NFL New York Jets

10 Players To Watch During New York Jets 2014 Preseason

New York Jets Preseason 2014: 10 Players to Watch

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Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Jets exceeded expectations last season, and this season they hope to do it again. In order to achieve that goal they need help from some old players and the new guys as well. Here are my top 10 players to watch as the team tries to play even better in 2014.

10. Kyle Wilson

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Jim O'Connor-USA TODAY Sports

10. Kyle Wilson

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Jim O'Connor-USA TODAY Sports

Dee Milliner has been stealing all of the headlines, but Wilson is a guy who needs to stand out in the preseason. He was a first-round pick a few years back, but he has yet to live up to the hype. The Jets are very thin at cornerback this year, so if Wilson was planning a rebound year he would be wise to start right now.

9. Jeff Cumberland

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Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

9. Jeff Cumberland

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Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

It easy to forget about Cumberland's breakout 2013 season because all of the talk in camp is surrounding new rookie TE Jace Amaro and Zach Sudfeld. Cumberland only had 26 receptions last season, but he finished with 398 yards and four touchdowns. The Jets rewarded him with a new contract in the offseason, but Cumberland needs to play well if he wants to hold on to his starting job.

8. Zach Sudfeld

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Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

8. Zach Sudfeld

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Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

The former New England Patriot is getting a lot of buzz with the New York Jets. He wasn't much of a factor in 2013, but all of a sudden things are starting to click for him and he's been having some good practices. If he continues to play well the Jets will have to find some playing time, so it will be interesting to see if he can keep it up.

7. Dee Milliner

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Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

7. Dee Milliner

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Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The 22-year-old cornerback from Alabama has to show the world that he is a true No. 1 corner. The Jets struggled against the pass last season, and they need Milliner play well and help out in an area of need. The Jets showed a lot of confidence in Milliner by letting former No. 1 CB and 2013 Pro Bowler Antonio Cromartie walk to the Arizona Cardinals.

6. Quinton Coples

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Steven Bisig-USA TODAY Sports

6. Quinton Coples

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Steven Bisig-USA TODAY Sports

Coples needs to take another step in 2014. He's just too talented not to. There is no doubting his talent level, but it's easy to doubt his consistency. Just like Jason Babin, Coples doesn't need to be a star; he just needs to do his job and the results will follow. He should be comfortable at LB this season, because his defensive line should be able to do most of the work up front and make it easier for him to make plays.

5. Jason Babin

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Rob Foldy-USA TODAY Sport

5. Jason Babin

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Rob Foldy-USA TODAY Sport

The newly acquired Jacksonville Jaguars DE is going to be a lot of fun to watch this season. He has one job on the Jets and that is to get pressure on the quarterback and force some ill-advised passes. Look for Babin to get after the QB early and often, because now instead of being a top guy on defense, he just has to play a small role. There shouldn't be a lot of pressure on him.

4. Geno Smith

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Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY

4. Geno Smith

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Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY

Smith was named the Week 1 preseason starting QB, and now it's time for him to live up to the title. It's easy to make an argument for as the No. 1 to watch this season, but I think that he's going to play well and show an improved level of comfort in this his new offense. He needs to get off to a good start, shake off the nerves and just play without over-thinking everything else.

3. Eric Decker

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Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

3. Eric Decker

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Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

The former Broncos wide receiver now gets his chance to prove that he is a No. 1 receiver and doesn't need Peyton Manning in order to be successful. It's going to be weird for Decker to play with a young QB instead of the Manning, so I expect him to struggle here and there, but I still expect him to produce. He got a pretty nice contract in the offseason, and the Jets need him to put up numbers and help coach up the young corps of receivers.

2. Stephen Hill

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Debby Wong-USA TODAY Sports

2. Stephen Hill

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Debby Wong-USA TODAY Sports

Hill has been a roller coaster ride so far in his NFL career, and all he needs to do is find the middle ground. His biggest problem is catching the ball and being consistent, and he needs to prove he can be a reliable target. So far he's having a good camp, but that doesn't mean much until the lights come on and he can play well on game day. The kid is tall, fast and athletic, so the tools are there; he just needs to have confidence in himself.

1. Chris Johnson

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Don McPeak-USA TODAY Sports

1. Chris Johnson

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Don McPeak-USA TODAY Sports

If healthy, Johnson one of the top backs in the league, but if he's injured the Jets are going to lack an explosive player and new dimension on offense. The Jets were very vanilla on the offensive side of the ball, because they didn't want to take chances and create turnovers. In order to be a great offense they need someone like Johnson to step up, take a risk and make a big play.

Vinny Lanni is a New York Jets writer for RantSports.com. He also adds to the site’s NBA, MLB and NFL content. Follow him on Twitter or add him to your network on Google.