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New York Jets 53 Man Roster Prediction 5.0: Final Cut-Day

(Image credit: Vincent Carchietta/USA Today Sports)

Written by: Nicholas Mullick

As always before we look at my predictions of the 53 man roster, let's look at the transactions that have occurred during the week. Especially with the signings, releases, retirees, and Injury reports.

Signings - OL Isaiah Williams, LB Aaron Adeoye

Releases - WR Josh Malone, WR Manasseh Bailey, OL Tristen Hoge, LB Edmond Robinson

PUP List - S Ashtyn Davis (Knee- is expected to stay on PUP until Week 2), Vinny Curry (Unknown - is expected to stay on PUP until Week 6), Kyle Philips (Ankle - is expected to stay on PUP util Week 4)

Injured Reserve (IR) - CB Corey Ballentine (Knee), DE/EDGE Vinny Curry (Blood Disorder)

Now that the transactions have been listed above. Let's dive into my final 53 man roster prediction.


Quarterback (2)

Locks: Zach Wilson

Made Roster: Josh Johnson

Cut: James Morgan and Mike White

Overview: Zach Wilson will be the starter in Week 1 against the Carolina Panthers and is 100% a lock on the roster. I don’t know how serious Mike White’s rib injury is as he did not play against the Philadelphia Eagles but it gave a ton of reps to Josh Johnson as he performed well against the Eagles. Even though James Morgan performed well against the Eagles I think he will be the one likely out from the QB room. Especially with how poor he played vs the Giants and the Packers. The question will be what type of experience will the Jets choose for their backup, experience in the game of football with Josh Johnson, or experience in the playbook of Matt Lafleur's offensive system? If I made the decision I would go with the experience of the game of football with Josh Johnson to serve as the David Garrad tenure teaching and guiding Zach Wilson through his rookie season. It will be a tough decision to make for GM Joe Douglas and the New York Jets.

Running Back (4)

Locks: Michael Carter, Tevin Coleman, Ty Johnson

Made Roster: La’Mical Perine

Cut: Josh Adams

Overview: Michael Carter is a lock as he is a draft choice from the 2021 draft and worked with the first team in practice. He also was solid running in the preseason. Coleman is a lock due to his connections with Saleh and LaFleur. Plus he has experience as a third-down back with his time with the San Francisco 49ers and Atlanta Falcons. I am locking Ty Johnson’s spot on the roster as he has been the most consistent running back throughout the preseason. I think it's going to come down to La’Mical Perine and Josh Adams. Both have showcased skills of being a power back as they scored points in the red zone (Perine touchdown, Adams two-point conversion). Perine is dealing with an injury but has also been solid in the receiving game as he has made solid catches but has not been extremely impressive. Adams did not perform well in week 1 vs the Giants and had no carries in week 2 vs the Packers. I think Perine has more of a chance of making the 53 man roster over Josh Adams. As Perine is more consistent than Josh Adams has been throughout the preseason.

Fullback (1)

Lock: Trevon Wesco

Overview: No change here. Trevon Wesco will be the starting fullback for the Jets.

Wide Receiver (6)

Locks: Jamison Crowder, Corey Davis, Elijah Moore

Made Roster: Keelan Cole, Denzel Mims, Vyncint Smith

Cut: Braxton Berrios, Lawrence Cager, DJ Montgomery, Jeff Smith

Overview: Jamison Crowder, Corey Davis, and Elijah Moore will be the starting three receivers on the team. Keelan Cole has been solid for the Jets and should make the 53 man roster. A lot of people reported that Denzel Mims could be cut as he was listed as the sixth receiver at the beginning of the preseason. Let's get straight to the point there is no shot that Denzel Mims will be cut from the team. Mainly because of salary reasons as the Jets will have to pay a chunk of his contract for at least the next 2 seasons if he is released. I can see a trade happening if Joe Douglas can get the right price for him. That is the only reason why Mims to me is not a lock for the roster as he could be traded before the first week of the regular season. The final spot is going to come down between Braxton Berrios and Vyncint Smith as they will mainly be utilized on special teams for the Jets. If I were to choose between the two I would have to go with Vyncint Smith as he has been solid both on offense and special teams where in regards to Berrios he is good on special teams but terrible on offense. This choice will be a difficult one for GM Joe Douglas to make. There could be a possibility that the team will keep both Vyncint Smith and Braxton Berrios on the 53 man roster. Jeff Smith and Lawrence Cager impressed during the Eagles game but I don’t think it is enough to make the Jets roster. Montgomery was not impressive vs the Eagles and his chance is low at making the 53 man roster.

