The Jets are officially halfway through their 2017 season. After getting to a 3-2 record with a three game winning streak, New York now finds themselves at the bottom of the AFC East with a 3-5 record. Despite a string of fourth quarter collapses, the Jets have still found some things to be proud of this season. Several of their young players have stepped up and shown the ability to contribute now and in the future. There are plenty of players Gang Green will be looking to hang on to after their respective performances this season. With that being said, here are the midseason awards for the Jets.
Most Valuable Player: CB Morris Claiborne
When the Jets signed free agent cornerback Morris Claiborne this past offseason the expectations were mixed. The twenty seven year old and former first round draft pick had spent most of his time in Dallas nursing injuries while playing at an inconsistent level when he was healthy. In 2017 with the Jets though, Claiborne has completely come into his own. He’s managed to maintain his health lining up as the number one cornerback for the Jets in every game thus far, and the results have been impressive. He’s played a big role in containing many of the top receivers that New York has faced. This includes last week’s game against Atlanta, where Claiborne didn’t let Julio Jones have a single catch against him. Having a premier cornerback in the NFL is extremely important, and it seems as if the Jets may have done that with Claiborne, who will be a free agent at season’s end.
Rookie of the Year: FS Marcus Maye
During the 2017 NFL Draft Jets’ first round draft pick Jamal Adams got most of the spotlight. To this point in the season though, he’s been out played by his counter part in the defensive secondary, Marcus Maye. Maye’s had an impressive rookie season thus far with 42 combined tackles, and 2 interceptions. Head coach Todd Bowles has opted to use Maye mainly at the top of cover one formations putting a lot of pressure on the rookie. He’s responded well to this responsibility however, showing a very high football I.Q., great instincts, and the physical ability to be a an outstanding quarterback of the secondary. His presence makes everything go much more smoothly as the Jets now view Maye as a cornerstone on their defense.
Most Improved Player: TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins
After years of searching for a competent tight end, it finally seems as if the Jets may have found one in Austin Seferian-Jenkins. After struggling with substance abuse issues, Seferian-Jenkins has cleaned up his act and it has led to productivity on the field. In six games, the twenty five year old has caught 31 passes for 201 yards and 3 touchdowns. He’s been significantly involved in every game he’s played in, and he never fails to come up with clutch catches. He’s also been very helpful in the red zone giving New York a big and versatile target. Seferian-Jenkins fits the mold of the modern tight end, and he has the potential to be another building block for Gang Green. ASJ will be a free agent at season’s end.