New York Jets: Final 53-Man Roster Evaluation Ahead of Season Opener
EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - AUGUST 12: A ball and two New York Jets helmets sit on the sideline during the National Football League preseason game between the Tennessee Titans and the New York Jets on August 12, 2017 at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, NJ. (Photo by Joshua Sarner/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

The New York Jets have finalized their roster ahead of the season opener against the Buffalo Bills. Here’s all the reaction from Boy Green.

It’s game week, New York Jets fans.

After months of staring at the dark abyss, suddenly our lives are filled with purpose and excitement. Despite the tanking narrative, there’s football on Sundays until Feb. 11, 2018.

So without further adieu we’re diving into the deep end of the pool headfirst. We’ll go position through position for the New York Jets roster and give our thoughts.

Quarterback (3): Josh McCownBryce Petty and Christian Hackenberg.

Welp, another veteran leading the Jets who is on a short leash with a couple of young guys in the bullpen raring to go. It should be an interesting season.

All of these cats are likely to play before things are all said and done. However, their performances won’t likely make a difference in what the Jets do in the 2018 NFL Draft. With that being said, the Jets at least owe it to themselves to do their due diligence on Hackenberg and see what he’s ultimately made of on an NFL field.

Running back (4): Matt ForteBilal PowellJulian HowsareElijah McGuire.

Matt Forte is one of the only 30-plus-year-old dinosaurs on the roster. It’s not because the Jets fancy him any better; it’s simply due to the fact that they’re handcuffed by his contract. It would actually cost the Jets more to kick him off the team than to keep him in the rotation. They don’t want to waste money.

However, look for Powell to finally take that leap in his development. I expect a 60-40 split, in favor of Powell, and eventually, McGuire logging significant time in the backfield.

Wide receiver (7): Robby AndersonJermaine KearseArDarius StewartChad HansenCharone Peake, Kalif Raymond, Damore’ea Stringfellow.

Who?!

All kidding aside, I love the youth and intrigue at this position. My favorite player is ArDarius Stewart. He’s definitely going to be a stud receiver but a lot of the other youngsters still show potential.

They also finally got a veteran in Jermaine Kearse, who has low expectations on coming into the season. I think he’s certainly going to surprise some people…the Jets included.

Tight end (3): Eric Tomlinson, Will TyeJordan Leggett.

The Will Tye scoop on waivers was a steal. He should provide a big help on the offensive side, especially with Austin Seferian-Jenkins suspended for the first two games.

Jordan Leggett doesn’t seem like he’ll get much playing time, which is unfortunate. He’s got to earn his role but we can’t wait for the Jets to unleash ASJ on opposing defenses.

Offensive line (9): Kelvin BeachumJames CarpenterWesley JohnsonBrian WintersBrandon ShellBen IjalanaBrent QvaleJonotthan HarrisonDakota Dozier.

Guards are great but the rest is shaky. A lot of youth and hope exists on this squad but this unit lacks true depth and talent.

Much of that can be attributed to the Jets’ refusal to invest in premium selections specifically for this unit. The quarterback development will forever be challenged by lack of weapons and lack of protection. Before the Jets make the move to draft another one, they must fix these pressing issues.

Defensive line (6): Leonard WilliamsSteve McLendonMuhammad WilkersonKony EalyMike PennelClaude Pelon.

Well, no more Sheldon Richardson. But that means plenty of opportunities are to be had for several players on the cusp.

Kony Ealy is a late arrival to the Jets but could be set up to have the biggest impact that no one is expecting. Leonard Williams is continuing to make leaps and bounds in terms of his development and Muhammad Wilkerson should be fully recovered in time to make a difference this season.

Linebacker (8): Darron LeeDemario DavisJordan JenkinsJosh MartinLorenzo MauldinDylan DonahueJulian StanfordEdmond Robinson.

The latest news declares Lorenzo Mauldin was placed on IR, designated to return during the season. He suffered a back injury early on in camp and never recovered to make a splash for the rest of camp. He’ll be eligible to return in Week 8 at the earliest.

The rest of the young bucks at outside linebacker should get their share of opportunities. Expect a lot more from Jordan Jenkins, especially now that he’s familiarized himself with the defense.

Former first-rounder Darron Lee is the X-factor on defense. Demario Davis’ return should bring experience and speed to the unit. Great preseasons from special teams standout Josh Martin and savvy youngster Julian Stanford should equate to regular season success on the Jets.

Cornerback (6): Morris ClaiborneBuster SkrineJuston BurrisDarryl RobertsMarcus WilliamsDerrick Jones.

The most important piece of a Todd Bowles-coached defense is the cornerback play. The Jets got the low-risk, high-reward guy in Claiborne, who could prove to be a stud this year if he remains healthy.

Buster Skrine is a bit washed up, but can ultimately be effective for Gang Green. Juston Burris is my favorite player out of this group and his development is key this season.

Safety (4): Jamal AdamsMarcus MayeRontez MilesTerrence Brooks.

A tantalizing combination at safety for the Jets with the two intriguing youngsters manning the helm…sounds good to me. It won’t be easy this season with a slew of talented quarterbacks on the horizon. However, in the long run, it’s important for this pair to get their battle scars early so they can learn from their mistakes.

Specialists (3): PK Chandler Catanzaro, P Lachlan Edwards and LS Thomas Hennessy.

Insert a lot of “Hennessy” jokes throughout the season. With that aside, a lot of people were surprised that Catanzaro won the job…I was not one of them.

He’s got a much stronger leg and while his field goal-kicking was spotty in the preseason, he’s the better choice. While Lachlan Edwards was awful last season, he better step up or he’ll be stepping out of a Jets uniform.


Well, that wraps up the full preview of every position group on the Jets roster. There’s a ton of youngsters with a lot of promise, be excited, don’t listen to the outside noise. Regardless of what happens in the win and loss column, appreciate the 2017 NFL season because it’s going to go by fast.

Listen to “The Jets Zone: Roster Cuts Preview + Final thoughts before season opener” on Spreaker.

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