The 2012 off-season is under way and the greater majority of team related transactions involving starters and key backups are done. Consequently it’s a good time to rate the talent on the New York Jets offense. The following is a breakdown of each of the major position groups.
- Quarterbacks: According to Profootballfocus.com (PFF), Mark Sanchez was the second worst starting quarterback during the 2011 NFL regular season. PFF gave Sanchez a grade of -27.9 and he earned a Total QBR of 33.6. His backup/Wildcat starter, Tim Tebow, earned a PFF grade of -11.7 overall but had a -22.7 passing grade as a starter for the Denver Broncos. Tebow also had a Total QBR of 27.2. This means both players were below average passers. For the sake of the team I think Sanchez will improve at least slightly. Greg McElroy is a terrific third string quarterback and played well during the 2011 preseason. Overall Unit Grade: C-
- Running Backs: Shonn Greene wasn’t as good as his cumulative statistics in 2011 would suggest. Greene only rushed for 100 yards or more twice, and he ran for less than 30 yards in three different games. Fortunately Tebow should help Greene since the quarterback plays like a tailback in some ways and was so effective as a rusher that he earned the second highest quarterback rushing grade from PFF at 12.5. Joe McKnight and Terrance Ganaway should contribute as secondary/tertiary options. Based on all indications fullback John Conner‘s role is being minimized out due to the new offensive scheme. Overall Unit Grade: B-
- Receivers: Santonio Holmes has the talent of a quality number one wide receiver but he doesn’t display consistent catching ability. Newcomers Stephen Hill and Chaz Schilens add size, speed, and explosiveness but both are relatively raw players who need further development. Jeremy Kerley was a solid slot receiver and often helped bailout Sanchez on third downs during the second half of the 2011 season. Tight end Dustin Keller is an athletic tight end but he’s a poor blocker and may hinder the rushing offense more than he helps it. None of Keller’s backups are any better as blockers quite yet. Overall Unit Grade: B
- Offensive Line: Nick Mangold, when healthy, is widely considered the best center in the NFL. Right guard Brandon Moore is a legitimate Pro Bowler and D’Brickashaw Ferguson has had good years, though 2011 was not one of them. Matt Slauson is about average at left guard but the major concern is Wayne Hunter, the starting right tackle. Arguably the worst starting offensive tackle in 2011 Hunter was often dominated in games and is terrible in pass protection. If Hunter doesn’t improve in 2012, then the team will have major problems keeping their quarterbacks upright. The team improved their depth through free agency and the NFL Draft but the right tackle position is relatively weak since none of the backups are as good as Hunter; who was a career backup before 2011. Overall Unit Grade: B
One can tell the team’s offense has some talent but certain players like Mark Sanchez and Wayne Hunter need to make major strides if the team wants to be a Super Bowl contender.
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