The New York Jets are entering a pivotal season as they prepare to enter their second year of the Adam Gase experiment. With Tom Brady leaving the New England Patriots, the Jets hope to be the next team to reign supreme in the AFC East.
Throughout the offseason, New York has made a concerted effort to surround Sam Darnold with more aid on offense. Darnold is heading into his third season and the Jets are expecting to see improvements in his game in 2020.
For New York to be taken seriously next season, they’ll need quite a few things to take shape. That includes some of the younger players on the roster to rise to the occasion.
With that in mind, let’s take a look at three potential breakout players for the Jets in the 2020 NFL season.
3. Blake Cashman
Last offseason, the Jets signed C.J. Mosley to a lucrative deal to become the anchor of their defense. Then, this offseason, New York added Patrick Onwuasor to provide some depth at inside linebacker.
While Mosley figures to have a prominent role in his second year with the Jets, Blake Cashman will likely receive the chance to play alongside him at inside linebacker. Despite the signing of Onwuasor, New York spent a fifth-round pick on Cashman a year ago, making him a project the Jets would like to develop.
In his rookie season, Cashman recorded 40 tackles and a pass breakup in seven games with the Jets. Seeing that he’ll probably be given an increased role in 2020, Cashman could make a name for himself next season.
2. Marcus Maye
Jamal Adams is regarded as one of the premier safeties in the NFL. The former first-round pick gets nearly all of the credit on the backend of New York’s secondary.
However, while Adams is arguably the best safety in the league, Marcus Maye is a talented player himself. After taking Adams with the No. 6 pick in the 2017 NFL Draft, the Jets selected Maye in the second round.
Just this past season, Maye notched 65 tackles, a career-high seven pass breakups, and an interception. While he’s been a solid contributor in prior seasons, fans could have no choice but to recognize Maye as a marquee defender in 2020.
1. Sam Darnold
Once again, the Jets are expecting fruitful results from Darnold in his third season with the organization. Regardless of how good the rest of the roster is, New York is only going to go as far as Darnold can take them.
Over the course of his first two seasons, the USC product hasn’t shown much promise with the Jets, throwing for 36 touchdowns and 28 interceptions. In his defense though, New York hasn’t done a remarkable job of giving him the best chance to succeed.
However, this offseason, the Jets have revamped the offensive line. Plus they’ve added Breshad Perriman and Denzel Mims to an offense that already features Le’Veon Bell and Jamison Crowder. Even though he still doesn’t have the best of situations, Darnold should be in for his best season in 2020.