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Jets Roster Devoid of Talent and no Hope? It’s not 2014, Jets Fans


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It’s certainly no big secret that General Manager Mike Maccagnan has had his fair share of missteps as the helm of the New York Jets since he took over for failed GM John Idzik before the start of the 2015 NFL season.  There have been bad draft choices and some poor contracts handed out by Maccagnan, but that doesn’t mean there hasn’t been some good, or even great moves, that have potentially reversed the fortunes of the franchise and upgraded the talent in multiple spots.

What’s most incredible about Maccanan’s current roster is that despite having only 39 spots under contract for 2019, it’s far better than the roster he took over just a few years ago.  For those fans suffering from amnesia, let’s take a look back at the Jets roster then and now.

Quarterback:

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Then: 

Geno Smith- Arguably the worst starting quarterback in the NFL, Smith was the quarterback who John Idzik went all-in on as he took the air raid quarterback and insisted on having head coach Rex Ryan bench Mark Sanchez in favor of his prized pupil.  The results were disastrous as Smith’s time under center (and in the locker room) mark some of the most horrendous moments in Jets history.

Now: 

Sam Darnold- Let’s be realistic here.  You could end the roster comparison here and now.  Darnold’s accuracy, maturity, demeanor and ceiling are all infinitely better than Smith’s ever was.  When all is said and done, Jets fans will be in hysterics any time they recall a time pre-Darnold when they thought or hoped Geno Smith might be the answer.

Verdict: It’s the most important position in all of pro sports.  Idzik delivered Geno and Maccagnan delivered Darnold.  You could make a case for ending the conversation right there.  While Maccagnan had a colossal second-round bust at QB himself in Christian Hackenberg, the difference was that Maccagnan never forced his coach to put him under center, and cut ties when it was clear that he couldn’t get it done.

Running Back:

Then- Chris Ivory, Chris Johnson

This was a solid tandem even if Johnson was winding down his career and Ivory got dinged up from time to time.

Now- Isaiah Crowell, Eli McGuire, Trenton Cannon

Crowell may not be around when 2019 kicks off, but the Jets like what they’ve seen out of McGuire in limited reps, and Cannon’s rare speed makes him a player worth keeping around to work with for a season or two.

Verdict: The 2014 group was better, but if not for failing to build a more rounded offensive line, the production out of Crowell and McGuire could have been more respectable than what it was.

Wide Receiver:

Then- Eric Decker

One of the knocks on Decker when he came to the Jets was his lack of durability.  It looked as if it was going to be a thing of the past following a huge season in 2014, but in the end, Decker had one good season for the Jets before being let go as part of Mike Maccagnan’s house-cleaning three years ago to completely tear down what Idzik had put in place and start a rebuild.

Now- Robby Anderson

Anderson has long been knocked by onlookers as a “one-trick pony” but he appears to be poised to shake that label.  The Jets finally asked him to do more at the end of last season and he had the best three-game stretch of his career, posting over 300 yards and 3 TD’s after Sam Darnold returned from injury.  

Then- Percy Harvin

A true one-trick pony, Harvin was added in a lost season to get a better look at Geno Smith with an added deep threat.  Harvin was a bust with Gang Green and retired soon thereafter.

Now- Quincy Enunwa

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Both GM’s get credit for this move.  Idzik drafted Enunwa after taking 5′ 6” Jalen Saunders and washout Shaq Evans earlier in the draft.  Maccagnan kept Enunwa on board while he developed and re-signed him to a long-term deal recently

Verdict:

For the first time since the days of Wesley Walker, the Jets have a legitimate deep threat who could be around for many, many years in Robby Anderson and Enunwa is a great compliment to that.

Tight End:

Then- Jeff Cumberland

Cumberland was a nice enough player as a receiver when given an opportunity, but his blocking was abysmal and he was completely ignored in Chan Gailey’s offense under Todd Bowles.  The converted wide receiver has suffered with serious injuries since leaving the Jets.

Now- Chris Herndon

As described the other day by new head coach Adam Gase, Herdon is “a unicorn” who can stay on the field for all three downs.  Excellent hands, very good run blocker, good pass blocker.  The sky is the limit for Herndon as he continues to develop with Sam Darnold.

