The Jets this evening have issued their first depth chart of the season.
With the distribution of the first game release of the summer to reporters, for Friday night’s Jets-Bengals game, we have posted the depth chart in that release on our site. You can find it here.
Bearing in mind that head coach Rex Ryan hasn’t announced any of his starters or any rotations for the game yet, here are a couple of spots worth mentioning:
Stephen Hill is listed at the WR starter opposite Santonio Holmes. If Hill starts vs. the Stripes —possible since Holmes is doubtful with his rib injury — he could be the only rookie to get the start in the preseason opener.
That would also make Hill only the fifth offensive first-year player to start in the first preseason game since 2000. Jonathan Goodwin started at LG at Pittsburgh in 2002, D’Brickashaw Ferguson at LT and Nick Mangold at C at Tampa Bay in ’06, and Jehuu Caulcrick at FB vs. St. Louis in Rex Ryan’s first game as Jets head coach in ’09.
“It definitely would be a great thing, a big honor, if that happened,” Hill told me. “But I’m still trying to make the team along with a lot of other guys. I’m doing my part to make plays and don’t get chewed out by the coaches.”
On this first chart, Chaz Schilens is listed at No. 2 behind Hill, while the Holmes side lists Jeremy Kerley No. 2 and Patrick Turner No. 3.
John Conner is the only player listed at fullback, with FB/TE Josh Baker being located No. 3 at TE behind Dustin Keller and Jeff Cumberland.
No. 1 draft choice Quinton Coples is backing up his old Hargrave Military teammate, Muhammad Wilkerson, at DE, with Mike DeVito checking in alongside Sione Po‘uha as the Jets’ three No. 1 D-linemen at this time.
Bryan Thomas is back at his old No. 1 spot at OLB after he missed the final 12 games last year due to his Achilles injury at Baltimore in Game 4.
Aaron Maybin, shot from a cannon this summer, checks in behind Calvin Pace at the other OLB spot.
Third-round rookie LB Demario Davis, sidelined for the start of camp with a hamstring pull, is listed behind Bart Scott and Josh Mauga at the Will spot on the inside next to David Harris.
And the most interesting experiment may be at safety, where the Jets are listing Eric Smith, Yeremiah Bell and LaRon Landry all as starters.
“That’s what we’re going to do, and we’re excited about it,” said Smitty, who started 14 of 16 games at safety last year alongside either Brodney Pool or Jim Leonhard. “I think it’ll be good for us.” I’ll have more on Smith’s view of his evolving role with his two new safety mates in the next few days.
Of course, the depth chart is only a guide for how players might be lining up in practice and at games but the Jets’ starting lineup. And it’s only updated once a week, before the game ahead. We’ll update our depth chart page every week as soon as we are able.
Two New Sets of Hands
The Jets also announced tonight they have signed two new wide receivers, Stanley Arukwe (6’0″, 180) of Troy, who will wear No. 16, and Joseph Collins (6’3″, 195) of Weber State, who will wear No. 87, while waiving recent WR signee Chris Forcier. That brings their roster to one under the 90-player limit.
Tags: Cincinnati Bengals, Demario Davis, depth chart, Eric Smith, LaRon Landry, Mike DeVito, Quinton Coples, Stephen Hill, Yeremiah Bell
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