Jets roster analysis: The current 53

August, 31, 2014
Aug 31
8:00
PM ET
Breaking down the New York Jets' 53-man roster, as of Sunday afternoon:

QUARTERBACK (2)

Geno Smith
Michael Vick

Analysis: For the first time in the Rex Ryan era, the Jets have a proven backup that can win games if called upon. The bigger question is the starter: Is Smith ready to take the next step? Re-signing Matt Simms to the practice squad was a smart move.

RUNNING BACK (4)

Chris Johnson
Chris Ivory
Bilal Powell
Tommy Bohanon (FB)

Analysis: Diverse, deep and talented. The offense will lean on this group, especially early in the season when they have to play ball-control against all those high-scoring passing attacks. The only question is how they divide the carries.

WIDE RECEIVER (7)

Eric Decker
Jeremy Kerley
David Nelson
Greg Salas
Jalen Saunders
Saalim Hakim
Quincy Enunwa

Analysis: Through most of camp, I had them keeping seven receivers, but that was before the Stephen Hill flameout and the Shaq Evans injury. The landscape has changed. It's hard to justify seven, especially since they're not stacked with Pro Bowlers. Saunders and Hakim are return specialists, restricting the team's flexibility for the game-day 46. Still can't believe Enunwa made it. John Idzik loves his draft picks.

TIGHT END (3)

Jeff Cumberland
Jace Amaro
Zach Sudfeld

Analysis: There's a lot riding on Amaro, who will be asked at times to line up as a traditional tight end -- something he didn't do in college. Cumberland is way behind after missing three weeks with an Achilles' injury. They're missing a hard-nosed blocker at the point of attack.

TACKLE (3)

D'Brickashaw Ferguson
Breno Giacomini
Ben Ijalana

Analysis: You didn't hear much about Giacomini in the preseason -- and that's a good thing for an offensive lineman. Ferguson needs to be better than last season. Ijalana is left-tackle insurance even though he's never played in a game. Go figure.

GUARD (4)

Willie Colon
Brian Winters
Oday Aboushi
Dakota Dozier

Analysis: They'd better hope Colon stays healthy or there could be trouble. The organization still has questions about Winters, who remains inconsistent. He'll be pushed by Aboushi, who also can play right guard and right tackle.

CENTER (2)

Nick Mangold
Dalton Freeman

Analysis: Mangold is the glue to the entire operation. Freeman, a former undrafted free agent, beat out Caleb Schlauderaff, who former GM Mike Tannenbaum once referred to as the Jets' version of Victor Cruz.

DEFENSIVE END (3)

Muhammad Wilkerson
Sheldon Richardson
Leger Douzable

Analysis: Wilkerson and Richardson -- aka D-Roy, the NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year -- are the pillars on defense. In Year 2, Richardson needs to step up as a pass rusher. Douzable provides good depth.

DEFENSIVE TACKLE (3)

Damon Harrison
Kenrick Ellis
T.J. Barnes

Analysis: We're talking about almost 1,100 pounds of run-stuffing fury. Harrison and Ellis are players on the ascent, while Barnes made the team after dropping more than 20 pounds in the offseason -- and he's still 360.

OUTSIDE LINEBACKER (5)

Quinton Coples
Calvin Pace
Jason Babin
IK Enemkpali
Trevor Reilly

Analysis: It's Year 3 for Coples; time to play like a first-round pick. Babin was a good pick up. He'll help as a nickel pass rusher and he can spell Coples in the base. They will miss Garrett McIntyre, a useful backup. This will be a developmental year for Enemkpali and Reilly. Antwan Barnes (PUP) will rejoin this group after six weeks.

INSIDE LINEBACKER (4)

David Harris
Demario Davis
Nick Bellore
Jeremiah George

Analysis: Davis is primed for a breakout year. This is a contract year for Harris. Presumably, Bellore (calf) is okay. If not, their depth is a major concern. George made the team because he was a fifth-round pick.

SAFETY (4)

Dawan Landry
Calvin Pryor
Jaiquawn Jarrett
Josh Bush

Analysis: Landry and Pryor figure to be every-down players. The Jets are counting on Pryor, their first-round pick, to make an immediate impact. He'll probably get more deep-middle assignments than Landry, who really is a "box" safety.

CORNERBACK (6)

Dee Milliner
Antonio Allen
Kyle Wilson
Darrin Walls
Ellis Lankster
Leon McFadden

Analysis: If you need an explanation, you haven't been paying attention the last three weeks. The addition of McFadden, acquired Sunday on waivers, is strictly for depth. This is one of the worst cornerback situations in the league.

SPECIALISTS (3)

Nick Folk (PK)
Ryan Quigley (P)
Tanner Purdum (LS)

Analysis: Quigley survives (for now) after an inconsistent preseason.

Rich Cimini

ESPN New York Jets reporter

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