Late in his first professional season, Lorenzo Mauldin became a Jets' fixture in obvious pass rushing situations.
"We're really impressed with him. After Game 8 or 9, he's definitely in our rotation now," said defensive coordinator Kacy Rodgers. "He's proved that he can do it, now Steady Eddy, every third down we try to get him on the field. He's kind of buying into that role and doing a pretty good job."
The Jets T12 in sacks with 39 last season and Mauldin produced four of those down the stretch. After growing as a rookie, the Jets believe Mauldin has the ability to become a three-down player.
Week 9 vs. JAX
1st Quarter, Scoreless Game 3rd and 12 from NYJ 22
With the Jets crowding the line of scrimmage, Mauldin is down in a three-point stance outside the Jaguars TE. As the TE releases, the Jags RT slides back and picks up Mauldin. But the Jets have a corner coming and Marcus Williams is sprinting unimpeded toward Blake Bortles. Bortles alertly steps up and avoids Williams, but Mauldin displays the importance of finishing. By spinning away from the Jags RT, Mauldin has a path to Bortles and he makes a shoestring diving stop. Williams gets the clean-up and they share the sack. And the end zone view allows one to see the teamwork involved between Mauldin and Williams from the get-go. Williams tries to hide a bit behind Mauldin pre-snap and Mauldin's wide rush angle gives Williams the clear path.
2nd Quarter, Jets Lead 14-3
3rd and 7 from NYJ 35This looks like a green caucus situation because the Jets have practically all of their defenders at the line. In a three-point stance, Mauldin lines up outside the RT again. Using his straight line speed along with a rip move,*Mauldin gets low and closes in on Bortles. Sheldon Richardson arrives a split second before him, but Mauldin finishes and picks up another half of a sack. Again on this blitz, Williams follows behind Mauldin. But there is no path clearing as Mauldin *stays tight on his turn around the corner.
3rd Quarter, Jets Lead 14-10 3rd and 8 from NYJ 40
Now in a two-point stance, Mauldin is once again matched up with the Jags RT. Mauldin keeps his feet moving upfield and uses a rip to some success, creating all the separation he needs. Coverage is good down the field, so Bortles has to delay releasing the ball. That gives Mauldin time to notch the first solo sack of his career.
Week 12 vs. MIA
4th Quarter, Jets Lead 38-14 1st and 10 from the NYJ 39
Pin your ears back and go get 'em time. In a three-point stance outside RT, Mauldin charges and then uses a modified swim move to get wide before working his way back to the QB. Ryan Tannehill, who handled a bobbled snap out of the gun, steps up to see Sheldon Richardson. When he pauses, Mauldin delivers a body slam. Mauldin has a big-time motor and he made some plays in 2015 when originally it looked like there wasn't anything there.
Week 16 vs. NE
3rd Quarter, Jets Lead 17-3
3rd and 8 from the NYJ 21
Determined to give one of the greatest of all time different looks, the Jets don't put anyone in a down position here against Tom Brady. Muhammad Wilkerson runs a stunt with Sheldon Richardson, creating a lane for the latter to Brady. All quarterbacks hate interior pressure and Brady feels Richardson bearing down on him. Initially locked up with the LT, Mauldin again shows excellent second effort while creating space and diving for the sack.