Revised 53-man Roster and Practice Squad After Teddy Trade

The New York Jets dealt quarterback Teddy Bridgewater to the New Orleans Saints along with a sixth-round draft choice in exchange for a third-round pick from the Saints.  That will obviously free up one roster spot on the Jets final 53.  Then of course there will be the team’s ten practice squad spots.  Here’s how we see those spots shaking out.

With a great deal of depth at tight end, wide receiver, safety, defensive line and running back, this year will be a bit tougher to predict than season’s past, but here we go.

QB (2): Sam Darnold, Josh McCown

The Jets may look to add a third QB to their practice squad at some point because god forbid Darnold goes down, McCown isn’t the most durable option to step in.  Even with this being the case, the Bridgewater trade had to happen as the team needed draft capital.

RB (4): Bilal Powell, Isaiah Crowell, Trenton Cannon, Eli McGuire

McGuire will likely head to short-term IR at some point but the Jets have a solid enough group with Powell, Crowell and Cannon.  Will they have any room to run?  That remains to be seen.  In our initial 53-man roster we had the team going without a fullback and we’re sticking with that once again.  When needed, one of the tight ends can take on that role.

WR (7): Robby Anderson, Jermaine Kearse, Quincy Enunwa, Terrelle Pryor, Tre McBride, Andre Roberts, Chad Hansen

Robby Anderson could be facing a suspension in the early going, but figures to be the Jets top deep threat.

Another deep group that could see one spot go to Roberts who will be the team’s primary return man.  A young player with more upside would be preferable, but nobody has emerged up to this point.  Anderson and Pryor’s ability to stretch the field should put stress on opposing secondaries.  ArDarius Stewart starts the season with a two-game suspension so the Jets can “stash” him for a couple of weeks.  There may be some temptation to keep Charone Peake who wouldn’t be bad as a sixth receiver and is one of the team’s better special teams players.  Don’t rule it out.

TE (4): Eric Tomlinson, Chris Herndon, Neal Sterling, Jordan Leggett

The best competition throughout camp was the tight end group that consistently made plays.  Jordan Leggett could be swapped out with Clive Walford if the Jets are concerned about his durability, but every TE on the roster could have earned a spot this season.

O-Line (9): Kelvin Beachum, James Carpenter, Spencer Long, Brian Winters, Brandon Shell, Brent Qvale, Dakota Dozier, Ben Braden, Jonotthan Harrison.

The starters are better than many think and Dozier and Qvale are solid backups on the right side.  The biggest concern would be an injury to either Beachum or Long where there is zero depth.  Ben Braden is one of the bigger surprises this camp and has seen action at guard and right tackle.

D-Line (6): Leonard Williams, Steve McLendon, Nathan Shepherd, Henry Anderson, Mike Pennel, Folorunso Fatukasi

Williams has to do a better job of getting to the quarterback this season.  Not necessarily a double-digit sack performance, but seven or eight should be the goal for a good 3-4 DE.  Anderson has played very well after being acquired for a seventh-round draft choice and Fatukasi has been a pleasant surprise.

Inside Linebackers (4): Avery Williamson, Darron Lee, Neville Hewitt, Kevin Minter

This is a solid group with good depth behind the two starters in Williamson and Lee.  Should Lee falter again in year three, Todd Bowles has several options that could be upgrades.  Kevin Pierre-Louis will miss the first two games of the year with a suspension and could be the eventual successor if Lee isn’t the long-term answer.

Outside Linebacker (4): Jordan Jenkins, Josh Martin, Brandon Copeland, Frankie Luvu

Jenkins is the only established starter in the group and while Martin is  better player than many give him credit for, he’s still not the presence off the edge that the Jets so desperately need.  Luvu gets a chance to make some plays in Dylan Donahue’s place as Donahue is likely to face a suspension before the season kicks off.

Cornerback (6): Trumaine Johnson, Morris Claiborne, Buster Skrine, Darryl Roberts, Parry Nickerson, Derrick Jones

Johnson and Claiborne give the Jets a solid 1-2 punch and Skrine will look to build on what was his best season as a Jet in 2017.  Nickerson looked fantastic in camp before straining his hamstring and Jones showed off some of his elite physical attributes.  We’re sticking with Roberts based solely on the fact that he appears to be a Bowles favorite.  Rashard Robinson starts the year with a suspension but could be added to the active roster once eligible.

