Reactions on the Jets initial 53 man roster: Defense & Special Teams

Brian Bassett, TheJetsBlog.com

4PM ET Saturday marked the deadline for every NFL team to cut down their roster from 75 to 53 players. Granted, with waiver claims pending and potential free agents in the air the roster the Jets posted Saturday night might not be exactly the same as the one that lines up next weekend against the Raiders.

Here’s our reactions to the team’s newly named position groups.

Defensive Line (8)

No. Name Pos. Height Weight Age Years College
51 Enemkpali, Ikemefuna DE 6-1 272 23 R Louisiana Tech
94 Harrison, Damon DL 6-4 350 25 3 William Penn
96 Wilkerson, Muhammad DL 6-4 315 24 4 Temple
99 Barnes, T.J. DT 6-7 364 24 1 Georgia Tech
78 Douzable, Leger DT 6-4 284 28 7 Central Florida
93 Ellis, Kenrick DT 6-4 346 26 4 Hampton
91 Richardson, Sheldon DT 6-3 294 23 2 Missouri
98 Coples, Quinton LB 6-6 290 24 3 North Carolina

Grade: A+
Analysis:
Wilkerson is the anchor of the unit, Harrison is one of the most stout run-stuffers in the NFL and Sheldon Richardson is an interior playmaker on the rise.  Quinton Coples (this is his group, not the linebackers) is primed to take another big step forward, as evidenced from his play at the end of last season once he had recovered from his leg fracture.

The reason that this is the team’s strongest group is not just because of the front-line starters, but also because of the fantastic depth that this group has built in the last two years.  Douzable and Ellis are backups, but play heavy in rotation and are both positive influences against the run and pass.  Both Barnes and Enemkpali are young backups that will have the luxury of learning and playing from some of the league’s best.  Enemkpali in particular looks to be a future standout player on special teams for the Jets. To read more of this story, click here

Jets announce 21 players released to fit 4PM roster deadline

The Jets have released their list of 21 players that were cut (as well as their addition to the PUP) to make the 53 man roster before the 4PM ET deadline.

Released

Tajh Boyd (QB/6-1/222/Clemson/Hampton, VA)
Will Campbell (G/6-4/311/Michigan/Detroit, MI)
Troy Davis (LB/6-2/251/Central Florida/Queens, NY)
Brandon Dixon (CB/5-11/203/NW Missouri State/Pompano Beach, FL)
A.J. Edds (LB/6-4/256/Iowa/Marion, IN)
Tevita Finau (DT/6-5/288/Utah/Lahaina, HI)
Clyde Gates (WR/6-0/197/Abilene Christian/Vernon, TX)
Alex Green (RB/6-2/220/Hawaii/Portland, OR)
Stephen Hill (WR/6-4/215/Georgia Tech/Lithonia, GA)
Kerry Hyder (DL/6-2/280/Texas Tech/Austin, TX)
Garrett McIntyre (LB/6-3/255/Fresno State/South Lake Tahoe, CA)
Rontez Miles (S/6-0/203/California (PA)/Braddock, PA)
Chris Pantale (TE/6-5/254/Boston College/Wayne, NJ)
Johnny Patrick (CB/5-11/190/Louisville/Deland, FL)
Dimitri Patterson (CB/6-0/200/Tuskegee/Miami, FL)
Brent Qvale (T/6-7/315/Nebraska/Williston, ND)
Jeremy Reeves (CB/5-7/176/Iowa State/Allen, TX)
Daryl Richardson (RB/5-10/196/Abilene Christian/Jacksonville, FL)
Caleb Schlauderaff (G/6-4/302/Utah/Shelton, WA)
Matt Simms (QB/6-3/210/Tennessee/Franklin Lakes, NJ)
Zach Thompson (DL/6-5/265/Wake Forest/Ashburn, VA)

Reserve/Physically Unable to Perform (PUP)

Antwan Barnes (LB/6-1/251/Florida International/Miami, FL)

Brian Bassett, TheJetsBlog.com

On this list there are only two players who were drafted in 2014 that were cut by the Jets.  CB Brandon Dixon who had a tough time adjusting under the lights of the preseason and Tajh Boyd needs more refinement before he could be a player that the Jets could justify adding to their 53 man roster.

