The best compliment I can give the New York Jets’ defensive side of the ball is that it has more talent than the offense. Unfortunately, that isn’t saying much.
The 2012 Jets showed us they were eighth in the league in yards given up per game, and that they had an amazing pass defense that ranked second in the NFL. They’re run and scoring defense were just the opposite as they were both in the bottom quarter of the league. While I’m sure they were primed to improve as a unit, they traded away their best player — Darrelle Revis — to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Let’s take a look at what the Jets lost before we see what they’ve gained.
It baffles me when a team that had such a great pass defense the year before decides to blow things up. First they replaced starting strong safety LaRon Landry with his own brother, Dawan Landry. It’s more or less a push, except that Dawan is older and cheaper. Also gone is stalwart Bart Scott, who found himself caught up in the youth movement.
Now, for what they’ve added.
Rookie first-round pick Dee Milliner, the All-American from Alabama, will forever be compared to the man he replaced in Revis. While he has a lot of upside and a ton of potential, expect him to be targeted early and often in the season why teams test his skills. Alongside him stands the athletic Antonio Cromartie, a spectacular corner in his own right.
Directly ahead of them are linebackers David Harris and Demario Davis. Harris racked up 79 solo tackles last year, the second most of his career, and Davis is a second-year pro that hopes to make people forget about Scott.
On the line, the Jets have defense end Muhammad Wilkerson, who had a quiet, but solid, season for the Gang Green. Not a serious quarterback threat with only five sacks, he still managed to wrangle in 70 total tackles. They also hope to bring along rookie Sheldon Richardson from Missouri, but the switch to a 3-4 defense might take a while longer to learn.
The Jets would be lucky to fall between 15-20 in overall defense this year, so I would suggest staying away from them entirely this year in Fantasy Football.