Adam Gase
ESNY Graphic, AP Photo

The New York Jets eventual 53-man roster became a little clearer after their Week 2 preseason game against the Atlanta Falcons down south.

Robby Sabo

You don’t play, you don’t get paid. It’s really that simple in the league that plays for pay.

A Mike Francesa stapled phrase or not, it’s true. The National Football League is the land that features livelihoods firmly on the line every summer.

What a casual fan calls boring television (a fourth-quarter preseason game featuring third-teamers), a stud athlete on the brink of an NFL job calls “his moment.” And while the new-age way of August showcases just one flawless cut down to 53 after the preseason finishes, the intensity remains as loud as old-school Metallica.

Greg Dortch or Tim White? Luke Falk or Davis Webb? Lachlan Edwards or Matt Darr? With two games down and two to go, every New York Jets football-playing employee is in the thick of the action, and on this day, we project what the 53-man roster looks like after the Atlanta Falcons contest.

Offense (26)

QB (2)

  1. Sam Darnold
  2. Trevor Siemian

Bet the house Adam Gase keeps no more than two quarterbacks on the roster. This shouldn’t serve as an indictment on either David Webb or Luke Falk, rather the actions of today’s football landscape that take hold.

A Sam Darnold-Trevor Siemian quarterback room is all that’s needed in 2019.

RB (4)

  1. Le’Veon Bell
  2. Ty Montgomery
  3. Bilal Powell
  4. Trenton Cannon

It’s an unpopular opinion, but Elijah McGuire is the odd-man out at the moment. It’s possible Gase keeps five backs, but unlikely. McGuire, unlike his counterparts, suffers strange moments in the passing game, especially beyond 10 yards. Gase wants every back on the roster to possess the ability to serve as a downfield weapon when called upon.

Trenton Cannon is the team’s top kick returner and can do much more via special teams. The other possibility has the Jets cutting ties with the veteran, Bilal Powell, and keeping No. 25.

WR (7)

  1. Robby Anderson
  2. Quincy Enunwa
  3. Jamison Crowder
  4. Deontay Burnett
  5. Josh Bellamy
  6. Greg Dortch
  7. Deonte Thompson

Seven feels like the right number at wideout. The question is, “Which seven?”

It’s possible only six are kept, but Gase loves those weapons.

Greg Dortch is nearly a lock to make the squad, already. As the No. 1 punt returner (while sprinkling in Jamison Crowder), he’s slowly working his way as the No. 2 slot man. Josh Bellamy is also a lock, considering his special teams’ prowess..

It’ll come down to Deonte Thompson and Tim White. Charone Peake’s days are likely numbered. He hasn’t enjoyed a great camp, and as a Mike Maccagnan draftee, he’s on the outside looking in.

TE (4)

  1. Ryan Griffin
  2. Eric Tomlinson
  3. Trevon Wesco
  4. Daniel Brown

Due to the fact Gase doesn’t carry a fullback, the tight end number could be five. However, since Chris Herndon will start the year on the suspended list, four makes sense, and these four are as clearcut as it gets.

OL (9)

  • Kelechi Osemele
  • Ryan Kalil
  • Brian Winters
  • Kelvin Beachum
  • Brandon Shell
  • Chuma Edoga
  • Alex Lewis
  • Tom Compton
  • Jonotthan Harrison

Keeping just eight offensive linemen is a possibility. Going with 10 is a little overboard. Nine is the most standard number across the NFL these days.

With Brett Qvale’s status still up in the air, the four reserves are, like the tight ends, extremely straightforward. Alex Lewis, Tom Compton and Jonotthan Harrison are extra bodies on the inside while Chuma Edoga represents the third tackle.

Defense (24)

DL (7)

  1. Leonard Williams
  2. Quinnen Williams
  3. Henry Anderson
  4. Steve McLendon
  5. Foley Fatukasi
  6. Nathan Shepherd
  7. Bronson Kaufusi

Seven interior defensive linemen seem like one too many for a 3-4 scheme, but this really isn’t a true 3-4 scheme. Gregg Williams has shifted to the 4-3 and both Henry Anderson and Bronson Kaufusi and seeing a ton of time as edge rushers (in the 4-3 and in the sub).

EDGE (5)

  1. Jordan Jenkins
  2. Brandon Copeland
  3. Frankie Luvu
  4. Jachai Polite
  5. Tarell Basham

The Jets defense is extraordinarily beastly up the middle, yet remain very slow and unsure on the outside (via pass rushing and at corner). Considering one of the quicker, finesse guys needs to step up to balance out a bull-rushing Anderson-Jordan Jenkins bookend style, it makes sense to roll with five.

Jamal Adams, C.J. Mosley, Gregg Williams
ESNY Graphic, AP Photo

ILB (3)

  1. C.J. Mosley
  2. Avery Williamson
  3. Blake Cashman

Only three inside linebackers? Well, it makes sense when considering Brandon Copeland is currently the starting WILL in the base 4-3. Like Anderson and Kaufusi, Copeland is also offering up tremendous versatility in Williams’s defense.

It’ll be tough to cut Neville Hewitt and James Burgess, the man who’s currently the No. 2 MIKE.

CB (5)

  1. Trumaine Johnson
  2. Darryl Roberts
  3. Brian Poole
  4. Kyron Brown
  5. Arthur Maulet

Something will eventually have to give in the secondary. Only nine total defensive backs will not cut it. At least 10 are needed.

Still, to begin 2019, nine it is with only five coming at corner. Williams would much rather keep six corners and only six at DL or four at EDGE, but Tarell Basham is much more talented than any man who could potentially hold down the sixth corner at the current moment. The fourth and fifth corners remain hotly contested.

Besides, Blessuan Austin will most likely begin the year on the non-53-man roster, adding an extra corner to the mix eventually.

S (4)

  1. Jamal Adams
  2. Marcus Maye
  3. Rontez Miles
  4. Doug Middleton

Rontez Miles continues to play the single-high safety with Marcus Maye easing his way back into the starting lineup. Doug Middleton, shockingly, isn’t receiving any reps with the first team.

In the end, the safety spot is cut and dry. Maye in centerfield with Jamal Adams roaming, Middelton as the reserve centerfielder and Miles as the guy who can do both as well as kill it on special teams.

Special Teams (3)

  • K: TBD
  • P: Lachlan Edwards
  • LS: Thomas Hennessy

Taylor Bertolet didn’t enjoy a tremendous Thursday night. He missed two extra points in the Jets’ 22-10 victory over the Atlanta Falcons. He also drilled an intermediate field goal, but with workout rumors persisting, the position is up for grabs.

Lachlan Edwards still has work to do in unseating Matt Darr, while Thomas Hennessy is locked in as the long-snapper.

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]