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How good can this Jets DL be?


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It’s May and I’m starting to get excited for this season.

Its been a while since the Jets have had a position group that could be top 5 in the league. Maybe our OL in the Brick and Mangold years.

Enter our defensive front 4. How good can they be this year?

PFF is putting out their position rankings. And here’s where the Jets players rank.

#18 Edge Carl Lawson - 84.9 pass rush grade

#14 iDL Quinnen - 81.4 overall grade

#27 iDL Foley Fats - top run defender

#28 iDL Sheldon Rankins

#30 iDL JFM - top 5 pass rush win rate

Not listed but Vinny Curry should be a descent rotational player as well.

https://www.pff.com/news/nfl-edge-defender-rankings-the-32-best-players-entering-the-2021-nfl-season
 

https://www.pff.com/news/nfl-interior-defender-rankings-entering-2021-nfl-season

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Without a premier EDGE, we'll probably have above average run-stopping grade and a below average pass-rushing grade. Same as usual.

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15 minutes ago, Bronx said:

Good enough to carry this team in 2021; however, the offense will eventually gel and cut some slack off our Dline.

Prediction: Offense finishes the season as the higher ranked unit.

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Definitely the best unit on the team.

Rankins played on a great defensive line for several years now, but I don't think Q or Lawson has ever played in a unit like this.

If you look at their ages, time in the league, situation, new head coach... there could be more than one career-year on that defensive line this season. 

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24 minutes ago, jgb said:

Without a premier EDGE, we'll probably have above average run-stopping grade and a below average pass-rushing grade. Same as usual.

Carl Lawson playing up to his potential will go a long way. He’s been good when healthy. We need him to stay healthy.

Our interior pass rush with Q, Rankins and JFM will help Lawson. Teams will have to put 3 hats on our interior guys. That’s going to leave Lawson one on one often. Q and Lawson are going to be a problem for teams. You can only double one.

The biggest thing that’ll hold us back is the second edge position. Vinny Curry is a start but we need someone else to step up and provide a solid rotation with him.

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15 minutes ago, GreenFish said:

Carl Lawson playing up to his potential will go a long way. He’s been good when healthy. We need him to stay healthy.

Our interior pass rush with Q, Rankins and JFM will help Lawson. Teams will have to put 3 hats on our interior guys. That’s going to leave Lawson one on one often. Q and Lawson are going to be a problem for teams. You can only double one.

The biggest thing that’ll hold us back is the second edge position. Vinny Curry is a start but we need someone else to step up and provide a solid rotation with him.

I’d think Franklin-Myers would be a DE in this defense. Need Huff and Zuniga to contribute, too. I expect a heavy rotation on the DL that’s potentially eight players deep. 

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What sucks is that I think this unit is 1 year away from becoming absolutely dominant, but we're bound to lose some talent to free agency next year. Foley Fatukasi, John Franklin-Myers are free agents next year and it's going to be hard justifying bringing them both back. A DL comprised of them, plus Quinnen Williams and Sheldon Rankins, PLUS Carl Lawson and another EDGE or 2 could be a truly dominant unit. Maybe Zuniga and Huff have meteoric rises this year, but I'm not counting on it

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54 minutes ago, jgb said:

Without a premier EDGE, we'll probably have above average run-stopping grade and a below average pass-rushing grade. Same as usual.

Dont sell Lawson short.  

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I always believed a very good oline can stop a good dline!!! Why? Because if you have no linebackers taking pressure off the dline by rushing the QB, then the QB can sit all day picking apart the secondary.

Its very necessary to have a top secondary and linebackers against these top offensive QBs!!!! One compliments the other and takes the pressure off each other and are not burned out in the final quarter.

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If everyone plays up to their potential,  this unit can make life miserable  for opposing OL, the question is will they. If Q is healthy, it will be up to him to anchor this unit and draw the double teams to free up the other guys. 

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46 minutes ago, football guy said:

What sucks is that I think this unit is 1 year away from becoming absolutely dominant, but we're bound to lose some talent to free agency next year. Foley Fatukasi, John Franklin-Myers are free agents next year and it's going to be hard justifying bringing them both back. A DL comprised of them, plus Quinnen Williams and Sheldon Rankins, PLUS Carl Lawson and another EDGE or 2 could be a truly dominant unit. Maybe Zuniga and Huff have meteoric rises this year, but I'm not counting on it

Have to cross our fingers that our young secondary can develop. I feel decently confident Hall is a starting caliber outside corner and Guidry is a starting caliber NB. If one of Austin and Pinnock can prove to be a starting caliber outside corner opposite Hall, that’ll reduce the financial burden of an expensive front 4.

