Some of these players are competing for a roster spot while others fouled up a starting opportunity on August 12. As a reminder, the first round of roster cuts is just around the corner on August 16.
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If you’re not out there playing during the preseason and you’re on the roster bubble, it’s hard to be considered a riser or standout. That was the case for four Jets veterans and one youngster.
Both Tevin Coleman and Ty Johnson did not play against the Eagles, although the latter definitely needed the snaps more than Coleman did. Johnson has been dealing with a hamstring ailment and considering rookie Zonovan Knight and 2020 draft pick La’Mical Perine are right on his heels, he really needs to get back on the field as soon as possible.
Fortunately for the ball carrier, he did today. Not only did Johnson return to practice on August 14 but he also caught a touchdown, a nice bounceback after the preseason no-show.
Defensive end Vinny Curry continued to miss valuable summer football as well, as did cornerback Brandin Echols. Neither has played much throughout camp due to nagging injuries and the pair do not have their roster spots in the bag.
Echols would be a shocking cut after his promising rookie campaign but the Jets did add two new starters at the position.
Lastly, Conor McDermott was sidelined with the ankle injury suffered at the Green & White scrimmage. Considering how poor his camp was going before this setback, it’s hard to see McDermott making the roster after the Jets signed veteran OTs Duane Brown and Caleb Benenoch.
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5. Quincy Williams (LB).
Williams should still be a starter when the preseason is said and done, but his stock did take a big hit on Friday night and the wounds were all self-inflicted. As most fans know by now, head coach Robert Saleh tends to deploy two linebackers a good portion of the time with a third nickel cornerback on the field.
That means Williams and newcomer Kwon Alexander will be competing for the larger snap share next to C.J. Mosley. By default, Alexander received a bump this weekend.
Not only was Williams lost in coverage throughout his 15 snaps (48.4 PFF coverage grade), but he also appeared to embarrass Coach Saleh with an undisciplined penalty on Jalen Hurts. That’s not the way you start your “Pro Bowl” campaign.
4. Max Mitchell (RT).
The stage was set for fourth-round draft pick Max Mitchell after the Mekhi Becton injury. Unfortunately, all the rookie proved was that he is not ready to start — hence the Brown acquisition.
Mitchell logged 41 snaps at right tackle, the most snaps out of any offensive player in the opener, but looked generally raw and outmatched while on the field.
The first-year blocker was beaten badly on the play where Zach Wilson scrambled and injured his knee. He also provided very little push in the run game with a PFF grade of 55.4. In pass protection, Mitchell was charged with two QB pressures — one of which was a QB hit.
Don’t sound the alarm just yet, the Louisiana-Lafayette prospect was never meant to start right away. The Brown addition allows him to develop more in year one — which was the original plan.
3. Tim Ward/Bradlee Anae (DE).
You might be asking yourself, didn’t Anae combine on a sack with Tanzel Smart? He did, but the rest of his 30 snaps were filled with a lot of rough moments.
Anae was caught out of position in the run game a few times. The best example that comes to mind was a read option that quarterback Gardner Minshew took for an easy first-down gainer. Anae had the outside containment on the play but was far too overaggressive in the backfield. His 51.6 run defense grade on PFF supports this assessment.
Ward was less noticeable but had a poor outing all around based on his PFF marks. His overall grade was 41.3 and it was mostly torpedoed by a 31.2 run defense score. Both of these pass rushers are longshots to make the roster and these types of efforts won’t get them where they hope to go.
2. Mike White (QB).
After Wilson’s injury, White was provided with a massive prove-it moment and fell well short of expectations with Chris Streveler thoroughly outperforming him.
Some fans still consider White a long-term option if Wilson crashes and burns but that feels more unlikely by the day. The backup went 10-for-20 against second-teamers on Friday and missed quite a few open receivers throwing high, short, and long at various points.
PFF credited White with a 56.9 grade and an NFL passer rating of 64.2. His trade value — and roster chances — are both decreasing as the summer progresses.
1. Rashard Davis/Keshunn Abram (WR).
The two wide receivers that saw their stock plummet in an intense camp competition were Rashard Davis and Abram.
The undrafted rookie — Abram — just doesn’t look half as good as Calvin Jackson Jr. or Irvin Charles. He’s a practice squad candidate at best and showed that against the Eagles with a lousy 37.9 score from PFF that was punctuated by one ugly drop.
The USFL standout and return specialist was the more disappointing of the two. After receiving media hype throughout camp, the lightning-quick Davis appeared jittery on the big stage bobbling two punts and then completely muffing a third. He did catch one pass for 14 yards but his special teams audition was terrifying.
On a similar note, depth WR Tarik Black was held without a catch despite 21 snaps. All three of these wideouts should be hard-pressed to make the roster at this stage.