Now that Rex Ryan has been retained as Jets Head Coach and he and Woody Johnson went ahead with their press conference/public stoning by the media, the big story in JetsLand these past few days has been who the new General Manager is going to be. The bigger issue, however, is what that new GM is going to do once he takes over the office previously occupied by Mike Tannenbaum. It’s impossible to say what free agents or rookies the new guy will bring in, but we can certainly analyze the current roster and who may or may not be back in 2013.
As you may recall, I broke down the roster from 1 through 53 back in October to show how little talent the Artist Formerly Known as Tanny assembled from top to bottom. While many players have either improved or worsened their stock since then, overall the talent level is still in pretty sad shape. I present to you the Jets roster from top to bottom, with a letter grade assigned for each player, and their percentage chance of returning in 2013. As with last time, the players will also be placed into one of 6 groups, split up as follows:
Group 1, The Darrelle Revis Division: An excellent NFL player who would either start for every team in the league, or would have any team in the league loving to get him (example: Quinton Coples falls into this category because of his potential, recent draft position, and big upside).
Group 2, The Jeremy Kerley Division (formerly the Dustin Keller Division): A good NFL starter that just about any team in the NFL would like to have, or a player with a lot of value.
Group 3, The Mike DeVito Division: A solid NFL player that has a role in the league and can contribute to a winning team.
Group 4, The 2011 Calvin Pace Division: A below average NFL player that shouldn’t be starting for any team, but could contribute in the right situation — in small doses — as a role player, or on special teams
Group 5, The Antonio Allen Division: An unproven young NFL player that may or may not develop into something for the team down the road. Too early to pass any real judgment for the most part.
Group 6, The 2012 Calvin Pace Division: Useless players. As opposed to group 5, they’ve had a chance to show what they have.. and what they have sucks.
Group 1, The Darrelle Revis Division
1. Darrelle Revis, A++. Obviously Revis is still the best player on this team and one of the best players in the whole league. I expect him to get a contract extension and be here for a very long time. – 99% to return.
2. Muhammad Wilkerson, A+. Wilkerson has improved his stock a great deal since the season began. Aside from J.J. Watt, there may not be a finer 3-4 defensive end in the NFL. – 100%.
3. Nick Mangold, A+. Still an elite offensive lineman and will be for at least a few more years. – 100%.
4. Antonio Cromartie, A+. When Revis went down, Cromartie rose to the occasion and showed himself to be a top 5 corner in the NFL. There’s a small chance he could be moved his offseason to clear cap room while his value is it’s highest, but I doubt it. – 90%.
5. D’Brickashaw Ferguson, A+. Brick bounced back from an off-year in 2011 and turned in a terrific season. An excellent Left Tackle. – 100%.
6. Quinton Coples, A. Coples doesn’t get the A grade based solely on his rookie production. He gets the A for the immense potential he showed and for his ability to cause havoc up front. There’s not a team in the league that wouldn’t take him. – 100%
7. LaRon Landry, A-. Landry managed to stay healthy and turned in a Pro Bowl season this year. It’s just a shame the team will likely be unable to meet his salary demands and bring him back next year. – 25%.
Group 2, The Jeremy Kerley Division
8. Santonio Holmes, B+. Holmes is still a very good WR capable of being a #1 and making big plays, but his season-ending foot injury combined with his high salary drop him down a peg or two. He’s still the biggest playmaker on the Jets and one of the most talented receivers in the league. – 90%.
9. David Harris, B. There is no question that the 2012 season was not what we have come to expect from the “Hitman”. His coverage ability slipped and he too often was out of position against the run, but the lack of talent around him and injuries at defensive tackle definitely played a big role in it. I expect him to bounce back in 2013, but the contract is still a big problem for our new GM. – 99%.
10. Jeremy Kerley, B-. Kerley isn’t a superstar or anything, but he’s a very reliable slot receiver and led the team in yardage this year. He could play for just about any team in the league and produce. He is also a valuable special teamer and makes hardly any money. – 100%.
11. Brandon Moore, B-. Moore’s play has slipped the past two years a little bit, especially in the run game, but he’s still a pretty solid starting NFL guard and provides veteran leadership. He’s a free agent and getting older, though, so let’s say.. – 50%.
12. Dustin Keller, B-. I’m not the biggest Keller fan, but his lack of production this year was due mainly to several injuries and the overall ineptitude of the offense. For the right team (he’s a free agent), Keller can really thrive. – 50%.
