Jets Safety Jordan Whitehead Puts NFL on Notice: ‘We Got Everything We Need’

Jordan Whitehead

Getty New York Jets safety Jordan Whitehead just made a very bold claim.

The New York Jets had a really solid offseason but certain areas were bulked more than others. On the defensive side, you could argue that cornerback and edge rusher received the most attention.

This makes perfect sense in a passing league, being that the two positions work hand-in-hand. That was always the plan for this unit under Robert Saleh and defensive coordinator Jeff Ulbrich, but the Jets front office isn’t taking any chances this time around.

For example, Bryce Hall and Brandin Echols were decent cornerbacks in 2021 and they should only improve as they grow into this league. Despite that, both players were practically replaced this spring. The Jets also doubled-down at defensive end in the draft and continue to add pass rushers at every turn of the offseason — scarred by the Carl Lawson injury last year.

There were no half-measures in 2022 and this roster finally looks sturdy on paper. So much so, that players are beginning to buy in already.

ALL the latest Jets news straight to your inbox! Join the Heavy on Jets newsletter here!

Join Heavy on Jets!

Super Bowl Champ Makes Bold Claim

One key addition during free agency was safety Jordan Whitehead. The talented former Tampa Bay Buccaneers fourth-rounder just won a Super Bowl in 2020 and has been to the playoffs in back-to-back campaigns, but he’s also a leader on and off the field.

During a press conference today on June 1, Ulbrich told reporters that Whitehead was “stamped by everybody” the Jets spoke to from a character standpoint, adding that he has “absolutely lived up to that” description so far.

He knows what it takes to win and he’s one of the veterans that Coach Saleh hopes can change the culture in New York. Obviously, Whitehead has been a part of a few pretty good rosters in Tampa but that didn’t stop him from making a strong statement on June 1.

“I think this can be one of the best secondaries I’ve been a part of in five years,” voiced Whitehead. “These guys are hungry.”

“I don’t see no difference between this group and the last team I was on,” Whitehead explained, “or the group of guys I played with — Richard Sherman, all those guys — we got it here. We got everything we need. The ability, the toughness, and the smartness to play this game so there’s no doubt, we should be the best group.”

May through August is Kool-Aid season around the NFL. Everyone is 0-0 and anything can happen, so players tend to hype up their teammates.

Having said that, the awesome part about Whitehead’s claim is that it’s not that farfetched. This roster is deep in the secondary and it’s also bursting with young talent. That combination is generally fruitful in this league.

Free safety Lamarcus Joyner is the biggest question mark of this secondary after a year on the sidelines but with prospects like Jason Pinnock nipping at his heels, the Jets should be covered either way.

Then you have the cornerback crew, which runs three deep at every position. Take a look:

LCB RCB Nickel/Slot
“Sauce” Gardner D.J. Reed Jr. Michael Carter II
Bryce Hall Brandin Echols Javelin Guidry
Rachad Wildgoose Isaiah Dunn Brandin Echols

Follow the Heavy On Jets Facebook page, where you can weigh in on all the latest NYJ-related daily content, analysis, features and more!

Cornerback Transformation

Assuming Whitehead and some combination of Joyner, Pinnock or Ashtyn Davis stay healthy at safety, the Jets secondary should be stout in 2022.

To reiterate, general manager Joe Douglas went out and purchased a number one cornerback in Reed, and then he chose to pair him with a top-five draft pick in Gardner. That decision was a bit unexpected and it was also extremely bold.

With Hall on the roster, Gardner will still be forced to earn the starting job as a rookie, and Ulbrich noted that the new faces have “created great competition.” That should lead to growth, which doesn’t take long to turn into wins.

Eventually, you’ll likely have Hall and Echols as high-quality depth and the latter is versatile enough to compete with Carter for the nickel job. Who knows, maybe Hall can mix in there too — if only for reps — but Echols played just about every secondary position in college.

Guidry and Dunn have versatility too, as well as a couple of the safeties like Pinnock and Davis. It finally feels like the Jets are blanketed on the back-end, and that should do wonders for pass rushers like Lawson, John Franklin-Myers, Quinnen Williams and company.

If it’s starting to feel like things are finally coming together, that’s because they are.

Follow @obermuller_nyj and @BoyGreen25 on Twitter for all the latest New York Jets breaking news, rumors, fresh takes and more!


Read More