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QB2, RB4, and more: NY Jets’ top offensive training camp battles

Joe Flacco, Mike White, New York Jets, Backup QB2
Joe Flacco, Mike White, New York Jets, Getty Images

The New York Jets offense will feature plenty of competitive training camp battles

When looking at the New York Jets‘ current roster, we see some intriguing battles at certain offensive positions. The results of these battles could dictate how the final 53-man roster shakes out.

The Jets’ starting offense is practically set across the board. Where George Fant and Mekhi Becton line up is the big question. Other than that, we have a good idea of who all of the starters and key reserve skill players will be.

In terms of depth offensively, there is a multitude of likely battles set to take place in camp.

The backup quarterback

Zach Wilson enters year two as the Jets’ unquestioned starter. The backup is currently unknown.

Both Mike White and Joe Flacco were retained this offseason. White has potential to become the Jets’ long-term backup considering his age (27 years old). He showed impressive things in his first two starts last year (112.8 passer rating) before falling apart in his third (33.4 passer rating, four interceptions).

Flacco has invaluable winning experiences (one Super Bowl win, 10 playoff wins). He provides arm strength and 176 career starts. In two seasons as a Jet, Flacco has thrown nine touchdowns and three interceptions with an 88.3 passer rating.

The fourth running back

Currently, the Jets’ top three running backs appear to be set: Breece Hall, Michael Carter, and Tevin Coleman.

From there, Ty Johnson, La’Mical Perine, Zonovan Knight, and Nick Bawden will all be vying for roster spots.

Johnson and Perine are both going into their third years with the Jets. Johnson has great speed which is necessary in Mike LaFleur‘s offensive scheme. Perine provides power and size (5-foot-11, 216 pounds). He was a fourth-round pick in 2020.

Knight was an undrafted free agent the Jets signed this spring. He has a chance to win this job as a rookie, especially considering his special teams contributions in college (three kickoff return touchdowns).

If the Jets plan to keep a true fullback like Bawden, it will make the construction of this group an interesting one. Would the Jets only keep three half-backs or still have a fourth on the final roster?

Johnson, Knight, Perine, and Bawden should make this a fun competition throughout training camp and the preseason.

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The fourth tight end

Joe Douglas did a fantastic job adding three new tight ends for Wilson and LaFleur this offseason. C.J. Uzomah, Tyler Conklin, and Jeremy Ruckert are all final roster guarantees.

After them, Trevon Wesco, Kenny Yeboah, and Lawrence Cager will presumably compete for the fourth tight end spot.

As stated above, if Bawden and four half-backs are on the team, there may not be room for a fourth tight end to make the 53-man roster.

Wesco brings some similarities to Bawden as a big, physical blocker. He can be utilized at fullback. He has been with the Jets since 2019 and was a fourth-round draft pick of Mike Maccagnan.

Yeboah and Cager are primarily receiving tight ends. Both signed with the Jets as undrafted free agents; Cager in 2020, and Yeboah in 2021. Cager made the position switch from wide receiver to tight end this offseason.

The battle between Wesco, Yeboah, and Cager will be worth following to see if the Jets intend to keep a fourth tight end on the roster.

The fourth offensive tackle

This position group is set with Fant and Becton as its two starters. Rookie fourth-round selection Max Mitchell will be on the team. This leads to potentially one roster spot up for grabs if the Jets elect to have four offensive tackles.

The competition would feature two players going into their fourth year with the Jets. Conor McDermott has accumulated 522 snaps over the last three years. Chuma Edoga was a third-round draft pick in 2019.

It is worth noting that if the Jets sign Riley Reiff (who recently visited with the team) or add another veteran, it will likely make it an even greater uphill battle for either McDermott or Edoga to make the roster.

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Jonathan Richter
1 year ago

I say Ty Johnson is the 4th RB, with Bam Knight going to the practice squad.

Bawden definitely makes the roster.

We keep all 3 QBs but are ready to trade one if another team suffers and injury.

At TE, the question is, if you suffer a rash of injuries, do you want to be left with guys who can catch but not block? I think Wesco makes it and if Yeboah and Cager can be practice squaded that’s where they end up.

1 year ago

I think you’re spot on with your assessment. Bawden for sure, and I wish they didn’t have to but Wesco stays others to practice squad. Cager is a true project at this point, with the position switch I don’t see him making it. He’ll need time. The OL is interesting, McDermott stays. Joe loves him and signed him for a reason. Edoga flat out stinks, and they do need some experienced depth at OT. I’m not sure how they feel about Reiff, heck I’m not even sure I know how I feel about him, but to me them taking a look at him means they will be taking a look at others. I think a top priority for Joe is to find someone to replace Edoga.

As for the QB situation, keeping all 3 this season makes a ton of sense. Considering, we still don’t know on Zach, if he hits a rough patch they may opt to keep him out a game or two. It seemed to benefit him last year. I know it’s not conventional but they need to do whatever they can to develop Zach, it may take some unconventional moves. I think White gets a lot of play in the pre-season, hoping he showcases and they can get something valuable for him.