November 18, 2012; Oakland, CA, USA; New Orleans Saints running back Chris Ivory (29) runs with the ball before the start of the game against the Oakland Raiders at O.co Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports
The homestretch is on. Training camp is almost here. So, let’s continue our journey through the roster, on our training camp review. Yesterday, we previewed the quarterback competition. Moving on today, we are going to look at the backs and wide receivers.
The competitors: Chris Ivory, Mike Goodson, Bilal Powell, Joe McKnight, John Griffin.
Your biggest lock out of this group is Chris Ivory. He is an explosive back that has been dominant whenever he has had the chance. He has the ability to earn yards after first contact, and will make everybody forget about Shonn Greene rather quickly.
It seems as if Mike Goodson is going to be here as well. The Jets are letting the legal process run its course before making a move. It will take some time so Goodson will be here, and should make a good 1-2 punch with Ivory. They both can catch the football and make people miss, which make them excellent candidates for the West Coast offensive system.
The primary backup is going to be Bilal Powell. His stats of 110 carries for 437 yards don’t jump off the page, but the way he developed as the season went along in 2012 does. Over the last 5 weeks, Powell rushed for over 4 yards per carry in 4 of those weeks. It was his best work all season, and he is ready to take his play to the next level.
The X-Factors are going to be Joe McKnight and John Griffin. There are a lot of unknowns with Griffin. He was looking pretty good during camp 2012 before his bid for a roster spot ended due to injuries. He has the potential to crack the depth chart, as does Joe McKnight. He has the better chance to make it there, but with the wide receivers that worked out as kick returners, one has to wonder if the Jets value his ability as a kick returner?
Initial prediction? Depth chart will read: Chris Ivory, Mike Goodson, Bilal Powell.
The competitors: Lex Hilliard, Tommy Bohanon.
Normally we don’t talk much about a fullback competition, but in a West Coast offense, it’s important. It has served an important position in the Marty Mornhinweg offense before, see Corey Schlesinger and his development under Marty. A fullback has to be able to catch the football, in addition to serving the role as lead blocker. Tommy Bohanon has a reputation as an excellent pass catcher, which is why I believe he will start at fullback for the Jets.
Sep 30, 2012; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets player Santonio Holmes (10) is helped off the field after an injury against the San Francisco 49ers at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: William Perlman/THE STAR-LEDGER via USA TODAY Sports
The competitors: Santonio Holmes, Jeremy Kerley, Stephen Hill, Ben Obumanu, Clyde Gates, Joseph Collins, Marcus Davis, Vidal Hazelton, Thomas Mayo, Zach Rogers, Titus Ryan, Ryan Spadola, KJ Stroud, Jordan White
We know who the locks are, Santonio Holmes (pending health), Jeremy Kerley, and Stephen Hill. If Holmes’ foot is finally cleared for takeoff, he should lead the way. We know that Stephen Hill has his ills that need to be cured. If he can’t cure his problem with the dropsies, he may see less time, but he is sure to start the season.
So, who takes the remaining spots? Well, Clyde Gates was around last year, but I think we can all agree that he didn’t do enough to be considered a lock to make this team. Ben Obumanu is a veteran guy that has the chance to over-take Gates. Another one is Jordan White. Prior to being drafted by the team in 2012, White led the nation in receptions. He put up a good fight to make the roster in 2012, and one year under his belt should help a lot.
Zach Rogers is a guy that has stolen a lot of praise so far this summer, undrafted rookie from Tennessee. However, any of these UDFAs will have a great chance to make the roster. It’s wide open when you score as poorly as the Jets did in 2012. So, my initial prediction for the WR depth chart is: Holmes, Kerley, Hill Obumanu, White, and a UDFA to be named later.