New York Jets 2016 – UDFA Breakdown

Nikki Charlesworth breaks down the New York Jets 2016 UDFA class

Throughout the off-season we broke down each of the 13 UDFAs the Jets added following the draft…With the roster set, lets take a look at what became of each of the thirteen.

Made the 53 man roster

WR Jalin Marshall got tongues wagging from very early in training camp after making several incredibly impressive catches. An injury to Kenbrell Thompkins moved him up the depth chart and allowed more reps with the first team, where he impressed his more senior namesake:

“I’m in love with Jalin, it’s as simple as that,”said Brandon Marshall.  “The kid is special. I mean, he’s just got it. His mentality, his approach to the game, he’s smart, he has skills.”

Todd Bowles likes players who have multiple skill sets and in the preseason Marshall showed his potential as both a pass catcher and kick returner. The Jets have been looking for a consistent punt returner for some time, after various players shared that role last season. Marshall beat out Jeremy Ross with a couple of long returns during the preseason and has been named the starting returner for the season opener against the Bengals. Click here for full breakdown

WR Robby Anderson was thrust into the spotlight as a possible roster contender following a stand out performance in the second pre-season game against the Redskins. He led the team with 6 receptions for 131 yards, catching two forty plus yard touchdown passes from Bryce Petty. He finished the preseason leading the league in yards, and although this wasn’t against starters, is still impressive. His tape shows smooth movement which makes defenders miscalculate his pace, which has been clocked at 4.28 for the forty. Anderson  puts his success down to time spent training with the best:

“I take a lot of reps in practice against Darrelle Revis and Buster Skrine so that’s been preparing me,” Anderson said.

He also appears to have a strong relationship with Coach Bowles; a fellow Temple Owl. The Jets seem to have found a impressive hidden talent in Anderson.   Click here for full breakdown

DE Lawrence Thomas was widely thought of as a practice squad candidate but immediately made a strong impression during workouts and training camp,  quickly finding himself taking reps with the first team. He clocked seven total tackles during the preseason and shook off his limited experience at defensive end (having changed positions during college) to land a roster spot in one of the deepest positional groups on the team. An impressive feat, testament to his oustanding athleticism.  Click here for full breakdown

Signed to the practice squad

S Doug Middleton made a good start to training camp, with suggestions he might be in line for a roster spot after making a fair share of decent plays. He also performed well in the preseason, despite missing one game and some practise time with a leg injury. He intercepted a pass and returned it 40 yards, had one fumble recovery and finished with 14 tackles. Click here for full breakdown

Former JUCO All-American and USC Trojan DE Claude Pelon showed enough of his impressive athleticism in the preseason to snag a practise squad spot. The coaches loved his explosiveness and size and he’ll now have the opportunity to develop further, particulary his vision and abiltiy to read the game. Click here for full breakdown

Waived

Of the thirteen, two players did not make it as far as training camp.  WR Quenton Bundrage was the first rookie to be released. He was waived in June when veteran Kyle Williams signed. Following his release from the Jets, Bundrage spent training camp with the Texans but was unable to make roster on a team with a deep WR group. He is currently on the Houstons’ practise squad.

Australian Punter Tom Hackett was released at the end of July, when Ryan Fitzpatrick re-signed. There was some hope that he could compete with Lachlan Edwards for the starting position but Edwards’ superior leg strength gave him the upper hand, despite the pair splitting reps in OTAs. Hackett is currently unsigned.

C Kyle Friend, DE Helva Matungulu and Jason Van Der Laan were all released when the roster was cut to 75. All three are currently free agents. Van Der Laan may still be a candidate for the practise squad somewhere down the line, but it was always an uphill battle for this college QB turned TE to make the team. K Ross Martin, who had a promising start to training camp, was also released following the third preseason game. He missed 2 field goals and 1 PAT in first two games, although he did make a 55 yarder in the Snoopy Bowl.

Former Penn State NT Tarow Barney made it through the reduction to 75 but was released in the final round of roster cuts. He is currently unsigned but was thought to be a possible practise squad option when he was released, so could reappear in the future.

Injured/Reserve

DE Julian Obioha looked good in training camp, with two big takeaways over four practice sessions early on and a shot at gaining a back up spot on the active roster. He was waived/injured in mid August, but re-signed to the Jets IR after clearing waivers.

Photo Credit: NewYorkJets.com