Hey all. Long time no post. I've been lurking since the draft, and news seems to slow to a trickle and I've been busy. Well other than a Tim Tebow, faux controversy story it seems there hasn't been too much notable news. I'd figure I'd come back with a post on what seems to be a very interesting position for the Jets, but one that shouldn't be in the spotlight with our return to Ground and Pound™ philosphy. That position arguably was among the weakest last year and we upgraded it. We addressed it through both the draft and free agency. We also brought in a new coach from Oakland.
I found it interesting that among our WR, the longest tenured Jet is Patrick Turner, who spent most of his time on the practice squad until last year. Behind that is Holmes, who has only been with the Jets for 1.75 of a season just a smig more than Turner. The rest were brought since last year.
After reviewing the roster, the Jets do not have a lot of a battles for roster spots at this position. The biggest question mark is going to be whose the 4th and 5th receiver and who ends up on special teams. Below is a break down of what we have and where I see most of them fitting into the Jets 53 man roster if they make it.Top 5 recievers: #1) Santonio Holmes. I don't see any way he doesn't start the season as the main threat unless he decides to show up to camp 50 pounds overweight, demands a trade, or gets injured. Sure, he is a terrible teammate at times and possibly destroyed the locker room last year. (well according to the same sports news that love Tebow) Still, he's a gamer and a hell of a WR that was poorly used last year. He is always a threat to take a simple pass and go 70 yards. Up until last year he was considered one of the top 5-6 pure WR in the game. (See OT vs Cleveland 2010 or Detroit 2010 if you want to see him at his prime) Once again he is the most experienced WR the Jets have and one with arguably the biggest tools. He at times will get fustrated with Mark, but when they are synced, they can be lethal.
#2) Stephen Hill. This is more of a projection than anything. I can't see Kerley doing much more than coming out of the slot. I don't think he has the speed or the size that Hill brings to the table. The kid is very raw coming out of an triple option attack at GT, which fits him perfectly with the Jets emphasis on good blocking WR. With the Jets focused on the run I think he could be the Braylon Edwards of 2010, the guy who basically runs deep and takes defenders with him while providing a seal on the edge. He does have some pretty impressive numbers but doesn't have incredible stats coming out of a college: (4.36 speed and 6'4) He was drafted as a pure deep threat who may develop the ability to become a game changing WR. I'd love to see him lined up as the number 2 guy across from Holmes from day one, and that's where I think he will end up by the time preseason ends.
#3) Jeremy Kerley. Kerley is a poor man's Cotchery. He runs routes that are designed to be the type that move the chains. He can also run the wildcat for what it's worth. As I said above, the Jets should keep him where he is best, as a slot guy. He does have some ability to make big plays, but I think he should be used mostly as the underneath option in our passing tree. I can't see him slipping past number 3 unless one of the other WR listed below has an amazing camp, but I can't see him displacing Hill. For better or worse: I see him stuck at the slot receiver for the next few years.
#4 & #5. This is where I think the battles actually start. Patrick Turner, a guy with amazing physical gifts has not much to show for it through his third year. At times he flashes some ability, other times he looks like a guy that belongs in the Arena Football League. The coaching staff raved about him this offseason, but then again they also said Shotty was their guy. So who knows? The one thing Turner has going for him over the others is that he has played with Mark since 2010, and that he may have some chemistry. Plus in limited action last year he looked capable. Schilens to me is Patrick Turner 1B. He's got physical gifts, but no stats to really prove it. He has had constant injuries that have also hurt him. I'd expect these two guys to fight it out for the last two receiver spots on the depth chart. I wouldn't also be shocked if one ends up cut for a guy below. Realistically you can only carry one project player, and having two wouldn't serve a purpose to develop them. Once again, these two have the leg up on most of the competition. I'll give a slight edge to Turner getting the 4th spot, and Schilens being the 5th man in the rotation.
The others fighting to stay in football that are not UDFA's: Most of these guys have spent time on the Jets practice squad. Others have been drafted late and are projects. Others friends with Mark Sanchez. These are in order I place them to make the team. Subjectivity counts.
Jordan White: The Jets 7th rounder. I expect him to at least make the practice squad and wouldn't be shocked if he made the 53 as a gunner. Then again, I wouldn't be shocked if any of these guys make the squad on specials where it's really who wants it more. White has had the injury bug in college, but I have heard scouts say he has some potential to be a starter in the pro ranks as a slot guy. However, he would need a big camp as he broke his foot and will not be ready until at least training camp, where he will have to learn quickly on the fly. I'll go ahead and project him he ends up on the practice squad or IR with another injury.
Scotty Mcknight: Here's where I see something in this kid many don't. I have a gut instinct this kid could shock us and end up as the last receiver. Mark and him are good friends and have chemistry, so maybe he can stick as the 5th guy. Reality though is he will fight just to stay on the roster. He will have to shine on specials just to stick, and then he can fight his way up the depth chart. I think he may the sleeper of this crew. Projection: special teamer or cut.
Eron Riley: He's another practice squad guy. He has projectable but not much else. Expect him to be fighting to play in the NFL as a special team guy and maybe the 5th receiver on the depth. I don't see him too much as a threat to be the number 5 guy, but stranger things have happened. Projection: special teamer or practice squad.
Michael Cambell: Alright I can't be non judgmental about this guy. I can't. The only two times I've seen him were getting into a fight during training camp last year and dropping the pass in preseason while being wide open. Great way to make an impression. Another guy fighting just to be on the roster, but could end up practice squad. Projection: practice squad or cut
Dexter Jackson: a second round flameout who played time in the UFL and isn't exactly young. He's not going to make the practice squad again, so he's going to be either a special teamer or former NFL player. Projection: former NFL player.
DeMarcus Ganaway: He's been cut twice already during the offseason. If he makes the 53 man I'll be outright shocked. He didn't even play in 2011 in the pros after graduating in 2010. He's got a hill to climb, but as a small school guy he may have a chip on his shoulder. I'll be generous: on another team's practice squad.
Raymond Webber: Was on TB's practice squad last year. Ended up cut by them, the hawks and somehow ended up on the Jets. He's got an outside shot. I don't think he makes it though... but hey who knows how it ends up with these guys. I say he either ends up on the practice squad or bounces to another team. These guys seem to do that a lot, bounce from team to team.
UDFA: These are the true who wants it more guys. They can easily becoming a special team player or serve fries at McDonald's. The Jets to my knowledge only have one. I'm not even going to try to give some background on him because you cannot scout heart and determination. (Well you can but to hell with it)
Royce Pollard- Hawaii.
There you have it. Other than the last few spots on the roster, it seems the Jets don't have a lot of truly notable battles per say other than for the 4th/ 5th receiver. I always like watching the young guys fight to make a roster. Even if they drop wide open passes during preseason.