The New York Jets are in the midst of their yearly OTAs. Football isn’t all the way back but we are getting close. I continue to flip over during the NBA and NHL playoffs just to be safe…
Anyway, here are 12 thoughts and observations on the Jets as we head into June…
1. David Nelson remains an underrated player on the Jets roster. As of today, he is the team’s third most proven and best overall wide receiver behind Eric Decker and Jeremy Kerley. He is a 6’5, 27 year old with a 60+ catch season under his belt, who was the team’s top receiver by the end of last season despite getting picked up in the middle of the year. I say top receiver based on the reality that over the final four games, Nelson played the most reps, got the most targets, and had the most receptions and touchdown receptions. Is his ceiling immensely high? I wouldn’t say so. However, there is value in being able to step in and be a capable, competent starter that can line up in multiple spots. Nelson will also benefit from having a full offseason in the Jets offense and further time to build on what seemed like a natural cohesion with Geno Smith. With the current depth chart, it would be beyond surprising if Nelson didn’t find his way on to the final 53.
2. We just got a new whiteboard in our office, so this was inevitable…
Below, you will see what I think will be the Jets most common personnel grouping (Ivory/Johnson – Decker – Amaro – Kerley – Cumberland) and five different formations that can be utilized with them on the field. Exciting potential, no?
3. Considering the ability of both Amaro and Cumberland to split out, along with Decker/Kerley having been productive both in the slot and on the outside there is countless possibilities for Marty Mornhinweg. However, It would be nice to see the Jets add a true, blocking focused in-line tight end still. Neither Cumberland or Amaro are really built for that role and it would provide a nice boost to the running game and pass protection in certain sets to grab a veteran Ben Hartsock type.
4. We’ll get a little more in-depth with the whiteboard in the coming months, particularly on red-zone possibilities, along with potential integration of pieces like Jalen Saunders, Stephen Hill, Nelson, Bilal Powell, Shaq Evans and splitting Chris Johnson out.
5. Very early, I know but I think it is much more likely Trevor Reilly makes the Jets roster than Brandon Dixon and IK Enemkpali. I also think Tahj Boyd is going to stick over Matt Simms as the team’s 3rd quarterback and long term developmental backup.6. I can’t imagine Mike Goodson is on the roster much longer, same goes for Alex Green. They will probably make it into training camp but Clyde Gates and Greg Salas are massive longshots to stick on the final 53 .
7. It is bad news Willie Colon had his knee scoped. It is good news he will be back for training camp. In Colon’s absence, it will be interesting to see if Dakota Dozier can immediately push Oday Aboushi for playing time or if somebody like Dalton Freeman can make an impression.
8. Three things for Jets fans to smile about: Rex Ryan gets an entire summer to gameplan for Matt Schaub in a home game. Antonio Allen had the same amount of touchdowns as CJ Spiller last season. Garrett McIntyre had the same amount of sacks as Dion Jordan last season.
9. On the oft-debated Stephen Hill. It is no secret I am lower on his long term potential than many are. Yet, I think he deserves a long look this summer before any type of trade or release should be considered. The Jets invested a traded up 2nd round pick in him and he has enough measurables to get a fair evaluation in year three. Hopefully, he can develop into a situational weapon for this offense and improve the consistency of his route running and hands. He regressed from year 1 to year 2, which was disconcerting but hopefully the regression can be turned around.
Some may think he improved last season but in reality outside of beating up on an emergency starter at CB in week 3, who is now out of the league, he was basically a complete non-factor in all his other action, save for one tough sideline catch against Pittsburgh and two short grabs against Atlanta in the fourth quarter. He caught an abysmal 40% of the passes thrown his way and repeatedly struggled to get open and run quality routes.
10. Curious how many three safety looks we see featuring Calvin Pryor, Dawan Landry and Antonio Allen.
11. I think the Jets will be fairly active tweaking their roster before training camp officially opens.
12. Look for film breakdowns of Dozier, Amaro and Saunders on the way this week.