Adams is hit of Jets 2017 Class, Who Else Could Emerge?

While there will always be a small percentage of maniacal fans who write off any young player who makes a mistake or two in his first pro season (See Chris Herndon, 2018), most fans tend to reserve judgement until a player completes his third NFL season.  This would mean the Jets 2017 draft class is about to enter their pivotal third season, well, for those that remain anyway.  Jamal Adams is already one of the best players in the NFL, but is there anyone left who can make a name for themselves?  Let’s take a look.

S Jamal Adams- Rd 1 (6th overall): 

Adams has already been to one Pro Bowl and was named as an All-Pro alternate in year two.  In just two seasons, Adams has shown that he can play the run, the pass, and pressure the quarterback, allowing him to be a tone-setter on defense for years to come.  Few players in the NFL can match what Adams brings on game day.  Should he continue to improve in the coming years, there’s little doubt that Adams will go down as one of the best to step on the field.

S Marcus Maye- Rd 2 (39th overall):

Having missed most of the 2018 season, playing in just six contests, many fans seem to have forgotten that in his rookie season, Maye didn’t miss a single game and outplayed the above-mentioned Adams.  After missing ten games in year two, Maye will have to show that the injuries were a fluke. If so, he could team with Adams to make up one of the top safety tandems in the NFL, and certainly the best to ever suit up for Gang Green.

WR ArDarius Stewart- Rd 3 (79th overall):

This pick was  a failure in so many ways.  There were better players at positions of need on the board but Mike Maccagnan went with Stewart.  It was reported earlier this year that Maccagnan made the pick after offensive coordinator John Morton pleaded with the former GM.  So what did Morton do?  He used Stewart as a gadget player who never really lined up to be a true wide receiver.  Maccagnan would have been better off ignoring Morton and drafting a cornerback in what was a deep class.  As we suggested at the time, passing on a corner in that spot was akin to John Idzik failing to come up with an impact wide receiver in one of the deepest classes in history just a few years before.  Stewart was cut after one season and remains a free agent.

WR Chad Hansen- Rd 4 (141st overall):

Another wasted pick, Hansen was a Jet for one season, catching 9 passes for 94 yards.  Like Stewart, Hansen is now a free agent after spending a few minutes with the Broncos and Patriots.

TE Jordan Leggett- Rd 5 (150th overall):

Leggett is a player that some fans will be keeping an eye on this season.  After missing his rookie season due to injury, Leggett played sparingly in 2018 and was rarely targeted in Jeremy Bates’ offense.  He was cut loose by Adam Gase a few weeks ago and was claimed by five different teams, landing with the highly respected Bruce Arians in Tampa Bay.  There were many who felt Leggett should have been given a look in training camp considering Chris Herndon will be facing a suspension and Neal Sterling has a history of concussions.

OLB Dylan Donahue- Rd 5 (181st overall):

Talk about a bust.  Donahue had more DUI’s (2) than seasons with the Jets (1).

RB Elijah McGuire- Rd 6 (188th overall):

Viewed as a potential steal when drafted, McGuire has done some good things with the Jets despite playing behind one of the worst run blocking offensive lines in the NFL.  McGuire’s play up to this point suggest he can be a quality running back and he appears to have a fan in Adam Gase.  The head coach has voluntarily mentioned McGuire on multiple occasions as a player who impressed him when he was game planning for the Jets.  He hasn’t had a chance to show it all that much yet, but McGuire has fantastic hands out of the backfield and could be a perfect complement to Le’Veon Bell.

CB Jeremy Clark- Rd 6 (197th overall):

Clark spent his first season on IR and most of last year on the practice squad.  It was reported during the season by Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News that the Jets had been working the 6′ 3” Clark at safety, but no word on where Gregg Williams has been working him at this point.  Of the bubble players from this class still on the roster, Clark has done the least, making him the longest of long shots to stick.

CB Derrick Jones- Rd 6 (204th overall):

Derrick Jones has all the physical traits to be a high quality cornerback. Can the Jets coaching staff get the most out of him?

