Initial Post-Draft Depth Chart for New York Jets
The up-and-coming New York Jets addressed several key needs in the 2014 NFL draft. General manager John Idzik sustained a deliberate approach in filling the Jets' most crucial voids. New York owned 12 picks in the draft, enabling the brain trust optimal flexibility.
While rumors swirled across social media in regard to what the Jets might (or might not) do on draft day, Idzik stuck to his plan. The Jets' biggest needs before the draft were safety, tight end, cornerback and wide receiver. The Jets addressed each of those needs, bolstering a roster formerly decrepit of offensive playmakers.
As the Jets look toward the 2014 season with hopes of contending, initial post-draft reaction indicates they're capable of earning a playoff berth. The following slideshow examines the Jets' initial post-draft, 53-man depth chart.
Note: All depth chart information is courtesy of Ourlads.com; some draft picks are not projected to make the 53-man roster. Drafted rookies denoted with overall pick position and round in parentheses.
Updated Depth Chart: Ryan Quigley (P), Nick Folk (PK), Tanner Purdem (LS)
The Jets re-signed place-kicker Nick Folk to a four-year contract worth $12 million earlier this offseason, per ESPN New York. Folk was solid for the Jets in 2013, making a career-high 91.7 percent of his field-goal tries (33-of-36).
The remainder of the Jets special teams is intact. Punter Ryan Quigley will reprise his role, barring unforeseen training camp competition. Quigley averaged 45.5 yards per punt in 2013, netting long distance of 67 yards. Tanner Purdem will also be back in uniform as the Jets' long snapper.
Updated Depth Chart: Dee Milliner, Dimitri Patterson, Dexter McDougle (80/3), Kyle Wilson, Darrin Walls, Ellis Lankster
The Jets addressed a key need in the third round of the draft, selecting former Maryland defensive back Dexter McDougle with the 80th overall pick. McDougle is a solid defender, recording three interceptions and two passes defended in his final collegiate season. He's good enough to compete for a starting job in his rookie season but will be challenged by newcomer Dimitri Patterson in training camp.
New York struggled against the pass in 2013, ranking 22nd in that category in yards allowed, according to ESPN. The Jets' stout run defense typically forces opposing teams to rely more heavily on the passing game to generate yardage. Head coach Rex Ryan would like his team to decrease passing efficiency, which plagued the Jets in 2013.
Opposing quarterbacks recorded a collective 86.5 passer rating against the Jets defense last season. McDougle will ideally help the Jets accomplish that.
Updated Depth Chart: Calvin Pryor (14/1), Antonio Allen, Dawan Landry, Jaiquawn Jarrett, Josh Bush
The Jets had a chance to make a splash in the first round of the draft, but passed on electrifying receiver Brandin Cooks and opted instead to bolster their secondary. Calvin Pryor is a hard-hitting safety who can prevent big plays, a problem that plagued the Jets in 2013.
Pryor is a solid open-field tackler, racking up 75 total tackles in his final collegiate season. He also recorded three interceptions and four passes defended. Pryor has the potential to be a difference-maker for the Jets on defense in his rookie season. He's expected to adopt a starting role and positively impact the Jets' ability to defend the pass.
Updated Depth Chart: Calvin Pace, Quinton Coples, Garrett McIntyre, Antwan Barnes, Trevor Reilly (233/7)
The Jets' edge rushing attack was mostly efficient in 2013. As a team, the Jets recorded 41 sacks to rank 13th in the NFL. Outside linebacker was a secondary position of need for the Jets in the draft, but the team's brand trust opted to address other personnel areas.
According to ProFootballSpot (h/t Twitter), Calvin Pace's new two-year deal is worth $5 million. The 11th-year veteran linebacker had the best season of big league career in 2013, racking up a career-high 10 sacks and accounting for nearly one-fourth of the Jets' sack total.
