Six Players Jets Should be Using Final Games to Evaluate
With the New York Jets no longer clinging to any bizarre scenarios that left the team with a 1% chance or less of making the playoffs, it’s time to plug in some of their talented young players to get a look at what they can offer next season.
With plenty of players sure to be jettisoned this off-season, here’s a list of both offensive and defensive players who Gang Green should be looking to evaluate over the season’s final three weeks.
OT Carter Warren: Warren has been solid yet unspectacular in limited action but should continue to get on the field. In considering the fact that he missed almost all of last season and most of this season, Warren’s performance has been admirable. A long limbed left tackle who can play on either the left or right side, it’s critical for the Jets to do as much as they can to figure out what they have in the former Pitt Panther.
TE Jeremy Ruckert: Yes, Ruckert has seen plenty of action this season but his opportunities as a receiver have been non-existent. Averaging roughly 1.5 targets per contest, the Jets should feed Ruckert over the next three weeks to see what he’s capable of with the ball in his hands at the pro level. Perhaps even some targets out of the backfield at fullback/H-back with Nick Bawden no longer on the roster?
RB Israel Abanikanda: Kept on the shelf for much of this season, the Jets have recently started running Abanikanda right up the middle in garbage time which has led to a whopping 18 yards on 8 carries. An effort to use him more often and trying to get him in space is probably a better idea, but that doesn’t mean Nate Hackett will do it.
WR Jason Brownlee: Given the fact he was getting on the field prior to injuring himself, we’re assuming Brownlee is a safe bet to see increased reps and targets once healthy. A bigger receiver with excellent hands, he’s a player the Jets should be working to develop with so few weapons at the position.
DB Jarrick Bernard-Converse: Jordan Whitehead is a free agent after this season so the Jets may want to take a look at Bernard-Converse in the defensive backfield if the plan is to have him work at safety in the future. Though it’s possible the Jets will use Bernard-Converse in a more versatile role given his history at both cornerback and safety.
S Trey Dean: Dean is still on the practice squad but the team would be smart to elevate him at some point to give him a look. As mentioned above, Whitehead is in the final year of his deal and the Jets need help at safety. Tony Adams went from undrafted free agent to starter at safety. Could Dean be next?