By Glenn Naughton
Tonight, the New York Jets will open up their 2015 preseason with a match-up against the Detroit Lions on the road at 7:30 EST.
Most fans will be tuning in to watch Gang Green’s offense under Ryan Fitzpatrick, rookie quarterback Bryce Petty and first-round selection Leonard Williams, but JetNation.com takes a look at a few other players worth keeping an eye on.
WR Quincy Enunwa- A second-year player who didn’t see the field much in 2014 as a rookie, Enunwa has been a training camp star of late. The 6′ 2”, 225 lb Enunwa was raw coming out of a run-oriented offense at Nebraska and he was expected to be a project at the position from the start. Recently, he’s been seeing some reps with the first-team offense and has earned the praise of head coach Todd Bowles following some eye-opening catches. Consistency is what Bowles has preached with Enunwa. Can he take what he does on his best days and do it on a more regular basis? Tonight should offer Enunwa an opportunity to continue building momentum as he tries to make an impact in 2015.
OL Jarvis Harrison- According to Harrion’s scouting reports, there isn’t much to question in terms of his talent level. Viewed as a player with a high ceiling, questionable work ethic is the reason why he lasted until the fifth round of this year’s draft. The only unsettled position on offense for the Jets is at right guard, and while the odds are against Harrison winning out, he’s a player worth watching as he is viewed by some as a possible offensive tackle sometime down the line.
CB Dexter McDougle- Another member of last season’s draft class, McDougle spent 2014 on IR after impressing early on in camp. With Darrelle Revis, Antonio Cromartie and Buster Skrine topping the depth chart, and Dee Milliner injured (again), McDougle might see significant playing time as he works to convince Jets brass that he could be a candidate to be a major contributor in the future.
OLB Trevor Reilly- Along with the recently released Ik Enemkpali, Reilly has had a recent surge in training camp as his name has been mentioned several times throughout practices as a player who is getting consistent pressure on the quarterback, even being credited with multiple “sacks” in a practice last week. Reilly is a versatile player who was converted from defensive end at Utah to outside linebacker. Quinton Coples is only under contract for one more season with the Jets and is still somewhat of an enigma and the advanced ages of Calvin Pace and Jason Babin should be opening up a vacancy or two in the not-so-distant future.
OLB Lorenzo Mauldin- See above on aging linebacker corps. Mauldin, a rookie linebacker out of Louisville has a high motor and has flashed some impressive pass-rush skill thus far. A third-round pick, Mauldin is viewed as the eventual successor to Calvin Pace on the outside.
RB’s Zach Stacy and Darryl Richardson- Former teammates in St. Louis with the Rams, Stacy and Richardson now find themselves battling for a roster spot in a crowded but unsettled Jets backfield. Chris Ivory should win the starting job with the versatile and underappreciated Bilal Powell likely to stick around as well. That means Stacy and Richardson could be battling it out with free-agent addition Stevan Ridley who is currently inactive. Stacy has looked good early on in camp and is a hard runner to bring down, while Richardson has flashed more quickness and agility. Both should have the opportunity to carry the ball tonight.
WR Arthur Williams- Williams’ best case scenario is probably making the practice squad out of camp, but he has looked good in and out of his breaks early on and has shown quick hands in plucking the ball out of the air. Again, a longshot at best, but the type of player who may see extensive playing time in the first pre-season game of the year, so if you’re going to stay tuned in for the duration, you may hear his name called a time or two.