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5 Players To Watch Out For As Jets Face Lions

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The Jets will take the field again tonight, here are 5 players to watch out for.

NFL: Tennessee Titans at New York Jets Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

The Jets are set to face the Lions tonight in Detroit as they continue to prepare for the new season. On the back of a 7-3 victory over the Tennessee Titans in week one, there are several players who will be looking to stake a claim for either a starting spot or a roster spot against the Lions.

When asked if the starters will play for the entire first quarter, Bowles stated:

“Some will rotate, some will play a little longer”

I expect that the majority will play for the first quarter with a few of the younger guys getting some extra reps in the 2nd. With such a young team, getting those extra reps is imperative to the continued development of guys like Robby Anderson, like Darron Lee and like Juston Burris.

Christian Hackenberg

Did you really expect it to be anyone else? I get the feeling that there are some who will criticise Hackenberg regardless of what he does. However I was quietly impressed last week. He didn’t attempt too many difficult throws, but his footwork looked worlds apart from where it was last off-season. He had a couple of deep options which were covered, so he rightfully checked down. I expect to see more progress from him, and hopefully the Jets open up the play-book up for him a little bit. I’m not expecting miracles and he’s still a work in progress, but every sign of improvement is a step in the right direction. In week one I wanted to see that he was better than 2016, he was. In week two, I want to see that he’s better than he was in week one... Lets wait and see.

Bilal Powell

Bilal Powell has missed some time this off-season but Bowles confirmed that he’ll play tonight against the Lions. Many of us were upset with what we perceived to be the under-use of one of the Jets more dangerous players. With Matt Forte struggling himself and another year older, the hope is that Bilal Powell will see more of the field this year, and in the John Morton offense, his ability to catch the ball out of the backfield will be imperative. Tonight you want to see him make it through injury-free, that’s the key, but you also want to see how he fits into this new offensive system.

Freddie Bishop

Bowles confirmed that Lorenzo Mauldin will miss the game against the Lions through injury, which opens the door for someone like Bishop. Stop me if you’ve heard this before, but the Jets desperately need some pash rush from their OLB unit. The defensive line look as though they’ll once again be one of the teams strengths and the secondary is showing signs of life with an infusion of young talent, however the linebacker unit still has a way to go. Bishop enjoyed an 11 sack season in 2015 with the Calgary Stampeders of the CFL and he’ll be looking to solidify his claim to a roster spot and try and push Mauldin for a starting spot with a strong display against the Lions.

Brandon Shell

He may not have started with the first team last week against the Titans, but he certainly looked to be the better option at RT over Brent Qvale who was called for a holding penalty that negated a good offensive play for the Jets. Bowles has stated that it’s a good open competition at the spot, so I’d personally like to see Shell given an opportunity to play with the first team for several reasons. I’d like to see him given the chance to build some chemistry with the rest of the line, and I’d like to see him face some starting defensive line talent in Detroit. I thought Shell had a really good end to the 2016 season, and he’s showing signs that he’s maintained that form into 2017.

Chad Hansen

The Jets 4th round selection from 2017 was held to a single catch for 10 yards on 2 targets last week. He’s missed some time with an injury during the preparations for the season, and I’m looking to see him get more involved his week and stake his claim amongst our young receiving core. He didn’t do anything wrong last week, but I’m hoping he gets more opportunities this week, the more I watch of his college tape, the more I like him. So I’m looking for him to translate that to the NFL, and getting some production in during the pre-season is a great start.