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PFT Preseason Power Rankings No. 27: New York Jets

Mark Sanchez, Geno Smith AP

This could be Rex Ryan’s last stand.

Ryan survived a purge this offseason that claimed a general manager, both coordinators and several veteran players, including cornerback Darrelle Revis, but there’s not much strength to his position. General Manager John Idzik will surely be using this year to evaluate whether or not he can or wants to work with Ryan in the future. Ryan hasn’t been given a cupboard stocked with talent to use to make his case, which doesn’t do much to build confidence that he’ll be back in 2014.

One of the biggest questions the Jets need to answer is whether Mark Sanchez will get one more chance as the starting quarterback or if Geno Smith will grab the job without looking back. Self-preservation normally means going with the vet, but Ryan may be able to build a better argument for himself if Smith plays well enough to give hope that he’s the long-term answer at the position.

Even if that happens, a winning record might be a stretch for a team that hasn’t replaced enough of the talent that helped them to consecutive AFC Championship Games in 2009 and 2010.

Strengths.

Revis is gone, but the Jets still have a very good cornerback at their disposal in Antonio Cromartie. He sometimes gained more notice for his progeny and his run support allergy early in his career, but Cromartie was excellent in 2012 as the top corner after Revis fore his ACL even as the team crumbled around him. He’ll be back in that role this year and there’s no reason to think he won’t thrive once again.

Muhammad Wilkerson isn’t the flashiest player in the league. He’s awfully effective, though, and stood out as one of the top three or four 3-4 defensive ends in the NFL last season. More growth will give the Jets defense an anchor that they hope to mirror on the other side of the line with 2013 first-rounder Sheldon Richardson.

Jeremy Kerley set an NFL record with 36 fair catches as a punt returner last year, so you can definitely count fair catches in the strength column.

Too backhanded? Fair enough. For all his foibles, Ryan has always been able to put together competitive defenses and he’ll likely be able to do the same with this year’s group. As for the other side of the ball…

Weaknesses.

You can choose the epithet you like, but we’ll go with horror show for the 2012 offense. They scored 281 points all year and turned the ball over 37 times, which is why Marty Mornhinweg is now the coordinator and why Smith was taken in the second round. They made changes at running back and on the offensive line, but the receiver group is heavily reliant on Santonio Holmes getting healthy, Stephen Hill improving rapidly and Kellen Winslow Jr. rebounding. None is a bet you’d want to make with the mortgage payment.

Of course, it wouldn’t help all that much if Calvin Johnson and Jimmy Graham were running patterns as long as the Jets don’t get at least average play from their quarterback. There are no guarantees that either Sanchez or Smith will provide it.

In Ryan’s first couple of years, the Jets were able to disguise their lack of an elite pass rusher with a variety of packages and blitzes that relied on having a shutdown corner on one side to confound offenses. That wasn’t the case last year and the lack of Revis means it may not be the case this year, which is troubling because they are still missing that special player off the edge. They signed Antwan Barnes in hopes he’s over last year’s hamstring issues and moved Quinton Coples from defensive end in hopes of finding something close to one.

Mike Tannenbaum is gone from the front office, but the roster continues to bear his thumbprints. Developing players was put on the back burner in favor of going with expensive vets. Clearing out those older players this offseason has left them without players who may not be ready to step into bigger roles and short on cap space to bring in quality replacements.

Changes.

We’ve already mentioned Tannenbaum’s ouster, Idzik’s hiring, Smith’s arrival and the Revis trade. That’s just the tip of the iceberg, though.

Shonn Greene was bid a less-than-fond farewell and replaced at running back by Chris Ivory and Mike Goodson, who at least assured the Jets some more unsavory headlines thanks to his offseason arrest. Dustin Keller signed with the Dolphins, giving Winslow a chance to resume his career after playing just one game in 2012.

Braylon Edwards remains unsigned, although there are intermittent indications that the Jets would be up for a third go-round with the wide receiver. The Jets will have two new starting guards, with Brandon Moore and Matthew Slauson leaving and Willie Colon, Stephen Peterman and rookie Brian Winters arriving.

On defense, the Jets said goodbye to defensive end Mike DeVito, defensive tackle Sione Pouha and linebackers Bryan Thomas and Bart Scott, leaving them with several holes to fill. Demario Davis will be expected to step in for Scott, which could wind up as an upgrade given the step that Scott clearly lost in recent years.

Safeties LaRon Landry and Yeremiah Bell played well last season. Eric Smith didn’t, but he’s gone too and the Jets are left with Dawan Landry and untested Josh Bush as their prospective starters at safety.

Some fellow named Tim Tebow, who saw most of his action on the punt team, was also released this offseason. Smaller story, but we’re sure you’ve been following it.

Camp Battles.

The Sanchez/Smith competition will be the headline grabber, but there are plenty of other things to watch when the Jets gather this summer. Colon is ticketed for one guard spot, but Peterman, Winters and Vladimir Ducasse will compete for snaps at guard with Ducasse a strong candidate for release if he can’t show more than he has through his first three seasons.

Ninth overall pick Dee Milliner and Kyle Wilson are both options to start across from Cromartie. Wilson is better suited for nickel work, so the rookie should get the job if he’s healthy.

Calvin Pace was re-signed after being released and could wind up starting at outside linebacker if Coples can’t handle the transition or if Barnes is a better fit in a situational role. 2011 third-round pick Kenrick Ellis will battle Damon Harrison and veteran Antonio Garay to replace Pouha on the nose.

Prospects.

There’s a fair chance that the Jets won’t be as bad as most people think.

Unfortunately for the Jets, not being as bad as conventional wisdom isn’t the same thing as being good. When you look at the talent on the roster, predicting much more than last year’s 6-10 finish is very difficult and a drop to the bottom of the barrel is hardly unthinkable.

If that happens, Ryan and Sanchez will almost certainly be gone and the Jets will turn the page on an era that started with a lot of sound and fury before ultimately adding up to nothing all that different than the other seasons that have followed Joe Namath’s guarantee made good.

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54 Responses to “PFT Preseason Power Rankings No. 27: New York Jets”
  1. hrmlss says: Jul 11, 2013 3:04 PM

    #32

  2. raiderrob21 says: Jul 11, 2013 3:06 PM

    5 spots too high.

  3. crackills says: Jul 11, 2013 3:11 PM

    “There’s a fair chance that the Jets won’t be as bad as most people think.”

    Problem is that there is a higher chance that the Jets will actually be worse then we think.

  4. madmax80 says: Jul 11, 2013 3:14 PM

    “Smaller story, but we’re sure you’ve been following it.”

    Actually, I was more concerned with Off Track Betting in the Himalayas.

  5. crush22 says: Jul 11, 2013 3:14 PM

    To high.

  6. ColtsWinColtsWin!! says: Jul 11, 2013 3:16 PM

    WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAYYYYYYYY to high!!!!! In fact you could rank about 4 college teams in front of the butt fumbling Jets. LOL

  7. maxkingpin says: Jul 11, 2013 3:16 PM

    Ranked too high.

  8. tvguy22 says: Jul 11, 2013 3:16 PM

    I hope they aren’t counting on Marty M. to turn the offense around…

  9. olhoss1884 says: Jul 11, 2013 3:17 PM

    I am not sure that Ryan, despite all his bluster that pisses everyone off, is the problem. I think Tannenbaum wrecked the roster, and no coach could win with what the Jets have had to trot out there the last couple years.

    I am guessing the Jets will suck and they’ll fire Ryan, and I wouldn’t be surprised if he is the first coach hired next off season…probably in Detroit or Dallas.

  10. jimmyt says: Jul 11, 2013 3:17 PM

    Take heart Jets fans. There’s a new circus in your division and it is like one never seen! It’s colossal! It’s stupendous! It’s ridicules and it’s fun to watch it burn!

  11. expertop says: Jul 11, 2013 3:21 PM

    Too high. No idea how you can justify ranking teams lower than this clown car.

  12. chuckchillout says: Jul 11, 2013 3:21 PM

    How can Sanchez not be at the top of the “Weaknesses” section?!?

    Lame duck seasons suck, and I sympathize with Jets fans, because it’s going to be one long, lame duck season for the Jets.

    Winter is definitely coming, Mr. Martin.

  13. thoganprinceton says: Jul 11, 2013 3:22 PM

    Jeremy Kerley set an NFL record with 36 fair catches as a punt returner last year, so you can definitely count fair catches in the strength column.

    Good one!

  14. sbmcintosh36 says: Jul 11, 2013 3:24 PM

    Maybe I’m missing something but this team went 6-10 last year and improved the talent over last years team by a wide margin.
    They had no Keller,Revis,Pouha or Holmes last year so you can’t use the argument the 3 were lost ,Greene is average at best,Landry was a joke the only reason anyone talked about him was the big hits not the missed tackles or bad coverage,Bell is loss he played good not great,Sanchez couldn’t be any worse so say he’s same add in the drafted players, Holmes return,Coples growth the FA’s and how is this team not 8-8 or 9-7??
    I’m sorry but I’m not buying the hype this team will be horrible they will be average at worst

  15. 69finfan says: Jul 11, 2013 3:25 PM

    In that picture I think MS is telling GS, there’s an opening over there, let’s make a run for it and get the hell out of here.

  16. patriotinvasion says: Jul 11, 2013 3:33 PM

    But, but…didn’t they go to back to back AFC Championship Games and beat the Patriots in Week 2 a couple of years? Man, that Dynasty crumbled fast.

