After years of disappointing draft results, the New York Jets finally seem to be building their team the right way.
The New York Jets have been a trainwreck of an NFL franchise for far too long now. Dating back to the first year of their history as the New York Titans all the way back in 1960, the franchise has had just 18 winning seasons, according to Pro Football Reference – only 11 of which included at least 10 wins.
After finally building up a solid roster back in 2010, it looked like the Jets were finally going to turn history on its head after going 11-5 and falling just short in the AFC Championship Game. However, over the past decade, they’ve had zero playoff appearances and have only managed to earn a winning record just once.
After being one of the most disappointing teams in the league, New York Jets fans finally have reason to celebrate, as they seem to be doing everything right so far this offseason.
Whether you liked Sam Darnold in New York or not, there’s no doubt in my mind that the Jets set him up for failure. After just turning 21 years old just before training camp of his rookie season in 2018, the organization fed him to the wolves as the starting quarterback without any competent pieces around him to help him succeed. Former head coach, Adam Gase, didn’t help the matter over the past two years, as the offense got even worse.
Now under the direction of head coach Robert Saleh, the Jets will attempt to turn this tugboat around. So far, they seem to be doing everything right.
How the New York Jets are finally doing things right
After failing Darnold, it really wasn’t a question that the Jets needed to move on from the young quarterback. With a rough start to his NFL career, it made sense for both parties to allow him to have a fresh start elsewhere and for the Jets to draft a new franchise quarterback. With the number two overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, New York selected BYU standout quarterback, Zach Wilson.
Though Wilson is just 21 years old with one elite season of college production under his belt, he’s got all the tools a new head coach could hope for in a starting quarterback, and unlike Darnold, his confidence is still intact. However, unlike in previous drafts, the Jets made sure to get their young passer some help this time around.
One pick after the Los Angeles Chargers selected high-profile offensive lineman, Rashawn Slater, the Jets decided to be aggressive by jumping back up to the 14th overall pick to select USC’s Alijah Vera-Tucker. This trade cost New York dearly, as they were forced to give up the 23rd, 66th, and 86th overall selections to acquire the versatile offensive lineman. However, I applaud their aggressiveness to make sure Wilson has what he needs to be successful.
With their next two picks in rounds 2 and 4, respectively, the Jets gave Wilson a potential number one weapon in Ole Miss wide receiver Elijah Moore, followed by shifty running back, Michael Carter. It also helps that the team invested their top pick in left tackle, Mekhi Becton in the 2020 NFL Draft.
I give Jets fans a lot of credit. They’ve suffered through a lot of tough years without any sign of hope. However, it seems that hope may finally be on the horizon as the New York Jets look to right the wrongs of the past by building their team the right way.