Tight End (3)

Locks: Tyler Kroft

Made Roster: Ryan Griffin, Kenny Yeboah

Cut: Daniel Brown, Chris Herndon (*Traded to the Minnesota Vikings*)

Overview: Compared to the first week of the preseason the tight ends were solid in this game. But this position is easily going to be the weakest part of this offense. Tyler Kroft is a lock due to his performance in week two against the Green Bay Packers. Ryan Griffin did not play a lot vs the Eagles as he dealt with a constant hamstring injury. Kenny Yeboah was the biggest winner in the Eagles game after scoring two big touchdowns which led to the tie against the Eagles. His performance increased his chances of making the 53 man roster. No shocker Chris Herndon once again failed to impress throughout the preseason. He has continued to make the same mistakes again and again. You want to know something that is telling that Kenny Yeboah and Tyler Kroft shined more in two quarters than Chris Herndon did in the entire preseason. I think that it is time to end the Herndon experiment and his release will clear around 2 million dollars to add to the salary cap. Out of all the tight ends currently on the roster, Daniel Brown will most likely not make the 53 man roster. He almost cost the Jets the game after he fumbled on 4th down and was terrible running routes all game.

Offensive Lineman (9)

Locks: Mekhi Becton, Alijah Vera-Tucker, Connor McGovern,

Made Roster: Chuma Edoga, George Fant, Dan Feeney, Morgan Moses, Connor McDermott, Greg Van Roten

Cut: Grant Hermanns, Corey Levin, David Moore, James Murray, Isaiah Williams

Overview: Mekhi Becton, Alijah Vera-Tucker and Connor McGovern are valuable on the Jets' offensive line and will not be cut. George Fant and Morgan Moses are battling for the starting right tackle spot but have been solid during the preseason and should make the roster. While Greg Van Roten could be a cap casualty I think the Jets will keep him as the starting right guard. Edoga has been solid in his role but the biggest weakness with him is his durability concerns. Again we have not gotten any knowledge or updates on Connor McDermott’s injuries but as of now, I will keep him as made the 53 man roster. I think the final spot is going to come down to Dan Feeney and the rest of the offensive line depth as Feeney has been extremely inconsistent throughout the preseason. I still think he will make the roster but it would not be a surprise if he does not make the roster. David Moore has been solid and could possibly make the roster. The New York Jets have tested Corey Levin at center but he has been inconsistent with his snaps which is a tremendous issue. Levin has also struggled as a run blocker when he has taken snaps at guard.


Defensive Tackle (5)

Locks: Quinnen Williams, John Franklin-Myers, Sheldon Rankins, Foley Fatukasi

Made Roster: Jonathan Marshall

Cut: Nathan Shepherd, Tanzel Smart

Overview: Quinnen Williams and John Franklin-Myers will be the week 1 starters for the team. Sheldon Rankins is a lock on the roster due to signing an expensive two-year contract with the Jets during free agency. I have made the decision to put Foley Fatukasi as a lock to make the 53 man roster as he has had a strong performance in the preseason showcasing he can provide pressure to the quarterback and he is a hidden gem with his ability as a run stopper. It would be very foolish if the Jets decide to let Foley Fatukasi go into free agency and he is a player I am excited to see play in the regular season. Jonathan Marshall has been extremely impressive throughout the preseason and has shown to have a lot of potential as a future piece if developed properly by Robert Saleh. Jonathan Marshall should make the active roster. Nathan Shepherd and Tanzel Smart have not improved at all in the preseason and most likely will not make the 53 man roster.

Defensive End/EDGE Rushers (4)

Locks: Ronald Blair, Bryce Huff, Hamilcar Rashed Jr, Shaq Lawson

Cut: Jabari Zuniga, Jeremiah Valoaga

Overview: The Jets received more bad news after Vinny Curry announced due to a blood disorder that he will not play in the 2021 season. Bryce Huff and Hamilcar Rashed Jr. have been extremely impressive throughout the preseason and should be the week 1 starters for the team against the Panthers. Even though Ronald Blair didn't play too much due to recovering from his injuries, I think the experience he has in Saleh's system makes him a lock on the 53 man roster. Jeremiah Valoaga has shown flashes throughout the preseason and has a strong chance of making the roster. Again I need to ask if anyone has seen Jabari Zuniga? He once again disappeared during another preseason game once again failing to record a single tackle vs the Philadelphia Eagles. He would be a waste of a roster spot at this time if the team keeps him. He has not gotten any better and has failed to showcase any of his skills throughout the preseason and has continued to get dominated by offensive linemen. By the way, it is important to give a reminder that Joe Douglas and the New York Jets wasted a third-round pick on Jabari Zuniga.

