Brian Poole Is a ‘Logical’ Choice to Return to Jets in 2021

Brian Poole Jets

Getty New York Jets slot corner Brian Poole celebrating after a huge interception.

Everyone has been talking about the hole at outside cornerback for the New York Jets heading into 2021. Although maybe we should’ve been talking about the slot corner situation instead.

On the latest episode of the Badlands feed, NFL analyst Connor Rogers said re-signing veteran Brian Poole is the “logical” choice of all the options in free agency for the green and white.

“I mean just from a logic standpoint, you would think Brian Poole right? Look at the cornerback depth chart. There are three corners that were taken on day three of the 2021 NFL draft. Sprinkle in a few UDFAs (undrafted free agents) from last year (Javelin Guidry and Lamar Jackson) and this year (Isaiah Dunn). The coaching staff is hoping one of these guys steps up to the plate and turns into a nice flash in the pan. I don’t have any insight on this right now, I’m just using logic. Poole’s relationship with Marcus Maye (former teammates at Florida) and this organization. A reunion just makes a lot of sense.”

Why Would Poole Be the Logical Option for Gang Green?

Familiarity would probably be the biggest reason.

Poole has played the last two seasons for the Jets and he’s looked really good when he’s been on the field:

  • 12 pass deflections
  • Three interceptions
  • 103 combined tackles

The only bugaboo has been durability. The veteran has only started in 17 out of 32 possible games, although it’s worth noting that he did play in 23 total contests during that time span with the Jets.

Although the familiarity doesn’t stop there for Poole and the green and white.

The new defensive coordinator, Jeff Ulbrich, was previously on the Atlanta Falcons staff serving a number of roles since 2015 before transitioning to his current gig. The former Florida Gator spent the first three years of his NFL career with the dirty birds.

That type of connection and the team’s need at slot corner is almost a match made in heaven.

When you look at the other two cornerbacks that have been linked to the Jets this offseason there aren’t as many immediate dots to connect (Richard Sherman and Steven Nelson).

Plus Rome wasn’t built in a day.

It seems unrealistic for the Jets to go all Madden video game on us and sign every available corner to fill the voids remaining on the roster. It appears more likely the team will add one veteran cornerback at some point ahead of training camp.

If they can only add one, Poole appears to be the most likely candidate that not enough people are talking about.

Stability at Cornerback Would Be a Welcomed Sign

The Jets have arguably the worst crop of cornerbacks in the entire NFL. They’re littered with inexperience and question marks.

When you look at the depth chart at slot corner the current battle features several rookies (Michael Carter II, Brandin Echols) and a talented albeit unproven youngster (Guidry).

Instead of screaming ‘YOLO’ from the top of your lungs heading into 2021. The Jets can add stability to the unit by bringing back one of the best slot corners in all of football.

Heading into last season, Trevor Sikkema of The Draft Network, ranked Poole the top slot corner in football.

“Poole is so smart. Over the course of his four years in the NFL, he has seen it all, or at least that’s the vibe you get when you watch him play. According to Pro Football Focus, Poole yielded just a 72.1 quarterback rating when targeted in 2019. He also only gave up an average of 0.57 yards per slot coverage rep, which was tied for the best in the NFL.”

After a one-year pop in 2019, the Jets re-signed the veteran standout to a one-year deal for $5 million. That’s absolute chump change for a player that can step in from day one and make an immediate impact.