Mr. Dalbin Osorio is back with another edition of the #PickSix. Today’s edition will cover predictions for New York Jets training camp. Make sure to celebrate football being back by grabbing one of our New York Sack Exchange 2.0 shirts!
1. Geno Smith will outperform Ryan Fitzpatrick and emerge as the clear cut starter
Geno enters his 3rd year with plenty to prove. He laughed off his pre-season 32nd quarterback ranking when players reported yesterday, but you have to believe that he’s aware that this could be his last shot at salvaging his career as a Jets QB. He has more weapons with the addition of Brandon Marshall and Devin Smith, and the defense has been fortified with the fortune of a small country. As always around these parts, it comes down to the QB. It is Geno’s time, and it is time to prove its his team too. I think he does just that.
Zac Stacy was acquired for a late round draft pick after the Rams drafted Todd Gurley. He now joins a crowded backfield that includes Chris Ivory, Bilal Powell, Daryl Richardson, and free agent import Stevan Ridle, who will begin training camp on the PUP list. Stacy had a rough 2014 but played well the year prior and comes in with a proverbial chip on his shoulder. When healthy, Ridley is the better runner but Stacy is going to make the most of his chances since he will have early in camp. With Powell entrenched as the 3rd down back, Stacy will earn his spot as Ivory’s backup.
3. Demario Davis will see more reps at OLB than ILB
I’ve been talking this up most of the offseason and training camp is where you’ll see it begin to come to fruition. The Jets went out of their way to strengthen their ILB depth with the signings of Erin Henderson, Joe Mays, and Jamari Lattimore. Lattimore’s contribution will be felt on special teams, and Henderson and Mays will be used situationally. They both will be asked to contribute in the base package, in my opinion. Taiwan Jones will make the team as David Harris’s primary backup. A rotation of Harris, Henderson, Mays, and Jones is good enough that the Jets could use Davis off the edge with Quinton Coples or Lorenzo Mauldin. Davis at OLB allows Bowles to use his athleticism to generate pressure and to cover TEs. A front seven of Wilkerson, Richardson, Williams, Coples, Davis, Mauldin, and Harris is hard to defend because of the speed off the edges.
4. Dexter McDougle will see playing time at Free Safety
This idea was kicked around on last week’s TOJ Podcast by Connor Rogers, and it is one that makes so much sense. With Dee Milliner not on the PUP, like most of us expected him to be, he should be able to regain his footing as Antonio Cromartie’s primary backup. I think Marcus Williams and Darrin Walls now have more of a shot at making the final roster because of Milliner’s injury history. The Jets have one true free safety in Durell Eskeridge, but McDougle has a much higher ceiling and because of his range, athleticism, and ball hawking abilities could give the Jets more from free safety than he would as a CB.
It is normal for rookies to get hazed by their veteran teammates. We all laugh at pictures of the youngsters wearing “hello kitty” book-bags and things like that. However, after a few days of only hitting each other tempers do flare between teammates. Carpenter was the prized import on the offensive line and Williams was the best player in the draft. Couple that with Carpenter’s inner-Willie Colon and Williams’ fire and passion…you have a recipe for the first scuffle of the preseason.
6. DeVier Posey will overtake Jeremy Kerley as the team’s primary slot WR
The Jets have five locks at WR entering training camp, with Marshall, Decker, Smith, Kerley, and Posey the ones guaranteed to leave Florham Park barring injury. Posey was viewed by some as a “throw in” on the trade Maccagnan made with his former team, but I don’t think so. I think Macc’s primary goal this offseason was to replenish the front and back end of this roster with talent. He did that. Posey offers a little bit more game breaking ability and will quickly become one of Geno’s favorite targets underneath.