Jets fans have had enough. How much offensive futility can one fan base be expected to endure? While NFL offenses have evolved to seemingly put up record-breaking numbers year after year for much of the past decade, Jets fans have had to idly by, watching their team churn out one offensive horror show after another.
Over the past ten years, the Jets have finished in the top 13 on offense only twice. Once, in 2010 when they were carried by their ground and pound offensive attack to finish 13th in scoring, and then of course in 2015 when Ryan Fitzpatrick threw a team record 31 touchdowns en route to the 11th best scoring offense in the NFL. Outside of those two outliers, the Jets have been pathetic. Two seasons in the top 13 with 8 seasons finishing no better than 23rd and five of hose being in the bottom 5. Then in 2020, the Jets finally hit rock bottom under Adam Gase, finishing 32nd in the NFL in both points and yards, a first in team history. Enough is enough.
When Joe Douglas heads up his war room on draft day 2021, there’s a good chance he’ll have 6 picks in the top 110. The Jets currently own picks 2, 23, 34, 66, 86 and 106. The team could also move on from quarterback Sam Darnold who should command at least one pick in the top 3 rounds, which would give the Jets 7 picks in the top 110. This of course becomes moot if the team makes a deal for Desean Watson, but we’ll look at that scenario if and when it happens.
With a trove of picks over the draft’s first three rounds, the time is now for Joe Douglas to acquire the personnel needed to get the Jets playing modern-day football. No more or Rex Ryan’s ground and pound. No more unqualified coordinators trying to coach up mediocre talent. Give new offensive coordinator Mike Lafleur some ammo for arsenal.
Repairing the team’s offensive line isn’t as monumental a chore as it was just a couple of seasons ago. Mekhi Becton and George Fant at the tackle spots and Conor McGovern at center means the guard spots are the key concern. A competition between Greg Van Roten, Cam Clark and others at right guard should yield a quality starter. Then if the Jets go all in on Patriots free agent guard Joe Thuney, it would be time to attack the skill positions.
Douglas dropped the ball last season, passing on plenty of starting caliber receivers and O-linemen in favor of RB Lamical Perine and backup quarterback James Morgan. This is the time to make up for it.
This class boasts plenty of play makers at wide receiver at running back. With only Jamison Crowder and the unproven Denzel Mims set to return in 2021, Douglas has to acquire more pass catching talent. Be it Kadarius Toney, Rondale Moore, Nico Collins, Tutu Atwell or Rashod Bateman, some early round choices have to add players who can keep defensive coordinators up at night.
At running back, let Ty Johnson show that he deserves more touches, but do it while he competes against a back such as Kenneth Gainwell, Javonte Williams or Michal Carter. Versatile players who can pick up chunk yards on the ground or through the air.
We expected big things from Chris Herndon last season but he was relegated to blocking duties early on and was a train wreck as a receiver through the first half of the season. He showed vast improvement over the season’s second half but it went largely unnoticed because nobody was watching.
With what is certain to be a new quarterback under center, probably BYU’s Zach Wilson or Ohio State’s Josh Fields, it’s time for Joe Douglas to start building. Not with middle to late round project players such as Chad Hansen, Eli McGuire, Jalen Saunders or Shaq Evans. It has to be done with highly touted explosive players who are expected to step in and make an impact from the day they arrive at 1 Jets drive. No more futility on offense. Enough is enough.
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