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Zach Sudfeld: 2014 and Beyond

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Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Zach Sudfeld was at the middle of perhaps the most consequential play of the Jets' season. With a 1-0 record, the Jets held a 21-9 lead at Green Bay and were driving for another score before the half. Geno Smith dropped back but was hit as he threw. The ball was underthrown as a result, but it hung in the air long enough for Sudfeld to make an adjustment. Sudfeld took a really poor path to the ball and lost a jump ball to Tramon Williams, a player 8 inches shorter. The Packers turned Williams' interception into a touchdown before the half and went on to win the game. The Jets were sent into a tailspin from which they would not recover.

I doubt the season would have been a success had Sudfeld made the play. The Jets were simply too flawed of a team. Eventually the poor roster construction would have likely caught up with them.

That play was still somewhat emblematic of Sudfeld's inability to make a contribution to the roster. There was ample opportunity for him to make a splash. Sudfeld reportedly had a strong training camp. The main competition was Jeff Cumberland, a flawed player, and Jace Amaro, a rookie. Sudfeld just could not find a way to stick. He only caught 5 passes and was erratic as a blocking. The blocking is no small deal. There was a genuine chance for him to make an impact as a blocker. Neither Cumberland nor Amaro stand out for their blocking skill. At 6'7" and 260 pounds, he has the frame and the strength to be an effective blocker. He just didn't do it effectively.

Sudfeld has always been a project player. One thing I like to see in project players is tangible signs of progress. I'm not sure we have seen any from Sudfeld since the Jets brought him in. He is also getting old for a project player. While he only just completed his second NFL season, Sudfeld will be 26 before the 2015 season begins. By the time most players are 26, they have either shown signs that they have the skill for the NFL or they never will.

With this in mind, I think the Jets might be in a spot to move on from Sudfeld and give the spot in training camp to somebody more likely to stick.