Linebacker, New York Jets
The New York Jets season is over so it’s time to evaluate the 53-man roster. Let’s continue this daily ranking with #27, rookie linebacker Blake Cashman.
New York Jets fifth-round choice Blake Cashman, a star of the 2019 Combine, was considered the best special teamer in last year’s draft. But NFL insiders expressed concerns about the Minnesota walk-on turned Big Ten star’s three shoulder surgeries.
Cashman impressed defensive coordinator Gregg Williams in training camp. Then he displayed smart instinctual football when forced to start due to the injury decimation of the team’s pricey inside linebacking corps.
The relatively undersized 6-foot-1 230 pounds “mad backer” could always be found in the middle of the scum, with 40 tackles in his five starts (seven games overall) before succumbing to his own season-ending torn labrum and shoulder fracture at November 1 practice.
The inside linebacker is a terrific player to root for — like the New York Jets’ second coming of 90s Gang Green overachiever Chad Cascadden.
Cashman’s that proverbial tough, cerebral, high-motor grinder — a relentless tackler and a pass-rushing menace, whose college gameday experience at safety and cornerback makes him a lethal weapon in pass coverage, particularly adept at the all-important coverage of tight ends over the middle. His specials teams’ skills have proved self-evident. There’s really nothing not to like about Cashman’s game and his overall gridiron potential.
But the cruel joke here is that NFL football is a game of strong shoulders — and Blake’s shoulder issues will foretell whether he can ever achieve his full NFL potential.
#53 Trumaine Johnson #52 Ryan Kalil #51 Kelechi Osemele #50 Quinnen Williams #49 Chuma Edoga #48 Frankie Luvu #47 Sam Ficken #46 Nate Hairston #45 Brandon Shell #44 Jordan Willis #43 Vyncint Smith #42 Kyron Brown #41 Bilal Powell #40 Maurice Canady #39 Darryl Roberts #38 Harvey Langi #37 Tom Compton #36 Trevon Wesco #35 Daniel Brown #34 Matthias Farley #33 Demaryius Thomas #32 Chris Herndon #31 Trevor Siemian #30 Quincy Enunwa #29 Trenton Cannon #28 Ty Montgomery