In terms of the breakdown of numbers of players by position, I think the Jets will make a few adjustments as compared with last year. The biggest of which is, I think the Jets will carry an addition Offensive Lineman at the expense of carrying one less Defensive End. The other changes are more subtle. They are as follows:
- one more Safety at the expense of a Cornerback
- one more Wide Receiver at the expense of a Tight End
- one more Running Back at the expense of a Full Back
I believe the biggest competitions are going on are at Wide Receiver and Inside Linebacker. The locks at WR are obviously Holmes, Burress, Mason and Kerley. Last year, we carried 5 WR’s. I think this year, there’s a good chance that 6 will make the 53 man roster. I expect Patrick Turner and Scotty McKnight to round out the WR corp but it is by no means a lock. Both Courtney Smith and Michael Campbell have shown promise. Plus Logan Payne is currently listed ahead of McKnight, Smith and Campbell on the depth chart. Dan DePalma is currently the biggest WR long-shot to make the squad. Plus has been reported that the Jets have added another WR to the mix – undrafted FA Cordarol Scales from Fort Hayes State. I’m not sure what he’ll add but the WR competition will certainly be one for us Jets fans to focus on during the preseason games.
At Inside Linebacker, I believe the only two locks to make the squad are our starters from last year. Behind Harris and Scott there are currently six players competing for probably two spots. I think Josh Mauga is probably the front-runner with Nick Bellore next in line. Brashton Satele and Joey LaRocque are also in the mix while Matthias Berning and David Harron are both long-shots to make the squad.
Knowing how much Rex’s relies on Cornerbacks, it might seem odd that I think he’ll go with one less than last year. However, I’m also suggesting that he carries one more Safety. Dwight Lowery is among the five Safeties I’m suggesting will make the team. If need be, Lowrey could return to his old position at Cornerback. There are however, three CB’s in camp that are competing for a roster spot. They are Julian Posey, Ellis Lankster and Richard Taylor. If one of these three CB’s make the squad, then Safety Emanuel Cook probably will not. According the Jets recently released depth chart, Donald Strickland is ranked fifth, FIFTH!, among the Cornerbacks. Having five starting-caliber corners on one squad is a luxury. It will be fun to see what exotic defensive schemes are made possible with such an embarrassment of riches.
DE: Wilkerson, Muhammad; Pitoitua, Ropati
NT: Pouha, Sione; Ellis, Kenrick; Tevaseu, Martin
DT: DeVito, Mike; Dixon, Marcus
OLB: Thomas, Bryan; Westerman, Jamaal
WLB: Scott, Bart; Mauga, Josh
MLB: Harris, David; Bellore, Nick
OLB: Pace, Calvin; McIntyre, Garrett
CB: Revis, Darrelle; Wilson, Kyle; Strickland, Donald
CB: Cromartie, Antonio; Cole, Marquice
S: Smith, Eric; Pool, Brodney; Cook, Emanuel
S: Leonhard, Jim; Lowery, Dwight
WR: Burress, Plaxico; Kerley, Jeremy
LT: Ferguson, D'Brickashaw
LG: Slauson, Matt
C: Mangold, Nick
RG: Moore, Brandon; Turner, Robert; Kroul, Matt
RT: Hunter, Wayne; Ducasse, Vladimir
TE: Keller, Dustin; Mulligan, Matthew; Cumberland, Jeff
WR: Holmes, Santonio; Mason, Derrick; Turner, Patrick; McKnight, Scotty
QB: Sanchez, Mark; Brunell, Mark; McElroy, Greg
FB: Conner, John
RB: Greene, Shonn; Tomlinson, LaDainian; McKnight, Joe; Powell, Bilal
K: Folk, Nick
P: Conley, T.J.
LS: Purdum, Tanner