Earlier this offseason, I wrote about what I believed the projected 53 man roster would be. Even though many moves will still be made by the Jets, it is never to early to take a look at what the Jets already have on the roster.
QB- Geno Smith– My head is telling me Sanchez, while my gut is telling me Smith. It is no secret that the Jets are having a full-blown QB competition, and over the next few months it is going to be talked about just about every time the Jets step on the field. This competition could go either way. In my opinion, whoever they choose as the QB, I will understand why they chose who they did. Sanchez had a disappointing season last year, but many weapons were missing on the offensive side of the ball. I would also understand if Geno is the QB. The Jets as an organization may want to move on from Sanchez and start fresh with the rookie Geno. At the end of the day, I believe Smith gets the nod week one vs the Bucs.
RB- Chris Ivory– As I wrote about in a previous article, I believe Ivory has the potential to be a 1000 yard rusher this year for the Jets. Ivory finally has an opportunity to prove that he can be a solid running back in this league, and I think he will take advantage of that. Ivory should get majority of the carries, but expect Mike Goodson, Bilal Powell and Joe McKnight to get some touches as well.
FB- Tommy Bohanon– Lex Hilliard and rookie 7th round pick T-Bo will be battling this summer to be the Jets starting fullback. Hilliard is experienced, but I expect Bohanon to win the job due to his versatility and ability to catch the ball out of the backfield.
WR1- Santonio Holmes– Coming off a serious Lisfranc injury, Tone will be very limited this summer, but is still on track to start week 1. When healthy, Holmes is a huge part of the Jets offense. With the Jets WR corps being so thin, Holmes health is crucial to this teams success.
WR2- Stephen Hill– Stephen Hill had an inconsistent rookie season for the Jets last season. He suffered from nagging injuries and a case of the drops all season, But coming into his second season, Hill will once again be relied on heavily. Hill has all the potential in the world, the Jets are hoping he is a consistent solid receiver this season.
WR3- Jeremy Kerley– Jeremy Kerley was arguably the Jets best offensive player last season. Even though the offense was a disaster, Kerley had a good year and should only continue to get better. Last year, with Hill and Holmes hurt, Kerley was the Jets number one target that defenses had to focus on. This season with Holmes and Hill back, Kerley sort of fly under the radar. Kerley is huge for the Jets offense so expect him to get a lot of touches week In and week out.
TE- Jeff Cumberland– The Jets TE position is relatively weak especially with Dustin Keller now a Miami Dolphin. Cumberland was a respectable tight end last season, but still needs to prove that he can be a starting tight end. It has been reported that Hayden Smith has looked great, but he is still a mystery. The Jets have invited former 6th overall pick Kellen Winslow to minicamp next week for a tryout. If healthy, Winslow can really improve this position for Gang Green
LT- D’Brickashaw Ferguson– No need to worry about big Brick, after having a sub-par 2011 for his standards, Ferguson bounced back and had a solid 2012 season. Expect the same from him in 2013.
LG- Brian Winters– I think rookie Brian Winters will win the LG job. Winters plays with a mean streak that is much-needed on the O-line. The 3rd round pick has a chance to really make a name for himself and replace Matt Slauson next to Ferguson on the left side of the line.
C- Nick Mangold– As solid as it gets. Mangold will continue to be a rock on the line for years to come.
RG- Willie Colon– When healthy, Colon is one of the best guards in football. But the problem is, Colon has never been able to stay healthy. Colon should win the job at RG, but if he is unable to stay healthy look for former Lion Stephen Peterman to take over.
RT- Austin Howard– Last season was Howard’s first year as a starter in the NFL, and he did a good job at RT for the Jets. While he had some flaws, Howard was certainly not a weakness. Howard should continue to improve this season.
Mo Wilkerson will be a starter at Defensive end for the Jets this season, but who else will join him?
DE- Muhammad Wilkerson– Mo flashed on the scene last season for the Jets and is now considered one of the premier defensive players in the NFL. Even though it is only his 3rd season, Mo is a leader on the Jets D.
DT- Sheldon Richardson– The Jets 13th overall pick will have the chance to make a big impact right away for the Jets. Richardson is an explosive player who can get to the QB even from the DT position. Richardson and Wilkerson could be a dangerous duo this season.
DT- Kenrick Ellis– Even though Ellis is more of a nose tackle, for the sake of this article I will label him as a DT. Ellis had a rough season last year with injuries and battling legal troubles. With that behind him, Elli will be looking to make an impact on the line this year.
Just like the DL, the LB are hard to label at this point. At this point, I will label them as MLB, and OLB.
MLB- David Harris– Harris, along with the rest of the Jets linebackers, struggled last season. Harris has been a very reliable and solid and reliable player for the Jets in past years. Harris will look to get back on track this season.
MLB- Demario Davis– Davis did not see much action last season with Bart Scott getting majority of the snaps. This season though, Davis will be a major piece of the Jets defense. Davis has great speed which will certainly improve the LB group as a whole.
OLB- Quinton Coples– This season, Coples will make the move from DE to OLB. Even though he is changing positions, do not expect much to change in his game. Coples specialty is getting to the quarterback. He led the team with 5.5 sacks last season, even though he only saw limited action. Expect Coples to rush the passer about 90 % of the time.
OLB- Antwan Barnes– Barnes was a quiet offseason addition by John Idzik. Coming off a poor 2012 season with just 3 sacks, Barnes will look to get back to what he did in 2011 when he had 11 sacks.
OLB- Calvin Pace– Pace is back with the Jets for another season after being cut earlier this offseason. Pace never lived up to his big contract, but Pace can still be a veteran leader on defense.
CB1- Antonio Cromartie– Cro had a great season last year stepping up as the Jets number one corner after Revis went down with an injury. With Revis now in Tampa, Cro is now officially the number one corner. Expect him to continue to match up against the opposing teams number 1 WR each week.
CB2- Dee Milliner– The Jets 9th overall selection will have the chance to make an impact right away. Dee is a well polished corner who certainly will not be overwhelmed in his first year. Even though Milliner is dealing with some injuries, expect him to be out there every week locking up some receivers.
SS- Dawan Landry– Last season the Jets had Laron, and this year they have Dawan. Landry is a solid safety who will be a leader for the Jets young secondary.
FS- Josh Bush– This spot is certainly up for grabs. With Landry not being known as a cover safety, I believe Bush’s ability to cover will earn him the starting role. Some other names to keep an eye on are Antonio Allen and Rontez Miles.
K- Nick Folk P- Robert Malone– LS- Tanner Purdum