Front Seven

Nose Tackle

  1. Damon Harrison
  2. Deon Simon

The man they call “snacks,” Damon Harrison, remains one of the top run stoppers in the game.

Defensive End, Interior Line

  1. Muhammad Wilkerson (LDE)
  2. Leonard Williams (RDT)
  3. T.J. Barnes (Sub Interior)
  4. Kevin Vickerson

With Sheldon Richardson now most likely out more than just four-games, USC rookie Leonard Williams shifts to an immediate starting role. It’s nothing he can’t handle, but T.J. Barnes suddenly has a chance to shine as a sub-guy. The last spot will come down to veterans Kevin Vickerson and Stephen Bowen.

Middle Linebacker

  1. Demario Davis (RILB)
  2. David Harris (LILB)
  3. Joe Mays
  4. Jamari Lattimore

Although David Harris was re-signed to a pretty hefty 3-year, $21.5 million deal ($15 million guaranteed), it is now time for Demario Davis to assume the top leadership role on this defense. Davis’s arsenal is equipped with lightning fast mobility and a punch that can knock anybody on their backside. In addition, he can also do a little pass covering in space, something Harris struggles with mightily.

Signings such as Joe Mays and Jamari Lattimore bring depth to the inside linebacker position New York hasn’t seen in years. Undrafted rookie Taiwan Jones will really have to show something in order to make Todd Bowles keep five inside backers.

Outside Linebacker, Edge Rusher

  1. Quinton Coples (ROLB)
  2. Lorenzo Mauldin (LOLB)
  3. Jason Babin (Sub Rusher)
  4. Calvin Pace

If there’s one spot on defense that’ll make or break their greatness, it’s the edge pass rushers. Quinton Coples is solid (16.5 sacks in three years), but he profiles more as a No. 2 guy.

The guy to watch will be rookie Lorenzo Mauldin. Although Calvin Pace is still running with the first-team in practice, he won’t be starting once the season comes. In fact, he might even get cut in favor for Trevor Reilly. Mauldin can be that big-time X-Factor the Jets need along the edge.

Suspended: Sheldon Richardson (DL)

Notable Cuts: Stephen Bowen (DL), Davon Walls (NT), Taiwan Jones (MLB), Trevor Reilly (OLB)

Robby Sabo is a co-founder, CEO and credentialed New York Jets content creator for Jets X-Factor - Jet X, which includes Sabo's Sessions (in-depth film breakdowns) and Sabo with the Jets. Host: Underdog Jets Podcast with Wayne Chrebet and Sabo Radio. Member: Pro Football Writers of America. Coach: Port Jervis (NY) High School. Washed up strong safety and 400M runner. SEO: XL Media. Founder: Elite Sports NY - ESNY (Sold in 2020). SEO: XL Media. Email: robby.sabo[at]