Considering that he was also the team’s only Pro Bowl and All-Pro selection last year, it isn’t a surprise that New York Jets safety Jamal Adams is also the team’s lone selection on a list of top players in the league.
The recently released Pro Football Focus list of the top 50 players in the league has Adams as the lone representative from the Jets. It comes after a second-straight dominant season from the safety, who enters his fourth season as arguably the top safety in the league.
Adams checks in at No. 20 on the PFF50 list, the analytics site giving him top grades. Of course, this comes against the backdrop of Adams seeking a new deal and the Jets reportedly being tough in negotiations.
In past statements, Adams has said he wants to be paid as the game's top safety. His 2019 season is fantastic evidence for that claim.
“He has become the prototype of a new breed of do-it-all safeties who occupy more of a positionless role in NFL defenses,” PFF writes in their analysis.
“Adams can line up anywhere and cover, defend the run or even rush the passer as a legitimate edge rusher on any given snap — and he does it all at a high level. Adams isn’t redefining the safety position as much as he’s pioneering a completely new role on defense.”
Last year, Adams was dominant for the Jets, in particular during the second half of the season when he was the best defensive player in the league for the better part of two months. He finished 2019 with 75 tackles, two forced fumbles and an interception in 14 games played.
He posted a career high in tackles for a loss (10), quarterback hits (13) and sacks (6.5). It was the first time in his career that he didn’t play a full 16 games.
Aaron Donald is the top-rated player, the Los Angeles Rams defensive lineman taking the No. 1 spot for a fourth straight year. In their understandably glowing review, PFF says that “The gap between Donald and the next-best interior player is bigger than it is between any other player and the rest of his peers.” Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes is second and Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones comes in third.
Only one defensive player, Donald, is in the top 10 of the list. Adams is the first safety to be named.
New England Patriots cornerback Stephen Gilmore is the only other AFC East player on PFF’s Top 50.