The New York Jets depth chart will still see many changes to it via free agency, the NFL Draft and potential trades. However, let’s take a current look at where they stand, what the common misconceptions are and where the most help is truly needed.
Mark Sanchez – David Garrard – Tim Tebow – Greg McElroy – Matt Simms
This won’t be the same five guys taking the majority of repetitions in training camp. It would be surprising if the Jets don’t add another arm via free agency or the NFL Draft, along with releasing Tebow and likely eventually releasing both McElroy and Simms. Sanchez is the de facto favorite to start, whether Jets fans want to hear it or not. Garrard projects to the likely backup and the third stringer could be a rookie selected this year or McElroy if the Jets don’t draft a quarterback.
Bilal Powell – Mike Goodson – Joe McKnight – Lex Hilliard (FB) – John Griffin (FB)
Based on talent alone, Goodson is the best of this group and should get the majority of the touches with Powell working as an inside running compliment. This could change if the Jets draft a running back in one of the early rounds. McKnight has the proper skill set for Marty Mornhinweg’s offense but if the Jets draft a running back, that could be the end of his time in New York. As of today, this projects to a Goodson/Powell platoon with McKnight and Hilliard being used as situational players.
Jeff Cumberland – Konrad Reuland – Hayden Smith
It is good to hear the Jets have interest in Fred Davis because the depth here is atrocious. It wouldn’t be foolish for the Jets to sign Davis AND still a draft a tight end at some point. Jeff Cumberland is nothing more than a situational back-up for passing downs, while Reuland is the same thing but for running downs.
Santonio Holmes – Jeremy Kerley – Stephen Hill – Clyde Gates – Jordan White
This position could use a boost of depth either through free agency or the NFL Draft, especially with Holmes and Hill working back from serious injuries. Braylon Edwards, Mohammad Massaquoi and Darrius Heyward-Bey could still be on the Jets radar. It also wouldn’t be shocking if they drafted a wide receiver earlier than expected, particularly if the new coaching staff isn’t high on Stephen Hill’s long term potential.
Austin Howard (RT) – Willie Colon (RG) – Nick Mangold (C) – Vladimir Ducasse (G), D’Brickashaw Ferguson (RT) – Caleb Schlauderaff (C/G)
Obviously the Jets need to add another body or two here. They currently lack depth and have Ducasse penciled in as a starter. Matt Slauson is still out there in free agency, as is Jake Scott who has experience in Marty Morhinweg’s system. The Jets could also consider a Guard early in the Draft and it wouldn’t hurt to add another lineman in the later rounds to continue to boost their overall depth.
Muhammad Wilkerson – Quinton Coples – Kenrick Ellis – Antonio Garay – Damon Harrison
A ton of talent upfront for the Jets, who could still use another proven player to rotate through and provide depth. If the Jets can get some semblance of a pass rush from their outside linebackers and steady play at NT, Wilkerson and Coples could have monster seasons.
David Harris (ILB), Demario Davis (ILB), Antwan Barnes (OLB), Garret McIntyre (OLB), Josh Mauga (ILB), Nick Bellore (ILB), Ricky Sapp (OLB)
It wouldn’t be surprising to see the Jets roll with their current four inside linebackers this season but they still desperately need help at outside linebacker. Barnes is a talented pass rusher but is better suited as a situational player. McIntyre is overextended as anything besides a backup/special teamer. Sapp is a borderline roster player who hasn’t done anything to date in his NFL career. The Jets would be wise to add 2-3 bodies to outside linebacker via the Draft and free agency.
Darrelle Revis – Antonio Cromartie – Kyle Wilson – Aaron Berry – Ellis Lankster – Isaiah Trufant – Darrin Walls
Will they or won’t they have Revis? Assuming they don’t, it wouldn’t hurt to add another cornerback with some experience to the mix. Cromartie is a legitimate #1 corner in the NFL but Wilson isn’t consistent enough to be a reliable starter. Berry is intriguing and has starting potential (which he showed in Detroit) if he can stay healthy. Walls and Trufant both flashed at times last year and will battle Lankster for a final roster spot.
Antonio Allen – Josh Bush – Jaiquawn Jarrett
The Jets are unbelievably inexperienced and thin right now at safety. Look for a veteran to be added at some point and a draft pick spent at the position. Allen has the skills to be an in the box safety, while Bush is more of a corner masked as a safety. It isn’t likely that either are truly ready for a full time starting role. Jarrett was a draft bust in Philadelphia who should get a shot for some playing time here.