5 former NY Jets draft picks on the chopping block this summer

These Jets draft picks are fighting for their jobs
Israel Abanikanda
Israel Abanikanda / Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports
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The NY Jets have managed a few more draft-day success stories than they had in the past in recent years. The team's 2022 draft class stands alone as one of the best by any team in recent memory, but the 2021 and 2023 draft classes have both brought the Jets some foundational players.

Alijah Vera-Tucker (pending health) and Michael Carter II are two building blocks from the 2021 NFL Draft. Joe Tippmann already looks like a home run selection in last year's 2023 draft.

But despite this success, the Jets have still had their share of misses, and that's especially true for some of those overlooked Day 3 picks. Many of those players will be fighting for their jobs in training camp and the preseason.

From former contributors to young players still hoping to carve out a role, here are five former Jets draft picks who could be on the chopping block this summer.

5. Zaire Barnes, LB, NY Jets

The Jets selected Zaire Barnes in the sixth round of the 2023 NFL Draft with the hope that he could contribute early on special teams and perhaps develop into a future defensive contributor. That didn't exactly happen, at least in his rookie season.

Barnes was a healthy scratch for all but four games as a rookie, losing out on special-teams snaps to veterans Chazz Surratt and Sam Eguavoen. The rookie only saw the field for the four games Surratt was forced to miss due to injury, playing just 32 special-teams snaps last season.

Both Surratt and Eguavoen are back with the Jets this summer, and they likely will begin training camp ahead of Barnes on the depth chart. That doesn't bode well for the former Western Michigan standout's chances of making the 53-man roster.

The Jets only invested a sixth-round pick in Barnes, so they likely won't hesitate to move on this summer if he's unable to show signs of improvement. The redshirt year is over — it's put up or shut up time.