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New York Jets T.J. Barnes: A Force To Be Reckoned With

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Aug 28, 2014; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia Eagles running back

Kenjon Barner

(41) is tackled by New York Jets linebacker

Nick Bellore

(54), defensive back

Rontez Miles

(45), defensive tackle

Tevita Finau

(92) and defensive tackle

T.J. Barnes

(99) during the first quarter at Lincoln Financial Field. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

Our staff here at the JetPress has been hard at work breaking down possible candidates for the Jets in this year’s draft.

That being said, I’ve been covering my own angles on the Jets future. I’m excited about free agency, and the draft, but they are not the only things the Jets coaching staff will be looking at.

Since the end of the year, Mike Maccagnan, Todd Bowles and the rest of the coaching staff have been hard at work evaluating the talent already on the team.

Decisions will be made shortly on who we will keep and who will no longer dressing in green and white this season.

The Jets coaching staff isn’t familiar with many of the players on the roster. The players are not out there playing football either. The process has resulted in hours of hours of tape study. Rest assured Mike Maccagnan has his guys working deep into the night to get it done.

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I’ve been focusing on much of the same. My pieces of late have been concerning what the Jets do have. I think it’s vital to know what you already have, before you can make any moves to add to it. For me anyway, if you have a solid grasp on the talent on hand, you’re less likely to overspend on a free agent, or stretch to draft a positional need.

The Jets do have a core of guys waiting in the wings to challenge starters for their jobs. I absolutely think there will be some heated competitions this summer! Today I’d like to look at an intriguing player. Let’s take a look what T.J. Barnes brings to the Jets roster.

Next: Barnes' Journey To The Jets

Sep 14, 2014; Green Bay, WI, USA; New York Jets defensive end Muhammad Wilkerson (96) fights with Green Bay Packers offensive tackle David Bakhtiari (69) and defensive tackle Damon Harrison (94) tries to get between them in the third quarter at Lambeau Field. Wilkerson was ejected from the game. Mandatory Credit: Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

T.J. Barnes plays Nose Tackle. Nose Tackles are known to be big, but Barnes takes that to the next level. Barnes measures in at 6’7″/364 pounds! That’s one big football player! Barnes isn’t only big, he’s got a game to go along with his size as well.

Barnes played his college ball for Georgia Tech. During his days with Georgia Tech, Barnes was selected to the Sorting News 2009 ACC All-Freshman Team,  he was a 2012 All-ACC Honorable Mention, as well as being selected to play in the 2012 Raycom Collegiate All Star Game.

Barnes went undrafted after the 2013 draft before being signed as an undrafted rookie by the Jacksonville Jaguars. Barnes spent the summer in camp with the Jags before being cut in late August. The Jets signed him in October of 2014, and placed the big man on their practice squad. He saw his first action for the Jets against the Buffalo Bills on November 24th. In limited action ( three games) last season, Barnes managed four tackles.

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Next: What Barnes Brings

Dec 7, 2014; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Vikings center John Sullivan (65) blocks New York Jets defensive tackle Damon Harrison (94) in the third quarter at TCF Bank Stadium. The Vikings win 30-24. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports

In 2013 T.J. Barnes participated in the NFL Combine. His results are worth taking a look at I think.  Officially, the Combine measured him in as 6’7″/ 369 lbs., arms 34 7/8′, with 10 3/4″ hands. The big guy impressed in the 40 yard dash, putting up an official time of 5.30 seconds. Barnes put up 25 reps in the bench press, scored a 22″ vertical jump and a 8’1″ broad jump.

Needless to say Barnes is fast for the size of man that he is. Stating the obvious, Barnes is a huge physical specimen. In his very limited exposure to the pros last season, he showed well, and that is good news for the Jets.

Both Damon “Snacks” Harrison and Kenrick Ellis are free agents this season for the Jets. It’s the consensus opinion that Harrison will be resigned, while Kenrick Ellis will be allowed to test the free agency market. Step in T.J. Barnes.

Barnes will have his shot this year with the Jets. If he can reduce his weight a fraction, and stay on the field longer, he could make a real push to fill the void. If Harrison needs to be rested during the course of a game, the young (24) Barnes would be an ideal candidate.

Whether Barnes can or will fill the void of the departing Kenrick Ellis is anyone’s guess. He will be in camp to compete, and if nothing else Barnes has always been a competitor. Barnes will need to be coached up through OTA’s and through camp, but will be in the thick of any competition at NT.

There’s T.J. Barnes in a nut shell. A big man with an upside who can stop the run and clog up passing lanes. At 6’7″, QB’s will have a hard time throwing over him once he gets in the backfield! I like Barnes as a player, I think he might well be a major contributor for the Jets going forward.

What’s your take on Barnes? We want to know! Join the discussion!!

Next: Could the Jets Stand Pat at QB?

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