NFL Camp Competition (07/23/13)

By John Ewing
With NFL training camps underway we check in on a few key position battles around the league including NFL rookies. First up, quarterbacks. (2013 projections for rookies are based on this analysis which projects rookie seasons for all NFL prospects as if they were starters on average NFL teams). 

There are many position battles occurring around the league. This series will look at some of the most prominent clashes occurring in NFL training camps.
New York Jets – Quarterback Competition

Incumbent: Mark Sanchez
2012 stats – 2,883 yards, 13 TDs, 18 INTs
Sanchez’s fourth season in the league did not go as planned. The Jet’s embattled quarterback had 26 turnovers (including the butt fumble), which doubled up his touchdown passes. If David Garrard had not retired (knee) in May, Sanchez may have been cut from the team. Early reports have Sanchez backing (see butt fumble) into the starting job as Geno Smith acclimates to the NFL.
Challenger: Greg McElroy
2012 stats – 214 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT
McElroy earned his first NFL start in Week 16 last season ahead of Tim Tebow and Sanchez. McElroy had a rough game including being sacked 11 times. Nonetheless, the former 7th round pick looked to be a player the Jets would want to keep, but McElroy is currently listed fourth on the depth chart. Instead of battling for the starting job it appears he will battle for a roster spot.
Challenger: Matt Simms
2012 stats – Not available
Simms career: signed by the Jets in May, 2012, waived in August, 2012, and then signed a reserve contract with the Jets in December 2012. He has not attempted a pass in the NFL. He is not really competing for the starting job.
Challenger: Geno Smith
2013 projections – 3,764 yards, 23.2 TDs, 13.9 INTs
Smith has said he hopes to win the Jets starting quarterback role in training camp. The second round pick threw for 42 touchdowns and 4200 yards last season for the West Virginia Mountaineers. Smith will have to scale a steep learning curve if he hopes to win the starting job. Rex Ryan said, “He came from a system that primarily was a shotgun system. His steps, drop backs, his mechanics that way, footwork-wise, weren’t dialed in the way they’ll have to be at this level. Its all new to him.”