5 New York Jets Players Who Won’t Make it Past First Round of Cuts
5 New York Jets Players Who Won't Make it Past the First Round of Cuts
Every summer, NFL teams fill their rosters with players who have very little chance of making the team. Teams are allowed to carry 90 players on their initial rosters, with the first round of cuts reducing the team to 75 players.
Like every team, the New York Jets have made a number of moves already in training camp following injuries to various players. The Jets have a ton of young players who were undrafted free agents or late round picks of other teams as they attempt to strike gold with an unheralded player.
The Jets have one of the weakest groups of talent in the league, so they are hoping to unearth a few gems that can become key contributors this season. Unfortunately for some of these candidates, there is simply not enough roster space to go around.
The Jets went especially heavy at wide receiver, tight end and linebacker this summer, so expect the first round of cuts to include players from each of those position groups. The team will start to shape what must become a 53 man roster with these moves.
When deciding who to cut, the Jets will make the decision almost entirely based on who they believe can become a future contributor. The players they have on their roster with bad contracts will not be released this season, so talent will essentially be the only deciding factor.
The Jets are looking for players who can contribute on special teams this season while having the potential to develop into an important player with either the offensive or defensive unit. Special teams is incredibly important to end of the roster players, so keep an eye one who is involved in the most kicking units to get an idea of who has the best chance to make the roster.
The following five players are going to find it very difficult to crack the final roster, and barring a huge performance in the second preseason game, they will likely be called to John Idzik's office in the next week to 10 days.
DT Lanier Coleman
Lanier Coleman (No. 61 above) is a feel good story in camp, as he is getting a second chance at the NFL after being cut during his only tryout three years ago. Coleman is a small school product who was working as a strength and conditioning coach until he was granted this second opportunity.
Of course, the catch with feel good stories such as this one is that the protagonist is almost always fighting an uphill battle. Such is the case with Coleman, who is the last defensive lineman on the depth chart.
The Jets are looking for a few linemen who can back up their young front three, but Coleman is not likely to be one of them. The team is will probably keep veterans Antonio Garay and Leger Douzable, meaning that only one or two spots will go to young prospects. Coleman does not have the potential of the other linemen in camp, and for that reason his return the NFL will be cut short.
ILB JoJo Dickson
JoJo Dickson is a player who is a victim of circumstance more than his own talent. He is an inside linebacker trying to earn a backup and special teams spot, but the Jets have almost no need for an inside linebacker. They will almost certainly carry four, and those four will almost certainly be David Harris, DeMario Davis, Josh Mauga and Nick Bellore.
Dickson was a fairly productive player in college, but he has not shown the ability needed to unseat one of the first four inside linebackers on the Jets’ depth chart. Players who are fighting to beat out an established veteran need to be spectacular in practice, and Dickson has not reached that high a level.
The Jets are looking for help at outside linebacker, not inside. Dickson was on the roster as filler during camp, and unfortunately for him, his time with Jets will end with him being unable to become more than that.
OT Dennis Landolt
Dennis Landolt is the perfect example of a solid collegiate player who just isn’t quite good enough for the next level. He was a three year starter at Penn State and a good player, but he has bounced around various practice squads at the NFL level. This may be his last shot to make it.
Unfortunately for Landolt, the Jets drafted three offensive linemen this April, which means that players like him are behind the eight ball right away. Like all NFL teams, the Jets are going to keep draft picks over free agent signings because they have a bigger investment in them.
The Jets offensive line also doesn’t have a lot of wiggle room, as most of the depth chart was set in stone before camp started. That leaves a lot of players going for one or two spots, and that means the odds don’t favor someone like Landolt.
TE Mike Shanahan
Mike Shanahan (no relation to the Washington Redskins coach) is a tight end that was very productive as a receiver at the University of Pittsburgh. However, the Jets have two solid receiving tight ends in Jeff Cumberland and Kellen Winslow, and they are looking for a blocker for the No. 3 role.
The team is also more invested in some of the players ahead of Shanahan, which is an ongoing theme for this list. Unfortunately, the reality is that many players are brought in just to be bodies on the practice field and their value doesn’t go any further than that.
The writing is on the wall for Shanahan after the first preseason game, as he was one of only two players in uniform not to play (QB Matt Simms was the other, but it’s totally different for quarterbacks). That is never a good sign for a fringe player’s chances, and Shanahan might be the first guy the Jets send home on cut day.
WR Rahsaan Vaughn
The Jets brought in a ton of young wide receivers this year to try to find someone who can become a playmaker on the outside for them. Rahsaan Vaughn is an undrafted rookie from Oregon who was just recently added to the roster as an injury replacement.
Unfortunately for Vaughn, this audition is probably not going to last very long. The Jets have several other young receivers in camp who have been there longer that the team likes better. Vaughn would have to be absolutely outstanding in both practice and the second preseason game to have a shot.
Unfortunately, his lack of production at Oregon gives no reason to think this could happen, and the truth is that he will likely not even get the reps to prove himself. Such is the cruel reality of NFL training camp, and Vaughn figures to be among the easiest cuts for the Jets to make.