The 2022 NFL Season is nearly upon us. As part of the run up to the season, we’re preview all the teams, culminating with our picks for who makes the playoffs and who wins the awards this season. Check back each day through September 5. Let’s get ready for some football!
The Jets entered the 2021 season with their new Franchise Quarterback in Zach Wilson. It didn’t go as expected, as Wilson struggled with injury and only appeared in 13 games. In total, the Jets played four different players at quarterback but it didn’t make much of a difference. The team ended up 4-13 and in the basement in the AFC East. Undeterred, Head Coach Robert Saleh and the front office worked to re-load heading into 2022.
The Jets had a few veterans move on this off-season. Safety Marcus Maye moved on to the Saints, while receivers Keelan Cole (Raiders) and Jamison Crowder (Bills) moved on to other teams. Linebacker Jarrad Davis left for the Lions, while guard Greg Van Roten headed to the Bills. But it wasn’t a one-way set of moves, as the Jets grabbed a few veterans this off-season, too. That included a pair of weapons in tight end with C.J. Uzomah, formerly of the Bengals, and Tyler Conklin, formerly of the Vikings. The team also added linebacker Kwon Alexander, kicker Greg Zuerlein and left tackle Duane Brown.
The Jets also did plenty of work in the draft. The team had three first round picks, and five total picks in the first three rounds. The Jets used a pair of First Round picks on defense, adding cornerback Ahmad “Sauce” Gardner and defensive end Jermaine Johnson II. But the third First Round pick was used to grab former Ohio State receiver Garrett Wilson as a weapon on offense. Wilson caught 70 passes for 1,058 yards and 12 touchdowns in 2021.
With their Third Round Pick, the Jets grabbed another passing game weapon from Ohio State in tight end Jeremy Ruckert. But one of the biggest picks was a Second Round selection of Iowa State running back Breece Hall. Hall rushed for 3,941 yards and 50 touchdowns in three seasons. He figures to be a big part of the team’s offensive resurgence.
The pressure is on Zach Wilson in year two, and it hasn’t started off well. He had a knee injury in the first pre-season game that required surgery. He won’t miss the season but may not be ready for Week 1. He’s still growing and I see him as a QB3. Behind him is a backfield led by Hall and last year’s rookie breakout in Michael Carter. Wisdom suggests Carter will be used more as a receiver but should still have a role. I think he’s an RB4 with upside if an injury occurs. Hall figures to be the main man in the backfield, and I think he can finish as an RB2.
In the passing game, the Jets have a trio of strong receiving options. The team has veteran Corey Davis and second-year receiver Elijah Moore along with Garrett Wilson. Moore looked strong during the back half of 2021, breaking out and finishing as WR50 overall. I like Garrett Wilson to play a role but I think Moore ends up the Jets’ top receiver. I see him finishing as a high-end WR3 with Garrett Moore in the WR4 range. At tight end, I like stashing Ruckert in Dynasty Leagues but I’m not trusting any of them as a weekly start.
The Jets’ turnaround was never going to be quick, especially in the crowded AFC landscape. I like their off-season moves and the pieces the team has in place. I think, like the Jaguars, the Jets will be competitive and take a step forward in 2022. They aren’t a playoff team yet but they’ll be fun. The biggest challenge will be seeing Zach Wilson turn into someone who looks like a franchise quarterback.
Matthew Fox is a graduate of the Radio, Television and Film program at Biola University, and a giant nerd. He spends his free time watching movies, TV, and obsessing about football. He is a member of the FSWA. You can find him @knighthawk7734 on Twitter and as co-host of the Fantasy Football Roundtable Podcast.