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NY Jets: Final 53-man roster and 16-player practice squad prediction

NY Jets
NY Jets / Chris Pedota, NorthJersey.com via Imagn
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NY Jets
NY Jets, Blake Cashman / Dustin Satloff/Getty Images

NY Jets linebackers

  • C.J. Mosley, Blake Cashman, Jamien Sherwood, Hamsah Nasirildeen, Noah Dawkins (5)

Now more than ever, C.J. Mosley is needed to provide the Jets with top-level play and leadership in the team's front seven.

Particularly with players like Carl Lawson, Vinny Curry, and now fellow linebacker Jarrad Davis out of the picture. Davis is expected to miss two months due to an ankle injury.

Many were surprised when the Jets drafted two safety converts on Day 3 of the 2021 NFL Draft. But low and behold, both Hamsah Nasirildeen and Jamien Sherwood could be key contributors on day one. 

The Jets have moved to the 4-3 defense for the first time since Herman Edwards last roamed the team's sidelines in 2005. The scheme change has changed the numbers game at this position for Gang Green. In years past, New York would keep as many as nine linebackers. 

The profile of a Jets linebacker has also drastically changed. Gone are the days of 250-260 pound players setting the edge or filling gaps. New York is looking for speedy hybrid-type players who can cover a lot of ground.

Blake Cashman is a natural fit for Jeff Ulbrich's defense, but he has had problems staying healthy his entire career. Noah Dawkins has experience playing middle linebacker but profiles as an outside linebacker in the Jets scheme. He has the physical tools to run sideline-to-sideline and cover in space.

Dawkins has been on the fringe of NFL rosters since 2019, spending last season with the Jets as a player who the team would frequently elevate from the practice squad to the active roster. In Week 1, Dawkins could be starting his first NFL game.

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