The NY Jets have had a weekly display of impressive showings from their rookie class throughout the 2022 season. It's really hard to imagine what this team would look like without the generational talents that the team looks to have gotten.
As the season hits the final stretch, it's worth keeping an eye out on the rookie of the year race, where the Jets have a chance to dominate.
Sauce Gardner currently has a strong lead when it comes to betting odds on the Defensive Player of the Year. Garrett Wilson is now in second place behind Kenneth Walker who has been slowing down recently and did unfortunately sustain an injury in Week 13.
There's a real shot that they sweep the awards, and that's not even considering that talent that hasn't gotten to show everything due to injuries (Breece Hall and now Max Mitchell) or being victim to a deep roster (Jermaine Johnson, Micheal Clemons, Jeremy Ruckert).
This rookie class continues to make a name for itself and with more time could go down as one of the best in franchise, and possibly league, history.
Strike Price Hit: Garrett Wilson, WR, NY Jets ($GDUB)
- Stats: 15 targets, 8 receptions for 162 yards, 92% snap count
Garrett Wilson had the best wide receiver performance in a game that featured Justin Jefferson. Let that sink in for a moment. Once the Jets opened up their passing offense with Mike White under center, Wilson has been one of the best receivers in the league.
Although it's a small sample size, it goes beyond the numbers (which are impressive on their own). Wilson passes the eye test as an electric player that can become the identity of an offense in a similar way to what the Vikings do with their star.
If Wilson continues this hot streak through the end of the season (and hopefully the playoffs), then there will likely be some eye-popping numbers by year's end.
Amongst a very talented wide receiver class in 2022, the No. 10 overall pick from Ohio State looks to be establishing himself as the cream of the crop at this point in the season.
Value Buy: Sauce Gardner, CB, NY Jets ($SAUCE)
- Stats: 2 tackles, 1 pass defended, 100% snap count
Sauce Gardner has yet to have a bad game by rookie standards and one could argue by the standards of any NFL cornerback.
But because he has been so good, even just a couple of minor mistakes a game seems worse than it is considering people are getting used to a clean sheet almost every week.
His numbers when it comes to receivers' stats are fairly often pedestrian from the pass-catchers side of things.
In this game, there were a couple of plays in run defense where Gardner didn't take the best angles which led to some big gains from both Dalvin Cook and Alexander Mattinson.
Outside of that and a couple of catches given up (albeit important ones to move the sticks), Gardner once again showed that he can match up with any receiver at any time and usually come away as the winner once the snap is over.
It feels like Gardner is due for another game-changing play or stop soon with the amount we were seeing it before the bye week. A matchup with a surprisingly turnover-friendly Josh Allen could be a great time for that to happen.
Stock Rallying: Zonovan Knight, RB, NY Jets ($BAM)
- Stats: 15 rushes for 90 yards, 5 receptions for 38 yards, 55% snap count
After a historic display in his first NFL game, Knight followed it up with an equally impressive performance in his second act. With Michael Carter ruled out of the game, Knight took on lead running back duties and excelled at his job.
One of the big criticisms of the game was the offensive coordinator Mike LaFleur might not have used Knight enough in this game, especially in the red zone.
Knight looked to have carved out a permanent role on this team for the remainder of the season. Fans should expect to see a blend of him and Carter together once the latter returns from his injury.
It could end up looking similar to how things were with the Hall and Carter tandem in terms of time on the field if Knight continues to show the burst and north-to-south speed that the coaching staff appears to love for their scheme.
His play also is an exciting development for next season considering the Jets could have a trio of Hall, Carter, and Knight that would likely be the most talented trio of running backs in the league.
Delisted: Max Mitchell, OT, NY Jets ($MM)
There was unfortunate news after Max Mitchell was pulled from the game this week.
Mitchell was having a tough time to start the game and was eventually replaced by George Fant at right tackle. After a mysterious press conference update from Robert Saleh about Mitchell being put on the NFI list, news broke about the reasoning why.
Doctors found a blood clot, and for that reason, it was determined that he should be ruled out for the remainder of the year, although it seems it won't be life-threatening or a long-term issue which is great for him personally.
While the Jets and the fan base wish Mitchell a speedy recovery, it is yet another one of the many bad breaks for the depth at the offensive tackle positions this year.
It also puts a minor cloud of doubt over Mitchell as a building block at right tackle. He burst onto the scene faster than anyone could have expected and played admirably for a fourth-round pick.
After sustaining the injury, Mitchell seemed to bounce back well against Chicago, but something felt off this week. Now, the team won't get to see more of his development until 2023.