Group 3, The Mike DeVito Divison Part I
13. Mike DeVito, B-. DeVito is the kind of guy that every team in the league would love to have. He is excellent against the run, he is willing to play any position across the line, and he will never complain. Would be a big loss if he walks as a free agent. – 50%
14. Shonn Greene, C+. When used properly, Greene can be quite effective. He’s more of a 1B back suited for 12-15 carries to come in and deliver blows to a worn down defense like he did in 2009 and 2010. He’s also a free agent and I think the Jets are going to move in another direction, but he will help someone. – 40%.
15. Sione Po’uha, C. Po’uha was excellent the previous 3 seasons, but he really took a turn for the worse in 2012 after suffering a back injury in training camp. He’s getting up there in age and will definitely be cut in the offseason as a salary dump. There’s a chance he can come back on a reduced salary though to groom Kenrick Ellis for the job. – 33%.
16. Kyle Wilson, C. Kyle Wilson is nothing special, but I must admit he did play better in the second half of the season, and he even stopped doing that ridiculous finger wag. He could start for a few teams and provides us with a solid nickel option. – 100%.
17. Yeremiah Bell, C. Bell had a very solid season for us, and provided a big upgrade over Eric Smith, Jim Leonhard, and Brodney Pool. Unfortunately that isn’t saying much at all. Would like him back next year. – 66%.
18. Stephen Hill, C. Based on his performance in 2012, he clearly would be ranked lower than a C. However, he is still an extremely young player who could improve. I’m not sure guys suddenly learn how to catch the ball in their 20′s, but let’s hope he does. And let’s also hope our new GM isn’t stupid enough to rely on such a raw prospect to be a starting WR. – 100%.
19. Austin Howard, C. He provided some very good run blocking and some not-so-good pass blocking. He improved as the season went on, and I expect him back as a decent RT option. – 100%.
20. Kenrick Ellis, C. Ellis played very well in his limited action due to a knee injury. He very well could be our starting Nose Tackle next season. – 100%.
**The Mark Sanchez Group**
21. Mark Sanchez, C. Sanchez deserves his own special group. Not because he’s special in any way or such a great player, but because nobody seems to know what the hell to do with him. I’m not saying he deserves another chance to start here, but with his contract, I think that’s the road the team is going to go down. He will compete against a low-cost veteran, probably win the job, and then…. well, who knows what will happen then. But with some real quarterbacks coaching from a competent coach for the first time in his career (hopefully), there’s a chance the Sanchize can get back on track. Is it likely? No, probably not. But it’s what we have to hope for, and I just hope Jets fans will at least give him a chance in 2013 should he start game 1. If he’s released or traded, don’t be surprised to see him resurrect his career on a new team where the media pressure isn’t quite as severe and he actually has some weapons around him. He still has value, it just may not be in a Jets uniform. – 70 % he’s back.
And now back to…
Group 3, The Mike DeVito Division, Part II
22. Bilal Powell, C. Powell came on pretty strong in the second half of the season after battling some injuries and showed he’s a capable #2 back. I expect his role to expand a little bit next year. – 100%
23. Braylon Edwards, C. The majority of Jets fans were thrilled to see Braylon back this year. Sure, some of that was due to the fact Tannenbaum littered our roster with horrendous receivers throughout the season, but it was also because Braylon brings a lot to the team. He is a big, tough target, he can get down the field, and he can block. He has more value to the Jets than anyone else probably, and there is really no reason he shouldn’t be brought back next season. – 51%.
24. Matt Slauson, C. Slauson is just “meh”. He’s the epitome of average. There’s a place for him in the league, but the Jets should absolutely be looking for an upgrade along the offensive line this year. It’s clear the Jets are ready to move on from him because they let VLAD DUCASSE rotate with him. That’s not something you want on your resume. – 25%.
25. Demario Davis, C. Lots of Jets fans were excited for our 3rd round linebacker, but we didn’t get to see much of him this year. With the mass exodus of linebackers expected to take place on the roster, 2013 will be his chance to show what he’s got. – 100%.
26. Joe McKnight, C. I always find myself asking to see more of Joe McKnight because he shows big-play capability. Unfortunately, he always seems to be banged up and he seems unaware that fumbling is bad. Still an elite kick returner. – 100%.
27, 28, 29. Nick Folk, Robert “Mayday” Malone, Tanner Purdum, C. Gotta lump these 3 together. Folk put together very good season, as did our punter Mayday Malone. What, am I the only one who calls him that? Whatever. And you gotta admit, Tanner Purdum can snap a football!
Group 4, the 2011 Calvin Pace Division
30. Jeff Cumberland, C-. I’ve come around a little bit on Cumberland. He’s graduated from “totally useless” to just “borderline useless”. 50%.
31. Bart Scott, C-. I’ve always been a fan of Bart, but his play has clearly slipped. He’s still very good plugging the run, but his lack of speed is a big problem. He can find a spot in this league, and don’t be shocked if he’s back on a reduced contract next year. -20%.
