The New York Jets have been in the headlines for all the right reasons recently. After dominating the 2021 NFL Draft, fans have started to shift their focus towards the upcoming season.
Although some of that optimism was tempered after some concerning news regarding one of the Jets’ top stars was revealed on Monday.
According to NFL insider Tom Pelissero, superstar defensive lineman Quinnen Williams “broke a small bone in his foot” and is likely going under the knife to repair it.
This injury reportedly happened during a workout at the team facility last week, per ESPN’s Rich Cimini.
This is likely going to sideline Williams for at least two months if not longer. That means no offseason training activities or minicamp.
There’s a lot of optimism that he’ll be ready by training camp in late July.
Breakout season on the horizon for Quinnen?
After a relatively non-impactful rookie season, a lot of analysts started to throw around the ‘bust’ label when discussing Quinnen Williams.
In 2020 he put that all to bed with a dominant year: seven sacks, 55 combined tackles, 10 tackles for loss, and 14 quarterback hits, per Pro Football Reference.
Despite the incredible statistical achievements that Williams accomplished last season, they pale in comparison to what he could do in this new scheme.
Just look at what new Jets head coach Robert Saleh did for DeForest Buckner in San Francisco. Buckner developed into one of the best defensive linemen in the NFL racking up 19.5 sacks over a two-year span.
Changing from a 3-4 to a 4-3 scheme is a total gamechanger for Williams. The things the coaching staff is going to ask the former first-rounder to do are totally different. Now Williams will be able to pin his ears back and push upfield to take down the opposing quarterback.
The other thing, beyond the scheme, that should help Williams emerge in 2021 is some help up front. Last year Williams was the alpha, now he’s going to have one of the most talented EDGE rushers in the NFL lined up next to him in Carl Lawson.
While Lawson hasn’t had an individual season greater than 8.5 sacks, the analytics department suggests he’s on the precipice of breaking out.
Last season he led the National Football League in quarterback hits (32) among all defensive linemen. Taking it a step further, his 54 quarterback hits over the last two seasons are second behind only Los Angles Chargers superstar Joey Bosa.
Also, one other analytic that is worth mentioning is his get off. In his first four seasons in the pros, Lawson ranks in the top five in pass rush get off, per Jets team reporter Ethan Greenberg.
All of that is to say, Williams is set to have a career year with the Jets.
Despite this injury hiccup, it’s much ado about nothing. He should be ready for training camp and that’s all that really matters. The rest of the OTAs and minicamps are just window dressing.
Ultimately how good the Jets are next season depends on the team’s front four. If Williams and Lawson can be dominant pass rushers, the rest of the defense will feed off of that.
If they’re unable to get home or create havoc up front on a consistent basis, this Jets defense could get picked apart next year.
Congratulations to Mr. and Mrs. Williams!
In lighter news, it appears Quinnen Williams is officially a married man. His long-time girlfriend Maranda Ross announced the news on social media.