When the phrase “you can only go up from here” comes to mind, what is the first NFL team that you think of?
If you voted for the New York Jets, you are probably in the majority!
I could see why some would vote for the Texans these days.
Imagine screwing up your team so badly that the freshly re-signed franchise QB would rather play for the New York Jets.
— Pat Thorman (@Pat_Thorman) January 28, 2021
Fortunately for the Jets, they realized the situation, went full tank mode, and are now in a position to successfully rebuild.
The Texans can partially fix their situation with the trade of Deshaun Watson, but this article is not about them.
The Jets have a few pieces on offense and defense that have already shown promise despite the team’s overall failure.
We want to focus on a few of those players that can lead the Jets back to a winning record.
1: DL Quinnen Williams
I hate making comparisons, especially when they are as egregious as the one I am about to make.
Quinnen Williams has the skill set, athleticism, and now the coaching to be the Jets version of Aaron Donald.
Robert Saleh on Quinnen Williams on @TMKSESPN
“That kid is special, he’s a game wrecker” pic.twitter.com/WpqScPqsB3
— 𝙅𝙀𝙏𝙎 𝙈𝙀𝘿𝙄𝘼🛫 (@NYJets_Media) January 21, 2021
No one in the NFL is even close to competing against what Aaron Donald can do, but Williams can get close.
I do not believe this young man was given a fair chance as soon as he was drafted, especially heading into Gregg William’s 3-4 defense.
What makes it even worse is he had DE John Franklin-Myers and NT Folorunso Fatukasi beside him.
Not what I would call top-tier talent.
A normal 3-4 does allow for an OLB to rush the passer, but the point of a 3-4 defense is to have more players in coverage, dropping all 4 LBs.
I can go into 3-4 and 4-3 defenses all day, but I would rather talk about why Robert Salah bringing his 4-3 defense to the Jets will allow Williams to eat!
Watching Quinnen Williams film is so much fun. Rips inside to beat the LG (Risner), hits Rypien's arm mid-throw, and creates an easy pick-6 for Desir. #Jets pic.twitter.com/iIFnhmKUJ3
— Michael Nania (@Michael_Nania) January 26, 2021
They did wish four in the above video, but see with more pass rushers, Williams has the ability to win 1-on-1 matchups easily.
Williams has not had the benefit of additional pass rushers on every snap as he would have in a 4-3 defense.
It is not even going to be a tough transition for Williams since he played in a 4-3 defense at Alabama.
Going to a 3-4 defense was difficult for him during his rookie season, as he only racked up 2.5 sacks in 13 games.
He had a mini-breakout season with 7 sacks in 13 games in 2020.
I believe this shows his football IQ, being able to pick up the 3-4 defense in his second season, along with his amazing skill set.
I have a feeling Williams is very excited to get the 2021 season started with Robert Salah at the helm.
2: TE Chris Herndon
I don’t think it is a stretch to say the 49ers were very successful throwing to tight ends.
Ever hear of a guy named George Kittle?
Robert Salah being a defensive-minded coach, had to bring in an offensive coordinator he could trust.
Enter, Matt LaFleur.
Chris Herndon📈 https://t.co/cgFS9lkA0u
— Fantasy Pro🏈 (@Fantasyfballpr0) January 22, 2021
The hype built around Herndon when he was drafted in 2018 has not really come to fruition.
He is a huge guy at 6’4″ and 253 pounds and has the skill to be a top-10 TE.
The issue, like with most players in this organization, he has lost confidence.
That was clear in week 5 when he dropped a perfect pass to possibly win the game for the Jets vs the Cardinals.
Herndon was a stud in his rookie season catching 39 balls for 502 yards and 4 TDs.
Since then, he missed all but one game in 2019 and was all over the place in the Jets awful 2020 season.
With the new regime in place, an offensive coordinator who loves his TEs and possibly playing with an accurate QB:
Deshaun Watson’s top two choices for trade destinations, per @ArmandoSalguero
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) January 23, 2021
There is no reason to believe the Jets cannot get the best out of Herndon in 2021.NEXT: 3 Questions Facing The NY Jets In 2021 Offseason (With Answers)