Verdict- Forget comparing Herndon only to Cumberland, but if he continues on this trajectory, he’ll be the Jets best tight end since Mickey Shuler.

Offensive Line:

Then- D’Brickashaw Ferguson, Oday Aboushi, Nick Mangold, Willie Colon, Breno Giacomini

Idzik inherited a still capable Ferguson and Mangold, retained Willie Colon, signed Breno Giacomini in free agency and drafted Aboushi.  Aboushi was gone in short order, Colon was creeping up on retirement and Giacomini was a disaster who struggled with injuries, penalties and playing football.

Now- Kelvin Beachum, help wanted, help wanted, Brian Winters, Brandon Shell

Ferguson and Mangold were shells of their former selves when Maccagnan arrived and simply put, he hasn’t done enough to fix this unit.  He reportedly tried to trade up to draft Laremy Tunsil a few seasons ago but that fell through.  Beachum is a league average tackle who you can live with for another season but they need a left guard and center ASAP.  Winters was a rare Idzik hit in the draft who will likely stay but could be upgraded sooner rather than later. Shell has turned in to a quality mid-round pick.

Verdict- Both GM’s failed in this area but of course Maccagnan had much more work to do with Mangold and Ferguson breaking down.  The patchwork moves have to stop now that he has a QB in place, plenty of money to spend and the draft fast approaching.

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Brian Winters is a likely holdover in 2019, but don’t rule out an upgrade.

Defensive Line: 

Then- Muhammad Wilkerson, Damon Harrison, Sheldon Richardson

Lots of talent on this D-line that just never performed to its full potential.  If it had, the Jets would have had one of the best defenses in the NFL.  

Now- Leonard Williams, Nathan Shepherd, Folorunso Fatukasi

The group is barren right now as contracts have expired so the comparison ins’t even close.  If Henry Anderson returns, that move alone makes this line much better, but still not as good as the 2014 group.

Verdict: 

From a pure talent standpoint, the line Maccagnan inherited is clearly better than the one he has now.  If Henry Anderson returns and a player or two are added in free agency, the on-field performance may not be far off from what Idzik’s group offered.

Linebackers:

Then- Calvin Pace, DeMario Davis, David Harris, Quinton Coples

This group was a combination of elderly and under-achieving linebackers that were going to need to be replaced soon for those reasons.  All four were liabilities in coverage at this point in their careers and a big reason why those Jets defenses were unable to slow down opposing tight ends.

Now- Jordan Jenkins, Avery Williamson, Darron Lee, Brandon Copeland

Jenkins had a career year with 7 sacks in 2018 after a few seasons of quality run defense but he is a liability in coverage.  Williamson at this point is a better player than Harris was in 2014 and Darron Lee took tremendous strides on the field last season whereas Davis was let go after struggling in the role currently occupied by Lee.  

Verdict: The 2014 group lacked athleticism and was exposed consistently.  Lee was leading all NFL linebackers with 3 interceptions before being suspended for violating the league’s substance abuse policy so there are questions moving forward.  Even still, the current group is superior to the 2014 bunch.

Safety:

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Calvin Pryor never came close to fulfilling his potential with the Jets and is already out of the NFL.

Then- Calvin Pryor

The Jets could have used a quarterback in this spot but Idizk opted to pay tribute to the stars of the 60’s by drafting a traditional box safety in Calvin Pryor.  Pryor is already out of the NFL and probably should have been after his second or third season.  

Now- Marcus Maye

Maye has to stay healthy, but in terms of pure talent, this isn’t even close.  Maye has shown that he can make plays against the run and the pass on a consistent basis.  The only time we saw Pryor’s head on a swivel was when he looking for somebody to explain who he was supposed to be covering.

Safety: 

Then- Dawan Landry

A veteran jorneyman who was gone after two seasons with the Jets, his last stop in the NFL.

Now- Jamal Adams

Second-year pro bowl MVP and second-team All Pro, Adams is a generational talent who was the league’s most dominant safety against the run while simultaneously shutting down the passing game last season with Gang Green.  Adams saw significant reps at free safety, strong safety, linebacker, slot corner and a handful of plays at boundary corner.  Adams played well in each of those spots and figures to be a force in Gregg Williams’ defense.