Jamal Adams looks to have a bigger impact in year two.

Safety (4): Jamal Adams, Marcus Maye, Doug Middleton, Terrence Brooks

Adams and Maye hope to see things slow down a bit in year two as the duo look to lay the foundation for the secondary for years to come.  JJ Wilcox is a tough player to cut but he gets caught up in a numbers game.  Would like to see the team find a way to keep him.

Spcialists (3):

LS Thomas Hennessy, P Lac Edwards, K Jason Myers

Myers is no lock to stick around long-term if a better kicker shakes loose after teams trim down to 53.

Practice Squad:

Teams have ten spots to fill with their practice squad players and everyone seems to grab two or three players who are cut from elsewhere, so we’ll project a handful of guys who could stick around.

CB Xavier Coleman: Really wanted to place Coleman on the final roster but as mentioned above, the team seems to be very comfortable with Darryl Roberts which squeezes Coleman.  He spent last season on the practice squad before being injured in live action when he was added to the 53.

OG Alex Balducci: A project lineman who made the move from the defensive line to the offensive line, the Jets like something in Balducci as they let him go last season but brought him back a few weeks ago for another look.

OG Dakota Shepley: Another guard?  Yes indeed.  James Carpenter only has one year left on his deal and Brian Winters has had an up and down history with his health.  Balducci and Shepley give the team a pair of guards to try to develop before they’re replacing one, if not both of the guards on the current roster.

FB Dimitri Flowers: We don’t have Flower making the 53 because his blocking hasn’t been up to par.  Putting him on the practice squad gives him time to work on it in Jeremy Bates’ offense.

CB Jeremy Clark: Clark has had a quiet camp but wasn’t able to show what he could do last season as he spent most of the season on the inactive list due to an injury he suffered in college before being drafted.

LB Anthony Wint: An undrafted free agent out of Florida International, Wint always seems to be around the ball and stood out several times during camp.

That’s a wrap on our 53-man roster projection with a few practice squad spots filled out.  Could a few more names emerge after the Jets final preseason game tonight against the Philadelphia Eagles?  Stay tuned.

 

 

 

Schefter: Bridgewater Traded to New Orleans for Draft Choices

The Teddy Bridgewater trade watch is officially over.  NFL insider Adam Schefter is reporting that the Jets are sending Bridgewater to the New Orleans Saints in exchange for draft choices.

As mentioned in his tweet, the deal all but cements Sam Darnold in as the team’s opening day starter against the Lions in Detroit.

You can read more about the Teddy Bridgewater trade and see fan reaction in our forums.

Sam Darnold is the Future, but will the Jets Regret if they Trade Teddy Bridgewater?

The Jets look to have finally found franchise a quarterback. Well, make that two quarterbacks. This is a rare sight to see for a team that has been searching for answers at the most important in football for years. There’s no doubt that Sam Darnold is the future at the position for Gang Green, but Teddy Bridgewater has proven he’s plenty capable of being an NFL starter as well.

Bridgewater has not only looked very good playing on his surgically repaired knee this summer, but he already has two years of starting experience in the league and helped lead the Minnesota Vikings to an 11-5 record and a playoff berth in 2015. While his career numbers don’t jump off the page, 6150 yards, 28 touchdowns, and 22 interceptions in 28 starts, he has already shown that he belongs in the NFL as a starting quarterback and still has plenty of upside at 25-years-old.

Meanwhile, Darnold has certainly looked the part as well as he has played solid so far this preseason. He’s accurate, fantastic on the move, makes plays outside of the pocket, makes quick decisions, and actually goes through his progressions rather than staring down one receiver. Something the Jets and their fans are not accustomed to seeing from their starting QB.  Just take a look at what former NFL QB and current analyst Dan Orlovsky has to say.

