The football world lifted their collective heads with a surprised double-take last weekend when the NY Jets beat the Buffalo Bills. What is going on? Despite being ravaged by injuries this season, the Jets are 6-3 and they are not going away. Beating one of the 3 elite teams in the NFL will get you some respect. Quickly. The Jets won last Sunday with Defense. But there is a bigger story developing here. It’s the rookies.
In the NFL of past generations, rookies were seen but not heard. In today’s NFL, cap dynamics force teams to get as much mileage out of cheap rookie contracts as they possibly can. This means that rookies see playing time because that is the best way to lever their value. Get those rookies snaps. Give them the opportunity to start games faster than otherwise. Winning with rookies is a Super Bowl recipe. Giants fans know that 2007 does not happen without that special draft class.
The Jets are not winning the Super Bowl this year. But their rookie class is special. It is supercharging their season. Readers of this NY Giants blog were given the first look into how good this Jets class could be immediately after the draft.
So who did well for the entire Draft, soup to nuts, Day 1, 2 and 3 together? The answer might shock you.
The NY Jets.
“As strange and unusual as it is for me to say this, my team, the lovable loser NY Jets, had the #1 Draft in the NFL this year.”Wonder / UltimateNYG’s Draft Analyst/ APRIL 30, 2022
Wonder recaps the Jets Draft picks now through midseason. Get ready for hyperbole.
1) 1.03 CB Sauce Gardner– already All Pro, the best rookie CB I’ve ever seen, for sure. If Cromartie and Revis had a baby, and he was already mature, it would be Gardner. Speed and incredible length. Phenomenal hips, as smooth as silk. Already doing things as a rookie that veterans don’t do.
2) 1.10 WR Garrett Wilson– fast, polished, smooth. Catches everything. Adjusts body to throws. Already projected to Pro Bowl when Zach Wilson learns how to throw the ball deep.
3) 1.26 EDGE Jermaine Johnson– power and speed, back from injury, haven’t seen enough to give two thumbs up… yet. Flashing big time. Sweet sack of Josh Allen. That doesn’t happen to rookies.
4) 2.36 RB Breece Hall– omg what a loss to see the ACL tear, would’ve been OROY. Now his career is in jeopardy. Would have been the best Jets RB in history. If Breece Hall is healthy, this Jets draft is the second best draft ever next to the Steelers legendary 1974 draft. (While not technically a member of the ‘draft’ class, Donnie Shell was a UFA who was the 5th member of the Steelers 1974 class to go to the Hall of Fame.) How crazy would it have been for a single team to have both the OROY AND the DROY (Gardner) in the same class?!
5) 3.101 TE Jeremy Ruckert– willing blocker, great hands, runs good routes, we shall see.
6) 4.111 RT Max Mitchell – already a starting RT, thrown into the fire, held his own, very impressive. Hurt, but will be back after bye week.
7) 4.126 DT Michael Clemons – May be better than Jermaine Johnson. Unlimited potential. Speed. Size. Power. Needs refinement/learning curve. But already doing big things. When was the last time you saw a guy who’s 6’5” 270 come off the edge and block a punt?