I feel better about having an expensive front 4 than spending money on corners. Those guys seem like hit or miss. And their shelf life seems shorter. Corners seem to go south fast.

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While not part of the DL, don't ignore the impact that a healthy and hopefully excited C.J. Mosely can have on this entire defense.  

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58 minutes ago, Jet Nut said:

Dont sell Lawson short.  

Being realistic. He burst onto the scene as a rookie in 2017 (8.5 sacks) opposite perennial Pro Bowler Geno Atkins who demands a huge amount of blocking attention. Then, he was putting up a dud year 2 (1.0 sack) before tearing an Achilles in week 8. Since then he's been a 5-sack-a-year guy. 

Not saying he's a bad player or worthless, but don't see him as a pass rusher that offenses have to game-plan around.

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1 hour ago, jgb said:

Without a premier EDGE, we'll probably have above average run-stopping grade and a below average pass-rushing grade. Same as usual.

This is where Quinnen is a difference maker.  Expect 10+ sacks out of him with others benefitting from him and Lawson commanding attention on the D-line.  Rankins also had 8.5 sacks the last time he was healthy.  Sacks may not come from the edge, but they should be there.  Lawson's level of play will determine whether or not this unit is very good or elite.

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6 minutes ago, AFJF said:

This is where Quinnen is a difference maker.  Expect 10+ sacks out of him with others benefitting from him and Lawson commanding attention on the D-line.  Rankins also had 8.5 sacks the last time he was healthy.  Sacks may not come from the edge, but they should be there.  Lawson's level of play will determine whether or not this unit is very good or elite.

I like the music but the words are foreign to me lol. Hope you're right!

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1 hour ago, jgb said:

Without a premier EDGE, we'll probably have above average run-stopping grade and a below average pass-rushing grade. Same as usual.

Yeah but we actually got a guy that could kind of rush the passer instead of guys that kinda kinda could kinda rush the passer but typically don’t. 

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I hope JFM grabs hold of that second edge position and gets extended reasonably in the midst of a breakout year. Saleh utilized a bigger guy in Armstead at DE.

If there's going to be heavy rotation, JFM can certainly kick inside on passing downs when Rankins or Q need some rest and cause some havoc from in there too. Very good player.

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3 minutes ago, jgb said:

Being realistic. He had a promising rookie year (8.5 sacks) in 2017 when perennial Pro Bowler teammate Geno Atkins was soaking up a huge amount of blocking attention. Then, he was putting up a dud year 2 (1.0 sack) before tearing an Achilles in week 8. Since then he's been a 5-sack-a-year guy. 

Not saying he's a bad player or worthless, but don't see him as a pass rusher that offenses have to game-plan around.

He also got those 8.5 sacks in 2017 as a part time player.  He blew his ACL out in 2018 and wasn't the same in 2019.  Last season he was the leader in hits with 32.   54 in the last 2 years is 2nd to only Bosa.   2020 was big, 5.5 sacks, 64 pressures, and those 32 QB hits. He led the NFL in QB knock-downs with 27 and his 64 pressures ranked fourth among all edge defenders.

If he repeats 2020 we're in good shape.  Hoping Salehs system really ups his game

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Just now, Jet Nut said:

He also got those 8.5 sacks in 2017 as a part time player.  He blew his ACL out in 2018 and wasn't the same in 2019.  Last season he was the leader in hits with 32.   54 in the last 2 years is 2nd to only Bosa.   2020 was big, 5.5 sacks, 64 pressures, and those 32 QB hits. He led the NFL in QB knock-downs with 27 and his 64 pressures ranked fourth among all edge defenders.

If he repeats 2020 we're in good shape.  Hoping Salehs system really ups his game

Me too

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1 hour ago, ElBarrioJets said:

What will be interesting is seeing who the Jets keep here after the season since...70 percent of the D line are FAs next year?

It’s certainly going to be a fun debate if these guys play to their potential.

If they do play to their potential, I’m all about keeping everyone (through Zach’s rookie contract) and adding a 1st round edge while we’re at it. The Eagles won a super bowl with a strong OL and DL. That’s the blue print. Just need Zach to get hot at the right time.

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1 minute ago, GreenFish said:

It’s certainly going to be a fun debate if these guys play to their potential.

If they do play to their potential, I’m all about keeping everyone (through Zach’s rookie contract) and adding a 1st round edge while we’re at it. The Eagles won a super bowl with a strong OL and DL. That’s the blue print. Just need Zach to get hot at the right time.

