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New York Jets 2021 Team Preview

May 20, 2021 | by Lucas Chan | Comments Comments Off on New York Jets 2021 Team Preview
New Head Coach Robert Saleh will try to turn the New York Jets around.
Robert Saleh heads a very different New York Jets coaching staff. (ESPN)

The inauguration of new Jets Head Coach Robert Saleh and his infectious personality (see video below) was followed by the hiring of seven coaches with a connection to his days with San Francisco — five from the 2020 staff including Offensive Coordinater Mike LaFleur. The defense staff had new hires too, also influenced by Saleh. Defensive Coordinator Jeff Ulbrich and Safeties Coach Marquand Manuel are both connections to Saleh from his Seattle days. The only two holdovers from the previous regime are Quarterback Coach Rob Calabrese and Special Teams Coach Brant Boyer, who seems to keep surviving coaching changes in New York.

Bookies peg the Jets to total 6.5 wins in 2021, but we are not as optimistic. Saleh is not an offensive coach, nor does he have experience in rebuilding a team. Further, we remain skeptical about the right side of the offensive line, so a 6-11 season seems more appropriate.

Quarterback

With LaFleur leading the offense, the Jets are likely going to be a heavy-run team with one caveat: more play action. Fitting Zach Wilson into the quarterback-friendly Mike Shanahan system will allow the rookie more time to process his reads on bootlegs/play-action. Forcing rhythm into Wilson’s footwork will be crucial to his success as rolling him outside of the pocket and playing into his habit for off-platform throws offers another kernel of advantage.

We expect the offense to leverage Wilson’s ability to extend plays with his legs. Despite the rookie playing in a pseudo-Shanahan style West Coast offense at BYU, questions remain on whether he will be able to compete at the highest level coming out of a weak collegiate conference. Moreover, Wilson excelled at throwing outside the numbers and deep along the sidelines, but hasn’t had much experience synchronizing his timing to make quick throws over the middle.

Running Back

The running back roster features the corpse of Tevin Coleman, perennial disappointment La’Mical Perine, Ty Johnson from Detroit and rookie Michael Carter. Similar to Jacksonville, the Jets are currently transitioning to a outside zone heavy team. The Jets organization put an emphasis on drafting more speed in the backfield and ended up with the undervalued but potential stud Carter (4.30 second 40-yard dash).

We expect Carter to take over primary duties between the 20-yard lines, with Coleman and Perine contributing in third down, short yardage and goal-line situations. We also expect more check downs to the running back within this vertical West Coast offense.

If Carter ends touching the ball 60 per cent or more of the time, then expect him to rush 200+ times for 800 yards while recording 30+ receptions.

Wide Receiver

Corey Davis, acquired from Tennessee via trade, is likely to play the X-receiver in LaFleur’s pseudo-Shanahan offense. Despite the Y-receiver being coveted within this type of offense, we believe LaFleur will break from Shanahan traditions and force feed Davis as a possession receiver, while supplementing the other side of the field with speed. Davis should draw comparisons to how Brandon Marshall did in 2015 on the Jets. Expect Davis to clear 80 receptions, 1,000 yards and 10 touchdowns.

The team’s wide receiver mini camp will be fiercely competitive as Denzel Mims has shown he can fill the Y-receiver slot and is currently atop the depth chart. Backing up Mims is Keelan Cole, an acquisition from Jacksonville who possesses similar skills and physique. We expect the starter to clear 40+ receptions, 600+ yards and around 6-to-8 scores.

The nickel features dusty Jamison Crowder and rookie phenom Elijah Moore, a draft pick that we wrote should not be pigeon holed and should be moved around the formation, but the Jets are trending towards dedicating him to the slot. While second on the depth chart, Moore can bring electricity to a position grayed by Crowder’s pathetic ADoT (average depth of target), history of injuries and flaccid YAC. We are bullish on Moore, forecasting him to have 50+ receptions, 800+ yards and around 4-to-6 touchdowns.

Tight End

Traditionally, athletic tight ends like Christopher Herndon and Ryan Griffin have made great receiving options over the middle within this style of offense, but we are extremely doubtful about Wilson’s ability to throw inside the numbers. Similar to the situation in Jacksonville, unless there is a drastic target distribution shift away from the WR3/slot, Jets’ tight ends are likely to be a Fantasy dead zone.

Defense

Saleh has vowed not to micromanage the defense and plans to leave it in the hands of Ulbrich with only minor input, but we know better. The front will feature a 4-3 under, moving Quinnen Williams to the weak side as a defensive tackle. Saleh and Ulbrich went on to retool the entire defense, pairing Williams with Sheldon Rankins from New Orleans, and Carl Lawson from Cincinnati. The linebacker group features C.J. Mosley in the middle with Jarrad Davis and Blake Cashman on the outside.

The Jets’ vulnerable secondary has been bolstered by LaMarcus Joyner at safety, rookie Michael Carter III at right cornerback and a slew of rookie left cornerbacks to shore up a weak position manned by Blessuan Austin and Corey Ballentine. On paper, this defense seems already much improved (not difficult considering the unit surrendered the ninth most yards last season), but we shall see.

RotoRob Tune of the Day

Here’s Drum and Bass artist Tripon with “Hop, Skip and Jump Up.”

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Jacksonville Jaguars 2021 Team Preview

May 13, 2021 | by Lucas Chan | Comments Comments Off on Jacksonville Jaguars 2021 Team Preview
This is a full rebuild from top to bottom and despite bookies projecting the franchise for 6.5 wins, we feel confident enough in all the moving parts to predict that this team will outperform expectations. Let’s dissect this team position by position to find out why Jacksonville will be better than most think.
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2021 NFL Draft Preview: Top Five Offensive Line Prospects

April 20, 2021 | by Lucas Chan | Comments Comments Off on 2021 NFL Draft Preview: Top Five Offensive Line Prospects
In contrast to the talent drop-off after the first couple of picks in other classes, notably running backs and wide receivers, this year’s crop of offensive line prospects is bountiful. Left tackles, in particular, are incredibly deep. See below to find out who we ranked as the top five offensive line prospects in the final installment of our 2021 NFL Draft Preview.
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2021 NFL Draft Preview: Top Five Tight End Prospects

April 7, 2021 | by Lucas Chan | Comments Comments Off on 2021 NFL Draft Preview: Top Five Tight End Prospects
Baltimore needs to pass more, regardless of what formation. If it wants to continue its three-TE tendencies and stretch the field, then Tremble is the best option — especially given how the Ravens have a history of developing tight ends. The Saints, the other hand, don’t particularly need more pass-catchers, but they do need someone fast inside. In a best-case scenario, if Tremble goes to Baltimore, we could be looking at 60 catches, 800 yards, and 6-to-8 touchdowns.
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2021 NFL Draft Preview: Top Five Wide Receiver Prospects

March 31, 2021 | by Lucas Chan | Comments Comments Off on 2021 NFL Draft Preview: Top Five Wide Receiver Prospects
Ja’Marr Chase should be the first wide receiver off the board. (Touchdown Wire-USA Today) Outside of LSU’s Ja’Marr Chase, it is hard to imagine a drier draft year for wide receivers than 2021. NFL teams should approach this year’s draft looking to add value receivers to their core pass-catchers. Teams like the New York Giants […]
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