It’s no secret that the Jets’ coaching staff and front office are hoping that Darnold will win the job (which it looks like he has) once all is said and done and that he’ll be starting week 1 at Detroit. Sam Darnold should certainly be the Jets starting quarterback this season and in the years to come, but the question remains: what do you do with Teddy Bridgewater?

As of now, the Jets have a few options to choose from in the coming months. They can trade Bridgewater should a team suffer an injury and have a need for a quarterback, they can start him if they decide that Darnold somehow isn’t ready, or they can keep him as a backup. Staying with the team may actually end up being the best scenario.

Another question is what is, what is Bridgewater’s actual worth on the trade market? Can the Jets realistically expect to get a 2nd-round pick in return for the former Viking? A 3rd-round pick or possibly a conditional 4th-round pick? Nobody seems to have a solid answer as to what his value would and should be, but quite frankly, trading a starting quarterback for a 4th round pick doesn’t sound all that appealing.

Some say that Bridgewater has no place on the team since Darnold should start this year and hopefully for years after which is certainly true. While it makes sense to get something of value in return for Bridgewater while they can instead of letting him leave after the season for no compensation give his free agent status, is it still the right move?

Rookie quarterback Sam Darnold looks to be the favorite to start the season under center.

Of course, his 1-year contract will play a huge factor in determining the outcome since he can, in fact, walk after the season, but the Jets can always get creative in re-signing him in 2019. If Darnold looks shaky maybe they can talk him into seeing what 2019 brings and sticking around for his possible opportunity. Wherever he lands he probably wouldn’t be guaranteed the starting job without an open competition first anyway.

The biggest question is, has anybody given any thought to the ultimate doomsday scenario that sees Teddy traded and Darnold somehow ends up struggling with the Jets.

While that’s highly unlikely to be the case, the possibility always remains. Too many players that were supposed to be locks have ended up as busts so it’s not outside of the realm of possibility. If that scenario were to actually transpire, the Jets will have traded away their insurance policy in Bridgewater and end up right back where they started.

A franchise that has been desperately searching for their star quarterback looks to miraculously have not one, but two players that are at the very least capable of starting. One ends up a bust, one is traded away for a mid-round pick, and they’re back to square one looking for answers with stopgap quarterbacks.

There’s no question that Sam Darnold should be the Jets’ starting quarterback to begin this season and if all goes well for the next 10+ years. However, if things somehow go awry at least Bridgewater can step in and start without missing a beat. It may end up being an expensive backup plan, but as they say, “It’s better to be safe than sorry.”

53-man Roster Projection; Tough Cuts Ahead for Gang Green

The Jets have wrapped up their first two preseason games with a few weeks of training camp practices mixed in, giving us a decent idea as to who has a chance to stick after Gang Green cuts their roster from 90 to 53.  One thing that’s clear up to this point is that General Manager Mike Maccagnan is going to have some tough decisions to make with many of those being tied to some of his recent draft choices.

It’s not uncommon for an NFL GM to give his own draft picks a bit more leeway than non draft picks, but that doesn’t make it right.  When final cut day comes, here’s who we think will be left standing.

Quarterback (3): 

Sam Darnold appears poised to start the season under center for Gang Green.

Sam Darnold, Teddy Bridgewater, Josh McCown

Bridgewater is likely to be dealt at some point, but the Jets will look to get max value and hold on to him heading in to the season, waiting for a team with an injury or struggling veteran to step up and offer fair value.  Darnold gets the keys and is hopefully the team’s answer at quarterback for the next two decades.

Running Back (4):

Isaiah Crowell, Bilal Powell, Trenton Cannon, Eli McGuire

Crowell and Powell will split carries with McGuire and Cannon being worked in from time to time.  All four backs are multi-dimensional and have skill sets that should fit nicely in a wast coast offense.  No fullback on the initial 53 as neither one on the roster fully offers what Jeremy Bates needs.

