New York Jets' updated 53-man roster projection

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Rich Cimini, ESPN Staff Writer

  • Longtime Jets beat writer for New York Daily News
  • Syracuse University graduate

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. — The mandatory cutdown to 75 players is coming up quickly — Tuesday, to be exact. Some tough decisions for the New York Jets. Our fearless forecast:

Quarterback (4)Ryan Fitzpatrick, Bryce Petty, Matt Flynn, Geno Smith. (Cut: Jake Heaps)

Analysis: Well, this is awkward — four quarterbacks! It’s unavoidable because they need an emergency guy with experience (Flynn) until Smith is healthy. Obviously, this will have an impact on other positions.

Running back (4)Chris Ivory, Bilal Powell, Zac Stacy, Tommy Bohanon. (PUP: Stevan Ridley. Cut: Daryl Richardson, Julian Howsare)

Analysis: No changes here from my last projection. Richardson is a tough cut because he’s had a decent camp, but it’s a numbers game.

Wide receiver (6)Brandon Marshall, Eric Decker, Quincy Enunwa, Jeremy Kerley, Devin Smith, Walter Powell. (Cut: Shaquelle Evans, TJ Graham, Chris Owusu, DeVier Posey, Saalim Hakim, Jonathon Rumph, Austin Hill.

Analysis: I added Powell, based on a kickoff-return ability, and dropped Graham, who has faded after a hot start. Smith (ribs) won’t be ready by Week 1, but they’re not about to cut a second-round pick.

Tight end (3)Jeff Cumberland, Kellen Davis, Jace Amaro. (Cut: Wes Saxton, Arthur Lynch, Matt LaCosse).

Analysis: Amaro (shoulder) might not be ready for Week 1, so they may have only two active for the opener. Have a feeling there will be quite a few upcoming transactions at this position.

Offensive line (9)D’Brickashaw Ferguson, James Carpenter, Nick Mangold, Willie Colon, Breno Giacomini, Ben Ijalana, Brian Winters, Wesley Johnson, Jarvis Harrison. (Cut: Oday Aboushi, Dakota Dozier, Brent Qvale, Charles Brown, James Brewer, Dalton Freeman)

Analysis: One change from the previous projection: I replaced Freeman with Johnson, who has been taking second-team reps at center. The biggest variable is Ijalana, who has a sprained knee. If he’s not ready by opening day, they’ll need a backup swing tackle.

Defensive line (5)Muhammad Wilkerson, Damon Harrison, Leonard Williams, Leger Douzable, T.J. Barnes. (Suspended: Sheldon Richardson. Cut: Kevin Vickerson, Stephen Bowen, Deon Simon, Ronald Talley, Jordan Williams)

Analysis: Carrying only five until Richardson returns from his four-game suspension. Bowens versus Barnes is a toss-up. I went with Barnes because they need a wide body to spell Harrison. I dropped Talley, who feels the pinch of having four quarterbacks.

Linebacker (9)Quinton Coples, Calvin Pace, David Harris, Demario Davis, Jamari Lattimore, Jason Babin, Lorenzo Mauldin, Joe Mays, Trevor Reilly. (Cut: Erin Henderson, Taiwan Jones, Deion Barnes, Bryan Johnson).

Analysis: Injuries to Mauldin (knee) and Pace (groin) muddy the picture. Their pain is a gain for Babin and Reilly. I replaced Henderson (knee) with Mays, who is carving a niche on special teams.

Secondary (10)Darrelle Revis, Antonio Cromartie, Buster Skrine, Calvin Pryor, Marcus Gilchrist, Jaiquawn Jarrett, Darrin Walls, Marcus Williams, Dex McDougle, Dee Milliner. (Cut: Rontez Miles, Javier Arenas, Durell Eskridge, Curtis Brown, Keith Lewis, Keon Lyn, Dashaun Phillips)

Analysis: I know, I know, I have seven corners and only three safeties. I think Miles deserves to make the team, but Milliner (wrist) is taking up a spot.

Specialists (3) — PK Nick Folk, P Ryan Quigley, LS Tanner Purdum (Cut: No one)

Analysis: I feel confident with this position.

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