With the Jets roster now down to 80 players there’s less than a week left before the Jets and the rest of the NFL need to get down to 53 players. We’ll try and predict what the final 53 will look like at every position on the roster, some which will be very obvious, and a few that may surprise you.
Breaking Down the 53 Man Roster
Quarterbacks: Zach Wilson, Joe Flacco, Chris Streveler (3)
Jets quarterback situation was not a big story this off season but journeyman Chris Streveler became a fan favorite and could be inline to unseat last year’s fan favorite Mike White. Joe Flacco is likely to start the season as the opening day starter with Wilson’s injury. Slim chance that Zach is placed on short term IR but the option is available.
Running Backs: Mike Carter, Breece Hall, Bam Knight, Nick Bawden (FB) (4)
We know drafting Breece Hall puts the focus on steady ground attack. Second year back Mike Carter now has a partner to expose defenses with a slithery and slashing mindset with the duo backs. Signing free agent rookie back from NC State was a surprise but his similarity style to veteran Tevin Coleman and the fact that he is younger also durable puts the decision on the table.
Nick Bawden is a lock this year to make the active 53. His versatility as a jackknife in this offense as a blocker in the run game while also giving some support as a pass blocker helps out the pocket slightly more. His main attribute is run blocking but he has nimble feet in route running and could develop into an security outlet option for whomever is under center.
Wide Receivers: Elijah Moore, Garrett Wilson, Braxton Berrios, Corey Davis, Jeff Smith (5)
It is simple now that we know Denzel Mims intention to be traded he is unlikely to be a part of the 53 man roster and would expect Joe Douglas and company to move him prior to the start of the regular season. The team has finally added a great group of hungry receivers that want to earn their roles.
Tight Ends: Tyler Conklin, CJ Uzomah, Jeremy Ruckert, Lawrence Cager (4)
This is probably the easiest group out of the entire roster. Draft prospect Jeremy Ruckert is a lock and the two free agent signings of Tyler Conklin and CJ Uzomah are a no brainer. The emergence of Lawrence Cager thus far in the off season and preseason has all but secured his chances. A vertical threat as a receiver stacking muscle and switching positions to tight end has reinvigorated his career while giving the offense a versatile tight end receiver option. Is Cager a lock, no but he has put his best foot forward and deserves that roster spot.
Offensive Tackles: Duane Brown, George Fant, Max Mitchell, Conor McDermott (4)
A lot of ways this could go, but signing of Duane Brown and the exceptional play by George Fant last season gives this team two Pro Bowl talent at the starting tackle positions. Conor McDermott still getting no love but believe he is that Jumbo Elliot swing tackle this year who can also kick inside at guard. Draft prospect Max Mitchell could be the reason to replace Duane Brown in the future or Conor McDermott as the swing.
Interior Offensive Line: Laken Tomlinson, Alijah Vera Tucker, Connor McGovern, Dan Feeny, Nate Herbig (5)
Dan Feeney has emerged more than a solid backup but a friend with Zach Wilson opening the door for us to wonder could he end up being the future starter after this season? Nate Herbig a Joe Douglas guy and interior offensive lineman that can play all three interior positions. AVT, Laken are our starters they no brainer. CMG has shown promise entering his contract year.
Defensive Ends: John Franklin Myers, Carl Lawson, Jermaine Johnson, Jacob Martin (4)
We all believed JFM would be better served kicking inside as a defensive tackle but all likelihood his role will be defensive end as he did a solid job last season playing that role. With that keeping more than four could be in the plans but for this prediction there is not enough to all eat even with the snap sharing program they will implement. Will be interesting how productive this unit will be but expecting this Jets lineup to collapse the pocket and put pressure on the quarterback.
Interior Defensive Line: Quinnen Williams, Micheal Clemons, Jonathan Marshall, Solomon Thomas, Sheldon Rankins (5)
Jets are refining the interior defensive pressure the uncertainty who will line up with Quinnen Williams on the inside is still unclear. But we do know that the rookie Clemons has been impressing. Solomon Thomas and Sheldon Rankins are suppose to be the veteran leadership but the second year man Jonathan Marshall has showed improvement from year one.
Linebackers: CJ Mosley, Kwon Alexander, Quincy Williams, Jamien Sherwood, Hamsah Nasirildeen (5)
Underrated group, but anchors of CJ Mosley and Kwon Alexander will bolster this group. Jamien Sherwood likely to continue being the ‘MIKE’ as he was in his rookie year. Hamsah Nasirildeen stacking weight this off season will have an ample role on special teams and get quality snaps on defense. Quincy Williams will continue to improve and be more productive in certain sets. This unit has the skies the limit potential. Jets linebackers will be a much improved unit.
Safeties: Jason Pinnock, Jordan Whitehead, Will Parks, Ashtyn Davis, Lamarcus Joyner (5)
Lamarcus Joyner and Jason Pinnock have been in a quiet battle for who is likely to be the starter. Jordan Whitehead is a lock to not only be the starter but the household name for the Jets this year. Ashtyn Davis right now is hanging on by a thread but in this prediction unless he is traded he makes the cut. Special Teams Ace Will Parks has a major role on this team.
Cornerbacks: Sauce Gardner, DJ Reed, Bryce Hall, Michael Carter, Brandin Echols, Javelin Guidry (6)
This is the position in question that fans and media have been talking about. The curious decision of Isaiah Dunn is the talk of the town and does he deserve to make the cut is the real question. In this prediction believe he is practice squad bound but could be a waiver claim for a team with a need at the position.
Sauce Gardner, DJ Reed and Bryce Hall are going be in constant rotation as the main three
Special Teams: Greg Zuerlein, Braden Mann, Thomas Hennessy (3)
Some cuts already have taken place and Greg Zuerlein has won the place kicking job away from Eddie Piniero. Braden Mann looks to continue to improve his overall game but his potential is skies the limits. Thomas Hennessy is rock steady and as of right now no competition could unseat him as the long snapper.