NY Jets Beast of the Week: Brandin Echols continues to improve in his rookie year

NY Jets, Brandin Echols
NY Jets, Brandin Echols / Eric Espada/GettyImages

Okay, NY Jets fans stop me if you've heard this one before. The New York Jets were once again defeated on Sunday afternoon this time at the hands of the Miami Dolphins by a score of 31-24.

Though it was another disappointing ending to what appeared to be a winnable game, there were some noteworthy individual performances.

Braxton Berrios continues to make at least one or two big plays every week. He has been a multi-purpose threat when it comes to returning kicks and punts, catching passes, running the ball, and he appears to be involved in just about every trick play that the Jets run.

Against Miami, Berrios caught a 26-yard pass and scored the Jets' first touchdown on an end-around. In addition to Berrios, Tevin Coleman had another strong game rushing for 50 yards on eight carries out of the backfield.

There was even a tight end sighting against the Dolphins as the trifecta of Ryan Griffin, Trevon Wesco and Tyler Kroft combined for five receptions for 93 yards. Far from spectacular, but noteworthy considering the lack of production from the tight end position all season.

In spite of the individual efforts of those players mentioned above, this week's "Beast of the Week" goes to cornerback Brandin Echols. The former Kentucky Wildcat had another solid game that was capped off with a sensational interception returned for a touchdown just when the Jets needed it the most.

What made the interception so impressive was Echols' situational awareness at a point in the game when taking a risk was necessary.

Brandin Echols was the top standout for the NY Jets in Week 15

He was also able to also recognize that he had deep coverage behind him which gave him the opportunity to take a risk and jump the pass. For a team in need of more game-changing type plays, it was a breath of fresh air to see.

In addition to his pick-six, Echols was also credited with three defended passes and registered four tackles as well. He allowed only one pass reception and, by teaming with Bryce Hall, he combined to do a very respectable job in the secondary.

While Brandin Echols may not be regarded as the future lockdown cornerback that the Jets so desperately desire, he has shown more than enough ability to be considered for a long-term role with the team as a rotational player at the very least.

Echols started the first nine games of the season for the Jets before suffering a thigh injury in Week 10. Even though the Jets' defense continues to struggle, it's no coincidence that the pass coverage appears to be a bit more settled when Brandin Echols is back in the starting lineup.

Going forward, as we look to the future and praise the 2021 NFL Draft selections of Michael Carter, Elijah Moore, and Alijah Vera-Tucker, recognition should also be given to the performance of Brandin Echols.

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Quietly and with little fanfare, Echols has established himself as a reliable player and a possible cornerstone in the secondary for the New York Jets. His selection of "Beast of the Week" is well deserved and will hopefully bring greater notice of his talents.