The Turn On The Jets Roundtable is back to debate issues surrounding the New York Jets. Make sure to give all of the writers a follow on Twitter and if there is a question you want to see us debate, leave it in the comment section!
Who do you think will be the biggest surprise to make the New York Jets roster this summer? Who will be the biggest surprise cut?
Joe Caporoso – In terms of not making the team, I don’t anticipate draft picks Brandon Dixon or IK Enemkpali sticking on the final 53. I also think safety Josh Bush is going to get knocked off the roster. However, those are relatively mild surprises. The biggest stretch I could see is Antwan Barnes not making it, mostly because of an inability to stay healthy. Barnes could have his role taken over by some combination of Jermaine Cunningham and Trevor Reilly.
As for surprises on the final 53, I’ll go with two UDFAs, one from this year and one from last year. Chad Young will beat out Tommy Bohanon as the team’s lone fullback and Dalton Freeman will grab a backup offensive lineman spot.
McIntyre has been a really solid Jet, but his presence off the edge is a bit underwhelming. He has been the reserve OLB due to his ability to set the edge against the run, but Reilly has the ability to do more.
At Utah Reilly played every single linebacker position (and some defensive end, as well) and recorded 20 sacks throughout his college career. He showed a lot of ability jamming tight ends and also was a tackling machine, accumulating 235 at Utah (100 in his senior year). Rex Ryan loves “hybrid” players that he can move all over the field, especially in reserve roles. Keep an eye on Reilly in training camp.
Cole Patterson – Willie Colon will be cut. The Jets staff love his tenacity and leadership but his health will make him an ineffective starter. Colon is 31, not ancient for a guard but he was never a consistently healthy player and age has only exacerbated this issue. His weak knees and the importance of lower body mobility at the position will hurt him in competition with camp standout Oday Aboushi and rookie Dakota Dozier. Colon’s recent arthroscopic knee surgery will be the final nail in his coffin.
This may not surprise those who know him but I believe Trevor Reilly will make the roster. What’s more, I believe he will be an immediate contributor and the fourth in an outside linebacker rotation of Quinton Coples, Calvin Pace, and Antwan Barnes. Reilly went in the seventh round because of his age (26) and injury history (knee). However, he was a four year starter and tenacious pass rusher for the Utes and should earn a spot over Garrett McIntyre, Jermaine Cunningham, and fellow rookie Ik Enemkpali.
Dalbin Osorio – The thing with surprises is that what is a surprise to one person may not be a surprise to another. However, when it comes to the Jets there seems to be an overriding belief that Stephen Hill will be cut and Jacoby Ford will make the team. So, for me Hill making the roster and Ford being cut are the two biggest surprises this summer. You don’t cut third year wide receivers that are 6’4″ and can run a 4.5 40 and that have flashed at different times in their career; even though Hill did struggle last year with the finer points of being a WR. He has flashed enough ability that he doesn’t warrant being cut yet. This is a make or break year for him.
Jacoby Ford is the opposite of Stephen Hill in the sense that he hasn’t flashed AT all recently in his career, and yet some seem convinced he should stick. He was a dynamic kick returner in 2010, and has battled injuries throughout his career. His contract isn’t an albatross and won’t prevent the Jets from cutting him. Also, the Jets drafted a better player in Jalen Saunders (yes, Saunders is a better WR than Ford as of today) who can help on special teams as well. Drafting Saunders makes Ford expendable, and when you factor in that the Jets will, in my opinion, definitely carry Eric Decker, Jeremy Kerley, David Nelson, Hill, and Jalen Saunders it leaves little room for Ford on the roster. This is without even getting into the fact that Shaq Evans and Quincy Enunwa both have a chance to make the roster. The writing is on the wall for Ford.
Michael O’Connor – Picking out one surprise player who I think will stick this summer is tough. I’m not sure we’ll see a radiating surprise, but there are certainly a handful of guys who aren’t totally predictable. To start, I think we’ll see all three rookie wide receivers (Shaq Evans, Jalen Saunders, and Quincy Enunwa) make the team or the practice squad, despite the large group of guys battling for a spot there this year. I also think fullback Chad Young has a very fair shot to beat out Tommy Bohanon after his subpar 2013. But by far the most surprising guy who I think could realistically make it is Brandon Hardin. You don’t hear the free safety’s name that much, but he was widely regarded as a high-mid round pick before a bad leg injury at Oregon State. If he comes back strong in full health this year, he might just have to out-perform Rontez Miles to grab a last safety spot.
When I look for surprising cuts, I’m drawn to the linebackers. After a season ending surgery last year, Antwan Barnes might not be able to play at the beginning of this year, let alone grab his spot back in training camp. Both draftee rushers Trevor Reilly and IK Enempkpali could make Barnes’ situation rushing a thing of the past. It will come down to how much Rex Ryan still feels the need for a third down rusher. If a lot of havoc is being generated on the rush without him, he won’t be able to cement himself in while nursing that injury.
Dan Marcus – I don’t know if this would be considered as a huge surprise to a lot of people but with the addition of Mike Vick via free agency and drafting Tajh Boyd it would be a pretty big surprise if Matt Simms makes it. That said, I think he can definitely latch on somewhere and develop into a decent backup QB but there simply isn’t enough room on this roster for him unless he would be OK on the Practice Squad as the scout team QB again.
In terms of the biggest surprise to get cut, I think it might be a toss-up between Dawan Landry and Kyle Wilson because the safety Position is pretty crowded with a lot of young talent including Antonio Allen, Josh Bush, and of course the “Louisville Slugger” Calvin Pryor. If you ask me, it wouldn’t make a whole lot of sense to jettison a veteran presence like Landry, especially with such a young and inexperienced back-end. That said, there has been some speculation that he may eventually be the odd man out and the same can be said for Kyle Wilson, a move which I’ve already touched on.