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Breaking Down Gang Green’s Final 53-Man Roster

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The Jets finalized their final 53-man roster by 4pm yesterday as required by the league office, but as many players know, “finalized” isn’t a real thing at this point.  Several players who are on the roster this morning will be notified within a few hours or even a couple of days, that they’ve been replaced by a player who was let go elsewhere.

The roster is what it is for now, so let’s take a look at the current 53-man roster, with a few notes on surprise sticks as well as surprise or notable cuts with practice squad candidates noted.

Quarterbacks (3)

Josh McCown, Bryce Petty, Christian Hackenberg

This played out exactly as expected.  The only mystery remaining is who gets the backup job.  Petty was the better quarterback throughout training camp by a country mile, but that doesn’t mean Todd Bowles will give him the backup spot that he’s clearly earned.  Bowles has allowed draft slot and salary to dictate the depth chart in the past and may do the same again.

Bryce Petty outplayed Christian Hackenberg this pre-season, now he’ll wait to find out if he’ll be rewarded for it.

Running Backs (4)

Matt Forte, Bilal Powell, Elijah McGuire, Marcus Murphy (

With the team reportedly looking to unload Forte and in need of a kick and punt returner, Murphy got the nod as the team’s fourth running back.  Carrying a fourth back is a good idea anyway as Forte is long in the tooth and Powell has had some notable durability issues.  So much so, that it wouldn’t be surprising to see Elijah McGuire emerge as the top back on the roster by season’s end.

Practice Squad Candidate(s): Romar Morris

Fullback (1)

Julian Howsare

Whether or not Howsare stays remains to be seen, but seeing him stick for a second year in a row is quite a story.  The converted small-school linebacker made the move to fullback two off-seasons ago and stayed on the team’s radar.  He didn’t any established vets to compete with as Anthony Firkser, an undrafted free agent, lost out to Howsare.

Charone Peake disappeared late in camp, but manged to make the final roster…for now.

Wide Receivers (5)

Robby Anderson, Jermaine Kearse, Charone Peake, ArDarius Stewart, Chad Hansen (Suspended: Jalin Marshall)

The surprise here is that so few receivers managed to stick.  Almost every projection at wide receiver had Gabe Marks or Chris Harper as a bottom of the depth chart option.  The addition of another veteran in Jermaine Kearse changed the dynamic slightly as the need for a receiver with significant experience was addressed.  Peake appeared to be a long shot after a quiet camp, but managed to hang around, no doubt helped by his solid special team’s play.

Practice squad candidate(s): Gabe Marks

Tight End (3)

Jordan Leggett, Eric Tomlinson, Jason Vander Laan, (suspended: Austin Seferian-Jenkins)

Vander Laan is likely the first TE to go when Austin Seferian Jenkins returns from his two game suspension if not sooner.  Leggett should get some looks in the passing game early on and fans will see just how ready he is for the pro game.  Tomlinson will be the blocker, but the Jets should consider getting him involved in the passing game, even if only for a couple of looks per game.  Tomlinson looked comfortable catching the ball in camp.

Offensive Line (9)

Kelvin Beachum, James Carpenter, Wesley Johnson, Brian Winters, Brent Qvale, Ben Ijalana, Brandon Shell, Jonotthan Harrison, Dakota Dozier

No real surprises along the O-line, but some camp bodies could re-surface on the practice squad.  The starting tackles and center have yet to be officially named, but the expectatin seems to be Beachum at LT and Wesly Johnson at center.  The right tackles spot is still a mystery.  The team will also likely look to add a couple of bodies through the waiver wire.

Practice squad candidate(s): Javarius Leamon

Defensive Line (6)

Leonard Williams, Muhammad Wilkerson, Steve McClendon, Kony Ealy, Mike Pennel, Claude Pelon

After spending a year on IR, undrafted USC lineman Claude Pelon had a stellar camp.

The D-line is where we saw two of the more surprising cuts made by GM Mike Maccagnan as he let go of Deon Simonand Lawrence Thomas.  Simon making the roster seemed like a foregone conclusion as he’d been playing well last season and was viewed as ready for an increased role.  Lawrence Thomas played in only a couple of games last season but made a few impact plays and showed up on most projected 53-man rosters.  Pelon is the biggest surprise as an undrafted free agent who spent last season on IR but clearly he was deserving of the spot.  Pelon made several plays over the past month.

Practice squad candidate(s): Jeremy Faulk, Patrick Gamble

Outside Linebackers (5)

Jordan Jenkins, Josh Martin, Freddie Bishop, Dylan Donahue, Lorenzo Mauldin

Mauldin is a candidate for IR after missing all four pre-season games with a back injury.  Martin and Bishop will likely split time opposite Jordan Jenkins with Donahue seeing time as a situational pass rusher.  Corey Lemonier, who also had a stellar camp has been placed on injured reserve.

Practice squad candidate(s): Frank Beltre

Inside Linebackers (4)

Darron Lee, Demario Davis, Julian Stanford, Bruce Carter

Nothing shocking in this group as the starters were known, Stanford had a great camp and Carter provides veteran depth.

Practice squad candidate(s): Connor Harris

Safeties (4)

Jamal Adams, Marcus Maye, Terrance Brooks, Rontez Miles

More of what was expected here.  Adams and Maye are expected to patrol the defensive backfield for years to come, with the recently acquired Brooks and the always fired up Rontez Miles rounding out the safeties.

Cornerbacks (6)

Morris Claiborne, Juston Burris, Buster Skrine, Marcus Williams, Darryl Roberts, Derrick Jones

Juston Burris appears to have secured a starting spot in year two.

Claiborne has to find a way to stay healthy and Burris gets his shot to show he belongs as the number two.  Buster Skrine beings what should be his final season as a Jet while Marcus Williams has reportedly been shopped by the team.  Roberts had a poor camp but managed to stick.  Jones is a project but would have been poached if he was placed on the practice squad.  He also showed steady progress throughout camp, culminating in an interception in the final game.

Practice squad candidate(s): Xavier Coleman

Specialists (3)

K Chandler Catanzaro P Lac Edwards LS Thomas Hennessy

Catanzaro was beaten soundly in camp by the younger Ross Martin but seems to have benefited from his deeper kickoffs and history with Bowles.  Edwards was a lock to punt for the Jets from day one and Hennessy’s recent acquisition seemed to spell the end for Tanner Purdum, who had been the team’s longest tenured player.

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This Article Was Written By Glenn Naughton

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Glenn was Born in the Bronx, New York and has followed the Jets religiously despite being stationed in several different countries and time zones around the world. He now resides in England and has been a JetNation member since 2005. Glenn will bleed green with the rest of us through the highs and lows.