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There are a few no-brainers when it comes to the New York Jets' 2023 starting lineup with QB1 Aaron Rodgers leading the way. 

Joining Rodgers on the offensive side of the ball, second-year pro Garrett Wilson has already proven worthy of WR1 status. When healthy, sophomore Breece Hall will most likely line up at RB1.

On defense, All-Pro Quinnen Williams owns one interior line spot while the other could be filled via rotation. 

Veterans CJ Mosely and Quincy Williams are penciled in as starters in the linebacking corps. 

Sauce Gardner headlines the defensive backfield as CB1. The reigning NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year has potential to be the top cornerback in the entire league. Despite being overshadowed by Gardner, DJ Reed has locked up the starting spot on the other side.

The Jets' roster has plenty of star power along adequate depth at almost every position. 

"Over the last two years, there’s so much youth playing. All that youth creates depth and that creates competition. The greatest form of motivating as a coach is competition," said Jets' head coach Robert Saleh at rookie minicamp. "To add the veterans, to add all the experience that we’ve been able to add this offseason, like I said, there’s really good balance here."

Saleh has focused upon the competition motif while speaking publicly about the roster this offseason. 

With veteran starter Connor McGovern returning and second-round pick Joe Tippmann in the mix, the No. 1 center spot is a prime example of the competition that the head coach foresees transpiring in the coming months.

"Yeah, you guys know how we are, everyone’s competing," said Saleh on the night the Jets drafted Tippmann. "Doesn’t matter where you get drafted, doesn’t matter what you get paid, you’re coming in to compete to begin with, so it’s going to be an open competition."

When asked about offensive tackle Mekhi Becton's preference to play left tackle, the third-year head coach said, "Go earn the left tackle. Competition."

Then, there's the stacked receivers' room that recently added longtime Packers' pass-catcher Randall Cobb.

"It’s just another person to come in and compete," said Saleh, who acknowledged the accomplished competitors battling for a limited number of spots. "All the competition that’s going to happen at that five-six spot, Randall and all that. It’s a really cool group of receivers and exciting to see how it shakes out."

Here's our projected 90-man depth chart for Phase 3 OTAs:


Quarterbacks — 4 

Starter: Aaron Rodgers (8) 
Second Team: Zach Wilson (2)
Third Team: Tim Boyle (7), Chris Streveler (15)

The only question here is whether Wilson will be the true backup or slide beneath Boyle on the depth chart.

Running Backs — 5 

Starter: Breece Hall (20)
Second Team: Michael Carter (32)
Third Team: Izzy Abanikanda (25), Bam Knight (27)
Fourth Team: Travis Dye (35) 

Hall, if fully healthy, is a top-15 running back talent in the League. Abanikanda has the ability to take over the No. 2 role while Dye has a shot at the 53-man roster if he contributes on special teams.

Fullback — 1 

Starter: Nick Bawden (48)

The fullback has become a dinosaur in the modern-day NFL with teams frequently opting for three wide receiver sets. 

Receivers —  12

Starter: Garrett Wilson (17), Allen Lazard (10), Mecole Hardman (6)
Second Team: Corey Davis (84), Randall Cobb (18), Denzel Mims (11) 
Third Team: Irvin Charles (82), Diontae Spencer (14), Xavier Gipson (19) 
Fourth Team: Malik Taylor (86), TJ Luther (85), Jason Brownlee (16) 

"You can never have enough receivers," according to Saleh and the Jets have plenty following a bevy of offseason additions. The top-six will likely make the 53-man roster with a seventh spot possibly open to a receiver that doubles as a core special teamer.

Tight Ends — 7 

Starter: Tyler Conklin (83)
Second Team: CJ Uzomah (87)
Third Team: Jeremy Ruckert (89), Zack Kuntz (81)
Fourth Team: Izaiah Gathings (N/a), EJ Jenkins (49), Kenny Yeboah (88) 

Conklin was the Jets' second-leading receiver in his first year with the team and the well-paid Uzomah will get his share of snaps. There could be an intriguing battle between Ruckert and Kuntz for the third spot.