Of the group, there’s a number of good candidates for the practice squad: Tajh Boyd, Troy Davis, Brandon Dixon,  Tevita Finau, Rontez Miles, Chris Pantale, Johnny Patrick (not sure of eligibility) Jeremy Reeves, Darryl Richardson and Matt Simms.  Of that group, I would not be surprised if about six or seven of that group could see time on the active roster for the Jets this season.

There’s only a few players that I don’t imagine would come back to the Jets at any point.  Dimitri Patterson and Stephen Hill would be on that list.  Will Campbell and Garrett McIntyre might have been as useful to the Jets as he could have been, but with a bunch of young linebackers and receivers who were just drafted, I don’t know that the team will have use for them in the future.

Jets release suspended CB Dimitri Patterson

The Jets have announced that they have cut veteran cornerback Dimitri Patterson on Saturday ahead of the 4PM deadline to cut the roster down to53. (PFT, Aug. 30)

Patterson was suspended by the Jets after going AWOL before last week’s third preseason game.  Patterson talked with the team on Sunday after two days unexcused absence and the team suspended Patterson until September 1st.  Patterson obviously didn’t make it that far, being cut two days before his suspension was lifted.

Patterson saw action in just one preseason game and looked outclassed by Colts QB Andrew Luck and TY Hilton before being injured during the game.  Patterson never saw the preseason field since.

Patterson had signed signed a one-year deal worth $3 million with the Jets back in March that included a $1 million signing bonus.

Brian Bassett, TheJetsBlog.com

Good riddance to bad rubbish.

If the Jets had any doubt about cutting Patterson, it was likely removed Thursday when the cornerback released his ludicrous statement to ESPN’s Josina Anderson calling the team liars, obviously around the Jets normal protocol for players interacting with the media.

Beyond his not showing up for work and his bad judgement in making public statements, Patterson looked bad on the field — he was burned multiple times during the first half against the Colts but it wasn’t anything that wasn’t already taking place routinely on the Jets practice field during training camp.

I fully expect players like Darrin Walls, Ellis Lankster and others to be able to step into the gap while Dee Milliner heals up for the season.  It might not be pretty, but I do think the Jets can get the job done thanks to good depth at safety.  It is fair to be concerned about the players the Jets have left on the roster, but we expect the Jets to be active on the waiver / free agent market between now and Tuesday when practices begin in earnest for their matchup next weekend against the Raiders.

Jets release Boyd

The Jets have released quarterback Tajh Boyd the team confirmed on Saturday (Walder, Aug. 30). 


Brian Bassett, TheJetsBlog.com

Matt Simms did everything in his power to warrant his status as the team’s third quarterback.  Boyd might have potential, but it will take more time for any NFL team to determine that.  It is clear that Martavis Bryant and Sammy Watkins were much bigger elements than anyone realized over a year ago.

Boyd struggled in camp and during the time he saw in the preseason.  Boyd is a dynamic and charismatic player who has a history of being able to provide a spark during his days at Clemson.  The team might try to get him back onto their team as a developmental player as a member of the practice squad.  I think the Jets would be well served in not giving up on Boyd just yet.  

 

Jets cut Stephen Hill

The Jets cut 2012 second round pick Stephen Hill on Saturday.

Hill had 45 catches and 594 receiving in two years. The Georgia Tech product, who played in the triple-option in college, never harnessed his speed.

Roster cuts can be found here. 

Update 12:10 p.m.: The Jets have also cut RB Alex Green, TE Chris Pantale and DE Zach Thompson.


Brian Bassett, TheJetsBlog.com

A month ago it seemed unlikely that the Jets would give up before the season on Stephen Hill but while the public comments from the coaches were positive, the whisper campaign started in earnest when it was learned that the Jets had tried to trade Hill earlier this offseason.  At this point the release of their former second rounder is a much softer blow.

In retrospect, Hill seemed to know that his time with the team was drawing short.  He seemed more agitated on the field during camp and in the preseason games in 2014.

It might be that Stephen Hill will go on and be successful elsewhere in an offense with a more established quarterback, but just like Mark Sanchez it wasn’t working with the Jets and time might not have fixed whatever ailed the situation when it came to the Jets. 

Jets release RB Richardson, LB Edds

The Jets gave have released running back Daryl Richardson and will appear to be going with three backs on the roster per (Walder, Aug. 30). 

Fellow running back Alex Green has also been cut. (Walder, Aug. 30)

Linebacker A.J Edds has also been released despite having a strong camp (Costello, Aug. 30).

