Another Monday and another New York Jets loss to discuss. Time is a flat circle folks.
In this particular case, we unveil our first Mock Draft Monday, explore injury questions, and another gauge on rookie quarterback Zach Wilson.
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Evaluating the Current Landscape
1. Are you ready to hand a “lifetime contract” to kicker Eddy Pineiro after his brilliant performance?
Haha, I’m not sure about a lifetime contract but I’m optimistic that he may be able to win the job. Pineiro is a kicker that I mentioned the Jets could take a chance on this summer so I was pleased when they signed him last week.
A few years ago, the Florida product was near the top of his draft class behind Daniel Carlson, but injuries have plagued his career so far. He has always been insanely accurate and he used to have a decent leg too. Based on the comment’s throughout the Week 14 broadcast, it sounds like he’s currently working up the strength aspect but honestly, I’ll take accuracy over power right now.
Pineiro has done enough to keep the job at the moment and we’ll see if he’s a long-term fix throughout the remainder of the season.
After all the garbage I’ve had to endure this year as it pertains to kickers, I’m all for locking up a solution long-term.
Pineiro was perfect (3-for-3) and while some have criticized how those kicks may have looked going in, the bottom line is getting it through the uprights so I’m turning down all that noise.
The position has been an epic disaster over the last five years and even when they’ve hit on good kickers they have quickly let them go. It has been far worse times than good times.
It is only one game, but again as far as I’m concerned he is the guy for me until proven otherwise. Rich Cimini was right, give him a lifetime contract!
2. For the first time in his NFL career, Jets rookie QB Zach Wilson didn’t turn the ball over in a complete game he played, how big of a deal is that?
Interesting, I had not thought of that but I do think it could be seen as a subtle sign of progress. Wilson had a frustrating day at the office, in part because he was playing with second, third, and fourth-stringers as his primary playmakers.
You could tell that the trust and the chemistry were way off. There was miscommunication on routes, passes that were too late or too early, and about a million and one dropped passes. While some of that is on the rookie QB, the old Wilson probably would have forced the ball into double and triple coverage to try and save the day like he did in Week 2 against the New England Patriots.
On Sunday the BYU product kept his cool for the most part and stuck to the game script, even though it wasn’t working. This isn’t something to be proud of two years from now but for a rookie with no offensive weapons, that is a minor accomplishment I suppose.
I’m going beyond my partner here, this is more than some minor accomplishment, this is exactly what head coach Robert Saleh asked. This was boring football at its’ finest and quite frankly, considering the lack of weapons and lack of chemistry, Wilson made chicken salad out of chicken s***.
Over the last four games, Wilson only has two interceptions, which is major progress/improvement compared to the first half of the season. There is also a ton of room for improvement, to put it bluntly, the accuracy has to get better.
Part of the issues were drops, new guys in the lineup that didn’t know the plays as well, and that put the Jets behind the eight-ball. Wilson is not absolved of blame, he really missed a lot of layup throws and that has to improve.
3. With all the injuries at wide receiver, should the Jets go outside the organization to fill the void or should they rely on the guys in-house?
I’ve been telling fans this and I stand by it, I think of these final games as tryouts for next season. The wide receiver core was abysmal against the Saints and they didn’t do Wilson any favors.
Unless the ball is right in the breadbasket, this group ain’t catching it and sometimes they drop it even when Wilson is on his game. This isn’t a Week 14 problem, the drops have been occurring ALL YEAR LONG. Quite frankly, it’s pathetic.
Having said that, my answer goes back to that idea of tryouts.
We should be giving the snaps to players that have a chance of remaining with the system in 2021. I wouldn’t necessarily bring in some mercenary just to help Wilson out but if there’s a free agent Joe Douglas likes that could earn a role in the future, I’m all for that — because right now the combination of Denzel Mims, Keelan Cole, Jeff Smith, Vyncint Smith, and D.J. Montgomery on the outside is brutal.
My normal inkling in a situation like this is to go outside the organization, however, I don’t believe Douglas will pursue this route. There are only four games left and they’ll stick with their own guys.
Although the good news is all these players that were running around like chickens with their heads cut off should be better next week with a full slate of practices and reps.
Although one area which was completely unacceptable was the drops heading into this game (led the league) and after all the drops versus the New Orleans Saints, that statistic didn’t change for the better.
