Image Credit: (Rich Barnes/USA Today Sports)
Written by: Nicholas Mullick Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/nicholas-mullick-354076184/
On August 12th, 2022 the New York Jets will be playing their 1st preseason game against the Philadelphia Eagles. I can’t believe that football is back this quickly. Since I already wrote the players that were on the roster at the time. I thought I would give my 1st 53-man roster prediction. In this, I have labeled players as either Locks, Made Roster, or Cut. If a player is labeled as a Lock then there is a 0% chance that they will be getting cut. If they are labeled as made roster, well they then made the roster. Now if they are labeled as a Cut, well then they are off the team. So let's get this started by looking at the Jets Offense.
Locks: Zach Wilson
Made Roster: Joe Flacco
Cut: Mike White and Chris Streveler
Let's be real this is really going to matter for the backup role because Zach Wilson is not going anywhere this season at all. He should be the week 1 starter unless he gets injured. I have been on record many times saying that I never want to see Joe Flacco start another football game as a New York Jet ever again. I still believe that no disrespect to Joe Flacco as he was great during his time in Baltimore, but seeing Flacco as the Jets QB keeps reminding me of the Adam Gase years. Which were not great years being a Jets fan as he was one of the worst coaches in Jets History and was just as bad of a coach as Richie Kotite. But it is clear the coaching staff are high on Flacco as the backup more than they are with Mike White. Heck Robert Saleh was even quoted saying “Joe Flacco is a starting quarterback in this league. He's really, really talented and can start in this league’’. I legit laughed when he said this because he has been terrible since he left Baltimore. Honestly, I can’t even remember the last time Flacco was great since he left Baltimore. It might have something to do with the neck injury he had in Denver, but Flacco is 37 and is not getting any younger. But it seems the Jets see Flacco as more dependable than Mike White is. So I have Flacco making it and White getting cut. As for Streveler, he is more of a camp arm and I don’t see him making the roster. I can see him on the practice squad though if he shows flashes.
Running Back (4)
Locks: Michael Carter and Breece Hall
Made Roster: Ty Johnson and Tevin Coleman
Cut: La’Mical Perine and Zonavan Knight
With Michael Carter having a strong rookie season and the Jets drafting Breece Hall in the 2nd round it is safe to say that they are locks to make the team. As for Ty Johnson and Tevin Coleman, I would not call them locks yet. I have them for now as a made roster as Ty Johnson was solid for the Jets last season and Tevin Coleman has connections with the coaching staff. As for La’Mical Perine, I think his tenure with the Jets could come to an end in a few weeks. Perine was once thought to be the guy at running back, but has not impressed at all and has durability issues. This is his last chance or he will be looking for a new team. Now Zonavan Knight is an interesting one as he was one of the prospects that I was shocked went undrafted. But he needs to impress and play consistently if he wants to get a roster spot on this team.
Made Roster: Trevon Wesco
Cut: Nick Bawden
Even though the current depth chart has Wesco as a Tight End, I am still not convinced that he will not be utilized in a hybrid form as a fullback. Maybe that will change if Bawden impresses, but for now, I have Wesco still on the team and Bawden is the odd man out. But it is a wait-and-see.
Wide Receivers (6)
Locks: Corey Davis, Braxton Berrios, Garrett Wilson, Elijah Moore
Made Roster: Jeff Smith, Rashard Davis
Cut: Denzel Mims, Tarik Black Calvin Jackson, Irvin Charles, Keshunn Abram
Corey Davis is not going anywhere due to his awful contract. Berrios is a lock, as he was re-signed to a 2-year contract and emerged as a talented receiver/special teams player. Anybody who is a Top 10 1st round pick will not be cut this offseason, so Garrett Wilson is a lock. Elijah Moore emerged and impressed last season. Honestly, I have a feeling he might be the number 1 receiver on the team and the Jets should not cut him. Jeff Smith was a guy who the coaching staff is clearly attached to and it seems like he is a guy in the locker room everyone likes. As of now, I have him making the roster, but I don’t see him as a lock yet. Rashad Davis has been a journeyman in the league, but has an impact on special teams and could be useful if he impresses on offense as well. I have him on the roster. Denzel Mims aka Chris Herndon 2.0, should be cut. This is the last chance, but when you are jumped over the depth chart by Tarik Black last season, your time is done with that team. Especially when you are a former 2nd round pick. Unless an injury occurs, I don’t see how Mims is on the roster. Black, Jackson, Charles, and Abram are battling for practice squad spots.
