Based on the preseason and some initial cuts, here’s my first go at the Jets’ 53-man roster. We’ll be hosting the roster competition later this week, so stay tuned for that!
NOTE: As was pointed out, I counted Dearth twice (once as a TE, then once as a specialist) so I added Jehuu Caulcrick and updated the RB Analysis. Cheers!
Quarterback (3): Mark Sanchez, Kellen Clemens, Erik Ainge
Analysis: Pizzotti’s already been cut, and Ainge has demonstrated that he’s got the arm and the poise in-game to be this team’s scout team QB. Pizz might be back on the practice squad, but if Ryan didn’t even let Pizzotti throw a ball in his one series … maybe not.
Running Back (5): Thomas Jones, Leon Washington, Shonn Greene, Tony Richardson, Jehuu Caulcrick
Analysis: Danny Woodhead has done everything he can, but it’s just hard to see there being a spot for him right now with Tight End still a concern and a glut of talent at other spots. Caulcrick a former collegiate running back might make be useful as a blocker and runner, a la LeRon McLain for the Ravens. Richardson is healthy, it might be tough for Caulcrick to see much in the way of activation as a backup FB. Look to see how healthy Shonn Greene stays during the course of the season, Caulcrick could be their next best short yardage or goal line specialist.
Tight End (3): Dustin Keller, Kevin Brock, Kareem Brown
Analysis: The Jets are going to have to take a leap of faith here with someone, and it might well be Kareem Brown and/or Kevin Brock. Obviously depending on who comes free via waivers or free agency could muddle things up and let the Jets consolidate to just three spots. Jack Simmons is supposed to be a pass catcher, yet he manages to drop catchable balls in each game.
Wide Receiver (6): Jerricho Cotchery, Chansi Stuckey, David Clowney, Brad Smith, Wallace Wright, Marcus Henry
Analysis: This is one of the most interesting units for cutdowns so far. Cotchery, Stuckey and Clowney are all locks to make this team. Brad Smith shows more offensive promise (yes, even still) than Wallace Wright, but Wright has become known as one of Sanchez’s favorite targets with the second team. Still, Smith and Wright might be battling each other for special teams work, while Aundrae Allison, Marcus Henry and Britt Davis are upside players, but who would likely be inactive much of the season. Aundrae Allison’s TD catch and taunting run into the end zone on an underthrown Ainge pass Saturday night might have (or have not) helped his cause … I’m just not sure. What I will say about Allison is that the team has a 6’0″ sub 4.4 WR who is ready to contibute on the roster … a guy named Clowney, so to use another spot for Allison, just to project him as a player down the road seems like overkill compared to a 6’4″ solid run blocking WR. When put to it, I’ll pick the above group, because of the offensive production on the front end, the special teams wizardry in the middle and their 2008 Draft pick as the upside spot.
Offensive Line (8): D’Brickashaw Ferguson, Damien Woody, Alan Faneca, Brandon Moore, Nick Mangold, Wayne Hunter, Robert Turner, Matt Slauson
Analysis: The eighth man here is really the only one who will be much of a surprise. Stanley Daniels might be a cut to make way for draft pick Matt Slauson, or they might try and store someone on the practice squad or via IR afer waivers for next year.
Defensive Line (8 – 1 game suspension): Shaun Ellis, Kris Jenkins, Marques Douglas, Mike DeVito, Howard Green, Sione Pouha, Ropati Pitoitua, Zach Potter
Analysis: Ellis’s game off opens the door for a player like Potter or Pitoitua to make a final impression in Houston. The Jets are going to show more four man fronts this season, so look for them to keep players that can play 3-4 end or 4-3 tackles.
Linebacker (9- 4 game suspension): Calvin Pace, Bryan Thomas, David Harris, Bart Scott, Vernon Gholston, Kenwin Cummings, Marques Murrell, Jason Trusnik, Jamaal Westermann
Analysis: Calvin Pace’s suspension means the team will need another player who can sub in at OLB/DE. Gholston should be the natural choice, but Murrell and Wstermann will press him for time on the field. Larry Izzo might not have given compelling enough evidence that he’s worth keeping on the 53 man roster.
Cornerback (6): Darrelle Revis, Lito Sheppard, Dwight Lowery, Donald Strickland, Ahmad Carroll, Drew Coleman
Analysis: Between his work on special teams and his secondary work, Ahmad Carroll should have a spot. If it comes down to Coleman or Carroll, look for Batman to be with the team. As for Marquice Cole, keep an eye on him for the practice squad.
Safety (4): Kerry Rhodes, Jim Leonhard, Eric Smith, James Ihedigbo
Analysis: Emannuel Cook might be a practice squadder, but the team might be choosing between the last corner or S Emmanuel Cook for the last non-specialist spot on the team. At this point, the cornerback depth looks more unsettled right now than the safety depth (which is also less prone to in-game switching), so I might expect the team to go with the corner over safety.
Specialists (3): Jay Feely (K), Pakulak (P), James Dearth (LS)
Analysis: Why does Westhoff have such trouble with his punters? Hodges seems like a goner after his Saturday night troubles. He might have the chance to turn it around, but questions have been asked as to why Pak didn’t see time on Saturday. Maybe the team was going to let one punter play the whole game, then let the other do the same next week.