Jones is the player who can elevate this class significantly all on his own.  His physical traits have been discussed ad nauseam, but for some reason, head coach Todd Bowles kept Jones nailed to the bench in a lost season despite a strong showing in training camp.  As we pointed out here, Jones played at a high level in week 17 when he finally got on the field.  Jones can do a lot of things that very few NFL corners can do.  He reportedly runs a 4.40 40 at 6’2”, but at times in training camp he played faster than that.  He displays excellent hands, body control and elevation with a 42” vertical.  All skills that can make him a legitimate starting cornerback if the right coaching staff can get him to put it all together.

At the conclusion of this season, the ceiling for this draft class would have to be a “B”, and that’s only if Adams makes another pro bowl, Maye stays healthy and McGuire and Jones play to their full potential.  However, if Maye continues to battle injures and nothing comes of the bottom three picks, Jamal Adams is the only thing that stops the class from being an “F”, and the game changing defender brings the grade up to a “D”.

 

Jets’ Maccagnan Running out of “Maybes” in a Hurry

It was a topic that was discussed right here on Tuesday night’s episode of JetNation radio that we felt deserved a bit more attention, so as was mentioned on the air, here’s a look at the current plight of Jets General Manger Mike Maccagnan whose margin for error seems to be shrinking by the day while head coach Todd Bowles looks to be on the hot seat.

Maccagnan had the “luxury” of succeeding failed General Manager John Idzik, who engineered one of the worst drafts in team history when he was armed with a dozen draft picks in his second year on the job and was a colossal flop.  With his twelve choices, Idzik came away with just two players who are still in Green and White in wide receiver Quincy Enunwa and backup guard Dakota Dozier.  Idzik had set the bar incredibly low, meaning any degree of success from Maccagnan would be a marked improvement.  As it turned out, Maccagnan’s first two drafts were far better than the results produced by Idzik.

His first class was a flop itself, netting Leonard Williams and a bunch of guys who are long gone.  Wide receiver Devin Smith couldn’t stay healthy and was let go.  Linebacker Lorenzo Mauldin was often injured as well, and didn’t do much when he was healthy.  Bryce Petty was a project quarterback who never developed and guard Jarvis Harrison was gone after just one season as a pro.  Outside of Williams, the only player still in the league is seventh-round pick Deon Simon who is on the Packers practice squad.  Simon was actually a solid player when he got reps with the Jets, but he was an interior lineman who was made obsolete with the additions of Steve McLendon and Mike Pennel.

Class number two, his 2016 group, yielded far better results, getting starters in linebackers Darron Lee and Jordan Jenkins along with right tackle Brandon Shell and punter Lac Edwards to boot.  Wide receiver Charone Peake was a seventh round choice who is the team’s best special teams gunner at the moment, but hasn’t shown much as a receiver.  Add undrafted free agent receiver Robby Anderson to the mix and the 2016 rookie class is a pretty good one.  Cornerback Juston Burris was also part of that 2016 class and viewed as a player who fell in to the “maybe” category, but he was let go recently before returning to the practice squad as a long shot.

Should Maccagnan fail as a GM when all is said and done, his tenure will always be marred by the second-round selection of Christian Hackenberg in the 2016 draft who never took an NFL snap, and may rank second behind Mike Tannenbaum and Eric Mangini’s selection of Vernon Gholston as the worst pick in team history.  Even still, Maccagnan came away with four starters on 13 picks as opposed to all of Idzik’s misses.

It was an improvement, but four starters in two years isn’t going to cut it for the long-term.  Being able to fall back on rostered players who can “mabye” develop in to a regular contributor might buy a GM some good will from ownership, but the problem with Maccagnan is that those “maybe” players are dropping like flies.

