Jets 53-man Roster projection: Entering training camp, who can we expect to make the roster? Who will start?
Posted June 5, 2023 at 9:00 AM
By Rich Cimini | NJ Advance Media for NJ.com
Jets coach grv413 is entering his 9th season with the team, and he's lost quite a lot of weight.
Entering training camp, let's take a look at the Jets' 53-man roster, including Erik Wegert and Reshad Jenkins, and see who we can expect to start at each position. Projected starters are bolded, and rookies are italicized, and overalls are in parenthesis.
Here's a link to last year's, where we guessed 46 spots correctly.
RETAINED: Erik Wegert (96); Tyson Chadwick (77)
CUT: A.J. Bowden (78)
ANALYSIS: Wegert is coming into the second year of a 5-year, $125 million extension. He's now entering his 8th season. This is Chadwick's third year on the roster and the team has spoken highly of his performance in offseasons, and it looks like he should have the backup job locked down. This is Bowden's second consecutive preseason with the Jets, but we don't anticipate him making the roster unless there's an injury problem to one of the other two QBs.
RUNNING BACKS (4)
RETAINED: Sam Chapman (81); Marvin Washington (79); Franklin Riggins (76); Eli Tuitama (81)
CUT: Savion Talley (72), Justice Womack (69)
ANALYSIS: Chapman had a down year in his third season, but the team didn't invest much in the RB position this offseason so it's safe to assume that he'll continue to get the start. Washington is coming off an achilles injury that ended his season early last year, but his third down and special teams value seems a safe bet to remain high. Riggins is one of the team's 5th round picks this year, and he's looked quite good in minicamp thus far. He could even have a chance to start with a good preseason performance. Talley also looked decent in the preseason, but this team doesn't run enough to justify keeping 4 traditional running backs. Womack is a practice squad holdover, likely competing with Talley for that spot.
WIDE RECEIVERS (6)
RETAINED: Paul Howell (94); Adam Coles (82); Eli Austin (83); Israel Hawker (77); Rocky Kruse (76); Jesse Scott (90/PR)
CUT: James Jones (74); Samuel Ritter (73); K.J. Strauss (71)
ANALYSIS: The first four listed are virtual locks once again. Howell has developed a great chemistry with Wegert and has shown no signs of slowing down anytime soon. Former first rounder Coles got over his concussion problems in his second season, and although he didn't look amazing he should earn a presumed starter job or at the very least the slot job going into his third season. Austin and Hawker are likely to compete to get on the field in 3-WR sets, although Hawker's versatility with his ability to play in the slot gives him a leg up there. Kruse has been a mainstay as backup depth, and Scott had a down year last year but the staff have shown no sign that they wish to let him go anytime soon. Jones and Ritter are likely competing with Kruse for the 5th WR spot, although if multiple receivers perform well the team could keep both. Strauss is in the mix but he struggled in minicamp and is currently last on the depth chart, so it'll be an uphill battle for him.
TIGHT ENDS (4)
RETAINED: Matt Stone (86); Jason Dupree (79); William Bouchard (78); Dillon Abbrederis (77);
CUT: Antonio Greer (69)
ANALYSIS: The Jets' TE situation was a mess last year after Stone, Abbrederis, and Shane Kaufman were all lost for the year very early on. They traded a 6th for Dupree, who along with Bouchard looked alright but nothing special in their starting chances. Still, this is a team with a QB that likes throwing to the TE when possible so I still foresee them keeping four especially after the injury troubles of 2022. Abbrederis is a question mark to make the roster after tearing his achilles in preseason week 1 for two consecutive seasons, but he's the only other TE currently around that can block at all.
