AFC East: Ranking Run Defense: Bills and Fins edge Pats and Jets
By Jon Galvin
No. 4: New York Jets
Strength: Quinnen Williams. Pro Football Focus ranked Williams as the 3rd-best overall defensive lineman in 2022 noting that “Williams also posted a slightly higher run-defense grade (77.7) than Aaron Donald (75.6)….”
Weakness: Interior Depth. The Jets lost excellent defensive tackle Sheldon Rankins to the Houston Texans in free agency. Quinton Jefferson hasn’t demonstrated the same run stopping ability with a rush defense grade of 39.0 in 2022.
X-Factor: Will McDonald IV. McDonald is unlikely to start at the beginning of the season but the 15th overall pick in the 2023 NFL Draft out of Iowa State may push Carl Lawson for snaps during the year. The Athletic said of McDonald:
"McDonald isn’t expected to play much more than a sub-package pass rushing role as a rookie, unless he comes out and dominates in training camp. He’s currently 240 pounds, which is a bit light, but said he’s working to get to 250. The Jets rave about his length and ability to get around tackles, turn pressures into sacks and force fumbles, so they will find a role for him"- The Athletic