The New York Jets are reaching that time of year when roster bubble players need to prove themselves or they might find themselves out of the NFL for a year. Some relatively obscure players with potential will be worth watching in training camp this summer.
This versatile safety prospect, who likely fits best at the free safety position, was an undrafted rookie free agent but might have a higher ceiling than most people think. The Jets have completely overhauled their safety group, replacing both former starters (LaRon Landry and Yeremiah Bell).
Now Dawan Landry, Josh Bush and Antonio Allen are all likely to be featured, but the group does not have to be limited to three members. Between rotational snaps, special teams snaps and nickel opportunities, there are myriad places where Miles can find usefulness.
Damon "Snacks" Harrison is an up-and-coming player at defensive tackle who has not yet caught much national attention. The Jets' defensive line unit is the strongest on the team, making it difficult for bubble players to stick on the roster. Sheldon Richardson, Quinton Coples, Muhammad Wilkerson and Kenrick Ellis are all potential stars along the defensive front.
Nonetheless, keep an eye on Harrison, who has been impressing people in OTAs and minicamp. If he continues to look strong in training camp this summer, there should be room on the team for him in one capacity or another. Remember, Rex Ryan uses more than one look on his defensive line. He needs rotational players.
Smith (not Geno but Hayden) is perhaps the most intriguing bubble player on the Jets offense. Only one year removed from playing rugby, Smith is picking up the NFL game and Marty Mornhinweg's offense. It would be amazing to see him already able to contribute and fight for a starting job, but he might be doing just that this summer.
Incumbent Jeff Cumberland and recently-signed Kellen Winslow are his main competition at tight end. Winslow and Cumberland are both effective pass-catchers but unimpressive blockers. If Smith can outclass them as a blocker and demonstrate versatility, then he has a non-trivial chance not only to play but to start.
Like the new article format? Send us feedback!