Winner: Bryce Huff, DE, NY Jets
This year, few players stood out more than second-year pass rusher Bryce Huff. The Memphis product found a role as a situational rusher last year as a rookie but is hinting at big things in year two.
It began against the Giants when Huff found a home in the backfield. He recorded three tackles (two for a loss) and two sacks, as he constantly was causing pressure. Huff had a similar presence in the following two games and is arguably the team’s biggest winner.
Prior to the Packers game, the team’s big offseason addition, Carl Lawson, went down with what would be a season-ending torn Achilles. Therefore, leaving a starting defensive end spot up for grabs.
Not only did Huff impress the new coaching staff, but he put himself in the conversation to replace Lawson in the starting lineup. And for a team starved for a consistent pass rusher off the edge, Huff’s emergence could not have come at a better time.
Huff is not just a one-preseason wonder either. Last year, he made a name for himself as an undrafted free agent during training camp and the preseason. His skill translated into a situational role as a rookie in 2020, as he appeared in 14 games.
In 2020, Huff had 16 total tackles (four for a loss), two sacks, and a pass deflection. Simply imagine what the 6-foot-3 and 255-pound defensive end may be capable of as a focal point of head coach Robert Saleh’s defense.
Do not be surprised if Huff winds up a household name across Jets nation by season’s end.