New York Jets – Depth Chart Movement

Injuries are mounting around the NFL, along with former fringe players exceeding expectations and former starters losing their jobs. The depth chart movement around the league is contagious as the second half of the season is quickly approaching. Practice squad players being signed to active rosters will have a chance to showcase their talent, while depth player’s roles increase as the starters endurance wears down. Lets take a look at some vital movements which have shaped the Jets depth chart for their week seven match up against the Patriots.

Wounded Soldiers:

Antwan Barnes had a small but very vital role for the Jets before his season ending knee injury. While only playing around 30% of the defensive snaps, Barnes was a situational edge pass rusher. His speed brought a new dimension to the Jets defense as he often forced quarterbacks to step up into the mouth of the defense (Muhammad Wilkerson and Sheldon Richardson). Unfortunately for the Jets, they have yet to replace Barnes. Quinton Coples has yet to produce as an edge pass rusher and Garrett McIntyre is a very limited player. Ricky Sapp has proved he is not the guy, how about bringing in a new face John Idzik?

Mike Goodson looked explosive coming off of his four game suspension. His big play ability out of the backfield was another dimension the Jets have lacked for years. Unfortunately, Goodson tore his ACL while trying to make a tackle against the Steelers. Talk about a bad break for not only Goodson, but the Jets offense. Bilal Powell and Chris Ivory can handle the load, but who’s going to bring that big play threat to the offense in Goodson’s absence?

Clyde Gates had a big camp that carved his role as a kick returner and fourth wide receiver coming into the season. Unfortunately for Gates, he was put on the IR this week after suffering a shoulder injury. Fortunately for the Jets, they may have upgraded his role with the addition of Josh Cribbs. Cribbs was formerly the best kick returner in the league, but a knee injury has had him rehabbing for quite some time. He’s caught 40+ balls in a season before, been a lethal kick and punt returner, while also being dangerous out of the wildcat formation. If he can stay healthy, the Jets may have finally replaced Brad Smith (two years later).

Mark Sanchez would have at least been the number two quarterback on the roster this season, but he’ll be on the shelf all year long with a serious shoulder injury. While Geno Smith has clearly carved his way into the starting role, the number two spot is completely up in the air. If David Garrard proves he is healthy, he’ll most likely be the back up. In the meantime, Brady Quinn and Matt Simms continue to ride the back up carousel. Personally, I think the Jets will keep Simms over Quinn as they value his long term potential and big arm.

You are the weakest link, goodbye!:

Vlad Ducasse won the starting guard spot by default, as rookie third round pick Brian Winters failed to stay healthy in the preseason. Ducasse’s main competition was former Lions guard Stephen Peterman, who was downright terrible in his short tenure as a Jet. Ducasse had an excellent game against the Patriots but it was all downhill from there. He was committing multiple penalties game after game while being abused in pass protection. Brian Winters has quietly stepped into his spot recently. While Winters is the weakest link on a respectable offensive line, he is not the “turn style” or penalty machine Ducasse was.

Dee Milliner and Kyle Wilson battled it out in camp for the number two corner spot. Quite ironic that both of the former first round picks are now sitting behind former undrafted free agent Darrin Walls. Milliner has battled a hamstring injury and Kyle Wilson, much like Ducasse, gets himself into penalty trouble constantly. Walls has done a very solid job as the number two corner and doesn’t appear to be giving up that spot anytime soon.

Kenrick Ellis has had a solid season in his limited role as the backup nose tackle, but in the preseason he was expected to start. Former undrafted free agent Damon Harrison has arguably been the best nose tackle in the league, after beating out Ellis in the preseason for the job. Having both players is vital for defensive line depth and one of the reasons Rex Ryan’s defense is one of the best run stopping units in the NFL. While Harrison is the clear cut starter, the defense has recently shown a formation fielding both nose tackles. That is close to 700 pounds of man side by side.




  • Landon

    Douzable – has been a pleasant surprise. Every game he makes a play or two that sticks out!

    COPLES needs to step it up

  • Mark Phelan

    Don’t understand your appreciation for Walls.

  • JetOrange

    As you read through this list, it is an outline for the Jets 2014 draft. OLB is a priority and a replacement for Barnes is required. Jets will pick up a OLB in the first and or second round and double dip in the 5th or sixth. The patience the Jets have shown with speed receivers like Clowney and Gates has been incredible, but you can’t teach speed. Look for the Jets to draft a WR in round one or two, possibly a speed guy in round 3, and a late round guy. We certainly saw the potential of Goodsen but yo wonder if Idzik will move on after off the field stuff and injury.. In any event,mad third down back with Tampa Bay’s third round pick (Revis)…

    Big Walls fan,like his size and tackling ability,just solid in coverage, not a shut down guy but a starter. IMO little rough on Wilson…Ellis to have a big second half, huge “A” Gap penetration, collapsing pockets. Ellis and Snacks will be the new William Brothers, making their DL coach very happy..

  • glegly

    Coples is THE link between this team having a good defense or a GREAT defense. And if he can find “it” and become the edge rusher Rex thinks he can be?

  • Lidman

    Last week, Jets added Troy Davis to 53 man roster. He’s got a ton of speed and might be a guy who can fill the Barnes role, though he’s a small school guy (Central Florida, I think) and this is a big step up in competition. I wonder why Jets didn’t call Maybin. He’s a 1 trick pony, I know. But all they need is a guy who can get up field fast (he can), pursue the QB relentlessly (he will) and bring energy (he does). On top of that he knows the system. Look his first year here he had 6.5 sacks, many of them due to the great coverage skills. He can’t be a team’s #1 pass rush threat because he only has the one move. But, with this line, getting upfield and forcing the QB to step up, is exactly what they need, no?

  • David

    @Jet Orange– Why are you so quick to give up on Barnes? I understand it if he proves he can’t come back, but at 1.5 million each of the next two seasons, unless he shows he can’t come back, that guy goes NOWHERE.

    Same goes with Goodson– At 1.9 million next year, unless he shows he can’t come back, he goes NOWHERE!!

    That’s what the Jets need more than anything– cheap, solid talent! When you look at the Jets, and the value they are getting from guys like Kenrick Ellis, Jeff Cumberland, DeMario Davis, and people like that, you keep them as long as possible.

  • KAsh


    We need a replacement for Pace more than Barnes. Pace is our starting OLB and sees as much of the field as he does because he sets the edge, covers, and rushes the passer, but he is old. Barnes is a situational player; we could really use a full time threat.

    We could also use a constant threat at RB. All three of our guys excel at one or two aspects and are only average at the rest.

  • JetOrange

    KAsh points out quite correctly that Pace is a true ” hold the fort ” guy at OLB. McIntyre is a try hard guy and a contributor on ST, but is not a starter. Barnes has a very limited role as designated pass rusher, still not a complete OLB. The Jets need to inject talent into the OLB position and not just hope that Barnes recovers. i am not thrilled with drafting a RB in the first two rounds, I think you get a third down back in the mid rounds. Saw the potential of Goodson in Marty’s offense but injury and off the field issues could make the Jets move in another direction. Think about the colossal failure of all of Idzik’s free agency aquisitions, I believe the only reason that Goodson is still with the Jets is that Idzik needed to save face on his Free Agent aquisitions. Look for Goodson to be quietly released in the offseason.