Jets Training Camp: Five Players on the Bubble

Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports

As we head into training camp, there are no guarantees players who spent 2013 on the roster are going to survive preseason cuts. Here are five players whose spot might be in some degree of peril if they do not step up.

Matt Simms

Simms was the number two quarterback most of last season. Michael Vick's presence will knock him back to number three at best, but he will also have to contend with sixth round pick Tajh Boyd. Rex Ryan seemed to have a lot to do with the Jets taking Boyd. It is never good to be in a situation competing with the coach's hand-picked guy.

It is kind of difficult to figure why the Jets ever signed Simms. He wasn't even a good player in college. Couldn't they have found some rocket armed quarterback who flashed some degree of promise since high school?

Stephen Hill

Hill could be starting across from Eric Decker in the opener. He also could be cut. His first two years have been pretty disappointing. The problem is not that Hill has yet to hit All Pro status. The problem is Hill has not shown steady improvement. In fact, he has shown almost no improvement in his two years. When the Jets took him in the second round, he was a raw athlete whose route running and hands were totally unrefined. He didn't know how to use his size to create  openings for the quarterback. That description still seems apt today.

With a number of bodies competing at wide receiver, Hill might be gone without a productive camp. He might be a project, but he was the project of a different general manager.

David Nelson

I don't think both Nelson and Hill will be cut, but I think there is a real chance only one of them makes the roster. I feel like Nelson gets a little too much hype from some people. He did a good job last year for the standards of an in season fill in signing. Let's keep things in perspective, though. He is 27 years old and has never even had a 700 yard season. It's a real stretch to expect him to be a quality starter.  He is a backup level player who does not do a whole lot on special teams. He will need to earn his keep.

Bilal Powell

The Chris Johnson signing knocked him down to third on the depth chart, but he will have to beat out Daryl Richardson to get that spot. In many ways I think Powell is perfectly cast as the number three back. He isn't really good enough to be featured in the offense, but he is versatile with few glaring weaknesses. You can live with him filling in a number of roles over a short stretch. Still, his spot is not the lock many would have guessed at the end of last season.

Antwan Barnes

Of the players on this list, Barnes is the one I consider least likely to be cut. I think he could be a surprise casualty, though, if he is slow to recover from his injury last year and one of the linebackers the Jets took on day three of the Draft has a big camp.

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