Agreed. It's actually not as bad as I thought. Kyle Phillips is an RFA, the UFAs are: 

  • Foley Fatukasi
  • Nathan Shepherd
  • Tanzel Smart
  • John Franklin-Myers
  • Vinny Curry

They'll probably be in good shape if they keep Foley and replicate the other guys' production elsewhere. 

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3 hours ago, RedBeardedSavage said:

Definitely the best unit on the team.

Rankins played on a great defensive line for several years now, but I don't think Q or Lawson has ever played in a unit like this.

If you look at their ages, time in the league, situation, new head coach... there could be more than one career-year on that defensive line this season. 

Lawson played with Dunlap and Geno Atkins for years in Cinci.

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10 minutes ago, Buffalo 24 7 said:

Lawson played with Dunlap and Geno Atkins for years in Cinci.

Geno Atkins missed half the season last year, I believe Lawson had injury struggles the years before that.

But you're right about Dunlap.

Call me optimistic but my expectations for our trio this year is higher than the Cinci trio for the past few years. 

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2 hours ago, Jet Nut said:

Dont sell Lawson short.  

8.5, 1.0. 5.0 & 5.5 Sacks

If I say I think he'll get 5.0 sacks and a a couple dozen "almost there, oh, just missed" pressures, is that "selling him short"?

 

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4 hours ago, jgb said:

Prediction: Offense finishes the season as the higher ranked unit.

I'm not sure about that since our offense is pretty young over all . But if they can establish the run and really pound people it could help the entire unit until while they learn the in's and out's of the system. If we can't run the ball it could hurt development . Slinging the ball all over the yard wont be an option.

Personally I think we will have a very good running game right out of the gate because a good coaching staff will realize that's a rookie QB's best chance to succeed. 

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58 minutes ago, Warfish said:

8.5, 1.0. 5.0 & 5.5 Sacks

If I say I think he'll get 5.0 sacks and a a couple dozen "almost there, oh, just missed" pressures, is that "selling him short"?

 

Lawson led the league with 32 QB hits last year and I think we have a better interior line with Q and Rankins than Cincy did which may open things up for Lawson to turn pressures into sacks. Keep in mind in some cases a pressure is just as good as a sack

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46 minutes ago, Smashmouth said:

Keep in mind in some cases a pressure is just as good as a sack

Not in most cases, no. 

A pressure leading to a INT, sure. 

A pressure leading to someone else sacking the QB, ok.

A pressure even leading to an incompletion, maybe, fine.

But just "a pressure", no.  I've seen QB's under pressure complete 40 yard pass plays.  That "pressure" was worth piss all.  

I'll be honest with you, I think the Carl Lawson "but muh' pressures" and "league leader in QB touches (after the Ball was Gone)" are being at least to some degree overhyped.  A fill-in for his consistently low sack totals.

You know who was a stud at getting to the QB a few seconds too late?  A certain former Jets #1 draft pick.  We ran him out of town on a rail.

I'm not saying he can't be good, or our line can't be good.  I'm saying it's not "underselling" Lawson to project him to be what he's been, a 5 sack guy who consistently gets to the QB a little bit too late to make an actual play himself.

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47 minutes ago, Warfish said:

Not in most cases, no. 

A pressure leading to a INT, sure. 

A pressure leading to someone else sacking the QB, ok.

A pressure even leading to an incompletion, maybe, fine.

But just "a pressure", no.  I've seen QB's under pressure complete 40 yard pass plays.  That "pressure" was worth piss all.  

I'll be honest with you, I think the Carl Lawson "but muh' pressures" and "league leader in QB touches (after the Ball was Gone)" are being at least to some degree overhyped.  A fill-in for his consistently low sack totals.

You know who was a stud at getting to the QB a few seconds too late?  A certain former Jets #1 draft pick.  We ran him out of town on a rail.

I'm not saying he can't be good, or our line can't be good.  I'm saying it's not "underselling" Lawson to project him to be what he's been, a 5 sack guy who consistently gets to the QB a little bit too late to make an actual play himself.

Leo was a better pass rusher than given credit for but he was considered to be a bad pass rusher when in reality he was actually above average. Lawson’s pressures present as elite even though his sack totals are far from elite. He’s probably closer to elite than mediocre.

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the jet dline has been pretty good for quite some time in spite of trading away leo or shelly or letting mcclendon go.  it's the outside pass rush and protecting the edge where they haven't done so well.  with saleh wanting to play a 4-2-5 defense the dline is going to have to protect the edge a bit more and the secondary is going to have to be closer to the line.  we'll see.  they've got some good players.

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