Friday, February 7, 2014
Roster evaluation: Player rankings, 6 to 10
By Rich Cimini
At this stage of our rankings, we're talking about two different kinds of players -- young, building-block players and indespensable veterans. Here you go, Nos. six to 10:
6. David Harris, middle linebacker, (cap charge: $7 million): He calls the defensive signals and rarely comes off the field. Harris played well last season after a disappointing 2012, showing a marked improvement in pass coverage. He's not an elite linebacker in the NaVorro Bowman category, but he's a VIP in the Jets' world. Harris is headed into a contract year.
7. Geno Smith, quarterback, (cap charge: $1.1 million): This is based largely on positional value and potential. The Jets have a young, developing quarterback who won eight games as a rookie and, barring something unforeseen, he will be the starter again in 2014. It's too soon to say he's the real deal, but his arrow is pointed up -- and that counts for something.
8. Dee Milliner, cornerback, (cap charge: $2.9 million): He was the ninth overall pick in the 2013 draft, a lofty position that carries a lot of weight. The Jets believe Milliner, who struggled much of the year, turned the corner (no pun intended) in the final month. If he continues on that trajectory, he'll be a No. 1-caliber corner in 2014.
9. Jeremy Kerley, wide receiver, (cap charge: $1.4 million): Facts are facts: The Jets were 0-4 without Kerley, 8-4 with him. Statisically, their passing attack was more effective when he was on the field -- .6 yards per pass attempt better, to be exact. Not bad for a diminutive slot receiver.
10. Quinton Coples, outside linebacker, ($2.4 million): If you polled players on the team, asking them which player has the most potential, Coples would come up most often. With him, it comes down to want-to. He has only 10 sacks in two years, but the total should increase at a faster rate now that he's had a year to learn the "rush" linebacker position.
11. Antonio Cromartie, cornerback
12. Austin Howard, right tackle
13. Chris Ivory, running back
14. Demario Davis, linebacker
15. Brian Winters, left guard
16. Dawan Landry, safety
17. Calvin Pace, outside linebacker
18. Bilal Powell, running back
19. Jeff Cumberland, tight end
20. Santonio Holmes, wide receiver
21. Mark Sanchez, quarterback
22. Antonio Allen, safety
23. Nick Folk, placekicker
24. Willie Colon, right guard
25. Stephen Hill, wide receiver