NY Jets Linebackers
- C.J. Mosley, Jamien Sherwood, Hamsah Nasirildeen, Blake Cashman, Quincy Williams
- Practice Squad: DelShawn Phillips
- Short-term IR: Jarrad Davis
C.J. Mosley will need to not only recapture his All-Pro form, but lead the way for the Jets' neophyte linebacking corps. Gang Green added Quinnen Williams's older brother Quincy off of waivers from the Jacksonville Jaguars.
The 2019 third-round pick is undersized at 5-foot-11, 225 pounds, but in the Jets' new scheme, Williams' ability to cover ground from sideline to sideline fits like a glove.
The Jets front office and coaching staff are gambling on the rookie duo of former college safeties, Hamsah Nasirildeen and Jamien Sherwood. The return of Jarrad Davis near mid-season would be a big boost to this unit.
NY Jets Defensive Backs
- CB: Bryce Hall, Javelin Guidry, Michael Carter II, Brandin Echols, Jason Pinnock, Isaiah Dunn, Justin Hardee
- S: Marcus Maye, Lamarcus Joyner, Sharrod Neasman, Sheldrick Redwine
- Practice Squad: CB Lamar Jackson
- Short-term IR: Ashytn Davis
The biggest surprise release by New York was cornerback Blessuan Austin. The Jets are going all-in with four rookies at cornerback. Bryce Hall and Javelin Guidry return as second-year players who had promising rookie campaigns a year ago.
But Gang Green is rolling the dice on three draft picks and an undrafted rookie. The seeds of a youth movement were planted months ago when New York did not sign any veteran cornerbacks in free agency.
The Jets' front office and defensive coaching staff are betting on themselves, and ultimately on their pass defense with Carter, Echols, Dunn, and Pinnock set to assume important roles from day one.
Veterans Marcus Maye and Lamarcus Joyner will have to be at the top of their game to help guide this young secondary. Communication could be an issue in the early going of the season.
Sharrod Neasman found his way back onto the regular roster, probably because of his experience with defensive coordinator Jeff Ulbrich and defensive backs coach Marquand Manuel from their time together in Atlanta. The Jets plucked another player from the 2019 NFL Draft class in safety Sheldrick Redwine.
The former Hurricane played cornerback in college before transitioning to safety. Redwine has several starts under his belt in the league, and the Jets could see him as a long-term prospect at safety.
The way the Jets are constructed, you can't rule out established veterans like Marcus Maye, being traded before the year is out.
The Jets have the youngest roster in the NFL at an average age of 25. Joe Douglas and Robert Saleh are hoping that their young players age like a fine wine before it's all said and done.
In recent days, Douglas and Saleh have gone out of their way to temper expectations for the 2021 season. Almost telling the fan base that they don't expect to be contenders this year.
The seeds have been planted for long-term growth rather than short-term gains. But while the wins and losses won't matter as much this year, the performance of the team and its young players will.
The franchise and its handpicked players have to show positive signs for the team's future for 2021 to be considered a success.