The fascinating dichotomy of NY Jets DT Quinton Jefferson

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By: Joe Blewett

New York Jets defensive tackle Quinton Jefferson’s film is a tale of two phases

The New York Jets, while under general manager Joe Douglas, will always emphasize the trenches.

This becomes even more of an emphasis when having a head coach like Robert Saleh, who has built a strong reputation for emphasizing depth on the defensive line. Saleh likes a heavy rotation to keep players fresh.

The full, member-only Quinton Jefferson film breakdown (1:18:00 in length) can be found at the bottom of this article (must be a Jets X-Factor member and logged into the site). 

While the Jets are strong at defensive end and have a stud at defensive tackle in Quinnen Williams, they had serious questions about the defensive tackle position entering free agency. Outside of Williams, each of the Jets’ other defensive tackles from the 2022 season was not under contract.

Sheldon Rankins left for a big payday with the Houston Texans. It was a blow to the Jets, as Rankins was a very solid player for them this past season. Nathan Shepherd, a depth player, signed for a higher price than expected with the New Orleans Saints.

The Jets were able to retain Solomon Thomas but he struggled mightily in 2022 and should be viewed as the team’s “DT4” at best.

Free agency didn’t kick off as the Jets had hoped. They weren’t able to bring back Rankins and then followed that up by striking out on both Fletcher Cox and Calais Campbell.

The Jets pivoted to 30-year-old Quinton Jefferson, formerly of the Seahawks. The veteran brings a relatively slender frame to the Jets’ interior defensive line as he stands at 6-foot-4 and 290 pounds. He had a career-high 5.5 sacks last season and is known as a good pass-rush specialist who can struggle against the run.

But what does the film say about Jefferson?

  • Is he really just a pass rusher?
  • Was he overlooked in free agency?
  • How does he fit in the Jets’ defense?
  • Is Jefferson’s run defense less problematic than many think?

These questions and many more are answered on this edition of Blewett’s Blitz. Plus, a list of strengths and weaknesses can be seen at the bottom of this article!

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Full member-only Quinton Jefferson film breakdown

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Next Article: Allen Lazard Film Review: Is he overrated by Jets fans? 

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