The final NY Jets initial 53-man roster prediction
We have officially arrived at D-day—NFL decision day for all 32 professional football organizations.
Tuesday, Aug. 29, at 4:00 p.m. ET represents the specific time when lives change. Some lives alter drastically for the better, whereas others are met with dashed hopes and dreams—attempting to find a remedy to their current situation.
NFL cutdown day means so much to so many individuals, and this naturally includes the New York Jets.
Here’s the final New York Jets’ 53-man roster prediction ahead of cutdown day:
- Aaron Rodgers
- Zach Wilson
- Tim Boyle (Emergency)
The quarterback position speaks for itself. Every Jets fan saw Aaron Rodgers beautifully connect with Garrett Wilson against the New York Giants this past Saturday, and the immediate future looks bright.
It’ll be too tough to keep three QBs on the 53-man roster, so Tim Boyle will have to go to the practice squad and play the emergency role.
Running Backs (4)
- Breece Hall
- Dalvin Cook
- Michael Carter
- Izzy Abanikanda (KR)
Don’t be surprised to see Bam Knight traded for a low-end pick. It’ll kill the Jets to have to cut this kid, but there’s no other choice right now.
It’s tough enough to keep four running backs—as they’d probably favor just three. But if both Breece Hall and Dalvin Cook are on the active roster, there’s no other choice but to move on from Bam and keep Izzy Abanikanda as a fourth.
He’d be swiped off the practice squad otherwise.
- Nick Bawden
It would shock me if Nathaniel Hackett opts to not keep a fullback in this offense. Therefore, Nick Bawden is on the squad.
The only way it doesn’t happen is if Hackett and Rodgers are comfortable enough with Jeremy Ruckert at H-back in the sets that call for it.
Wide Receivers (6)
- Garrett Wilson
- Allen Lazard
- Mecole Hardman (SLOT, PR)
- Randall Cobb (SLOT)
- Jason Brownlee
- Xavier Gipson (PR, KR)
Keeping six wide receivers is another tough chore, but the Jets do not want to lose Jason Brownlee or Xavier Gipson. We know they love Brownlee, and there’s no chance Gipson survives the practice squad. Another NFL team will snag him.
Interestingly, Corey Davis’s retirement sort of forces the issue at this position—in terms of keeping six. They now need the depth.
Tight Ends (4)
- Tyler Conklin
- C.J. Uzomah
- Jeremy Ruckert
- Zack Kuntz
Yet another youngster who’d probably be stolen off the practice squad is tight end Zack Kuntz. So, New York will ride with four tight ends.
Offensive Tackles (5)
- Duane Brown (LT)
- Mekhi Becton (RT)
- Max Mitchell
- Billy Turner
- Carter Warren
The toughest decision on this particular roster prediction boils down to a drafted player: What can they do with young Carter Warren? Again, a practice squad destination would likely mean he’s swiped by another team.
It would also be tough to believe that Billy Turner gets the heave-ho considering his relationship with Rodgers.
If Carter Warren does indeed begin the year on the IR, I’ll free up an extra spot elsewhere.
Interior Offensive Linemen (5)
- Alijah Vera-Tucker (RG)
- Laken Tomlinson (LG)
- Connor McGovern (C)
- Joe Tippmann
- Wes Schweitzer
Five tackles and five interior offensive linemen mean 10 offensive linemen will be kept—which is a large number. But considering the recent injuries and lack of trust in many spots, it makes sense.
Interior Defensive Linemen (3)
- Quinnen Williams
- Quinton Jefferson
- Al Woods
The interior defensive line is as easy as it gets. Of course, Solomon Thomas can play here in base, whereas John Franklin-Myers and Micheal Clemons move to the inside in subpackage pass situations.
Hybrid Defensive Linemen (3)
- John Franklin-Myers
- Micheal Clemons
- Solomon Thomas
The three aforementioned hybrid defensive linemen are also easy calls to make the squad. Although some fans will wonder why Solomon Thomas gets a free pass, the coaching staff and locker room love the guy.
EDGE Defenders (4)
- Carl Lawson
- Jermaine Johnson
- Will McDonald (PASS)
- Bryce Huff (PASS)
Carl Lawson and Jermaine Johnson are the more balanced EDGE defenders, while rookie Will McDonald and Bryce Huff will pin their ears back in passing situations.
- C.J. Mosley (MIKE)
- Quincy Williams
- Jamien Sherwood
- Zaire Barnes
Four linebackers may feel light, but remember, this is the 4-3 defense—in a time and place of football that features plenty of nickel and dime.
Undrafted rookie Zaire Barnes has played well enough to be the fourth player.
- Sauce Gardner
- D.J. Reed
- Michael Carter II
- Bryce Hall
Brandin Echols’s one-game suspension clears a spot for the Jets to keep six receivers. So no, the Jets will not be able to roll with just four.
Echols will be back in Week 2, and Justin Hardee is also a cornerback.
Jarrick Bernard-Converse will start the year on the PUP list.
- Jordan Whitehead
- Tony Adams
- Adrian Amos
- Ashtyn Davis
I’ve seen the Ashtyn Davis story before—where you think the Jets are ready to cut him but don’t. This year, he actually played much better in the summer and preseason, so he’ll make it as a special-teamer and backup-free safety.
Plus, the news that Trey Dean has just been waived has come down (as of writing this article). Interestingly, Dean could have also served as the fifth linebacker, but the Jets opted to not go in that direction.
Special Teams (4)
- Greg Zuerlein (K)
- Thomas Morstead (P)
- Thomas Hennessy (LS)
- Justin Hardee (ST, CB)
Brant Boyer’s special teams is as cut and dry as anything.
- Offense: 27
- Defense: 22
- Special Teams: 4
Justin Hardee is currently counting towards the special teams, but as a cornerback, he’d bump the defense up to 23 players.
The biggest questions of the moment deal with the potential inactive spots:
- Jarrick Bernard-Converse: Will start the year on PUP
- Carter Warren: Will potentially start the year on PUP
- Izzy Abanikanda: Could start the year on PUP
If Warren and/or Abanikanda begin the year on the PUP list, then one or two additional spots open. The Jets could opt to keep Tim Boyle on the 53-man roster in that instance, and even keep one more player.