put consistent pressure on the quarterback all year long. If they can find pressure from the outside, this will be arguably the Jets' best group in 2023.

Who will be the biggest stud for the 2023 NY Jets defensive line?

While the Jets have many names that are ready to step up and contribute, some perhaps ready to elevate their game to a Pro Bowl level, this is a team that had arguably the best defensive tackle in all of football last season in the form of All-Pro Quinnen Williams.

After a career year in 2022 and all the individual accolades that came with that, Williams will be looking for more in 2023. With an improved offense, if he can remain at that level, this defense could be elite, too, giving this team a genuine hope at Super Bowl glory.

Whether or not his contract situation gets sorted out could play a big part in his 2023 campaign, but if he's motivated once again to lead this elite defense, there's no reason that he shouldn't be a top contender for NFL Defensive Player of the Year.

What is the biggest defensive line storyline to watch in NY Jets OTAs and training camp?

While the allotment of snaps among this very deep group with the likes of Will McDonald, Jermaine Johnson, and Bryce Huff will be interesting to watch, the biggest story of all is the contract situation with superstar Quinnen Williams.

In recent times, we've heard the news that the two sides are closer to reaching a deal, with something being potentially announced before training camp begins. The Jets have a major superstar on their hands, and they need to lock him up to a long-term deal.

The likes of Jeffery Simmons, Daron Payne, and Dexter Lawrence have all been paid this offseason, and now, Williams should be up next. Despite the subtle jabs on social media, there's plenty of optimism that a new deal should be done by the time the 2023 season rolls around.

Predictions for the 2023 NY Jets defensive line?

The Jets, as a team, have very lofty goals in 2023, with the defense being a huge part of the optimism surrounding the organization, and that means this group up front will need to be elite in 2023.

Thankfully for Jets fans, they have the pieces in this group to do just that. With All-Pro Quinnen Williams leading the way, we could see plenty of awards, including Pro Bowl berths again for Williams, as well as for Carl Lawson.

dark. Next. 3 standouts and 1 dud from second NY Jets open-media OTA practice. 3 standouts and 1 dud from second NY Jets open-media OTA practice

Ultimately, they have plenty of expectations to live up to, but with this team, they're capable of doing just that. While some are telling the Jets fans to temper their expectations, this is one unit that won't let you down and should be top-five in the entire NFL this season.