Saturday, September 4, 2010

Jets' 53-man roster being unveiled

Sorry for the lack of updates this week. I was on a quick vacation all week and had very limited internet access.

Then again, it's not like I've missed much. The Jets-Eagles game was a typical 4th preseason game: no starters and a lot of sloppiness.

The most important things from yesterday's game are that Mark Brunell doesn't look so terrible, Joe McKnight still does, and Vernon Gholston is continuing to improve. Santonio Holmes getting on the board for his first Jets' touchdown is nice, but against players who may never play in a real NFL game, the former Super Bowl MVP should be able to dominate.

Now, it's up to trimming down the final roster. By 6:00 PM, the roster must be down to 53 players, not counting Holmes (suspended), Darrelle Revis (holding out), Erik Ainge (drug rehab), and Ropati Pitoitua (injured reserve).

Here's what Manish Mehta expects the roster to look like come cut-down time according to his sources.

Quarterbacks (3): Mark Sanchez, Mark Brunell, Kellen Clemens
Halfbacks (5): Shonn Greene, LaDainian Tomlinson, Chauncey Washington, Danny Woodhead, Joe McKnight
Fullbacks (2): Tony Richardson, John Conner
Wide Receivers (4): Jerricho Cotchery, Braylon Edwards, Brad Smith, David Clowney
Tight Ends (4): Dustin Keller, Ben Hartsock, Jeff Cumberland, Matt Mulligan
Offensive Line (8): Nick Mangold, D’Brickashaw Ferguson, Brandon Moore, Damien Woody, Matt Slauson, Vladimir Ducasse, Rob Turner, Wayne Hunter
Defensive Line (6): Kris Jenkins, Sione Pouha, Shaun Ellis, Vernon Gholston, Mike DeVito, Matt Kroul
Cornerbacks (6): Antonio Cromartie, Kyle Wilson, Dwight Lowery, Marquice Cole, Brian Jackson, Drew Coleman
Safeties (4): Jim Leonhard, Eric Smith, Brodney Pool, James Ihedigbo
Linebackers (8): David Harris, Bart Scott, Calvin Pace, Jason Taylor, Bryan Thomas, Jamaal Westerman, Kenwin Cummings, Lance Laury
Specialists (3): K Nick Folk, P Steve Weatherford, LS Tanner Purdum

However, it's very unlikely this is the roster that is brought into opening day. While Joe McKnight's roster spot is safe as a 4th round pick, Rex Ryan has said he doesn't have confidence in the rookie right now. Still, it's rare for a team to keep seven runningbacks; five is typically the amount teams use. Look for the Jets to shop Chauncey Washington to see if they can get anything for the powerful USC product who ran very hard in preseason. He'd likely have more value than Woodhead, and trading McKnight would be admitting a mistake too early. He'll be safe until next year, where he needs to be better or he might get cut.

Lance Laury is also still on the bubble, as one of the rare veteran backups on this team. The Jets have been cutting corners financially this offseason at times, and the Jets may opt to bring in a cheaper rookie to replace him. However, Laury is immediately one of the Jets' best special teamers, and in an uncapped year, it would come off as cheap to let him go.

But just as last year the Jets brought in guys like Jason Davis, Matthew Mulligan, and Ben Hartsock, the Jets will monitor other teams' final cuts to see if they can bring in some help. Last year, it was obvious the Jets needed another tight end or two. This year, it's slightly less obvious. A linebacker who can get after the quarterback while Calvin Pace is out or a wide receiver who can help carry the load while Holmes is suspended could be brought in. Also, another rotational defensive lineman could be acquired, although Vernon Gholston's recent play is a huge positive.

Finally, while there are six cornerbacks on the team right now, there's always the matter of Darrelle Revis. If he reports to the team, someone will have to be cut. If he doesn't report to the team, the Jets might need to bring in a dime back to improve over Drew Coleman.

And there's still the matter of the practice squad.

Right now, here's my prediction of the Jets' practice squad.
CB Brian Jackson (waived for future FA pickup)
LB Cory Reamer
LB Brashton Satele
DT Martin Tevaseu
DE Jason Lamb
S Emanuel Cook
S Donovan Warren
WR Larry Taylor


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