Breaking Down the Jets Roster From Top To Bottom

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There’s been an awful lot of talk the past few days about the Jets poorly constructed roster and the mind-blowing lack of depth. Readers of this site know we have been beating that drum for months, but after the humiliating loss to the 49ers last week and the crippling injuries to Santonio Holmes and Darrelle Revis, the spotlight is shining squarely on Mike Tannenbaum’s masterpiece.

There is no question at this point that he has done a terrible job the past two offseasons. Let me show you how poor this collection of “talent” is from top to bottom, as I rank all the players on the Jets roster from 1-53 and place them in one of five different categories. Keep in mind as we go through this that I’m being very generous in my letter grade evaluations of these players, especially the ones that I rank as “useful” when that may not exactly be the case (I’m looking at you, Calvin Pace). Also, after the top 15 or so, I started to become physically ill when trying to best rank these players because I thought I was in the 40′s already and wasn’t. Anyway, here are the five categories the players are placed in:

  • Category 1, The Darrelle Revis Division: An excellent NFL player who would either start for every team in the league, or would have any team in the league loving to get him (example: Quinton Coples falls into this category because of his potential, recent draft position, and big upside).
  • Category 2, The Dustin Keller Division: A solid NFL starter that just about any team in the NFL would like to have, or a player with a lot of value.
  • Category 3, The Mike DeVito Division: An average NFL player that has a role in the league and can contribute to a winning team.
  • Category 4, The Calvin Pace Division: A below average NFL player that shouldn’t be starting for any team, but could contribute in the right situation — in small doses — as a role player, or on special teams (shocker: We have a lot of these!)
  • Category 5, The Jeff Cumberland Division: Useless players – (double shocker: We have plenty of these, too!)

Let’s take a look. We’d love to hear your thoughts on these rankings as well in the comments or on Twitter.

CATEGORY 1, The Darrelle Revis Division

1. Darrelle Revis, A++. Obviously. One of the best players in the entire league.

2. Nick Mangold, A++. Best Center in the NFL, a true stud.

3. D’Brickashaw Ferguson, A. Slipped last year, but still an excellent Left Tackle.

4. Antonio Cromartie, A. Some don’t like him, but the fact is he’s one of the best corners in the NFL.

5. David Harris, A-. A top MLB, even if he’s not in the elite class.

6. Santonio Holmes, A-. Still a great WR when given the chance. Well maybe not anymore after this severe foot injury. At least he’s guaranteed $7.5 million next year, whether he plays or not, so that’s good…

7. Mo Wilkerson, A-/B+. Hasn’t dominated the way Jets fans hoped this year (yet), but he’s still an extremely promising lineman who has shown flashes of greatness.

8. Quinton Coples, A-/B+. Obviously we haven’t seen much yet, but the 2012 1st-round pick has a chance to be a star player. One of the few players on the roster all 31 other teams would take without thinking twice.

CATEGORY 2, The Dustin Keller Division

9. Laron Landry, B. A Godsend for the Jets D this year, despite his injury-prone past and not being the best in coverage. That he’s that high on the list speaks more to the rest of the crappy roster than his own play though, unfortunately.

10. Dustin Keller, B. Solid TE, but far from elite. Can’t block and doesn’t have great size.

11. Sione Pouha, B. Off to a slow start due to a back injury, but an elite run stuffer when healthy.

12. Stephen Hill, B-. Sure, the 2nd round pick can’t catch, but he has a ton of potential and any team would take him.

13. Brandon Moore, B-. His run blocking has slipped, but he’s still an above average Guard.

CATEGORY 3, The Mike DeVito Division

14. Mark Sanchez, B-/C+. I believe Sanchez will be a very good QB in this league. Unfortunately, I’m starting to think it won’t be with the Jets, who have absolutely mishandled him from the get-go and failed to develop him.

15. Demario Davis, C+. I think I speak for most Jets fans when I say I’m looking forward to seeing him play the rest of the season. Sadly, like Landry, his high placement on this list has more to do with the other players below him than what we’ve seen from Davis himself. Has a lot of potential.

16. Kenrick Ellis, C+. Ditto everything I said about Demario Davis.

17. Jeremy Kerley, C+. Kerley shouldn’t be the 17th best player on any team, despite his solid punt returning ability and slot receiver skills.

18. Mike DeVito, C. Solid run stuffer on the D-Line.

19. Kyle Wilson, C. I wanted to put this waste of a 1st-round pick lower, but…

20. Shonn Greene, C. See? It’s really a tossup at this point. Greene is the definition of an average running back right now. In the right situation he could still be very productive, though. This Jets team, unfortunately, is not the right situation.

