Turn On The Jets 12 Pack – Week 14 Roster Evaluation Edition

Joe Caporoso evaluates the New York Jets roster and previews their week 14 game vs. the Minnesota Vikings

For this week’s Turn On The Jets 12 Pack, we will take a quick look at Jets vs. Vikings and move through an evaluation of the team’s current roster, ranked in order of positional strength. Our comment section has been upgraded to Disqus, as you will notice below. Stay tuned for more site updates in the coming months. Finally, how about a free chance to win $100,000 playing weekly fantasy football? Sign up here.

Let’s crack open the unnumbered 12 pack (Winter Ale?)

Theoretically, this should be a game the Jets are competitive in and have a good chance of winning. Rex Ryan’s defenses play well against rookie quarterbacks. Teddy Bridgewater is likely to make a mistake or two and the Vikings don’t have a ton of talent at wide receiver to take advantage of the Jets secondary. However, this is a well-coached group that is very good on special teams and can get after the quarterback. The Jets are also a dysfunctional mess, so who knows what team is going to show up. I’d expect the Jets to be in it but for Minnesota to ultimately win a close, low scoring game.

Muhammad Wilkerson and Jace Amaro will be out. We don’t know if Geno Smith will be playing quarterback or just handing off. Nobody is saying to air it out but having Smith throw 18-22 passes with some play action doesn’t seem unreasonable. Personally, I think Percy Harvin has played better than his statistics indicate and I’d like to see him get in the end-zone. Beyond that, I’m hoping Quinton Coples flashes on the defensive line, Calvin Pryor and IK play more and Eric Decker is more sure handed than last week. Another strong performance from Oday Aboushi would be reassuring, along with having Marcus Williams continue to perform as a potential long term depth player. Ultimately, this feels like a pre-season game. No injuries and don’t embarrass yourselves, Jets.

On to the roster (in order of strongest position to least strongest)

Defensive Line

Muhammad Wilkerson – Still a borderline All-Pro player who is going to receive a large contract extension from the Jets at some point in the near future.

Sheldon Richardson – See above. His long term ceiling is probably higher than Wilkerson’s though. Richardson may be held on every single play. THROW THE FLAG!

Damon Harrison – A good interior player who is a restricted free agent this offseason and is likely to be back long term.

Quinton Coples – I’ll list him as a defensive lineman under the assumption that a new coaching staff may use him there more there than linebacker. Coples has flashed but has plenty to prove next season in a contract year.

Jason Babin – Similar to above in positional category, he’s been pretty good in a bigger than expected role and could be brought back next year for cheap.

IK Enemkpali – Similar to above in positional category. IK had an intriguing pre-season and hopefully will get more of a look down the stretch.

Kenrick Ellis – Talented backup but a free agent this offseason. Another team is likely to outbid the Jets for him.

Leger Douzable – Great dancer. Quality backup.

TJ Barnes – Likely Ellis replacement for 2015.

Wide Receiver

Eric Decker – Has managed decent production (49 receptions, 531 yards, 4 TDs) despite being banged up and having poor quarterback play. However, he has left a few too many plays on the field. The way his contract is structured the Jets can cut bait after next season if he disappoints. However, I’d bank on Decker being here for the long haul.

Percy Harvin – The numbers don’t pop (278 offensive yards in five games with one big kick return) but Harvin’s made plays and moved the chains. He is incredibly explosive and it is still more likely than not he is back next year.

Jeremy Kerley – A good receiver who went through a mid-season slump. If he is the third best receiver on your team, you are in good shape at the position.

TJ Graham/Chris Owusu/Greg Salas/Walter Powell/Saalim Hakim – Depth players who will likely be competing for a roster spot next year, both Graham and Salas have flashed at times.

Shaq Evans/Quincy Enunwa –The oft-mocked 2014 draft picks. Evans has the body type and tape to suggest he can compete for reps at X receiver long term. Enunwa is a project player who has prototypical build but is very raw.

Running Back

Chris Ivory – Talented enough to be the lead back on a good team. He has avoided injuries and fumbles this season and improved in the passing game.

Chris Johnson – Played well against Oakland, New England, Kansas City, Miami and Detroit and no showed the rest. He is auditioning for a spot in 2015 these last four games but it seems unlikely he will be back.

Bilal Powell – A free agent and a quality all-around back. Could be back if Johnson is gone but may look for a different situation where he can be more involved in the offense.

Tommy Bohanon/John Conner – Bohanon is still probably more likely to be on the team next year.

Offensive Line

D’Brickashaw Ferguson – The Jets could save money letting him go this offseason but even though his play has fallen off that seems unlikely. It is time to start thinking about a long term successor.

Nick Mangold – Still a very good starter who isn’t going anywhere.

Willie Colon – Would be a shock if he was back next year.

Oday Aboushi – The second year 5th round pick has done well with his opportunity. He will be in the mix for a starting spot next year.

Breno Giacomini – He’s been average in his first year with the team. He is probably still back as a starter next year.

Dakota Dozier – 4th round pick who has red-shirted so far this year. Hopefully, can compete for playing time next season.

Brian Winters – Will compete for playing time in camp but I’d feel better with him as a backup swing guard/tackle than a starter.

Wesley Johnson – 5th round pick of the Pittsburgh Steelers who the Jets picked up this year.

Dalton Freeman – Team is high on him long term. He could compete for reps at guard next season.

Ben Ijalana – Meh. Hard to see him ever doing anything here.

Linebacker

Calvin Pace – Time to retire.

Demario Davis – An average starting inside linebacker who will be back next year and hopefully take the next step.

David Harris – His contact is up and he may not be back next year. Harris is a major liability in the passing game. It will depend on the coach/scheme if he returns.

Trevor Reilly – 7th rounder who has worked his way into some defensive packages and on to special teams. Could be poised for bigger role next year.

Nick Bellore – Special team player.

Jermaine Cunningham – No expectations.

Tight End

Jeff Cumberland – If he is playing more than 20 snaps per game, it is a problem.

Jace Amaro – He’s been productive when given the opportunity and blocked better than expected but still needs work in that area and on avoiding drops. Amaro should be playing 70-80% of the offensive snaps next season and has the talent to be a key piece of the offense moving forward.

Zach Sudfeld – Meh. He will be a bubble roster player next season.

Chris Pantale – See above.

Secondary

Dee Milliner –Talented but hard to count on him to stay healthy.

Dexter McDougle – See above.

Calvin Pryor – A disappointing rookie season. Let’s hope he plays more down the stretch.

Dawan Landry – Retire.

Kyle Wilson – One more defensive holding for the road!

Jaiquawn Jarrett – Best served as a depth/rotational player.

Antonio Allen – Immense regression from 2013. Hard to expect anything next year.

Marcus Williams – Potential to be good depth player.

Darrin Walls – Competent depth player and spot starter.

Philip Adams – Potential to be good depth player.

Quarterback

Geno Smith – Will be on team next year. Hopefully will improve with another offseason and new coaching staff. Hard to see him ever succeeding as long term starter here.

Mike Vick – Likely gone.

Matt Simms – Ceiling is career backup.

Author: Joe Caporoso

Joe Caporoso is the Owner and EIC of Turn On The Jets. His writing has been featured in the New York Times, Huffington Post, MMQB and AdWeek. Caporoso played football his entire life, including four years at Muhlenberg as a wide receiver, where he was arguably the slowest receiver to ever start in school history. He is the VP of Social Media at Whistle Sports