Even though the New York Jets have been one of the worst teams in the NFL all season, most around the league have complemented their youth.
The 2021 draft class, in particular, appears to be a resounding success for Joe Douglas with six initial grades from established analysts of A- or higher and several prospects that look like hits in year one. Some of those names include LG Alijah Vera-Tucker, WR Elijah Moore, RB Michael Carter, DB Michael Carter II and CB Brandin Echols.
That doesn’t even take into account QB Zach Wilson, who has shown plenty of upside during his rookie campaign. It also leaves out LBs Jamien Sherwood and Hamsah Nasirildeen, who have dealt with injuries, DB Jason Pinnock and DT Jonathan Marshall.
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Power Rank Ignores Jets
NFL analyst Dalton Miller of Pro Football Network has been publishing a rookie power rank that updates every week and with two games remaining, we are approaching his final full-season selections for 2021.
The only problem, not a single Jet is listed in Miller’s top 25 after Week 16.
Look, we’re not asking for three or four names to make this ranking but it’s also pretty incredible that one of the best draft classes this season doesn’t get a single mention. Ever heard of Moore, Mr. Miller? How about AVT or either of the Carters?
It’s important to mention that the PFN writer doesn’t seem to value certain positions. For example, not a single running back made his top 25, not even Najee Harris of the Pittsburgh Steelers, who is currently tied for fourth in Offensive Rookie of the Year odds.
Sorry MC1, if Harris isn’t on the list, that means you’re not either.
Only one quarterback made it too, New England Patriots rival Mac Jones at No. 6. That’s a debate for another day but the stats back up the argument here.
That leaves three major NYJ snubs: Moore, Vera-Tucker and MC2.
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Which Rookies Deserve Top 25?
Carter the nickelback started the year really strong but he’s had a rough second half according to Pro Football Focus. Since Week 9, his highest overall grade was a 61.9 against Philadelphia and both his run defense and coverage marks have plummeted.
I’ll have to agree with Miller on MC2 at the moment. That leaves the punishing left guard and the flashy wide receiver.
Offensive lineman did have a place on this power rank. In fact, two blockers were listed in the top five (Creed Humphrey and Rashawn Slater) and two more occupied the top 25 (Trey Smith and Penei Sewell).
Vera-Tucker was not one of them, despite allowing just two more QB pressures than Smith (No. 11) on the year, surrounded by a weaker supporting cast of blockers. Daniel Jeremiah recently labeled the first-round pick as a “perennial Pro Bowler” and he’s looked like one of the better Jets players — period.
It’s a surprise that he didn’t squeak into Miller’s bottom five to 10 names.
The biggest shocker is Moore though. As NYJ Matt noted in his tweet, by direct comparison the Ole Miss product has easily outshined New York Giants wide receiver Kadarius Toney (No. 21).
- Moore: 11 games, 538 receiving yards, 54 rushing yards, six total touchdowns, 27 total first downs, 12.5 yards per catch, 48.9 yards per game, 55.8% catch rate.
- Toney: 10 games, 420 receiving yards, six rush yards, zero total touchdowns, 21 total first downs, 10.8 yards per catch, 42.0 yards per game, 68.4% catch rate.
Both have dealt with injuries but the Florida product doesn’t beat the Jets WR in a single category besides catch percentage. Moore’s midseason run of excellence was also on par with Jaylen Waddle and Ja’Marr Chase who are both top 10. From Week 7-13, the wide-out scored six total touchdowns with 67.4 receiving yards per game.
On the season, his PFF grade is second only to Carter (RB) in terms of Jets rookies at 71.2, and the main area lowering that score is his run blocking.
Some other questionable names on Miller’s power rank that made it over AVT and Moore were: Christian Barmore (NE), Kwity Paye (IND), Eric Stokes (GB), Trevon Moehrig (LV), Odafe Oweh (BAL), Pat Freiermuth (PIT), Azeez Ojulari (NYG) and Alim McNeill (DET).
Nothing against these rookies, but each one of them either has less impressive stats or a lower PFF grade than Moore and Vera-Tucker has a few of them beat as well. As usual, the Jets get no respect — I mean, even the Lions have two names on this list.