21. Yeremiah Bell, C. Solid veteran safety. Nothing special. At #22. Thanks Mike Tannenbaum!

22. Aaron MaybinC. I think this is a fine spot for our pass rush specialist with 0 sacks.

23. Nick Folk, C. Folk has quietly become a very good kicker here. And yes, our average kicker is this high on the list. I wonder where Lawrence Tynes would rank on the Giants?

24. Matt Slauson, C. As average of an average lineman as you’ll see. We’re only up to #24, and it’s Matt freakin’ Slauson. Tan-Nen-Baum! Tan-Nen-Baum!

CATEGORY 4, The Calvin Pace Division

25. Joe McKnight, C. A great kick returner, but he apparently sucks so much as a Running Back that they wanted him to play Corner after he couldn’t get on the field for a team averaging 3.2 yards per carry.

26. Bilal Powell, C-. How many other teams would have their fans clamoring to see Bilal Powell run the ball more? I can’t think of many.

27. Tim Tebow, C-. Yeahhhh, I got nothin to say here. You know the deal with Tebow. If he can’t heal Revis or Holmes by touching their injured body parts, then there’s not much use for him on this team. Then again, he did lay some pretty sweet weak side blocks last week!

28. Calvin Pace, C-. Wanted to put him lower, but how could I when I look at this list? Make no mistake about it, though: Calvin Pace absolutely brings nothing at this stage of his career.

29. Bart Scott, C-/D+. It pains me to say it, but it’s over for Bart. It’s to the point now I want him off the team just so I no longer have to read corny jokes like this from writers who think they’re hilarious:

30. Tanner Purdum, D+. Great long snapper, gotta admit that!

31. Eric Smith, D+. Good special teamer, terrible safety. Certainly not worth $2.5 million/year. How are we not in the 40′s yet?

32. Austin Howard, D+. Perhaps he can develop, but as it stands now the best thing that can be said about him is that he isn’t Wayne Hunter.

33. Chaz Schilens, D+. It shows how terrible the Jets offensive weapons are that some fans are really pushing to see more of Chaz.

34. Josh Bush, D+. He was a Jets draft pick, so chances are he will be released soon.

35. Bryan Thomas, D. If Bryan Thomas was a dog, Rex Ryan would bring him out behind the shed and shoot him. It’s over.

36. Greg McElroy, D. Can be a solid backup QB for a few years here, and that ain’t bad!

37. Josh Mauga, D. I mean, I guess this is a good spot for him?

38. Nick Bellore, D. If Bellore and Mauga switched uniforms, would anybody tell the difference? And yes, this is the part of the roster rundown where I’d recommend you start drinking.

39. Jason Smith, D. At least he’s not Wayne Hunter.

40. Vlad Ducasse, D. It’s pretty hilarious to think back to Draft Day 2010 when the Jets were rumored to be looking at him in the 1st round. Shouldn’t it have raised some flags that he was still around when they picked late in round 2 and several linemen went instead? The reason is because he sucks. He sucked then, and he sucks now.

41. Robert Malone, D. He’s actually been really good this season. If he keeps it up, he can be much higher on this list later this year. Sadly, that’s not much of a compliment. On a side note, I would like to start calling him “Mayday” though, which will be fun when he punts 17 times a game.

42. John Conner, D-. I told you I was going to be generous with my grades. He’s useless on offense, but he’s still a solid special-teamer! I might as well be picking names out of a hat at this point to fill out the list.

43. Caleb Schlauderaff, D-. Honestly, I didn’t bother to even make sure that’s how you spell his name. That’s really all you need to know about the guy that Mike Tannenbaum FOR SOME REASON has a hard-on for and calls out by name in every interview for being a great depth player (his “next Victor Cruz!” obsession). Somehow, he’s not one of the 10 worst players on the team.

CATEGORY 5, The Jeff Cumberland Division

44. Garrett McIntyre, F. – A useless player. How are there 9 players worse than him on this team? If you increased your drinking rate at this point while reading, I don’t blame you.

45. Damon Harrison, F. – His only skill appears to be that he’s a big fat guy. 8 more to go!

46. Konrad Reuland, F. I actually don’t hate this guy. He can be useful in small doses.

47. Ellis Lankster, F. He showed last week why he should never, ever be on the field for defense.

48. Jonathan Grimes, F. I’ve never even seen him play, but he can’t be worse than the last 5 guys.

49. Isaiah Trufant, F-. He’s a poor man’s Ellis Lankster. And considering Lankster has a homeless man’s amount of ability, I’m not even sure what that would make Trufant.

50. Jeff Cumberland, F-. An absolutely useless player in every sense of the word. Can’t block, can’t catch, can’t play special teams. Other than that, Tannenbaum hit a home run with this guy!

