There is a lot of excitement surrounding the New York Jets and Philadelphia Eagles heading into the 2022 season. Both franchises focused in on upgrading the talent with which their young quarterbacks have to work, and have the chance to take the next step this year.
New York Jets
New York Jets head coach Robert Saleh is excited to face off against new opponents after the plethora of intersquad practices during training camp. He has already confirmed that his starters will play at least a series or two, which means that a lot of key players will have a chance to get off to a good start.
With the 10th overall pick in the 2022 NFL Draft, the Jets took wide receiver Garrett Wilson from Ohio State. While ascending second year player Elijah Moore has received a lot of attention during training camp, it will be encouraging for Wilson to start quickly and establish a connection with quarterback Zach Wilson. For the Buckeyes last year, Garrett Wilson caught 70 passes for 1058 yards and 12 touchdowns.
New York doubled down on improving their offense in round two of this year’s draft, taking running back Breece Hall from Iowa State. Hall had a tremendous career with the Cyclones, rushing for a combined 41 touchdowns in the last two seasons. He figures to have a leg up on incumbent backs Michael Carter and Tevin Coleman.
If healthy, it seems clear that edge rusher Carl Lawson will be a starter. However, he missed all of last season due to a ruptured Achilles, which was a huge blow to Saleh’s defense and their ability to rush the passer. His ability to get back to form will be critical for New York this season. It will be fascinating to see whether Lawson gets any preseason snaps or is stashed away for the regular season.
The Philadelphia Eagles also made waves on draft night. They traded for one of the most talented playmakers in the NFL in wide receiver A.J. Brown. He has proven his dynamic run after the catch ability in his three years with the Tennessee Titans, but they could not come to terms on an extension.
The Eagles were happy to acquire Brown, as they gave the former Mississippi star a four-year, $100 million extension before he ever played a snap with the team. It will be an upgrade for Jalen Hurts, who now can flummox defenses with his legs and through the air on plays involving Brown.
Philadelphia’s offense is similar to the Titans’ in the sense that it is not a high volume passing attack, so it is unlikely Brown will have unlimited chances to make plays down the field. However, he has proven that even with limited opportunity, he can go the distance on any play, which can change the outcome of the game.
On defense, the Eagles are hoping that former lockdown cornerback James Bradberry can return to the form he displayed earlier in his career. Getting off to a good start in the preseason would be a boost for his confidence.