NY Jets rookies and second year players
Jets fans were dealt a blow on Thursday when training camp standout WR Elijah Moore injured his quad during practice. Fans were anxious to see him in action but until there is more clarity on his situation. It's not in the cards right now for Moore to make his debut in a Jets uniform.
The spotlight will also not shine yet on another highly touted Jets rookie, Guard Alijah Vera-Tucker. The USC standout is nursing a strained pec injury and will miss Saturday's "Snoopy Bowl" with the New York Giants.
However, Moore and Vera-Tucker are not the only Jets rookies on the roster worth watching. Zach Wilson and RB Michael Carter will get plenty of attention and notice in their place. But the Jets have several young players who are also worthy of focus this weekend, specifically on the defensive side of the ball.
The New York Jets could have several Day 3 draft picks and even an undrafted free agent vying for significant roles this season during the preseason. At linebacker, Hamsah Nasirldeen and Jamien Sherwood are both angling to start next to CJ Mosley and Jarrad Davis. Defensive backs Michael Carter III, Jason Pinnock, Brandin Echols, and Isiah Dunn are all in the mix to start in the secondary.
Second-year player OT Mekhi Becton is firmly entrenched at left tackle for the Jets. However, there are a number of second-year players on the NY Jets roster, that are looking to make their mark with the team's new coaching regime.
Denzel Mims has had some health struggles in the early days of camp, and the Jets vastly improved receiving corps from a year ago has created some heated competition for Mims. A healthy Mims performing well in the preseason could push to start opposite Corey Davis on the outside at wide receiver.
Cornerbacks Bryce Hall and Javelin Guidry have received a lot of attention this offseason and in training camp. The two second-year defensive backs had promising rookie campaigns in 2020, but more is expected from them in 2021.
It's pretty telling that the Jets did not go out and sign any veteran cornerbacks in free agency. The Jets new defensive staff liked what they saw on film from the players they inherited on the roster. It will be interesting how well players like Hall and Guidry play during the preseason and if they are genuinely ready to take the next step.
The Jets' first step towards the 2021 regular season and their opener in Carolina starts this Saturday against the Giants.