New York Jets: Who Is at Risk of Losing Starting Role to 2014 Draft Prospect?

Aidan MackieSenior Analyst IApril 8, 2014

New York Jets tight end Jeff Cumberland (87) scores a touchdown against the Buffalo Bills  during the second half of an NFL football game on Sunday, Nov. 17, 2013, in Orchard Park, N.Y. (AP Photo/Gary Wiepert)
Gary Wiepert

The New York Jets have made some major moves in free agency, such as signing high-profile players Michael Vick and Eric Decker, but the team is nowhere near finalizing their roster for next season. 

The Jets hold a staggering twelve picks in the upcoming draft, including six in the first four rounds alone. 

Just like last season, expect Gang Green to sign a bevy of prospects who can make an immediate impact and possibly start in their rookie seasons. 

Check below to see which projected starters are in danger of losing their current roles to a draft selection. 


Jacoby Ford

Brandin Cooks
Brandin CooksMichael Conroy

New York signed Ford just last week, but he's already one of the top two wideouts on their depth chart, according to Ourlads. 

Ford possesses lightning-quick speed and elite elusiveness, but he's yet to translate these attributes into production at the NFL level. 

In fact, the former Raiders fourth-round pick has only 57 catches and 848 receiving yards since debuting back in 2010. 

The Jets have long since been in the mix to take a wideout with their first-round pick, and has gathered reports indicating that New York is interested in a boatload of receiver prospects, including Marqise Lee, Brandin Cooks, Kelvin Benjamin and Sammy Watkins.  

Ford's lack of production throughout his career and the Jets' intense interest in the receiver crop in this year's draft almost guarantees that he will not be seeing much playing time on offense in 2014. 


Dimitri Patterson

Dimitri Patterson
Dimitri PattersonWilfredo Lee

Like Ford, Patterson was signed just last week by the cornerback-needy Jets. 

Due to New York's complete lack of talent at the position, Patterson would likely start opposite Dee Milliner if the season kicked off today. However, despite possessing 20 career starts, the 31-year-old former Dolphin is best reserved for a backup or nickelback role. 

General Manager John Idzik and Co. likely know this, so look for them to target a cornerback in the early rounds of the draft. 

Interestingly, the Jets had a meeting scheduled with former Ohio State star and projected early-round pick Bradley Roby, according to Gil Brandt of

Along with Roby, New York could also target Darqueze Dennard, Kyle Fuller, Jason Verrett, Lamarcus Joyner and Stanley Jean-Baptiste, all of whom are projected to go in the first three rounds. 

Any way you cut it, it's difficult seeing Patterson starting for Rex Ryan's defense next season. 


Jeff Cumberland

Gang Green re-signed Cumberland to a three-year deal earlier this offseason, and he's currently the only tight end on the roster with more than 12 catches in the NFL.

Cumberland is relatively young (26), and he possesses a strong combination of size and athleticism, but he's yet to progress into a dangerous threat at the tight end position.

Questions surrounding Cumberland's production have led the Jets to take a long look at two of the draft's most desired tight ends.

According to, New York had a meeting with Texas Tech product Jace Amaro, and are very interested in the Texas native. Amaro, a projected first-round pick, is coming off an unbelievable season in which he recorded 106 catches and 1,352 receiving yards. 

Eric Ebron is another top tight end prospect in whom New York has long been rumored to be interested. Ebron, a North Carolina product, is a physical freak with outstanding speed and athleticism. 

Cumberland should have his eyes glued to his TV on May 8, as his starting job could be lost with the call of one name.