Verdict: Is this even a conversation worth having?  Adams has a pro bowl and an All Pro nod under his belt while Landry and Pryor are out of the NFL.

Cornerbacks: 

Then- Darrin Walls, Antonio Allen, Kyle Wilson, Philip Adams, Marcus Williams

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Antonio Allen and Darren Walls formed the Jets 1-2 punch at cornerback under John Idzik.

No, we didn’t accidentally pull the names from the Jets practice squad in 2014.  This was the actual group of cornerbacks John Idzik assembled for the 2014 season along with oft-injured first-round draft pick Dee Milliner.  This, with a head coach who liked to blitz more than any other coach in the NFL. 

Now- Trumaine Johnson, Morris Claiborne, Buster Skrine, Parry Nickerson, Derrick Jones

Johnson was the consensus top cornerback on the market last season but like many other players, regressed under Todd Bowles.  Claiborne is a solid, yet unspectacular number two corner while Nickerson and Jones have yet to show what they can do.

Verdict: Looking at that list of CB’s from 2014 is never not shocking.  You may have never seen a worse group in your life as a fan.

While this in no way exonerates Mike Maccagnan for the errors he has made as the Jets general manager, it should serve as a reminder as to just how bad this team’s roster was just a few short years ago and the fact that far better players have been added to replace those who filled the roster before them.

In addition, from 1995-1996, the Jets went 4-28 under Rich Kotite.  With many of the same players, under Bill Parcells, the Jets were in the AFC Championship game by 1998.  This is not a prediction that the same will happen here, but a reminder that while acquiring talent is important, coaching matters, too.

 

 

 

 

 

The post Jets Roster Devoid of Talent and no Hope? It’s not 2014, Jets Fans appeared first on JetNation.com (NY Jets Blog & Forum).

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3 minutes ago, Integrity28 said:

I don't see it, but applaud the rigor it took to put the article together. 

It’s better at the most important position but not overall. Both rosters are trash. The difference is, 2014 was during the early stages of a rebuild and Mac is in year FIVE!!!! FIVE!!!!!

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7 minutes ago, Integrity28 said:

I don't see it, but applaud the rigor it took to put the article together. 

I was about to say, they're about as equal as it gets.  And are we really celebrating incremental improvement over 4 years from the bottom of the barrell to barely above the bottom of the barrell?  The reality is, it's hard to be as bad as Mac has been and it's ridiculous how bad this roster is after 4 years and all the resources he's had available. 

The only positional groups that have improved from my seat are; QB, TE, S.  The rest are worse or you're splitting hairs to find an improvement.  

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30 minutes ago, Creepy Lurker said:

It’s better at the most important position but not overall. Both rosters are trash. The difference is, 2014 was during the early stages of a rebuild and Mac is in year FIVE!!!! FIVE!!!!!

I'd like to see Darnold another year before I accept this as gospel. Geno had some early flashes too. In my gut, I want to agree - but the pragmatic part of me knows far better.

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Any decent players from the Idzik regime were here before he got here. He had 12 draft picks one draft and only 1 - just 1 player from that draft has been a legit NFL player. Maccagnan has been better than that but nothing special for sure.  I really don't understand the point of this article. Comparing Mac to the worst GM in the history of the NFL is like comparing Mark Sanchez to Cristian Hackenberg. Hackenberg is gonna make Sanchez - an average QB look like a pro bowler.

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1 hour ago, JetNation said:

It’s certainly no big secret that General Manager Mike Maccagnan has had his fair share of missteps as the helm of the New York Jets since he took over for failed GM John Idzik before the start of the 2015 NFL season.  

One of the big keys to an effective troll is to not open with a run on sentence. You troll with jabs and trick the dopes rebutting you to go long. Then you bail. 

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The fact that Darnold is potentially legit, and Geno was sh*t, makes all the difference in the world. Idzik rested on his laurels with Geno Smith. The defense is also better from a talent perspective now than it was then. I think Williams over Rogers will show a huge difference.

There is a path to a playoff team this year, but I don't have confidence in Mac to take us down that path.

