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NY Jets: 4 longshots who can sneak onto the 53-man roster

NY Jets, Tanzel Smart
NY Jets, Tanzel Smart / Rich Schultz/Getty Images
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NY Jets, Tanzel Smart
NY Jets, Tanzel Smart / Dustin Satloff/Getty Images

2. Tanzel Smart, DT, NY Jets

The Jets have such a deep defensive line that it's easy for under-the-radar players to get overlooked. Such is the case with Tanzel Smart who is probably the most unheralded player having an excellent camp.

A sixth-round pick in the 2017 NFL Draft, Smart spent a few years with the Los Angeles Rams before signing on to the Jets' practice squad in October of last year.

He'd go on to appear in three games with the team in 2020 playing 26 total snaps on defense and tallying three tackles. The Jets brought him back in the offseason and he's quickly made an impact this summer.

Unfortunately for him, it won't be easy to crack the 53-man roster as a defensive tackle.

Quinnen Williams, Sheldon Rankins, and Folorunso Fatukasi are roster locks. Nathan Shepherd and Jonathan Marshall have both looked good. Smart has played well, but he faces an uphill battle.

Still, the Tulane product has earned praise from his coaching staff and teammates with fellow defensive lineman John Franklin-Myers calling Smart "one of the hardest workers I’ve ever seen in my life."

Franklin-Myers knows a little something about making the roster despite being a longshot as that's exactly what he did with the Jets last season.

Perhaps Smart could follow in the footsteps of his fellow former Rams defensive lineman and make the Jets' roster this summer.

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