There is no doubt that the 2017 New York Jets will have a new look defense. Adding a Reuben Foster could go a long way for Todd Bowles.
If you were to classify the style of play the New York Jets organization has exhibited over the decades, you would probably come to the conclusion that Gang Green excels when the defense is strong and the running game compliments.
Ground and pound with a nasty-looking D — this has been the successful mindset.
In order to field a formidable defense, the Jets have relied on the contributions of linebackers to stuff the run and apply pressure in the passing game. To be great as a Jets’ linebacker, is to be consistent at the position. Mo Lewis, Marvin Jones, Jonathan Vilma and most recently, David Harris, have provided the Jets with this consistency.
Harris may find himself a casualty to the all-out overhaul that is occurring at Florham Park. If so, he will one day find himself among the elite in the MetLife Ring of Honor, as his play has earned him this right. Harris has done a commendable job since being drafted in 2003, being a defensive leader and helping the Jets advance to two AFC Championship Games.
While Harris led the Jets in tackles for the 2016 season, rookie linebacker Darron Lee was able to compile the second most tackles on the team, could he be the heir apparent if Harris is released? It’s a fair question based on the climate of the team during this past week that saw the departures of Nick Mangold and Darrelle Revis.
While other positions carry much more depth in the 2017 NFL Draft, there are impact linebackers that could expedite the remaking of a once feared defense. The Jets received a compensatory third round pick from the NFL, bringing their total to seven selections. With the seven, expect to see the Jets address the linebacker position with a player they can develop.
Here are seven rounds of tackling machines that could turn the Jets into a second coming of the “Sack Exchange”: