The New York Jets finished the 2018 regular season with the fourth-worst scoring defense in the NFL, allowing 27.6 points a contest.
They enter this weekend’s NFL Scouting Combine searching for a defensive prospect to bolster that unit. Particularly, Jets general manager Mike Maccagnan will be looking to improve a pass rush that ranked in the bottom half on the league in getting to the quarterback.
The ideal choice would be Ohio State defensive end Nick Bosa, the younger brother of Los Angeles Charger end Joey Bosa. With the third pick after a 4-12 record this past fall, the Jets will certainly need other targets just in case Arizona or San Francisco snatches him up beforehand.
Including Bosa, here are the top names to watch for New York entering this weekend.
Nick Bosa, Defensive End from Ohio State
There’s little questioning the potential and production from the former Buckeye. In 47 games at Ohio State, he had 77 total tackles, 17.5 sacks, two pass defenses and two forced fumbles.
In his last full season in Columbus, he racked up 16 tackles for loss and 8.5 sacks en route to the Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year Award.
The main question is his health. He suffered a core muscle injury against TCU last September and required surgery. He tallied 4 sacks in 3 games last fall but hasn’t played football in over 5 months.
Sam Cooper of Yahoo Sports reports that Bosa is healthy entering on-field workouts this weekend in Indianapolis. Some impressive testing numbers could quickly shoot down any health concerns.
Clelin Farrell, Defensive End from Clemson
One of the leaders for the 2-time national champion Tigers, the 3-4 outside linebacker registered a career-high 11.5 sacks for Clemson this past season. He posted 27 sacks in three full campaigns, adding 20 tackles for loss last year.
The 6-4, 265-pounder won the Ted Hendricks Award for 2018, the honor is given to college football’s top defensive end. He played alongside other top prospects in Austin Bryant, Dexter Lawrence and Christian Wilkins, so it’s possible he thrived against teams that couldn’t devote more blocking resources towards him.
Farrell is projected to the No. 7 pick in the CBS Sports mock draft.
Josh Allen, Outside Linebacker from Kentucky
What can you say about Allen’s senior season?
The Wildcat product produced a career-high 17 sacks, 88 tackles (21.5 for loss) and five forced fumbles. This earned the 6-5, 260-pounder the 2018 Chuck Bednarik Award, awarded to college football’s top defensive player.
He also received consensus All-American honors. He saved his best for last, gobbling up 3 sacks in the VRBO Citrus Bowl against Penn State on New Year’s Day.
Unlike Farrell, Allen performed on a defense with limited talent. Kentucky has only reeled in one top-25 recruiting class in the last decade, according to 247 Sports. This means he rose to his elite levels without as much support surrounding him.
Greedy Williams, Cornerback from LSU
That’s Williams facing off against two elite receivers in A.J. Brown and D.K. Metcalf of Ole Miss. He produced in a big way, totaling 10 tackles and a pass deflection while holding the duo to just 109 combined yards in the 45-16 victory.
Jets Wire reports that New York may jettison both Morris Claiborne and Buster Skrine this offseason. Thus, Williams could fill in a lockdown corner role.
The 6-foot-3, 184-pounder finished his career at LSU with 71 tackles, eight interceptions, and 19 pass breakups. He possesses great range and hip mobility to stick with both large, jumpball targets and small shifty slot receivers.