Jets News: Five Under-the-Radar Players as New York Nears Training Camp

The Jets will look to improve their defense in next week's draft.
The Jets will look to improve their defense in next week's draft. Reuters

The Jets are looking to rebound from a disappointing 2011 campaign. They missed the playoffs after having aspirations of winning the Super Bowl.

New York has made some moves in the offseason as they look to get back to the postseason next year. The Jets traded for Tim Tebow, and fired their offensive coordinator as part of shaking up their team.

Besides the big names on the team, there are a few Jets that could surprise some people. Here are five under-the-radar players that could do big things for New York in 2012:

Aaron Maybin

Other than Tebow, Maybin easily has the most intriguing story on the team.

Selected 11th overall in the 2009 NFL draft, the Penn State grad was brought to the Buffalo Bills to bring some much needed uniformity to their troubled defensive line. Instead, Maybin underachieved and found himself waived after the second of his five-year contract.

Heading into the third season of his career and already a massive disappointment, the Jets brought Maybin onto the roster only to cut him a week later. Twenty-one days after that, he was called up once again by the Jets and he did not disappoint, ending the season with the most sacks on the team (six), while creating all sorts of pressure on opposing quarterbacks and offensive lines.

Being listed at 6-foot-4 and 240 pounds, he is very agile and quick for his size. Maybin will look to continue his new found success next season.

Jeremy Kerley

By the end of the 2011 season, Santonio Holmes and Plaxico Burress were failing to perform to the level of top NFL wide receivers. Kerley became the most consistent wide receiver on the Jets.

Only going into his second year of pro ball, he will be looked upon to fill the gap of Burress' departure, and will look forward to embracing his new role. Kerley, only 5-foot-9 will be looked upon to stretch the field for New York since he is their fastest receiver.

He will also impact their special teams. Given the exits of most of the teams' notable kick and punt returners, Kerley will look to re-grasp his college roots as a main returner and top wide receiver, and will look to have similar success as he did with TCU.

John Conner

The Terminator is back and who wouldn't be afraid of the 5-foot-11, 245 pound fullback out of Kentucky.

Conner has proven in his first two years that he is more than capable of filling in for all-time great Jets fullback Tony Richardson's shoes. He's known not only for being a reliable blocker, but perhaps one of the most feared physical blockers in the NFL.

Conner won't get too many calls when Tebow is on the field, but will definitely be in the backfield supporting Sanchez every chance he can get.

Brandon Moore

The 10-year veteran right guard out of Illinois will be under the spotlight in a way that he's not necessarily used to.  He will be taking on the daunting role of covering Tim Tebow's blind side this season, and the lineman who has started every game for the Jets since 2005 will be more than ready to take on the challenge.

Moore has anchored the running game for the Jets that has been both the best and worst in the league since '05. Given his experience in the NFL, the Jets are in for another good rushing year on the right side.

Hopefully, for New York, some of his consistency rubs off on struggling fellow lineman Wayne Hunter.

Kyle Wilson

Regarded as the best cornerback in the 2010 Draft, Wilson is still getting used to covering big time receivers.

However, with the help of perennial Pro Bowl corners Darrelle Revis and Antonio Cromartie, New York fans can see the oppositions receivers completely stymied this season if Wilson plays like his fellow corners. However, only at 25 years of age, the former Boise State Bronco still may have quite a bit to learn given the slow increase of interceptions, tackles, and defensed balls from his first to second season.

Still, look for him to be a factor on the outside to the teams overall success.

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