With a young group of core players, the upcoming New York Jets preseason will be an opportunity for rookies to get experience and units to build chemistry, something the Jets desperately need. After cutting almost every veteran in the offseason, the Jets are starting from scratch and are putting a new product on the field. This gives an opportunity to younger players to make a big leap in 2017.
New York Jets Preseason: Darron Lee, Quincy Enunwa Lead Young Players to Watch
The 6’1”, 232-pound linebacker from Ohio State is entering his second season in the NFL. Though Lee didn’t light up the stat sheet in his rookie season, his 73 combined tackles and lone sack were enough to get coaches excited for the future.
Lee has the tools to become a dynamic player in the NFL and the ESPN projected depth chart lists him as a starter for the 2017 season, making Lee an important figure in Gang Green’s upcoming preseason.
Lee figures to get about a quarter of playing time in the first two preseason games while playing a half in the third and most likely playing minimal snaps in the fourth. This is Lee’s chance to show the coaching staff how monumental of a leap he is ready to take heading into his sophomore season.
On a team filled with question marks, Lee can hold down the fort at inside linebacker in the Jets 3-4 defensive scheme. Hopefully, a strong preseason can translate to success in the future for the second year linebacker. He will most definitely be an exciting prospect to watch in the preseason.
Enunwa flew under the radar in 2016, mostly due to the Jets issues at quarterback. Even with the chaos under center, Enunwa managed to record 58 receptions for 857 yards and four touchdowns while only dropping four balls.
A former sixth round pick, Enunwa is becoming a leader to the young receiving corps. According to NewYorkJets.com, Enunwa has been stressing the importance of hard work in practice.
“You have to be hyper focused and know what’s going on,” Enunwa emphasized. “You have to be ready for what’s going on. Today was red zone, so it’s one of those days where everything is going be fast and we weren’t ready. It’s frustrating as hell, I can’t lie about that. But camp is where we learn, grow and I think we’re going to go back, watch the film and see what we can learn from.”
While his leadership might not show on the field, his improved play might.
Last year’s receiver room was crowded and the speedy receiver didn’t get a chance to showcase his full abilities. Now, with Eric Decker and Brandon Marshall off the roster, Enunwa is the unquestioned number one receiver.
While this years quarterback situation isn’t any clearer, the 25-year-old receiver could have his best season yet. The biggest obstacle standing in his way is the lack of chemistry with the quarterbacks. Out of all the players at that position currently on the roster, he has only caught a pass from Bryce Petty, who is projected to be the third string quarterback.
That is why the preseason could be so beneficial for Enunwa. Building a connection in live game action is the most important thing for one of the Jets top offensive weapons. Fans and coaches alike will be eager to see what he can do with whichever quarterback is taking snaps.
The Jets are a young team that has a lot of holes on their roster. However, the Jets can use this year to develop their young talent, which they actually have a lot of. While fans and coaches will want to see the rookies in action, getting a look at Lee and Enunwa will prove to be as valuable.