Update: 11:30 a.m.: The Jets also released CB Johnny Patrick. 


Brian Bassett, TheJetsBlog.com

For any running backs behind Bilal Powell, it was going to be very difficult to make this roster with both Chris Johnson and Chris Ivory on the team and Powell filling in the gaps as a versatile backup.

Edds had a good camp and did a fair job during the preseason.  We think the Jets are putting him into the flood, but don’t be shocked if Edds is back as a practice squadder for a pretty solid group of linebackers that looks likely to make the team.
Patrick is a surprise to me.  With the Jets concerns at the position, I thought Patrick had done enough to earn a spot, but that might not be the case.  Either way, as of noon Saturday that means that LeQuan Lewis is still in the running to make the roster and so is Brandon Dixon.

Four things Jets can do to address the question at CB

Brian Bassett, TheJetsBlog.com

On Friday, Jets head coach told reporters that it was “still too early to tell” if the secondary’s centerpiece player, Dee Milliner, would be ready to suit up against the Raiders for the first game of the season.  With all questions about Dimitri Patterson and concerns at the team’s depth in the secondary, what can they do?

Keep more cornerbacks than normal — Normally, the Jets might not be able to afford to keep some extra players like Johnny Patrick and man-on-the-spot LeQuan Lewis.  Brandon Dixon might have been a 2014 draft pick for the team, but if this secondary had to press two of them into service, right now I’d take Lewis and Patrick over Dixon by a wide margin.  In other seasons players like Lewis and Patrick might feel the crunch.  But after some commendable play in the preseason after being put in a tough position, the Jets might find a spot or two (and playing time) for players like Lewis and Patrick while they await Dee Milliner’s return to the field.

Dee Milliner

How quickly can Jets top cornerback Dee Milliner return to the field?

Sign one of the few veteran players left – We wrote about the “big” names left on the market a few days ago.  Players like Asante Samuel, Terrell Thomas and Jabari Greer might all be looking to hook on with an NFL team … could the Jets be their next home?  If the Jets were to bring in one older player, I would like adding Drayton Florence the best, who played last season with the suprisingly good Panthers secondary in 2013.  There’s also the question of timing.  Could the Jets sign one of these players after the first week of the season when veteran salaries are no longer guaranteed for the entire season?  It’s possible, but it is an unecessary move for a team with around $20 million in cap space and serious concerns in their secondary.

Utilize the cutdowns – In past years, former GM Mike Tannenbaum would refer to this time of year as the team’s “minidraft” in which the team would use their prior draft grades from young players that were squeezed off rosters for one reason or another.  Teams might have wanted to move on, or just send them to the practice squad and the Jets tried to take advantage.  Some players that the Jets currently have on their roster that fit this bill are backup swing tackle Ben Ijalana, receiver Clyde Gates and former Packers running back Alex Green.  While the level of player likely to get cut and added via waiver claims is dubious, depth might be the play for the Jets here.  Two names that hit the radar that might fit the bill yesterday were Tommie Campbell and Brandon Harris.

Just wait it out — We fully believe that a healthy Milliner solves most of the problems the Jets are faced with in their secondary.  It seems unlikely that Dee Milliner will be able to play at 100% before October, but if there is one saving grace in this whole thing it is that the Jets play the Raiders in Week 1 who have yet to determine who their starting quarterback will be for their first game eight days from now.  Can the Jets whistle past the graveyard in Week 1?  It’s possible, but that doesn’t mean the Jets won’t want to get Milliner back on the field as soon as they can thereafter with offenses like the Packers Bears Lions bearing down.

SI.com profiles a friend

Look at who was profiled over at SI.com?

TJB family member Jake Steinberg had an article written about how he’s gotten to where he is and discusses where he’s looking to go.

It’s a great read for many readers who often ask us, ‘who is Steiny?’

Brian Bassett, TheJetsBlog.com

We’re proud that Jake has been a part of the family here at TJB for years and are glad for the recognition that SI’s Jack Dickey gave in writing this profile of him.  Jake started writing a few articles for the site many years ago and is making his way into a tumultuous world and it is due to his dedication and positive outlook.

I know that I speak for Bent when I say that the two of us are proud of Jake’s accomplishments, but we’re even prouder of who he is a person.  Congrats Jake!