The New York Jets had another down year, posting a 4-12 record. While it was a down year, the team may have finally found their franchise quarterback in Sam Darnold, who was solid once he took over the starting role midway through the season. On top of that, there were not that many bright spots, outside of Jamal Adams and Leonard Williams performing at another high-level season.

To say their offseason was busy would be an understatement. The Jets fired Head Coach Todd Bowles and replaced him with former Miami Dolphins Head Coach Adam Gase. He is an offensive-minded guy that’ll look to help out Darnold’s career progression. In free agency, they signed probably one of best free agents last offseason in Le’Veon Bell while also adding guys like C.J. Mosley and Jamison Crowder. On top of that, the team used their third overall pick on Alabama Defensive Tackle Quinnen Williams to secure the middle of the defensive line. The team also had a uniform upgrade, getting ride of the white helmets and replacing them with a green one in addition to changing the entire jersey/pants set.

With new uniforms, new players, and new coaching staff, the New York Jets seem to be in a new era. Let’s take a look at the position breakdowns.


Credit: Kathleen Malone
  • Starter: Sam Darnold
  • Backup: Trevor Siemian
  • Preseason Cuts: Luke Falk, Davis Webb

Darnold has looked better already this preseason than his rookie season. If he improves from last season, he’ll be the franchise quarterbacks for years to come. Siemian, who was signed this past offseason, has struggled when he was the full-time starter for Denver Broncos, looks to be the main backup here. Falk and Webb are likely battling for a practice squad spot.

Running Backs

Credit: Mark Brown/Getty Images
  • Starter: Le’Veon Bell
  • Backups: Ty Montgomery, Elijah McGuire, Trenton Cannon
  • Preseason Cuts: Bilal Powell, Valentine Holmes, Jalin Moore

Bell did not play at all last season due to a contract dispute with the Pittsburgh Steelers. The Jets recently made him one of the highest-paid running backs in the NFL and looks to be a huge improvement then what the team has had at running back. He’ll get the majority of the carries while Montgomery is a solid pass-catching back and occasional receiver. McGuire is a power back while I have Cannon making the team over Powell due to Cannon having the ability to take over the kick return duties.

Wide Receivers

Credit: Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire
  • Starters: Robby Anderson, Quincy Enunwa, Jamison Crowder
  • Backups: Josh Bellamy, Deontay Burnett, Greg Dortch
  • Preseason Cuts: Charone Peake, J.J. Jones, Jeff Smith, Deonte Thompson, Tim White

Anderson is a former undrafted receiver that has been a solid starter during his two years with the Jets so far. He is a vertical threat that has a chance to finally eclipse the 1,000 yard mark for the first time in his career. Enunwa has been a solid receiver for the team but injuries have halted his potential. Look for him to bounce back in 2019 while Crowder will give Darnold a nice option out of the slot position.

Bellamy and Burnett will provide depth and can occasionally come in during certain snaps while Dortch has been impressive during the preseason and is a nice slot backup to Crowder.

Tight Ends

Credit: Steven Ryan/Getty Images
  • Starter: Ryan Griffin
  • Backups: Eric Tomlinson, Trevon Wesco
  • Preseason Cuts: Daniel Brown
  • Out for the Year: Bucky Hodges
  • Suspended: Chris Herndon

Herndon will miss the first four games to due suspension but once he returns he’ll start at the tight end spot. Herndon is an explosive receiving tight end that is on the rise as one of the top tight ends in the NFL. Griffin is a solid blocking tight end who will likely start for the time being while Tomlinson will provide depth until Herndon returns. Wesco is a fourth-round rookie that is an all-around tight end and could play some fullback in certain formations when needed.

Offensive Line

Credit: New York Jets Website
  • Starters: Kelvin Beachum, Kelechi Osemele, Ryan Kalil, Brian Winters, Brandon Shell
  • Backups: Jonotthan Harrison, Alex Lewis, Chuma Edoga
  • Preseason Cuts: Calvin Anderson, Ryan Anderson, Ben Braden, Tom Compton, Wyatt Miller, Jordan Morgan, Brent Qvale, Eric Smith, Jon Toth

The Jets traded for Osemele this offseason and is a significant upgrade at left guard. Beachum stays at left tackle to form a solid duo on the left side. Kalil recently came out of retirement and is another upgrade on the line and mans the center spot. Winters and Shell will likely take over the right side to overall form a nice protective line for their young QB.

Compton, Harrison, and Lewis all provide versatile depth while Edoga is a third-round draft pick who has a lot of veterans to learn from to eventually take over one of the guard spots down the line.

