Jets 4 x 4: End of Training Camp

After this training camp broke yesterday, let's summarize some of the more interesting trends:

Four up:

Here are four players who have trended upwards since camp began:

QB Sam Darnold

The rookie Darnold has continued to trend upwards, both in terms of workload and performance. It seems almost certain he'll be the opening day starter now unless he get injured or really messes up on Friday night. Ordinarily you'd rest the starter for the final preseason game but the Jets seem keen to get Darnold as many reps as possible and have confidence in his back-up(s) so perhaps he'll suit up against the Eagles too.


OLB Brandon Copeland

Copeland entered camp as an outside bet to make it onto the roster, but has been a core special teamer and has impressed the coaching staff on defense too, as he's seen plenty of quality reps off the edge with the first and second unit. His ability to play inside linebacker in a pinch affords the team some flexibility as well.

LB Neville Hewitt

Hewitt has made the most of his opportunities so far in preseason, leading the Jets in tackles in both preseason games and adding an interception. Hewitt has also played consistently in practice and seems to have secured himself a spot backing up Darron Lee.

OLB Josh Martin

Martin entered camp as the incumbent starter and nobody has overtaken him yet. Barring a big ticket move, the Jets look set to rotate Martin and Copeland off the edge on the weakside. Todd Bowles said the other day that he will need to rotate his edge rushers because they all play special teams and Martin and Copeland fit that description.

Four down:

Here are four guys that were expected to make the roster who seem to have fallen completely out of favor:

OLB Lorenzo Mauldin

Mauldin's problems mostly stem from a lack of availability, as he's once again struggled to remain healthy. However, even when he's been on the field, he's struggled to get many reps with the top units and hasn't made many plays.

WR ArDarius Stewart

Stewart has been stuck on the third unit, which is not a good sign for his roster chances. While he made a nice play in the Washington game, he hasn't been making consistent contributions in camp and has been outshone by players like Charles Johnson, whom the team seems to prefer.

CB Juston Burris

Like Mauldin, Burris' main issue has been that he hasn't been on the field very much. However, he seems to be a forgotten man in the battle for roster spots. Players like Derrick Jones have jumped ahead of him and even if he gets to play over the next couple of games, it will likely only be with back-ups.

T Antonio Garcia

Garcia was thought to be a player with a lot of potential, but he's been working himself back after some health issues in his rookie year. Garcia seems to have struggled in pass protection throughout camp and in preseason, although his run blocking was better in the second game than in the opener. Initially, the Jets were expected to carry him on the 53, but there probably isn't room to afford them that luxury so they'll need to expose him to waivers and keep him on the practice squad if they still like his potential.

Four missing:

Here's four players who still have a good chance to make the roster, but we need to see them in action during preseason. Of course, Quincy Enunwa, Terrelle Pryor and Marcus Maye haven't played yet either, but that seems to be more of a precautionary move for three guys whose spots are safe.

LB Kevin Pierre-Louis

Pierre-Louis' coverage abilities could be valuable for the Jets and might give them some flexibility. Avery Williamson has been taking on an every-down role, but if Pierre-Louis is healthy he'd give the Jets opportunities to spell him on passing downs. However, we've not seen enough of him to warrant a roster spot. He's suspended for week one anyway, so the team will probably wait until week two to decide his fate, in case there's an injury.

TE Chris Herndon

Herndon is supposed to play tomorrow night according to Bowles and it's our first chance to get an in-game look at someone who has been a camp stand-out when healthy. Any of the five candidates at the tight end spot could be on or off the 53, but Herndon's roster chances look strong due to him being a 2018 draft pick.


CB Parry Nickerson

Another 2018 draft pick, Nickerson, had been drawing rave reviews in camp but has been slow to come back from a hamstring injury. He needs to showcase his abilities in a game situation, especially in the slot. Xavier Coleman has missed time recently so the opportunity is there to work with the second unit.

T Kelvin Beachum

Beachum's spot on the roster and in the starting line-up are safe, but the team still probably wants to get him some game action so that the starting unit can get some game reps as a group before the season starts after he missed the last two with an ankle injury. He's been working with the first unit on a limited basis over the past week and Bowles has said he could play tomorrow.

Four sleepers:

OLB Frankie Luvu

Luvu is on the bubble right now after a decent camp performance which seems to have him ahead of players like Mauldin, David Bass and Obum Gwacham. However, Bowles was frustrated with his penalties in the Washington game, so he'll be looking for Luvu to play with more discipline tomorrow night.

WR Tre McBride

McBride seems to have the inside track on the number five receiver role, but if the four ahead of him are healthy then he probably won't even be active on gameday. If that's the case, then the team might even opt not to carry a fifth, because if Andre Roberts wins the punt return role, he can fill in if required. McBride can also return punts, which helps his case, but it doesn't seem like the Jets trust him to handle that role full-time.

G/T Ben Braden

Braden entered camp with several guys from last year's team ahead of him and a couple of new additions that were also in the mix for a spot. However, he seems secure in his spot on the second unit as the team likes his versatility and run blocking. He might earn a spot by virtue of being a better scheme fit than some of last year's reserves.

RB Trenton Cannon

Cannon entered camp with the Jets probably hoping he'd be able to handle the return roles. Cannon's shakiness when fielding punts makes him a non-option for that role in the regular season, but he's looked good on kick-offs and - more importantly - like a potential difference-maker on offense. With Elijah McGuire injured, Cannon has an opportunity to contribute early, but he needs to prove he can stay on the field because he's missed some time in practice recently.