Yes, Maccagnan looks to have grabbed a pair of long-term starters in 2017 when he took safeties Jamal Adams and Marcus Maye in the first and second round respectively, but it’s after those two picks where things get ugly for Maccagnan.  The GM took a pair of receivers in Chad Hansen and ArDarius Stewart who are already out of the league.  This was a move we questioned at the time due to the wealth of young talent at cornerback in the draft, but what’s done is done.  Maccagnan tried to add some receivers, knowing that a QB in round 1 was a certainty in 2018 and his two early/mid round choices went bust.

Aside from Hansen and Stewart from his 2017 class Maccagnan cut ties with project linebacker Dylan Donahue who had more run-ins with the law than he had tackles on the field.

With Hansen, Stewart and Donahue already gone, Maccagnan needs tight end Jordan Leggett, running back Elijah McGuire, safety Jeremy Clark or cornerback Derrick Jones to turn in to roster-worthy players in order to save his 2017 class from hitting on just two of nine picks.

So with his first class being a failure, his second class showing significant improvement and his third possibly producing just two quality players, it’s his most recent class that stands to buy Maccagnan more time, but not a free pass.

For the first time in decades, the Jets look to have a franchise quarterback in Sam Darnold thanks to Maccagnan.  That alone should buy him another season.  He also looks to have solved the team’s long-time void at tight end with Chris Herndon. But as we mentioned above, more of Maccagnan’s “Maybes” have to show they belong, or it may be time for Mac to move on.

 

 

 

 

ArDarius Stewart Released After Reaching Injury Settlement

The New York Jets have released wide receiver ArDarius Stewart after reaching an injury settlement with the team just weeks after going on injured reserve.

With Stewart out of the picture, the Jets have officially cut ties with both wide receivers who were drafted last season in Stewart and Chad Hansen who were taken in the third and fourth rounds respectively.

ArDarius Stewart Heads to Injured Reserve, Deontay Burnett to Practice Squad

After only a few days back with the club on the practice squad after being waived by the organization last week, Jets wide receiver ArDarius Stewart is being placed on injured reserve.

Taking Stewart’s place on the practice squad is rookie wide receiver Deontay Burnett, who was originally let go to make room for Stewart last week.  Burnett was former Jets quarterback Sam Darnold’s top target when the two played together at USC.

ArDarius Stewart Added to Jets Practice Squad

Per their official twitter page, the Jets have announced the return of wide receiver ArDarius Stewart to their practice squad after he cleared waivers.

A second-year player, Stewart saw little playing time last season and spent the first two games of this season on the suspended list.

Jets Waive ArDarius Stewart

The Jets had a decision to make regarding wide receiver ArDarius Stewart who was due to return from the suspended list this week and they’ve done just that, waiving the second-year player according to the team’s twitter account.

Should he clear waivers, the Jets may look to add Stewart to their practice squad.

You can read more about ArDarius Stewart in our forums.

Jets Have Decision to Make With ArDarius Stewart due to Return

Jets wide receiver ArDarius Stewart has served his two game suspension and is now eligible to return, meaning the team will have to let him go, or cut ties with another player already on the 53-man roster.

According to Dennis Waszak of the associated press, head coach Todd Bowles said that he would expect a move to be made at some point today.  After a quiet camp, the team could decide to move on from last season’s third-round draft choice.

Jet’s Positional Analysis: Wide Receivers

During last offseason, you’d have to look long and hard to find a single pundit or analyst who didn’t feel that wide receivers were not only the worst positional group on the team, but were bound to be one of the league’s worst. In fairness, from their perspective, it wasn’t all that far-fetched.

Top target Quincy Enunwa had gone down early in camp with a severe neck injury that would sideline him for the entire season. Even before the injury, many questioned the Jets receiver corps as Enunwa was the only pass catcher on the roster to put up more than 600 yards the previous season. Robby Anderson was considered the only other legitimate threat, but he hadn’t proven he could be a consistent target yet.

Then the 2017 season began, and the Jets wide receivers started shattering expectations. Robby Anderson proved he could be a legitimate deep threat. Jermaine Kearse had a career season and showed he can be a #2/#3 guy after being obtained from the Seattle Seahawks in the deal that sent Sheldon Richardson out West.  Eununwa, Anderson, Kearse and the newly add Terrelle Pryor has the potential to be a formidable group.

