Roster analysis: Forecasting the 53

August, 26, 2010
8/26/10
12:02
PM ET
With a little help from the "Hard Knocks" cameras, we obtained some insight into the New York Jets' projected 53-man roster. The latest episode in GM Mike Tannenbaum's office shows a white board that includes the depth chart, with some clues about potential roster moves.

Tannenbaum tells Rex Ryan the current plan is to have 25 players on offense, 23 on defense and three specialists, with two wild-card jobs (presumably, special teams) up for grabs. Specifically, we learn they're planning to keep three quarterbacks, five running backs, five wide receivers, four tight ends, eight offensive linemen, six defensive linemen, four outside linebackers, four inside linebackers, five cornerbacks, four safeties, three specialists and two wild cards.

Here's our breakdown, position by position:

QUARTERBACK

Locks: Mark Sanchez, Mark Brunell
Bubble: Kellen Clemens, Kevin O'Connell
Comment: Clemens has an 'X' next to his name on Tannenbaum's depth chart, which doesn't bode well for him. As previously reported, the Jets are looking to trade Clemens. If not, he could get cut. They probably just ruined any trade leverage.

RUNNING BACK

Locks: LaDainian Tomlinson, Shonn Greene, Tony Richardson, John Conner, Joe McKnight
Bubble: Jason Davis, Danny Woodhead, Chauncey Washington.
Comment: The bubble boys are worthy of a wild-card spot. This will be a tough cut. Washington really helped his chances in Carolina.

WIDE RECEIVER

Locks: Jerricho Cotchery, Braylon Edwards, Santonio Holmes (suspended four games), Brad Smith.
Bubble: Laveranues Coles, David Clowney, Larry Taylor, Marcus Henry.
Comment: Clowney got roughed up by the coaches in the latest episode; not looking good for the Clown. Special teams coach Mike Westhoff has a soft spot for Taylor, but he could be a tough keep. Coles looks like the frontrunner for the fifth spot.

TIGHT END
Locks: Dustin Keller, Ben Hartsock.
Bubble: Matt Mulligan, Jeff Cumberland
Comment: It looks like all four could make it. The coaches really like Cumberland, a rookie free agent. They could always bring in an outside if they like someone on the waiver wire.

OFFENSIVE LINE
Locks: D'Brickashaw Ferguson, Matt Slauson, Nick Mangold, Brandon Moore, Damien Woody, Vladimir Ducasse, Rob Turner, Wayne Hunter.
Bubble: Dan Gay, Robby Felix.
Comment: This looks pretty cut and dried.

DEFENSIVE LINE
Locks: Kris Jenkins, Shaun Ellis, Sione Pouha, Mike DeVito, Vernon Gholston.
Bubble: Rod Wright, Matt Kroul, Martin Tevaseu.
Comment: Ropati Pitoitua would've been the sixth guy, but he blew out his Achilles' in Carolina. The depth here is a concern; the sixth guy might not be here yet.

OUTSIDE LINEBACKER
Locks: Calvin Pace, Bryan Thomas, Jason Taylor, Jamaal Westerman.
Bubble: Cory Reamer.
Comment: Another cut-and-dried position.

INSIDE LINEBACKER
Locks: David Harris, Bart Scott.
Bubble: Kenwin Cummings, Lance Laury, Brashton Satele, Josh Mauga
Comment: Depth is a major concern. Cummings and Laury are looking good, but they're not locks.

CORNERBACK
Locks: Darrelle Revis (if he shows), Antonio Cromartie, Kyle Wilson, Drew Coleman, Dwight Lowery.
Bubble: Marquice Cole, Brian Jackson.
Comment: Cole probably makes it if Revis doesn't report by the opener. In case you've been on Mars, he's holding out.

SAFETY
Locks: Jim Leonhard, Brodney Pool, Eric Smith, James Ihedigbo
Bubble: Don Warren.
Comment: Looks like a no-brainer.

SPECIALISTS
Locks: Nick Folk (PK), Steve Weatherford (P).
Bubble: Tanner Purdum (LS).
Comment: Purdum is close to a lock, but we're going to let him sweat it out.

Rich Cimini

ESPN New York Jets reporter

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