By Ryan Alfieri, Editor
Naturally, no position will have more scrutiny in Jets camp than the quarterback position. For the first time since 2009, there is a real possibility that the Jets will have themselves a brand new starter at the game’s most important position.
The Smith and Sanchez battle will get all of the headlines, but there is also a fierce battle brewing at the bottom of the roster that could go either way. Read on to see who we think will make the final 53 at the end of August.
Predicted Depth Chart:
1. Mark Sanchez
This battle can really go 50/50, but to me, I have an easier time believing that Rex will give Sanchez one more shot to prove that he is a changed man. Is there any reason to believe that Sanchez is a exceptionally better player now than he was 8 months ago? Absolutely not. However, if Rex chooses Sanchez from the get-go, he can always insert Geno Smith whenever he pleases. Going the other way around is much more tricky.
2. Geno Smith
Smith is not going to get the nod just because he isn’t Mark Sanchez. He will need to clearly beat out Mark for the starting job, which is no easy task for a rookie. Smith was a second-round pick, and the Jets would have no problem letting him sit the bench for a season for him to marinate in the NFL before getting thrown to the wolves.
3. Matt Simms
Simms may have the strongest arm of the group, but he struggles with his accuracy. Still, for a number three, Simms has a lot of upside that can be developed on the bottom of the roster. Going against the weaker-armed Greg McElroy, I think the Jets are much more intrigued with keeping the more talented, if less experienced, player.
Missed the Cut
4. Greg McElroy
Despite a solid second-half winning performance against the Cardinals last year, it was clear that McElroy is not starter material when he got to start against the Chargers. With a weak arm and little upside, I would not be surprised to see a new regime find someone with more room to develop on the bottom of the roster.
Marquee Battle: Mark Sanchez vs. Geno Smith – The winner of this battle will define the Jets’ season.
Sleeper Performer: Matt Simms – Strong-armed prospect with some potential.
Surprise Cut: Greg McElroy – He had his chance and fell on his face in his first start. New regime has no ties to this former seventh-round pick.