Despite most experts not predicting much for the 2017 New York Jets, the franchise has given their fans many exciting things to build on for 2018.
On Sunday, the New York Jets will play their final home game of the 2017 season when they host the Los Angeles Chargers.
In a season where nothing was expected from this franchise, the Jets have overachieved by most standards. However that doesn’t mean that their season did not have its moments of “Same Old Jets.”
Going into the season, most experts and fans were expecting the Jets to finish with one of the worst records in the NFL. Some publications actually thought the Jets could pull a Cleveland Browns move and go winless.
Despite all the negative press, general manager Mike Maccagnan and head coach Todd Bowles have pressed forward and given fans something to build on for 2018. The 2017 draft class of Jamal Adams, Marcus Maye, Chad Hansen, ArDarius Stewart and Elijah McGuire has performed extremely well. Big things are still expected out of Jordan Leggett as well.
As the Jets’ hierarchy watches Bryce Petty showcase his claim for the starting quarterback position next season, the last two games will have a huge effect on what happens to this team in the offseason.
If the Jets lose their final two games, as most expect them to, they will finish with a record of 5-10, which most likely will put them as low as nine and could see them as high as four or five when it comes to the draft. Depending on what draft position they finish will determine if they decide to draft a franchise QB.
While Sam Darnold and Josh Rosen will most likely be off the board no matter how this scenario works out, others like Lamar Jackson, Baker Mayfield and Josh Allen should still be around. The Jets can’t afford another project like Allen so unless the price is right, I can’t imagine they will draft a quarterback unless they specifically find their man still on the board.
Looking down later in the draft, quarterbacks like Drew Lock, Luke Falk, Riley Ferguson or, dare I even say, Mason Rudolph should be available if the Jets don’t have their man in the first round.
I can’t believe I am saying this being that the Jets have taken a defensive lineman in the first round in four of the last seven drafts, but an edge rusher would be the next option for the Jets should their quarterback not be there when their position comes up.
With this week’s selection of Pro Bowl players, the absence of any Jets for the second straight season can be a bit discouraging. However, when considering statements like Adams made earlier this week, it certainly makes Jets fans excited to see where this team can be after another solid draft showing.
I wont miss another Pro bowl. Believe that.
— JamalAdams (@TheAdams_era) December 20, 2017
For a long time, the Jets have been void of true on-field leaders and in Jamal Adams, they certainly have one. Adams reminds me a lot of Ronnie Lott and if he has to personally carry this defense on his back to get this franchise back in the postseason, I believe he can and will.
While Jets fans are sitting watching the NFL playoffs this season and pondering another season in being the Patriots’ female dog, look at where they are compared to last season at this time.
Players such as Robby Anderson, Brandon Shell, James Carpenter, Darron Lee, Demario Davis, Jordan Jenkins, Josh Martin, Darryl Roberts, Austin Seferian-Jenkins, Jermaine Kearse and all the draft choices previously mentioned have provided Jets fans with hope for the future. All of those players are going to be 29 or younger come next season.
Going into this season, the best a Jets fan could expect was that this team would develop players that can be a big part of the future for this franchise. That is exactly what has happened.
While key parts and depth are things that need to be addressed with free agency and the draft, Mike Maccagnan and Todd Bowles have given fans hope that the plan they started after the 2016 season will come to fruition very soon.