Pace is a valuable contributor as a team leader. Converted OLB Quinton Coples has been mostly disappointing after transitioning from the point to a stance last season. It's pivotal for Pace to continue producing at a high level in order to solidify the Jets' front seven. New York will also benefit from the return of Antwan Barnes, who recorded two sacks in five games before suffering a season-ending injury last season.
Updated Depth Chart: David Harris, Demario Davis, Nick Bellore
The Jets' core of inside linebackers remains static after the draft. New York took a flier on undersized ILB Jeremiah George, but it seems unlikely for a 220-pound edge-rusher to make an immediate impact. George recorded 83 solo tackles, including 12 for loss in his final collegiate state at Iowa State.
As a developmental prospect who could land on the practice squad, George boasts substantial upside. He's a versatile defender, capable of plugging running lanes and dropping back into coverage. He registered two interceptions, six passes defended and three forced fumbles in 2013.
The Jets need a more concrete season-long performance from Demario Davis in 2014. As a second-year player, Davis totaled 63 tackles, but recorded just one sack and one pass defended. New York needs Davis to develop into a more capable contributor on defense and less of a space-eater.
Updated Depth Chart: Muhammad Wilkerson, Sheldon Richardson, Leger Douzable
Defensive end was one area of need the Jets did not need to address in the draft, especially after selecting a defensive lineman in each of the three previous first rounds. The Jets flaunt one of the best defensive lines in the NFL. Should-have-been Pro Bowler Muhammad Wilkerson is a beast. He racked up 43 total tackles, 10.5 sacks, three passes defended and two forced fumbles in 2013.
Former first-round draft pick Sheldon Richardson adjusted nicely as an end in the Jets' 3-4 base defense in 2013. Richardson earned Defensive Rookie of the Year honors after manhandling opposing offensive linemen for the entirety of his first season at the pro level. Richardson totaled 42 tackles and 3.5 sacks last season.
Updated Depth Chart: Damon Harrison, Kenrick Ellis
The emergence of Damon Harrison helped make the Jets' front three one of the best units in pro football last season. At 350 pounds, Harrison is a running lane-clogging machine. His ability to disable opposing linemen from creating space for ball-carriers to maneuver through makes him a valuable proponent of the Jets defense.
Second-team NT Kenrick Ellis began the 2013 season as the favorite to win a starting role. The former third-round draft pick hasn't developed like the Jets had originally imagined. The 26-year-old defensive lineman played in all 16 games last season, but earned just one start.
Updated Depth Chart: Nick Mangold, Caleb Schlauderaff
The Jets depth chart remains solidified at center. Pro Bowler Nick Mangold is one of the best players at his position in the NFL. Mangold has missed just two games in his eight-year career, starting 126 contests.
Caleb Schlauderaff will serve as Mangold's primary backup in 2014. Schlauderaff has played in 12 games during his three-year professional career.
Updated Depth Chart: Willie Colon, Brian Winters, Will Campbell
After re-signing Willie Colon to a one-year deal, the Jets depth chart at offensive guard is basically set. Colon started all 16 games for the Jets at right guard in 2013, but suffered a torn biceps in the final regular-season game of the season. ProFootballFocus rates Colon as one of the best pass-blocking guards in pro football last season.
Brian Winters wasn't as solid up front as advertised in his rookie season, but it expected to earn a starting role on the left side of the offensive line in 2014. Winters started 12 games last season, aiding the Jets' sixth-ranked rush attack.
Updated Depth Chart: D'Brickashaw Ferguson, Breno Giacomini, Ben Ijalana, Dakota Dozier (137/4)
The Jets' core of offensive tackles is mostly solid, led by former first-round draft pick D'Brickashaw Ferguson, who has started all 128 regular-season games in his eight-year professional career. New York signed former Seahawks tackle Breno Giacomini to a four-year deal earlier this offseason after losing Austin Howard to the Oakland Raiders in free agency.