  17. ratbirdking says: Jul 11, 2013 3:37 PM

    RAW POWER.

  18. jsbrasha says: Jul 11, 2013 3:39 PM

    This team will benefit from lower expectations and fewer veteran egos, but that doesn’t mean they’ll see the playoffs.

    Ryan is a solid D coordinator and that’s where he belongs. He goes into this year having to decide if Sanchize is miraculously going to find consistency or if he’s better off rolling the dice on a play-action and option based offense with Geno. I wager he rolls the dice.

  19. Sanchezizgr8 says: Jul 11, 2013 3:42 PM

    Easily the worst team in the NFL with the worst QB situation. This is probably the only team we’ll disagree on.

  20. glazerh8er says: Jul 11, 2013 3:44 PM

    Your QB is either Mark Sanchez or a guy with 50% of the talent Cam Newton has and basically the same attitude problem. Please take a minute and ponder the 09′ draft, and then hold back the tears knowing that you could have had Josh Freeman (and probably an extra pick in the draft), and likely be gloating about a superbowl win. Josh Freeman could easily have won with those teams.

  21. fwippel says: Jul 11, 2013 3:45 PM

    The Jets won’t have Tim Tebow to blame their problems on this year.

    They should have fired Rex Ryan, because until he’s gone, this team isn’t going to get any better.

  22. simonwelds says: Jul 11, 2013 3:51 PM

    Strength: fair catches?!??? Lol….

  23. omegalh says: Jul 11, 2013 3:58 PM

    The D-line is better than anyone thinks. Cro is elite so Revis isn’t a massive drop. QB and skill positions are at best awful.

    They might score 13 a game but they’ll only give up 13.

  24. bennyb82 says: Jul 11, 2013 3:58 PM

    One of the above-comments suggested that Rex Ryan could be in Detroit next year and I cringed…Rex Ryan might be a great defensive coach but his mouth will probably stop him from getting a respectable head coaching position. Plus, how can you respect a guy who continues to go with Sanchez…

  25. cospgsmadman says: Jul 11, 2013 4:01 PM

    Sounds about right

  26. losangelesbillsofbuffalo says: Jul 11, 2013 4:01 PM

    The Jets power ranking can be classified with the same description as me right now: Too High.

  27. barometerrrrising says: Jul 11, 2013 4:14 PM

    @bennyb82:

    I think you meant “Plus, how can you respect a guy who continues to sport a tattoo with Sanchez…”

  28. hehateme2 says: Jul 11, 2013 4:30 PM

    Can’t wait for the NJ train wreck to continue!

    How many more creative turnovers will Sanchez have this season? He needs to come up with something new after the epic buttfumble.

    How many excuses will we hear blaming everyone except themselves?

    What week will the locker room completely implode?

    How many shutouts (0 points) scored from the jets this season?

    Finally, what week will Wrecks break down and cry to the media? Actually cry.

    I mean, you can’t make this stuff up.

  29. 8to80texansblog says: Jul 11, 2013 4:39 PM

    Jets and Cowboys should meet in the Dumpster Fire of an Organization bowl….

  30. urmomsmyho says: Jul 11, 2013 4:40 PM

    Say what you want about the team as a whole but the Jets may have one of the scariest DLs in football if Richardson is as good as advertised.

  31. reprocity says: Jul 11, 2013 4:54 PM

    Why do people rag on a team that has had, and will have a top 10 Defense and a middle of the pack special teams?

    The Jets are either a top 16 or bottom 16 team depending on the QB play. Great Defense and a strong running game is the solid foundation for any team.

  32. pioniere says: Jul 11, 2013 5:20 PM

    Ridiculous ranking this circus ahead of the Bills.

    The Jets lost their best player on ‘D’, they are a mess on offense, and are led by a lame duck coach who the players are going to stop listening to by the end of September.

    The Bills have upside, and they have the former Jets ‘D’ coordinator. And he left the Jets because he knows they are on the way down.

    The Jets are going to crash hard. They should have been the first team in this power rankings series, at #32.

  33. pftfan says: Jul 11, 2013 5:21 PM

    The Jets were better than 8 other NFL teams and that was WITHOUT their 3 best players for most of the season.

    No one is going to argue they’ll be any good this year, but there are way too many “geniuses” here claiming they are the worst team in football.

    There’s at least 5 teams far worse than the Jets, which makes this ranking about right.

  34. iamapatsfan says: Jul 11, 2013 5:45 PM

    “Some fellow named Tim Tebow, who saw most of his action on the punt team, was also released this offseason. Smaller story, but we’re sure you’ve been following it.”

    Yea, we’ve been following. Not because we wanted to, but because the media forced it down our throats.

