Let's weigh up how the Jets' rookies from 2019 might fare in their second season. Will any of these players make the leap?
The Jets need Williams to ascend to another level this season after his rookie season was slow to get off the ground following an early high ankle sprain. Nevertheless, he was a key contributor in what ended up as one of the league's best run defenses.
He was noticeably more explosive and more effective at getting off blocks in the second half of last year. Also, crucially, he was more statistically productive as a pass rusher. The Jets will hope that's a good sign heading to year two.
Edoga saw plenty of action last year as the Jets benched Brandon Shell for him early, but then probably regretted it as Edoga struggled. Hopefully he is a player who can benefit from the improvements to the talent elsewhere on the line.
Some have suggested Edoga could give George Fant a run for his money in terms of earning a starting role, but that seems unlikely based on last year. However, he could take the swing tackle role having started games on both sides in his rookie year.
Wesco was drafted primarily for his blocking ability and didn't get many opportunities to do much else, other than a few flashes. His playing time and effectiveness both increased through the year as he contributed both at tight end and full back.
With Chris Herndon and Ryan Griffin locked into the top two spots, Wesco's main competition is Daniel Brown, who is obviously an inferior blocker but more of a pass catching threat. His best bet to earn a spot might come down to the Jets opting to carry four tight ends again like they did for much of last year.
Cashman made some positive contributions last year when thrown into the fire due to injury. Despite only starting five games, Cashman racked up 40 tackles, adding three tackles for loss, three QB hits, half a sack, a pass defensed and a fumble recovery.
With concerns over his durability after another shoulder surgery, Cashman faces a tough task to earn a regular role with CJ Mosley and Avery Williamson back from injury, James Burgess and Neville Hewitt re-signed and Patrick Onwuasor also added to the mix. Cashman's special teams contributions give him a shot at a roster spot, but BJ Bello shined on special teams in place of Cashman last year, so even that isn't certain.
Austin looked well on the way to developing into a solid long-term contributor for the Jets last year after he came off the injured list halfway through the season and started several games in a row, impressing with his closing speed.
However, a blown assignment just before halftime in the penultimate game against Pittsburgh landed him in Gregg Williams' doghouse and he didn't see any snaps in the last game and a half. We'll see how long Williams' memory is and where Austin starts camp off on the depth chart.
Four of the Jets' undrafted rookies from last year are still with the team, including running back Jalin Moore and cornerback Kyron Brown, each of whom won't play this season having been added to the reserve/PUP list.
Edge defender Kyle Phillips was a surprise contributor last year and actually led all Jets rookies in snaps. He was better against the run than as a pass rusher and will need to generate more pressure to retain his spot ahead of players like Jabari Zuniga, Bronson Kaufusi and John Franklin-Myers.
Jeff Smith might already have been released had he not been injured all through preseason. As a result the Jets kept him around and he got a shot later on in the regular season due to injuries, only to then get injured again. The speedster is somewhat raw but will hope to get a longer long in camp this time.
2019 rookies acquired since last offseason
The Jets also acquired four other players who were rookies last year, all of whom are obviously major long shots having lasted less than a year with their original team.
Those four players are linebacker Ahmad Gooden, edge rusher Wyatt Ray, offensive lineman Corbin Kaufusi and punter Ian Berryman. Of the four Kaufusi, who is converting from defensive line to offensive line, might have the best chance at sticking on the practice squad as a long-term project. After the Jets drafted Braden Mann, Berryman seems like the least likely to make the team.
What are your expectations for each of these players? Let us know in the comments.