With training camp right around the corner, one thing always to keep an eye on is positional battles. Today we take a look at three of the more interesting competitions on the horizon.
Thunder from Down Under
The first battle features two Australian punters: Lachlan Edwards and Tom Hackett. They may share a native tongue, but they are polar opposites on the field. The 6'4", 209-pound Edwards, a Sam Houston State product who was the team's 7th–round selection (No. 253 overall), is more of a traditional style punter who focuses on hang time and is continuing to work on his placement. He posted gross averages of 42.3, 44.1, and 41. 5 from 2013-2015. On the other hand, the 5'11", 195-pound Hackett admittedly doesn't have a cannon but has always thrived as a directional punter. The two-time Ray Guy Award winner amassed a school-record 68 punts of 50 or more yards, four of which covered at least 70 yards.
The Other Island
Revis Island is looking for a new neighbor and Buster Skrine will have the first chance to move in. In his first year with the Jets, the Tennessee-Chattanooga product was the primary nickel back and led all corners with 65 tackles. Skrine played across from Joe Haden in Cleveland and would love another shot on the outside. His competition includes Marcus Williams, who led the team with six interceptions last season, and Dee Milliner, a talented former first-round pick who had a strong spring. Williams has totaled 17 passes defended in his two seasons for the Green & White and he had three game-sealing interceptions in 2015. Milliner turned to yoga in the offseason and feels healthier than ever entering training camp.
Living on the Edge
Similar to the outside cornerback competition, one spot is seemingly filled and the other is up for grabs at outside linebacker. Todd Bowles and company expect Lorenzo Mauldin to make the jump to a starting role in his sophomore campaign after compiling four sacks and 19 quarterback hits as a rookie. Opposite him could be Trevor Reilly, former CFL standout Freddie Bishop, or this year's third-round selection, Jordan Jenkins. Reilly, the most seasoned of the group, played in 15 games last year and led the team in special teams tackles with 16. Since being drafted in 2014, Reilly has racked up 31 tackles, one sack and one forced fumble. Bishop is an interesting case. Originally signing with the Detroit Lions as an UDFA in 2013, Bishop traveled north of the border and flourished. The Western Michigan product tied for 4th in the CFL with 11 sacks in 2015 and signed with the Jets in February. Lastly, Jenkins, a three-year starter for Georgia and team MVP in 2015, is known for his nonstop motor and work ethic. In 52 career games at Georgia, Jenkins collected 19 sacks and 40 TFL.