Going into the upcoming season the depth chart for the New York Jets is a mystery. When a team is in rebuilding mode it is an exciting time for players who otherwise would not have a shot at starting. Looking at the roster it is obvious that hardly any positions are set in stone. For a new fan it is a time to grow with the team, for longstanding fans it is a scary time with so many unanswered questions. Answers will start to be answered as training camp progresses, but for now camp battles are the thing to watch.
Every team needs an adequate quarterback to lead the squad. The phrase “defense wins championships” is all well and good but with a rebuilding team quarterback is key. Compared to last year the quarterback squad is much improved. They had Tim Tebow who was brought in solely for publicity and money, there is no sugar-coating that. Now they acquired Geno Smith through the draft and former starter David Garrard, both of which could start for this team. They still of course have Mark Sanchez, Greg McElroy and Matt Simms to battle for the job as well. When breaking down a camp battle it is a good idea to do a main tier and a sub tier. The main tier would be Geno Smith vs. Mark Sanchez vs. David Garrard. The sub tier would be Greg McElroy vs. Matt Simms. Mark Sanchez’s fate is directly tied to Geno Smith essentially. If David Garrard stays healthy there is no reason why he wouldn’t have a spot on the squad. These factors directly affect Greg McElroy who should have no problem beating out Matt Simms. Although this is a very early projection there is no reason to believe the Jets will keep more than three quarterbacks on the roster. They need the roster spots for positions of need such as wide receiver and tight end. With that being said my prediction is Geno Smith (starter), Mark Sanchez (2nd string) and David Garrard (3rd string). If Sanchez is traded or cut the projection would move Garrard to the backup position and McElroy to 3rd string. Trading Sanchez will be an uphill battle to say the least. Roster: Geno Smith, Mark Sanchez, David Garrard
Running back for the Jets this year will be exciting compared to last year. They finally have a running back in Chris Ivory that has the speed to sprint down the field. Adding Mike Goodson was also a great signing. He is a big body like Shonn Greene, only difference is he can catch the football. The fans will not miss Shonn Greene once the season is in full swing. Bilal Powell and Joe McKnight are back but will not have the ease they had last year of making the team. Add John Griffin and you have the Jets running back squad. In the main tier you have Chris Ivory vs. Mike Goodson vs. Bilal Powell. In the sub tier you have Joe McKnight vs. John Griffin. With only two running backs on the squad you essentially have everything you need. You have the quickness of Chris Ivory and the big mauler in Mike Goodson or Bilal Powell. With that being said the only way Joe McKnight makes the team at this point is as a returner or has an outstanding preseason.
With Jeremy Kerley on the team it is hard to see them wasting a roster spot. My prediction is Chris Ivory (Starter), Mike Goodson (Goal line, 3rd down) and Bilal Powell (change of pace). That leaves Joe McKnight and John Griffin on the outside looking in. Roster: Chris Ivory, Mike Goodson, Bilal Powell