The New York Jets aren’t satisfied with their defense after a horrendous 2021 season.
They will be making wholesale changes across the board through every avenue that is available this offseason.
That includes this very early stage of free agency here in January where teams can sometimes find a hidden gem. Gang Green is hoping they have found a player that slipped through the cracks of an NFL playoff team.
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A Super Intriguing Dart Throw
He originally entered the league as the No. 179 overall pick in the fifth round of the 2020 NFL draft.
The talented pass rusher out of Utah was supposed to be a key cog in the Cowboys defensive line rotation, but he just couldn’t find his way consistently on the football field.
In two seasons with America’s Team, he only received 56 defensive snaps, per Michael Gehlken of the Dallas Morning News.
All in all, he played 11 games in two years and only registered two combined tackles. Now with the Jets, he will get some fresh scenery and a chance to get a lot more playing time.
A Player With an Incredibly High Ceiling
While things obviously didn’t work with the Cowboys, that doesn’t mean that Anae can’t still be salvaged.
He is only 23 years of age and still has a very bright future ahead of him.
Anae is a bit of a tweener at 6-foot-3, 257 pounds but throughout his college career, he has just found a way to make plays.
The thing to like the most is the exponential growth year after year:
- 2016: 2 sacks
- 2017: 7 sacks
- 2018: 7.5 sacks
- 2019: 13 sacks
Here are some other stats that stand out from his collegiate career: 40 tackles for loss, five forced fumbles, and over 131 total tackles.
The other things that don’t show up on the box score, but certainly do when you watch the film is his nasty streak, unbelievable motor, and his obvious passion for the game.
His father, Brad, played football at BYU and ended up in the USFL. So clearly football is in his blood.
Heading into that 2020 NFL draft there was a lot of hype around Anae and the kind of player he could be:
The other thing that stands out is the creativity in getting to the quarterback, including a spin move.
Here is another good example of Anae blowing through a double team to take out the opposing quarterback:
When you watch the tape, it becomes obvious pretty quickly if a player has that ‘it’ factor in terms of finishing off plays. Anae has that in spades:
Here is one last reminder of the player hearing his name called during the draft and the impact the panel of analysts thought he could have in the NFL:
This is a very intriguing dart throw by general manager Joe Douglas and head coach Robert Saleh. It is a low-risk, no-strings-attached kind of contract, that could be exactly what Anae needs to realize his full potential in the NFL.