The New York Jets 2022 offseason was filled with excitement. Knowing the significant amount of salary cap space and premium draft selections the Jets had to work with, the many thrilling additions are not too surprising.
Nonetheless, it was a great job put together by Jets general manager Joe Douglas. Considering there are many new players with 10 free agents signed and seven draft picks added, the top 10 overall from this offseason will be ranked below.
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With the five picks made in the first three rounds and seven free agents signed early in the process, a few just missed the top 10. Both Jeremy Ruckert and Solomon Thomas were solid additions and will have roles this season. Thomas is coming off a career year. He will provide very good interior pass-rushing depth. In Ruckert, the Jets tight end position gained its final piece to a complete rebuild. He will help immediately as a blocker in both the run and pass game.
10. Jacob Martin, EDGE
The Jets acquired a ton of pass-rushers this offseason. Jacob Martin was one of the more intriguing players added to it. He fits the defensive scheme run by Robert Saleh and Jeff Ulbrich. Martin is built low to the ground, has a fast first step, speed, and bend on the edge. He had four sacks last season and turns 27 in December. Martin will have a role in the Jets’ defense on third downs and obvious passing situations.
9. C.J. Uzomah, TE
The first of three tight ends the Jets got this offseason, C.J. Uzomah, provides a quality skillset to the Jets offense. He adds size, speed, vertical ability down the seam, and yards after the catch ability, a needed attribute in Mike LaFleur’s offense. Uzomah is an experienced veteran heading into year eight of his career at 29-years-old. Last season was the best year of his career. Uzomah finished with 49 catches for 493 yards and five touchdowns. He has Super Bowl experience from last year, which should be critical for a young Jets team to have.
8. Jordan Whitehead, SS
This offseason, having a proven safety signed was a top must for the Jets. Douglas got the job done by signing 25-year-old Jordan Whitehead. Over his first four NFL seasons, he has been successful and played in 59 games. Whitehead is also a Super Bowl champion. He is a physical strong safety in the box. Whitehead adds an element of toughness to the Jets’ defense that was needed. He will contribute against the run. He can also help in the box in zone coverage. Whitehead should just be entering his prime with the Jets.
7. Jermaine Johnson, EDGE
The Jets traded up to acquire Jermaine Johnson to wrap up an exciting first round. Adding a dominant edge defender opposite of Carl Lawson was a priority for the Jets. Johnson provides just that. He is a very tall and long-player at 6-foot-4 with 34″ arms who will play with physicality and help the Jets run defense. As a pass rusher, Johnson has the 4.5 speed and moves in his arsenal to develop into a great impact defensive lineman. In year one, expect Johnson to play the run well consistently. Using his height, length, speed, and moves would go a long way toward adding some timely sacks as a pass rusher.
6. Tyler Conklin, TE
Tyler Conklin was the second tight end the team added this offseason. He is now a fifth-year player and turns 27 next month. Conklin had by far his best season in 2021, and considering his age, he should just be entering his prime. On 87 targets, Conklin caught 61 passes for 593 yards and three touchdowns. His hands are reliable, and he runs great routes. Where Conklin will also help is as both a run and pass blocker, where he has proven success. Conklin may be the most underrated acquisition for Zach Wilson.
5. Garrett Wilson, WR
One of the more exciting moves made by the Jets this offseason was the draft selection of wide receiver Garrett Wilson. He brings a ton of big-play threat ability to the Jets in a variety of ways. Wilson has 4.3 speed and runs great deep-level routes. He thrives catching jump balls in contested catch situations. After the catch, he is very shifty and quick in space, making defenders miss. Lastly, he can help around the line of scrimmage on jet sweeps and screens. Wilson will offer slot and out-wide versatility for LaFleur. Expect a fun first year from Wilson.
4. D.J. Reed, CB
The first of two premium additions the Jets made at cornerback in the 2022 offseason. D.J. Reed was a thrilling free-agent signing. He has past experience with Saleh and had a career year in 2021. Reed is still only 25-years-old. He played in a similar scheme with the Seattle Seahawks. Last season, Reed recorded two interceptions, and a career-best of 10 passes defended. An underrated aspect of his game is his run defense. The Jets have to be better in that regard this season, and Reed will help. His best years should be in front of him.
3. Laken Tomlinson, LG
The first player added this offseason was Laken Tomlinson. The 2021 Pro-Bowler provides a massive upgrade to the offensive line of the Jets. He spent the last five years of his career in this system and has four years of experience with Saleh and LaFleur. In the running game, Tomlinson will make a difference. He provides outstanding durability, having not missed a game over the last four seasons. Tomlinson also did a solid job last year of allowing two sacks and committing five penalties. He is a veteran going into year eight of his career at 30-years-old and provides two recent playoff runs.
2. Sauce Gardner, CB
Sauce Gardner gave the Jets an electrifying start to their big draft. Gardner did not allow a touchdown throughout his college career. From a physical and talent standpoint, he has everything for an elite cornerback. Gardner offers ridiculous 6-foot-3 height and 33 1/2″ arm length. He uses it to his advantage with his physicality in press coverage. From there, he has great 4.41 speed and can change direction fluidly even at his tall height. Intangibly, Gardner has all the confidence and natural leadership skills required. Gardner is 21-years-old and will be vital to the future success of the Jets.
1. Breece Hall, RB
The Jets traded up to selections early in the second round to get running back Breece Hall. Hall has a ton of youth as he just turned 21-years-old. He was immensely productive during his three years of college. Hall offers a relatively complete skillset. His size and speed combination is fantastic at 5-foot-11, 217 pounds with 4.39 speed. He has the power to also run inside the tackles. Hall has natural receiving ability to be an asset in the passing game. In the end, Hall has what it takes to make a big impact right away. Hall will make life a whole lot easier on Wilson and the Jets’ offense.