The New York Jets are counting on Jamal Adams to live up to the hype most NFL draft experts predict and pay immediate dividends in 2017.
For the eighth straight season and the 10th time in last 11 drafts, the New York Jets selected a defensive player in the first round. Much like when the GM Mike Maccagnan had Leonard Williams fall to him with the sixth overall pick in the 2015 NFL draft, he hit gold again when safety Jamal Adams was available with the sixth pick in this year’s draft.
Most fans are willing to be patient with Maccagnan, but after missing on most of his 13 draft picks in his first two drafts, Maccagnan needs his 2017 class to hit the ground running. According to NJ.com’s Connor Hughes. Adams has gotten off to a good start, already impressing a number of his teammates in offseason workouts.
“I can’t be more impressed with a young guy coming into the league,” said new free agent addition CB Morris Claiborne, “and, especially playing on that backend, doing the things he’s done so far.”
Despite his lack of NFL experience, Adams was arguably the best player at any position during the Jets offseason workouts. Not only is he performing on the field by sacking the QB, intercepting passes and forcing fumbles, he also has shown a knack for anticipating the offenses plays.
“He’s unbelievable” Claiborne added, “He’s been out here playing lights out. Picking up the defense, checking to different things, knowing what he wants to check to. He’s having fun doing it, too. His spirit is awesome. He’s having fun doing what he knows how to do, and that’s football.”
In addition to the praise he has earned from his teammates, head coach Todd Bowles also has noticed how his rookie is making a difference.
“He’s just a football player,” Bowles said. “He made players. He studies a lot, obviously. You don’t just get that way without studying. But, he’s a very instinctive player.”
“We knew he was talented, but he’s learning the defense like everybody else. He makes his mistakes and as he gets better with reps every day, we look for him to get better and better and try to help us.”
The Jets need Adams along with second round pick Marcus Maye, to help improve a pass defense that allowed 52 pass plays of 20-plus yards (14th most in NFL) and 13 of 40-plus (3rd most). Along with those hideous numbers they allowed the sixth most TD passes (30), while only intercepting the second fewest passes in the NFL (8).
Hopefully for the Jets, Adams will provide the type of leadership and production that can help him make a big difference in leading a young defense in 2017.
Mark Kelly covers the New York Jets for ProFootballSpot.com. You can follow him on twitter @CkmagicSports. Looking for more Jets news and features? Like our Jets Facebook page and also follow @spot_jets on Twitter.