Because of the Baltimore Ravens win on Monday night in a hell of game, the New York Jets were officially eliminated from playoff contention. Now that the playoffs are nowhere in sight, the Jets need to start planning for the future and the management needs to address some of the Jets team needs. Unfortunately, there a lot of them and for them to attempt to fix all the positions it will probably take more than one offseason. The Jets can start early by tanking the rest of the season and getting a higher draft pick. However, Rex Ryan will justifiably not purposely lose all the remaining games because he is attempting to maintain his job as Head Coach., although some would like to see him go. But I digress. Without further ado, here are the New York Jets team needs that have to be addressed in the offseason.
This one should come as a no-brainer. The Jets’ receiving core has been absolutely atrocious, and Geno Smith needs a talented supporting cast around in order to succeed. The Jets drop 4.4% of their passes, and they only catch 55.2% of passes, worst in the NFL. Although part of the blame falls on the quarterback, the majority of it falls on the wideouts. Santonio Holmes has been decent at best this year-when he was on the field. Holmes’ role on this team is clearly shrinking, and his talent is as well. Jeremy Kerley is the only good receiver on the team, but he is being forced to play as the #1 receiver when in reality he has the skill level of a good #2 or #3. Stephen Hill has been a failed project, dropping passes all over the place and only catching 40.6% of passes that come his way. Although he has some speed, he is not yet capable of being a starting receiver in the NFL. I won’y even mention the Greg Salas and David Nelson because they wouldn’t even see the field on most other teams. The Jets are desperate for a wide receiver, and that has to be one of their top focuses heading into the offseason
SUGGESTIONS: Eric Decker, Marquise Lee (USC), James Jones
Currently, Jeff Cumberland is 32nd among tight in the NFL in receiving yards. That’s not quite the most reassuring sign for Jets fans, who have been waiting for Cumberland to have his breakout season for years now. Kellen Winslow has been almost completely irrelevant since week 1, averaging just 3.2 receptions and 26.6 yards per game. And the tight ends on the Jets aren’t exactly the ‘redzone’ threat that players at the position are supposed to be. The Jets have only completed 6 touchdown passes to tight ends this year, which ranks amongst the bopttom tier in the league. The Jets are lacking that big body to help in the run and pass game, and are in desperate need of one due to Geno Smith’s need for a strong supporting cast.
SUGGESTIONS: Jermichael Finley, Fred Davis, Eric Ebron (UNC)
Continuing with the theme that we have to make sure Geno Smith is able to succeed, the Jets need new guards on the offensive line. Brian Winters has been a disappointment thus far, and week in and week out Jets fans get frustrated with Willie Colon’s play. Neither of them are at all decent in pass blocking, which is the main concern for the Jets right now. Geno Smith has shown that he can be a good quarterback, but in all these cases it happened on the rare occurrences that he had time in the pocket to watch the play develop. Also, the run game is not reaching its full potential due to the play of the two guards. Although we can wait and see if Winters develops into something special, Colon has already passed his prime.
SUGGESTIONS: Richie Incognito, Matt Slauson, Cyril Richardson (Baylor)
As long as you have watched at least one New York Jets game this year, you must surely recognize that there is a problem in the current pass defense. Antonio Cromartie is struggling this year, and the #2 cornerback position has turned into an absolute joke. Whether its Kyle Wilson or Dee Milliner starting at the position (even Darrin Walls at times), the person playing the position has probably performed the worst in the league. We essentially traded Darrelle Revis for Dee Milliner and a 3rd round pick, and right now it certainly does not seem like it was a wide decision. Milliner has turned out to be one of the biggest busts of the year, extending the streak of bust cornerbacks drafted in the first round by the Jets to two(Kyle Wilson). The Jets desperately need a quality cornerback to compliment the struggling Cromartie if they want to succeed in the near future.
SUGGESTIONS: Alterraun Verner, Vontae Davis, Darqueze Dennard (Michigan State)
Obviously, there are several more upgrades that the Jets could possibly make this offseason, but improving these four positions are the most crucial to revamp in the upcoming offseason. If the Jets can address most of these personnel issues, they have a better chance at reaching the postseason for years to come.