Jets are in an enviable position

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One of the problems for personnel men in a cap sport is the challenge of keep a bunch of great talent at one position.

Because if you spend too much money at one position, then you have to sacrifice at another.

The Bills are eventually going to have this problem after spending a king’s ransom on their defensive line.

With Sheldon Richardson coming back for the Jets’ next game, they are entering a very special time from a defensive line standpoint.

You rarely see defensive lines with three talents like Mo Wilkerson, Leonard Williams and Richardson.
The late, great George Young used to call guys like these “Planet Players.” What he meant is there are very few men that big with the athletic ability and movement skills of these type of players.

You rarely see three athletic freaks like this on line in the NFL since the cap came into effect.

But the timing works out great for the Jets, to not only have this group this season, but in 2016 as well.

In 2016, Williams and Richardson both will still be on their rookie deals. If Richardson had stayed on the straight-and-narrow, he likely would have demanded big bucks next off-season. Now he’s lost a ton of leverage, and will have to just accept the fourth year of his rookie deal.

As for Wilkerson, obviously he wants a long-term deal, but if the Jets fail to get that done after this season, they can still slap the franchise tender on him.

So there is a really good chance this trio, if Richardson stays out of trouble, will be working together on the 2016 Jets.

This could be something special for the Jets.

People always ask, “If you play these three together, who plays nose tackle”

If this was the Jets’ old defense under Rex Ryan, I would consider this a tough question. But considering Bowles allows his defensive linemen to shoot up field and make plays, and doesn’t have them two-gap as much, I would say Wilkerson can play there.

It’s not like Wilkerson would be just sitting there taking up two blocks like many 3-4 nose tackles. Bowles allows his defensive linemen to explode up field. Most centers can’t deal with Mo’s rare combo of size (6-4, 320), strength and quickness.

So in Bowles defense, you could play Williams and Richardson at end, and Wilkerson at nose tackle. Damon Harrison can rotate in and still get plenty of action.

And speaking of this line, they make the Jets better equipped defensively to deal with New England than most teams in the league.

You see, the best way to defend Tom Brady, as the Giants proved in the Super Bowls, and the Jets have at times, is to just rush with your defensive line, and drop everyone else into coverage. Hey, you can mix in a blitz once in a while, but you don’t want to overdo it because Brady will find the holes and make you pay.

With Wilkerson, Williams and Richardson, the Jets could rush three and drop eight against Brady. It would drive him nuts.

Finally having this dream team together on their defensive line is going to be quite a boon for the 2015 New York Jets, and the 2016 Jets, for that matter.

October 8, 2015

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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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