The 2022 offseason for the New York Jets included many big free agents and rookie additions. A host of positions in the roster have improved significantly.
New acquisitions Garrett Wilson, Breece Hall, Laken Tomlinson and Jordan Whitehead will make the Jets better right away. However, not all needs have been met during this offseason. There are some concerns with running defense and competing at free safety. Nonetheless, Joe Douglas has done a terrific job improving most of the key needs. Let’s take a look at the three groups that should be much better for the Jets this year.
Ranking the New York Jets’ most improved positions:
3. Edge Defender
Running back, wide receiver and guard were all in consideration here. But overall, there has been a lack of dominant pass rush for the Jets for too long. This offseason, Jermaine Johnson and Micheal Clemons were both drafted. In free agency, Jacob Martin was added on a three-year contract. Also, Carl Lawson and Vinny Curry can be considered additions as neither of them played in a heartbeat after being signed last year. Having Lawson and Johnson as two starters on board gives the Jets a substantial boost over last year. In Clemons, Martin and Curry, three depth and passing specialists have all been added to the defensive front.
2. Tight end
The tight end was arguably the Jets’ biggest concern early in the offseason. Douglas went on to speak masterfully to this group of positions. Signing CJ Uzomah and Tyler Conklin to three-year deals and then drafting Jeremy Ruckert in the third round exceeded any expectations one could have had. These three players will play a pivotal role in the Year Two progress Zach Wilson needs to make.
The Jets’ cornerback group wasn’t one of the team’s most glaring weaknesses last season. Collectively, for first- and second-year players in 2021, Bryce Hall, Brandin Echols, Michael Carter II and Javelin Guidry have done a commendable job. Ultimately, the addition of Ahmad “Sauce” Gardner and DJ Reed puts this band above. Robert Saleh and Jeff Ulbrich will have the luxury of upping the ante with blitz packages from the start. Both Gardner and Reed have the potential to be the difference maker for the Jets defense in 2022.
It is crucial to have more talented players in the two most important defensive positions. Strengthening the tight ends group will only help Wilson and Mike LaFleur in their development. As the Jets look to take the next step this year and have a shot at making the playoffs in December, expect those three positions to be significantly improved.