NY Jets: 4 players who have exceeded expectations in 2021

NY Jets, Bryce Hall
NY Jets, Bryce Hall / Jim McIsaac/GettyImages
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NY Jets
NY Jets, Michael Carter II / Kareem Elgazzar / USA TODAY NETWORK

4. Michael Carter II, CB, NY Jets

The Jets defense has fallen on hard times as of late with a particularly awful performance against the Indianapolis Colts this past Thursday. And Michael Carter II was a big part of that defensive meltdown.

The rookie cornerback put together easily the worst performance of his brief NFL career finishing with a Pro Football Focus grade of 28.6. His lowest single-game grade to that point had been a respectable 57.6 back in Week 5.

Carter's struggles against Indianapolis, however, shouldn't take away from what has been an excellent season for the former Duke standout.

A fifth-round pick in this year's draft, Carter entered the summer in competition for the starting nickel cornerback job. And despite a strong showing from Javelin Guidry, he came away as the winner.

Carter's 64.8 PFF grade (a grade that was at a team-best 78.4 prior to the Colts game) is good for 50th among all cornerbacks in the NFL. For a fifth-round rookie, it's hard to complain about that level of play.

Carter is one of just nine cornerbacks to play at least 50 percent of defensive snaps and not allow a touchdown this season and one of just two to not be flagged a single time this year either.

Michael Carter II is playing at the level of an above-average slot cornerback. It's safe to say that exceeds the expectations placed upon most fifth-round picks.