32. Tim Tebow, C-. TEBOW TEBOW TEBOW TEBOW TEBOW TEBOW TEBOW. – 0%.
33. Garrett McIntyre, C-. Much like Cumberland, McIntyre is a guy I’ve really come around on. He was our best OLB this year probably, and although that isn’t saying much at all, the guy does try hard and occasionally makes a play. He has a role as a backup next year. – 100%.
34. Bryan Thomas, D+. He’s old, slow, and always injured. He had a decent season, but it’s over for BT. He had a solid career, but I’ll never forgive him for not being Ed Reed, who should have been the Jets selection in 2002. – 0%
35. Aaron Berry, D+. He was seemingly injured while signing his Jets contract, but he can provide a solid option against slot receivers in 2013. – 50%.
36. Josh Mauga, D+. I think Mauga can be useful as a backup inside linebacker and on special teams. He was going to take on a larger role this year but injuries nixed that. He’ll likely be back next year. – 90%.
37. Nick Bellore, D. Very good special teamer. Every team needs a guy like this. How are we only at #37?!?! – 90%.
Group 5, The Antonio Allen Division (no letter grades for these players, they all get Incompletes)
38. Greg McElroy. Well, I guess not every late rounder who steps in to start for his team turns into Tom Brady. Oh well, he can still be a solid backup. – 90%.
39. Antonio Allen. He started to see the field more down the stretch of the season, and with both of our starting safeties being free agents, Allen could end up with a larger role next year. – 100%.
40. Josh Bush. (See Antonio Allen). – 100%.
41. Damon Harrison. He was curiously kept on the roster all season long, so Rex must see something in him. With Po’uha possibly gone, Big Dame could have a role in 2013. – 75%.
42. Clyde Gates. Of all the players here in Group 5, Gates played the most. He clearly isn’t the most polished receiver, but he shockingly had a few good moments. With big supporter Tony Sparano getting the ax though, he may not be back in green next year. – 50%.
43. Ricky Sapp. Ricky “the Tease” Sapp. He always gets coaches and other players talking about his potential, then he never delivers on the field, whether due to injury or lack of opportunity. He’ll be in camp next year, but it remains to be seen whether or not he can make his mark. – 50%.
44. Hayden Smith. The Australian rugby star has some ability. We’ll see if he can put it together in year 2. – 75%.
45. Isaiah Trufant. Last time I said this about him: ”He’s a poor man’s Ellis Lankster. And considering Lankster has a homeless man’s amount of ability, I’m not even sure what that would make Trufant.” That was a bit harsh, because when he played this year he actually showed some promise. – 75%.
46. Josh Baker. God, do you know how hard it is to write 2-3 sentences about all these guys?! I mean look at this roster… – 50%.
Group 6, the 2012 Calvin Pace Division
47. Calvin Pace, F. Pace took the torch as my most loathed Jet in 2012. The master of the “run into offensive lineman, extend arms, stand there til play ends” pass rush move will not be a Jet in 2013. He may not even be in the league. – 0%.
48. Ellis Lankster, F. Ellis Lankster stinks. – 25%.
49. Vlad Ducasse, F. Ducasse became the face of the Fire Tannenbaum campaign. How could this man have been a second round pick?! – 25%.
50. Eric Smith, F. I’m really hoping he is roughing punters and slowly running behind tight ends and wide receivers for the Buffalo Bills next year. – 0%.
51. Chaz Schilens, F. Mike Tannenbaum thought Schilens and Stephen Hill would make for a fine #2 WR platoon this year. In related news, Mike Tannenbaum got fired. – 0%
52. Jason Smith, F. At least he wasn’t Wayne Hunter. – 0%
53. Caleb Schlauderaff, F. Mike Tannenbaum spoke of him as a possible “next Victor Cruz”. Again, is it any wonder Mike Tannenbaum was fired? – 25%
54. Konrad Reuland, F. With all the good tight ends coming out of Stanford, we got stuck with this one? – 25%.
55. Lex Hilliard, F. The fullback who somehow was worse than John Conner. Couldn’t run block, couldn’t pass block, couldn’t catch, and couldn’t pick up short yardage. – 0%.
As you can see, the new General Manager (whoever the hell that ends up being) has a lot of work to do. There are clearly some pieces in place to lead the team, but the “middle class” of the roster needs an overhaul. To win in the NFL you need quite a few role players to chip in and help out. When a starter goes down, there needs to be a next man up to fill that role. On this roster, the next man up is too often Vlad Ducasse or Konrad Reuland, and that needs to change.