Originally written on Pro Football Zone  |  Last updated 11/18/14
Remember when the Jets went to 2 straight AFC Championship games in 2009 and 2010? Many probably do not. Those Jets teams were led by Mark Sanchez at quarterback and Rex Ryan at head coach. Well, everything has went downhill since those two playoff runs. The Jets have become a huge mockery. Mark Sanchez’s butt fumble has been Sports Center’s “Not Top 10″ king for over half of a year. The Jets are a three ring circus at its truest form. New York is in rebuilding mode, whether they like it or not. When you trade your best player(Darrelle Revis) away, the writing is very clear on the wall. Strap in Jets fans, get ready for more disappointment. This could be Rex Ryan’s last chance to salvage what’s left of his Jets head coaching career. And Ryan’s chances of a successful season are dismal. Even a respectable season seems out of the question for this team. The New York Jets will be one of the league’s worst teams, if not the worst. Quarterback: If Mark Sanchez starts over Geno Smith this entire season, that says a lot about Smith. Mark Sanchez was absolutely terrible last year. Sanchez is nowhere near being cool under pressure. If you’re an NFL QB, you have to be calm under pressure. If Sanchez wasn’t guaranteed so much money this year, he would not be on this roster. Sanchez’s days as a starting quarterback are nearing an end. I can’t imagine Geno Smith not getting at least one start this entire 2013 season. Smith has the physical ability to be a starting QB in the NFL. I believe the Jets picked up the best QB of the 2013 draft. Smith possesses great accuracy and arm strength. Geno may be able to give this team a bit of a boost. Grade: F+ Running Backs: Chris Ivory and Bilal Powell are going to be battle for the starting job. Mike Goodson could also be in the mix, if he can stay healthy. Bilal Powell showed some sparks of potential when given the chance last season. Powell shows off the good vision needed to be a good running back in the NFL. He also brings solid blocking to the table. He could definitely be a good first and second down runner. Mike Goodson brings to New York a good set of skills. Goodson has an equally good amount of speed and power. He also has good vision as a ball-carrier. Goodson also has a pretty solid set of hands. The Jets traded away a fourth round pick in exchange for Chris Ivory. Ivory seems to be the early favorite to take over the starting job. He is a hard-nosed downhill runner. Ivory picks up yardage in between the tackles. Grade: F+ Receivers: Santonio Holmes is the undoubted no.1 receiver on this team. He’s coming off a foot injury, hopefully he can still be as good as he once was. Stephen Hill was a very raw talent coming out of Georgia Tech last season. Hill had a lot of route running problems in 2012. His hands weren’t very great at times either. Hill started to improve by the end of last year, and showed some sparks of explosiveness. Expect him to be better in 2013. Jeremy Kerly is a very undersized wide receiver at 5-9. That causes him to disappear in the red zone. Kerly’s ball security is average at best. He’s not overly fast but he is very shifty. Kerly is set to become a slot receiver. Clyde Gates is the fastest wide receiver on the team. He also seems to have pretty solid hands. Jordan White also has some potential. Jeff Cumberland is one of the fastest tight ends in the NFL. Cumberland’s physical ability fits the new age model of tight ends. He does need to work on his route running skills. And he’s not going to make many spectacular catches. Cumberland could be a surprise bright spot on this team. Veteran tight end Kellen Winslow could give Cumberland a run for his money, but it seems doubtful. Expect TE Konrad Reuland to be used as a blocker mainly. Grade: D Offensive Line: The Jets signed former Steelers guard Willie Colon this offseason. Colon has had more than this fair share of injuries during the course of his career. He should be the starter at left guard, if he can stay healthy. Colon’s career was rejuvenated when he moved to LG last year. Stephen Peterman is expected to take over the right guard spot. The Jets let veteran Brandon Moore walk in free agency. Austin Howard was thrown in at the starting right tackle spot last season. Howard was shaky early on, but eventually he became a solid tackle. He needs to improve his pass blocking skills. Edge rushers give Howard fits. Howard does run block very well, on the other hand. The Jets have a very reliable left tackle in D’Brickshaw Ferguson. The Jets know they have in Ferguson: An average run blocker and a good pass blocker. He’s rock solid. Nick Mangold is a top-10 center in the league. He did have a bit of a down year in 2012, but he was still very good. Mangold can be a very dominant run blocker. He is also a good pass blocker. He is the anchor of this offensive line. Grade: B- Defensive Line: The Jets are looking at Sheldon Richardson to step in and become a starting defensive end right away. Look for Richardson to play as a defensive tackle when the Jets go to a 4-3 defense. Kendrick Ellis and Antonio Garay will fight for the team’s staring nose tackle position. Garay has had problems with staying healthy. Head coach Rex Ryan has noted his likeness of Ellis. Although, I still believe Garay is currently in a better position to become the starter. Muhammad Wilkerson is the star of this defensive line. Wilkerson is already one of the best 3-4 defensive ends in the league. He’s got great awareness on the field. Wilkerson is an elite run defender at his position. He is also an effective pass rusher. Grade: C+ Linebackers: David Harris is set to make a bigger base salary than any other Jets player. Harris is going to make $10.9 million in 2013. He is not nearly worth that much money. Harris is a quality inside linebacker, nothing more. He’s a good run stopper, but once again he’s not very special. He’s very poor while in coverage, and does not do a lot in terms of pass rush. DeMario Davis showed flashes of greatness in 2012. The Jets drafted him in the third round of last year’s draft. He’s got the potential to be a future star at ILB. Davis is definitely going to have to improve his run defense. He needs to find ways to shed blockers at a more consistent rate. Quinton Coples is going to be moved to outside linebacker. It’ll be interesting to see how he handles the transition. Coples has definitely shown that he can be a hybrid defender. Calvin Pace will reprise his role as a starting outside linebacker. Pace made his way back to the Jets thanks to little interest drawn from other teams in free agency. He still has talent left in him. Pace knows his role and is a solid defender. Grade: C Secondary: Antonio Cromartie will now be the no.1 cornerback. Cromartie is definitely prepared for this role. He spent most of 2012 as the Jets’ no.1 corner with Revis being injured. Cromartie had the best year of his career in 2012. The Jets may not miss Revis entirely too much. The Jets selected the best cornerback of the 2013 draft in Dee Milliner. Milliner is going to be thrown in as the starter beginning day one. He fits in well considering how much the Jets play man coverage. Dawan Landry is being projected to replace his younger brother LaRon at safety. Dawan is quite bad in pass coverage. He allowed QBs to complete 75% of their passes thrown his way. Antonio Allen and Josh Bush are going to fight for the other starting safety spot. Grade: C- Special Teams: Joe McKnight is one of the best return specialists in the game. Jeremy Kerley will once again be the punt returner; I’d expect him to be a lot more explosive this season. Nick Folk should have no problem beating out his camp competition. Grade: B Final Thoughts: If Geno Smith shows no hope, the Jets will likely select one of those great QBs of the 2014 draft class with their high draft pick. Mark Sanchez isn’t going to take this team anywhere. If the Jets are going to play better than expected, Geno Smith must take over the starting role and play well. However, it is likely to be too daunting of a task. Jets fans, prepare to say goodbye to Rex Ryan. Overall Grade: F Projected Finish in Division: 4th Projected Record: 2-14 Need NFL Tickets? The post 2013 NFL season preview: New York Jets appeared first on Pro Football Zone.
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