As the Jets approach training camp, I will review the list and give you my top 25 players. Every week we identify another person on the list and take them to camp. I don’t include rookies on this list because I don’t think it’s possible to fully evaluate them before playing a game.
№ 17: Bless Austin
Last year’s rating: 25
Age on opening day: 25
How to buy: Selected in the sixth phase of the 2019 project
The remaining years in the contract: 2
2021 salary index: $ 890,743
If we look at 2020
It was the first full year as a starter since Austin played in the second half of the new season. He started 10 games and appeared in 11 games.
Assessing Austin is not an easy player. He’s a tough, tough player, he’s not afraid to fight. On the other hand, it struggles with coverage – it’s not something you want from your starting corner.
Austin finished third on the team last year, with 63 and just 12 missing. He never avoids contact and plays behind or behind the line of scrimmage. Last year, he made a mistake and defended four passes.
Admittedly, Austin doesn’t have much skill in collecting the ball and can fall victim to good receivers. The PFF ranked him 96th out of 121 corners. That sounds hard to me because I think Austin does a lot of things well, but the level of coverage is overwhelming. They finished 103rd in coverage and 29th in defense. Austin allowed three hits and a 103-pass rating for each PFF.
The outlook for 2021
The pressure is on Austin to enter the training session. The Jets ’GM Joe Douglas hasn’t been able to address every hole on his list this season, and that’s the angle he chose to roll the dice. The Jets did not add well-known veterans to the group, leaving Austin and Bryza Hall as leading contenders to start the season.
In the spring, Austin had an undiagnosed injury, which knocked him out of the lineup for OTA and the minicamp. This gave other players a chance to impress the coaches. Now Austin has to win a new coaching staff at the training camp. Robert Salih’s defense is based on pressure with the front seven, but passers need to hold the ball for a few seconds to get the sacks. That would belong to Austin, and let the Jets hesitate for a second to let the same midfielder Carl Lawson and Quinnen Williams get the bag if they put anyone else around the corner. If Austin finds it difficult to cover again, look for someone else to start around the corner soon.