OFFENSIVE LINEMEN (9)
RETAINED: Darnerien Sohn (96); Joe Farmer (95); Matthew Grossman (76); David Schlereth (92); Brendan Lowe (82); Joel Snow (83); Arthur Bonds (81); Mark Lattimore (79); Kyle Curtis (79)
CUT: Manuel Gordon (75); Mayer Cornelius (74); Jayden Grove (73); Tyler Green (71)
ANALYSIS: This one actually seems pretty clear cut. None of the first nine are cut candidates whatsoever, and the four listed cut candidates are question marks at best. Sohn, Farmer, and Schlereth have all been All-Pros this decade and will continue to lead this Jets offensive line as long as they're around. The center competition between Grossman and Curtis is an interesting one, and if there's a team that could afford to start an extremely raw center it's this one, but I see them playing it safe and going for Grossman at least for 2023. Of all the rookies in minicamp, Lowe has looked incredible; not being beat once by rookie draft picks Zach Dockery and Arthur Gorman. Joel Snow has looked average but there's a reason the team took Lowe after locking up Sohn - Lowe is a lock to start. Snow and Bonds will compete to play swing tackle while Lattimore probably gears up to replace one of Farmer or Schlereth in 2024.
DEFENSIVE LINEMEN (9)
RETAINED: Alvis Brumm (94); Samir Dixon (77); Kyle Pratt (84); Kahau Aveau (79); Zach Dockery (79); Javier Davenport (78); Luca Bragg (77); Russell Brandt (77); Arthur Gorman (75)
CUT: Matthew Waldron (76); Zion Salcedo (71); Stephen High (69)
ANALYSIS: Following the trade of Jonathan Bridges, Brumm and Pratt are the only sure things on this list. Dixon, Dockery, and Davenport will all compete to become what feels like the thousandth DE to start across from Brumm. Dixon got the start when Bridges was hurt last year so advantage goes to him for now. Aveau is very raw but still starter by default, as there's not much other standout talent at DT for the Jets to opt for. Gorman, Waldron, and Salcedo will all compete to earn a spot or two on the roster. I'll give it to Gorman as there's more uncertainty at DE. High is more preseason fodder than 53-man material.
RETAINED: Daquan Darcey (84); Adam Lovelace (81); Matt Okoye (76); Omar Trotter (79); Cameron Faulk (76); Nicholas Kowalski (70)
CUT: Omar Gore (69); Jeffery Holley (69)
ANALYSIS: This is certainly the weakest Jets LB corps in recent memory despite featuring two recent first round picks. Darcey has been relatively disappointing for a first round pick, although he still is serviceable. Lovelace started half the season alright and the Jets defense didn't skip too much of a beat; we'll see if he can step up in his second season. The second OLB spot is more of a question mark, with longtime special teamer Okoye the default presumed starter following the departure of Dennis Himes. 4th round pick Faulk has looked pretty good in minicamp and could contend to start immediately with a good preseason. Kowalski might be kept around, as he looked decent in his given opportunities in 2022. Gore is also someone who could potentially be kept, but Trotter is clearly ahead of him.
DEFENSIVE BACKS (11)
RETAINED: Eugene Malone (82); Khalil Harrell (82); Reshad Jenkins (98); Sebastian Vaughn (85); Nathaniel Woodworth (81); Ronnie Bailey (81); Gabriel Allen (79); Xavier Burroughs (79); Lee Davis (77); Miles Keys (71); Benjamin McGee (71)
CUT: Jake Leyva (71); Shamar Knox (70); Eli Broussard (68); Jeremy Tolliver (68)
ANALYSIS: The Jets cornerback room was completely overhauled this offseason, and three of the four most likely starters are new additions with Woodworth being the only holdover. #16 pick Harrell is the team's highest selected player since Erik Wegert in 2016, and he's looked good enough to start in minicamp. Woodworth will probably go back to his slot role which leaves Malone to the #1 corner role, which is obviously not ideal. Jenkins is perhaps the best FS in the league and has shown no sign of slowing down any time soon. Vaughn has been his partner since his rookie year, and though obviously not as good has his moments. Allen is the only other FS on the roster although he's liable to lose his job for special teams reasons, and Burroughs has come along nicely as a developmental safety. 7th round pick Keys put up a solid performance in minicamp and has the leg up due to his man coverage abilities, but McGee and Knox were nice specials contributors last year and could certainly compete for a roster spot.
SPECIAL TEAMS (2)
RETAINED: Chris Hoag (92); John Maslowski (95)
CUT: Dillon Burkhart (69); Emilio Feliciano (74)
ANALYSIS: Hoag is one year removed from being an All-Pro, and John "Legzilla" Maslowski was a Pro Bowler last year. Certainly no surprise that they'll continue to stick around. Burkhart and Feliciano will have a chance to show off for other teams, however.