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NFL Draft

Zombie New York Team: Players From Giants, Jets Make Up Ultimate Roster

  • The Draft Network
  • October 2, 2020
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New York City, the icon of this country. Yes, there are many places and things to marvel at across this nation, but I would argue no spot is talked about more and is more hand-in-hand with America the way NYC is. Making it to New York City, for many, is seen as a dream. The melting pot of people and cultures, the mecca of business and innovation; in many ways, New York is viewed as the pinnacle.

But it sure isn’t the pinnacle of football.

The Jets and the Giants are the two NFL franchises that share the New York location in their name. They also currently share a winless record, two of the league’s worst rosters, and an overwhelming lack of success.

Since the Giants won the Super Bowl back in 2011, the two New York franchises have just one postseason win between them. If the Jets fail to make the playoff this year—and, oh buddy, are they well on their way—it will mark a 10-year playoff drought. As for the Giants, they made the postseason last in 2016, but they haven’t won a playoff game since their last Super Bowl win nine years ago.

As it stands today, we are rapidly approaching the New York record for most years without seeing a playoff win between both franchises. The longest stretch between playoff victories in the city of New York since the Super Bowl era began in 1967 was a 12-year span between 1970-82. During that time, there was only one playoff appearance by the Jets in 1981, where they lost in the first round, but for the entirety of the 1970s, neither the Giants nor the Jets had a single postseason berth between them.

But forget the playoffs. How about just winning a game—one! The Jets and Giants are winless on the season with seven combined losses between them. Injuries have held back both teams from getting the most out of their rosters. But I’m not so sure that even “the most” would have been enough for their records to be any different at this point.

The Giants and Jets are last and second to last, respectively, in Football Outsider’s Offense DVOA, which is a more accurate way to judge success on both sides of the ball. They both fare better on the defensive side, but on overall DVOA, the only team worse than the Jets and Giants is the Denver Broncos. 

All that got me to thinking: If the Jets and Giants can’t compete in the NFL individually, what if they used some sort of Dragon Ball Z fusion to join forces? Would the combined rosters of two of the league’s worst teams be enough to end the New York playoff drought? Heck, would it be enough to not be one of the worst teams in the league?

Let’s start by building a starting lineup from this non-regulated, local community pool of players and see if we can make magic happen. 

QB: Daniel Jones

I will probably get a lot of hate from Sam Darnold stans here, but the fact of the matter is Darnold is just not a good quarterback under Jets head coach Adam Gase. If you want to blame it on Gase and think that Darnold can be better elsewhere or when (yes, when) the Jets get a new head coach, that’s fine—I’d probably believe you. But Jones is the better choice right now. 

RB: Le’Veon Bell, Frank Gore

I mean—I guess?

I can’t pick Saquon Barkley, because he is out for the year. Le’Veon Bell is clearly the most talented running back, but he’s been about as ineffective as you can imagine since arriving in New York. Bell is currently on the injured reserve (IR), but he should be back in a few weeks, so I’ll put him in here. If we also throw in Frank Gore, who is currently out-running Father Time, it’s the best we’ve got.

WR: Golden Tate, Darius Slayton, Jamison Crowder, Braxton Berrios

With Sterling Shepard and Denzel Mims on IR, this is our bunch.

Golden Tate brings versatile experience. Darius Slayton can stretch the field. Jamison Crowder has the best Pro Football Focus (PFF) grade (75.8) and highest yards-per-catch average (15.6) of the bunch, and Braxton Berrios can give us the slot factor.

This is not a very tall group, but we’ll manage.

TE: Evan Engram, Trevon Wesco, Chris Herndon

Evan Engram was one of my favorite route runners from the tight end position in the 2017 class, and Trevon Wesco was a player I liked as a late-round big man in 2019 who could move well for his size. As for Chris Herndon, there was thought he had a good athletic upside to make a difference in the receiving game; although it hasn’t really manifested.

But none of these players have had great starts to their season. It’s a group with more upside than production. 

OT: Mekhi Becton, Chuma Edoga

Thank goodness for Mekhi Becton, because without him, this group would be rough. Becton is playing great, not just for a rookie starting left tackle, but in general for any left tackle in the league. 

Nate Solder opted out of the 2020 season due to the COVID-19 pandemic, so he’s not an option. George Fant has played more snaps as the Jets’ right tackle, but Chuma Edoga has been better in relief for Fant. As for the Giants offensive tackles of Cam Fleming and Andrew Thomas, well, they’re not as good, so it’s an all-Jets tackle group—sorry, Jones.

IOL: Will Hernandez, Alex Lewis, Nick Gates

I like Will Hernandez as a bulldozer of a guard, even if he’s not off to the best start in 2020. Alex Lewis has been a nice player for the Jets—maybe that’s just an effect of playing next to Becton. And as for Nick Gates, well, between, the two centers I can choose from, PFF has Gates ranked 31 out of 34 grade-eligible centers and Jets center Connor McGovern ranked 34 out of 34. So, there you go.

IDL: Dexter Lawrence, Dalvin Tomlinson, Quinnen Williams

Alright, we got some talent we can work with here.

Dexter Lawrence and Dalvin Tomlinson may not be Aaron Donald and J.J. Watt, but you know what they are? Huge. That’s right, they’re huge. Football starts up front, baby, and you can’t teach girth.

