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Our fearless forecast: The final 53

9/1/2011

The Jets, who close the preseason Thursday night at the Eagles, will start trimming their roster Friday morning. They have to be down to 53 by Sunday. Here's our projection:

QUARTERBACK: Mark Sanchez, Mark Brunell, Greg McElroy.

Comment: I suppose I shouldn't ask for bonus points if I nail these three.

RUNNING BACK: Shonn Greene, John Conner, LaDainian Tomlinson, Joe McKnight, Bilal Powell.

Comment: See above comment.

WIDE RECEIVER: Santonio Holmes, Plaxico Burress, Derrick Mason, Jeremy Kerley, Patrick Turner, Logan Payne.

Comment: I'm gambling that Payne's surgically repaired wrist won't land him on IR.

TIGHT END: Dustin Keller, Matthew Mulligan, Jeff Cumberland.

Comment: Rookie Josh Baker could land on the practice squad.

OFFENSIVE LINE: D'Brickashaw Ferguson, Matt Slauson, Nick Mangold, Brandon Moore, Wayne Hunter, Vladimir Ducasse, Rob Turner, Robby Felix, Matt Kroul.

Comment: Toughest position to predict. Will Turner (broken ankle) land on IR? What vets will shake free from other teams?

DEFENSIVE LINE: Mike DeVito, Sione Pouha, Muhammad Wilkerson, Ropati Pitiutua, Marcus Dixon, Kenrick Ellis, Martin Tevaseu.

Comment: First time in a decade I haven't written Shaun Ellis into the mix. Weird.

LINEBACKER: David Harris, Bart Scott, Calvin Pace, Bryan Thomas, Jamaal Westerman, Josh Mauga, Garrett McIntyre.

Comment: I feel good about the first six. Wouldn't be surprised if they bring in a backup from outside the organization. The Aaron Maybin experiment ends.

SECONDARY: Darrelle Revis, Antonio Cromartie, Jim Leonhard, Eric Smith, Kyle Wilson, Marquice Cole, Dwight Lowery, Brodney Pool, Donald Strickland, Emanuel Cook.

Comment: Wouldn't be stunned if Strickland gets cut. Julian Posey, a rookie free agent, has caught some eyes.

SPECIALISTS: Nick Folk, T.J. Conley, Tanner Purdum.

Comment: Conley isn't etched in stone as the punter; could depend on how he does Thursday night and who's available.