Rebuilding One Jets Drive: The new pieces that will make an immediate impact

ARLINGTON, TX - APRIL 26: The New York Jets logo is seen on a video board during the first round of the 2018 NFL Draft at AT&T Stadium on April 26, 2018 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images)
ARLINGTON, TX - APRIL 26: The New York Jets logo is seen on a video board during the first round of the 2018 NFL Draft at AT&T Stadium on April 26, 2018 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images) /

With the New York Jets starting training camp soon, veterans and rookies are preparing for the upcoming season. Here’s what to expect from the rookies.

After having one of the most impressive one Pro Days, in recent history Sam Darnold is a player whom the people want to see. New York Jets offensive coordinator Jeremy Bates stated that Darnold can win the starting job before Week 1.

Along with Bates and Todd Bowles‘ votes of confidence, last season’s starter, Josh McCown, was quoted as saying the Jets, “Have the right guy.”

This is adding fuel to the fire that’s making the fans excited to see what he’s got. In saying that, the organization took many steps to take their time with him. Bringing back McCown was not only a move for a starter, but for someone who’s helping develop Darnold.

McCown told Mahnish Mehta of The New York Daily News the following:

"“The best thing I can do is look back in five years and Sam Darnold is in the Pro Bowl,” said McCown, who will turn 39 this summer. “That would be the most satisfying thing. We’ll see. It’ll be fun.”"

Of course, the rookie quarterback of a New York franchise will be under the spotlight, but other names deserve praise, as well. Darnold’s position on the depth chart is much harder to read because all three quarterbacks have taken first-team snaps.

Expect him to be third on the depth chart going into training camp, but don’t be surprised if he wins the starting job.

. Defensive End. Fort Hays State. Nathan Shepherd. 72. player. 30

Nathan Shepherd’s story is one of extreme perseverance and dedication. He left football because he couldn’t afford college, and had to work multiple jobs, including factory worker and bouncer, in order to attend Fort Hays State in Canada and become a dominant player on the field.

After watching much of his tape, I was surprised with him. He’s a player with NFL size who can move pretty quickly. He shows raw power and potential.

His primary way of attack is just a straight bull rush to the quarterback while being double or even triple teamed. He has this freakish size and strength without the level of strength and conditioning training that’s available in the power five NCAA conferences, as well as a power five nutrition plan.

That being said, some of his most significant weaknesses are his football IQ and technique. They’re things that can be corrected in time, but that will only come with in-game repetition.

The more play time he gets, the better he will be.

Adding him to a defensive line that struggled will add some much-needed help to it.  According to Andy Vasquez of North, Shepherd is sitting outside the starting lineup, but is right behind projected starters Leonard Williams, Henry Anderson, and Steve McLendon.

Rookie nose tackle Foley Fatukasi sits seventh on the depth chart.

30. . Nose Tackle. Connecticut Huskies. Foley Fatukasi. 180. player

This is another guy who, once he’s added to the rotation, will make an immediate impact. He has the size and much-needed youth to help fill the void left by Damon Harrison at nose tackle.

With time, Fatukasi can fill that hole, but for now, what he brings to the defensive line is size and goal-line defense.

Like Shepherd, Fatukasi’s size allows him to be able to be put in the rotation right away and make a contribution in the run stuff. He can also allow teammates to break free and get into the backfield because he can consume a double team.

Adding Shepherd and Fatukasi will alleviate pressure from players like Leonard, thus helping them get to the quarterback more often, which was one of the Jets’ main issues in 2017.

179. player. 30. . Cornerback. Tulane Green Wave. Parry Nickerson

In today’s NFL, the slot position is utilized more than ever before. It’s a position that sees all types of players with different sizes and plays styles.

Getting someone who can cover the slot well can turn a third and short into a fourth down. That’s what Parry Nickerson will be best suited to become.

He’ll most likely start out in nickel packages. Because of his speed, he’ll likely dabble in some special teams, as well.

Nickerson has a very similar size to Buster Skrine, but has much better ball skills and will likely develop into a better pro over time. As for Nickerson’s place on the depth chart, it’s tough to figure out because the Jets run so many packages with different pieces in the secondary.

He’ll likely be the backup nickel, but can stay on the field when speed and ball skills are needed.

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Look for his role to expand as the season progresses for the New York Jets.