Wide Receiver (6): 

Robby Anderson, Jermaine Kearse, Quincy Enunwa, Terrelle Pryor, Chad Hansen, Andre Roberts

This could be a bit of a test for Maccagnan.  There’s no denying that both Tre McBride and Charles Johnson have had far better camps than Hansen, whom Maccagnan drafted last season.  Hansen flashed in limited reps last season and during OTA’s and minicamp.  Since then, he hasn’t made much noise at all.  Does the GM go with his pick or the better performer due to the belief of a higher ceiling?  If Anderson sees a suspension from the league for disciplinary issues, it leaves room for Tre McBride or Charles Johnson for a few weeks.  Andre Roberts sticks as a punt returner.

Suspended: Ardarius Stewart

Tight Ends (4):

Chris Herndon, Eric Tomlinson, Jordan Leggett, Neal Sterling

No tougher group to cut down than this one.  All have looked very good from day one with Leggett looking like a long shot due to his injury issues.  However, Leggett has been on the field and playing well over the past couple of weeks.  Maccagnan will likely opt to keep the draft pick (Leggett) over veteran Clive Walford.  Tomlinson can step in at FB when needed.  No matter which combination the Jets choose, the future at the position looks bright.

Offensive Line (9):

Left guard James Carpenter has been excellent in pass protection this preseason.

Kelvin Beachum, James Carpenter, Spencer Long, Brian Winters, Brandon Shell, Brent Qvale, Dakota Dozier, Jonotthan Harrison, Ben Braden

There’s a significant injury history among the Jets starters as Beachum, Long and Winters have all missed large chunks of time in recent years.  They’ll need to have some depth along the O-line so they go with nine bodies.  Braden has had a solid camp and beats out Travis Swanson for the final spot.

Defensive Line (6):

Leonard Williams, Steve McLendon, Nathan Shepherd, Henry Anderson, Mike Pennel, Folorunso Fatukasi

There’s some good depth here with a good mix of veterans and youth.  Shepherd and Anderson will likely rotate heavily opposite Leonard Williams.  Anderson played an excellent game against the Redskins and has shown throughout camp that he’s capable of regaining the form he showed a few seasons ago with the Colts when he was one of the top young 3-4 DE’s in the NFL.  Fatukasi’s overpowering strength has shown itself throughout camp, giving him a chance to earn some valuable reps.  Xavier Cooper is another tough cut.  He’s had a very good camp, but it’s a numbers game.

Inside Linebacker (4): 

Avery Williamson, Darron Lee, Neville Hewitt, Kevin Minter

The best tandem the Jets could start in the middle of their defense would be Williamson next to Hewitt or Kevin Pierre-Louis when he returns from his suspension.  As a former first-round pick, Darron Lee isn’t going anywhere as his release would mean $6 million in dead money.  The Jets would be better off using Lee as a situational pass rusher while Hewitt or Pierre-Louis take his job.

Suspended (Kevin Pierre-Louis)

Outside Linebacker (4):

It’s widely believed that Lorenzo Mauldin’s time in New York is coming to a close.

Jordan Jenkins, Josh Martin, Brandon Copeland, Frankie Luvu

Jenkins is entrenched as the starter on the strong with Martin likely to win the starting job on the opposite side.  Dylan Donahue is likely to get slapped with a suspension early in the season for multiple DUI’s and undrafted free agent Frankie Luvu has impressed coaches throughout camp.  David Bass should have a chance to stick, but his reps have been

Projected Suspension: Dylan Donahue

Cornerbacks (6):

Trumaine Johnson, Morris Claiborne, Buster Skrine, Darryl Roberts, Parry Nickerson, Derrick Jones

The presence of Johnson means a huge upgrade at the Jets top corner spot while Claiborne offers an improvement at the number two spot.  While still inconsistent, Buster Skrine had his best season as a Jet in 2017 under DB coach Dennard Wilson and hopes to build on that this season.  Parry Nickerson has looked fantastic in training camp along with last year’s sixth-round draft choice Derrick Jones who has shown off his athleticism on several occasions.  We’re going with Roberts as the veteran depth.

Suspended: Rashard Robinson

Safety (4):

Jamal Adams, Marcus Maye, Doug Middelton, JJ Wilcox

This is a versatile group that Todd Bowles can use to offer multiple looks.  Bowles would be wise to send Adams after the quarterback off the edge when he needs a play while using other safeties in coverage.  Adams may be the best pass rusher on the roster.  If Bridgewater is dealt before the season starts, Terrence Brooks could earn a spot here.

