A True Edge Rusher Must Emerge
Jordan Jenkins and Lorenzo Mauldin are the current starters at outside linebacker in Todd Bowles’ 3-4 scheme. These were the very same guys who started a year ago.
How the Jets could not take a flier on a Josh Sweat out of Florida State, for example, is beyond me. It is what it is. The Jets have zero edge pass rushers while the Philadelphia Eagles showcase over six.
Many attempt to push the “interior pressure” idea, but it never works. When an offensive line knows it can double-team Leonard Williams with impunity game in and game out, there are no magic tricks in the world that could overcome such a situation. Big Cat is stymied and every one-on-one situation fails on defense.
Much like the O-line narrative, a major player needs to emerge as the Jets edge threat.
Could it be Jordan Jenkins entering his third NFL season? Doubtful. As solid as the kid is, especially against the run, he’s not a pure pass rusher. How about young Mauldin? He can’t stay healthy.
David Bass can do a few things along the edge when called upon. Josh Martin is OK in certain spots. Mid-round pick from a year ago, Dylan Donahue, was the team’s best shot of a pure edge rusher. Of course, he’s dealing with other demons right now.
Not since the days of John Abraham has anybody known where the edge pressure will come from and it remains that way heading into 2018. The shame of it all is that the Jets secondary is good enough to be labeled “the best in the NFL.” It’ll never happen thanks to the team’s inexplainable failure of finding personnel that can get it done via a four-man conventional pass rush.
It’s a football sin—especially in this day and age that rewards the conventional pass rush more than ever.
The Perfect Scenario
- After two injury-plagued seasons, Lorenzo Mauldin breaks through as a legit edge presence, collects 12 sacks.
- David Bass tallies eight sacks as a subpackage demon.
- Dylan Donahue gets his act straight and back on track as a sub rusher.