Following the 2021 NFL Draft, what is the situation with the New York Jets depth chart? Who tops the depth chart at each position and how does the depth at each position look?
New York Jets Depth Chart
The Jets will have a number of new faces in the 2021 NFL season. Here is their post-draft depth chart for next season.
Quarterback: Zach Wilson, James Morgan, Mike White.
Running Back: Tevin Coleman, Ty Johnson, Michael Carter, La’Mical Perine, Josh Adams, Austin Walter.
Wide Receiver: Corey Davis, Jamison Crowder, Keelan Cole Sr., Denzel Mims, Elijah Moore, Vyncint Smith, Braxton Berrios, Lawrence Cager, D.J. Montgomery, Jeff Smith, Josh Malone, Manasseh Bailey, Matt Cole.
Tight End: Christopher Herndon IV, Tyler Kroft, Ryan Griffin, Trevon Wesco, Kenny Yeboah, Daniel Brown
Offensive Tackle: Mehki Becton, George Fant, Chuma Edoga, Teton Saltes, Cameron Clark, Grant Hermanns.
Offensive Guard: Alijah Vera-Tucker, Greg Van Roten, Dan Feeney, Alex Lewis, Conor McDermott, Corey Levin, Tristen Hoge, Parker Ferguson.
Center: Connor McGovern, Jimmy Murray, Leo Koloamatangi.
Interior Defensive Line: Quinnen Williams, Sheldon Rankins, Jonathan Marshall Folorunso Fatukasi, Nathan Shepherd, Tanzel Smart, Michael Dwumfour.
EDGE: Carl Lawson, John Franklin-Myers, Jabari Zuniga, Vinny Curry, Kyle Phillips, Bryce Huff.
Cornerback: Bryce Hall, Blessuan Austin, Michael Carter II, Brandin Echols, Justin Hardee, Jason Pinnock, Javelin Guidry, Lamar Jackson, Justin Hardee, Corey Ballentine, Bennett Jackson, Zane Lewis, Isaiah Dunn.
Safety: Marcus Maye, Lamarcus Joyner, Ashtyn Davis, Saquan Hampton, Elijah Campbell, J.T. Hassell, Brendon White, Jordyn Peters.
Kicker: Sam Ficken
Punter: Braden Mann
Long Snapper: Thomas Hennessy
New York Jets Depth Chart Analysis | Offense
Compared to the end of the 2020 NFL season, the Jets depth chart looks very different heading into the remainder of the offseason.
The selection of Zach Wilson with the second overall pick, combined with the Sam Darnold trade, leaves the Jets’ quarterback situation looking very different indeed. Wilson is coming off a great year and is very experienced, having thrown over 800 passes in his three years at BYU.
With that said, there has to be uncertainty around a young QB stepping straight in to start. The remainder of the Jets QB depth chart is extremely thin, with only James Morgan and Mike White. Look for the Jets to add a veteran QB in the coming weeks to provide experience and security if Wilson struggles in camp or to open the season.
The Jets RB depth chart may very well be the most complicated situation in the NFL. They could legitimately start any of Tevin Coleman, Ty Johnson, Michael Carter, La’Mical Perine, or Josh Adams. The free-agent addition of Coleman adds some experience, with 810 career touches and 78 games. He started 25 games between 2018 and 2019 before injury wiped out virtually all of his 2020 season.
Johnson had a reasonably strong finish to the season for New York. However, a change in coaching staff somewhat negates that strong finish in terms of starting 2021. Carter is the potential home run hitter, but there will likely be some hesitation to throw a fourth-round rookie into a starting role in Week 1.
Of the other three names on the depth chart, Perine was underwhelming in a reasonably big role in 2021, Adams had a strong finish, and Austin Walter has 13 snaps on offense in two seasons. Perine and Adams have a chance to start with a strong offseason.
The Jets made two additions to their wide receiver depth chart in free agency. Those additions have turned one of the weakest areas of the team into a potential strength in 2021. Coming off a career year in which he racked up 984 receiving yards on 65 receptions with 5 touchdowns, the Jets gave Davis a three-year contract worth $37.5 million. The Jets guaranteed $27 million of that money, demonstrating their commitment to the former No. 5 overall selection as their leading receiver in 2021.
Despite much speculation, the Jets appear to be keeping Jamison Crowder in 2021. Crowder was the main weapon for the Jets when healthy last year. Despite playing just 12 games, Crowder racked up 699 receiving yards and 6 touchdowns. In his two years in New York, Crowder has averaged 54.7 yards per game and scored 12 touchdowns in 28 games.
The addition of Keelan Cole on a one-year deal is intriguing. It will be interesting to see who wins the competition for the third receiving option between Cole and Mims. Cole is coming off a 55-reception season in which he had 642 receiving yards and 5 touchdowns.
Meanwhile, Mims is coming off a rookie season in which he had 23 receptions for 357 yards. His catch percentage was 52.7, which may explain why the Jets brought in two other receivers to compete for his role in the offense.
The Jets also added Elijah Moore in the second round of the 2021 NFL Draft, adding further options to their depth chart. The presence of Moore gives the Jets an option to move on from Crowder ahead of the season if he has a strong offseason. The remainder of the Jets wide receiver depth chart is unlikely to challenge for significant playing time unless there are injuries to the names above them.
2020 was supposed to be the season that Chris Herndon broke out for the Jets as their lead tight end. However, despite playing 16 games, he had just 45 targets, 31 receptions, 287 receiving yards, and 3 touchdowns. The positive for the Jets was how Herndon finished the season.
In the final three games, he saw 17 targets, 14 receptions, 145 receiving yards, and 2 touchdowns. That strong finish suggests the Jets could look to involve Herndon more in 2021. The switch to a similar offense (the San Francisco 49ers’ scheme) could see Herndon used in a similar role to George Kittle. Although, Herndon’s blocking is not as strong as Kittle’s.
The addition of Kroft from the Buffalo Bills in free agency casts some doubts over the Jets’ tight end depth chart. Kroft has just 85 career targets in 6 seasons. He has played over 35 percent of the offensive snaps for a team in just one season of his career. Therefore, he will likely open the season as the backup. But, if Herndon struggles in terms of his blocking, the Jets could turn to Kroft.
Ryan Griffin should be the player who rounds out the tight depth chart in 2021. Although, with just 9 receptions last season, Griffin could be vulnerable if the Jets invest in a tight end in the 2021 NFL Draft. One element that could play in Griffin’s favor is that he played 47 percent of the Jets’ special teams snaps last season. Undrafted free agent signing Kenny Yeboah has potential to make the roster as the second or third tight end with an impressive offseason.
Entering the offseason, there was some thought that the Jets could restructure their offensive line. In free agency, New York largely stayed with the unit they had in 2020. They added Dan Feeney at guard, who struggled somewhat for the Chargers in 2020. However, in the draft, they trade dup to secure Alijah Vera-Tucker, who very likely could be a starting guard this season. The star of this line is left tackle Mekhi Becton, who had an impressive rookie season.
New York’s backups are not currently significant options to step into starting roles. Alex Lewis was a starter last season and provided a solid presence at guard. One of, Lewis, Feeney, and Greg Van Roten should be set to start at the other guard position if Vera-Tucker secures one side. Feeney can also provide a backup option at both guard and center. The remaining backups are Chuma Edoga (OT), Cameron Clark (OG), Conor McDermott (OG), Corey Levin (OG), Tristen Hoge (OG), Parker Ferguson (OG), Leo Koloamatangi (OC), and Jimmy Murray (OC).