4. Jeremy Ruckert, TE, NY Jets
The Jets drafted Long Island native Jeremy Ruckert in the third round of the 2022 NFL Draft, although they never expected him to play a significant role in his rookie season.
Ruckert had what was essentially a redshirt rookie year in 2022, but the Jets seem to envision a larger role for him this year. The former Ohio State standout put together a strong summer and seems likely to be featured in the offense in some capacity.
Of course, Ruckert is still working behind veterans Tyler Conklin and C.J. Uzomah — hence why he's on this list. It wouldn't be surprising, however, if he started to eat into Uzomah's playing time as the season progresses.
Ruckert might not fully break out until the 2024 season, but he should see a larger snap percentage in his second NFL campaign. He's someone to keep an eye on.
3. Jamien Sherwood, LB, NY Jets
The Jets parted ways with veteran linebacker Kwon Alexander this offseason despite there being mutual interest in a reunion for cheap. That's primarily due to the team's belief in Jamien Sherwood.
A former fifth-round pick and converted safety, Sherwood has played sparingly in his first two seasons in the NFL, but he's made a noticeable impact on special teams and impressed in limited defensive action.
The Jets are entrusting him with their third linebacker job in 2023 — a significant vote of confidence for a player who played just 25 defensive snaps last season.
The Jets are high on Sherwood's potential and have been grooming him to be C.J. Mosley's heir apparent at the MIKE linebacker position. 2023 will be his first opportunity at a starting job, and if he lives up to the Jets' expectations, he could solidify himself as a future building block on defense.