  35. igotgamenj says: Jul 11, 2013 5:52 PM

    The good thing for the Jets is that the circus has left town and now is in NE

  36. historyisyourfriend says: Jul 11, 2013 6:10 PM

    Not commenting on where they have the Jets ranked, because its all subjective. I will say that if I’m in the Jets shoes I give Geno as much opportunity as you can to be on that field as a starter. You have already seen Sanchez’s best (and worst) and know that you aren’t winning a Superbowl this year. May as well test the rookie out and use Sanchez as your fallback plan if Smith folds under the pressure. Down non Superbowl/playoff years should be used to build up your franchise and it starts with giving the up and comers a good chunk of playing time. Holding on to an average QB at best is only going to hurt you in the long run.

  37. asthebeaver says: Jul 11, 2013 6:17 PM

    The Jets would be ranked much higher if they had a killer tight end like the Patriots.

  38. jwilliamsspf says: Jul 11, 2013 6:18 PM

    And now, the New York Jets are on the clock with the second pick of the 2014 NFL Draft.

    (This will not happen via trade.)

  39. zo121179 says: Jul 11, 2013 6:44 PM

    Super Bowl team! NOT!

  40. kjcnc21 says: Jul 11, 2013 6:48 PM

    No way the jets should be ranked this low… yes there skill players are horrendous, but there O-line make up for it and with the addition of Ivory will be able to establish a solid run game. In addition, the jets are adding a the top corner back out of college to the 3rd ranked pass defense in the country last year without Revis for the majority of the time. Also, the jets front 7 is packed with young studs like mo wilk, coples, ellis, and richardson who will help the run d. All you people who say the jets should be the last ranked team in the nfl are extremely ignorant, and have clearly not watched a single one of there games besides the thanksgiving disaster. Stop making decisions like this when all you do is watch highlights on sportscenter.

  41. dcapettini says: Jul 11, 2013 6:53 PM

    I didn’t think another Pats joke could make it , but Beav you nailed it!

  42. dallascowboysdishingthereal says: Jul 11, 2013 8:02 PM

    With Sanchez at QB, don’t underestimate how poor the Jets may play.

  43. jacktown88 says: Jul 11, 2013 8:12 PM

    Not bad for the team with the No. 32 coach.

  44. securb2013 says: Jul 11, 2013 8:19 PM

    I don’t think this ranking is too far off. A couple of more arrests in Foxboro and The Jets could go 2-14

  45. fiverings37 says: Jul 11, 2013 8:39 PM

    J.ust
    E.nd
    T.he
    S.eason

  46. jprcox says: Jul 11, 2013 9:21 PM

    Listen, whoever thinks the Jets should be ranked ahead of the Browns is crazy. There are a couple bright spots for the Jets to build on, but people need to stop acting like signing Ivory is like they just traded for A.Peterson. He may be great, but no one can say yet either way – yet if he was the stud you guys think, NO might not have traded him like they did.

  47. dynaco says: Jul 11, 2013 9:50 PM

    But, but…didn’t they go to back to back AFC Championship Games and beat the Patriots in Week 2 a couple of years? Man, that Dynasty crumbled fast.

    ———————————————-
    Beating the Patriots in the post season is boring already. Everyone’s doing it.

  48. green41563 says: Jul 11, 2013 11:37 PM

    fiverings37 says:
    Jul 11, 2013 8:39 PM
    J.ust
    E.nd
    T.he
    S.eason
    ___________________________________

    OMG! That’s hilarious! I can’t believe no one thought of that before.

  49. nflofficeadmin says: Jul 12, 2013 12:00 AM

    Whose going to run the ball for this team? We already know what Chez’s passing ge looks like. #showedupflacid

  50. trollaikman8 says: Jul 12, 2013 1:26 AM

    The Rank too damn high

  51. baredon says: Jul 12, 2013 9:36 AM

    Jets will be lucky to be a 50/50 team this year…

    If they’re really lucky, Ryan will be fined before the season is over…!!

  52. balboafan1 says: Jul 12, 2013 11:48 AM

    “They scored 281 points all year and turned the ball over 37 times, which is why Marty Mornhinweg is now the coordinator”

    I hate to break it to you Josh, but under Marty Mornhinweg’s tutelage last season, the Eagles had 280 points and 37 turnovers. So explain to me how he’s supposed to be any better working under Rex Ryan.

  53. starderup says: Jul 12, 2013 1:34 PM

    There’s a fair chance that the Jets won’t be as bad as most people think.
    Reminds me of a classic MASH exchange:
    Klinger – “I won’t let you down, sir!”
    Potter – “There’s no way that you could.”

  54. Joemontanaflacco says: Jul 12, 2013 4:33 PM

    Jets should be MUCH higher than the Steelers. I’m sure they’re going to clobber them good this year on October 13. Roethlisbooger won’t know what hit him.

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