New York Jets release first unofficial depth chart
The New York Jets have released their first unofficial depth chart ahead of the 2021 season, per the team website. Here it is:
|WR||Corey Davis||Denzel Mims||Josh Malone||Lawrence Cager|
|LT||Mekhi Becton||Conor McDermott||Teton Saltes|
|LG||Alijah Vera-Tucker||Dan Feeney||Tristen Hoge|
|C||Connor McGovern||Jimmy Murray|
|RG||Greg Van Roten||Corey Levin||Cameron Clark|
|RT||George Fant/Morgan Moses||Chuma Edoga||Grant Hermanns|
|TE||Chris Herndon||Ryan Griffin||Tyler Kroft||Trevon Wesco/Daniel Brown/Kenny Yeboah|
|WR||Jamison Crowder||Braxton Berrios||Jeff Smith||Manasseh Bailey|
|WR||Keelan Cole||Elijah Moore||Vyncint Smith||D.J. Montgomery|
|QB||Zach Wilson||Mike White||James Morgan||Josh Johnson|
|RB||Tevin Coleman||La'Mical Perine||Ty Johnson||Michael Carter/Josh Adams/Austin Walter|
|DL||Carl Lawson||Ronald Blair||Jabari Zuniga||Jeremiah Valoaga|
|DL||Sheldon Rankins||Tanzel Smart||Jonathan Marshall|
|DL||Folorunso Fatukasi||Nathan Shepherd||Michael Dwumfour|
|DL||John Franklin-Myers||Bryce Huff||Hamilcar Rashed Jr.|
|LB||C.J. Mosley||Noah Dawkins||Del'Shawn Phillips|
|LB||Jarrad Davis||Jamien Sherwood||Camilo Eifler|
|LB||Hamsah Nasirildeen||Blake Cashman||Edmond Robinson|
|CB||Bless Austin||Brandin Echols||Isaiah Dunn||Corey Ballentine|
|CB||Bryce Hall||Lamar Jackson||Jason Pinnock||Justin Hardee|
|Nickel||Javelin Guidry||Michael Carter II||Elijah Campbell|
|S||Marcus Maye||J.T. Hassell||Zane Lewis|
|S||Lamarcus Joyner||Sharrod Neasman||Bennett Jackson|
|K||Chris Naggar||Matt Ammendola|
|PR||Braxton Berrios||Keelan Cole||Michael Carter||Elijah Moore|
|KR||Corey Ballentine||Ty Johnson||Josh Malone||Michael Carter|
Let’s dive into some key takeaways at every position. Keep in mind the first word in the title of this depth chart – unofficial. These listings were compiled by the Jets communication department. Nothing on here is concrete or should be seen as definitive.
- First team: Corey Davis, Jamison Crowder, Keelan Cole
- Second team: Denzel Mims, Braxton Berrios, Elijah Moore
- Third team: Josh Malone, Jeff Smith, Vyncint Smith
- Fourth team: Lawrence Cager, Manasseh Bailey, D.J. Montgomery
This one is definitely interesting in many ways, but it seems unlikely to hold. Elijah Moore has been dominating throughout the offseason and appears probable to play a massive role from the start.
Denzel Mims is a winner here. Seen with the third team frequently in recent days – even getting buried behind Vyncint Smith – Mims lands as the second-team “X” receiver behind Corey Davis while Smith lands with the third team.
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- First team: Mekhi Becton, Alijah Vera-Tucker, Connor McGovern, Greg Van Roten, George Fant/Morgan Moses
- Second team: Conor McDermott, Dan Feeney, Jimmy Murray, Corey Levin, Chuma Edoga
- Third team: Teton Saltes, Tristen Hoge, Cameron Clark, Grant Hermanns
- Injured: Alex Lewis, Cameron Clark, Parker Ferguson
The only noticeable surprise here is the right tackle listing. A starter and backup were not chosen, with George Fant and Morgan Moses sharing the first-team label. It seems clear that a legitimate competition is set to ensue between these two veterans.
- First team: Chris Herndon
- Second team: Ryan Griffin
- Third team: Tyler Kroft
- Fourth team: Trevon Wesco, Daniel Brown, Kenny Yeboah
Chris Herndon being listed as a starter is not a surprise, but it is a little surprising to see Ryan Griffin as the second tight end over Tyler Kroft.
Regardless, there has been and will be a ton of rotation at this position, so there isn’t much to read into here besides Griffin perhaps having the chance to a bigger factor than most are expecting.
Wesco is listed as the fourth tight end but has been featured heavily at fullback, an endangered position that did not get a spot on this depth chart.
- First team: Zach Wilson
- Second team: Mike White
- Third team: James Morgan
- Fourth team: Josh Johnson
Shockingly, Zach Wilson currently holds first-team honors despite making a couple of mistakes in red-zone drills during a rookie-year training camp practice.
Jokes aside, the main takeaway here is Mike White taking the edge over James Morgan for the backup quarterback spot. At Saturday’s Green & White Scrimmage, Morgan led the second team while White led the third team. The pair flip-flops on this depth chart.
Josh Johnson remains the QB4. He has yet to participate in team drills.
