Muhammad Wilkerson Among Underrated Pieces to Build Around for New York Jets

Debby Wong-USA TODAY Sports

I won’t deny that joking on the New York Jets was fun. The trade that sent off disgruntled star cornerback Darrelle Revis spurred plenty of entertaining reactions to new general manager John Idzik‘s move, from the world of Game of Thrones — author George R.R. Martin declaring “fire his ass now” and “let’s give away our best player for a bag of old jockstraps” — to several hilarious Twitter memes along the lines of “the Jets’ one good player is now gone.”

Except that this is not quite true.

In fact, the Jets not only still possess one of the NFL‘s best cornerbacks in Antonio Cromartie — who is still in his 20s by the way — but also top defensive lineman in 3-4 end Muhammad Wilkerson, entering just his third year in 2013. These two along with right guard Brandon Moore earned spots in the Pro Football Focus Top 101 players list for 2012. The Jets’ total of three selections (Wilkerson 14th, Cromartie 33rd and Moore 78th) actually equals the total of the New York Giants and surpasses that of nine other teams including playoff squads in the Washington Redskins and Indianapolis Colts.

This tally heading into the future probably only includes two for the Jets though, as Moore remains a free agent and probably will land elsewhere because he’s 33 and the cash-strapped Jets will go young and cheap. If second rounder Geno Smith pans out, New York’s turnaround could occur fast than people think thanks to other young elements that have flashed or shown promise including receivers Stephen Hill and Jeremy Kerley, running backs Chris Ivory and Mike Goodson, defensive linemen Wilkerson and Quinton Coples, and this season’s huge draft haul bolstered by the Revis trade.

Thomas Emerick is a Senior Writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @ThomasEmerick, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google


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