Analyst Disrespects Jets, Zach Wilson’s Supporting Cast

Denzel Mims Jets

Getty New York Jets wide receiver Denzel Mims walking off the field in absolute disbelief.

“With all due respect.” If you ever hear that phrase at any point during your life, just know that an insult is going to immediately follow.

Typically when someone says that, they think it gives them the green light to then unleash any form of disrespect they deem necessary.

With that in mind, if you were recently reading Kristopher Knox’s column for Bleacher Report from the perspective of a New York Jets fan, you likely were infuriated, and for good reason.

Knox recently ranked every NFL quarterback’s supporting cast. He only factored in the skill position players (wide receivers, tight ends, and running backs) and based his opinions on scheme fit, proven production, and upside.

The Jets were ranked No. 30 in the NFL, despite all of their additions this offseason. This is a yearly column from Bleacher Report so we also have the context of last year’s rankings which funny enough the Jets were also ranked No. 30.

With all due respect, that’s just a dumb thing to say. How in the heck is Sam Darnold’s supporting cast from 2020 and Zach Wilson’s supporting cast in 2021 even remotely similar?

Sam Darnold Supporting Cast From 2020

The Jets had a 37-year old Frank Gore running half-back dives up the middle on second and long. With all due respect, the veteran tailback will one day end up in the Pro Football Hall of Fame, but not for what he contributed to the Jets in 2020.

At wide receiver, they had Breshad Perriman (a former first-round bust of the Baltimore Ravens) and a bunch of randoms. Jeff Smith? Josh Malone? Chris Hogan? Come on man.

The most consistent piece they had was Jamison Crowder and that was really it.

Finally, at tight end, they had Chris Herndon, who we all thought was going to pop in 2020, but he folded like a used lawn chair.

Last year’s No. 30 overall ranking was objectively fair. Darnold had zero weapons around him and the coaching staff stunk.

Zach Wilson Supporting Cast For 2021

Now we know what the Darnold supporting cast looked like, what about Wilson and the Jets heading into 2021?

The running back group doesn’t feature some of the big names of 2020 (Le’Veon Bell for a short time and Gore), but they fit the new scheme. Although it’s fair to say the group is completely unproven: Michael Carter (rookie), Josh Adams, Ty Johnson, and Tevin Coleman (often injured).

At wide receiver, this may be the most improved unit in the entire NFL, regardless of position.

Gang Green went from Jeff Smith, Perriman, and Josh Doctson to Corey Davis, Elijah Moore, and Keelan Cole. Throw in a few leftovers (an improving Denzel Mims) and a savvy veteran (Jamison Crowder).

At tight end, there is a ton of question marks.

  • Herndon returns and there’s hope in a contract year he’ll be more motivated than ever to live up to his potential.
  • Kenny Yeboah is highly thought of as an undrafted free agent out of Ole Miss.
  • There are also a few veterans sprinkled into the mix: Tyler Kroft, Trevon Wesco, and Ryan Griffin.

Final Verdict

Despite what the Bleacher Report rankings say, the Jets are vastly improved from a year ago. To rate Darnold and Wilson’s supporting cast equally is asinine.

Yet the entire skill position group for Gang Green has a lot to prove. Both of those things can be true.

Perhaps the proven Mike LaFleur system will spit out a really good running back. Herndon will have a chance to finally pop in 2021 and become one of the best young tight ends in football. While the receiving core speaks for itself.

It’s up to the Jets to prove all of these articles poking fun at their new-look offense was a bunch of nonsense. Until then it seems like the Jets will continue to be underrated and overlooked.