- First team: Tevin Coleman
- Second team: La’Mical Perine
- Third team: Ty Johnson
- Fourth team: Michael Carter/Josh Adams/Austin Walter
The Jets have been rotating their running backs a ton and are expected to run a committee backfield, so the order of the depth chart at this position will not be as relevant as it is at most others.
However, there are some interesting takeaways here. The group’s elder statesman, Tevin Coleman, takes the top spot. La’Mical Perine edges out Ty Johnson and Michael Carter for the time being, which is interesting as Johnson was the first running back to come out with the starting offense at Saturday’s scrimmage.
Once again, though, it would not be wise to make any bold statements based on this depth chart.
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- First team: Carl Lawson, Foley Fatukasi, Sheldon Rankins, John Franklin-Myers
- Second team: Ronald Blair, Tanzel Smart, Nathan Shepherd, Bryce Huff
- Third team: Jabari Zuniga, Jonathan Marshall, Jonathan Marshall, Michael Dwumfour
- Fourth team: Jeremiah Valoaga
- Injured: Quinnen Williams, Vinny Curry, Kyle Phillips
It is tough to deduce much here considering that two projected starters – Quinnen Williams and Vinny Curry – are currently sidelined. Kyle Phillips is also out of action.
However, I do find it interesting that in this proposed scenario with Williams and Curry out, the Jets would prefer to place John Franklin-Myers on the edge and put Foley Fatukasi and Sheldon Rankins on the interior instead of leaving Franklin-Myers inside with one of the two aforementioned defensive tackles while putting Bryce Huff or Ronald Blair on the edge.
That’s at least according to this unofficial depth chart, of course. We should get a better idea of how the Jets plan to rotate their defensive line once Williams returns and hits the field for preseason games with the rest of the bunch. He is expected to return to practice next week.
- First team: C.J. Mosley, Jarrad Davis, Hamsah Nasirildeen
- Second team: Noah Dawkins, Jamien Sherwood, Blake Cashman
- Third team: Del’Shawn Phillips, Camilo Eifler, Edmond Robinson
C.J. Mosley and Jarrad Davis seem to be locked into starting roles beside one another in Week 1. The competition taking place behind them is for the third linebacker spot in the 4-3 defense, a role that typically entails a snap count of around 30% on average.
Hamsah Nasirildeen is in the driver’s seat if this depth chart is any indication. Blake Cashman and fellow rookie Jamien Sherwood remain with the second team.
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- First team: Bryce Hall, Bless Austin
- Second team: Brandin Echols, Lamar Jackson
- Third team: Isaiah Dunn, Jason Pinnock
- Fourth team: Corey Ballentine, Justin Hardee
The two most experienced starters in the position group hold the two starting spots, as expected.
We begin to see some surprises with the second team.
Isaiah Dunn and Jason Pinnock began to generate a lot of potential stater buzz in OTAs and minicamp, which carried over into training camp, but both have had their buzz taper off and find themselves on the third team here.
Beating out Dunn and Pinnock for the second team are Brandin Echols and Lamar Jackson. Echols has gotten some first-team snaps in recent practices (as has Dunn). However, he was seen with the third-team defense at Saturday’s scrimmage, so it is a tad surprising to see him with the second team here.
Special teams aces Corey Ballentine and Justin Hardee sit with the fourth team.
- First team: Marcus Maye, Lamarcus Joyner
- Second team: J.T. Hassell, Sharrod Neasman
- Third team: Zane Lewis, Bennett Jackson
- Injured: Ashtyn Davis, Saquan Hampton
With Ashtyn Davis still working his way back from last season’s foot injury, there isn’t anything major to take away here. Marcus Maye and Lamarcus Joyner are your starting safeties. That seems set in stone.
Sharrod Neasman earning a second-team role is expected, as he is experienced in a backup safety role and is familiar with Jeff Ulbrich. Hassell claiming a second-team spot is a good sign for him. He takes it over Zane Lewis, who picked off James Morgan on Saturday.
- Kicker: Chris Naggar (1st), Matt Ammendola (2nd)
- Punter: Braden Mann
- Holder: Braden Mann
- Punt returner: Braxton Berrios (1st), Keelan Cole (2nd), Michael Carter (3rd), Elijah Moore (4th)
- Kickoff returner: Corey Ballentine (1st), Ty Johnson (2nd), Josh Malone (3rd), Michael Carter (4th)
- Long snapper: Thomas Hennessy
It is interesting to see Chris Naggar listed ahead of Matt Ammendola after the latter severely outperformed him at Saturday’s scrimmage. Naggar does have a minor seniority advantage, though, and he was valued enough by the team to be signed as an undrafted free agent over plenty of other options.
This depth chart has Braxton Berrios and Corey Ballentine as the favorites to retain their 2020 jobs as the punt returner and kickoff returner, respectively. Ballentine had two great kickoff returns on Saturday.
Michael Carter is listed as a competitor for both returner spots. He had a great kickoff return that potentially could have gone for a touchdown at the Green & White Scrimmage.
Last but not least is the safest depth chart spot on the team – Thomas Hennessy’s long snapper role.