Predicting the Jets 53-Man Roster

To start the 2018 off-season, the New York Jets had one of the biggest cap spaces in the league. It’s fair to say that they took advantage, making many marquee signings. This roster is going to look very different from last year after a revamp of the cornerback group and quarterback room to name a couple of positions. Let’s look at who will make the final 53 man roster.

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Josh McCown (left) and rookie QB Sam Darnold (right)

 

Quarterback:

Starter: Josh McCown

Depth: Teddy Bridgewater, Sam Darnold

Cut: N/A

After failed 2nd-round pick Christian Hackenberg was traded to the Raiders for a 7th-round pick, I don’t expect any changes to the QB room in New York. Josh McCown gets the start because of his surprisingly adequate play last year and the respect everyone in the building has for him. Sam Darnold will start if he’s ready, but I wouldn’t count on it. He will definitely play this season, but he’ll still need to adapt to the NFL’s game which is why I believe McCown will start. Teddy Bridgewater is a wild card on this roster, having played only 1 game since tearing his ACL in August 2016. If healthy, Teddy could compete for the starting job but don’t be surprised if he is cut or traded before the season if his knee is not at a 100%.

 

Running Back:

Starter: Isaiah Crowell

Depth: Bilal Powell, Eli McGuire, Trenton Cannon, Dimitri Flowers (FB)

Cut: Thomas Rawls, Lawrence Thomas (FB)

After Matt Forte’s retirement, the Jets had a choice. Either to replace him with a free agent, or finally give him the carries that he has been searching for. Bilal Powell has averaged 4 yards or more per carry for every year he’s been with the Jets since 2012, racking up 1,500 yards and 10 total touchdowns in the last 2 years. But the Jets still refuse to give him his chance to be the workhorse and signed Isaiah Crowell this year. Crowell will most likely be the starter, but expect Bilal to still have a pretty big role on 3rd down and passing situations. Elijah McGuire was a 6th-round pick last year and impressed in a limited role, playing all 16 games, starting in 2 and getting 315 yards and 2 TD’s. He showed a lot of potential last year and the Jets will keep him on the roster with the hope that he’ll build on a pretty good 2017. The Jets also drafted a 6th-round running back this year in Trenton Cannon, who I think will make the roster as a returner. With the full back situation, I think UDFA from Oklahoma, Dimitri Flowers will beat out former D-lineman Lawrence Thomas for the job.

 

Wide Receiver:

Starter: Robby Anderson, Quincy Enunwa

Depth: Jermaine Kearse, Chad Hansen, Terrelle Pryor, Ardarius Stewart

Cut: Charles Johnson, Tre McBride, Charone Peake, Andre Roberts, Lucky Whitehead, Devin Smith

Although Robby Anderson was undrafted, extremely immature and can’t stop getting into legal trouble, however, he is very good. The 2nd year player had 941 yards and 7 TDs and would’ve had more if McCown didn’t get injured at the end of the year. Many people think of him as just a deep threat, but if he can develop other aspects of his game he could be a great receiver. Another injury wild card is Quincy Enunwa. He’s a WR/TE hybrid that dominates after the catch. He had 857 yards and 4 TDs with Ryan Fitzpatrick as his QB. Enough said. However, he did suffer a horrific neck injury that kept him out for all of 2017. If he can repeat the success he had in 2016 then this could be a great duo. Jermaine Kearse provides some reliability on the bench and Terrell Pryor disappointed in Washington after a breakout campaign the year before in Cleveland. He did deal with ankle injuries the whole year so if he can recover, then he’ll be a favorite red zone threat for whoever is playing QB.

 

Tight End:

Starter: Chris Herndon

Depth: Jordan Leggett, Eric Tomlinson

Cut: Bucky Hodges, Clive Walford, Neal Sterling

By letting Austin Seferian Jenkins walk, the Jets showed their confidence in the 2nd year tight end, Jordan Leggett, out of Clemson. He missed the whole year due to a knee injury, but coaches in Florham park think he has a lot of potential to develop. The Jets also drafted Chris Herndon out of Miami in the 4th. If he can recover well from a knee injury he suffered in his last year, he can make an immediate impact in a pretty subpar tight end group. Eric Tomlinson is not really a pass catching threat, but is a good enough blocker to make the roster.

 

Offensive Tackle:

Starter: Brandon Shell, Kelvin Beachum

Depth: Antonio Garcia

Cut: Ben Ijalana, Darius James, Brent Qvale

Kelvin Beachum’s play has been pretty average but I don’t think the Jets view him as a long-term starter. But he’s definitely decent as a stopgap until they draft their franchise offensive tackle. Brandon Shell has improved every year since getting drafted in 2016 and even though he won’t be a star, he could develop into a decent starter. Antonio Garcia was waived by the Patriots a couple of weeks ago after missing all of his rookie season due to blood clots. The Jets are hoping that the former 3rd-rounder will live up to the expectations that were placed on him after the draft.

 

Offensive Guard:

Starter: James Carpenter, Brian Winters

Depth: Jonathan Harrison

Cut: Ben Braden, Austin Golson, Dakoda Shepley, Dakota Dozier

James Carpenter isn’t a star, but he’s not horrible. He’s reliable which is hard enough to find in an offensive lineman nowadays. After signing with the Jets in 2015, he did not miss a game until last season where he dealt with nagging calf injuries. But should he return to form this year, he will be a solid starter. Brian Winters had a horrible 2017, which he publicly said was caused by a shoulder injury which he had the whole year. If he’s healthy, he could be decent. Jonathan Harrison is versatile and able to play guard and center so he should stay safe through training camp as well. None of these guards or tackles are high-end talents in their positions, but they all have the potential to make an above average offensive line.