Tight End (3)
Locks: C.J. Uzomah, Tyler Conklin, and Jeremy Ruckert
Made Roster: None
Cut: Kenny Yeboah and Lawrence Cager
This one is simple to analyze, as unless injuries occur this position seems locked. There is no chance that C.J. Uzomah and Tyler Conklin are going anywhere as they were signed to contracts in the offseason. The Jets used a 3rd round pick on Jeremy Ruckert and I doubt he gets cut. Yeboah and Cager are battling for a spot on the practice squad or to get a roster spot if injuries occur. It has been years since the Jets have had a consistently good Tight End since the Mickey Shuler days, and hopefully, the Jets have one on the roster.
Offensive Line (9)
Locks: George Fant, Alijah Vera Tucker, Laken Tomlinson, Connor McGovern
Likely Going to IR: Mekhi Becton
Made Roster: Chuma Edoga, Nate Herbig, Max Mitchell, Dan Feeney, and Caleb Benenoch
Cut: Conor McDermott, Parker Fergerson, Grant Hermanns, Greg Senat, Isaiah Williams, Dru Samia, Derrick Kelly, and Ross Pierschbacher
This is the hardest position to predict for the Jets. First off there is no word yet on how bad Becton’s latest knee injury is, but it is not looking good. I would not be shocked if he goes on the PUP list. I honestly would not be shocked if he was taken out for Fant, Vera-Tucker, Tomlinson, and McGovern are clearly going to start and are locks to make the roster for obvious reasons. Nate Herbig has a lot of hype the moment the Jets signed him and as of now, I think he will make the roster. Mitchell was selected in the 4th round and I doubt he will be cut, but this is the same organization that cut Jachai Polite in his rookie season. The Jets are still high on Dan Feeney and many in the locker room like him which could give him an edge in making the roster. Conor McDermott is dealing with a leg issue and if he can’t stay healthy, he will likely be looking for a new team. McDermott can’t be dependable if he is not on the field. McDermott’s injury is Edoga’s benefit as of now I see him taking the backup tackle spot. Caleb Benenoch was recently signed to the Jets and he may be a journeyman, but is a sneaky player to make the roster as he can play on any part of the line. Parker Fergerson, Grant Hermanns, and Greg Senat are intriguing options at tackle but must impress in the next few weeks to make the roster. The Jets were interested in Isaiah Williams as he was stuck on the Jets practice squad, but with depth at guard, he needs to perform better. Samia and Kelly are fighting for a practice squad spot. I am still high on Pierschbacher, but he must showcase his talent when he is on the field in the pre-season.
UPDATE: Becton has suffered a Kneecap/Patella Injury that is going to take him out for a large chunk of the season. Becton won’t get cut, so I am now labeling him as being on IR. I have decided for now to have Caleb Benenoch make the roster.
Defensive Tackle (5)
Locks: Quinnen Williams, John Franklin-Myers
Made Roster: Solomon Thomas, Sheldon Rankins, Jonathan Marshall
Cut: Tanzel Smart and Nathan Shepherd
Quinnen Williams is the best player on this defense line and is not going anywhere. John Franklin-Myers disappointed last season, and hopefully, he can get better next season. Due to his contract, Franklin-Myers is not going anywhere. Solomon Thomas was recently listed as a starter on the Jets depth chart which surprises me, but then I realized he has a close connection with Saleh during their 49er years. I would not call him a lock though until I see him play in the preseason. Rankins and Marshall should make the roster as rotational players. Tanzel Smart must have a strong pre-season to have a shot at the 53-man roster. Nathan Shepherd’s time is running out and like Denzel Mims, I am shocked Shepherd is still here with the Jets.
DE/EDGE Rusher (5)
Locks: Carl Lawson and Jermaine Johnson
Made Roster: Josh Martin, Bryce Huff, Michael Clemons
Cut: Vinny Curry, Jabari Zuniga, Hamilcar Rashed Jr.