Throw in Quinnen Williams, and we’ll get some semblance of a pass rusher too.

EDGE: Lorenzo Carter, Jordan Jenkins, Markus Golden

Markus Golden recorded double-digit sacks for the Giants last year but doesn’t have any so far this season with 60 snaps played. Jordan Jenkins has been the Jets’ top pass rusher the past few seasons, but that might say more about the Jets pass rush than it does Jenkins. Lorenzo Carter is good. He’s a top-20 edge player, according to PFF’s grades.

We can sort of work with this.

LB: Blake Martinez, Oshane Ximines, Neville Hewitt

Alright, Blake Martinez come on down!


Alright, just Blake Martinez come on down!

CB: James Bradberry, Pierre Desir, Brian Poole

James Bradberry is good. We can get that out of the way right now. Pierre Desir isn’t really good, so there is that to consider. But Brian Poole is a very nice slot/nickel defender. There’s a glaring hole here if the other team has a solid WR2 option, but this group can still hold up.

S: Marcus Maye, Logan Ryan

I was firmly #TeamWhyHasntLoganRyanBeenSignedYet, so I consider this to be a plus group. Ryan had incredible numbers last season with the Titans, and Marcus Maye has been one of the better safeties in the league since 2017.

Once again, is it ideal? No. Is it preferred? Still no. Can we work with it? Maybe!

So, now that we have our zombie New York football team assembled, it’s time to answer the question:

Would This Combined New York Team Beat The…

New England Patriots?


Buffalo Bills?

Also No.

Miami Dolphins?

Maybe? But probably still no, because we have to take into account the simple truth that Ryan Fitzpatrick could go full Ryan Fitzpatrick at any time.

Cleveland Browns?

If we’re being honest, the Cleveland Browns have yet to earn our trust in such an exercise, so I’ll say the zombie New York roster could beat the Browns.

Pittsburgh Steelers?

Yeah, we’re back to no. 

Cincinnati Bengals?

Look, I’ve got a “BDJ” hat in the top shelf of the closet, but it’s still the Cincinnati Bengals. Put another one on the board for NY.

Baltimore Ravens?


Houston Texans?

I would say this combined New York team could feast on a sub-par Houston Texans offensive line, but this combined New York team doesn’t have good pass rushers.

And I would say this combined team could attack a weak Texans secondary, but New York doesn’t have good weapons in the passing game.

I tried.

Jacksonville Jaguars?

Do you think I’m picking against quarterback Gardner Minshew? Have you ever look into his eyes? It was like the first time I heard The Beatles.

Indianapolis Colts?

The Indianapolis Colts are a good team, and this New York roster still isn’t. There it is.

Tennessee Titans?

This game would end 15-0 in favor of the Tennessee Titans. 

Las Vegas Raiders?

Head coach Jon Gruden wouldn’t let that happen.

Los Angeles Chargers?

The Los Angeles Chargers can’t score right now, and scoring is an important part of winning a football game. For how low scoring the Chargers games have been to this point, I have to chalk this one up to a maybe.

Denver Broncos?

The Denver Broncos just beat the plain old Jets. But would they beat the super zombie Jets?

It depends who is playing quarterback for the Broncos, but it could happen.

Kansas City Chiefs?

The over/under on this game would be 49 points and the Kansas City Chiefs would be favored by 48.5.

Philadelphia Eagles?

*checks to see if the Philadelphia Eagles lost to the Giants yet this year*

Okay, not yet, we’re good. Give me the Eagles.

Dallas Cowboys?


Washington Football Team?

Yes! They would beat this team! Straight Up! Maybe! Actually! The longer this segment goes! The less confidence I have! End it quickly!

Green Bay Packers?

Absolutely not.

Chicago Bears?

Is quarterback Nick Foles wearing a visor?


Are you sure?

So, he’s not?

Okay, it’s still the Chicago Bears.

Detroit Lions?

Please don’t make me pick this game. 

Minnesota Vikings?

No, but I hesitated.

New Orleans Saints?


Tampa Bay Buccaneers?

Jones did beat the Tampa Bay Buccaneers last year, but they’ve gotten over their kicker problem from last ye—oh, they haven’t?

Still no.

Atlanta Falcons?

The Atlanta Falcons would be winning this game by double digits and somehow still lose it, so yes.

Carolina Panthers?

The Carolina Panthers were a tough out against the Las Vegas Raiders in Week 1 and just picked up their first win of the season last week. Never bet against quarterback Teddy Two Gloves Bridgewater when he’s on a roll.

(This one’s probably a maybe.)

Seattle Seahawks?

Zero percent chance.

Los Angeles Rams?

Not in New York’s dreams.

Arizona Cardinals?

Quarterback Kyler Murray would steal this team’s soul.

San Francisco 49ers?

Head coach Kyle Shanahan would make New York quit the sport.

Well, there we have it, folks. As we tally up the final predictions for the zombie New York team, we have “would wins” against the Bengals, the very beat up Chargers, and Washington; “could wins” against the Dolphins, the Browns, the Broncos, the Panthers and sort of the Lions; and then a “they had no business winning that game, but it’s the Falcons.”

Bookmark the Mock Draft Machine now, New York football fans. Draft season is quickly approaching for you, and we’re here for you when you’re ready.

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