Can the NY Jets replicate the 2019 49ers defensive line?

San Francisco 49ers v Arizona Cardinals
San Francisco 49ers v Arizona Cardinals / Christian Petersen/Getty Images
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NY Jets, Vinny Curry
NY Jets, Vinny Curry / Mitchell Leff/Getty Images

Can the NY Jets fill the Dee Ford role?

Last up on the starting front-four was Dee Ford, a prototypical defensive end who joined San Francisco right before the 2018 season via trade with Kansas City.

Ford was electric with the Chiefs in 2017, recording 13 sacks and seven forced fumbles. His time with the 49ers was less stellar but still significant.

In 2019, Ford put up 6.5 sacks and a couple of tackles for loss and QB hits. Most notable, though, was his incredible PFF grade of 88.5.

As of now, the Jets’ only reliable edge rusher is Lawson, who is slotted to fill the Bosa role. So, in order to fill the Ford spot, the Jets will need a depth rusher to step up and produce.

The best candidate for that spot is probably Vinny Curry, signed this past offseason as a depth edge rusher.

Curry has not put up high sack numbers since 2014, but PFF has recognized him as a solid rusher the past few seasons. The 32-year-old received a solid 68.6 grade in 2020 and an impressive 77.9 grade in 2019.

In fact, despite playing just 28 percent of snaps in 2020, Curry’s PRP (pass rush productivity) was an 8.5 per PFF, tied for ninth among all edge defenders (min. 130 snaps), per Jets X Factor.

In other words, during his limited snaps this past season, Curry was one of the most productive edge rushers in football. Still, the sample size is a bit small.

Curry has his work cut out for him if he is to fully fill the Dee Ford spot, but the veteran can still play an important role for this defensive line, even if not to the extent that Ford did for the 49ers.