While it has been a hectic week in New York Jets news (shocking), one of the more important topics has rarely been analyzed: the competitions for the final roster spots. Although the most important one will be left with unanswered questions in Geno Smith versus Mark Sanchez, some vital roles still need to be filled. In what has been a very average preseason in terms of team performance, the Jets have had some very unlikely players from the undrafted free agents to guys who were out of the league last year step up in limited playing time. Let’s breakdown the few roster battles that remain in the final upcoming preseason game:
The Final Wide Receiver Spot
This is an interesting scenario, as the Jets could just carry five guys (Holmes, Hill, Kerley, Gates, Spadola). With Holmes coming off a serious injury, they almost have to carry at least six wide outs, so who gets the last spot? Ben Obomanu has been real solid and offers a lot on special teams. Mohamed Massaquoi was a late addition and has decent size for the red zone. My gut is that Obomanu wins for his intangibles and ties to Idzik from Seattle.
Third String Quarterback
With the recent news of the Jets signing former Packers quarterback Graham Harrell, this race has become even tighter. Is Greg McElroy healthy? He is certainly better than Harrell and Matt Simms at the moment but if he can’t stay healthy that is a huge concern. Simms has a big arm and is finally showing improvement. Harrell will receive garbage reps in the final preseason game, hindering his chances to impress. My gut is that Simms plays a big game Thursday night and wins the job.
David Harris and Demario Davis will start, a duo with a ton of question marks. Harris looks like the crumbling player he was last year and Davis looks like a second year linebacker. Davis has a ton of potential but is Harris struggles alongside him, the Jets middle linebacking core is in big trouble. My “surprise” pick to make the roster at inside linebacker is Danny Lansanah, a guy that wasn’t even in the NFL last year. He has excellent hands and reaction skills to make an impact in coverage packages.
Who starts at guard opposite Willie Colon?
Vlad Ducasse is finally showing steady play. He’s always held his own as a run blocker but looks like a practice dummy in pass protection. Playing on a solid line could cover up his deficiencies unless Brian Winters impresses in the final preseason game. Before an injury set him back, Winters had the potential to be a starting guard by the second week of the preseason. He displays a lot of power in the run game and previously played tackle in college, giving him respectable pass protection skills. This is a vital competition for the long term success of the team.