This is most certainly the year of competition for Gang Green. Nearly every position is up for grabs and should make for a fun training camp. Mike Maccagnan from day one has always said he feels the best way for a team to improve is to bring an abundance of talent and let the best suitor emerge into the starting role.
The first and biggest competition will begin with the quarterbacks, the most important position on the team. Josh McCown seems to be the most likely to get the nod week 1 as Bryce Petty is working his way back from shoulder surgery (non-throwing arm). However, the infamous “Hack Hive” has been increasing each week the Jets get closer to camp. Many are urging to see what the 2nd round 2016 pick can do. With all the talent recently acquired, some fans expect Christian Hackenberg to win the job and lead the team moving forward. Regardless of how his development, the Hack Hivers are impatiently waiting for his debut.
This leads to the multiple acquisitions at the receiving position. Quinton Patton was one of the first brought in from the San Francisco 49ers where he had worked with John Morton as his wide receiver coach back in 2013-2014. At the draft, the Jets brought in 3 new targets: ArDarius Stewart, Chad Hansen and Jordan Leggett. All of these moves seem to be connected to developing a future crew for the young signal callers. At this point, Eric Decker and Quincy Enunwa are safe. This is not the case for Robby Anderson, Jalin Marshall and Charone Peake. The Jets will have some tough decisions come training camp and preseason.
The next competition contest will be the tackle positions. In a recent press conference, Coach Bowles had mentioned that the right and left position will be up for grabs come camp. When they signed free agent Kelvin Beachum, it seemed that he would play the left side, but now that has changed. This puts pressure on 2nd year player Brandon Shell who hopes to play the right side and opens the door for Ben Igalana and Brent Qvale to compete for the starting job on the left side.
The last area is one of the most important on defense, cornerback. Since the departure of Darelle Revis, the Jets have had a big pair of shoes to fill. They brought in Marcus Claiborne who will be the new #1 on the depth chart. After that, Marcus Williams will probably line up outside on the right as #2. Buster Skrine will be the starting nickel (#3), but after that it is undetermined. Justin Burress, Daryl Roberts, Jeremy Clark and Derrick Jones will battle for the final #4 spot. More importantly, the top competitor will most likely get a chance to crack one of the top 3 starting positions in 2018. Williams is on a 1-year tender, Claiborne is on a 1-year show me deal, and Skrine is in the last year of his current contract.
It may seem scary to think there are so many spots to be determined. However, in retrospect this could factor out well for the team. Having the best players win their jobs could bode well for the imminent rebuilding of the Jets.