NY Jets: 3 training camp battles to watch this season

NY Jets (Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images)
NY Jets (Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images) /
NY Jets (Photo by Justin Casterline/Getty Images)
NY Jets (Photo by Justin Casterline/Getty Images) /

Which three NY Jets’ position battles should fans keep an eye on?

With the exception of a depth move here and there, the NY Jets are probably set on the addition of new faces to the team this offseason.

There are a few rumors swirling about possible free-agent signings, but for the most part, the spots higher up on the depth chart are locked up. I, along with everyone reading this, have no clue when or how training camp for the 2020 season will take place.

The hope is that the Jets and the rest of the league can get everybody into camp on time, but with everything going on in the world right now, there’s no guarantee.

Whether training camp starts on time or not, there are several positional battles expected to take place before the 2020 season opens up. The team has plenty of new faces on its roster, and there are spots up for grabs all over.

Training camp roster battles are always somewhat exciting to keep tabs on, but this year they are as important as ever. There are some exciting new players to look out for in the camp and quite a few intriguing rookies that are going to fight for their spot on the roster.

I wanted to take a look at the three most intriguing camp battles to look out for this season.

We’ll surely hear about more than just these three when the team eventually meets at Florham Park for training camp, but I believe these three will be the biggest storylines when it comes to players fighting for a roster spot.

Next: 1. Backup running back

NY Jets (Photo by Joel Auerbach/Getty Images)
NY Jets (Photo by Joel Auerbach/Getty Images) /

1. Backup running back

Le’Veon Bell is the clear cut number one on the Jets running back depth chart, but the team has a few interesting pieces after him that could battle it out for the backup running back job.

The team used a fourth-round pick on Florida’s La’Mical Perine and signed former Buffalo Bills running back Frank Gore this offseason.

Outside of those two, the team also has Josh Adams and Kenneth Dixon under contract, but I wouldn’t expect either to compete with Perine and Gore for the backup job.

Most wouldn’t think of the backup running back job as an important one, but with the Jets it is. Adam Gase showed last year that he isn’t afraid to give guys under Bell on the depth chart touches, and we could see that in even greater force this season.

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This means the Perine versus Gore camp battle will be a big one to watch.

I’d really like to see Perine win the job out of camp, as I think he has the talent to be a starting back in this league. On top of that, if the team decides to move on from Bell after the season, Perine could be the guy to replace him.

On the other hand, it wouldn’t surprise me in the slightest if Gase and the offensive staff lean towards Gore if the two are neck-and-neck in terms of production in camp/preseason. Gase and Gore are close, and I know both want to milk the last bit of production Gore has out of him.

For all we know, the team could decide to use three running back sets during the season, with Bell split out wide. Nonetheless, the backup job between Frank Gore and La’Mical Perine should be an interesting one as camp rolls around.

Next: 2. Cornerback

NY Jets (Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images)
NY Jets (Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images) /

2. Cornerback

The cornerback battle expected to take place in camp is the most exciting of the three to me. The team has several players returning from last season, and a plethora of new faces in that room to compete.

The Jets went out and signed former Indianapolis Colts defensive back Pierre Desir to a one-year deal, and used a fifth-round pick on Virginia’s Bryce Hall in this year’s draft. With those moves and the progression of Blessuan Austin, the cornerback battle in camp should be an exciting one.

Brian Poole will start in the slot, but the starters on the outside are still up for grabs. The veteran Desir may have a slight edge over the younger guys, but in my eyes the two cornerback spots are wide open.

Austin shined in limited playing time last season, and I’d love nothing more than for him to win a starting job on the outside.

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A young playmaker at the cornerback position is something the Jets have longed for in recent years, and him winning the job would be huge in his development as a top-tier starter.

After Desir and Austin, there’s the recently drafted Bryce Hall, another former Colts defensive back in Quincy Wilson, who the team traded for during the draft, and Arthur Maulet, who made a few starts last season due to injuries to other players.

I wouldn’t count out any of those three to fight with Desir and Austin for the starting job. Cornerback has been a gloomy position for the Jets for a while, so I’d expect the team to look at as many corners as they can to try to find their guy for week one.

I would really like to see Austin and Desir start on the outside for the Jets, but at this point the position is wide open. However, the battle will most likely end up being a battle for the second cornerback position, as I’d expect Pierre Desir to win a job barring anything unforeseen.

He’s proven and I’m sure the team signed him with the intention for him to start.

Next: 3. Offensive Tackle

NY Jets (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
NY Jets (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images) /

3. Offensive Tackle

The final position I’ll be taking a look at is the offensive tackle position. Tackle has been a focal point for the Jets this offseason.

They signed George Fant in free agency and spent two draft picks, inducing their first-round pick, on tackles. The middle of the offensive line is mostly locked up, as I’d expect Alex Lewis and Greg Van Roten to start at guard and Connor McGovern at center.

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Unlike the guard position, the left and right tackle spots are wide open for the Jets, which should make for some intriguing and important camp battles in camp this year.

They added Mekhi Becton and Cameron Clark in the draft and added Fant in free agency as previously noted. Those three, and second-year tackle Chuma Edoga, should make for a good battle in camp.

Many would think that Becton has the left tackle position locked up, but I wouldn’t go as far as to say that.

Yes, I’d expect him to win the job and start week one for the Jets, but if a guy like Fant were to produce as well as Becton, I could see the team avoiding the rush to start Becton.

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The battle for the starting tackle positions will be as important as any when training camp breaks this season. I’m sure the Jets will do extensive work on figuring out who to start when the time comes.