Predicting the Jets Final 53-man Roster; How Many UDFA’s Make the cut?
Just one week away from kicking off their 2023 exhibition season in Canton, the New York Jets will get their first full look at their current roster at full speed. Of course the stars won’t see the field, but plenty of hopefuls will. Who do we expect to be make cut when the Jets open up the season? Here’s a look.
Aaron Rodgers, Zach Wilson
The Jets should consider adding a veteran arm to back up Aaron Rodgers and that possibility shouldn’t be ruled out at this point. But as of this moment, Wilson is the clear cut number two and appears to be having himself a solid camp.
Running Backs (4): Breece Hall, Israel Abanikanda, Michael Carter, Bam Knight (or Dalvin Cook)
Breece Hall may not be at full strength when the season kicks off even if he is activated. Abanikanda is another home run threat in the backfield while Carter will look to bounce back after a down year last season. The final spot will come down to Bam Knight or dark horse Travis Dye, but if Dalvin Cook is added in free agency, both Knight and Dye are likely out of the picture.
The only reason we’re not including fullback Nick Bawden at this point is due to the amount of talent the Jets have at halfback but Bawden has been heavily featured early on in Jets camp. Don’t rule him out.
Practice Squad: Travis Dye
Wide Receivers (6): Garrett Wilson, Allen Lazard, Corey Davis, Randall Cobb, Mecole Hardman, Jason Brownlee.
This is a very talented group lead by Wilson would could re-write the Jets record books with Aaron Rodgers this year. Davis is a better player than Lazard but likely lands behind him on the depth chart due to Lazard’s chemistry with Rodgers. Hardman is a bit of an X-factor given his elite speed while Brownlee steals a roster spot as an undrafted free agent.
Practice Squad: Irv Charles, Xavier Gipson
Tight Ends (4): Tyler Conklin, CJ Uzomah, Jeremy Ruckert, Zack Kuntz
Expect Ruckert to see a huge increase in reps this season and don’t be surprised if he ends up as the team’s starter. Conklin will look to bounce back from a shaky 2022. It’ll be a red shirt season for Kuntz.
Practice squad: EJ Jenkins
Offensive Line (10): Duane Brown, Laken Tomlinson, Connor McGovern, Alijah Vera-Tucker, Mekhi Becton, Max Mitchell, Billy Turner, Joe Tippmann, Wes Schweitzer, Carter Warren.
The starting right tackle battle is going to be one of the most important jobs in camp and Tippmann, like Ruckert, should take over the starting center job at some point if he doesn’t win it out of the gate.
Defensive Line (10): Carl Lawson, Quinnen Williams, John Franklin-Myers, Jermaine Johnson, Quinton Jefferson, Michael Clemons, Al Woods, Solomon Thomas, Will McDonald, Bryce Huff.
Lawson is not two years removed from his season-ending ACL injury and hoping for big things while Jermaine Johnson is hoping for a big year two with rookie edge rusher Will McDonald hoping for a big rookie campaign. Things in the middle have been reinforced with a pair of Seahawks free agents in Quinton Jefferson and Al Woods. Michael Clemons will be seeing more action on the inside this year.
Linebackers (4): CJ Mosley, Quincy Williams, Jamien Sherwood, Zaire Barnes
The Jets should be calling on Sherwood and Barnes in obvious passing situations as Williams and Mosley are a liability in coverage. Watters is a safety/linebacker hybrid whose versatility gives him a shot to make the 53 or at least get a spot on the practice squad.
Practice Squad: Claudin Cherelus
Cornerback (6): Sauce Gardner, DJ Reed, Michael Carter, Brandin Echols, Justin Hardee, Javelin Guidry
Gardner, Reed and Carter make up the NFL’s best trio while Echols, Guidry and Hardee fill in as backups. Don’t be surprised if Bryce Hall is dealt before the season kicks off.
Safety (4): Jordan Whitehead, Tony Adams, Adrian Amos, Jarrick Bernard-Converse.
Practice squad: Trey Dean, Marquis Waters
Whitehead and Adams should see the lions share of snaps but Amos may get the call early on. Dean is another UDFA who may steal a roster spot but we’ll have him on the practice squad for now.
Specialists (3): Greg Zuerlein, Thomas Morstead and Thomas Hennessey.
Zuerlein gives the Jets a kicker who can drill it from as deep as anyone in the league while Morstead offers a clear upgrade over the departed Braden Mann.