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Jets Cornerbacks Look Ahead: Youthful Group Could Get Younger

Bryce Hall, CBs Will Transition in to Jeff Ulbrich's Defense

Table inside Article
Player GP-GS-DNP-IA Def/ST Snaps
Bless Austin 11-10-0-2 681-20
Bryce Hall 8-7-0-0 547-40
Pierre Desir 9-8-0-0 513-109
Brian Poole 8-6-0-0 482-76
Lamar Jackson 13-6-0-0 452-94
CB/S Arthur Maulet 11-5-0-0 404-140
Javelin Guidry 11-2-1-1 171-88
Nate Hairston 2-0-0-1 51-29
Quincy Wilson 3-1-1-4 25-10
Elijah Campbell 3-0-0-2 2-32
Corey Ballentine 6-0-1-0 0-98

Finished on Injured Reserve: Poole

Finished on Reserve/PUP: Kyron Brown (0/0/0/0, 0/0)

Finished on Practice Squad: Zane Lewis (0/0/0/0, 0/0)

Reserve/Future Signing: Lewis

No Longer With Team: Desir, Hairston, Wilson

Potential Unrestricted FAs in 2021: Poole, Maulet

'21: A New Deal
With the Jets transitioning to a 4-3 front under Head Coach Robert Saleh, some have predicted there could be more zone coverage in the back end with Cover 3 and Cover 2 looks.

The advantage of Cover 3, which features cornerbacks dropping to the outside third of the field plus a free safety deep, is it allows defenses to stack numbers in the box with a defensive back and eliminates corners being left on an island.

With Cover 2, the goal is again to limit explosive plays in the vertical passing game because the corners will have two deep safeties behind them. New Jets defensive coordinator Jeff Ulbrich, who was the interim DC last season in Atlanta, will handle play-calling duties and he and Saleh are going to mix up coverages (and that still includes man) and demand that their personnel play fast.

Brian Poole, who had 3 INTs and 12 PDs while playing 23 games in 2019-20, handled nickel duties the past two years and Ulbrich has familiarity there because Poole started his career with the Falcons. Poole and versatile DB Arthur Maulet, who appeared in 23 games and had 2 TDs and 7 PDs in 2019-20 and finished the year playing safety, are both UFAs.

Hall (6-1, 202 pounds) led the NCAA with 24 PDs in 2018 and had 33 tackles and 1 pick in his rookie campaign. He is one to watch this offseason along with Bless Austin (6-1, 198) , who finished third on the defense with 63 tackles in addition to 4 PDs and 1 FF, also fits in the mold of a big, rangy corner. The Jets' financial flexibility and draft capital have been well-documented and the club will add more talent and competition to this group.

See the Top Photos of Brian Poole, Bryce Hall, Bless Austin and the Jets Cornerbacks in 2020

'20: Quick Look Back
On opening day at Buffalo, the Jets started Austin, Pierre Desir and Poole at cornerback. After nine games and 3 INTS, Desir was released. On that same November day of the Desir transaction, Poole headed to injured reserve after sustaining shoulder/knee injuries against the Pats in Week 9.

The youth movement was in full effect down the stretch as both Hall, a fifth-round pick from Virginia, and Lamar Jackson, an undrafted free agent from Nebraska, saw significant playing time. Austin missed a stretch of games due to a neck injury, but started 10 contests in his second pro campaign. Rookie Javelin Guidry, an undrafted free agent out of Utah, showed he was more than just a speed demon by becoming only the fourth Jets defender since 2000 to have three FFs in back-to-back games.

The Jets finished No. 28 against the pass (275.6 Yds/G) and 26th in pass yards per play (7.29 Yds) and T27th in pass TDs yielded (34). The Jets' new system could rely on the front four getting pressure and flooding the back end with seven bodies.

CB Trivia
Fifth-round pick Bryce Hall had an interception at the L.A. Rams, making him the first Jets rookie CB since Juston Burris in 2016 to record an INT. And Hall's seven starts were the most by a Jets rookie corner since free agent Marcus Williams had 8 starts in 2014.

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