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NY Jets: 4 players whose stock is falling after first preseason game

NY Jets, Kenny Yeboah
NY Jets, Kenny Yeboah / Dustin Satloff/Getty Images
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NY Jets, Jabari Zuniga
NY Jets, Jabari Zuniga / Rich Schultz/Getty Images

4. Jabari Zuniga, DE, NY Jets

It's safe to say that Jabari Zuniga's rookie season was a bit of a letdown. A quad injury sidelined him for the first half of 2020 and when he returned, he was little more than a footnote in a terrible Jets season.

In eight games, Zuniga managed just five tackles and one QB pressure in 103 defensive snaps. He was a complete non-factor.

Going into the 2021 season, Zuniga needed to make a strong first impression on the new coaching staff as he competed for playing time in a deep defensive line rotation. Unfortunately, he's had yet another slow summer.

The 2020 third-round pick has battled multiple injuries including a knee injury that forced him to exit Saturday's game early. But even when he was on the field, he was just a body.

Zuniga played nine pass-rush snaps and did nothing with his opportunities. Meanwhile, players like Bryce Huff and Hamilcar Rashed Jr. flashed their pass-rush abilities.

Zuniga's inability to stay healthy early in his career combined with his complete lack of an impact when on the field doesn't bode well for his chances to make the final roster this summer.

It would certainly sting to cut a third-round pick after just one season, but the Jets might find it difficult to save him a roster spot.

Carl Lawson, John Franklin-Myers, Vinny Curry, and Huff are all roster locks. Ronald Blair and Rashed have outperformed him. Kyle Phillips is hanging around on the PUP list.

Then you have the likes of Quinnen Williams, Folorunso Fatukasi, Sheldon Rankins, Nathan Shepherd, Jonathan Marshall, and even Tanzel Smart at defensive tackle.

That's 13 defensive linemen who deserve a roster spot over Zuniga based on merit alone. It will be hard to justify Zuniga earning a spot on the team unless he turns things around in a hurry.

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