Defensive Line

Credit: New York Jets Website
  • Starters: Henry Anderson, Quinnen Williams, Leonard Williams
  • Backups: Steve McLendon, Folorunso Fatukasi, Bronson Kaufusi
  • Preseason Cuts: Trevon Sanders, Nathan Shepherd, MyQuon Stout, Charles Tapper

The defensive line looks really could here, particularly the starters. Anderson and Leonard Williams form a nice defensive end duo while the rookie Quinnen Williams is an early favorite for Defensive Rookie of the Year and starts in the middle. A solid line that can stop the run as well as sack the quarterback.

McLendon, Fatukasi, and Kaufusi are impressive backups that’ll rotate on the defensive line.


Credit: Dylan Buell/Getty Images
  • Starters: Jordan Jenkins, C.J. Mosley, Blake Cashman, Brandon Copeland
  • Backups: Frankie Luvu, Jachai Polite, Jamey Mosley, Neville Hewitt, James Burgess
  • Preseason Cuts: Stephon Anthony, Harvey Langi, Albert McClellan, Justin Alexandre, Tarell Basham, Kyle Phillips, Anthony Wint
  • Out for the Year: Avery Williamson

C.J. Mosley was signed this past offseason as the highest-paid linebacker the Jets ever signed and starts at the middle linebacker spot. With Williamson done for the season due to a torn ACL suffered against the Falcons, rookie Blake Cashman slides into the starting lineup next to Mosley. Jenkins and Copeland are solid outside linebackers that complete the starting group.

Luvu and third-round pick Polite will form a rotation there as well. Hewitt, Jamey Mosely, and Burgess will likely contribute on Special Teams.


Credit: Bill Kostroun/Associated Press
  • Starters: Trumaine Johnson, Darryl Roberts
  • Backups: Brian Poole, Marcus Cooper, Kyron Brown, Tevaughn Campbell
  • Preseason Cuts: Parry Nickerson, Alex Brown, Dee Delaney, Arthur Maulet, Mark Myers, Blessuan Austin
  • Out for the Year: Jeremy Clark

Johnson received a big contract last season but struggled to live up that $72.5 million contract. He’ll look to bounce in 2019. Roberts is a veteran that’ll start opposite of Johnson while Poole, who was signed from Atlanta, looks to be an upgrade at the nickel spot.

Cooper, Brown, and Campbell are young corners that will provide help on Special Teams and could sneak their way into the starting rotation if they impress over the likes of Johnson for example.


Credit: Michael Reaves/Getty Images
  • Starters: Jamal Adams, Marcus Maye
  • Backups: Rontez Miles, Derrick Kindred
  • Preseason Cuts: Doug Middleton, Brandon Bryant, Godwin Igwebuike

In his short two-year career, Adams has already established himself as one of the best safeties in the NFL after a 2018 Pro Bowl nod. Maye was taken in the same draft as Adams and is a solid and underrated safety in his own right, forming a nice duo in the safety department.

Miles will mainly contribute on Special Teams is a solid backup while Kindred was recently acquired by the team and much like Miles, he’ll be a factor on Special Team. Overall, the starting safety combo might be one of their strengths in the defense.


Credit: Al Bello/Getty Images
  • Kicker: Taylor Bertolet
  • Punter: Lac Edwards
  • Long Snapper: Thomas Hennessy
  • Preseason Cuts: Matt Darr
  • Retired: Chandler Catanzaro

With the sudden retirement of Catanzo, Bertolet looks to handle the kicking duties for now unless the Jets look for other options in free agency. Edwards has been a solid punter for the team since 2016 while Hennessy has been a solid long snapper the past few years, completing the trio. It’ll be interesting to see what their plans could be for kicker down the line.

The New York Jets, on paper, look a lot better than last season. Darnold will look to take a huge step forward. Bell is a nice upgrade in the running back department and after not playing a snap for over a year, he’ll be back and fresher than ever. Anderson, Crowder, and Enunwa is a solid receiving core while Herndon has the potential to be a top tight end once he returns from suspension. Also, the offensive line is completely upgraded which will only help Darnold’s development.

As far as the defense, there is a lot to look at. The defensive line, led by both Quinnen and Leonard Williams form a scary duo to opposing lines while Mosley is a consistent Pro Bowler that’ll man the middle. Adams is a star safety while Maye has the chance to be in that status if he improves in year three. The only question is the corners, mainly Johnson. If he improves a lot and shows he is worth that big contract, it’ll be a big help in that defense.

I definitely the New York Jets will improve in 2019. I don’t think that they’ll win the division, given the New England Patriots have been so good and have no signs of slowing down. They’ll definitely compete with the Buffalo Bills for second place in the AFC East.

I believe the Jets would be a middle of the pack team, in the 7-9, 9-7 range. They have the talent and I think we another season together, this time next season they’ll definitely be in the playoff conversation.


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