For many Jets fans the short-term might look dicey, but the hope is that in the long-term the team will be better off based on some of the adjustments the team made this past offseason. With that in mind, how do all the NFL teams project in a year, two years, how about three?
With that in mind, ESPN Insider had an interesting idea for a annual article (starting last year) in which they project 2016 Power Rankings based on a number of key areas like quarterback, draft, front office, coaching, young talent, etc. Using their in-house talent, they let experts grade given fields: Bill Polian to discuss front office, Herm Edwards to talk about coaching, Kiper on the draft, and so on. So how do the Jets project according to ESPN for the 2016 season?
Not well at all, the team ranked 32nd according to their graders.
While most of the reading is rough, Mel Kiper Jr. is the only analyst who was bullish on what the Jets are doing. So rather than be masochists, lets focus on the positives:
I gave the Jets a very high grade for their 2013 draft, but that marks a change from a stretch where they simply didn't extract enough value. It wasn't a case of bad picks at the top, but there just wasn't enough depth created with later picks. If the 2013 draft is an omen of things to come, this team is headed in the right direction. And anybody who says this class will be defined by Smith misses the point. It doesn't have to be because the Jets used a second-rounder on him, and are in no way financially tied to him if he doesn't pan out. It was a good call, and hopefully we'll see more of the same.That's a lot of what we said coming out of the draft. It might not have been sexy, but the team played it down the middle and came away with a number of players who have the potential to be starters for this team for a long time and the fact that the Jets used a second rounder on Smith means nothing should they decide to go another way.
The other writers hit home on some salient points of the team's troubles, like the Jets lack of offensive weapons and the uncertainty around coaching after 2013, but they also whiff badly by chiding the Jets for stocking a defense that was playing well without Darrelle Revis anyway in 2012 -- missing the point that not only is Revis gone, but so too are many other starters from 2012 (Pouha, DeVito, Thomas, Scott, Landry, Bell).
I know sometimes these articles get under people's skin, but I read most of these and just roll my eyes as it's utterly impossible to predict what will happen this season, let alone three years from now. Is this something that can help us pass the time during the quiet summer months? Absolutely, but this has little bearing on how things will in fact play out and more than anything shows pundits to be front runners based on what happened last year.