The 2020 Jets hope to kick off the new decade by snapping a nine-year playoff drought.
There was plenty of roster turnover this offseason, but the question remains: Does new necessarily mean better?
Tom Brady’s departure ostensibly gives hope to the rest of the AFC East, but will the Jets be the team to finally knock the Patriots off their perch as division rulers?
I’ll be revealing my Top 20 players on the roster every weekday for the next four weeks in the run-up to training camp.
This list is made up of the players who I believe will make the most impact for Adam Gase’s team this season. The ranking isn’t simply based on a player’s resume. Past performance is no guarantee of future results.
So, we’re peering into our crystal ball and taking some leaps of faith. There’s some quality young talent on Gang Green’s roster. Some of those guys are poised to take their games to the next level.
Get ready for some surprises.
2019 ranking: 11
Position: Wide receiver
Age at the start of the season: 27
2020 salary cap charge: $10 million
Contract status: Second year of a 3-year, $28.5 million deal
2019 Season in Review: Crowder wasted little time becoming Sam Darnold’s favorite target in his first season with Gang Green. His career-high 14 catches on a career-high 17 targets in the season opener set the stage for the best year of his career.
Crowder led the Jets in targets (122), receptions (78), receiving yards (833) and touchdowns (six), establishing himself as one of the most impactful slot receivers in the league. The veteran ranked fourth in the NFL in catches (58) and touchdowns (four) out of the slot, according to jetsxfactor.com. His 648 yards when lined up in the slot ranked in the Top 10.
Crowder bounced back from an injury-marred final season with Washington by logging a career-high 802 snaps last season.
2020 Outlook: Crowder might have been a security blanket for Darnold last season, but it’ll be hard to top his 25% target share given that Breshad Perriman, Denzel Mims and Chris Herndon figure to be integral pieces in the passing game.
Gase’s desire to spread-the-wealth could impact Crowder’s raw numbers, but there’s little doubt that Darnold has trust in the veteran in key situations. Crowder, who had 31% of the team’s red-zone targets last year, is a money player. Darnold leaned on him on third downs and big downs throughout last season. There’s no reason to think the young quarterback won’t turn to Crowder again when it matters.
Perhaps Crowder won’t get the sheer volume of looks — he was targeted at least eight times in eight of Darnold’s 13 starts — but there’s no denying that he will be a pivotal role in an offense that loves to highlight pass catchers adept at working the middle of the field.
Next on the Countdown: A proud star ready to shock the world.
No. 20: P Braden Mann
No. 19: DL Foley Fatukasi
No. 18: WR Denzel Mims
No. 17: DL Kyle Phillips
No. 16: DL Steve McLendon
No. 15: DL Henry Anderson
No. 14: CB Pierre Desir
No. 13: CB Brian Poole
No. 12: WR Breshad Perriman
No. 11: C Connor McGovern
No. 10: S Marcus Maye
No. 9: OLB Jordan Jenkins
No. 8: OT Mekhi Becton
No. 7 TE Chris Herndon