Jets GM Joe Douglas still needs to fill these 5 holes on his 2020 roster

Ralph Vacchiano
SNY

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Jets general manager Joe Douglas told anyone who would listen that he was going to focus on rebuilding the offensive line this offseason -- and boy, did he ever. Four of the six free agents he signed from other teams were offensive linemen, and he brought back one from last year's Jets, too.

And that's great. The Jets' line should be better and stronger and deeper in 2020, which means more protection for quarterback Sam Darnold and running back Le'Veon Bell. The Jets' offense will be better, and obviously that's important.

But what about everything else Douglas still has to do?

 

Unfortunately for him, despite the Jets' strong 6-2 finish last season and the miracle defensive coordinator Gregg Williams did with an undermanned defense, there are still many other holes on this team. The good news is that Douglas still has plenty of cap room to work with, though the exact number is hard to figure until the details of all the contracts are known.

The bad news? The first wave of free agency is already over, so a lot of the best players are already gone.

So what will Douglas do to fix the rest of the roster? Here's a look at some of the remaining holes he still needs to fill, and where he might find some help:

Receiver

This is obviously a big one for the Jets, because while protecting Darnold is important, it will help if he has someone to target when he finally has time. He has Jamison Crowder and that's great, but he doesn't have much else. The only other returning starter, really, is Quincy Enunwa, and there are serious questions about whether he'll play again due to multiple neck injuries.

So what are the Jets waiting for? Robby Anderson, of course. It appears his expected market has collapsed and there's a lot of optimism the Jets can get him back on, say, a two-year, $16-18 million contract that gives him another shot at free agency when the new TV deals kick in.

If Anderson goes elsewhere, though, the Jets don't have a lot of options. They've kicked the tires on former Patriots Phillip Dorsett, and both Breshad Perriman and Demarcus Robinson are still available and won't cost much. But really, that's it.

The draft is pretty deep of receivers, though. In fact, that's a big factor in Anderson's lack of a market. So don't be shocked to see the Jets take a receiver on Day 2. The 6-foot-4, 216-pound Tee Higgins of Clemson would be a nice, big target if he slips to the second round.

Edge rusher

As much as this has been a need for a long time for the Jets, it hasn't seemed like a big priority for Douglas. Williams was able to generate a decent pass rush without a big-time edge rusher, so maybe the Jets think they can do it again. That's surely a big reason why they haven't made a serious effort to re-sign Jordan Jenkins, who was their best edge rusher last year.

Jenkins seems stung by what he sees as a low-ball offer from the Jets, but he doesn't seem to have many other options, so a return isn't out of the question. The Jets could move on to ex-Giant Markus Golden, too. They also reportedly have interest in Vinny Curry, which shows they are definitely bargain shopping.

The draft could provide some help, too, but offensive line and receiver figure to be more of a priority for them there. It seems they're going to wait out the market a bit, and then see what's left.

Video: Robby Anderson still on the market good news for Jets

Cornerback

Both of their starting corners from 2019 are gone (Trumaine Johnson, Darryl Roberts). The Jets did bring back their slot corner, Brian Poole, and re-signed Arthur Maulet who should provide some depth. They also agreed to terms with ex-Colts starter Pierre Desir on Sunday.

But clearly they need at least one more starter, which is why they were fishing around free agents like Byron Jones and Chris Harris. In fact, with Harris, they were in it right until the end.

But again, while Douglas holds to his price, the market continues to thin. He might still be able to land some value like ex-Titan Logan Ryan. Veteran Jimmy Smith, an ex-Raven, is another name to watch to add some experience to this group. It doesn't seem like the Jets are in on ex-Giant Prince Amukamara, but that would be a good idea, too.

As for the draft, unless Ohio State's Jeff Okudah slips all the way to No. 11, this is yet another Day 2 position for the Jets to consider. It's not a deep class, though, and it gets really thin if the Jets take a receiver in Round 2 and wait on this position until later. 

Offensive tackle

In case you had any doubts, everything Douglas has done so far sure seems to a point towards him taking an offensive tackle with the 11th pick in the draft. Yes, he's rebuilt his offensive line in free agency, but he's taking a gamble on George Fant, who right now is penciled in as the Jets' left tackle. And the right tackle currently is second-year pro Chuma Edoga, whom Douglas did not draft.

It seems logical, and close to a lock, that Douglas will use the 11th pick on a tackle who will either start on the right side, or start on the left with Fant moving to the right. As SNY reported before free agency, many, many NFL sources would be shocked if Douglas goes in another direction instead.

So whom? It all depends on who's still there at 11. It's a good bet that three tackles will be off the board by the time he picks, and possibly even four. His best bets seem to be Alabama's Jedrick Wills (6-foot-4, 312 pounds) or Georgia's Andrew Thomas (6-foot-5, 315 pounds).

If four are gone by the time the Jets pick -- including Iowa's Tristan Wirfs and Louisville's Mekhi Becton -- Douglas may have to trade down or take a tackle in the second round instead.

Backup quarterback

Last year's first-half disaster surely taught everyone how important this spot is, which is why the Jets will sign a free agent and likely draft a young quarterback on Day 3. At the moment, it doesn't appear that last year's backup, Trevor Siemian, will be re-signed, but that could change.

Surprisingly, the Jets haven't been in on Matt Moore, who was one of Adam Gase's quarterbacks in Miami. They could look to Joe Flacco, who was recently released by Denver and was drafted by Baltimore when Douglas was a Ravens scout. It's hard to see Flacco taking a job as a backup, though, especially in a place where, barring an injury, he has little chance to actually play.

There are some intriguing options here, though, and who knows what the market will look like after Jameis Winston, Andy Dalton and Cam Newton find jobs. Until then, Moore or Siemian probably make the most sense. Or Flacco if he's OK with being the backup.

Although, Josh McCown hasn't retired yet. The Jets certainly could do a lot worse than bringing him back for a 19th NFL season and a second stint in New York.

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