TRADE UPDATE (August 29th, 2021): Jets Acquire DE/EDGE Shaq Lawson from the Houston Texans in exchange for a 2022 6th round draft pick

Just as I was done with 53 man roster projection news came out that the New York Jets have acquired Shaq Lawson in a trade with the Houston Texans in exchange for a 6th round draft pick in the 2022 NFL Draft. Lawson spent his first four seasons with the Buffalo Bills after they utilized a 1st round pick 19th overall in the 2016 NFL Draft. The Dolphins then acquired him via free agency where he played the 2020 season with the team. He did not truly fit Miami’s defense well and was eventually traded to the Texans during the offseason. This trade is a win-win for both teams in my opinion. The Texans were not going to keep Lawson on the roster and got draft capital to help with their rebuild in the next few years. The Jets clearly needed DE/EDGE rusher help after Carl Lawson and Vinny Curry will be out due to an injury. Shaq Lawson's contract is not going to be an issue for the Jets as the team has plenty of cap space to work with and he has a potential out in 2022 so if he struggles they can just let him go with no damage salary-wise. Fun Fact the 6th round pick is actually the pick we acquired from San Francisco in the Jordan Willis trade. To be honest, this is excellent work from Jets GM Joe Douglas. He basically turned a 2021 7th round draft pick and a backup pass rusher in Jordan Willis into Shaq Lawson who is still in his prime. I have provided my grade down below of the Shaq Lawson trade for both teams.

Grades for Shaq Lawson Trade

Jets: B+

Texans: B

With acquiring Shaq Lawson he absolutely is a lock to make the Jets 53 man roster.

Linebacker (5)

Locks: CJ Mosley, Hamsah Nasirildeen, Jamien Sherwood

Made Roster: Blake Cashman, Jarrad Davis

Cut: Aaron Adeoye, Milo Eifler, Noah Dawkins, Del’Shawn Phillips

Overview: CJ Mosley is a lock on the roster due to his contract. Mosley hasn't played football in two years due to a Torn ACL and opting out of the 2020 season due to the Covid-19 pandemic. He luckily showed that he still has it after a strong performance in the preseason and I am hyped to see how he performs in the regular season. The experimental players Hamsah Nasirildeen and Jamien Sherwood had a hiccup against the Eagles and did not play well. I think there will be growing pains in their development and it is not going to hurt their chances as locks to make the roster. They will both start week 1 vs the Panthers. Cashman was impressive vs the Eagles but durability is a concern with him. Jarrad Davis is injured and will be out for two months. Honestly, I'm surprised he has not yet been placed on IR yet but for now, I have him as made the roster. Milo Eifler and Noah Dawkins showed flashes in the preseason but again need to be more consistent with their play on the field. Both could potentially make the Jets practice squad. Aaron Adeoye did not impress during his first appearance vs the Eagles. Out of the linebackers listed above, I think Del’Shawn Phillips will most likely be cut from the team. He has struggled a lot vs the Eagles and lacks the awareness and smooth footwork needed for a linebacker. Philips also was a non-factor vs the Green Bay Packers and did not play vs the New York Giants.

Cornerback (7)

Locks: Bless Austin and Bryce Hall

Made Roster: Michael Carter II, Javelin Guidry, Justin Hardee, Brandon Echols, Jason Pinnock

Cut: Isaiah Dunn, Lamar Jackson

Overview: Bless Austin and Bryce Hall will not be cut as I have the most confidence out of both cornerbacks. Michael Carter II, Brandon Echols, and Jason Pinnock were selected in the 2021 NFL draft and should make the roster. I contemplated putting Echols as a lock but he suffered an injury vs the Eagles. Javelin Guidry has been solid throughout the preseason showing flashes in the slot. Justin Hardee will mainly be utilized on special teams as that is where he was more valuable during his tenure with the New Orleans Saints. Out of the cornerbacks listed above, I think Lamar Jackson will most likely not make the roster. He always struggles with one on one coverage and has not gotten better. Isaiah Dunn struggled throughout the preseason and let J.J. Arcega-Whiteside score a touchdown and it lowered his chances of making the 53 man roster. He is a possible candidate to be on the Jets practice squad as I don’t see him making the 53 man roster.

Safeties (4)

Locks: Lamarcus Joyner, Marcus Maye

Made Roster: JT Hassell, Sharrod Neasman

Cut: Elijah Campbell, Bennett Jackson

Overview: Joyner and Maye will be the week 1 starters. Ashtyn Davis is still on the PUP list and Sharrod Neasman and JT Hassel have been impressive throughout the preseason. Out of all the safeties currently on the roster, I think Elijah Campbell will most likely not make the 53 man roster. The Eagles game did not do him any favors along with Isaiah Dunn as they both let J.J. Arcega-Whiteside scored a touchdown. Bennett Jackson was originally cut on the 1st cut day and was brought back to the team due to the injuries at safety. He has not impressed me during the preseason as much as Hassell and Neasman have.

Special Teams

Kicker (1)

Locks: Matt Ammendola

Long Snapper (1)

Locks: Thomas Hennessy

Punter (1)

Locks: Braden Mann

Overview: The special teams has been set since Matt Ammendola impressed vs the Green Bay Packers. Hopefully, they can keep their momentum up in the regular season.



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