Find out how to repair Jets: Giving Zach Wilson extra weapons and higher safety are key for New York’s rebuild

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The New York Jets have as soon as once more ended the common season on the skin wanting in of the playoffs. The 2021 marketing campaign got here to a detailed on Sunday with a 27-10 loss to the Buffalo Payments that moved them to 4-13 on the 12 months, which was good for final place within the AFC East and has them choosing contained in the top-5 of the draft later this spring. 

Whereas this was not a profitable 12 months for New York, there have been flashes of promise beneath first-year head coach Robert Saleh and rookie quarterback Zach Wilson. They will now head into an offseason the place they may look to proceed forming the muse of what they hope will finally carry them out of the basement within the division and nearer in the direction of competition.

How can they try this over the following few months? Listed below are 5 recommendations for the Jets as they proceed their rebuild (in no specific order): 

1. Enhance the secondary

New York’s secondary wants work. Their cross protection ranked lifeless final within the NFL in DVOA and gave up roughly 260 passing yards per sport this season, which was the third-most by any workforce within the league. The Jets 7.5 yards per cross try was additionally tied for the second-most within the NFL this season. That merely has to enhance in the event that they wish to be taken critically within the seasons to return and it’d behoove the workforce to herald some high quality expertise on the cornerback and security spots over the following few months in free company and through the draft. 

One goal that might be a super match for New York — and be fairly the headline — can be present Patriots cornerback J.C. Jackson. Not solely would the Jets be stealing somebody away from their division rival, however Jackson can be an ideal addition to a secondary that desperately wants somebody with the flexibility to create turnovers. After all, that fantasy signing would solely grow to be actuality if New England permits Jackson to hit the open market, which appears unlikely. If he does slip via the cracks, nevertheless, that is the kind of participant the Jets want of their secondary. 

2. Discover a No. 1 receiver

Elijah Moore had himself a formidable rookie season and does appear like he is on a path the place he might at some point be thought-about one of many higher receivers within the league. That mentioned, he is not there proper now and the Jets offense does want an elite determine within the passing sport for Zach Wilson to lean on. Whereas Moore and Core Davis are within the fold for subsequent season on the receiver place, Jamison Crowder, Braxton Berrios, and Keelan Cole are all set to hit unrestricted free company. A few of these gamers might re-sign, however that might merely give them depth on the place. New York also needs to be on the lookout for somebody that opposing defenses have to scheme towards on a weekly foundation. 

After all, the cap will at all times come into consideration however there are a variety of intriguing choices out there on the free-agent market that might match that invoice, together with Allen Robinson, Chris Godwin, and Davante Adams. These can be house run swings for the Jets and perhaps somewhat too out of attain, however the level stays that they’d be higher served if Wilson had somebody that may not solely break a sport open together with his elite expertise however open issues up for different pass-catchers. 

3. Get Zach Wilson a decent finish

A growing quarterback’s greatest pal is oftentimes the tight finish, however Wilson did not have that luxurious in 2021. Ryan Griffin was New York’s beginning tight finish for the majority of the 12 months and completed thirty fifth amongst his friends in receiving yards and had simply two receiving touchdowns. Whereas this is not meant to dump on Griffin and what he brings to the desk, it is merely to level out that the Jets might use somebody with somewhat extra playmaking potential at this place and may get open for Wilson over the center of the sector. You would at all times look to discover a expertise like that within the draft otherwise you dip your toe in free company the place the likes of Mike Gesicki, Robert Tonyan, O.J. Howard and C.J. Uzomah are set to be unrestricted free brokers.  

4. Solidify the O-line

Defending Zach Wilson is one other key precedence for the Jets this offseason. New York was tied with the fourth-highest adjusted sack fee within the league this season. So, whereas we propose that the workforce goes out and provides some playmakers on the ability positions, it will not imply a factor if Wilson does not have time to ship the soccer. Left deal with Mekhi Becton, left guard Alijah Vera-Tucker, and proper deal with George Fant appear to have their jobs safe for 2022, however addressing the middle and proper guard positions will likely be crucial for not solely New York’s possibilities subsequent season, however the continued improvement of Wilson. 

It might not be the sexiest of alternatives, however addressing these wants could possibly be executed with New York’s first-round picks. They’re at present slated to have two picks contained in the top-10, and CBS Sports activities NFL Draft knowledgeable Ryan Wilson has the Jets taking Alabama offensive lineman Evan Neal with the No. 4 general choose in his newest mock. 

5. Keep the course

Not like earlier iterations of the Jets, there does appear to be the bones of a stable basis. Positive, the 2021 season was not a profitable one, however not many right-minded individuals thought that New York would really make severe waves anyhow. This season was about setting the preliminary pillars within the floor and it will seem to be they’re shifting in a stable course. The 2021 draft class a proven lots of promise and persevering with with that optimistic momentum should not be swayed for any “get-rich-quick” kind of drastic strikes which have plagued rebuilding franchises previously. The Jets have a younger quarterback that appears like he may be somebody the workforce can construct round, and that is half the battle. Now, it is about placing the correct items round Wilson and persevering with to search out gems on the draft to finally claw again into the AFC East dialog.  

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