Analyzing The Jets Defensive Depth Chart


First a few updates:

1. Follow Turn On The Jets on Facebook and Twitter (TurnOnTheJets)…because I can’t be typing about all the Jets related links you should be reading here.

2. Turn On The Jets has climbed to #2 when you google “Jets Blog”…now you may be asking, who the hell ever googles “Jets Blog?” and it is a good question but  I am pumped about it anyway. Wait until I finally get that press pass this summer, get the podcast up and running, and redesign the site.

3. Darren Sharper re-signed with the Saints. I never thought he would end up with the Jets anyway, the organization seems to be high on Brodney Pool and if he doesn’t work out Eric Smith is a reliable back-up.

4. There is still plenty of chatter about Laveranues Coles joining the Jets but again I don’t see it happening unless it gets to July 22nd and Coles hasn’t found a team yet. I can’t see him accepting being a number four receiver for 12 weeks of the season, which he would be after Santonio Holmes returns from injury. On the other hand, I wold bet on Mark Brunell joining the Jets after July 22nd and Adalius Thomas also joining the team some time in June (he was cut and isn’t a UFA so the Jets could sign him whenever).

5. Philadelphia…the only place where a father tells his 17 year old son to run on the field during a MLB game and then watches as his son proceeds to be tazed by the cops and thrown in jail.

6. What the hell was that last night Cleveland? I run my mouth on twitter talking you guys up over Boston and you lay an egg like that?

Analyzing The Jets Defensive Depth Chart

PhotobucketBy this point we have a general idea of who the starters for the Jets will be on both sides of the ball and who many of the key reserves coming off the bench will be. However, there are still some spots that remain up for grabs on the Jets final 53 man roster. Let’s take a look through at current situation on the Jets depth chart heading into May’s full squad OTAs, continuing today with the defense. After looking at the offense yesterday, it is fair assume the Jets will keep 26 players on this side of the ball and maybe add another when Santonio Holmes returns from suspension and the Jets release a receiver:

Defensive Tackle

  1. Kris Jenkins – The big fella is returning from a season ending injury and looking to regain his form from early in the 2008 season.
  2. Sione Pouha – Did a great job stepping in for Jenkins last year. He will play a ton to keep Jenkins fresh for the stretch run.
  3. Matt Kroul – Coaching staff is apparently very high on him, should push for a roster spot.
  4. Ty Steinkuhler – Outside chance of pushing for a roster spot.

Defensive End

  1. Shaun Ellis – The longest tenured Jet and a solid veteran player.
  2. Mike DeVito – Could be pushing it by asking him to be a full time starter.
  3. Vernon Gholston – Should be cut…but won’t be until after this season.
  4. Ropati Pitoitua – Is expected to be a big part of the defensive line rotation this year.

Potential Additions – Marques Douglas – This could be more of wishful thinking on my part but if there is an injury or the defensive ends struggle in camp, don’t be surprised to see the Jets bring Douglas back.

Analysis – Jenkins, Ellis, DeVito, Pouha, and Gholston are all locks to make the roster. I would be shocked if Pitoitua doesn’t end up on the final 53 either because the Jets like his potential. Kroul will likely be the 7th and final guy they carry unless somebody else steps up in camp.

Inside Linebacker

  1. David Harris – All-Pro caliber linebacker.
  2. Bart Scott – Emotional leader of the defense.
  3. Jamaal Westerman – Showed potential last year, could have bigger role in sub packages this season.
  4. Lance Laury – Special teams ace brought in to replace Larry Izzo.
  5. Kenwin Cummings – Talented guy from small school, who stuck around the team the past couple of years.
  6. Brashton Satele – Made good impression in minicamp.

Outside Linebacker

  1. Calvin Pace – Very good all around player, who the Jets get for all 16 games this year instead of 12.
  2. Bryan Thomas – Not flashy but does his job well.
  3. Jason Taylor – Brought in to sack the quarterback and make Jets fans nauseous.
  4. Corey Reamer – Made a strong impression in minicamp.
  5. Kevin Basped – Also made a strong impression in minicamp.

Potential Additions – Adalius Thomas – A Rex Ryan favorite who has the versatility to line up all over the place in his defense. The Jets will likely wait a few weeks before making a move to sign him.

Analysis – Harris, Scott, Pace, Thomas, Taylor are all locks for the final roster. Westerman and Laury are overwhelmingly likely to make it because of their special abilities and in Westerman’s case, his long term potential. My guess is the Jets will carry 8 linebackers, with the eighth either being Adalius Thomas or one of the UDFAs like Reamer or Basped.