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3 minutes ago, NoBowles said:

The fact that Darnold is potentially legit, and Geno was sh*t, makes all the difference in the world. Idzik rested on his laurels with Geno Smith. The defense is also better from a talent perspective now than it was then. I think Williams over Rogers will show a huge difference.

There is a path to a playoff team this year, but I don't have confidence in Mac to take us down that path.

I don’t have confidence in Mac but I don’t see any GM getting us to the playoffs in 2019 considering where the roster is at now. As much as I HATE Mac and blame him 100% for putting the roster in this situation, I can’t expect him to perform a miracle. Even the absolute best GM in the league would struggle with an “ok” FA class and tons of competition for these players since more than half the league has a ton of cap space.

Even if we trade down in the draft and accumulate extra picks to fill our MANY holes, they will need to develop. I think we are 2 years away MINIMUM and that’s only if we start making the correct roster moves via draft and FA. This is why I will just hope for the best but expect the worst. 

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38 minutes ago, Creepy Lurker said:

I don’t have confidence in Mac but I don’t see any GM getting us to the playoffs in 2019 considering where the roster is at now. As much as I HATE Mac and blame him 100% for putting the roster in this situation, I can’t expect him to perform a miracle. Even the absolute best GM in the league would struggle with an “ok” FA class and tons of competition for these players since more than half the league has a ton of cap space.

Even if we trade down in the draft and accumulate extra picks to fill our MANY holes, they will need to develop. I think we are 2 years away MINIMUM and that’s only if we start making the correct roster moves via draft and FA. This is why I will just hope for the best but expect the worst. 

Mac is responsable for the roster though. It's not like he's coming in and should get a pass for our inability to make the playoffs in 2019, so there is no pass. The only good thing he's done is luck into Darnold. We've already seen how bad he's going **** up free agency with this much money once.

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1 hour ago, Creepy Lurker said:

It’s better at the most important position but not overall. Both rosters are trash. The difference is, 2014 was during the early stages of a rebuild and Mac is in year FIVE!!!! FIVE!!!!!

Holy crap, the roster is not trash. 

Are we a Super Bowl contender?  No.  But we are certainly not the 2016 Cleveland Browns either.

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A dose of positive reality. Thanks. The roster is far improved from the time Mac took over. Whats needed now, Is too find a few impact players on defense, add a wide receiver,[a quality one], and find some steady offensive lineman. Because of our cap situation and the way the draft is shaping up, we can do all of that this off season.I'm not saying Mac has done a great job. Putting him in the same paragraph with Idzik, is just ridiculous, and irrational.

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54 minutes ago, SayNoToDMC said:

Mac is responsable for the roster though. It's not like he's coming in and should get a pass for our inability to make the playoffs in 2019, so there is no pass. The only good thing he's done is luck into Darnold. We've already seen how bad he's going **** up free agency with this much money once.

He is out of passes and I hate him. I’m just saying that even a great GM can’t fix the damage that has been done. We have no shot at the playoffs this year. 

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49 minutes ago, CanadaSteve said:

Holy crap, the roster is not trash. 

Are we a Super Bowl contender?  No.  But we are certainly not the 2016 Cleveland Browns either.

I completely disagree. It’s trash. There are a few pieces/hopefuls that haven’t proven anything yet. This is not a 1 year fix. Bottom 5 roster is trash in my book. 

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14 minutes ago, Creepy Lurker said:

I completely disagree. It’s trash. There are a few pieces/hopefuls that haven’t proven anything yet. This is not a 1 year fix. Bottom 5 roster is trash in my book. 

Hopefully you'll be eating crow at years end

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4 minutes ago, genot said:

Hopefully you'll be eating crow at years end

I want to eat the most amount of crow ever and be 100% wrong more than anybody. I never root against this team for any reason and especially not to say “told you so”. If they end up sucking or making only some progress, that’s just more in line with what I think will happen based on state of the roster and competition to acquire talent.

It’s not a negative, out of left field thought. Mac has been terrible until this point, we have new coaches/schemes and we have way too many holes for 1 offseason. That’s all true which is how I formulate my opinion. Doesn’t mean I’ll be right. It’s just not a good starting point for a team and I’d prefer realistic expectations. 