Specialists: (3)

Lac Edwards, Jason Myers, Thomas Hennessy

This could easily change as the Jets look prepared to begin a round of musical kickers.  Myers was added a couple of days ago and they’ve already scheduled a workout with Kai Forbath with Cairo Santos struggling to stay healthy.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mehta: Two Teams Have Expressed Interest in Bridgewater

The Teddy Bridgewater trade watch is officially on as Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News is reporting that two teams have expressed interest in acquiring the veteran signal caller from the Jets.

With Sam Darnold trending toward being the Jets opening day starter, the team will clearly be looking to add picks in exchange for Bridgewater, who has impressed through two preseason appearances.

 

Jets vs Falcons; What to Look for

The New York Jets open their 2018 pre-season schedule tonight at home when they take on the Atlanta Falcons in what will be Sam Darnold’s first attempt to make an impression on his coaching staff without the safety net of the read quarterback jersey.  Darnold ins’t the only important part of tonight’s match-up, so here’s a look at not only the rookie QB, but the other players Jets fans should be focused on.

QB Sam Darnold: As mentioned above, Darnold has had the protection of the red quarterback jersey in practice as he’s worked much of his magic against his own teammates with no real hitting.  Tonight, that all changes, and we get to see if some of Darnold’s impressive traits will come through in live action.  Thus far aside from struggling with deep accuracy, Darnold has impressed with many other aspects of his game.  He’s been getting the ball out in a hurry while going through his progressions and keeping his eyes down field under pressure while masterfully operating in the red zone.  Will that translate to live action?  We’ll know in just a few hours.

Teddy Bridgewater: Quite simply put, this is a great story for Bridgewater who has come all the way back from a serious knee injury a couple of seasons ago with the Vikings.  Odds are he’ll be dealt before the start of the season and a strong performance tonight could help boost his stock.

DE Nathan Shepherd: As has been the case with Darnold, Shepherd has been very impressive in the early going.  The third-round choice out of Fort Hays State has looked the part of an NFL lineman thus far, and he’ll likely get plenty of work tonight to prove he belongs.

Tight Ends: Given the way Chris Herndon, Neal Sterling and Clive Walford have performed in camp, you can’t not be intrigued by what the trio brings.  Athletic tight ends who have shown great hands early on should figure to have a big role in this offense.  Herndon is the most important player to watch out of the three, as he’s viewed as the team’s future at the position.

O-Line: We’ve spent much of this off-season talking about how much better this unit should be with the addition of center Spencer Long and a healthy Brian Winters.  If they get some run tonight, it will be interesting to see how they hold up.  James Carpenter, meanwhile, has to elevate his play from last season or he’ll be a liability at left guard.

Trenton Cannon gets his first shot to perform against a live defense tonight.

RB Trenton Cannon: The explosive rookie has stood out for much of training camp as a runner, receiver and a blocker.  Look for him to get plenty of work along with running back George Atkinson as the Jets will likely take it easy on their starters, Isaiah Crowell and Bilal Powell.

WR Terrelle Pryor: Pryor will probably get some work tonight and he’s turned some heads in camp over the course of the past few days.  Paired with Robby Anderson, the two could do some damage deep down the field and in the red zone.

WR Jonah Trinnaman: Why Trinnaman?  As we explained above, Darnold has struggled with his deep ball.  If the Jets want to see him take some shots down the field with the back-ups, Trinnaman reportedly runs a sub 4.4 40 and has managed to get some separation during training camp.  We could see him targeted on a couple of big shots down the field.

CB Derrick Jones: The highly talented Jones has made a handful of highlight reel plays in practice.  Now, the converted receiver gets some run with the microscope focused on him a bit more than he might be used to.

OLB Obum Gwacham: The Jets don’t have an edge rusher, and Gwacham is the closest thing they have from a traits-based perspective.

Football is here folks.  Enjoy.

 

Anderson, Pryor Offer Glimpse of Playmaking Potential

In a span of just a few short minutes under the hot sun in Florham Park yesterday, the New York Jets saw two of their biggest offensive weapons make a pair of plays that showed just how dangerous this team could be when turned loose against opposing defenses.