With the number of economic resources and draft capital they put in at this position the past few years, I think it is safe to say Carl Lawson and Jermaine Johnson are locks to make the roster. I contemplated putting Josh Martin as he was a hidden gem on an awful Texans defense, but I decided to wait and see how he performs during the preseason. Bryce Huff was solid last season with the Jets, but I would not say he was excellent. With the additions of a healthy Lawson and drafting both Johnson along with Clemons, his job is not safe until he can again prove he belongs in the pre-season. The Jets used a 4th round selection on Michael Clemons and he should make the roster as a result. Then again Jachai Polite was a 3rd round pick and the Jets cut him due to many issues. Vinny Curry is obviously not going to be the long-term option and he has been struggling in training camp. As of now, it is not looking good for him to make this team. As for Jabari Zuniga, I am shocked he is still on the roster. Excluding that one game last year against the Bengals, he has not been great for the Jets. Hamilcar Rashed Jr. was a guy that should have made the roster last season, but with the additions of Johnson, Clemons, and Martin I doubt that he makes the roster unless injuries occur.
Locks: CJ Mosley and Quincy Williams
Made Roster: Kwon Alexander, Hamsah Nasirildeen, and Jamien Sherwood
Cut: Del’Shawn Phillips, Marcel Harris, and DQ Thomas
The linebackers are a bit simpler to predict than the rest of the defense.CJ Mosley is a lock due to his contract and being the leader of this group. With Quincy Williams impressing last season and his brother Quinnen on the team, Quincy is not going anywhere. Kwon Alexander was recently signed to a one-year contract and he has more experience than the rest of the LB core that are not locks. But he needs to stay healthy and continue to show that he has plenty left in the tank. As of now, I have him as made the roster due to his connections with Robert Saleh, but it is a wait-and-see with him. For now, I have Nasirildeen and Sherwood as made the rosters, as they were the experimental players last season and were solid last season. However, I am not confident that both will make the roster as Del’Shawn Phillips has connections with defensive coordinator Jeff Ulbrich in Atlanta. But time will tell later in the preseason. Harris and Thomas for now seem like the odd players out, but if they impress they could be the sleeper and take a roster spot for this team.
Locks: DJ Reed, Ahmad “Sauce” Gardner, Bryce Hall, Micheal Carter
Made Roster: Brandon Echols, and Justin Hardee
Cut: Javelin Guidry, Isaiah Dunn, Luq Barcoo, and Rachad Wildgoose
The Cornerbacks compared from last year to this year are a lot more talented. Especially with the additions of DJ Reed and Ahmad “Sauce” Gardner. Both are absolutely locks to make the roster due to the resources the Jets spent to get them on the team. For last year Michael Carter and Bryce Hall impressed last season. They should be locks to make the team as well. I like Echols as he did well last season, but I would not call him a lock to make the roster. It is going to be between him and Guidry. Hardee is more of a special teams player, but I think he should make the roster. Dunn, Barcoo, and Wildgoose must impress to even have a shot at making the roster.
Locks: Jordan Whitehead
Made Roster: Lamarcus Joyner, Jason Pinnock, and Elijah Riley
Cut: Ashtyn Davis, Will Parks, Tony Adams, and Kai Nacua
Out of the safeties on the roster, I believe Jordan Whitehead is the clear lock for this core as he was a big signing in free agency to help fix the secondary. Joyner as a veteran presence on this team should have an impact if he can stay healthy. It looks like Pinnock will be playing safety full-time which is the right move as he played very well last season. If he continues to get better, he could steal the starting role. He is definitely a sleeper and someone to watch in these next few weeks. In the case of Elijah Riley, many forget has a lot of hype during last season and the coaching staff was very high on him. At moments he played very well for the Jets and if he can stay healthy, he should get a spot with the Jets. I have Ashtyn Davis being cut as he is not getting better and has been a complete liability on this team. This is his last season to prove himself or else he will be looking for a new team to play with. Kai Nacua, Will Parks, and Tony Adams may be long shots, but anything can happen where they get a roster spot or a spot on the practice squad.
Kicker - Eddy Pineiro and Greg Zuerlein
Made Roster: Eddy Pineiro
Cut: Greg Zuerlein
The revolving door at kicker continues. The Jets have a tough choice here, but as of now, I am going with Pineiro. Zuerlein is not in his prime and has not been the same since he left the Los Angeles Rams. Pineiro was solid last season and if continues to perform well, then he should get the role of kicker.
Long Snapper (1)
Locks: Thomas Hennessy
The longest-tenured New York Jet Thomas Hennessy is not going anywhere as he is the only long snapper on the team.
Locks: Braden Mann
With the Jets only having Braden Mann on the roster, he will be the guy at punter for the team this season.