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Five Jets to watch in preseason opener vs. Falcons

NFL: New York Jets-Rookie Minicamp Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports

With the Jets preseason opener now just hours away, here are five Jets whose performance is worth watching tonight against the Falcons.

Sam Darnold: We start with the obvious. Darnold will be the most scrutinized Jets player on the field this preseason. People will probably read way too much into his performance either way. With that said, tonight is our first look at Darnold in a game setting. He also has a chance to build on his strong training camp and stake a claim to the starting job.

Teddy Bridgewater: Aside from some mopup duty late last season, this will be the first time Bridgewater will see live game action since 2015. Bridgewater is competing with Darnold for the starting job. He also has a chance to raise his value on the trade market should the Jets be inclined to deal him. Normally a player’s preseason performance wouldn’t mean much for trade value, but the questions about Bridgewater aren’t based on his talent level or his capabilities. They are about how well he can physically function after his catastrophic knee injury two years ago.

Trenton Cannon: I am basing this on what I saw at training camp. Cannon’s speed stood out and he flashed some receiving skill. He is in the mix to win the kickoff and punt returner jobs. Elijah McGuire’s injury also might create an opening for Cannon to carve out a role on offense.

Darron Lee: This in many ways is a make or break year for Lee. His first two seasons have been somewhere between inconsistent and disappointing. He is no longer new to the linebacker position. He knows the playbook well enough that Todd Bowles is letting him make some of the calls. There has been some buzz about his performance in camp to date. Will tonight provide us with some sort of evidence as to whether he can put things together?

Derrick Jones: The second year corner has impressed early in camp. Can he start to alleviate concerns about cornerback depth by carrying his strong play into preseason?