By Sabrina Robinson @sabrinacierra on July 26, 2014
The New York Jets have added serious depth to their roster this offseason via draft picks and free agency agreements. With all of this talent, training camp will be a time to parse out the starters. Within the first three days of training camp, there are already position battles brewing. Let's look at which positions have the best competitive fire.
Drafted rookie Jace Amaro is not only a receiving threat, but also a big body (6-foot-5, 265 pounds) who can use that size to his advantage in the passing game. The Jets also made the decision this offseason to retain Jeff Cumberland, who caught 26 passes last year. Both TEs desperately need to improve their pass-blocking skills though. Amaro will probably be the No. 1 TE, but it will be great to have both of them for a killer two-tight end set.
Dee Milliner is bound to improve in his second year and will be one for the two starting CBs. The second CB is still a mystery. Darrin Walls probably won’t claim it because it would be silly for the Jets to put the same poor CB product on the field as they did last season. Left on the list are rookie Dexter McDougle and free agent Dimitri Patterson. Patterson is more experienced, but I think the Jets will start end up starting the rookie.
Dawan Landry may be taking on the role as a mentor to rookie Calvin Pryor, but they will be fighting each other for the No. 2 S spot. Last season, Landry was the quarterback of the defense in terms of leadership, but he was lacking in coverage ability. During OTAs and minicamp, Antonio Allen and Pryor played with the first team, while Landry took snaps with the second team. This may be a hint that Allen and Pryor will be the starting safeties.
Eric Decker already as a spot as a veteran with a $32M contract. Hill is in the last year of his contract and has been a kind of a bust so far. Nelson is a solid vet, but he has average speed. If the season started tomorrow, Nelson would be the No. 2 receiver because his experience makes him reliable. But Hill has the unique combination of size and speed that makes him a threat down the field. He just needs to get some hand-eye coordination.
Well no surprise here! Head coach Rex Ryan says both Smith and Vick are confident and comfortable with the competition, but let’s be real. This is a serious battle. It’s not only relevant to the QBs and their track record, but also to the Jets franchise as a whole. The Jets have been running through QBs for the past decade. If Smith doesn’t proof himself this season, the team may never end this vicious cycle.
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