John Idzik and the rest of the Jets brain trust will have some decisions to make this summer
Although it is over 3 months until the start of preseason, it is never to early to take a look and see how the New York Jets are shaping up. This season, there are a lot of new faces on the Jets than in years past. During the offseason, the Jets said farewell to Brandon Moore, Laron Landry, Dustin Keller, Shonn Greene, Yeremiah Bell, Mike DeVito, Sione Pouha, as well as other familiar faces. Now lets take at what I believe would be the 53 man roster if the season started today. ( note, not a depth chart)
QB– Mark Sanchez, Geno Smith, David Garrard. Wild Cards– Greg McElroy, Matt Simms
All through the summer we will hear about the Jets QB competition. If I had to guess, I believe Idzik will try to find a team needing a veteran QB later in camp in efforts to trade Sanchez. But I believe his attempt will not be a successful one. I believe Garrard, Sanchez, and Smith will be the 3 QBs on the roster, but the starter is yet to be determined.
RB– Chris Ivory, Mike Goodson, Bilal Powell, Joe McKnight. Wild Card– John Griffin
The Jets running game should be much improved from last year. Ivory, when healthy , is an upgrade over Shonn Greene. Goodson has shown great ability to perform when given the chances in the past. The running game should not be an issue for Gang Green if these guys stay healthy.
WR– Santonio Holmes, Stephen Hill, Jeremy Kerley, Clyde Gates, Jordan White, Zach Rogers. Wild Cards– Josh Cribbs, Braylon Edwards, Ramses Barden, Brandon Lloyd
If healthy, a trio of Holmes, Hill, and Kerley is hard to complain about. The issue is both Holmes and Hill are coming off major injuries. It has been reported that the Jets have reached out to all of the guys I listed as wild cards. Adding one of them would be a big boost to this group. A guy to keep an eye on is UDFA Zach Rogers. Rogers was a reliable option at Tennessee and could be in line for the 4th WR role on the Jets.
TE– Jeff Cumberland, Hayden Smith, Konrad Reuland, Mike Shanahan. Wild Cards– Chris Pantale, Dallas Clark, David Thomas, Brent Celek
This may be the weakest unit on the team at this point. I would be shocked if the Jets do not make a move soon to improve this position. A sleeper to watch is UDFA Mike Shanahan from Pitt University. A big athletic player who is certainly in line to make the team.
Center– Nick Mangold, Caleb Schlauderaff
Mangold is as solid as it gets as a center. No need to worry here.
Guard– Willie Colon, Brian Winters, Stephen Peterman Wild Cards– Vlad Ducasse, William Campbell
I expect Colon and Winters to win the two guard spots. Health has always been an issue for Colon, but when on the field he is a very good player. 3rd round pick Brian Winters is a very physical mauler who can be a big part of the O-line.
Tackle– D’Brickashaw Ferguson, Austin Howard, Oday Aboushi. Wild Card– Dennis Landolt
Ferguson has been a rock on the line for years, and Howard showed promise last season as a starter. 5th round pick Aboushi will serve as a solid backup for the group this season.
November 18, 2012; St. Louis, MO, USA; St. Louis Rams quarterback Sam Bradford (8) has the ball striped as he throws by New York Jets defensive end Muhammad Wilkerson (96) during the first half at the Edward Jones Dome. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports
Since we do not know what type of defense the Jets will play this year, it is tough to assign the front 7 guys a position at this point. So I decided to put the DL and LBs in their own group.
Defensive Line– Muhammad Wilkerson, Sheldon Richardson, Antonio Garay, Kenrick Ellis, Damon Harrison.
The D-line should not be an issue for the Jets. Wilkerson showed he has star potential last season. Sheldon Richardson can play anywhere on the line and his versatility is very valuable. Garay, Ellis, and Harrison will all be a big part of the D-line this season.
Linebacker– David Harris, Demario Davis, Quinton Coples, Calvin Pace, Antwan Barnes, Ricky Sapp, Garret Mcintyre, Nick Bellore, Josh Mauga
The LB group will be much different this season. Bart Scott and Bryan Thomas are both gone so new guys will have to step up. This group has more speed than last season, which I believe is very important in the league now. It is hard to figure out how each guy will be used without knowing what type of defensive the Jets will run.
Cornerback– Antonio Cromartie, Dee Milliner, Kyle Wilson, Aaron Berry, Ellis Lankster, Isiah Trufant. Wild card- Mike Edwards
The Jets selection of Milliner should lessen the blow of losing Revis. In my opinion, this group is solid. A guy who I think will surprise people is Aaron Berry. A very talented guy who was injured in his time as a Jet last season. I would not be shocked if he beat out Wilson for the 3rd CB spot.
Safety– Dawan Landry. Antonio Allen, Josh Bush, Darrin Walls. Wild Card- Rontez Miles
Another area of weakness for the Jets. Landry will start, but there are questions about who will start next to him. A name to watch is Miles. If Miles performs well, he may very well be the one to start next to Landry.
Kicker– Nick Folk Punter– Robert Malone Long Snapper– Tanner Purdum
If the season started today, this is what I believe the Jets roster would look like. The Jets still have months to make more moves to improve the roster. John Idzik motto is “Competition” so training camp this year is something you will not want to miss.