  1. Darrelle Revis – The Island is the best in the business.
  2. Antonio Cromartie – Playing for a long term contract and to show he can still be an all-pro player.
  3. Kyle Wilson – He was a steal at #29 and should flourish in this defense.
  4. Dwight Lowery – I feel a hell of alot better with him as our #4 corner instead of our #2.
  5. Drew Coleman – Hanging by a thread.
  6. Marquice Cole – Played well last pre-season, could easily jump Coleman on the depth chart and maybe even Lowery.
  7. Brian Jackson – UDFA who played well in minicamp.


  1. Jim Leonhard – Comfortable in Rex’s system…steady player.
  2. Brodney Pool – Let’s hope he can stay healthy.
  3. Eric Smith – Versatile player, who did a good job last season off the bench.
  4. James Ihedigbo – Good on blitzes and special teams.
  5. Donovan Warren – Could turn out to be a huge steal as a UDFA.

Analysis – My guess today is that everybody I just listed sticks on the final roster, except either Drew Coleman or Brian Jackson. Rex loves DB’s and don’t be shocked to see him carry 11.

PhotobucketOverall AnalysisThe way I see it now is the Jets will carry 7 defensive lineman, 8 linebackers, and 11 secondary guys. They could add another defensive lineman or linebacker after the Holmes suspension ends and the Jets release a receiver. Don’t be shocked to see Adalius Thomas be one of the linebackers on the final roster. Also, keep an eye on Donovan Warren as somebody who could sneak up the depth chart.

Kris Jenkins Is A Beast

Author: Joe Caporoso

Joe Caporoso is the Owner and EIC of Turn On The Jets. His writing has been featured in the New York Times, Huffington Post, MMQB and AdWeek. Caporoso played football his entire life, including four years at Muhlenberg as a wide receiver, where he was arguably the slowest receiver to ever start in school history. He is the VP of Social Media at Whistle Sports

  • gmf1369

    For NT/DT
    -Kris Jenkins
    -Sione Pouha
    -Matt Kroul
    *Free Agent or Rodrigue Wright(4th spot)
    For DE-LE
    -Sean Ellis
    -Vernon Gholston or Jason Lamb
    For DE-RE
    -Mike Devito
    -Ropati Pitoitua or Free Agent
    For OLB
    -Calvin Pace
    -Jason Taylor
    -Bryan Thomas
    -Cory Reamer
    *Kevin Basped or Ezra Butler
    For MLB
    -Bart Scott
    -David Harris
    -Lance Laury
    -Joshua Mauga
    -Brashton Satele or Kenwin Cummings
    For SS
    -Jim Leonhard
    -Brodney Pool
    -Eric Smith
    For FS
    Donovan Warren
    Brian Jackson
    Brannon Condren
    For DB
    James Ihedigbo
    *Bo Smith
    For CB
    Darrelle Revis
    Antonio Cromartie
    Kyle Wilson
    Dwight Lowery
    Marquice Cole

    -Overall Analysis Jets would have:

    7-9 Defensive Lineman
    3 definate NTs possibly a 4th
    4 definate DEs possibly a 5th

    8-12 Linebackers
    4 definate OLBs possibly a 5th maybe 6th
    4 definate MLBs possibly a 5th maybe 6th

    12 secondary players
    3 strong safeties
    3 coverage safeties
    6 corners–(3 starters & 3 sub-package)

    Just depends on which Ryan & The Crew decide is more important D-Lineman or LB Corp..But seems that the secondary would be about this just so Ryan & The Crew can have that option between those two units…

  • Avirex221

    You forgot they signed Rodrique Wright in the offseason at Defensive End.

  • bruceharper

    I think that we at this web site need to really push to give James Ihedigbo the nick-name “Impetigo.” (That is a skin disease that is becoming increasingly resistant to antibiotics.)

  • bruceharper

    Seriously-I cannot believe they seriously intend on having Gholston as their number 3 DE.

  • ocala jet fan

    release the kraken

  • Joe Caporoso

    Impetigo?? That is some creative stuff right there…and they do have rodrique wright but i would say at this point Kroul and Steinkuhler have a better chance of sticking, but you never you know it is a crapshoot with these backup defense lineman

  • LamJones

    What about Rodrique Wright signing. Any chance he makes the team? He was a highly regarded prospect until he got hurt and then like so many players……..nothing until the Jets sign him. Thoughts?

  • Oh yeah. You forgot to include Rodrique. The Jets signed this free defensive agent for the team. I guess the jets would be in a better shape now.

  • Joe Caporoso

    I don’t know how hopeful I am for Rodrique after looking at his production the last few seasons

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