As part of Turn On The Jets ongoing training camp preview, we are going to predict the final 53 man roster of the New York Jets coming out of camp. Yesterday we went over five questions facing the team and Mike Donnelly published his weekly Stock Watch. Make sure you stay with us everyday heading into the season -
QUARTERBACK (3) - Mark Sanchez, Tim Tebow, Greg McElroy – No surprises here. Sanchez is going to be the opening day starter (and in this writer’s mind, the starter for the entire season). Tebow will be the backup/Wildcat option/do everything man (more coming on this later) and McElroy is a long term backup option who likely won’t comment on team chemistry this year.
RUNNING BACK (5) - Shonn Greene, Joe McKnight, Terrance Ganaway, John Conner, Josh Baker - Greene, McKnight and Conner are locks, while the last two spots could break a few different ways. Baker is technically a H-Back but is listed on the depth chart as a FB/TE. His versatility and receiving skills should get him a spot. Like many, I believe Ganaway will get the nod over Bilal Powell. I would not be surprised if the Jets added a veteran and if they do, it will be Baker who loses his spot.
TIGHT END (3) - Dustin Keller, Jeff Cumberland, Veteran Addition - Another spot the Jets will likely make an addition…so much so that I am putting an unnamed veteran here. Neither Keller or Cumberland is known for their ability to block however both are weapons in the passing game. Outside of Santonio Holmes, Keller should see the most targets from Mark Sanchez this season.
WIDE RECEIVER (5) - Santonio Holmes, Stephen Hill, Jeremy Kerley, Chaz Schilens, Patrick Turner - Holmes, Hill and Kerley are locks…unless he gets hurt in camp, Schilens is likely a lock as well. The battle for the 5th spot should be interesting. Turner has a leg up because of his experience from last year and familiarity with the offense. Keep an eye on Royce Pollard and Jordan White.
OFFENSIVE LINE (9) - D’Brickashaw Ferguson, Brandon Moore, Nick Mangold, Matt Slauson, Wayne Hunter, Jeff Otah, Vladimir Ducasse, Stephon Heyer, Caleb Schlauderaff - The Otah/Hunter battle will be a highlight of camp. If Otah remains healthy he should prevail with Hunter becoming a backup swing tackle. Ducasse will be the first interior lineman off the bench and Heyer has a good amount of starting experience, so he is valuable to keep around. Schlauderaff is randomly Mike Tannebaum’s favorite player on the roster.
DEFENSIVE LINE (7) - Sione Pouha, Muhammad Wilkerson, Quinton Coples, Mike DeVito, Marcus Dixon, Kenrick Ellis, Martin Tevaseu - The Jets like an extensive rotation on their defensive line and that should only increase this year with more four man fronts. Keep an eye on Wilkerson, who many believe is poised for a breakout year. There will be pressure on Ellis to start justifying the third round selection on him last year and Coples to answer his critics about the Jets drafting him in round one this past April.
LINEBACKER (8) - David Harris, Bart Scott, Calvin Pace, Bryan Thomas, Aaron Maybin, Demario Davis, Josh Mauga, Ricky Sapp - This group will have more depth than it did in recent years thanks to growth of Maybin, the selection of Davis and the playing time Mauga received last year. The coaching staff is high on Sapp’s potential as a pass rusher.
CORNERBACK (5) - Darrelle Revis, Antonio Cromartie, Kyle Wilson, Ellis Lankster, Isaiah Trufant - Rex loves his corners and the Jets should have arguably the top trio in the league with Revis, Cromartie and Wilson. Lankster and Trufant are inexperienced but should be valuable special teamers. It wouldn’t be a shock if the Jets added a veteran at some point.
SAFETY (5) - LaRon Landry, Yeremiah Bell, Eric Smith, Josh Bush, Antonio Allen - The position has been completely revamped from last year with the exception of Smith. Allen is going to stick because of Landry’s injury concerns and his potential on special teams.
SPECIAL TEAMS (3) - Josh Brown, TJ Conley, Tanner Purdum - Going with Brown over Folk in the kicking competition and with Conley and Purdum keeping their jobs another year.