The best positional unit on the New York Jets is without question their defensive line. Look for the big boys to continue to eat in 2017.
You can laugh all you want at the holes on the New York Jets roster as there is a handful of them. The one group you can’t poke fun at is their defensive line. Poor health and fourth quarter deficits in 2016 put them outside of the top-five in run defense for the first time since 2013, but expectations are still sky-high. There simply isn’t a trio across the league better than Muhammad Wilkerson, Sheldon Richardson, and Leonard Williams in a 3-4 look.
Wilkerson wasn’t his usual self last season, recording just 4.5 sacks, 58 tackles and one forced fumble in 15 games. The All-Pro suffered a broken fibula in Week 17 of the 2015 campaign and blamed the training staff for not rehabbing him correctly.
Whether he’s being honest or making an excuse for his regression, it has to be a bit concerning for general manager Mike Maccagnan when you consider the contract he gave him last offseason. Regardless of what it may be, he has accomplished way too much to be viewed as a liability. All signs point to him bouncing back and giving the Jets the production they’re used to seeing from him.
Richardson, on the other hand, didn’t necessarily have a bad 2016 despite it being his worst season statistically (only 1.5 sacks). The 2013 first-rounder earned an 83.3 overall grade on Pro Football Focus and played just about everywhere in the front-seven. Head coach Todd Bowles used him out of position at both outside and inside linebacker to make up for the injuries to Jordan Jenkins and
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