As we head into training camp and eventually into the preseason schedule, 90 players will ultimately be trimmed down to 53, creating heated position battles for a chance to remain on the roster.
As there are undoubtedly a few players who will make the roster no matter what, undrafted free agents are almost never part of that group — and often have to work even harder to secure a roster spot.
However, this year might be a bit different for one player.
Isaiah Dunn has a legitimate chance to make the NY Jets roster.
In the 2020 offseason, the Jets were lucky enough to hit on a few undrafted free agents. Javelin Guidry, Lamar Jackson (the other one), and Bryce Huff all contributed in an abysmal season.
All three players have the potential to be permanent additions to the team. Of course, the most notable UDFA in recent memory remains former Jets wide receiver Robby Anderson.
This season, there are a handful of promising undrafted free agents, but none stand out as much as Oregon State cornerback Isaiah Dunn.
Dunn garnered plenty of attention before signing with the Jets, becoming a priority free agent for many cornerback-needy teams. He also ran a 4.36 40-yard dash, just adding to the value he provided.
Once the Jets were able to claim to Dunn, they did so by providing him with the largest contract for a UDFA corner in history, signing him for $185,000 in total guarantees.
And ever since first showing up to the NY Jets training facility, he's been turning heads.
It was made obvious from day one that Isaiah Dunn was going to go above and beyond in order to not just make the final roster, but also make a run at being a starting cornerback on a team that desperately needs one.
Let's not get ahead of ourselves. Dunn is a very raw cornerback, and that's a position that often takes a while to transition comfortably into the NFL.
Dunn could use some polish on his tackling, and his inability to create turnovers is likely a reason he didn't hear his name called on draft night — failing to record an interception in his entire college career.
But head coach Robert Saleh and general manager Joe Douglas clearly like what they have been seeing. There were reports that Dunn was rotating in with first-team defense in Jets minicamp.
If there's one thing that was repeated about Saleh this offseason, it's that he's a defensive mastermind with the ability to bring out the best in defensive players.
Even with the lack of veteran experience in the Jets' secondary, Joe Douglas has remained stagnant in his decision to not bring in any additional talent to reinforce the defense. It could be that the organization is confident in the ability that some young players have been showcasing.
The hype is sky-high for already proven players like Quinnen Williams, Carl Lawson, C.J. Mosley, and Marcus Maye. While Dunn struggled in college at times, it could easily be drawn up to bad coaching.
Considering Saleh is one of the best defensive minds in the game, it's easy to get excited for what he can do for them, as well as the raw rookies.
While last year's rookie cornerback, Bryce Hall, will likely lay claim to the team's starting CB1 role, anything below that is up for grabs.
If Dunn lives up to the hype that has been boasted about by the Jets beat, it would make him almost a lock for a starting job early on in the season — if not by Week 1.
The Jets have had some luck with undrafted free agents in the past few years, but Dunn could prove to be one of the best if everything goes right for him. He has the ethic to put in the necessary work, and has clearly had no issues showing off his potential in minicamp.
For a raw player, the best thing they could have to help shape their talents is a good coach. Isaiah Dunn has just that. A refined defensive mind in Robert Saleh, and a young defense with plenty of opportunities could be the perfect situation for Dunn to develop and flourish in.
Dunn, as well as Jets fans, hope that he doesn't just make the roster, but becomes a long-term piece in a young, yet talented budding defense.