As training camp approaches, the New York Jets practices will become a microcosm of the New York Stock Exchange. There will be good and bad practices had by everyone before the (preseason) games are played.
So Jet fans, which will you be watching during training camp? Here are my guys on offense to keep an eye on, for various reasons…
Zach Sudfeld:The former New England Patriot undrafted free agent has an opportunity to carve out a nice role with the Jets in his second NFL season.
Jace Amaro and Jeff Cumberland might be ahead of him on the depth chart, but Sudfeld is the only tight end on the roster with full time potential as an in-line tight end. Amaro will have to learn to block in the NFL, but that is not a skill acquired over night. He is better suited off the line of scrimmage where his skills can be maximized instantly.
Cumberland on the other hand has not shown much as a blocker at all, but will still be a solid target in the passing game for Geno Smith.
This is where Sudfeld comes into play. He might be given snaps by default, as the Jets will need someone to play in-line tight end at times. Although that is not the best way to win a job, Sudfeld did flash last year in limited time. It will be interesting to see how he looks after a full offseason with the Jets playbook and coaching staff.He also presents an interesting red zone option, standing at six feet, seven inches tall.
Nelson was signed off of his couch last year as he was injured during the previous season. Although he did not have any time to “settle in” to the Jets offense, he caught on quickly.
The days are quickly running out where Stephen Hill is being handed the number two wide receiver job and it would not surprise me to see Nelson outright win it.The big target from the University of Florida is consistent in his routes and just as capable of a blocker as any wide out on the team. Not to mention, Geno Smith looked his way often towards the end of last season.
Winters had a dreadful start to his career as he transitioned from college offensive tackle to offensive guard in the NFL. He was a liability for the entire line and really struggled in pass protection.
Towards the end of the year, the light when on for Winters. The game slowed down for him and he displayed steady protection while moving back defenders in the run game. He is the X-factor for the offensive line, which as a whole could be the x-factor for this team (outside of the obvious, beaten QB drum).