Yet somehow, as we head into the 2018 season, we’re hearing some of the same things as last year about the Jets wide receiver corps as they’re consistently undersold.  Fair assessment?  Let’s look at the Jets’ current wide receiver depth chart and who’s likely to be suited up for the Jets on September 10th when they kick off against the Detroit Lions.

Lock to Make the Team

Robby Anderson– Despite being a long-shot undrafted free agent out of Temple just a couple of seasons ago, Anderson caught the attention of Jets coaches as a quality deep target. He then went on to have 42 receptions for 587 yards, averaging an impressive 14 yards a catch; a very solid rookie campaign and carving out a role as the Jets deep threat with blazing 4.34 second 40 speed. Last season, he went in as the #2 behind Enunwa, until Enunwa’s devastating neck injury. This is when everyone said the Jets receiver corps would possibly be worst in the league. Robby Anderson answered the call with a breakout performance of 63 receptions for 941 yards and 7 touchdowns. He averaged almost 15 yards a reception and had 3 games over 100 yards. He proved he is not just a deep threat and a true #1 WR. To top that off, he just turned 25 in May.  With his off-season issues behind him, is Anderson ready to keep his nose clean and continue his upward trend?

Quincy Enunwa– Similarly to Anderson, Enunwa was a 6th round pick back when John Idzik was the team’s GM and was never expected to be a legitimate threat, let alone a top guy. He spent the majority of his rookie season on the practice squad and had a minor role in the offense in 2015 (that is the year Brandon Marshall and Eric Decker lit it up, so not a surprise). In 2016 though, after Decker went down, it opened the door for Enunwa and he proved he deserved it. He caught 58 receptions for 857 yards and 4 touchdowns, averaging close to 15 yards per reception. As we know though, Enunwa missed all of last season with a severe neck injury. He says the surgery went well and he feels like he used to, and he has looked good in practice so far. Neck injuries are often very serious though, so it will be something to monitor now that pads are on. Will he be the same player he was before the inury? Is he healthy enough now that there is contact? If yes, him and Anderson could be a nasty formidable 1-2 punch. Enunwa is a lock to make the team as long as he stays healthy.

Jermaine Kearse– Kearse, like Anderson, was an UDFA, though he is going into his 7th season (2nd with Jets). One interesting note that among the Jets top 3 wide receivers, none were drafted earlier than the 6th round and 2 were undrafted altogether. Kearse played his first 5 seasons with the Seattle Seahawks were he was a solid receiving option but unremarkable. As already stated, he came over in the Richardson trade. Though unremarkable in Seattle (he did win one Super Bowl there), he would be one of the Jets top guys since Enunwa went down and everyone else other than Anderson was unproven.  It turns out he answered the bell.  He was Gang Green’s most consistent receiver last season, setting career highs in receptions (65), yards (810), 100-yard games (2), and touchdowns (tied 2015 with 5). Because of this Kearse will have little to prove, but his position on the roster will depend on how healthy Pryor and Enunwa are, and how they look in camp and the preseason.

Terrelle Pryor- For those who do not know Pryor’s story, it sure is an interesting one. He was taken in the supplemental draft of 2011 as he was accused of recruiting violations at Ohio State, where he played quarterback, not wide receiver. Pryor is one of those QB to WR stories you hear about when the QB is large and a freak athlete but not a NFL-level QB. The Raiders gave the Pryor at QB experiment 3 years before they cut him, and the Browns picked him up to try at WR. His first season he didn’t do much, but in 2016 he had a breakout season with 77 receptions for 1,007 yards, 4 touchdowns, 3 100+ yard games, and averaged 13 yards per catch. Due to his freakish athletic ability and his size, and the fact that he had only played the position for a year previous, many thought he might become a great WR. He looked to cash in last season, the Browns let him walk, and the Redskins gave him a nice sized contract. He then hurt his ankle early in the season, never fully recovered, and eventually went on injured reserve. He didn’t even put up 250 yards last season. Due to this the Redskins let him go and the Jets decided to roll the dice and see if he is healthy. He hurt the same ankle back in OTAs and didn’t participate, so only time will tell.  Also, many writers attribute his breakout season to his heavy use in the Browns offense (had almost 80 receptions), but it will be interesting to see what type of player he will be for the Jets, as long as he is healthy. If he is and he regains his 2016 form, he could be as high as the #2 WR and an excellent red zone threat. His contract is for 1 year at around $4.5 mil, with $2 mil guaranteed, so it would be a real surprise to not see him make the 53 man roster.

