In preparation for the Jets-Giants preseason opener Saturday night at MetLife Stadium, the Jets communications department has compiled the first unofficial depth chart of training camp. Here are five quick observations from the initial look at the depth chart:
Battle at Right Tackle
After signing former Washington OL Morgan Moses, the Jets were both delighted to add the durable veteran to the line while making it clear there would be competition at the right tackle position. George Fant, who started a career-high 14 games last season, practiced for the first time Saturday night after starting the summer on the reserve Covid-19 list. The Jets were pleased with Fant's work throughout OTAs and then into minicamp.
Jets head coach Robert Saleh said of Fant: "First time out and he's just already trying to play a half of football when everyone else kind of had a ramp up. He gritted it out and we're right there watching him. He fought through it so credit to him."
In Moses, the Jets signed only one of three offensive linemen to start 96 games from 2015-20.
"At the end of the day I'm here to get myself better and try to make this team and the offensive line better," Moses said early in camp. "Whether that's in a starting role or not, I'm going to be the same guy, I'm going to show up every day and give my best effort and put my best foot forward."
Rookie 'Backer In the Hunt
On Saturday night, C.J. Mosley collected an interception and a pass defense during the Green & White practice at MetLife Stadium. Fellow veteran Jarrad Davis had his best practice in camp, quickly moving downhill and smothering ball carriers. They played with Hamsah Nasirildeen, a sixth-round pick from Florida State who was still there on Day 3 of the NFL Draft because he was limited to two games last season after returning from a knee injury. Nasirildeen is listed with the starters on this first unofficial depth chart.
"I love it," Nasirildeen said of his camp experience. "This is an opportunity of a lifetime, something I dreamed about. I'll never forget how much I wanted to do this when I was young. I just love being out here, being around this program with the guys on the team, the coaching staff, everything about it."
Wide Receiver Shakedown
Heading into the preseason opener, the communications staff has Corey Davis, Jamison Crowder and Keelan Cole with the first team and Denzel Mims (behind Davis), Braxton Berrios (behind Crowder) and the electrifying rookie Elijah Moore (behind Cole) with the second team.
OC Mike LaFleur said of the unit: "It's a competitive group. From top to bottom it's an extremely competitive group. Obviously you guys look out there with the ones and you're going to see Corey [Davis] and Jamison [Crowder], they've played a lot of ball in this league and they've done a lot of good things. But you go right down that list and I don't care if it's with the twos or threes, the way that we script with receivers it doesn't matter what offensive line they're in with and a lot of times it doesn't even really matter what quarterback they're in with."
See the 2021 Roster Leading Up to Training Camp
Nickel Receiving Love
The nickel defensive back position is one of the most critical spots even though sometimes the nickel isn't listed as a starter. The Jets have 12 players on the first-unit defense, the base 4-3 on the first two levels and then five defensive backs. Javelin Guidry, who intercepted Zach Wilson Saturday, starts preseason Week 1 atop the depth chart and is followed by rookie Michael Carter II and Elijah Campbell.
Saleh said of the three contenders: "That nickel spot, I'm very excited about that group, it's a good group, a very good group. They're battling and they're all showing different traits that are all winnable traits in this league and I'll give them the opportunity to continue to battle. It's going to be a fun one to watch."
Defensive Line Depth
At present, Sheldon Rankins and Folorunso Fatukasi are listed atop the depth chart at defensive tackle. That will change when Quinnen Williams returns to action and he's expected back for Jets-Packers joint practices next week. Ronald Blair and Bryce Huff are penciled in as backups to Carl Lawson and John Franklin-Myers at defensive end ,while Nathan Shepherd, who racked up a sack Saturday, and Tanzel Smart lead the reserves at defensive tackle.
DC Jeff Ulbrich said of the D-Line: "I'm excited about that unit from edge to edge and the depth it has. We have a lot of players who have some really special attributes to add to our defense. We are going to lean on them."
QB Zach Wilson, who has received all of the first-team reps and many of the second-team reps at camp, is followed by signal-callers Mike White, James Morgan and veteran newcomer Josh Johnson. … It will be backfield by committee all season long and the PR staff has Tevin Coleman, who played in this offense in both Atlanta and San Francisco, in the No. 1 spot followed with young vets La'Mical Perine and Ty Johnson, and impressive rookie Michael Carter filling out the 2-4 positions. … The kicking duel will head into game action Saturday and rookie Chris Naggar sits atop the depth chart currently followed by Matt Ammendola. … At punt returner, incumbent Braxton Berrios is followed by Keelan Cole, Michael Carter and Johnson. And Johnson is penciled in with the second team behind Corey Ballentine at kick returner.