Projecting the 2010 Final Roster
With the preseason officially having come to a close tonight and the players making their last ditch attempts to make the team I thought I'd try my hand at predicting the final roster.
Analysis: No real surprises here as the Jets gave this away on Hard Knocks when they convinced Clemens to take a paycut to guarantee him a roster spot. The team subsequently released Kevin O'Connell in what will go down as a complete waste of a trade for the club, though the cost was very little
Running Back (4)
Analysis: Clearly there was a battle for final few spots between McKnight, Washington, and Danny Woodhead and it may have come down to the final game for the last spot. Between the financial obligations and draft status McKnight needed to be thoroughly outplayed to lose a job and that did not happen. He can't hold the football to save his life, but that's the way things go in the NFL when you get drafted. He should also get a chance to return kicks and punts. Washington ran hard this preseason and also looks to be a good special teams contributor. He may only last until Holmes or Revis returns, but he did enough to make it. The players like Woodhead but he did nothing and loses out in the numbers game.
Analysis: From viewing Hard Knocks it seemed as if the Jets wanted to part ways out of financial considerations with Richardson (and watching that show really put a new light on why they did release Thomas Jones and Alan Faneca), but Rex Ryan blocked the move. Richardson has looked good in the games thus far and will be used to teach Conner more about the position. Jason Davis is simply the odd man out.
Wide Receiver (4)
Analysis : This is a position where the team is thin due to Santonio Holmes' suspension and in a perfect world would have had Laveranues Coles active for week 1. He'll likely be back in week two. None of the other players really showed anything to warrant a roster spot, especially since the team does have Dustin Keller as a viable third passing option, but they will need a practice body and Clowney is at least popular with his teammates which means he will get the chance. Its likely he will go if Coles decides to return in week 2.
Tight End (4)
Analysis: It is unconventional to say the least but the Jets seem to like these players enough to carry all four of them. I think part of the issue is that they are afraid Cumberland will not clear waivers and they really like his upside and don't want to chance seeing him vanish in the first wave of cuts. If there is a player to not make it Mulligan would be the guy, but the special teams coach will go to bat to keep him here.
Offensive Line (8)
Analysis: No big surprises here either. Everyone knew the four of the starting five going into camp and all eight were almost locks to make it. Id say there is an outside chance that Hunter could be dumped in a salary move, but nobody else really stood out enough to make it worth losing him and the Jets need him to back up Woody. If he does not make it Dan Gay would be the likely replacement was the one backup lineman that looked good at times though the final game of the preseason works against his chances. If Ducasse was not drafted in the second round it's a question if the Jets would actually keep him right now.
Defensive Line (7)
Analysis: The only battle here was between Matt Kroul and Ty Steinkuhler and I felt that Steinkuhler had the stronger showing of the two, but the injury to Ropati Pitoitua opened the roster for both guys. If a better option is found on the waiver wire either one could be cut. Nobody else trying out for the team did anything to merit any consideration for the final 53.
Analysis: Westerman and Cummings certainly did enough in the preseason to make the team and both can be a big part of special teams. Lance Laury would have been the likely guy to make it, but the Jets showed interest in Foley earlier in the season and pounced as soon as he was released by Seattle. I think the salary works against Laury and its entirely possible they could bring him back after the first game or two, which will give the team all the time they need to get a closer look at Foley. If they go 9 deep Laury is the guy. Expect some of the guys who miss the cut to be invited to the practice team.
Analysis: This was really a backend competition for a few spots. Ihedigbo had a very strong offseason and did well enough to compete for playing time. He and Smith look as if they could be bit special teamers. There is really no reason for Coleman to make the team, but the Jets already guaranteed him his spot because he was willing to take a paycut. Cole is strictly a special team choice while Cook I think is liked by the staff. His interception against the Eagles helped his cause, at least until they get Revis back at which point Cook will go. Though the Jets were supposedly high on Donovan Warren and Keith Fitzhugh neither did much to make you even know they were on the team. Brian Jackson got some notoriety for a seemingly poor attitude, but I don't think that is how you make a team.
Special Teams (3)
Analysis: Purdum had no issues during the games as the Dearth watch officially ends.