Every decade, it seems as if the New York Jets put together fantastic combinations at linebacker. It began in the ’90s with Mo Lewis and Marvin Jones, who started alongside each other for almost a decade. Then came Bart Scott, who paired along David Harris to play a vital role in their 2009-2010 AFC Championship appearances. Now, the team pairs CJ Mosley with Avery Williamson – in Gregg Williams‘ defense. This linebacker duo is ready to take this league by storm in 2019.
Today on the 2019 New York Jets Preview Series, let’s take a look at who else will be joining this dynamic duo in the linebacker room.
2019 New York Jets Preview: Linebackers
The Starters: CJ Mosley and Avery Williamson
There is a legitimate argument for this pair to be the best in football. CJ Mosley is up there as one of the best in the sport. Avery Williamson is one of the most underrated at the position. Above all, they are both only 27.
So how will this pair line up in Gregg Williams’ defense? New York is sticking with a 3-4 defense for 2019. With the strong defensive line they have in front of Mosley and Williamson, this will be one of the top run defenses in the league.
The key with both players is simply production. Both entered the league in 2014, combining for 156 games out of 160 possible. This consistency of health gives the Jets reliable leaders on the inside. Not to mention, Mosley is a four-time Pro Bowl linebacker. But Williamson is not any other linebacker especially after rating 18th out of 92 linebackers according to Pro Football Focus.
Now, this is just getting picky. Mosley and Williamson do everything right. They are leaders on and off the field. Produce every down and do not give up on any play. At the same time, every player does have their weaknesses. They are both average against the pass, something teams could try to exploit during the season. This is not a glaring weakness though.
The Backup: Neville Hewitt and Blake Cashman
After having traded former first-round pick Darron Lee to Kansas City, the Jets linebacker room became clear. Neville Hewitt leads the way. After 2017, he came over to New York from Miami, primarily as a special team player. In the end, he started four games and proved more valuable than that. He will likely be the primary backup at middle linebacker, while also continuing a role on special teams.
Behind him is 2019 fifth-round pick Blake Cashman. A production hybrid safety-linebacker at Minnesota, Cashman should be a steal. While the position is loaded for the Jets, Cashman fits their system and is a smart player. He should find a nice role in 2019 as he adjusts to the NFL level.
The Bubble: Anthony Wint, Harvey Langi, and Jeff Allison
Given the talent, the Jets have at linebacker, these guys face a battle to make the roster. That does not mean they will not make the practice squad or do not have NFL talent.
First off is Anthony Wint. The longest-tenured of the group, Wint was undrafted out of Florida Atlantic in 2018. After spending most of 2018 on the practice squad, he joined the team Week 15 against Green Bay, even forcing a fumble. While only 6-0 and 225 pounds, he adds value as a special team player.
Then comes former Patriot Harvey Langi. Signed as a UDFA out of Brigham Young in 2017, Langi made the roster as a rookie. Unfortunately, his time with New England was cut short due to injuries suffered in a car crash. Langi joined the Jets practice squad in 2018 and now looks to complete his comeback in 2019.
Lastly is an aggressive tackler in Jeff Allison. The undrafted Fresno State product is not the biggest and does not have great instincts, but Allison puts his all into the game. Look for him to be a potential practice squad project type of player.
Last Word on the 2019 New York Jets Preview: Linebackers
The Jets have a shot to have two linebackers as potential Pro Bowl players. Especially in Gregg Williams’ defense, Mosley and Williamson will be all over the field. Hewitt will see an expanded role and Cashman will be a good addition to the room. There is also a good chance two of these bubble players wind up on the practice squad.
Be ready for the next article in the 2019 New York Jets Preview Series as the cornerback position will be huge for how far the Jets can go this upcoming season!
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