Predicting who will lead the NY Jets in sacks in 2022

NY Jets, Quinnen Williams, John Franklin-Myers
NY Jets, Quinnen Williams, John Franklin-Myers / Jim McIsaac/GettyImages

The NY Jets haven't had a player reach double-digit sacks since 2015. Will 2022 be the year someone breaks out of the mold?

The top candidates for team sack leader this season are Quinnen Williams, Carl Lawson, and John Franklin-Myers. Franklin-Myers and Williams finished with a team-high six sacks each in 2021 while Lawson is returning from an Achilles injury that saw him miss all of last season.

In truth, a case could be made for why each player will lead the team in sacks this season: Lawson was a premier pass-rusher back in Cincinnati, and despite his injury history, he's only 27 years old.

Franklin-Myers posted impressive marks in pass-rushing categories across the board (though his sack totals were just middling) and boasts the 20th highest pass rush rate among all defensive linemen since 2020.

Williams is entering a contract year in 2022 and has every reason to break out into the team's next big defensive superstar — and we think he will.

Williams is admittedly dealing with a seemingly non-serious ankle issue but has otherwise been enjoying arguably the best training camp of any Jets player.

The Athletic's Zack Rosenblatt recently listed him as a player whose stock is rapidly rising after the first preseason game and it's not hard to see why.

"The 24-year-old showed up to camp in the 'best shape of his life' and he’s proceeded to dominate the Jets’ offensive line during just about every practice. Williams played at a Pro Bowl level last year (six sacks, 12 QB hits) but now he looks ready to actually reach that plateau."

Zack Rosenblatt

DT Quinnen Williams could be the first NY Jets player to reach double-digit sacks since 2015

The most sacks Williams has ever tallied is seven in his 2020 campaign, yet he enters 2022 surrounded by a more talented pass-rushing cast with Lawson and rookie Jermaine Johnson.

The former first-round pick hasn't quite lived up to his lofty potential, but he's looking to take that next step toward stardom this year. Williams is well aware of his contract status, and if he were to put together a career-best season in 2022, he would likely earn a huge payday when the time comes to put pen to paper.

While he may not possess the raw pass-rushing skills of say, Carl Lawson, he's been developing nicely into a franchise cornerstone piece on the defensive line and should thrive in his second year in Robert Saleh's system.

dark. Next. 5 NY Jets players with the most to gain in Monday's preseason game

Expect more of everything from Quinnen Williams in 2022: more sacks, more pressures, more tackles, etc. The Jets' pass rush could be something special.