2014 Depth Chart: New York Jets

A look at the depth and quality of each position on the roster for the 2014 New York Jets.

| 3 years ago

2014 Depth Chart: New York Jets

2014 depth updat NYJ

[Chart last updated: 6/30/14… See update notes from 6/30/14]


•  If we were basing Geno Smith on his last two games alone, he’d be higher than a Below Average Starter. He finished the season strong after a middle stretch of the season where he really struggled, but we need to see more than that small sample before bumping him up a step or two.

•  So if we need to see more of Smith, why have we opted for yellow for fellow second-year player Dee Milliner? Well, while he had his struggles, he finished the year with just four games with a grade of -1.0 or lower. The last quarter of his rookie year stood out, and if he can continue to perform like that in Year 2, the Jets will be delighted with the return from their investment.

•  Despite having 11 sacks in 2013, Calvin Pace didn’t have as impressive a season as a pass rusher as you might think. That’s because he had just 35 total pressures throughout the season but more importantly, his work against the run has dipped in the past two years, something which should concern Jets fans about how much he can actually help defensively at this stage.

•  Dimitri Patterson is an interesting player to look at. His work in the slot is enough for us to have him light green, but that wouldn’t be the case if he was being asked to cover on the outside. How the Jets use him will be key in determining how good a free agency addition this was.

Roster Battles

1.  Wide Receiver

Jets fans are passionate about this battle, and I’ve already had tweets telling me that Stephen Hill won’t start, and that’s before this was even posted! Were it up to me, that would very much be the case, but the Jets have given Hill plenty of chances up to this point, so it remains to be seen if they are quite ready to give up on him. David Nelson will be his primary competition and, while he doesn’t quite look like a top receiver, he has been nothing but solid since entering the league, something he has over Hill.

2.  Quarterback

Will this be a battle this offseason? Or, perhaps more importantly, should it? There’s no denying that Vick has shown a higher level of play than Smith on the balance of his career, but at this stage does he really make them so much better that it’s worth potentially messing with Smith’s development? Perhaps this will be dependent on how Smith performs throughout the offseason, but if it were up to me he would be starting the season under center. There’s another battle to be had here too, with Matt Simms and rookie Tahj Boyd battling it out to be the team’s third-string signal caller.


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Follow Gordon on Twitter: @PFF_Gordon

| Analyst, Lead Special Teams Analyst

Gordon has worked at PFF since 2011, and now heads up the company’s special teams analysis processes. His work in-season focuses on college football, while he is also heavily involved in PFF’s NFL draft coverage.

  • cms91

    snubbing Mo from elite status is fine, but Snacks too?? he’s your highest graded NT?

    • Gordon McGuinness

      Harrison was very good against the run last year. Did play just 510 snaps though so I’d like to see him do it again before classing him as elite.

      • SHNow

        I’m a Jets fan, and even I agree there is no “elite” ie (top 30) players on this team. That doesn’t mean they have no talent, the line is formidable and the secondary isn’t as bad as it looks.

        Rex does a really good job of coaching up the talent he’s been given. They made 8-8 last season with easily the lowest amount of roster talent in the NFL. Rex deserves a significant amount of credit for that.

        • Chris from the Cape

          As a Pats fan, I would agree on the nice job by Ryan in 13′, but will always be seen as a better D-Coordinator than coach. I feel bad for Smith (but not for the Jets) for being given the short leash after solid strides last year, as he looks primed to be slashed below the knees like the staff did to Sanchez.

          In any case in some ways think this chart exaggerates the personnel, as really all of those ‘orange’ starters are all serviceable, even if not spectacular. I’m not sure if you were trying to say this was the weakest roster in the NFL, which I would disagree being stacked at such a crucial position as D-Line, but a nice job of maximizing it nonetheless.

          • LIMetfan22

            Why do you believe Smith is going to be slashed below the knees like Sanchez? just curious. I would feel that bringing in Decker and drafting Amaro plus wide receivers would signal their urgency to get him some help.

          • Chris from the Cape

            Vick is very very good in limited samples, and puts too much pressure on a young QB still figuring it out who has the potential to be the long term answer.
            That being said, I agree his supporting cast should be definitely improved (I actually wished the Pats would draft Amaro, as well I think Cumberland being slightly underrated), with Decker being a good (though not great) option, as well as a likely improvement from Hill, whom I’m surprised didn’t turn out a better season.

          • Calvin Wasdyke

            Rex works with the pass rushers. This quinton Coples project has not worked, but that Tannenbaum’s fault.

          • Chris from the Cape

            I like low risk-High reward types like Coples, or in a similar mold with Dowling on the outside. Much has been made with the Patriots for instance about Haynesworth and Chad Johnson being failed ‘projects’, but as long as a player comes on the cheap and isn’t going to affect to the leadership and development structure of the team, then there’s little incentive not to kick the tires.