Players on the Bubble

Chad Hansen– Hansen was drafted by the Jets last season in the 4th round out of Cal. He didn’t do anything in his rookie season (didn’t even break 100 yards), but has been compared to the Vikings Adam Thielen and the Patriots Chris Hogan which is encouraging. He looked very good in OTA’s  but has been quiet so far in training camp and could be on the bubble with Tre McBride and Charles Johnson emerging.

Charone Peake– When the Jets drafted him in the 7th round, Peake was considered a steal. He has prototypical size and top speed to be a very good WR. He played his college ball at Clemson always buried under a current top NFL wide receiver depth chart that included DeAndre Hopkins, Martavis Bryant and Sammy Watkins. So he never really got a chance to shine. He fell down the depth chart however by having an unimpressive rookie campaign and missing almost all of last season with an ankle injury. Before last season however, there was talk that he was in the running for the #3 receiver spot, so it will be interesting to see if he is healthy and what he makes of his limited opportunities.

Andre Roberts- Going into his 9th season already, Roberts is what he is. He will not make any crazy leaps or defy any expectations. He had some good receiving years with the Cardinals, but he hasn’t played there in 5 years. He is an excellent kick returner however.  Roberts has returned over 2,000 yards of kickoff and punt returns in just the last 2 seasons. For this reason alone, Roberts has a chance to make the Jets roster as a returner.

Charles Johnson- Johnson had a breakout rookie season in 2014, and that was it. He failed to live up to expectations doing next to nothing the following 2 seasons, and was out all last year with a knee injury. Already 29, and so many players ahead of him on the depth chart, the odds are against Johnson making the roster.

Tre McBride- Though he is still only 25 years old, McBride has done nothing in 3 seasons to show he belongs on an NFL roster. He couldn’t even make the Bears very thin receiver corps last season but has surprisingly earned high praise early on with the Jets.  With Hansen and Steward pulling a pair of disappearing acts, could McBride take advantage?

Players Most Likely to Be Cut

Lucky Whitehead- Brought on last season from the Cowboys, Whitehead was going to be the Jets’ main return man until he got hurt. He has not proven he is a competent WR in this league either. Even though he is a decent return man, Roberts is better and has been more productive. With rookie Cannon in the mix as well, it seems a long shot Whitehead makes the roster.

Jonah Trinnaman- A burner out of BYU and an UDFA, he has Robby Anderson speed, but has Wayne Chrebet height. With Anderson looking now like he won’t be suspended for long (if at all), Trinnaman looks to be a practice squad candidate.

Suspended

ArDarius Stewart- A 3rd round pick out of Alabama in last year’s draft, like Hansen, Stewart did very little last season. Many thought of him as WR who could play a variety of roles, given his toughness and hard-nose playing style. He has now been suspended the first two games of the season for violating the league’s performance enhancing substances policy. Unlike Hansen however, he has not looked as impressive in OTA’s or camp. Even though he is only in his second year, with the suspension and so many receivers ahead of him, he may not make the Jets 53 man roster.

Depth Beginning to Look Like Possible Strength for Gang Green in ’18

It’s early on in training camp, so no definitive conclusions are to be drawn for several more weeks (possibly months), but one thing that has become apparent over the past couple of weeks is that the Jets current roster may be a lot better than even the most optimistic Jets fan had anticipated.

