Bent, theJetsBlog.com Follow on Twitter
The Jets have several rookies that figure to play a big role this season. Are there any undrafted rookies who could step up and earn themselves a role by flashing in preseason? Let's consider some of the best candidates...
Fullback Dimitri Flowers
Flowers, who was a key contributor during Oklahoma's playoff run last season, will be a familiar face to anyone who gorged on Baker Mayfield highlights in the run-up to the draft. He brings versatility to the position with route-running and ball skills not usually seen from the fullback position. Flowers is also a capable blocker who also produced as a short-yardage back, so there's a number of ways he could make his mark in the preseason.
Flowers' main competition, Lawrence Thomas, is more of a one-dimensional lead-blocker, who relies on his size and explosiveness. Although Thomas was briefly a fullback at college, he had spent most of his career as a defensive lineman, so Flowers has more experience and is likely more polished at this stage of their respective careers. However, this is Thomas' first full offseason as a fullback so his performance could be more accomplished this year and he'll probably open preseason as the starter.
Outside linebacker Frankie Luvu
Luvu set tongues wagging this weekend when he was working with the first unit at the beginning of team periods. That's not necessarily a guarantee that he'll be in the mix for a starting role, though. Frank Beltre started at last year's Green & White practice, for example, but didn't ultimately make the team. However, it's a sign that the team is interested to see how well his production compares to players ahead of him like Lorenzo Mauldin and Josh Martin.
Luvu was more of an off-ball linebacker than an edge rusher in college, but he racked up a career-high 6.5 sacks last season, so perhaps the Jets see some potential there. They are starving for production from their edge rushers, so look for Luvu to get plenty of pass rush reps to show what he can do.
Wide receiver Jonah Trinnaman
Trinnaman wasn't a big name heading into the draft, with just 52 career catches and one touchdown. However, he became highly sought-after following some spectacular numbers at his pro day workout. He was a later addition to the Jets roster, having joined the team in late May following an unsuccessful two-week stint with the Arizona Cardinals.
With a few top receivers sitting out Saturday night's practice, Trinnaman was one young receiver who flashed a couple of times, making a diving catch in team periods and then a tough downfield grab over Derrick Jones in the live scrimmage -- although the latter was negated by a flag because he pushed off. Trinnaman may be raw but he's one of the fastest guys on the team and could push for a roster or practice squad spot in preseason if he can make any big plays or get downfield well on special teams.
The best of the rest
• Nose tackle Mych Thomas recovered a fumbled snap during the live scrimmage on Saturday and should get plenty of late-game reps to showcase his run-stuffing abilities.
• Inside Linebacker Anthony Wint has flashed some great instincts on defense but will probably need to excel on special teams to have a shot at making the roster.
• Safety Brandon Bryant, whom the Jets picked up after the supplemental draft, is another player whose best chance of making the team is probably to show something on special teams.
• Offensive linemen Darius James and Dakoda Shepley will all start preseason on the third unit. Each brings good versatility to the position, so they are all well-placed to take advantage if there are any more injuries. A roster spot is not out of the question but a practice squad spot, with a chance to remain there and return to camp next year, would seem like a more realistic goal for this duo.