Coming into the 2018 NFL season one of the biggest question marks on the New York Jets roster was expected to be its pass rushing group. After week one, the Jets have not completely answered the question on how they will find a pass rush weekly, but the team may have a potential gem on the rise in undrafted outside linebacker from Washington State in Frankie Luvu.
At final cuts the Jets initially cut Luvu after a strong training camp and preseason in which he showed flashes of potential of becoming a factor in the Jets group of pass rushers and working with the starters. The Jets added Luvu to its practice squad with the hopes of developing his skills with a future role on the roster, but an opportunity opened up for him due to outside linebacker Josh Martin recovering from a concussion sustained late in the preseason and the Jets moved him to the 53 man roster.
Luvu did not expect his NFL debut to begin this quickly, but when the Jets staff told him the news of him being added to the roster he knew he would be ready and excited for this opportunity.
“I didn’t know I was going to play until Saturday,” said Luvu. “Coach Todd (Bowles) came up to me and said, ‘You’ll be playing.’ It was just a blessing overall, but this past week has been a grind.”
Luvu had an impactful debut for the Jets as he played in about half the snaps on defense and recorded three tackles including a tackle for loss in the backfield and applied pressure on the quarterback numerous times throughout the game. Luvu was the second most used rookie in the game for the Jets outside of the other star of the night in first round rookie quarterback Sam Darnold.
The Jets staff was very happy with what it saw from Luvu in his NFL debut and hopes he can carve out a permanent role for the Jets defense.
“I thought he was good for his first game, haven’t played in the NFL before and just coming back off the practice squad,” said Jets head coach Todd Bowles. “I thought he toned down a lot of the mistakes he made in the preseason. I was happy with the way he played.”
Luvu has a grand opportunity ahead of him again this sunday with another chance to make an impact. Martin is unlikely to play week two for the Jets due to recovering from his injury which now Luvu will again have the chance to fill this role and build off an encouraging rookie debut.
General manager Mike Maccagnan has had success with finding talent through undrafted free agents with his most notable name to date being starting wide receiver Robby Anderson. Luvu has the chance to be the next Anderson for the Jets in the 2018 rookie class.
Jets fan should be very excited and encouraged about the debut of franchise quarterback and rookie Sam Darnold, but need to make sure to keep an eye on another rookie in Luvu and his development as well. The Jets and its fan base are very pumped up after a strong week one showing in all aspects of the game and it will be exciting to see Luvu’s development as he proves he can stick on the Jets roster and help solve the Jets pass rushing questions.