Either the Jets are tanking, or everyone needs to be fired

The Jets did take a receiver in the third round of the draft as well: Alabama’s ArDarius Stewart. Taking a receiver was the right move, but Stewart was the wrong choice. He has good speed and ability after the catch, but Stewart is a sloppy route runner with a tendency to meander at the line of scrimmage. That will hurt him in the NFL, especially when opposing defenses play press coverage, which Stewart rarely saw at Alabama. He can find holes against a zone, but Stewart has hands issues. In this system, where defenses will have the resources to devote attention to Stewart, it’s hard to see him succeeding immediately.

At tight end, Austin Seferian-Jenkins is the projected starter, but he’s facing a two-game suspension. Fifth-round pick Jordan Leggett has a solid chance to win the job, in part because Seferian-Jenkins did next to nothing last season and in part because there’s no reason for the Jets to avoid playing their young guys.

If any part of the offense has a chance to be competent, it’s the run game. Bilal Powell quietly had a great 2016, ranking fourth among running backs with a 56 percent success rate and averaging 5.5 yards per carry. Matt Forte can contribute as a pass catcher on third down, but don’t be surprised if Powell does that as well. He had 58 receptions last season, nearly double Forte’s total.

Of course, the problem with relying on the run game is that the Jets don’t have a passing game. Teams can load up with eight men in the box without fearing anything against New York and the offensive line is nowhere near good enough to stop them. Newly acquired Kelvin Beachum allowed six sacks with the Jaguars last season, blowing 14 pass blocks in total, per Football Outsiders’ Almanac. His 49.9 PFF grade was 63rd among tackles. Across from him at right tackle, Brandon Shell played just eight games last season but was solid, posting a 79.4 PFF grade. The interior is fine, as left guard James Carpenter is the best player on this line. Right guard Brian Winters won’t kill them. He had a fairly ordinary 75.6 PFF grade last season. The center position may be a disaster. Wesley Johnson played just eight games last year but blew eight pass blocks, per FOA, and had a 53.6 PFF grade. It’s not that this line is especially bad, but it isn’t good enough to withstand teams sitting on the run as the Jets’ opponents will undoubtedly do.

The only reason to watch this team on a weekly basis is the defensive line. Despite being godawful in every other imaginable category, the Jets were first in run defense DVOA last season thanks mostly to the trio of Leonard Williams, Sheldon Richardson and Muhammad Wilkerson. Williams, the sixth overall pick in 2015, has quickly developed into one of the league’s best 3-4 ends. His 88 percent run stop rate ranked 17th among defensive linemen last season, per FOA. Williams also had 7.0 sacks, 14 hits and 29 hurries to boot, per FOA. Pass rushing is a part of his game that the Jets focused on developing last season. Richardson had an absurd 91.0 run defense grade from PFF, and his overall 81.6 grade ranked 19th among interior defenders. As for Wilkerson, his 86 percent run stop rate was only a stone’s throw behind Williams’, according to FOA.

Yardbarker: NFL

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