Offensive Line — 16

Starter (Tackles): Mekhi Becton (77), Duane Brown (76) 
Second Team (Tackles): Max Mitchell (61), Billy Turner (54) 
Third Team (Tackles): Carter Warren (67), Greg Senat (64) 

Starter (Guards): Laken Tomlinson (78), Alijah Vera Tucker (75)
Second Team (Guards): Wes Schweitzer (71), Adam Pankey (62), Trystan Colon (65) 
Third Team (Guards): Brent Laing (63), Eric Smith (66), Chris Glaser (64)

Starter (Center): Connor McGovern (60)
Second Team (Center): Joe Tippmann (66)
Third Team (Center): Wes Schweitzer (71)

Saleh put it simply, "We’re going to play our best five." Tomlinson and Vera-Tucker are the almost-definite starting guards, but there will likely be an open competition at center. As for the tackles, Brown seems to have dibs on the left side. Becton presumably slides in a right tackle, but Turner and Mitchell are potential starters as well.


Defensive Ends — 7

Starter: John Franklin-Myers (91), Carl Lawson (58)
Second Team: Jermaine Johnson (52), Will McDonald (99)
Third Team: Bryce Huff (47), Michael Clemons (72)
Fourth Team: Deslin Alexandre (98) 

The Jets pack some punch with this group and the first-round pick McDonald adds to the unit's potential. Huff, an effective situational pass rusher, is an example of the depth at the position.

Defensive Tackles — 7 

Starter: Quinnen Williams (95), Solomon Thomas (94)
Second Team: Quinton Jefferson (93), Al Woods (N/a)
Third Team: Isaiah Mack (97), Marquiss Spencer (51), Tanzel Smart (79) 

After losing two of their top-four interior linemen in free agency, the Jets brought in veterans Quinton Jefferson and Al Woods to plug the hole.

Linebackers — 9 

Starters: CJ Mosley (57), Quincy Williams (56), Jamien Sherwood (44)
Second Team: Hamseh Nasirildeen (45), Zaire Barnes (53), Chazz Surratt (55)
Third Team: Claudin Cherelus (41), Maalik Hall (46), Caleb Johnson (43) 

The Jets have not re-signed third linebacker Kwon Alexander, meaning Sherwood and Nasirildeen could be competing for a starting spot. Barnes, a sixth-round draft pick, likely fits more on special teams as a rookie.

Safeties — 8 

Starters: Jordan Whitehead (3) [SS], Chuck Clark (23) [FS] 
Second Team: Ashtyn Davis (21), Tony Adams (22)
Third Team: Jarrick Bernard-Converse (29), Will Parks (39)
Fourth Team: Trey Dean (35), Marquis Waters (40) 

The Jets let 2022 starting free safety Lamarcus Joyner walk in free agency, but traded for the versatile Chuck Clark. Adams was the second-string free safety as an UDFA last year and there may be room for an undrafted rookie (Dean) to make the squad this year.

Cornerbacks — 10 

Starters: Sauce Gardner (1), DJ Reed (4)
Second Team: Michael Carter II (30), Brandin Echols (26)
Third Team: Justin Hardee (34), Bryce Hall (37) 
Fourth Team: Craig James (31), Jimmy Moreland (33)
Fifth Team: Derrick Langford (36), Javelin Guidry (N/a)

The starting duo is as good as one can find in the NFL and Carter is solid at nickel corner. The only spots up for grabs here are on the third stringers.


Kicker — 1 

Greg Zeurlein (9) 

The Jets re-signed the 34-year old veteran for a second season as the team's placekicker.

Punter — 1

Thomas Morstead (5) 

The Jets brought Morstead back into the fold after he spent the 2021 season in Miami and they prevented a possible punter competition by cutting former draft pick Braden Mann.

Long Snapper — 1 

Thomas Hennessy (42) 

Gang Green inked the seventh-year pro to a four-year contract extension in April.


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