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NY Jets: 3 players who can fill Carl Lawson’s role on defense

NY Jets, Carl Lawson, John Franklin-Myers
NY Jets, Carl Lawson, John Franklin-Myers / John Jones-USA TODAY Sports
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Bryce Huff, Mike Glennon
New York Jets v New York Giants / Dustin Satloff/Getty Images

2. Bryce Huff, DE, NY Jets

Last year, Bryce Huff found himself in the exact same situation that Rashed is in. Over his final two seasons at Memphis, Huff totaled 16.0 sacks and 34.5 tackles for a loss. Even so, Huff went undrafted.

During training camp, Huff’s speed off the edge stood out, and he followed it up with a strong preseason showing.

Before he knew it, he became part of Gregg Williams’ defensive rotation in 2020. Come season's end, Huff had two sacks, 16 total tackles, and one pass deflection in 14 games.

As he enters his second season, Huff is switching to an entirely new position. In his rookie season, Williams employed a 3-4 defense that also asked Huff to drop back into coverage from time to time — which is not a strong part of his game.

Now, with Jeff Ulbrich as his defensive coordinator, he finds himself now playing defensive end in a 4-3 defense. With more freedom as a pass rusher, Huff’s development this offseason has been noteworthy. He too has found a home in the backfield and proved it against the Giants.

Huff took advantage of every snap in the team's preseason opener. He finished with three total tackles, two sacks, and two tackles for a loss. In other words, Huff has showcased why he deserves an opportunity to replace Lawson.

Lawson gave the Jets a twitchy rusher off the edge who can get after the quarterback. In a small sample size as a rookie, Huff did exactly that, with four hurries and eight pressures.

Should his summer play translate to the fall, he could find himself in the starting lineup sooner than later.

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