 

Center:

Starter: Spencer Long

Depth: Travis Swanson

Cut: N/A

The Jets made some much-needed improvements at the center position. They didn’t renew Wesley Johnson’s contract due to the fact that he was graded one of the worst center in the league last year. They signed Spencer Long who was a cheaper option than Ryan Jensen and Weston Richburg. He’s had his injury concerns in the last couple of years, but if he can stay healthy, he can be a force on the offensive line. They signed Travis Swanson from the Lions as well and he’s dealt with his fair share of injuries too. Like Harrison, he can play center and guard so it provides some much needed versatility on the line.

 

Defensive Line:

Starter: Leonard Williams, Henry Anderson, Steve McLendon

Depth: Folorunso Fatukasi, Nathan Shepard, Mike Pennell

Cut: Xavier Cooper, Dion Simon, Claude Pelon, Mychealon Thomas

Leonard Williams is probably the best player on this team and has superstar potential, but, his sack totals have been pretty low (12 in his 3 year career). However, his QB hits have been phenomenal, with 65 over the 3 years (via PFF). He hopes to capitalize these this season and turn them into sacks which I think he will be able to do. Veteran Steve McLendon has been a solid run stopper as the team’s primary nose tackle. Also, during the draft, they traded the Colts a 7th-rounder for Henry Anderson. You may be wondering why he was only traded for a 7th-rounder and is starting but he didn’t fit the scheme in Indy anymore and has dealt with injuries. A 7th-rounder is a bargain for a player that can really contribute to this defense. Also, watch for 3rd-round pick Nathan Shepard to get significant playing time. He is 25 and a long college career has contributed to his game being a lot more fundamentally sound than other rookies also picked on day 2 of the draft.

 

Linebacker:

Starter: Jordan Jenkins, Darron Lee, Avery Williamson, Lorenzo Mauldin

Depth: Dylan Donahue, Neville Hewitt, Frankie Luvu, Josh Martin, Kevin Minter

Cut: David Bass, Freddie Bishop, Brandon Copeland, Obum Gwacham, Anthony Wint, Kevin Pierre-Louis

After losing MLB Demario Davis, the Jets replaced him with a younger and almost equally effective tackler in former Titan, Avery Williamson. Darron Lee starts alongside him as he looks to build on some success in his first two years. OLB looks bleak for the Jets, however. Jordan Jenkins is an average player and former 3rd rounder Lorenzo Mauldin disappointed in 2016 and didn’t play all of 2017. The only reason he’s starting is because of the pure lack of talent the Jets have on the edge. Look for the Jets to sign a veteran that gets cut after training camp.

 

Cornerback:

Starter: Trumaine Johnson, Morris Claiborne, Buster Skrine (nickel)

Depth: Parry Nickerson, Daryl Roberts, Justin Burris

Cut: Jeremy Clark, Xavier Coleman, Derrick Jones, Tre McBride, Rashard Robinson, Terrell Sinkfield

After signing the top free agent CB Trumaine Johnson to a MASSIVE contract (5yr/$72.5M) the Jets have revamped their secondary to a group which could be one of the best in the league. Mo Claiborne is a solid 2nd CB but has dealt with injuries for the last couple of years. And Buster Skrine isn’t a great player and commits a lot of penalties, but is formidable for a nickel role. Don’t be surprised if 6th round pick out of Tulane, Parry Nickerson takes over Skrine’s spot through the season. He’s a very quick, agile corner who had the fastest 40 yard dash time at the combine at 4.32. Out of the players who I think will be cut, Rashard Robinson has been the biggest disappointment, after trading a 5th round pick for him in the middle of the 2017 season, he had 2 tackles in 6 games and the Jets will be glad to put this behind them. Jeremy Clark and Derrick Jones, who were both picked last year haven’t played bad, but they may become victims of an overcrowded CB room.

 

Safety:

Starter: Jamal Adams, Marcus Maye

Depth: Rontez Miles, Terrence Brooks

Cut: Doug Middleton

When the Jets went safety in both rounds 1 and 2 in the 2017 draft, many people criticized GM Mike Maccagnan. But, the move has paid dividends as they already look like the next best defensive back duo in the NFL. Although Jamal Adams didn’t record a single interception, he was a force in the box and was one of the best run stopping safeties in the league. Terrence Brooks is a decent backup and will get on the field in some packages and Rontez Miles will be on the roster because he’s a good special teamer.

 

Special Teams:

Starter: Lachlan Edwards (P), Cairo Santos (K), Thomas Hennessy (LS)

Cut: Taylor Bertolet (K)

No surprises here as veteran K Cairo Santos will almost definitely win the job.

 

 

Sources:

http://www.nfl.com/player/rashardrobinson/2555546/profile https://www.newyorkjets.com/team/players-roster/ http://sportsinjurypredictor.com/player/teddy-bridgewater/6956 https://www.patspulpit.com/2018/4/12/17230704/new-england-patriots-offensive-tackle-antonio-garcia-injury-nfl-draft-nate-solder-laadrian-waddle http://www.nfl.com/player/bilalpowell/2495328/profile http://www.nfl.com/player/leonardwilliams/2552486/profil

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