Progression is not guaranteed in the NFL. It’s a sink-or-swim environment. You either make it, or you don’t. Assistance from coaches, owners, and peers can weigh heavily on an athlete’s growth. New York Jets Head Coach Robert Saleh witnesses this firsthand with sophomore All-Pros.
New York Jets: Garrett Wilson shined despite quarterback controversy last season
Aaron Rodgers’s arrival in New York was a momentum boost for the Jets’ culture. It was also a breath of fresh air after a subpar 2022 campaign. Zach Wilson struggled to find success on the gridiron. He failed to lead in pivotal situations – a result of a young player forced to extinguish a wildfire.
Inconsistencies at quarterback could not hinder rookie production. Garrett Wilson carried the offensive load – earning the respect of his peers throughout the league. At the end of the season, Wilson ranked 14th in receiving yards (1.103) and tied for seventh in targets. He earned offensive AP Rookie of The Year Honors and will continue to terrorize secondaries.
New York Jets: Sauce Gardner is a perfect sparring partner for a developing WR
Managing two first-round picks is difficult for NFL front offices. If mismanaged, the picks could get exchanged for players that may not reach their ceiling. Draft busts are catastrophic and could cost the franchise years of resources.
Luckily, the Jets managed to make the most of their high-valued picks. Before New York added Wilson to their roster, they used the fourth overall pick to improve their defense. Sauce Gardner made an immediate impact. He locked down the best recovers – creating a reputation for himself within his first season. Gardner ranked first in defensive (87.9) and coverage ratings (90) among other CBs around the league.
Becoming the best at your position is challenging. Maintaining dominance is harder. Sauce Gardner and Garrett Wilson expect to continue their impressive careers in 2023. The league is on notice, and opponents are now aware of their skill set.
Working against each other throughout the off-season will allow both players to improve throughout their careers. They have similar goals and will encourage each other to fulfill their potential. “I know Sauce wants that level of competition” Wilson stated on HBO’s Hard Knocks. “He gets me a few times and I get him a few times. That’s how it’s supposed to go.” The Jets are projected to have a successful season and Their sophomore superstars will be ready to show out.