With free agency and the NFL Draft officially behind us, it’s time to start looking ahead to the 2017 season. The New York Jets have taken a lot of heat for having one of the least talented rosters in the NFL. Despite this, there are still some very talented players on the roster who could help the team be a pleasant surprise this upcoming season. Gang Green should have a few fairly productive players on both sides of the ball. Here are the top five overall impact players currently on the Jets’ roster.
DE Leonard Williams
He may only be heading into his third season in the league, but Leonard Williams is already the clear cut choice at #1 on this list. Williams is already a game changer as his game is very well rounded. His blend of elite run-stuffing ability and pass-rushing skills make him a dominant force. Williams followed up a solid rookie season with a very impressive sophomore season as he had 68 combined tackles and 7 sacks. On his top of his on-field ability, he also manages to stay out of trouble off the field, and he’s beginning to assume a leadership role. The Jets will need him to continue to grow as a teammate as he should be an ambassador of the team for years to come.
WR Eric Decker
One of the last pieces from the famed “Fitzpatrick Era”, Eric Decker comfortably finds himself at #2 on the list. It’s important to keep health in mind here as Decker has dealt with various injuries throughout his career, and he’s coming off of a season in which he missed thirteen games with a shoulder injury. When he’s healthy though, Decker has consistently proven to be one of the more productive receivers in the league. In 2015, he had over one thousand yards for the third time in his career along with 80 receptions and 12 touchdowns. He’s a big, physical target with very crisp route-running ability and sure hands. This skillset has helped Decker become one of the most reliable targets in the league, and if he’s at full health, he will once again be a great asset for Gang Green.
RB Bilal Powell
It’s been a long and turbulent road for Bilal Powell in his six seasons with the Jets. Despite never being the starter for a full season, Powell has finally shown his ability to be a great weapon in the 2015 and 2016 seasons. Powell is the definition of a dual-threat as he impacts the run and passing game equally. His combination of speed and elusiveness make him a very difficult player to tackle as well. Powell had over 1,000 all-purpose yards for the first time this past season as he had 722 rushing yards and 388 receiving yards. His most impressive stat however, is that he finished second in the league with 5.5 yards per carry on 131 attempts. Powell has officially proven that he can be an extremely impactful starter in the NFL. With more touches, he truly has the potential to reach elite production.
WR Quincy Enunwa
Coming into the league as a sixth round draft pick in 2014, Quincy Enunwa faced an uphill battle to make a name for himself. After two seasons of being towards the bottom of the depth chart, Enunwa broke out in 2016. He caught 58 passes for 857 yards and 4 touchdowns. While his production only came in flashes, it’s easy to see why Enunwa made such a jump statistically. He has elite size, physicality, and versatility along with the athleticism that makes him a monster in the open field. He also has a knack for making incredible catches due to his strong hands and acrobatic ability. If his development continues to trend in the right direction, Enunwa could be a premier receiver in the league quite quickly. Consistency will be key, but another big season seems to be in store for Enunwa.
S Jamal Adams
Your ordinary draft pick would almost never have the chance to be a top player on his team in his rookie season, but Jamal Adams is unquestionably out of the ordinary. When the Jets saw Adams slide to their sixth overall selection they were rightfully thrilled. The twenty one year old is as versatile as a safety can be. He’s very good in man and zone coverage while also being a constant force in run support. While all of these qualities are fantastic, it’s Adams’ leadership that stands out above everything else. His vocal ability in the secondary should reverse the overall dysfunction of the defense very quickly. Being as well rounded as he is, Adams shouldn’t be anything short of a star player in a few years.