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Jets 2022 Roster Countdown: Number 97 Nathan Shepherd

Jacksonville Jaguars v New York Jets Photo by Al Pereira/Getty Images

We continue our roster countdown today by taking a look at Nathan Shepherd.

Name: Nathan Shepherd

Number: 97

Year With Jets: 5th

Projected Role: Rotational Defensive Tackle

His 2021: Shepherd had a rough season. He was most noticeable for the penalties he committed. His 7 penalties were the second most in the league among defensive tackles. They included a pair of roughing the passer and a pair of holding calls. Shepherd actually had reasonable production as a pass rusher, but the penalties overshadowed everything. It was a bit of a surprise to see the Jets retain his services on a one year contract this offseason. Shepherd became the rare Mike Maccagnan Draft pick to get a second contract with the Jets and an unlikely one at that.

2022 will be a success if: Shepherd can provide the Jets with quality rotational snaps and stay away from penalties. He has flashed at points during his career, most notably the second half of the 2019 season. Perhaps he can offer the team something in limited playing time.

Odds of making the roster: My first thought was that Shepherd might have a difficult time being on the team. His track record is less than spectacular, and he is on a minimum contract with a small amount of guaranteed money. The Jets could easily move on. On the other hand, there aren’t a ton of clearly superior alternatives at defensive end as we get lower on the depth chart. After a less than stellar year, the Jets still saw enough in Shepherd to bring him back. With this in mind, I’ll put it at 50/50.