It’s very easy to pin the New York Jets morbid 2017 season on quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick and the disaster that was the offense this past season. And going forward, this is a group that will no longer have the services of stalwarts such as wide receiver Brandon Marshall and 11-year veteran center Nick Mangold. Both were released by the team this offseason. Fitzpatrick won’t be back to as the team signed journeyman Josh McCown to lead the team and perhaps tutor youngsters such as Bryce Petty and 2016 second-round pick Christian Hackenberg. Head coach Todd Bowles and general manager Mike Maccagnan inherited a 4-12 club in 2015 and got them to 10 wins.

Now it’s time for another renovation project and the priority is simple: Fix a once-proud defensive unit that turned in a shockingly bad performance this past season.

Impressive additions

Let’s go back a season first. After being one of the better units in the league during the team’s 10-6 campaign in 2015, the New York Jets fell hard and fast on this side of the ball this past season. The rankings in terms of overall yards allowed weren’t bad (11th in NFL). But don’t be deceived by that number. We saw former All-Pro cornerback Darrelle Revis (no longer with the team) torched deep over and over again and the remainder of the secondary wasn’t much better. The Jets allowed a total of 41 offensive touchdowns in 2016, 30 of those through the air. The club only picked off eight passes all season and forced a mere 14 turnovers.

And a pass rush that began the season with seven sacks (albeit in a loss to the Cincinnati Bengals) finished the year with only 27 quarterback traps. All told, this unit lacked playmakers and it’s why the team was so fortunate to have LSU safety Jamal Adams fall to them with the sixth overall pick in Thursday night in Philadelphia. And Maccagnan then doubled his pleasure by using a second-round choice on University of Florida safety Marcus Maye.

Immediate impact

Just as was the case two years ago when USC defensive tackle Leonard Williams fell to the New York Jets with the sixth overall pick, many were surprised that Adams lasted as long as he did. The 6’0”, 214-pound performer will be an immediate starter, replacing Marcus Gilchrist, while Maye will battle incumbent Calvin Pryor for the strong safety spot. This is a secondary that also has another new face in cornerback Morris Claiborne, a 2012 first-round pick of the Dallas Cowboys. And the Jets also drafted a pair of corners in the sixth round in Jeremy Clark (Michigan) and Derrick Jones (Mississippi). Both of these rookies will eventually bear watching. But you can look for Adams to be all over the field for Bowles’ team this fall.