5 surprising players who could sneak onto the NY Jets roster

Don't be surprised if these players make the Jets' 53-man roster
NY Jets, Kenny Yeboah
NY Jets, Kenny Yeboah / Grant Halverson/GettyImages
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4. Xavier Gipson, WR, NY Jets

Most assume that the battle for the sixth wide receiver spot on the Jets' roster (assuming they carry six receivers) is between undrafted rookie Jason Brownlee and former Green Bay Packers wide receiver Malik Taylor. But there's another intriguing name in the mix.

Brownlee has gotten most of the attention, but fellow undrafted receiver Xavier Gipson still has a shot to make the team as well. Gipson has flashed in practices this summer and, most notably, has been the team's top kick/punt returner in the preseason.

It remains unclear who the Jets see as their primary return man entering the season. Perhaps the job could go to someone like Mecole Hardman, but Gipson is being given an opportunity to earn the role as well.

If Gipson impresses on special teams and as a returner, he might just steal that spot from both Brownlee and Taylor. He's not the favorite, but it wouldn't be wise to count him out.

3. Nick Bawden, FB, NY Jets

The Jets haven't carried a true fullback on their roster for an entire season in years, but 2023 could see the return of the position. A big reason for that is new offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett.

Hackett has found success with fullbacks/traditional H-backs in the past, and Nick Bawden could be a beneficiary of that. The former Detroit Lions draft pick played in nine games for the Jets in 2021 but missed all of 2022 due to injury.

Still, he's regularly worked with the first-team offense this summer. Bawden has been a common presence in the Jets' offense, so much so that it seems likely that the team plans to use a fullback in some capacity this season.

This would likely force the Jets to make an additional cut at either running back or, more likely, tight end. Bawden has a real chance to make the Jets' 53-man roster and become a key part of their offense.