The New York Jets offense needs no major additions from a weapons standpoint. Sam Darnold‘s boys are ready to roll in 2019.
Dez Bryant, A.J. Green, and thank the football gods Antonio Brown is no longer an option—these are (were) just three of the weapons New York Jets fans can’t stop spouting out. The latest version of “Madden NFL” team building encourages the Jets to add to the offensive weaponry.
It’s flashy. It brings rejuvenation and hype to the table. It brings the parties. It brings the “ruckus.”
It’s also silly, especially considering the current health of the entire 53-man depth chart.
Sam Darnold‘s collection of offensive weapons are fine. They’re ready to roll. In fact, they may even represent one of the better groups in the NFL. There’s one pesky caveat to such a notion: the offensive line.
In no world should assets or cap space be relented when the offensive line remains in such a hapless situation. Prime Jerry Rice wouldn’t make much of a difference lining out wide with this five-man unit.
Mike Maccagnan’s fifth NFL Draft should read off EDGE, offensive line, offensive line, EDGE, offensive line, and offensive line. (OK, perhaps not literally, but you get the idea.) The madness that is not selecting offensive linemen with premium selections has gone on for far too long.
The skill players’ production is all predicated on the offensive line. It’s a general rule for any football squad yet so apparent for the 2019 Jets.
The Assets Are Running Thin
“I was told by a league source it is ‘highly, highly unlikely’ Cincinnati moves the playmaking wideout, who’s in the final year of a four-year, $60 million contract signed in 2015. Bengals owner Mike Brown loves Green, and if it’s up to him, he’ll retire a Bengal. Green is also incredibly loyal, a source said. He has no desire to leave Cincinnati.”
How could anybody think this is a good idea?
The Jets are without a second-round selection yet are stuck with desperate needs at center, tackle (yes, tackle), both edges, and cornerback. Two third-round selections are present, but enough isn’t loaded in the gun.
Maccagnan has made it clear that fielding offers for the No. 3 pick is the priority, meaning trading down is a probable target. Nothing could be more correct. An infusion of young talent sprinkled up and down the depth chart is a critical requirement. For years, the Jets have failed to develop talent not chosen in the top 10 (save for a possible Chris Herndon bust out).
Dishing out any picks for any weapons is a Madden move, not a championship football strategy.
The Current Look Works With A Real O-Line
There’s plenty of talent to go around … as long as the O-line is legit.
The 2006 season featured the depths of weaponry. Kevan Barlow at running back, an unknown in Jerricho Cotchery as the top wideout, and Chris Baker at tight end helped Chad Pennington and the Jets to a surprising 10-6 mark after a dreadful campaign. Remember, so-called NFL experts had the Jets overall talent level among the worst in the league.
Eric Mangini and Mike Tannenbaum didn’t mess around that first season; they flipped three offensive line starters (drafting Nick Mangold and D’Brickashaw Ferguson in the first round) and rode that strength to a successful season.
The O-line cures all. It makes up nearly half of the offense (5-of-11 players). If the Jets dare dream to add an aging weapon over drafting offensive linemen in a few weeks, they deserve to lose.
Think about the current group. Le’Veon Bell, while we haven’t seen him since 2017, can do it all. He can line anywhere on the football field and do anything he’s asked. Sprinkle in Elijah McGuire‘s lightning to Bell’s thunder and the one-two punch is legit.
Chris Herndon fills out the vertical-threat tight end spot to perfection. The second receiving tight end is lacking at the current moment, but it’s manageable with Jordan Leggett and Neal Sterling (Eric Tomlinson is the pure blocking tight end).
Quincy Enunwa is that possession weapon who can torch any defense underneath. Save for his health issues, the kid is a stud and can put forth amazing production with the right offensive line. Robby Anderson is the straight-line burner that forces every single-high safety to shade his way.
At slot, Jamison Crowder is the man the offense sorely missed a season ago. Enunwa’s also a monster in the slot, but deploying a legitimate three-wideout look in Adam Gase’s 11 personnel offense is the name of the game. Trenton Cannon, although labeled as a running back, is quite literally Crowder’s backup as the offense’s X-factor (the man who can line up in the slot, run the jet-sweep, and even take a hand-off or two).
The weaponry is fine. In 2020, a true No. 1 receiver should be written on the wish list. A bigger possession-type guy to serve as Darnold’s favorite target is a must. But that’s for future use.
Not until this New York Jets offensive line is fixed should the addition of any weapon even slightly be entertained.