The Jets opted to use a fourth-round draft pick on Northwest Missouri State product Dakota Dozier, who will compete for a roster spot in camp. At 6'4'' and 313 pounds, Dozier has room to grow. He pumped 23 reps in the 225-bench press at the annual scouting combine, according to NFL.com.
Updated Depth Chart: Tommy Bohanon
Former seventh-round draft pick Tommy Bohanon is currently the only fullback on the Jets roster. Bohanon averaged 3.6 yards per carry on 17 rush attempts in 2013. Bohanon is an average blocker at best. He offers value out of the backfield as a pass-catcher, racking up 11 receptions for 69 yards over the course of his rookie season.
If the Jets feel unsatisfied with their depth, or lack thereof, at fullback entering training camp, they could potentially send an invite to free agent FB Lex Hilliard, who was sparingly productive for the Green and White in 2012.
Updated Depth Chart: Chris Johnson, Chris Ivory, Bilal Powell, Mike Goodson
The Jets depth chart at running back is stacked. Free-agent acquisition Chris Johnson possesses the big-play potential the Jets had been severely lacking over the last few seasons. Johnson has rushed for at least 1,000 yards in all six of his NFL seasons. He led the league in rushing yards (2,006) and yards from scrimmage (2,509) with 16 total touchdowns in 2009.
The "two-dreaded monster" of Johnson and Chris Ivory figures to be a lethal combination in 2014. Ivory averaged 4.6 yards per carry on a career-high 182 rush attempts in his first season with the Jets in 2013. Bilal Powell received nearly as many carries as Ivory last season, but will likely see a substantial decline in playing time next season.
The Jets could also potentially grant troubled running back Mike Goodson his outright release, although he's a capable pass-catcher who could provide some value on offense.
Updated Depth Chart: Jace Amaro (49/2), Jeff Cumberland, Zach Sudfeld
The Jets got exactly what they needed in the second round of the 2014 NFL draft, selecting pass-catching machine Jace Amaro out of Texas Tech. Amaro was incredibly impressive at the scouting combine, earning top-performer status in six of seven drills among player at his position, according to NFL.com. Amaro recorded 106 receptions for 1,352 yards and seven touchdowns in his final collegiate season.
The Jets offense has transformed over the offseason. They now possess a big-bodied downfield target who can increase their red-zone efficiency and help the team score more touchdowns.
Updated Depth Chart: Eric Decker, Stephen Hill, Jeremy Kerley, Jalen Saunders (104/4), Shaq Evans (115/4), David Nelson
The Jets had a chance to make a flashy draft pick in the first round, but opted to pass on Brandin Cooks and Marqise Lee in favor of Pryor. Idzik remained methodical in executing his game plan in the Jets' war room, waiting until the fourth round to bolster the Jets' receiving corps.
New York enhanced its playmaking potential by drafting former Oklahoma wideout Jalen Saunders, who recorded 61 catches for 729 yards and eight touchdowns. In his final collegiate season, he averaged 12.0 yards per reception.
The Jets doubled up on speedy receivers just 11 picks later, drafting Shaquelle Evans out of UCLA. Evans averaged 15.1 yards per reception on 47 catches with nine touchdowns in 2013. Both players could play a role on offense in their rookie seasons.
Updated Depth Chart: Michael Vick, Geno Smith, Tajh Boyd (213/6)
After opting to select Geno Smith in the second round of the 2013 NFL draft, the Jets were officially immersed in full-fledged rebuilding mode. At No. 18 overall in this year's draft, the Jets had a chance to make sensational headlines by selecting none other than Johnny Manziel.
Idzik passed, refusing to detract from his game plan in the war room. The Jets ultimately made a wise decision in taking Pryor and now look to build on a relatively surprising 8-8 season from 2013. The Jets no longer boast a quarterback circus, but competition between veteran Michael Vick and Smith is inevitable.
The Jets made noise at QB in the sixth round, drafting former Clemson signal-caller Tajh Boyd, who could eventually compete for a starting job, but will first need to fight for a roster spot.