NY Jets: Winners and losers from the 2021 preseason

NY Jets, Zach Wilson
NY Jets, Zach Wilson / Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports
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NY Jets
NY Jets, Chris Herndon / Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

Loser: Chris Herndon, TE, NY Jets

For years, the Jets have been trying to give their quarterback the right set of weapons. And since 2018, Chris Herndon was supposed to be one of them.

The Miami product flashed starting tight end potential with 502 yards receiving as a rookie. At 6-foot-4 and 253 pounds, Herndon also established himself as a quality blocker, making him the most well-rounded player at the position for years now.

Except, Herndon has been unable to become the definitive starter over the past three years. His second season was shortened due to suspension and injury, and 2020 was another lost year under Adam Gase. 

So one would think that 2021, with an offensive coordinator who used to work with George Kittle, might be the year he finally pieces it all together. Instead, if the preseason is any indication of what is to come, Herndon is an afterthought entering 2021. 

New York is not loaded by any means at tight end. Herndon is currently joined on the roster by veterans Tyler Kroft, Ryan Griffin, and Daniel Brown, as well as rookie Kenny Yeboah. Yet, the fact of the matter is Herndon has been outperformed all off-season.

It became clear just before the preseason that Herndon may not wind up being the starter. If anything, the preseason just confirmed it.

Kroft saw the most time with the starters, and Yeboah’s two-touchdown performance against the Eagles may make some question whether he should have Herndon’s roster spot.

Again, the Jets do not have a strong tight end room. Because of that, Herndon’s well-rounded game should be enough to earn him a final roster spot. Nevertheless, Herndon’s latest quiet summer and fall down the depth chart puts him among the Jets preseason losers.