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The preseason is over and teams have until Saturday at 6 PM to release their 53 man roster. Just another indication of how close we are to the start of the season. Unfortunately, that means the Jets will be playing (and losing) meaningful games soon. Ugh. Anyway, here's a lot at who I think will make it to the Opening Day roster, with some extra thoughts.
In: Geno Smith, Mark Sanchez, Matt Simms, Greg McElroy
Out: Graham Harrell
Ideally, Mark Sanchez would be the one cut here, but they have guaranteed him a rather large amount of money, so that can't happen. Obviously Smith is the guy the Jets are grooming to be the guy eventually, but it looks like he'll have the be the guy from Day 1 with Sanchez hurting. Simms should have gotten a chance to work with the first team because he looks like a nice talent. Only the Jets would keep four QBs, which I believe they will do. They like McElroy as a young, possible replacement in case Smith is bad early and Sanchez is Sanchez. The team doesn't trust Simms enough yet. I have no idea why they even bothered to sign Harrell.
Running Back (4)
In: Chris Ivory, Bilal Powell, Kahlil Bell, Tommy Bohanon
Out: Mossis Madu, Lex Hilliard (IR)
I like Kahlil Bell the best out of the three halfbacks listed here, but that's not really saying much. I don't think Ivory can stay healthy, and I don't even know what to make of him when he is healthy. Bilal Powell does nothing for me, but he may surprise me. With Lex Hilliard out for the year, Bohanon is the only fullback on the roster.
Wide Receiver (6)
In: Santonio Holmes, Jeremy Kerley, Stephen Hill, Ben Obomanu, Ryan Spadola, Clyde Gates
Out: Michael Campbell, Zach Rogers, Mohamed Massaquoi, Vidal Hazelton (IR)
Clyde Gates has looked better this year after angering me throughout last year. He's incredibly fast and if he improves his route running, could certainly be a contributor. Spadola looks like he could be a pretty nice addition to this ragtag bunch.
Tight End (3)
In: Kellen Winslow, Jr., Jeff Cumberland, Konrad Reuland
Out: Chris Pantale
I think Winslow is fine, but nothing special because obviously injuries have ravaged him throughout his career. He'll be essential in being a check down option for Geno Smith. Cumberland is a good blocker, so he'll have to stay. Watch Reuland, he's looking like he may be at least a decent possession receiver and he's improving all around.
Offensive Line (9)
In: Nick Mangold, D'Brickashaw Ferguson, Willie Colon, Brian Winters, Austin Howard, Caleb Schlauderaff, Oday Aboushi, Jason Smith, Vladimir Ducasse
Out: J.B. Shugarts, Patrick Ford, Will Campbell, Erik Cook, Scott Wedige
The five starters are going to be Mangold, Ferguson, Colon, Winters, and Howard. They just drafted Aboushi and he can be very valuable because he can play got guard and tackle. The interesting guy to watch is Vlad Ducasse. It's not out of the realm of possibility that this bust will be mercilessly cut. I just can't really make that call just yet. I know you read that last name as "Scott Wedgie." Don't lie to me.
Defensive Tackle (2)
In: Kenrick Ellis, Damon Harrison
Out: Lanier Coleman, Tevita Finau, Junior Aumavae
Ellis might lose a lot of his playing time to Sheldon Richardson when Coples returns from injury early in the year. But that's only if the Jets use a 3-4 base again, which might not be the case. Also, Coples may move to linebacker. We'll have to wait and see. But for now, Ellis's size, strength, and quickness make him a key player here. Harrison looks to be a pretty good backup and will be a nice contributor in the middle and at the end.
Defensive End (4)
In: Muhammad Wilkerson, Sheldon Richardson, Quinton Coples, Leger Douzable
Out: Antonio Garay
Each of the last three years, the Jets have spent a first round pick on this line. The first of the three, Wilkerson had a great season last year, and I think he'll be even better this year, becoming more of a force in the pass rush. Speaking of pass rush, Quinton Coples was selected in the first round of the 2012 draft, and while he's starting the year injured, he looks to be a major factor in the pass rush when he returns, which looks like it's going to be around Week 2. His absence is why I'm listing Sheldon Richardson at defensive end, which is where he will play at the beginning of the year. As I just mentioned, the defensive scheme has been questioned recently, and we will never really know. Rex Ryan is notorious for having many versatile looks, so Wilkerson, Richardson, Coples and Ellis will find their way into the lineup somehow. Richardson's incredible athleticism makes him fun to watch, and he may just develop into an elite player. I must say that I thoroughly enjoyed Leger Douzable in the two preseason games that I watched. I was sort of surprised that Garay was cut today.
In: David Harris, Nick Bellore, Demario Davis, Josh Mauga, Garrett McIntyre, Calvin Pace, Antwan Barnes, Ricky Sapp, Danny Lansanah, Troy Davis
Out: JoJo Dickson, Jacquies Smith
Harris is obviously the star of this group. Demario Davis is at least decent in both the pass rush and run defense. He may continue to develop. Troy Davis and Lansanah have looked pretty good this preseason. Rex Ryan has been on record recently with his praise for Ricky Sapp.
In: Antonio Cromartie, Dee Milliner, Kyle Wilson, Isaiah Trufant, Darrin Walls
Out: Mike Edwards, Royce Adams, Ellis Lankster
The one that's going to raise some eyebrows here if the fact that I have Ellis Lankster being cut. He wasn't particularly good in the slot last year, which would have been his role this season. Darrin Walls will probably be as good or better than Lankster, but he actually has some upside. Wilson needs to improve in the slot, but Isaiah Trufant has impressed me in limited time over the past few years.
In: Dawan Landry, Jaiquawn Jarrett, Josh Bush
Out: Antonio Allen, Rontez Miles
If they don't keep four quarterbacks, expect Allen to take that spot. Jarrett will be starting opposite Landry because well, Allen is quite bad.
PK--Nick Folk; P--Robert Malone; LS--Tanner Purdum
I have no idea why the Jets love Nick Folk so much. I think that Dan Carpenter would have been the better option because Folk has been quite inconsistent. Malone has no competition. Purdum is Purdum.