Taking a look at the New York Jets‘ secondary and how competent they can be:
One significant issue for the Jets has been the cornerback position, considering the dud that was Tremaine Johnson. After cutting him this off-season, the Jets are left with unpredictable talent on the roster.
The current group consists of Bless Austin, Pierre Desir, Nate Hairston, Arthur Maulet, Brian Poole, and Quincy Wilson.
Austin, Desire, and Poole will likely be their starting corners, which is a bit problematic from a statistical standpoint.
Austin, who was a rookie in 2019, played in seven games, recording 25 combine tackles, four passes defended, and one forced fumble. He allowed a 62.2% completion rate and one touchdown. However, his tackling was horrendous as he compiled a 19.4% missed tackle rate.
Overall, Austin wasn’t expected to be a starter or even contribute in a big way in his first year in the league. He impressed a lot of people, and he will likely earn a starting role for his performance in 2019. Nonetheless, that is a bit concerning considering how weak the unit is in the development Austin requires to become a consistently solid player.
Bouncing over to Desir, the former Indianapolis Colt. Pierre was extremely inconsistent last season with the Colts, playing in 12 games and allowing a 64.9% completion rate. His 13.8% missed tackle rate was also inadequate, and he allowed five touchdowns on 48 completions. Overall, he was poor in 2019 but has been a solid corner in the past — his inconsistencies have hurt his production. The Jets are banking on him to act as one of their starting corners, so it seems unless they take a flier at Logan Ryan, who is still an available free agent.
Desir is much better as an off-ball corner who can ease receivers into their route. He struggled a bit in bump and run coverage but had one solid game against DeAndre Hopkins back in 2018. Watching his film, he’s good tracking WRs from a few yards deep instead of pressing them at the LOS. I anticipate the Jets will use him more in that style.
Poole is by far the best corner, and he had a stellar 2019 campaign. His 62.5% completion rate against and 7.8% missed tackle rate are two of the lower numbers across the cornerback’s board for the Jets last season. His solid tackling and ability to rush the passer in specific sets was impressive, as he locked down the slot position for the Jets admirably. He returned to Gang Green on a one-year, $3.5 million deal.
Aside from these three players, the unit is extremely thin and cannot be relied on for an entire season. I fully anticipate the Jets going out and finding a free agent corner to supplement some of their deficiencies.