Throughout the offseason, NewYorkJets.com reporters Eric Allen, Ethan Greenberg and Randy Lange will each give their predictions to a series of questions regarding this year's Jets.
Today's question: What needs have the Jets clearly addressed in free agency?
EA: Once the Jets hired HC Robert Saleh, you knew they would be active in obtaining defensive linemen as they began the transition from a 3-4 to a 4-3 front. GM Joe Douglas started free agency with a big-ticket pass rusher with a large upside in former Bengals DE Carl Lawson. He wasn't the longest pass rusher on the market, but Lawson is long on talent and you could argue that the Jets haven't had someone that explosive on the roster since the early days of John Abraham. Speed was an emphasis across the board and they needed it at defensive end. Quinnen Williams is one of the best DTs in the NFL and the Green & White added another quality interior penetrator in Sheldon Rankins. Then across the way from Lawson, Vinny Curry can provide a good run at the bigger end position and he will add to the culture. Lawson, who has 20 sacks in 51 career games, has double-digit sack potential in Year 1. Rankins had 8 sacks in his last injury-free season (2018), so the talent is there and he could be a fun guy to watch. Curry, a Neptune, NJ, native, still has good snaps on the horizon and he will be a quality mentor for some of the younger defensive linemen. The pass rush and the front have gotten significantly better.
EG: GM Joe Douglas has filled many needs in the early part of free agency, most notably edge rusher and wide receiver. The Jets entered FA with 19 UFAs and managed to not only plug holes, but add depth. At WR, Douglas struck early with Corey Davis, adding a receiver opposite Denzel Mims. Then he doubled down and added Keelan Cole, who was one of Jacksonville's most consistent receivers since he signed as an undrafted free agent in 2017. The WR depth chart now includes Davis, Mims, Jamison Crowder, Cole, Braxton Berrios, Vyncint Smith, and more. That unit has a good starting corps and depth as well. I also think safety may be overlooked. The Jets could have let S Marcus Maye become an unrestricted free agent although that was never likely. After placing the franchise tag on Maye, the team added nice depth with Lamarcus Joyner as Bradley McDougald, Matthias Farley and Bennett Jackson hit free agency. Obviously the Jets needed LBs to flank C.J. Mosley — insert Jarrad Davis – but I think Douglas has done a nice job adding depth throughout the roster, most notably at DL with Lawson, Sheldon Rankins and Vinny Curry.
RL: It's arguable to say that Joe Douglas, Robert Saleh and the Jets clearly addressed needs on their D-line. That's been the area where the most new players have signed — Carl Lawson, Sheldon Rankins and Vinny Curry — but the DL was thought to be a strong unit to begin with before becoming stronger. WR certainly had needs that appear to have been addressed, however, with the additions of Corey Davis and Keelan Cole. Breshad Perriman did provide some big plays, but he also missed four games and his 12-game averages of 2.5 catches, 42.1 yards and 50% targets caught were underwhelming. Davis (4.6, 70.3, 70.7%) had strong production with the Titans while Cole, also on a low-win team like Perriman, played in all 16 Jaguars games and had more catches and a better catch rate. It is intriguing to think what the Jets can produce with the new receivers teaming with Jamison Crowder, Denzel Mims and Braxton Berrios along with others on the roster and anyone else who arrive in the draft.