Jets' Position Battles: Cornerback

The New York Jets are heading into the 2014 season with a big question mark in the secondary: who will play opposite of Dee Milliner? Take a look at who has the best chance of filling the void and who has no chance at making the giant leap into a starting role.

Following the free agency frenzy and the NFL Draft, there are more question marks in the Jets secondary than there are answers. It is expected that second year cornerback Dee Milliner will take the helm at being the No.1 corner on the roster. However, it is unclear which players will follow the leader.

Front Runner: Dimitri Patterson

The front runner in the race of playing opposite of Milliner has to be Kyle Wilson. Gang Green brought in the journeyman Patterson to help fill a void but his services are best used covering the slot. Gang Green also have a few players returning, such as Darrin Walls and Ellis Lankster. The problem is, while they are serviceable corners, they are not in any position to secure a starting spot on the roster. By trial and error, the corner spot opposite of Milliner is Wilson's to lose and it will be his duty to cover every team's second-best receiver. That is unless one of the following players surprises coaches as the season approaches.

In the Mix:

Kyle Wilson

Although he is best suited for covering the slot receiver and serving as the nickel corner for New York, Patterson can step in as the corner opposite of Milliner. Although he has been plagued by injuries over the course of his entire career, Patterson has shown great skills when healthy. He is a ball-hawk and always finds a way to force turnovers. The Jets slacked in the turnover department last year and having a healthy Patterson on the field as much as possible can quickly flip Gang Green's turnover ratio in their favor. If Patterson intends on taking the second corner position from Wilson, he will have to stay injury free for the entire mini-camp and preseason.


Dexter McDougle

The Green and White did not draft its first corner back until the third round, surprising every analyst and fan, but this was not the biggest mind boggling decision the Jets made on the second day of the Draft. With many talented and proven players on the board in the third round for New York, such as former Lindenwood stand-out Pierre Desir, John Idzik decided to pull the trigger on a less proven player in Dexter McDougle. This player missed the majority of his final season at Maryland and was plagued by injuries since he was in high school. This decision left many analysts and fans dumbfounded. When he was on the field however, he was a ball-hawking team leader. His ability to lead on the field and serve as a player-coach will help him fit right in with Rex Ryan's defense. Look for McDougle to make an impact and possibly beat out proven veterans like Wilson and Patterson for the second spot on the depth chart.

No chance: Brandon Dixon and Jeremy Reeves

It is hard to mark off any player from not having a chance to contend for a position on a depth chart. Many things can happen that would cause unsuspected changes, such as injuries or any off-field issues. However, by looking at the team on paper and from their inexperience in the NFL, players like Brandon Dixon and Jeremy Reeves are very unlikely to have any chance of competing for a chance to play opposite of Milliner in 2014. Dixon was a late round draft pick for New York in this year's draft. He is very raw but has the tools to one day make an impact on defense. Reeves, on the other hand, is very undersized at 5-foot-7 and 167 pounds. He does possess great speed and pursuit ability, which can help make up for his unfavorable stature. These two players have to sharpen their tools and need to learn the complicated defensive scheme before having any kind of shot at playing in 2014.

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