Who Will Win the New York Jets' 2nd Cornerback Battle?

Aidan MackieSenior Analyst IMay 26, 2014

New York Jets cornerback Darrin Walls (30) reacts after the Jets beat the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 17-17 during an NFL football game, Sunday, Sept. 8, 2013, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Bill Kostroun)
Bill Kostroun/Associated Press

The New York Jets spent the offseason improving at several key positions, but they undoubtedly got significantly worse at cornerback. 

The Jets cut former Pro Bowler Antonio Cromartie after he suffered through an injury-plagued and inconsistent season, and they failed to replace him with any player who can step in and become an immediate starter. 

While Dee Milliner is bound to improve in his second year, there's still some serious questions about who will be playing beside him. 

Check below to see which players will be competing for the No. 2 cornerback job this offseason and predictions for who will end up on top.  

Kyle Wilson

Bill Kostroun/Associated Press

Kyle Wilson has never lived up to his first-round draft status, but he's still a decent nickel corner with the ability to play on the outside at times. 

The Boise State product possesses just average height, but he has top-notch speed and more experience than any other cover man currently on the roster.

If Wilson can learn to get more physical with opposing receivers without committing too many penalties, he has a decent chance to earn the starting role, but as of now, he's best used as the No. 3 corner who sees playing time on third downs and long passing situations.  

Dimitri Patterson

Dimitri Patterson was just signed this offseason and has seen limited playing time in recent seasons, but he has a good chance to win a starting role if he performs admirably in training camp. 

Despite struggling at times last year, the 30-year-old ended the 2013 season with an impressive four interceptions, six pass deflections and a sack in six starts. 

Patterson has neither great size nor outstanding speed, so he could prove to be a liability against some of the league's better No. 2 receivers. 

However, he has the experience and confidence to win the starting role if the competition proves to be limited. 

Darrin Walls

Many things point against Darrin Walls starting in 2014. 

Walls was an undrafted free agent who barely made the team last year, and he sometimes struggled in man-to-man coverage when on the field. 

However, the Notre Dame product possesses both good height and above-average speed. 

The 25-year-old could easily top the depth chart with an impressive offseason, as he's proved to be one of Rex Ryan's favorite defenders and he performed decently in the relief role for Milliner last year. 

Dexter McDougle

The Jets' front office obviously has a lot of faith in Dexter McDougle, as they drafted him ahead of several promising wide receivers and cover men. 

Nonetheless, McDougle probably lacks the size and strength to step in and become an immediate starter, despite the limited competition that surrounds him. 

The Maryland product has above-average coverage ability and his toughness is unquestioned, but he needs an amazing training camp and preseason in order to become the Week 1 starter over several experienced veterans.

Predicted Winner: Darrin Walls

Wilson and Patterson will likely be left for the sub-package roles on third down and sure passing situations, and McDougle will probably just be a depth-provider in his rookie year. 

Walls, on the other hand, has the ability to step up and emerge as a key contributor opposite Milliner. 

Walls showed an ability to cover opposing No. 2 receivers admirably last season, and he's still young enough to grow into an even better cover man. 

The Pennsylvania product is the favorite to claim a starting job in 2014. 


    Report: Jameis Braces for Suspension

    NFL logo

    Report: Jameis Braces for Suspension

    Kyle Newport
    via Bleacher Report

    Rise of Darnold, Youthful Secondary Among Jets Things to Watch

    New York Jets logo
    New York Jets

    Rise of Darnold, Youthful Secondary Among Jets Things to Watch

    via SNY

    Rivers' Offseason Job? Playcaller for Son's Football Team

    NFL logo

    Rivers' Offseason Job? Playcaller for Son's Football Team

    Eric D. Williams
    via ESPN.com

    Alex Smith Knows 1st Year with Redskins Is Crucial

    NFL logo

    Alex Smith Knows 1st Year with Redskins Is Crucial

    via NFL.com