We recently investigated what the likely level of production could be for Garrett Wilson in his rookie season, based on how other Jets' rookies have fared in the past 25 years, then did the same for Breece Hall and Jeremy Ruckert.
Let's now attempt to do the same for defensive end Jermaine Johnson, who the Jets drafted in the first round.
The defensive end position is one the Jets have somewhat neglected in recent years, so there aren't many viable Jets rookies to compare Johnson with. Vernon Gholston - 2008's 6th overall pick - and recent third rounders Jachai Polite and Jabari Zuniga have been massive disappointments.
The likes of Leonard Williams and Quinton Coples were listed as defensive ends too - and did play outside at times. However, despite some good early production by each, these were mainly used on the interior, at least initially.
The Jets had more success with first rounders John Abraham and Shaun Ellis in 2000 and Bryan Thomas in 2002. Of the three, Thomas had the slowest start, with just three sacks in his first three seasons. Ellis had a solid start with 8.5 sacks in his rookie year, while Abraham was limited to just six games due to injuries, but showed promise with 4.5 sacks in those games.
How realistic would it be to expect Johnson to be productive as a rookie? We'll perhaps get a better sense of this from looking around the league. Based on recent evidence, it's not that common for a rookie pass rusher to rack up more than five sacks.
In 2021, Jaelen Phillips had 8.5 sacks and Azeez Ojulari chipped in with eight while Chase Young had 7.5 in 2020. However, 2019 saw six players register more than five sacks and another two with 4.5. Nick Bosa had nine and Maxx Crosby and Josh Allen were into double figures.
Unlike many of these players, Johnson's playing time might be limited in 2022 because he has some good established players ahead of him - and plays on a team that likes to rotate everyone anyway. The Jets will hope to see some good production and growth from him as the year goes on though.
What do you think Johnson's numbers will be like in 2022? Let us know in the comments...