The New York Jets’ maligned defense lost one of their best players in Quinnen Williams, who suffered a broken foot and will be out for eight to 10 weeks, per NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero.
Williams is one of the few defensive cornerstones the Jets have on their current roster, and the only good news about this situation is that he should be ready to roll in time for training camp.
After struggling out of the gates as the third overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft, Williams came into his own in his pro sophomore campaign, ranking 12th among all interior defenders last season, per Pro Football Focus.
It’s a testament to the 23-year-old star’s competitive resilience that he performed at such a high level even as New York’s 2020 season was in the tank. Something similar happened in the case of safety Marcus Maye, who received the franchise tag for 2021 after ranking as a top-five PFF safety.
It’s critical that Williams is healthy for this coming season if the Jets are meant to be competitive at all. They placed a heavy priority on acquiring offensive talent in this year’s draft, selecting quarterback Zach Wilson No. 2 overall, followed by USC offensive lineman Alijah Vera-Tucker at 14th and Ole Miss wide receiver Elijah Moore early in Round 2.
New Jets head coach Robert Saleh did a phenomenal job as defensive coordinator with the San Francisco 49ers, and should be able to scheme up ways for Williams to shine. New York’s improved defensive line features marquee free-agent pass-rusher Carl Lawson and another new projected starter in former New Orleans Saints standout Sheldon Rankins on the interior.
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Author: Matt Fitzgerald