Is this to say that the Jets roster is perfect and there are no holes, weaknesses or deficiencies?  Absolutely not.  This is the NFL, and in the NFL, there is no perfect roster.  But in taking away what we’ve seen at training camp and in speaking with other onlookers and reporters, this Jets roster is showing the potential to be one of the deepest groups we’ve seen in years.  How so?  Let’s take a look.

Quarterback: Even if you have just a passing interest in this team, you will not have been able to avoid all of the positive news coming out of camp regarding third overall pick Sam Darnold.  He’s learning at a breakneck pace and executing on the field in ways this team hasn’t seen from a rookie quarterback in forever…if ever.  Darnold is working behind Josh McCown and Teddy Bridgewater, whose fastball is showing more zip than it did early on.  McCown is the veteran mentor, while Bridgewater, a young playoff QB in his own right, appears to be all the way back from his knee injury.  A grizzed vet, a playoff youngster and arguably the best QB in the 2018 class all on the same roster.  Sure beats Mark Sanchez, Mark Brunell and Chris Simms.  Or was it Matt?

The Jets QB room is as deep as it’s ever been, thanks to the additions of Sam Darnold and Teddy Bridgewater.

Cornerback: Could it be that an off-season of worrying about the cornerbacks was all for nothing?  Thought to be one of the weakest groups on the roster outside of Trumaine Johnson, others have stepped up since camp kicked off.  Morris Claiborne has been healthy and played well from start.  Rookie cornerback Parry Nickerson has been one of the most impressive players in camp along with second-year cornerback Derrick Jones.  Buster Skrine is expected to start in the slot, and despite poor play in the past, did have his best season as a Jet last year.  Xavier Coleman stuck last year and has had a decent camp this season, and the ultra talented Rashard Robinson has done some good things of late, but is still a work in progress.

Running back: No gamebreaker in the group, but Isaiah Crowell, Bilal Powell and a mix of what will likely be Eli McGuire and Trenton Cannon is plenty to go to battle with.  The most interesting back in the group is Crowell.  Despite playing with arguably the worst quarterback in the NFL last season in Deshone Kizer, he still managed to average 4.1 YPC, and that was after averaging 4.8 YPC in 2017.  Better QB play, better receivers from top to bottom, and Crowell might see a bit more running room in 2018.

Wide Receiver: First and foremost, Jermaien Kearse hasn’t gotten nearly enough credit for how good he’s looked in training camp thus far.  As a guy who just shows up, does his job well and does it quietly, you forget about him at times.  Then every time you do see him, he’s making an outstanding catch over a defender or shaking a cornerback on a post route.  Kearse, combined with Robby Anderson, Quincy Enunwa and Terrelle Pryor is an impressive group by itself.  Add in some of the younger bodies in camp such as Chad Hansen, Charles Johnson and ArDarius Stewart, and whoever is under center for the Jets should have no shortage of targets to pick from.

Tight End: Let’s be fair an acknowledge the fact that this group is almost completely unproven in actual NFL games, but it would be wilful neglect to ignore what has probably been the best positional battle in camp thus far.  The veteran in the group, Clive Walford was largely invisible through camp’s first few days as Chris Herndon and Neal Sterling made one dazzling play after another.  Now, having settled in, Walford’s number is being called regularly and he has looked very impressive.

Inside Linebacker: As of right now, Avery Williamson and Darron Lee are the team’s starters.  Lee, a former first-round draft choice, has got to start making impact plays.  Should Lee struggle as he has in the past, free agent addition Kevin Pierre-Louis may be an upgrade. Neville Hewitt is an unheralded player, but he’s a tweener who could find a way to make this roster.  As a former college safety, Hewitt has some good cover skills and he has impressed in diagnosing plays and getting in the backfield from time to time during camp.  Veteran Kevin Minter is also in the mix.

