Every year I like to take a guess at what I believe the 53 man roster will be based solely on past play in both the NFL and NCAA for the rookies new to the team. I also like to explain why my choices are what they are, and revisit this after week three of the preseason. I have been doing this for years to see how close I come, I would like to make it public for everyone to see my picks as well as make their own. I would enjoy very much if viewers of the site would comment with their 53 man roster or how they would change my picks.
The first position of quarterback is a clear cut one to me. I do want to make it complicated with anything past the 3rd string because I only think the Jets will carry three quarterbacks this year. These players are Mark Sanchez, Tim Tebow, and Greg McElroy. That is not saying a player like G.J. Kinne or Matt Simms will not be on the practice squad but this list is strictly based on the 53 man roster. (Sanchez, Tebow, McElroy) Spots remaining: 50
The position of running back is a little more complicated with four players competing for what I think will be three positions. I saw nothing from Bilal Powell in his limited action since being here and Terrance Ganaway has nothing but upside in my opinion. Shonn Greene and Joe McKnight are definite the battle lies between Ganaway and Powell. Advantage goes to Ganaway. (Greene, McKnight, Ganaway) Spots remaining: 47
John Conner, Josh Baker and Fui Vakapuna make up the full back class. I think the players who made the squad last year will be back. Baker is a weapon at not only full back but tight end as well; he has a lot of athletic ability. Conner seems to be falling out with the coaches but I still believe he keeps his starting job. (Conner, Baker) Spots remaining: 45
Wide receiver is a position I am very excited to see this year. Holmes is having early problems in practice but there is no doubt that he is the number one receiver. Stephen Hill is the player to watch and may end up being the biggest weapon on the Jets offense overall. Jeremy Kerley, Patrick Turner, Chaz Schilens and Jordan White will finish out the group. I do not see Scotty McKnight making the 53 man roster and the edge of being Mark Sanchez’s friend will not help him this time around.(Holmes, Hill, Kerley, Turner, Schilens, White) Spots remaining: 39
A report recently came out stating that the Jets were searching for their blocking tight end. They signed Tarren Lloyd to be a blocking tight end, but I think they will sign a veteran such as Daniel Graham to fill the void. Yet again a player like Lloyd may end up on the practice squad but I do not see him in the starting 53. Hayden Smith will be an interesting prospect to watch. If he can incorporate his rugby and basketball skills onto the football field the Jets may have a great player. (Keller, Cumberland, Smith, Veteran) Spots remaining: 35
The kicker position will be a training camp battle between Josh Brown and Nick Folk. Folk has turned around a shaky start but in the end I see Josh Brown winning the battle. The punting job will also be a battle between Travis Baltz and T.J. Conley. Most people are asking themselves who is Travis Baltz? The fact of the matter is anyone is better at punting than T.J. Conley and his punting average killed the team with field position. Advantage goes to Baltz or a free agent possibly in final cuts. The man who will be long snapping will again be Tanner Purdum (Brown, Baltz, Purdum) Spots remaining: 32
Safety is a position I went over in detail in one of my previous articles. When the 53 man roster is created I see five safeties making the final cut. These players are LaRon Landry, Yeremiah Bell, Eric Smith, Josh Bush, and Antonio Allen. Tracy Wilson may surprise in camp and preseason but for now I am leaving him off the roster. Check out my previous article for an in-depth look at the position. (Landry, Bell, Smith, Bush, Allen) Spots remaining: 27
Possibly the strongest position on the Jets are the cornerbacks. It is a position that is solidified by the top three players which are Darrelle Revis, Antonio Cromartie and Kyle Wilson. The roster spots after these men are a complete mystery. I struggled to pick two men out of the group who I believe will make the team. When it came down to it I went with Ellis Lankster and Ryan Steed. Isaiah Trufant was in my 53, but there is just too much talent to pick from and I had to leave him out this time around. Just like with the safeties if you want an in-depth look at the cornerback position please look at my previous article. (Revis, Cromartie, Wilson, Lankster, Steed) Spots remaining: 22
Linebacker is a position I expect to be a lot faster this year compared to last year. Bart Scott is getting rave reviews and some are saying including Rex Ryan that he may be at his best since joining the team. David Harris, Calvin Pace, and Bryan Thomas will also make the team with ease in my opinion; the only questionable player could be Thomas based on his offseason surgery. A player that I am looking forward to seeing on the field is Demario Davis. This guy is in full beast mode all the time and seems to be a born leader. His inspiration along with Aaron Maybin’s will fuel the young linebacker core which will help a player like Josh Mauga make the team. (Harris, Scott, Pace, Thomas, Davis, Maybin, Mauga) Spots remaining: 13
For the offensive and defensive lines I will clump them into two big groups. The offensive line is a strong force for the Jets that has slowly diminished over time. The problem needs to be fixed in order to get back to the ground and pound mindset. It will also help Sanchez grow as a quarterback if he does not have to rush his passes. The cornerstone of the O-line is Nick Mangold, the best center in the NFL. Another household name is D’Brickashaw Ferguson who will make the team with ease along with Matt Slauson and Brandon Moore. I believe all three men competing for the right tackle spot will also make the team which are Wayne Hunter, Vlad Ducasse and Austin Howard. Add Robert Griffin and Caleb Schlauderaff and there is your O-line. (Mangold, Ferguson, Slauson, Moore, Hunter, Ducasse, Howard, Griffin, Schlauderaff) Spots remaining: 6
The D-line needs to step up and finally put pressure on the quarterback if they want to succeed. Rex Ryan is a defensive mastermind and he definitely has options this year with his blitz packages. Quinton Coples is the player to watch at defensive end, if he produces the defense as a whole immediately gets better. With the addition of Coples it gives Mike Devito the ability to get a breather and possibly play both end positions subbing with Muhammad Wilkerson as well. Sione Pouha got the extension he deserved and will come back bigger and better this year. Even though Kenrick Ellis has legal issues I believe he lands a spot on the 53 man roster along with Marcus Dixon to finish out the core. (Coples, Devito, Wilkerson, Pouha, Ellis, Dixon) Spots remaining: 0
There are many players that could very well make this team that I did not mention based solely on the increased talent of the team. I wanted to include a group of ten men that could surprise and sneak onto the roster. These men are defensive tackle Damon Harrison, offensive tackle Stephen Hoyer or Ray Willis, quarterback G.J. Kinne, offensive lineman Matt Kroul, blocking tight end Tarren Lloyd if they do not sign a veteran, linebacker Garrett McIntyre, cornerback Julian Posey, running back Bilal Powell, defensive tackle Martin Tevaseu, and cornerback Isaiah Trufant. If you disagree or have comments on my 53 man roster I would love to hear your point of view.