51. Clyde Gates, F-. Because not everyone can be ranked last, right??

52. Lex Hilliard, F- Sigh.

53. Dedrick Epps, F- -. That’s right, he gets two minuses for being the 53rd man on the team with the worst depth in the NFL. He seriously wouldn’t even play for the University of Alabama I don’t think.

And there you have it. The roster with the worst depth in the NFL run  down from 1-53. It’s become painfully clear that the roster was poorly constructed, there was no plan (and still isn’t), and that there isn’t much hope for an immediate turnaround. We’d love to hear thoughts from everyone on this.

  • erock

    Your website and articles are awesome! This was hysterically sad.

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  • Dave Hanna

    Hmmm, appears have forgotten pick under “The Jeff Cumberland Division”;

    Mike Donnelly- not a bad guy just writes useless articles

  • Phil D

    Mike-you’re quickly becoming my favorite Jets writer. Very funny, love the sarcasm and the actual depthful analysis. Your article on “how to mishandle your QB” is absolutely brilliant and spot on. Every move The Jets FO has made has been detrimental to Mark’s growth and you nailed them all! Keep writing! We Jet fans really should be crying but part of this is so absurd it’s hard not to laugh! Thanks

  • Phil D

    Hmmm, appears have forgotten pick under “The Jeff Cumberland Division”;

    Mike Donnelly- not a bad guy just writes useless articles

    Really Dave? With the above sentence construction (or lack thereof) I can see that A) you are eminently qualified to judge Mike’s writing and B) would enjoy being directed to your body of work on The Jets.

  • Ray

    If you’re looking for humor, I guess it was ok, but it was rather misinformed, inaccurate, and a rather lame attempt to pile on the accredited media for their own obsessive trolling of everything Jets.

    The team loses one game to an elite team, loses a couple of elite players, and this apparently gave a free pass for the haters and wannabee journalists out there to pile on to the summer long obsession to spew agendas…

    B for effort, F for content and accuracy…

    I mean, you claim Malone as being an impressive punter and playing well and have him a D?

    You list Schlauderaff as a D because you don’t know how to spell his name?

    Too many blog sites out there, just adds to the clutter that is poor coverage and not enough substance.

  • Mike Donnelly

    No, Ray. Schlauderaff is rated low because he sucks. Is that inaccurate or misinformed? And I don’t see how this is piling on when we’ve been pointing out the serious lack of depth and talent on this roster for months. As for Mayday Malone, he has a long way to go before he could be considered a reliable player. Has he looked pretty good these FOUR games? Yes, but TJ Conley had his moments as well.. how’d that work out? Don’t let me bring you down though, go on and act like this team is awesome! If only Revis didn’t get hurt we’d be Super Bowl bound!!!!

    And thanks, Phil D.. glad you enjoyed it. This roster has serious problems across the board.

  • Ryan

    Mike- love the post. Can’t agree more. You’re absolutely right, it comes down to personnel. This defense has lost its swagger and it’s toughness. It pains me to say it too, but Bart Scott, the heart and soul of this D in the Rex Ryan era is on his way out. We’ve clearly lost our identity on offense as well. We want to be a ground and pound, ball control offense, but in order to do that we need an a great runnningback willing to be a workhorse back there and unfortunately I don’t think Shonn Greene is the guy. To counter that, we need to have a great defense to keep us in games, which we clearly don’t have anymore. It all went downhill for us when we let Thomas Jones go to bring in LT. People don’t realize how much of a difference that made in terms of the scheme of our running game. Then to bring Shonn Greene to starter status while we were then trying to be a pass happy offense with a 3WR base was the stupidest decision ever. The formula works. We’ve seen it work. But at the same time, you need the players to make it work. 2009 we had the players for this formula. Sanchez has gotten better since then (yes he actually has despite what everyone thinks) and it’s a shame to see it go to waste.

  • Mike Donnelly

    Ryan – I disagree about Thomas Jones. He was nothing special in 2009, but the big difference between then and now was the blocking. Faneca stunk as a pass blocker that year but he was excellent run blocking. Moore was much better then than he is now, and Woody was excellent. Plus, we had Hartstock, who was a great run blocking TE (Tannenbaum apparently doesnt think we need a blocking TE) and Richardson who is worlds better than Conner. Put 2012 Greene behind that 2009 line and I’m pretty sure he’d have similar numbers to Jones. They both just get the yards that are blocked for them and nothing more.

  • JetsFan

    LOL. Really? You completely ignore non-statistical contributions to the team… and then claim you’re “breaking down the roster”? LOL.

  • Mike Donnelly

    What non-statistical contributions? Things like “dropped passes”, “missed blocks”, “times knocked to the ground by offensive linemen”? Things like that, JetsFan?

  • ed

    An excellent read. First one for me. Look forward to many more.
    You found a way to inform entertain and depress me all in one article.
    Keep it up.