The New York Jets have depth at the cornerback position and signing Logan Ryan would increase the unit immensely.
Entering the offseason, cornerback was a major weak spot for the New York Jets. Is it completely fixed? Not necessarily, but general manager Joe Douglas used the offseason to add depth to the position.
Former Tennessee Titans and New England Patriots cornerback Logan Ryan appeared on NFL Network’s “Good Morning Football” on Thursday, but not to announce that he was signing with the Jets.
Ryan, 29, is still a free agent, although he did have good things to say about the potential of playing for the Jets in his home state of New Jersey.
Logan Ryan was asked about the love he’s gotten from Jets fans on @gmfb
“The Jets, it makes a lotta sense because I’m from the area. I went to Rutgers 20 minutes from there so I’m familiar with NJ. I’m blue-collar, that’s how I grew up”
Still hasn’t made a decision yet though. pic.twitter.com/gQtbyexwFB
— Danny Small (@dwsmall8) May 14, 2020
“The Jets, I mean it makes a lot of sense because I’m from the area,” Ryan said. “I went to Rutgers, 20 minutes from there so I’m familiar with New Jersey. I’m blue-collar, that’s how I grew up.”
Ryan and the Jets seem like a picture-perfect match, but the Super Bowl champion wants to keep his options open for the time being.
“That one makes sense for sure, but like I said, I’m trying to do what’s best for my family and everything like that. Obviously, there’s a lot of rumors out there. I can’t confirm any of it because I’m obviously still not signed yet.”
The Jets were rumored to believe they have the inside track to sign Ryan, but they clearly haven’t been able to sign him yet. Even if the Jets can’t ink Ryan to a deal, they’ll still have a competitive group entering camp.
Stiff competition in CB room
It’s OK to feel a little bit of uneasiness when it comes to the cornerbacks in green. There are plenty of unknowns, but there is no shortage of opportunities either. Brian Poole is the one guy who is completely secure in his role. The University of Florida product is one of the top slot corners in the league and he’ll match up with slippery slot receivers.
However, there are currently two starting jobs to be had on the outside. Again, the Jets might not have a bunch of big names in the cornerback room, but creating competition for two starting gigs—or one if Ryan signs—is one way to solidify the unit.
Arthur Maulet and Bless Austin are back with Gang Green after both showed flashes of starting-cornerback potential during the 2019 season. Austin, 23, is the younger option of the two and came on strong towards the end of the season. Since they both know Gregg Williams‘ defensive system, Maulet and Austin will come into camp with a head start on the other corners.
Douglas looked to the Indianapolis Colts for some help at corner this offseason. New York signed Pierre Desir in March and later traded for Quincy Wilson on the third day of the draft. Wilson is coming off of a down season, but he was a second-round pick in 2017. There’s talent there.
Both former Colts have starting experience and will have every opportunity to win a starting job. Wilson could also be used at safety in a pinch.
The final pieces to the puzzle are rookies. In the 2020 NFL Draft, the Jets took a chance on Bryce Hall in the fifth-round. The long and athletic corner would have been a first-round pick in 2019 if he left Virginia after his junior year. But he returned and suffered a gruesome injury, tanking his sky-high draft stock.
Hall has first-round talent with fifth-round question marks. There’s a real possibility that Hall becomes one of the biggest steals of the draft. In addition to Hall, the Jets, somewhat surprisingly, took safety Ashtyn Davis out of California in the third round. Expect to see Williams use Davis as the single-high guy in three-safety sets, but he’s versatile enough to play some slot corner as well.
The Jets passed on Nebraska corner Lamar Jackson in the draft, but he’s one of the team’s undrafted free agents with a puncher’s chance at making the final squad. Jackson is obviously facing an uphill battle with so many experienced guys on the depth chart, but training camp is going to be a battle for jobs. If Jackson outplays his competition, he’ll find a place on the roster.
Obviously, a potential Logan Ryan signing will change things dramatically, but no matter what, training camp will feature some stiff competition at cornerback.