3 Hidden Gems: The Fan Edition
Good morning! ☕
Yesterday’s newsletter received some really good feedback so I’ll look to do a few more of those before training camp starts and we have 2023 football to talk about.
Today we have a fair few quick throws to get to and then we’re going to dive into a little piece on hidden gems. But the fan edition.
Yesterday I published a piece on LWOS on the Jet’s 2023 hidden gem being Micheal Clemons, a name that we all know but that most NFL fans around the league probably don’t. But who else could surprise and step up this year?
🧱 According to Mike Florio of PFT, the New York Jets are “bracing for an involuntary ‘Hard Knocks’ assignment.”. Robert Saleh made it clear that the Jets had no interest in appearing in the reality series, but with no other teams stepping forward the NFL can force a team to take part. A report last week indicated the league would rather not do that, but it sounds as though we’re getting to a point where we’ll have to. On the one hand, it’s good for fans as it gives us access through camp, on the other hand, it can act as a real distraction and the team obviously doesn’t want to do it.
👍 Yesterday we had some comments from Garrett Wilson on adding Cook to the team, today we have a comment from this former Minnesota teammate and current Jets teammate Tyler Conklin. While making an appearance on Good Morning Football, the Jets TE was asked if there was room on the Jets for Cook considering the running back depth that we currently have, he simply said:
📉 I’ve been going backwards and forwards on the signing of Cook, but after reading this piece from Michael Nania, I’m sceptical at best. ‘Additionally, according to NFL Next Gen Stats, Cook had the 10th-highest “expected” yards per carry among 42 qualified running backs, which means he was consistently placed in positions where he was expected to do well. Cook’s actual yards per carry of 4.4 seems solid, but his RYOE (Rushing Yards Over Expected) per carry was -0.1, meaning he averaged 0.1 fewer yards per carry than expected. This ranked 30th out of 42 qualifiers.’
Running backs don’t tend to get better as they get older, as this chart from pro football focus clearly illustrates:
Mike Jones of the Athletic called Aaron Rodgers the biggest loser of the off-season for switching from the NFC to the packed AFC: “Yes, he got what he wanted in his exit from Green Bay and reunion with new Jets offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett, his former Packers OC. He also gains a more potent cast of wide receivers. But in leaving the NFC for the AFC, he now has a significantly tougher road to the Super Bowl.” If you want to be the best you have to beat the best, doesn’t matter if that’s in the Wild Card, Divisional or Super Bowl.
🏈 CBS Sports named the Jets Wide Receivers as one of the more interesting camp battles to watch this off-season: Reigning Offensive Rookie of the Year Garrett Wilson is a lock to serve as Aaron Rodgers' No. 1. Beyond him, it's a crowded group vying for the No. 2/3 jobs. Lazard and Cobb are all but guaranteed spots due to their familiarity with A-Rod from Green Bay, while Hardman offers speed but couldn't find a consistent role in Kansas City. Davis is the wild card, previously drawing Rodgers' endorsement but missing significant time due to injury in each of his two seasons since leaving the Titans.
👎 There’s been a little back-and-forth between Joe Klecko and Darrelle Revis which i’m filing under completely unnecessary. Klecko was on with Jake Asman and he said: “I said to him [Revis] when we were out at the Super Bowl and I said to him, this is going to be New York West for a day,” Klecko recalled. “We got to sit down after, and Darrelle doesn’t say a whole lot. But the first comment we had, we were doing Sirius Radio, and he said, ‘it’s really cool that Joe and I, who are the two best defensive players ever to play with the Jets are coming in together.’” - That comment was then posted on Twitter and Revis replied to it saying: “I don’t speak to people i don’t know very well. and we did not speak based on you saying you were jealous of my success @ the Super Bowl. my mindset is clearly I’m @ the top of that list as the best ever but as a gentlemen, i decided to say something cool for a headline”
🚔 An arrest warrant has been issued for former Jets first-round bust Darron Lee for failing to appear at his court date. His court appearance was in relation to an April 4 incident wherein he allegedly attacked his mother Candice and Lindsey McGlone, the mother of his son.
Few people would have expected Tony Adams to play over 100 defensive snaps as a UDFA out of Illinois last year, but is there scope for another UDFA to make an immediate impact as Adams did?
The same can be said for UDFA Zonovan Knight who recorded 85 attempts on 104 offensive snaps.
Some of the opportunity is based on luck. All of Knight’s touches came after Breece Hall went down with an ACL injury.
So there needs to be talent, but there also needs to be opportunity. Here are three guys I can see getting a chance to make an impact in year one.
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