2022 New York Jets Training Camp Preview: Key Offseason Additions Provide New Look
Coming off a 4-13 season in 2021, second-year head coach Robert Saleh has a big mountain to climb for the Jets to become contenders once again. However, there is plenty of promise and optimism as the Jets’ rebuild may finally come to fruition. With the start of Training Camp just days away, let’s look at some of the things to keep your eyes on over the next few weeks.
What Roles Will the Rookies Play?
The New York Jets had one of the best drafts this past April. It includes three first-round picks with the likes of cornerback Ahmad “Sauce” Gardner, wide receiver Garrett Wilson, and defensive end Jemaine Johnson II. All three of them figure to come in and make immediate impacts. Gardner fills one of the biggest needs the Jets had entering the 2022 season. His college numbers are impressive as he did not allow a touchdown pass in over 1,000 career snaps at Cincinnati. “Sauce” will be put to the test in the AFC East as he is going to be lined up across from Stefon Diggs and Tyreek Hill for years to come.
Wilson is a much-needed addition to the offense as he will provide a vertical threat. Wilson is not the most physical receiver, but he can fly. He clocked in with a 4.38 40-yard dash at the NFL Combine. In his final season at Ohio State, Wilson had 12 touchdown receptions and averaged over 15 yards per catch. It will be the first time we’ve seen a downfield threat in the Jets offense since Robby Anderson, and with Zach Wilson’s arm strength, there could be a flurry of deep connections between the two.
Johnson is the perfect fit for Robert Saleh’s “All Gas, No Brakes” culture. He’s a fast edge rusher that will use his size and length to disrupt opposing offenses. There are some questions if he was a “one-year wonder” at Florida State. He’ll be learning from Carl Lawson and John Franklin-Myers in camps, so don’t be surprised if he develops quickly.
The impact rookies don’t stop there. In the second round, the Jets snagged Iowa State running back Breece Hall. Hall was the consensus best running back in the draft. He can run and catch the ball exceptionally well out of the backfield. He should form a great one-two punch with second-year running back Michael Carter.
Will the Money Pay Off?
The Jets reached deep into their pockets this past offseason in order to address their needs. They shelled out 73 million dollars to safety D.J. Reed and guard Laken Tomlinson. They also signed two tight ends in C.J. Uzomah and Tyler Conklin. These additions are designed to aid the passing offense and help prevent the pass on the defensive end. Quarterback Zach Wilson showed plenty of flashes, and now he’ll have the time to throw to a multitude of weapons. On the other side of the ball, Reed and fellow safety signee Jordan Whitehead will become the leaders of a young but very talented secondary that is drastically improved from last season.
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