New York Jets – Projected Personnel Group Depth Chart

Joe Caporoso on potential personnel groups you could see from the New York Jets in 2017 and what players will fill what roles…

Projecting a team’s depth chart can be a helpful process to demonstrate who will see the majority of playing time in an upcoming season. Yet, it lacks the nuance of personnel groups utilized on both sides of the ball and how most teams don’t play the majority of their snaps in traditional “base” formations. Below is an educated guess on common personnel groups we’ll see from the Jets on both sides of the ball and what players will fill certain roles…

OFFENSE 

Before diving into the personnel groups, let’s review the offensive line which will be consistent across these four.

  • LT – Kelvin Beachum, Ben Ijalana
  • LG – James Carpenter, Craig Watts
  • C – Wesley Johnson, Jonatthan Harrison
  • RG – Brian Winters, Dakota Dozier
  • RT – Brandon Shell, Brent Qvale

10 Personnel (one back, zero tight ends, four receivers)

This was the Jets primary formation in 2015. This obviously doesn’t mean that will be case under John Morton in 2017 but this personnel grouping takes advantage of Quincy Enunwa’s unique skill set and is one Bilal Powell also had a lot of success in. Despite being listed as four receivers, Enunwa functions as a H-Back in this formation and is able to take advantage of match-ups against safeties, linebackers and reserve corners. The X is the back side receiver. The Z is the front side outside receiver and the slot is aligned between the Z and H.

  • HB – Bilal Powell, Matt Forte
  • H – Quincy Enunwa, Jordan Leggett
  • X – Robby Anderson, Chad Hansen
  • Z – Charone Peake, Marquess Wilson
  • Slot- ArDarius Stewart, Jalin Marshall

It is entirely possible Morton does not see Enunwa as a H-Back in any scenario. In that case, he would likely be the X receiver, moving Anderson to the Z in front of Peake while the slot stays the same. Jordan Leggett or Austin Seferian-Jenkins would become the primary H. The reason I have Leggett in front of Seferian-Jenkins is because in this formation, it is possible the Jets would like Leggett more than ASJ in a hybrid WR/TE role.

11 Personnel (one back, one tight end, three receivers)

The traditional three receiver formation, which puts more pressure on the in-line Y to function in blocking support. This formation allows the Jets to play with a single back, if they want one of their receivers on the field more than one of their fullbacks (a wise move considering the depth chart).

  • HB – Bilal Powell, Matt Forte
  • Y – Austin Seferian-Jenkins, Jordan Leggett
  • X – Quincy Enunwa, Marquess Wilson
  • Z – Robby Anderson, Chad Hansen
  • Slot – ArDarius Stewart, Jalin Marshall

It will be interesting to see if Morton uses Enunwa backside, traditionally a favorable spot for a team’s best receiver, or looks to work him frontside at either Z or the slot. Robby Anderson has a skill set that is conducive to being used backside, particularly when the Jets want to attack vertically.

12 Personnel (one back, two tight ends, two receivers)

The amount we see this will be indicative of how much the Jets like Seferian-Jenkins and Leggett. This has been a team who has barely used one tight end, never mind two tight ends. Once again, this allows the Jets to avoid using a fullback, where they remain extremely unproven.

  • HB – Bilal Powell, Matt Forte
  • Y – Austin Seferian-Jenkins, Eric Tomlinson
  • F – Jordan Leggett, Brian Parker
  • X – Quincy Enunwa, Marquess Wilson
  • Z – Robby Anderson, Chad Hansen

Peake could very well be interchangeable with Wilson in this formation and the one above it as the primary backup on the outside. Enunwa and Anderson are the team’s best receivers so it is likely they are the two featured here.

21 Personnel (two backs, one tight end, two receivers)

The return of the fullback? The old school, traditional offensive look.

  • HB – Bilal Powell, Matt Forte
  • FB – Julian Howsare, Anthony Firkser
  • Y – Austin Seferian-Jenkins, Jordan Leggett
  • X – Quincy Enunwa, Marquess Wilson
  • Z – Robby Anderson, Chad Hansen

The Jets could choose to utilize Leggett, Seferian-Jenkins or Tomlinson as a fullback if they want to avoid playing Howsare or Firkser. At receiver, they could also slide ArDarius Stewart into the Z position when they put two receivers on one side so he can work the slot (again, Morton may also want to experiment with Enunwa in the slot in these formations and put Anderson on the outside).

DEFENSE 

Nickel 

A favorite of Todd Bowles, which allows the Jets to play three corners at once and take a linebacker off the field.

  • NT – Steve McLendon, Deon Simon
  • DE – Leonard Williams, Sheldon Richardson
  • DE – Muhammad Wilkerson, Lawrence Thomas
  • ILB – Darron Lee, Spencer Paysinger
  • ILB – Demario Davis, Bruce Carter
  • OLB – Lorenzo Mauldin, Jordan Jenkins
  • Slot – Buster Skrine, Corey White
  • CB – Morris Claiborne, Daryl Roberts
  • CB – Juston Burris, Marcus Williams
  • S – Jamal Adams, Rontez Miles
  • S – Marcus Maye, Doug Middleton

We know the Jets prefer to play Skrine in the slot, if he goes down, they would probably slide Marcus Williams into that role (who will be competing for reps on the outside with Juston Burris). Up front, the Jets need to decide how and where to use Sheldon Richardson in this formation and what linebackers merit being on the field, outside of Darron Lee who will be given a spot due to his draft status.

Base 3-4

The standard meat and potatoes 3-4 that you see every Jets defensive depth chart listed out as.

  • NT – Steve McLendon, Deon Simon
  • DE – Leonard Williams, Sheldon Richardson
  • DE – Muhammad Wilkerson, Lawrence Thomas
  • ILB – Darron Lee, Spencer Paysinger
  • ILB – Demario Davis, Bruce Carter
  • OLB – Lorenzo Mauldin, Dylan Donahue
  • OLB – Jordan Jenkins, Corey Lemonier
  • CB – Morris Claiborne, Marcus Williams
  • CB – Buster Skrine, Juston Burris
  • S – Jamal Adams, Rontez Miles
  • S – Marcus Maye, Doug Middleton

Again, the Jets need to decide how and where to use Richardson in order to get their best 11 on the field. It will be interesting to see if Skrine loses playing time to Burris in this personnel group, especially as the season progresses.

4-2-5

A grouping that allows the Jets to take advantage of their talent on the defensive line and hide some of their problems at linebacker.

  • DT – Steve McLendon, Deon Simon
  • DT – Sheldon Richardson, Mike Pennel
  • DE – Leonard Williams, Anthony Johnson
  • DE – Muhammad Wilkerson, Lawrence Thomas
  • ILB – Darron Lee, Spencer Paysinger
  • ILB – Demario Davis, Bruce Carter
  • CB – Morris Claiborne, Daryl Roberts
  • CB – Juston Burris, Marcus Williams
  • Slot – Buster Skrine, Corey White
  • S – Jamal Adams, Rontez Miles
  • S – Marcus Maye, Doug Middleton

It is worth remembering how wide open linebacker is. Carter or Paysinger could easily beat out Davis. If the Jets outside linebackers are struggling, they could slide Rontez Miles in the box in certain formations as well.

Photo Credit: NewYorkJets.com 

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

  • glegly

    1) Would LOVE for them to play more 4-2-5, but given how weak the ILBs are, how could they?

    2) I know it’s beating a dead horse, but it’s just bizarre that Sheldon would start in only 1 of these formations. Just bizarre.