Wednesday, May 28, 2014
Five players to watch in OTA's
By Rich Cimini
Players not named Geno Smith with the most on the line in the New York Jets' OTA's, which continue Wednesday (open to the media):
1. Stephen Hill, wide receiver: If his balky knee cooperates, Hill needs to reinvent himself this spring and summer, validating the first-round grade he received from the Jets as a talented but unpolished wideout who came out of Georgia Tech in 2012. If all goes well, he could start opposite Eric Decker. If he remains an enigma, he could jeopardize his roster spot.
2. Jacoby Ford, wide receiver: Overshadowed by Decker and the three rookies at receiver, Ford has quietly impressed the coaching staff. People forget he was an ascending player for the Oakland Raiders in 2010 -- until injuries hit. If healthy, Ford could be a factor at receiver, not to mention a scary kickoff returner -- or just a tease.
3. Kyle Wilson, cornerback: After four years, the Jets know what the former first-round pick can do, but it'll be interesting to see if they can find anyone to do it better. They imported competition in the slot. If a newcomer jumps out (perhaps Johnny Patrick or rookie Dexter McDougle), Wilson -- always a notch below expectations -- could be expendable in the preseason.
4. Zach Sudfeld, tight end: A late arrival last season after being dropped by the New England Patriots, Sudfeld flashed potential as a receiver in limited action. The coaches like his upside, but they still drafted Jace Amaro in the second round. It's time to turn upside into production.
5. Quinton Coples, outside linebacker: These next few weeks aren't make or break for the former first-round pick, but Coples can establish a positive tone for the season by making big strides. This is his third season, and he acknowledged recently it's time to be more productive and assertive. We already know how Joe Klecko feels about him.