New York Jets Training camp is right around the corner, and there is finally some hope for Jets fans this upcoming season. After a very successful offseason acquiring top tier talent, an offensive-minded head coach, and rebranding the organization, Gang Green is ready to take the next step into becoming contenders and it all starts in training camp.
In order for the Jets to reach their full potential and reach the playoffs for the first time since 2010, they need certain players to step their game up and take the team to the next level.
Here are 6 players to watch in New York Jets training camp this summer:
Robby Anderson has been one of the most underrated wide receivers in the NFL for the past two seasons. With his blazing fast speed, steady hands, and his tall athletic frame he’s quickly become one of the top deep threats in the NFL but is that enough? Anderson is arguably the best receiver on the team, but he hasn’t shown any promise into becoming a number one receiver due to the previous coaching staff.
New head coach Adam Gase has raved about Anderson’s ability to stretch the field and add an element of speed on a team that doesn’t have any other deep threats.
Gase has had a good track record with wide receivers who have game-breaking speed like Robby Anderson, usually turning them into an X factor every Sunday. If Gase’s infatuation with Anderson is real don’t be surprised to see him finally get his first thousand-yard year.
Sam Darnold is entering his second year in the league and has an enormous amount of pressure to take the New York Jets to the next level. The recent trend for successful young quarterback’s in the league has been that in their second year they have breakout years and turn their team to legitimate contenders (e.g. Carson Wentz, Patrick Mahomes, Deshaun Watson, Mitch Trubisky, etc.).
Darnold had an up and down rookie year battling injuries and turnovers but had an amazing final four weeks of the season having the highest grade for a QB on PFF over that span. In order for Darnold to take that next step, the New York Jets must let him air it out downfield and take more chances.
First things first, Le’Veon Bell doesn’t need to step up his game whatsoever he’s a top 5 running back in the league and in my opinion the most versatile offensive weapon in the league. That being said, Le’Veon does have a chip on his shoulder after taking one year off due to contractual reasons with the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Many people have written off Le’Veon Bell as just a product of his offensive line in Pittsburgh. Le’Veon Bell has constantly played in the shadow of other great players such as Antonio Brown, but now the offense will revolve around him and he will make people remember why he is the most dangerous player whenever he steps on the field.
The Jets defense on paper is one of the best in the league and is mostly complete, but their biggest hole is at the second cornerback slot. Darryl Roberts has made quite the career for himself considering that he was a seventh-round pick in 2015 by the New England Patriots and this year he will be battling for the chance to start opposite of Trumaine Johnson.
Darryl Roberts is the most accomplished corner on the team after Trumaine Johnson and signed a three-year extension with the team worth $18 million dollars. The expectations are high for Roberts especially if Trumaine Johnson continues to deal with injuries. Roberts will maximize his potential in Gregg Williams scheme which is infamous for elevating defensive backs games.
This year’s first-round pick Quinnen Williams has some big expectations coming into his rookie year after dominating the SEC for Alabama. The draft hype surrounding Quinnen Williams was unreal, he was even rated higher analytically than his Heisman trophy finalist QB Tua Tagovailoa.
Quinnen was often compared to the reigning Defensive Player of the Year Aaron Donald. Quinnen’s best traits coming out of college were his hands and ability to process what was going to happen before the play even finished. Quinnen Williams could be the star pass rusher that the Jets desperately need and can completely change the outlook of the Jets season by himself.
After Sam Darnold, all eyes on the offensive side of the ball will be set on this year’s starting center Jonotthan Harrison. No one really knows what to expect from Harrison, but after a nice job filling in for Spencer Long the final few weeks of the year there is hope that he can be a solid center. Harrison has shown flashes of being a suitable starter, but the question is can he be consistent with it.
If Harrison can duplicate his play from last year the New York Jets will have a decent offensive line for Sam Darnold and Le’Veon Bell to work with this year.