Positions No. 4 Through 1
No. 4: Interior D-Line (3-4 DE & NT)
- NFL Ranking: No. 6
In the 4-3, we’re looking at the two defensive tackles (the nose guard and the 3-technique). In the 3-4, we’re looking at three men in the base (3-4 defensive end and 3-4 nose tackle). But that’s only in the base. The 3-4 moves to two or fewer interior players in any sub-package look—just like the 4-3.
Leonard Williams is an NFL stud. Forget the numbers. The man can’t collect numbers when he’s double-teamed on every play due to zero attention provided to the lacking Jets edge. Steve McLendon is a solid NFL veteran. Nathan Shepherd, Henry Anderson and Deon Simon offer up nice depth. It’s a solid group in Florham Park.
No. 3: Free Safety
- NFL Ranking: No. 9
In NFL terms, the free safety is ninth of 16 total groups. Many would argue higher, but we’re simply discussing centerfielders here—the guys that remain out of the box and play the deep-third.
In Marcus Maye, the Jets are set for a decade.
No. 2: Cornerback
- NFL Ranking: No. 4
It’s one of two top-five NFL groups that the Jets are pretty set at. While there aren’t any stars (zero Pro Bowl nods of all corners on the roster), Trumaine Johnson doubling down with Morris Claiborne will make for a nice starting duo.
Look for Parry Nickerson or Juston Burris to make the jump past Buster Skrine for the nickel spot come August.
The organization still needs a true lockdown corner, but this is as good as it’s going to get without employing such a special and rare talent (Darrelle Revis circa 2009).
No. 1: Strong Safety
- NFL Rankings: No. 5
We put the strong safety position as No. 5 in the NFL. Twenty years ago, it’d be near the back end toiling with the kickers and punters.
Due to these new-aged rules, a fantastic argument can be made that the strong safety (any safety who can play in and out of the box) is the most important position on defense. In having that stud in this spot, so many matchups are taking away from the offense.
With Jamal Adams in tow, no longer can Tom Brady feast on tight ends and running backs out of the backfield like the world’s witnessed the last decade-plus. He’s a one-man matchup buster who’s truly acting on instincts within a structured defense.
This is the only type of special defensive wild-card that can wreck an offensive gameplan in today’s offensive bonanza that is the NFL 2018 … and the New York Jets are set.