New York Jets undrafted rookie wide receiver Jalin Marshall has been making a name for himself ever since mini camp this past spring. It is always a long shot for undrafted rookies to make a team, but Marshall appears to have a good shot of doing just that. While it is unlikely that he will play a major role on offense, there is one side of the ball where he will get the opportunity to make a big impact.
Special Teams has long been known as the way for young players to make their mark and earn a spot on the team. Normally this is on coverage teams, but with the Jets struggling the past few years to find an answer to their punt and kick returner woes, Marshall is going to get a shot to make a difference with the ball in his hands. Earlier this week head coach Todd Bowles said that Marshall is going to be splitting first tem punt return duties in the first preseason game against the Jaguars tomorrow night with Jeremy Ross.
There are currently four receivers who have locked up roster spots in Brandon Marshall, Eric Decker, Quincy Enunwa, and Kenbrell Thompkins. If Marshall is able to prove that he is capable of handling return duties, it will give him a great shot at earning one of the final two spots on the roster. The fact that his former teammate at Ohio State Devin Smith is doubtful to be ready for the start of the season opens the window for a roster spot even further for Marshall.
This spring Marshall went undrafted after deciding to leave Ohio State following his red shirt sophomore season. Marshall has been making flashy plays ever since the Jets signed him as a priority rookie free agent. The coaching staff has been very impressed with what he has done in practice, but as Bowles has already said several times this summer, it only really matters if he prove that he can do it once the bright lights come on. Marshall has full confidence that he will rise to the occasion once he finally lines up against people in different color jerseys. Pointing out how when playing at Ohio State, the spotlight is always on you.
Thursday Marshall will finally get the chance to back that confidence up. With the starters going to be playing very little in this first preseason game, Marshall will get plenty of opportunities to prove his worth on offense as well as on special teams. So fans tuning in for Gang Green’s first tune up game should make sure to keep an eye on #89 in green and white.