Who are the best under-25 players on the Jets?

One of the challenges for Joe Douglas, especially having taken over from a couple of general managers who didn't enjoy much success in the draft, will be to stockpile some young talent.

By drafting nine players and signing another nine undrafted free agents, the Jets almost doubled their numbers in terms of under-25 players on the roster from 21 to 39.

The breakdown

The Jets have just two 21-year olds on the team. One is their first round pick, Mekhi Becton, while the other is undrafted rookie defensive back Javelin Guidry.

All but three of the 22-year olds on the team are rookies, but Chuma Edoga and Quinnen Williams are still 22 as they head towards their second season and Sam Darnold is too with his third season just around the corner. He'll turn 23 next month though.

Interestingly, the Jets have more 23-year olds than 24-year olds. That's perhaps a sign of how the Jets have brought in a lot of younger players and given up on them early. A few of their under-25's are players other teams have given up on though. For example, Quincy Wilson, John Franklin-Myers and Josh Malone fit into this category.

The stand-outs

Let's try and rank the top 10 in reverse order.

(10. Blake Cashman - The former Minnesota linebacker was looking like a potential steal last year after he was called upon following CJ Mosley's injury and was productive with 40 tackles in just seven games. However, durability concerns re-surfaced when he was placed on injured reserve in November.

(9. Chuma Edoga - Another rookie called into early action was Edoga, the former USC tackle. He replaced Brandon Shell and struggled, but the Jets stuck with him through eight starts. He showed positive flashes at times, but if the Jets were high on him they probably wouldn't have made so many changes on the line.

(8. Blessuan Austin - Cashman wasn't the only rookie with injury concerns, but he faces uncertainty heading into his second season after being unceremoniously benched at the end of last year. Prior to that, Austin had held his own in six starts and should get a chance to win a role in 2020.

(7. Denzel Mims - The Jets don't know what to expect from their second round pick in his rookie year, but the truncated offseason won't help much as he'll need to refine his route running skills for the pro level. Fans are hopeful his combination of size and athleticism will see him making some big plays in his first season.

(6. Quincy Wilson - Still only 23, Wilson is this high on the list based on his reputation but the former second round pick was a major disappointment with the Colts. He should compete on the outside but his size also makes him an option to match up with tight ends in certain packages.

(5. Mekhi Becton - The Jets' mammoth tackle is expected to start at left tackle this year, although George Fant said this week he wants the job and there are rumors the Jets may yet bring in Jason Peters. Becton has some rawness to his game so he has some developing to do. Whether or not that happens on the job remains to be seen.

(4. Quinnen Williams - Last year's third overall pick's rookie year was disrupted by a high ankle sprain in the first game and then in the second half, he saw a lot of double teams following Leonard Williams' departure. He showed some signs of what he's capable of in the second half, but fans will be looking for more explosiveness and statistical production in year two.

(3. Chris Herndon - 2019 didn't really go to plan for the Jets' young tight end either. Due to suspension and injury, he caught just one pass. However, he had a great first season as he led all rookie tight ends in receptions and racked up over 500 yards.

(2. Sam Darnold - The Jets are still pinning their hopes on Darnold to be the franchise quarterback fans having been craving, but he hasn't really lived up to the hype yet. However, he was 7-6 as a starter last year. With an improved supporting cast, that should be something to build on.

(1. Jamal Adams - Contract issues aside, Adams has established himself as the Jets' best player and their face of the franchise. His contributions against the run and in coverage were matched by the fact he was arguably the Jets' best pass rusher.

Narrowly missing the cut

Those players who could make a case for being worthy of a top 10 place during the 2020 season fit into three distinct groups.

The first is comprised of recent draft picks such as Ashtyn Davis, Jabari Zuniga or La'Mical Perine. Unlike Mims and Becton, these players will need to prove themselves if they're going to be considered worthy of a regular role next year. By the end of the season, though, they could jump ahead of players like Edoga, Cashman or Austin in this list.

The next group is made up of minor contributors such as Trevon Wesco, Vyncint Smith or Braxton Berrios. Each of these will be hoping to earn a more significant role in 2020, but will face competition.

Finally, there's an outside chance that players acquired from other teams who haven't had a chance to excel with the Jets yet could establish themselves. Malone and Franklin-Myers fit into this group.


Overall, the Jets have some young talent, but most of their under-25's are unproven quantities so far.

Jets fans are hoping that Douglas will have done a better job of identifying talent than his predecessors, although some of these players were acquired in the previous regime.

The coaching staff will perhaps be even more important in the success of this group. If they can develop their young players better than the previous coaching staff did, then the Jets will have a much better pool of young talent to build around than they did when this staff arrived.