(Image credit Matt Rourke/ USA Today Sports)
Written by: Nicholas Mullick
The 2021 NFL season was a big disappointment for the New York Jets. But while it was a disappointment I will continue to say that it was a lot better than it was during the Adam Gase years. While I do still have concerns with Robert Saleh, I still think if he continues to evolve his coaching skills that the Jets could have a good coach. Especially as he is a defensive-minded coach. Even though there were negatives this season that the Jets need to fix in the offseason, it is best to look at some of the positives regarding the season. I started on offense in the last article so now let's look at the defense. Here are the Top 5 players from the New York Jets defense during the 2021 NFL Season.
Honorable Mentions: CB Michael Carter, DE/EDGE Bryce Huff, CB Brandon Echols, S Jason Pinnock (As a Safety)
5. DT Foley Fatukasi
There is a reason why I kept calling Foley Fatukasi the hidden gem of the New York Jets defense. He is excellent as a run stopper and even opened up holes for others to blitz in order to make key tackles, even sacks on occasion. This may be a bit high for many but I feel it is good to give recognition to Fatukasi as he has such a big role on this defense, does his job well, and never gets recognized for it. So I am going to do it by placing him on this list. Fatukasi is a free agent and he is a must sign for the Jets. It would be a completely big mistake for Joe Douglas to not sign Fatukasi to another contract. I hope he stays on the New York Jets but it is going to be a wait-and-see.
4. LB Quincy Williams
Definitely the breakout player for the New York Jets defense. Linebacker was an extremely weak position for the Jets heading into the season. It was so weak they had to experiment with Jamien Sherwood and Hamsah Nasirildeen who were safeties at linebacker. Unfortunately, injuries took them out for a chunk of the season. Who stepped up was Jarrad Davis, Nope. It was Quincy Williams and he came out of nowhere. He was a tackling machine and was solid in coverage. Absolutely was a strong player for the Jets on defense. I want to start by thanking Quincy’s brother for asking the coaching staff to bring his brother on the roster. Hopefully, Joe Douglas brings him back and resigns him to another contract.
3. LB CJ Mosley
While CJ Mosley regressed due to the injuries and opting out of the 2020 season he still was one of the best players on this team. He did an excellent job with the way that he tackles players and being the QB of the defense. Mosley also was an excellent leader that has a strong level of awareness. Mosley does need to work on his coverage skills as they were not the best last year. But another good season for CJ Mosley.
2. CB Bryce Hall
The secondary is a complete mess for the New York Jets. Well, there were some flashes but the only player that was the most consistent was Bryce Hall. He continued to prove why he was the best player on this secondary as he did an excellent job covering players and cleaned up his footwork. He was a big reason why the Jets won against the Bengals and Titans this year. If he continues to develop well then Joe Douglas hit on this pick during his brutal 2020 NFL Draft selections.
1. DT Quinnen Williams
It was looking grim during the earlier parts of his career but it is safe to say that these worries are long gone. Quinnen Williams once again shows why he was worth the 3rd overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft. Quinnen was a solid pass rusher and he continued to evolve and get better as a run stopper. Williams last season showed the potential being a dominant defensive tackle. This season proved that last season was not a fluke. Hopefully, he continues this for next season. Again I also thank Quinnen for getting his brother Quincy a job with the New York Jets as Quincy was excellent this season. It goes to show the level of trust the Jets have with Quinnen Williams.