Always deal with reality with player personnel

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A couple of Jets player personnel angles to get into today

He might be best served in a different role.

Greg Van Roten is a solid player, and the kind of guy you want on your team – tough, smart, great character and plays hurt.

However, his best role in 2021, if the Jets keep him, is probably as the backup swing man, a player you take to the game to backup all three interior line positions.

Not saying he had a bad season last year. Not at all, but the issue is he’s undersized, a maxed out 6-3, 302 pounds with short arms, and sometimes this can lead to match-up issues, like in the third quarter of the Jets’ season finale against New England, when 6-5, 300-pound TD Adam Butler beat him up the middle for a sack.

When you are a shorter linemen and you have short arms, it can create a huge challenge when facing tall defensive linemen with long arms, and this manifested itself on the Butler sack.

Also in the New England game, Van Roten gave up a QB pressure to DE John Simon, which blew up the pocket, leading to Chase Winovich sack.

Not saying the Jets should get rid of Van Roten, but just realize that his best role might be as a backup swing man.

Perhaps second-year player Cam Clark, after essentially being red-shirted as a rookie, will be ready to take over at right guard for the Jets. Clark was a fourth-round pick last year from Charlotte. He was a college left tackle, so the Jets gave him last year to learn the guard position . . .

I’ve wanted to bring up this play for a while.

This was one of the most impressive plays by a Jets receiver all season.

Talking about Breshard Perriman’s 53-yard catch-and run against New England in the season finale.

In the third quarter, Perriman caught a mid-range crossing route and was off to the races, displaying electrifying speed. People wondered after all this knee issues over the years if he lost a step, but this play made it darn clear that he hasn’t, and he still clearly still runs under 4.4, like he did coming out of UCF.

He showed big-time wheels on this play, and if the price is right, and they are comfortable with his knees, the Jets should consider bringing him back.

Think about what a misguided premise it is that Darnold didn’t have weapons. I know there were some injuries along the way, but down the stretch, he had guys like Perriman, Denzel Mims, Jamison Crowder and Chris Herndon, who had broken out of his early season slump, and was once again making a lot of plays.

No weapons? That’s a false narrative.

And quite honestly, there were times over the second half of the season, these guys were open, but either the QB didn’t see them or threw it late.

Once again, should the Jets add some new weapons this off-season? Absolutely. Was Darnold devoid of weapons as some national pundits would lead you to believe? Absolutely not.

So when Joe Douglas and Robert Saleh make their decision at quarterback, they can’t buy into this false narrative that Darnold’s issues were mainly due to lack of weapons.

Let’s be honest – guys like Perriman weren’t thrown to enough.

That play against New England was something to behold.

February 15, 2021

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Dan Leberfeld
Dan Leberfeld
Publisher of Jets Confidential Magazine. Call 1-800-932-4557 (M-F, 12-4) to subscribe. Co-host of Press Coverage every Saturday on SiriusXM NFL Radio from 11-2.

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