The New York Jets just finished an offseason that entailed a lot of change. A roster overhaul was to be expected after last season. This football team certainly acquired talent through free agency and the draft that will make them better. That means that there are plenty of New York Jets position battles to watch for come training camp.
With the way the Jets are now, the record should be improved and they will be more competitive. There are a few positions where starting jobs will be up for competition: right guard, cornerback, tight end, and slot cornerback. Without further adieu, let’s dig into the 2021 New York Jets position battles.
2021 New York Jets Position Battles: Offense
Right Guard: Cameron Clark vs Greg Van Roten
There was some speculation the Jets could draft a player who would be expected to start at right guard. However, the Jets did not go that route. This will lead to competition between Cameron Clark and Greg Van Roten.
Van Roten was signed last offseason and had a solid year. Clark was drafted in the fourth round a year ago. If Clark does not show enough in training camp, Van Roten is a solid player who has proven he can get the job done. If Clark plays well, Van Roten is a great depth piece for the Jets offensive line.
Jets general manager, Joe Douglas has an offensive line background. The hope is that he made a good selection and found something in Clark. As of now, the expected starter seems to be pretty unknown.
Tight End: Kenny Yeboah vs Ryan Griffin
The way it seems now, Chris Herndon, Tyler Kroft, and Trevon Wesco are three locks to make the Jets roster at tight end. The fourth spot is up for competition between undrafted rookie free agent, Kenny Yeboah and veteran Ryan Griffin. With the inconsistency, Herndon has shown with his hands as a pass-catcher along with Kroft and Wesco both being better blockers than receivers this last spot could be an important one.
Unfortunately for Griffin, he suffered a bad injury at the end of the 2019 season and did not produce as a receiver last season. Yeboah is an exciting young talent coming off a season in college with good production as a pass-catcher. With Griffin being an older player with injury concerns, Yeboah has a great opportunity.
This is a depth position that could end up being crucial for the Jets this season. Although he has potential, to this point Herndon is still an unknown. The Jets will need a contributor in the passing game at tight end for Zach Wilson in his rookie year. Yeboah has a great chance of making the roster.
2021 New York Jets Position Battles: Defense
Cornerback: Jason Pinnock vs Brandin Echols
Second-year cornerback, Bryce Hall is expected to start at one outside cornerback position. The second one is expected to be between Jason Pinnock and Brandin Echols. Both Pinnock and Echols are day three players the Jets drafted this year.
Despite having a need at the position, the Jets did not add any known player at cornerback this offseason. This leads to competition between young players like Pinnock and Echols. Pinnock is a long-player with the ability to cover. Echols is not the biggest but has speed. It is great that they will have the opportunity to prove what they are capable of as rookies.
Neither necessarily has the upper hand at this moment. They are both young players with a great chance to take a starting job. Hopefully, one can show some promise.
Slot Cornerback: Javelin Guidry vs Michael Carter II
Similar to the outside cornerback group, no big addition was made at the slot position. Guidry was signed as an undrafted free agent last year. The Jets selected Carter II in the fifth round of the draft this year.
Guidry showed some good things late in the season when he got an opportunity. Carter II provides some positional flexibility between slot cornerback and free safety. Both of these players have great speed which is exciting.
These two young players will compete throughout the summer for the starting position. As of now, neither has too great of an advantage. It will be fun to see this summer if either can contribute or both with the versatility Carter II has.
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