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ESPN Ranks Jets' CB Group Best in the NFL

Green & White’s Overall Roster Rated Ninth Best


In ESPN Writer Mike Clay's annual position-by-position rankings for all 32 teams, the Jets' cornerback unit is ranked No. 1 in the NFL.

"Reigning Defensive Rookie of the Year and first-team All-Pro Sauce Gardner is arguably the league's best corner," Clay wrote. "Gardner wasn't tasked with shadowing top receivers as a rookie. But that's because he didn't need to with D.J. Reed -- one of the league's most underrated defensive backs -- on the other side of the field. Former fifth-round flier Michael Carter has developed into a solid slot man."

Gardner started 17 games last season and totaled 75 tackles, 2 interceptions and led the NFL with 20 pass defenses. He was selected to the Pro Bowl and named Defensive Rookie of the Year. In addition, Gardner became the first rookie cornerback to be named first-team All-Pro since Hall of Fame cornerback Ronnie Lott in 1981.

Reed and Carter II flew under the radar as two of the league's best CBs in 2022. In his first season with the Jets, Reed registered 80 tackles, 12 pass defenses and 1 interception in 17 starts. Carter, the Jets' nickel corner, had 63 tackles and 2 interceptions in 17 games.

In his second professional season, Carter II earned a 74.3 grade from Pro Football Focus, which was the 27th highest-rated defensive back (min. 50% of snaps). Among corners, Carter II was rated 14th-best and the eighth-highest in run defense.

The Jets ranked top 15 at four positions including No. 7 at quarterback, No. 15 for interior defensive line and No. 11 for edger rusher. The overall roster was ranked No. 9 in the NFL.

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