New York Jets Practice Squad Players Ready to Contribute


Jan 21, 2015; Florham Park, NJ, USA; New York Jets new head coach

Todd Bowles

speaks during a press conference at Atlantic Health Jets Training Center. Mandatory Credit: William Perlman/NJ Advance Media for via USA TODAY Sports

It’s no secret that the New York Jets are in a rebuilding mode. The talent that the Jets fielded last year has been highly criticized. It became apparent early that the Jets lacked talent at a number of positions, and the result was a disastrous 4-12 record.

The job now falls to Todd Bowles and Mike Maccagnan to put the roster back together. The talk lately has been mostly about Free Agency and the NFL draft. They will be key tools in the rebuilding process, but what about what the Jets already have on the roster?

In several of my pieces in the last week or so, I’ve touched on the need for the Jets to get some help from their younger players. If the Jets can get some production from their younger guys, it will make Maccagnan’s, and ultimately Todd Bowles jobs, that much easier.

Today I’d like to take a look at some of the players that rode the practice squad bench in 2014. We’ve already discussed the possibility of Chris Owusu being a contributor this season.  Owusu broke into the Jets 53 man roster in early December, but maybe the Jets can find another guy from the practice squad that could be able to contribute. Let’s take a look.

Oct 12, 2013; West Lafayette, IN, USA; Nebraska Cornhuskers wide receiver Quincy Enunwa (18) makes a catch and scores a touchdown past Purdue Boilermakers defensive back

Leroy Clark

(3) at Ross Ade Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

Quincy Enunwa didn’t show much for the Jets last season. He struggled through camp with dropped balls, and eventually found himself on the Jets practice squad. Enunwa has the size for a NFL receiver, measuring in at 6’2″/225 lbs. After playing his collegiate football at Nebraska, Enunwa was taken in the sixth round, 209th overall in the 2014 NFL draft by the Jets.

His combine results failed to impress many scouts, but the Jets took a flier on the big Nebraska receiver. His draft position was seen as a stretch by John Idzik at the time, as pre draft predictions were that he would go undrafted. Enunwa did little in camp last season to prove his critics wrong.

All we really have to evaluate Enunwa, is a small sample of play from preseason and his combine results. At the combine last season Enunwa posted official times of 4.44 in the 40 yard, 2.50 in the 20, and 1.56 in the 10 yard sprint. They aren’t overly impressive numbers, but they aren’t awful either, especially considering his size. He also showed his strength at the combine putting up 19 reps of 225 lbs.

Enunwa has had time to work on his game. Scouts found him “stiff in the hips” and questioned his athleticism to play at the next level. With a year on the practice squad, and entire off-season to upgrade his game, Enunwa should be ready to compete this year in camp. If he can break into the WR rotation this year, Enunwa offers a big target for whomever is under center.

Next: Shaq Evans

Aug 4, 2014; Cortland, NY, USA; New York Jets wide receiver Shaq Evans (81) walks to the locker room following training camp at SUNY Cortland. Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

Shaq Evans did not get off to a good start with the Jets. Evans was forced to miss several of the early minicamps as he needed to graduate UCLA first, before the NFL would allow him to practice. When he finally did get his chance Evans struggled from the get go, dropping several easy passes.

You could account for the early struggles, as pressure is great on rookies. Unfortunately for Evans, his season ended before it started. Evans went down with a shoulder injury in July and was placed on Injured Reserve for 2014.

Evans measures in at 6’0″/ 210, he clocked an official time of 4.51 in the combine. The Jets chose him in the fourth round of last year’s draft. If fully recovered from surgery to repair a badly damaged shoulder, Evans could become a contributor. He doesn’t possess top end speed for a receiver, but if he can step up his game, Evans might provide depth for the Jets at WR.

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Jul 24, 2014; Cortland, NY, USA; New York Jets running back Daryl Richardson (35) jogs out to the field prior to the start of training camp at SUNY Cortland. Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

One other player I would like to touch on today is Daryl Richardson. With the departure of Chris Johnson and with Bilal Powell set to test free agency, Richardson role might see an upgrade in his role for the Jets.

Taken in the seventh round of the 2012 draft by the St. Louis Rams, Richardson hasn’t gotten the chance to show his talents much at the NFL level. He was signed off the Rams practice squad in May of 2014. Richardson was signed to a future contract in December of 2014.

Richardson isn’t a big back, he measures in at 5’10/ 196 lbs. Last pre season, Richardson showed some promise, but eventually wound up sitting on the practice squad.

Richardson is a scrappy runner, showing bursts of speed, and an ability to catch the football out of the backfield. Richardson has a good set of hands, and a knack for getting open. If he stays healthy through camp, I think Richardson could be a good rotational backup. I liked what I saw from him in preseason.

There are many more guys on last year’s practice squad I’m hoping to see contribute next season. Time will tell if any of these three have what it takes to succeed in the NFL. My hope these three can develop into players that can contribute. The Jets needs help, and if the talent is there, let’s get it! Let’s let these young guys compete for a spot.

There’s my three guys from the practice squad. Now its time to pick one. Or maybe you think I’ve lost my mind suggesting they can contribute. We here at the JetPress value your opinion. We want to hear from you. Join the discussion. Let’s talk Jets football!!!

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