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1 minute ago, Creepy Lurker said:

I want to eat the most amount of crow ever and be 100% wrong more than anybody. I never root against this team for any reason and especially not to say “told you so”. If they end up sucking or making only some progress, that’s just more in line with what I think will happen based on state of the roster and competition to acquire talent.

It’s not a negative, out of left field thought. Mac has been terrible until this point, we have new coaches/schemes and we have way too many holes for 1 offseason. That’s all true which is how I formulate my opinion. Doesn’t mean I’ll be right. It’s just not a good starting point for a team and I’d prefer realistic expectations. 

I know you want to be wrong, on this. You have honest feelings about Mac. I think some of the things you've talked about, with regards to Mac are true. I think, you and some other posters,[all of whom i enjoy talking too], are just a little bit extremists on the job he's done. It isn't all bad. We've talked about this before. Look at the roster he inherited. The few good players he inherited we're nearing retirement, and the best players, he inherited on defense, we're a couple of malcontents

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21 minutes ago, genot said:

I know you want to be wrong, on this. You have honest feelings about Mac. I think some of the things you've talked about, with regards to Mac are true. I think, you and some other posters,[all of whom i enjoy talking too], are just a little bit extremists on the job he's done. It isn't all bad. We've talked about this before. Look at the roster he inherited. The few good players he inherited we're nearing retirement, and the best players, he inherited on defense, we're a couple of malcontents

It isn’t all bad. I defend things that he has done and point out the positives. He’s really good at value trades and got a great deal for Sheldon. I think overall his trading had been good but his lack of trading down and inability to move quickly with day 1/2 draft day trades or with top free agents is a HUGE negative for him though. Let’s call his trading ability average. 

His good to bad ratio is still completely out of whack and his overall philosophy on team building and premium position prioritization is why I KNOW he is terrible. Even horrible GMs have the occasional good move.

Let’s you have roughly 7 draft picks a year and maybe 10 UDFA/FA moves that are actually important to the roster for the upcoming season. I’m pulling these ballpark estimates out of my *ss. If you only hit on 2 out of 7 draft picks at best and draft non impact positions with premium top 6 picks as safe picks which count as those hits, that is poor drafting.

That means that despite “hitting” on a safe pick in 2017 like Adams, is overshadowed by the fact that the rest of the draft(besides Mayes) is garbage or off the team. If you only hit on 3 out of 10 at best FA/UDFA targets per year, that’s bad as well. At best he is hitting on about 1/3 of his moves just estimating it and trying to be generous. A breakdown of every move would be interesting. 

I’m quite confident Mac hits on less than that for either scenario. Draft picks and UDFA are more of a crap shoot but FA isn’t nearly as much of a crapshoot since you deal with known commodities.

Mac is terrible at both and the lack of a vision/plan is what disturbs me way more than his atrocious “hit” percentage on picks and FA. I’d prefer a GM with a sensible vision for the modern NFL that prioritizes the proper positions and could hit on at least 50% of his moves. No GM is perfect and all have misses and I don’t expect to have a top GM. They are tough to find. I just expect at least average performance and not a buffoon that undermines the whole entire team almost single handily. 

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3 hours ago, Nixhead said:

Any decent players from the Idzik regime were here before he got here. He had 12 draft picks one draft and only 1 - just 1 player from that draft has been a legit NFL player. Maccagnan has been better than that but nothing special for sure.  I really don't understand the point of this article. Comparing Mac to the worst GM in the history of the NFL is like comparing Mark Sanchez to Cristian Hackenberg. Hackenberg is gonna make Sanchez - an average QB look like a pro bowler.

First off Sanchez was not average qb, maybe average back up.

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1 hour ago, genot said:

A dose of positive reality. Thanks. The roster is far improved from the time Mac took over. Whats needed now, Is too find a few impact players on defense, add a wide receiver,[a quality one], and find some steady offensive lineman. Because of our cap situation and the way the draft is shaping up, we can do all of that this off season.I'm not saying Mac has done a great job. Putting him in the same paragraph with Idzik, is just ridiculous, and irrational.

All we have to do is add an offensive line, two receivers, a pass rusher, a decent ILB, two corners, two starting running backs, and a nose tackle and MACC will be totes vindìcato.

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