Jets Could Fill Roster Void by Forcing Permanent Position Change

Joe Douglas, Jets

Getty New York Jets general manager Joe Douglas answering some questions at a presser.

The New York Jets refused to address one of its biggest needs in the 2023 NFL draft at defensive tackle.

Does general manager Joe Douglas have a trick up his sleeve? Will there be a veteran cut late in the process that can fill that void?

Zack Rosenblatt of The Athletic floated a different idea out there in a column he posted on Monday, May 1.

If Gang Green doesn’t add anyone of note they could simply move a player already on the roster inside permanently.

Rosenblatt floated two names that could make sense in Micheal Clemons and John Franklin-Myers.

Jets Haven’t Filled the Void at Defensive Tackle

As the roster is currently constructed, the Jets’ defensive tackle room is quite barren.

Gang Green has Quinnen Williams who is one of the best young players in football, but he needs help. New York attempted to get him some by signing veteran Quinton Jefferson this offseason.

He is a proven veteran that is coming off of a career-high 5.5 sack season with the Seattle Seahawks. However, they still have plenty of questions from a run defense perspective.

Here are the other three defensive tackles listed on the roster:

To be blunt, those names simply don’t move the needle.

This is an incredibly talented roster and they have a chance to make some noise in 2023. However, if you were to pick out an Achilles heel it is the team’s inability to defend the run.

If an NFL team turns its cap backward and commits to running the football down the Jets’ throat, they don’t have a great plan to stop it.

Diving Into the Jets Defensive Tackle Details

How do we know that the defensive tackle position is such a big need for the Jets?

Well, first off we have a pair of eyes. Secondly, look at what the Jets have attempted to do this offseason.

If the Jets didn’t think it was that big of a need why would they have hosted Al Woods on a free-agent visit? Or better yet let’s go higher on the relevance scale, why would the Jets have aggressively pursued the likes of Calais Campbell and Fletcher Cox in free agency?

Zack Rosenblatt of The Athletic gave the Jets a head nod for upgrading at pass rusher by signing Jefferson. However, he said that it is a clear “downgrade” from a run defense perspective over the guys that left.

Gang Green lost a pair of defensive big men in Sheldon Rankins and Nathan Shepherd this offseason. Rankins signed with the Houston Texans and Shepherd signed a big deal with the New Orleans Saints.

Clemons and JFM have played on the inside of the Jets’ defense before. Those two are incredibly versatile and have lined up all over the defensive formation.

However, with all of the losses on the interior, it might behoove the green and white to make a permanent change to their position listing on the team website.

That would allow some flexibility in the trenches and it wouldn’t force the team to go seek out another pure defensive tackle in free agency freeing up cap dollars.

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