Safety:  Having a first and second round draft choice at the safety position is going to give you a pretty good shot at a deep group, and that’s just what the Jets have.  Jamal Adams and Marcus Maye will start, but those behind them on the depth chart have shown they can play either in camp, or in live games.  JJ Wilcox is an experienced starter who should be the third safety even after Rontez Miles returns.  Doug Middleton has looked very good when spelling Maye up to this point.  Throw Terrence Brooks in the mix, and you’ve got a nice group.

As mentioned above, every team has issues to contend with.  For the Jets, right now, it’s primarily along the offensive line and at the rush linebacker positions.  The starting five up front should be “good enough”, but there are no dominant blockers in the group and there are questions about James Carpenter’s ability to adjust to their new scheme.

There’s no proven pass rusher, but the team is doing all they can to find one at the moment, and considering this is a team that’s only entering year two of a re-build, there’s a good chance they could find themselves much further along that expected when it’s time to start filling more holes when the 2019 draft rolls around.

Green & White Scrimmage; What to Watch for

Jets training camp is moving right along as the team prepares to borrow the football facilities at Rutgers University tonight for their annual Green & White scrimmage.  With plenty of players standing out in camp thus far, here’s a list of those you might want to keep a close eye on.

QB Sam Darnold: He’s the future of the franchise and has looked a bit better through each session since ending his three-day contract stalemate.  We’ve seen him throw well on the run, move well inside and outside the pocket and stand out in the red zone.  Every bit of progress is a welcome sight.

QB Teddy Bridgewater: With Darnold coming along and Josh McCown on board, the Jets are hoping Bridgewater can raise his play to a level that would allow them to pick up a draft pick or two before the season starts.

CB Derrick Jones: Since putting the pads on last week, Jones has been one of the best players in camp.  He’s come away with multiple interceptions and had a couple that were called off as he came down with a foot in bounds.  Either way, his off-the-charts athleticism is evident and the Jets are hoping the sixth-round pick could can reach his ceiling and become a full-time starter at some point.

RB Trenton Cannon: Another rookie who has stood out on just about every day of camp thus far, the speedy Cannon is positioning himself nicely to make this roster.  He should also see some work as a return man.

Rookie running back Trenton Cannon’s speed has been evident throughout camp thus far.

OLB Obum Gwachum: Many fans have probably never heard of Gwachum, but believe it or not, he spent all of last year on the team’s 53-man roster despite hardly seeing the field.  As a converted wide receiver, Gwachum is probably the most athletic pass rusher on the roster, and he’s been flashing lately at Florham Park.

After a slow start, Clive Walford has come on of late. There’s a good battle brewing at TE for the Jets.

The tight ends: Every day it seems as if we’re including rookie Chris Herndon and Neal Sterling among our top performers in camp.  Both have looked very good catching the ball and off-season addition Clive Walford has also come on as of late.  As we said here last week, these tight ends should help the Jets quickly get over the loss of Austin Seferian-Jenkins.  Eric Tomlinson should be safe as he’s the team’s only true blocking tight end and does a good enough job as a pass catcher when opportunities present themselves.

DE Nathan Shepherd: Another rookie who has stood out through most of camp.  Muhammad Wilkerson’s eventual replacement will be a breath of fresh air even before he makes a play as there will be a noticeable difference in effort.

WR Chad Hansen: There was a lot of talk about Hansen as training camp approached, but he’s been very quiet after an impressive first day.  One could even make the case that while ArDarius Stewart hasn’t stood out either, there’s not a lot of separation between the two over the past couple of days.

ILB Kevin Pierre-Louis: Pierre-Louis is a pretty safe bet to make the roster as a back-up, but starter Darron Lee, who is having a good camp, hasn’t been a great deal better, if at all.

After tweaking a hamstring the other day, we’re assuming rookie cornerback Parry Nickerson will sit this one out, or he’d definitely be one to watch.  Who are you looking forward to seeing most?  Click here to join our forums and chime in.

Have a great time tonight, Jets fans.