Jets’ LB and DL units given top spot on PFF’s 2024 NFL positional rankings

Dec 3, 2023; East Rutherford, New Jersey, USA; Atlanta Falcons running back Tyler Allgeier (25) is tackled by New York Jets defensive tackle Quinnen Williams (95) and linebacker C.J. Mosley (57) and defensive end John Franklin-Myers (91) and defensive tackle Quinton Jefferson (70) during the fourth quarter at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Jets have a wealth of talent on their defensive unit that has gotten recognized ahead of the 2024 NFL season.

Pro Football Focus ranked the Jets’ linebacker tandem of C.J. Mosley and Quincy Williams, and their defensive line unit of OLB Haason Reddick, LB Jermaine Johnson, DE Will McDonald IV, and DT Quinnen Williams at the top of both respective positions in their latest evaluation.

PFF: Jets’ linebackers stand in a class of their own heading into 2024

NFL: New England Patriots at New York Jets, quincy williams
Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

The Jets’ linebackers pack a punch. Mosley, a longtime NFL great, did not lose a step in 2023. The 32-year-old registered seven passes defended — the second-highest single-season total of his career — and one interception last year. He added 152 total tackles, five tackles for loss, and two quarterback hits to his resume.

As for Williams, the reigning First Team All-Pro honoree had 10 passes defended, one interception, and two forced fumbles on the last campaign. He wowed with 15 tackles for loss and four quarterback hits, which helped him earn the top award at his position for the 17-game slate.

Thanks to them both, the Jets were fortified in the trenches and produced a front seven that stifled opposing quarterbacks and run games. This helped them get touted as the top NFL defense in 2023 by several analytical bodies.

The star duo came in ahead of the San Francisco 49ers, Chicago Bears, New England Patriots, and New York Giants units, who rounded out the top five in respective order.

Jets’ defensive line is poised to thrive in 2024 as a potential league-leading unit

quinnen williams, new york jets
Credit: Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

On the defensive line, the Jets added Reddick, whose 11 sacks and 23 quarterback hits from a season ago serve as a perfect replacement for Bryce Huff and the 10 sacks and 21 QB hits he walked out of the door with to the Philadelphia Eagles this winter. Johnson’s 7.5 sacks combined with Reddick alone for 18.5, and his seven passes defended make him one of the better dual-threat linemen in all of football. That doesn’t even take into account the work that McDonald IV put in behind their defensive leader Williams.

Without starting a single game last time around, McDonald IV still managed three sacks and five quarterback hits across 15 games played. His upside is high and given increased opportunities, could rival the output of his teammates on the DL. Lastly, Williams — the reigning Pro Bowler and 2022 First Team All-Pro honoree — did damage in 2023 with his first career interception and safety, the latter of which led the NFL. He also added 5.5 sacks on the year.

New York’s offense has received much attention thanks to the return of four-time MVP Aaron Rodgers and the additions of WR Mike Williams, WR Malachi Corley, and also No. 11 overall pick Olu Fashanu on their offensive line. However, the Jets’ defense did much of the heavy lifting in 2023 and will be out to remind the NFL world that they are an elite bunch. They’ll be instrumental in the Jets’ push for a Super Bowl in 2024.

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