NY Jets defensive tackles (4):
- Quinnen Williams, Sheldon Rankins, Folorunso Fatukasi, Nathan Shepherd
The Jets won't just have to make difficult cuts at defensive end. The defensive tackle position will feature a fierce roster battle this summer as well, especially given that players like Franklin-Myers and Zuniga could receive some interior snaps as well.
Quinnen Williams is the star of this unit and looks primed for a monster season once he recovers from his offseason foot injury. Williams could thrive under Robert Saleh.
Sheldon Rankins was absent for OTAs but figures to play an important role on the defensive line as well. It will be interesting to see where and how frequently the Jets deploy Rankins given that he plays a very similar position/role to Williams.
Folorunso Fatukasi will return and be the Jets' starting one-technique defensive tackle. Fatukasi has developed into one of the best run-stuffing linemen in the NFL and will look to parlay his success into a new contract next offseason.
Those three are all roster locks. After that, it gets a little interesting.
We gave the edge to Nathan Shepherd given that he's the only true backup one-technique on the roster. If Fatukasi were to get hurt, it would likely be Shepherd who would take his place — unless the Jets shifted over Williams or Rankins.
Shepherd had a strong spring which helps his case. Unfortunately, that leaves sixth-round rookie Jonathan Marshall as the odd-man-out.
Marshall is just the victim of a crowded three-technique depth chart and the Jets might try to sneak him on their practice squad.
Don't rule out someone like Tanzel Smart making a run at a roster spot either. Smart received some first-team reps in the spring and held his own.