Stock Up, Stock Down for New York Jets Training Camp
Mainstream media often portrays Gang Green as one of the most talent-lacking and dysfunctional franchises in football, but this is far from the truth. New York may not be a playoff team, but it won't be a bottom feeder this season either.
The Jets have had both good and bad news this offseason, as have their players.
While some players have improved their stocks with great performances or clean bills of health, others have damaged theirs by struggling on the field, or failing to get on it at all.
The following eight players have changed their stock the most since the beginning of training camp last week.
Stock Up: Geno Smith
Geno Smith has been the recipient of negative media coverage this training camp. NFL.com went as far as saying his conditioning was "embarrassing".
However, Smith has brushed off this criticism and performed tremendously thus far.
According to the report, Smith hasn't thrown an interception in the first five practices. His accuracy has been terrific, and head coach Rex Ryan is excited about Smith's potential mobility.
If the second-round pick can continue to play at a high level, he just might steal the starting job away from Sanchez.
Stock Down: Mark Sanchez
Mark Sanchez was the favorite in the New York Jets' starting quarterback battle heading into training camp because of his experience under center.
However, Sanchez now appears to be chasing Smith for the job.
While Smith's accuracy has been spot-on, Sanchez has once again struggled with interceptions.
An anonymous Jets player also stated that Smith "can do more" than Sanchez.
Being outperformed by a rookie is certainly not how Sanchez saw training camp going down. Unless the former first-round pick can improve his performance, he will likely never be a starting quarterback in the NFL again.
Stock Up: Dee Milliner
One week ago, Dee Milliner wasn't even officially a New York Jet. Out of the 32 first-round picks in this offseason's draft, only Milliner and Chance Warmack of the Tennessee Titans hadn't been signed.
However, the Jets finalized a four-year deal with Milliner on July 28.
Milliner is coming off surgery on a torn labrum, but he practiced in pads for the first time earlier this week.
Milliner seems finally ready to step in as the Jets starting cornerback opposite Antonio Cromartie.
Stock Down: Chris Ivory
Many experts and fans, including myself, expected Chris Ivory to break out in a big way in his first year with the Jets.
However, it's been a rough start to training camp for the former Saint.
Ivory has dealt with a troubled hamstring throughout camp, and he reportedly tweaked it on Thursday.
NFL.com's Mark Sessler reports that head coach Rex Ryan has voiced his displeasure with Ivory's hamstring recovery, saying "I thought it would be progressing a little bit better than it has."
Ivory is expected to carry the load and reinvigorate the Jets rushing attack, but those expectations have to be kept in check at the moment.
Stock Up: Clyde Gates
After serving as the team's No. 4 wideout in recent years, Clyde Gates looks ready to step up in 2013.
Gates has been one of the most, if not the most, impressive offensive players throughout training camp.
With the offense in dire shape, Gates' performance has been a revelation. If he can continue to perform at a high level, he could be in for a breakout season.
Stock Down: Santonio Holmes
As Clyde Gates' career looks more and more promising by the day, Santonio Holmes' great career looks closer to ending.
Holmes is still recovering from the serious lisfranc injury he suffered in Week 3 of last season, and the 29-year-old doesn't even know if he will return to the field in 2013.
The Jets as a franchise are also losing faith in Holmes' ability to return for the regular season.
Holmes, a former Super Bowl MVP, is New York's premier offensive weapon, but it looks like he will have little to no impact on the team this season.
Even if the 29-year-old does return, his speed and elusiveness may be compromised.
Stock Up: Muhammad Wilkerson
In his first season in the league, Muhammad Wilkerson flashed potential. In his second, he emerged as a Pro Bowl-caliber defensive end. In his third, it looks like he will emerge as a team leader.
Wilkerson may only be entering his third season in the league, but he is already seemingly in charge of the Jets defense.
The former first-round pick's transformation into a leader isn't necessarily surprising. After being surrounded by veterans his first two seasons, he's now one of the most seasoned members of the defensive unit. Only Antonio Cromartie, Calvin Pace and David Harris have spent more time in Gotham.
Wilkerson is one of the most complete and versatile defensive linemen in the NFL, and it seems as if he will be a contributor both on and off the field this season and beyond.
Stock Down: Josh Bush
2012 sixth-round pick Josh Bush and 2012 seventh-round pick Antonio Allen were expected to compete for the starting free safety job, with Bush being the odds-on favorite.
However, Bush reportedly not only trails Allen in the positional battle, but he is not even in line for the job.
Rex Ryan openly stated that Allen is leading the competition, and that Jaiquawn Jarrett is the man behind him.
Bush, on the other hand, is confined to the backup role behind Dawan Landry, a guaranteed starter.
Bush may be a stud in future seasons, but the Wake Forest product's impact in 2013 will likely be limited.