  • Fintasy

    This team has so little talent, yet finishes second only to the Pats every year is quite solid evidence how poorly the Dolphins & Bills have been run.

    • gbrownn

      So little talent? You see that Dline?

    • bobrulz

      I think it’s more evidence of how good of a coach Rex Ryan actually is, despite all of the shit he gets from people. If he had any offensive talent at any point in his career the Jets easily would’ve been a Super Bowl team. Hell they came one game away with MARK SANCHEZ. TWICE!

    • Jordan MacGeever

      Miami came above the Jets last year…and they were tied this year. Jets just have better coaching

  • Kimteach

    I think it should be noted that Coples started the year rehabbing a fractured ankle, and learning a new position on the fly. He looked like he was really growing into that spot by the end of the season. I think enough so that he is at least Average.

  • Kimteach

    CJ hurt his meniscus in week 3 and was still able to rush for over 1000 yards, and score 10 TDs total… Over 300 receiving yards as well

  • LIMetfan22

    Geno, Coples, Davis, Winters, Milliner and possibly even Hill can all improve on their 2nd or 3rd years. This chart seems more of an unknown to me b/c so many players can improve.

    One thing for sure is the defense is going to be top 10 yet again. Possibly top 5 if Pryor pulls a Sheldon Richardson and Dee plays like he did the last quarter of the season.

    • Chris

      Top 10 again? They werent top 10 last year? They were the best at stopping the run but below average getting pressure and in coverage.

      • LIMetfan22

        I’m not quite sure what the best outlet is when ranking defenses but I know nfl.com has them ranked 11th.

        And that’s with throwing a rookie into the fire from day 1 (milliner) and having Cro play terribly all year with a bad hip.

        Football Outsiders has them ranked 12th I believe. So I guess you could say i’m giving them the benefit of the doubt. The fact that they were ranked that high is amazing based on last years personnel.

        • Chris

          I just don’t see how an average secondary and a group of below average LBs is going to produce a top 10 defense. That ridiculous DL will continue to dominate the run, but other than that they’re average at best all over the place.

          • LIMetfan22

            I totally get where you’re coming from. The linebackers are really average/below-average besides for Coples who I believe will have a breakout year.

            Milliner should be much better and hopefully Patterson stays healthy. Wilson is solid in the slot. At this point the deciding factor for whether or not the secondary is going to be average or above average is the safety play which I expect will eventually be better than last year. I think the D will easily be top 10.

            Edit: Having Rex Ryan as a coach obviously only increases the Jets defensive prowess. One can look to the Bills D last year to see how much of an effect Pettine had on that D. Thankfully he’s with the Browns and the Bills should go back to having an average D with Shwartz calling the shots lol.

  • jefe400

    Jets D-Line nicknamed “My Three Sons”?

  • Vic

    I feel Coples is a little bit under-appreciated. Switching to a new position, had that ankle surgery, and when you watch the tape he looked extremely strong the final 6/8 weeks. I expect him to break out.

    No way is CJ a below-average player. If anything, he’s average right now. That knee didn’t help him at all last year.

    I expect one of those underrated CBs to step up. One of Walls/Dowling will make a big impact I think

  • phyein

    Kind of surprised Chris Ivory didn’t receive at least “good” rating considering he managed 4.6 ypc and had 3rd highest elusive rating according to you guys while the Jets had the 2nd worst run blocking grade of any team. I think he deserves a bit of credit. Other than that theres not much to argue here. I do think there’s a lot of potential for improvement for many here though.

  • chillermonster

    D’Brickashaw is “Good” not “High Quality”?

  • Woody

    When PFF made their 2013 All Pro Team, Nick Folk was the kicker. Yet, he’s just good now? What have he done since the end of the season?


  • Litework

    How is EJ Manuel a poor starter but Geno a below average starter? Didnt Geno have the most turnovers and worse QB rating in the league?

  • Marac

    How Shane Vereen is rated better than Chris Ivory, Chris Johnson and Bilal Power is beyond me… Geno Smith had more carries, a better average and 5 more TDs than vereen…

  • Calvin Wasdyke

    I don’t understand why the Jets refuse to take an ILB, high in the draft. Need to prepare for life after Harris. Giacomini, and Ivory should be ranked higher. Other than that, I have no complaints.

    • Jordan MacGeever

      Giacomni is not very good

  • a57se

    PFF staff:
    Your grading of players is fine as far as it goes and considering the limitations you have acknowledged in your grading.
    That is not the problem most of us have with you.
    Your interpretation of this data is the problem. The inconsistency of interpretation noted throughout the comments is mind boggling just like ignoring your OWN data at times (Remember the DROY race???).

  • newjetera

    Chris johnson is a below average starter? guy has never had less that 1 K yards and catches passes as well. How do you rank dmitri paterson two collors better than CJ?!?! That is a bad job by you guys. Also, I think Calvin Pace and Colpes should be yellow as we. By next year, coples will be in some shade of green.