Jets 53-man roster: Asking and answering 6 key questions

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The Jets trimmed their roster to 53 players and filled out their practice squad earlier this week, but New York’s post-preseason personnel moves do not come without questions.

Whether it’s who starts where or what the depth at a certain position looks like, plenty of talking points remain ahead of the regular season. The Jets have a roster littered with youth and unproven players, which prompts more questions than arguably any other team in the NFL.

With that being said, let’s take a look at six of the biggest questions surrounding New York’s current 53-man roster before Week 1 and how those questions could be answered.

Is there enough cornerback depth?

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The Jets put themselves in a puzzling spot when they released Bless Austin. Robert Saleh said the move was made with an emphasis placed on developing New York's younger defensive backs. That leaves the Jets trusting four rookies and two players entering just their second season in the NFL. Jeff Ulbrich's secondary could be in serious trouble if New York's prized rookies struggle or succumb to injury.

Can the tight ends be counted on?

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Tyler Kroft, Ryan Griffin, Daniel Brown and Trevon Wesco are not names that excite when it comes to the Jets' tight end room. None of New York's current tight ends are dynamic pass catchers and do not provide Zach Wilson with the safety blanket he needs. Kroft has the best chance of filling that role this season, but he is not exactly known for his receiving skills. Gang Green's wide receiver room better be ready to handle the chunk of the targets, because their tight ends might not be up to snuff once the regular season begins.

How big of a role will the rookies play?

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New York's neophytes -- for better or worse -- are going to play a major part in determining the team's success in 2021. Almost every member of this year's draft class is primed for a major role this season, with Zach Wilson leading the way under center. Michael Carter will factor heavily into Matt LaFleur's running back rotation. The same goes for Elijah Moore at wide receiver. The Jets are counting on Alijah Vera-Tucker to help stabilize their offensive line. Hamsah Nasirildeen and Jamien Sherwood are both starting at linebacker to begin the season, while Saleh and Ulbrich are placing all of their eggs in the rookie cornerback basket.

Who will shoulder the load at running back?

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The Jets are operating by committee in the backfield in 2021, but who will LaFleur turn to when he desperately needs a tough yard or an explosive play? Tevin Coleman is going to get the first chance to be the guy in that regard, but don't count out Ty Johnson's ability to become the back LaFleur trusts the most. The Maryland product could be primed for a big season after a strong summer.

Did the Jets choose the right backup quarterback?

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New York made the right call keeping Josh Johnson on its practice squad. It remains to be seen if Mike White has what it takes to successfully serve as Wilson's backup, as he has never thrown a regular season pass. Johnson, meanwhile, is about as experienced as they come as a well-traveled veteran. White might've won the No. 2 spot on the depth chart during the summer, but there's a chance Johnson is actually the better fit for the job. The Jets are hoping Wilson stays healthy for the entire season so they don't have to find out the answer to this question.

Are outside reinforcements on the way?

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Not right away. Joe Douglas seemed pretty content with New York's current 53-man roster during his post-cutdown day press conference on Wednesday. Douglas is always looking to make moves to better Gang Green's roster, but the Jets are comfortable rolling with their youth and seeing what they have with their current group.

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