The NY Jets fell to the Cleveland Browns by a final score of 21-16 in Thursday night's Hall of Fame Game. With both teams resting their starters and many of their primary backups, the lesser-known players on the roster took center stage for the game.
That meant that players like Zach Wilson, Israel Abanikanda, and Jermaine Johnson were given the opportunity to showcase their talents in front of a national audience. But those were the players every Jets fan was watching.
Wilson was perhaps the most notable player in the game. Others like Johnson, Mekhi Becton, Joe Tippmann, and Will McDonald were recent top draft picks. What about the almost entirely unknown players on the roster?
Let's take a look at five under-the-radar Jets players who managed to impress in Thursday's preseason opener.
5. Trey Dean, S, NY Jets
Trey Dean was one of the most noteworthy undrafted free agents the Jets signed this offseason. The former Florida standout is competing for one of the backup safety spots on the roster, and he made a strong case on Thursday.
Dean finished with a team-leading seven tackles and played more snaps than almost any other player on the roster, save for defensive tackle Tanzel Smart. These weren't just clean-up tackles, either.
Dean was credited with three defensive stops, once again the highest on the team. He also allowed just one catch for zero yards in coverage, per Pro Football Focus.
His performance definitely flew under the radar on Thursday, but Dean was one of the most impactful players on the field. It was an impressive debut for the rookie safety.