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NY Jets: 4 players performing at an elite level so far in 2021

NY Jets, Bryce Hall
NY Jets, Bryce Hall / Al Bello/GettyImages
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NY Jets
NY Jets, Michael Carter II / Jim McIsaac/GettyImages

4. Michael Carter II, CB, NY Jets

Michael Carter II has been one of the best slot cornerbacks in the NFL through four weeks. And in a talented crop of rookie cornerbacks featuring the likes of Jaycee Horn, Patrick Surtain, Eric Stokes, and Asante Samuel Jr., Carter has been just as effective.

That's despite the former Duke standout receiving very little pre-draft hype and being drafted all the way in the fifth round.

Through four weeks, Carter is Pro Football Focus' third-highest graded rookie cornerback behind only Nate Hobbs and Samuel. But where he's truly shined is in relation to his fellow slot corners.

Carter currently ranks second among all slot cornerbacks with just 72 yards allowed in four games (minimum of 80 percent coverage snaps). Only Bryce Callahan of the Denver Broncos, one of the highest-paid slot corners in football, has allowed fewer.

Carter also ranks second behind Callahan in yards per coverage snap (0.65). Although he's surrendered 13 catches, those 13 catches have gone for just the 72 previously mentioned yards.

He's allowed a few catches, averaging a little over three a game, but none of them have been big gains. In fact, Carter has played the most coverage snaps of all cornerbacks in the NFL without allowing a catch of 15+ yards.

Carter's 6.2 yards per completion ranks fourth among all cornerbacks and was actually first going into Week 4.

He's been one of the best slot cornerbacks in the NFL. He won't receive the same recognition as others given his unglamorous position and the team he plays for.

But make no mistake about it. Michael Carter II has been borderline elite through four weeks.

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