With so many guys out on offense, the supporting cast has to make life easier for Wilson, not harder. On Sunday they made all the simple things so difficult that it threw off the entire offense. That needs to change or else Wilson’s development will be stunted.
Looking Ahead to the Future
4. MOCK DRAFT MONDAY: give us your selections if you had to make them right now? According to Tankathon, they hold the No. 4 (their own) and No. 7 (via Seattle) overall picks in the first round of the 2022 NFL draft.
It’s always hard to determine who might be available so I’ll suggest the positions I would target and give one or two players I’d hope to find at those picks. I expect offensive tackle Evan Neal to be selected by the Jacksonville Jaguars because they’re desperate for a franchise blocker and I’ll assume that either Aidan Hutchinson or Kayvon Thibodeaux (or both) are also gone in the top three.
If either of those two edge rushers is available at four, that’s my first pick. If not, I think you take the top cornerback in the draft, Derek Stingley Jr. After that, there are only three players I would then consider at seven and they’re all defenders. They are George Karlaftis (EDGE), Kyle Hamilton (S), and Devin Lloyd (LB). I feel all three of these roles are key in Saleh’s scheme and right now the Jets are lacking at each of them.
Side note: I’m not opposed to targeting center Tyler Linderbaum or another wide receiver with that second first either but if I go that route I’m trading down out of the top 10. Gun to my head (based on who I expect to be available), I’ll answer Stingley and Lloyd at No. 4 and No. 7. The CB makes a strong long-term pairing with Bryce Hall and the LB is the perfect prospect to take over for C.J. Mosley.
Ah the NFL draft, my favorite time of the year! Is it because my birthday is April 26 and that often falls on the draft? Is it because I’m a Jets fan and they’re normally terrible so they have a high pick which increases the intrigue of the draft? It is impossible to know for sure (probably both), but regardless it is fascinating.
This is my first mock draft looking ahead to 2022 and we’ll start doing these more regularly. Make sure you subscribe to my YouTube channel here (once the season ends we’ll do weekly Mock Draft Monday content with cool draft guests and fun segments specifically targeted around the Jets).
No. 4: Kayvon Thibodeaux, EDGE rusher, Oregon
Call me an optimist but I have a weird feeling Thibodeaux drops and the Jets get lucky. They desperately need EDGE rushers that opponents will fear and pairing him with Carl Lawson would be straight nasty!
No. 7: Jameson Williams, wide receiver, Alabama
If Sunday was any indication, you can never have enough good wide receivers. The Jets need another gamechanger and that is exactly what Williams is. No. 7 overall might be a bit rich but he is a homerun threat and a perfect fit in this offense.
5. What is the biggest problem with this current Jets team? If you were running the shop, how would you fix it?
At this very moment, the biggest problem is the lack of personnel due to injury, but there’s nothing anyone can truly do to fix that at this point in the season except pray. The next best plan is to build organizational depth, something Douglas and Saleh are attempting to do.
When you stockpile draft picks and overhaul the roster long-term, that’s how you accumulate worthwhile depth that knows the system. Unfortunately, right now that depth is based on a ton of youth and inexperience since we’re in year one under this staff.
If I was running the show, I would stick to the plan and ignore the noise. Keep bulking the offensive line with top-round talent, add playmakers that fit the system, rid yourselves of dead money and large contracts when you can, and trust in your ability to build through the draft.
How much time do we have? I’m kidding, only sort of. Personnel issues are apparent as my partner Obermuller indicated. Especially on the defensive side of the ball, that group needs a serious facelift.
Although the area I’ll pinpoint is simplicity and doing your job. It’s a Bill Belichick staple, but it is a tried and true formula that’ll make any football team better.
If everyone just did their job, then everyone would be better off for it.
Wide receivers need to catch the ball when it hits them in the mitts. Wilson needs to stop overthinking things and just deliver the ball to the open man, especially within 10 yards. Those have to be automatic and who knows what will happen once you get the ball in your playmaker’s hands, maybe they break a tackle and a five-yard dump-off play turns into a 25-yard play.
If just those two things started to happen on a more regular basis the Jets would be super competitive in games. When they don’t, the Jets are going to get blown out more times than we’d like.