The start of the 2022 season for the New York Jets has been nothing short of thrilling. Headlined by the last two strong draft classes, the Jets have a vastly improved bunch of talent and many players playing on a high level on the way to a 4-2 start.
While the many first and second-round picks from the 2021 and 2022 drafts for the Jets garner most of the attention, the Jets also happen to have some lesser-known players flying under the radar who are playing some great football.
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Here are four unsung heroes for the New York Jets:
Corey Davis, WR
One could say that through the first six games of the year that, Corey Davis is the Jets’ number one wide receiver.
The 27-year-old who brings the necessary veteran experience to the Jets’ young wide receiver group is enjoying a great second year with the team.
Davis has 33 targets, 19 catches for 351 yards (18.5 per catch), and two touchdowns. He leads the Jets in receiving yardage.
He has two receptions for over 40 yards so far this year. In four of six games this season, Davis has recorded at least 52 yards.
The sixth-year receiver is currently on pace for 53 catches, 994 yards, and five touchdowns in year two with the Jets. Davis is a key player in the Jets’ offense. His size, experience, route running, hands, blocking, and toughness are all valuable attributes Davis provides.
Sheldon Rankins, DT
Similar to Davis, 2021 free agent signing, defensive tackle Sheldon Rankins has enjoyed a big bounce back in his second year with the Jets.
He is currently third on the Jets’ defense in sacks, with two. To go along with that, Rankins also has three tackles for loss and three quarterback hits.
Rankins has 19 total tackles in 226 snaps played this year. He has been a crucial contributor to the Jets’ run defense. Rankins has also applied a consistent pass rush for this front.
Alongside Quinnen Williams, the two are playing as well as any defensive tackle tandem in football right now.
In his seventh NFL season, at 28 years old, Rankins is giving the Jets what they signed him to do against both the run and the pass.
Quincy Williams, LB
Quincy Williams may very well be the Jets’ most improved player from last year to this year.
Despite missing two and a half games, the fourth-year linebacker is still third on the Jets’ defense in total tackles, with 32. His 24 solo tackles rank second among the Jets’ defense.
With Williams, the talent has always been there. He is gifted athletically with a ton of speed. Williams also has a physical presence that can be punishing.
The main key with him in his second year with the Jets was limiting mental mistakes. A year ago, he would either be too aggressive in his pursuit or have poor technique tackling.
This year, it has been a different story, and we are seeing, when refined technically, how much of an asset Williams can be. Williams recently turned 26 and has been awesome for the Jets this year.
Michael Carter II, CB
Ironically, all four of these players were acquired by Joe Douglas in 2021.
With the big additions on the outside at cornerback made this offseason in Sauce Gardner and DJ Reed, Michael Carter II is going to fly under the radar in the slot.
In his second year at 23 years old, the slot cornerback is playing some great football. Carter has one interception, three passes defended, a tackle for loss, and 21 total tackles over 242 snaps played.
Carter is a talented football player who offers a relatively complete skill set. He has speed, can play in coverage, has pass-rushing ability, can stop the run, and has shown the needed progress when it comes to making plays on the football.
Carter’s recent highlight was when he got tested on a deep route in the slot on a fourth down in Sunday’s win. He stayed in good position downfield, leading to an incompletion.
The cornerback trio of Gardner, Reed, and Carter is one of, if not the best, in football right now. Carter is an unsung hero who plays a pivotal role in that.