The New York Jets have had an impressive offseason, but they’re not quite done retooling their roster.
There are more playmakers for Zach Wilson to utilize on offense, with wide receiver Garrett Wilson and running back Breece Hall selected in the 2022 NFL Draft. They also signed tight ends C.J. Uzomah and Tyler Conklin in free agency. Guard Laken Tomlinson was signed to fill a soft spot on the line to provide better protection for the young franchise quarterback.
C.J. Uzomah on Zach Wilson: “Talented as hell.” #Jets pic.twitter.com/5mbyXg25vj
— Rich Cimini (@RichCimini) May 11, 2022
On defense, the Jets will have three new starters in the secondary. Ahmad “Sauce” Gardner, the No. 4 pick in the draft, and D.J Reed, who played for the Seattle Seahawks last season, are massive upgrades at cornerback. And free agent pick up Jordan Whitecloud will start at strong safety.
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Jermaine Johnson (No. 26) and Micheal Clemons (No. 117) will contribute defensively on the edge after each was selected in the draft.
.@ii_jermaine and @MichealClemonss trained together for the NFL Combine.
Now they're reunited in New York. pic.twitter.com/fuZp2DMZaA
— New York Jets (@nyjets) May 7, 2022
The Jets even signed placekicker Greg “The Leg” Zuerlein to see if he’s got something left to offer at a position they have struggled to adequately fill since Jason Myers departed after the 2018 season.
General manager Joe Douglas has done a good job, so far. But there’s more work to be done.
Three Moves the Jets Must Make to Complete Their Roster
Find the next Morgan Moses
The Jets need to find a veteran offensive tackle to back up Mekhi Becton and George Fant. They signed Morgan Moses last June after he was released by Washington and it proved to be a critical move. Moses started 16 games in the place of Becton, who sustained a dislocated kneecap in the opener against the Carolina Panthers and missed the rest of the season. Moses signed with the Baltimore Ravens this offseason and the Jets have not yet replaced him, perhaps hoping a similar opportunity to snag a veteran presents itself before training camp. Becton is still rehabbing from the injury and Fant had his own injury issues in the past, though not last season. That leaves an underwhelming group of Connor McDermott, Chuma Edoga and rookie Max Mitchell as next men up if one of the starting tackles goes down.
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Plug a hole in the middle
Foley Fatukasi signed with the Jacksonville Jaguars in the offseason. The Jets must fill his spot on the interior of the defensive line alongside Quinnen Williams. This is an important spot even though the Jets have depth on the line. Coach Robert Saleh and defensive coordinator Jeff Ulbrich use a heavy rotation in games to keep the linemen fresh. Larry Ogunjobi would be a nice fit if he’s fully healthy. He had foot surgery after being injured in the playoffs with the Cincinnati Bengals and already failed a physical which negated a contract with the Chicago Bears. The Jets reportedly have been courting Ogunjobi. He had an NFL career-high seven sacks, 16 quarterback hits and 12 tackles for loss last season.
Sign linebacker Kwon Alexander
The Jets linebacking corps is ably led by C.J. Mosley and Quincy Williams. But the third linebacker spot is not nearly as much of a sure thing. Hamsah Nasrildeen, a converted college safety entering his second pro season, is the expected starter right now next to Mosley and Williams.
Signing free agent Kwon Alexander would upgrade the position and allow Nasrildeen time to develop in a backup role. Alexander has a history with Saleh. He played two seasons with the San Francisco 49ers when the current Jets coach was defensive coordinator. While he’s an impressive talent, Alexander does have trouble staying on the field. He’s played more than 12 games only once (in 2016 with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers) in seven NFL seasons. Still, this seems like the move to make before training camp.