Sam Darnold and the Jets are just hours away from taking the field for the first time since December. The Jets’ 2018 rookies, including Darnold, will be playing in Metlife Stadium for the first time in their careers. What should we expect from the rookies? Find out here:
The moment we’ve all been waiting for. Watching Sam Darnold, in pads, in-game, tonight. He’s excelled throughout training camp, and now it’s time to see him bring that same ability to the playing field. Todd Bowles said that Darnold would play for much of tonight’s game, along with Teddy Bridgewater.
Don’t be terrified if Darnold makes a couple mistakes. Whether you accept it or not, he’s still a rookie. It won’t be the worst thing in the world to see him make a bad read, or if he plays a little slow. He’s only been at camp for a week or so, it’s ok to mess up. However, we could see him put on a show. If he keeps the same mindset that he has in training camp, he could light up the Falcons.
The red jersey comes off tonight.
It's finally showtime for Sam Darnold. #ATLvsNYJ
— New York Jets (@nyjets) August 10, 2018
Tonight is a big night for Nathan Shepherd. Not only is it his debut, but he is starting. Will he be able to be efficient against first-team linemen? Is the competition too much? We’ll find out later tonight.
Shepherd should be able to play to his best abilities tomorrow. I am excited to see how he performs with the starters. It will be his true test on whether he’s made the jump from D2 to the NFL yet. Bowles said that Shepherd would be good to go by training camp. It seems he wasn’t lying. Expect a lot of playing time for Shepherd tonight, and expect some good football.
Chris Herndon IV
Chris Herndon has played fairly well in training camp. He is in a tight competition for the starting tight end spot with Clive Walford, Neal Sterling, Eric Tomlinson, and Jordan Leggett. Leggett is probably going to be very limited tonight due to injury, so the other four will be going at it. Will Herndon be the one to stand out?
I believe the answer is yes. Herndon is listed as the third string tight end tonight, but he should get plenty of reps. He’ll probably be Sam Darnold’s tight end for most of the night, barring something unforeseen. He could put on a show while being the rookie signal callers biggest target.
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Parry Nickerson is a player I am very excited to watch tonight. He’ll likely play the slot, which he’s been learning throughout camp. He’s been playing excellently thus far in training camp. Now, it’s time to take his talents to the field.
Nickerson will more than likely see a lot of reps, but not until the second or third quarter. He probably won’t play with any starters, but he may be the second string nickel corner. Has he developed enough as a slot corner to be able to be a viable starter for New Jack City? Tonight, we’ll see. Don’t be upset if he plays poorly, though. He’s still got all of preseason to learn and develop.
Folorunso Fatukasi is listed as a second string defensive lineman for tonight’s game. We haven’t heard his name much so far in camp, but don’t let that fool you. He could be in for a solid debut.
He beat out Xavier Cooper for the second string spot, so he must be doing something right. Expect him and Cooper to get tons of reps tonight, and keep an eye on them. Both of these two will be trying to make plays all night.
What happened last time Jets played ATL in PS in '15? Todd Bowles made his home debut as Jets HC. And Leonard Williams—wearing #62—got his first pro sack, for a safety no less. Who will headline FRI nite (7:30 pm ET KO) for Jets vs Falcons? pic.twitter.com/qUKiQN203A
— Randy Lange (@rlangejets) August 9, 2018
Out of all the rookies that aren’t named Sam Darnold, I am most excited to watch Trenton Cannon play. He has exploded since the start of camp, making play after play after play. He’s been blocking well, receiving well, and running well. I think he’ll keep this stellar play going tonight.
Cannon should get tons of reps at running back. Veterans Isaiah Crowell and Bilal Powell should play for most of the first quarter. After that, the door blows open for Cannon. He’ll also be returning kicks tonight. Keep an eye on Trenton Cannon. Because sooner or later, he will make a play that catches everyone’s eye.