It happened during a series of plays in the red zone, from about the 10-yard line, and it had jaws dropping and thumbs up and down the sideline frantically firing off tweets.

First, it was Robby Anderson, the Jets third-year receiver who was on pace for his first career 1,000 season in 2017 before quarterback Josh McCown went down with an injury and former Jet Bryce Petty came in and put an abrupt end to that possibility.

First up was Anderson who was lined up on the right side of the formation when quarterback Teddy Bridgewater lofted a 50/50 ball toward the right side of the end zone while Anderson, matched up against the team’s top corner in Trumaine Johnson, reached up with one hand and plucked it out of the air while staying in bounds. Surely it was going to be the best play of the day, right?  Not so fast.

Just a few plays later, Sam Darnold was up, and this time Darnold threw a pass to nearly the exact spot with Terrelle Pryor as his target.  Pryor, the freakish athlete he is, was able to use every inch of his vertical to out-leap the coverage, reach up with his right hand and snatch the ball out of the air, coming down for a score.

While it may be just a couple of training camp scores, the game day performances we’ve seen from both Anderson and Pryor are proof that if healthy, the pair have the potential to not only be red zone threats, but to stretch the field vertically.  As Pryor and Anderson check in at 6′ 3” and 6′ 4” respectively while both running sub-4.4 40’s, whoever is under center for the Jets this season should have plenty of opportunities to make their fair share of big plays.

 

Darnold Sloppy Outside of Red Zone as DB’s Shine in Camp

It wasn’t quite as warm out at Florham Park on Tuesday as it was the previous day, but the Jets defense was certainly making the quarterbacks feel the heat.  Outside of the red zone, rookie quarterback Sam Darnold had some struggles and back-up safety JJ Wilcox was the sole beneficiary.

Wilcox picked Darnold off twice.  Once on an overthrown ball that he ran back for a TD, and another where the opposite occurred as Darnold under-threw Robby Anderson, allowing Wilcox to undercut the route and come away with his second pick of the day.

In the red zone however, where Darnold has often looked his best, he tossed another four touchdowns with one being what was arguable the best play of training camp up to this point.  On a ball that Darnold lofted toward the right corner of the end zone, wide receiver Terrelle Pryor used every inch of his 31” vertical and fully extended his right arm to pull the ball in on a jaw-dropping one-handed grab.

How else did things go in Florham Park on Tuesday?  Here are a few notes:

  • Fans who were concerned about the injury suffered by Trenton Cannon yesterday can rest easy.  He looked to be running at full speed throughout practice.
  • Teddy Bridgewater threw his first interception in team periods to Terrence Brooks who continues his strong camp.
  • Tre McBride made an impressive TD grab from Darnold in the red zone when he was fully extended and snatched the quick pass out of the air with his fingertips.
  • Matched up one-on-one with Robby Anderson, Derrick Jones broke up a pass attempt from Darnold when he timed a jump ball perfectly and batted it away.
  • Another quiet day for Chad Hansen who, aside from the odd play, hasn’t done much at all.
  • Working with the 2’s and 3’s, Lorenzo Mauldin isn’t doing as much as you’d expect for a player who was expected to win a starting job last season.
  • Another Doug Middleton sighting as he continues to show he belongs.  Could be another UDFA steal for this regime who fell off the map when he spent last season on IR.
  • Neville Hewitt made several plays today.  As we mentioned earlier today, this team has some significant depth at several spots.  Hewitt is part of that and will be a tough cut if he keeps showing up like he did today.
  • Avery Williamson very nearly had what would have been a third interception off of Darnold in the middle of the field but just didn’t hold on to a gimme’ interception.
  • Lots of bodies filing in and out at right guard today.  Brian Winters, Ben Braden and Jonotthan Harrison all got reps.

Just one more practice before Friday nights pre-season opener against the Falcons tomorrow.  If it’s just a walk-through, there won’t be much to report, but with a day off before the game, maybe the Jets run a normal practice?  We shall see.

 

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.