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Sunday, May 12, 2019

Jets Are Adding Speed!

Besides the six players the Jets drafted, they also signed 16 undrafted free agents. As you read this all 22 players are just finishing up their rookie “orientation.” Adam Gase thinks taking the field for three days is a waste of time and it will only invite injuries to players who have not been practicing with teammates for 5 or 6 months. Gase did the same thing while coaching the Dolphins. Tough to judge if it is a positive or not. Here is the official list of the Jets un-drafted free agents:

LB Jeff Allison, Fresno State (5’11”, 228)
Allison started all 28 games the past two years for the Bulldogs, collecting 258 tackles, 11.5 for loss, 2.5 sacks, and was named first team All-Mountain West both years. He also earned MWC Defensive Player of the Year honors in 2018 and finished 10th in school history with 279 career tackles.

S John Battle, LSU (6’0”, 201)
A three-year starter in the Bayou, Battle recorded 139 tackles, 2.5 stops for loss, two forced fumbles, 14 pass defenses and four picks in 2016-18. The redshirt senior led the Tigers with three interceptions last season despite battling an ankle injury. Battle played in 47 games throughout his collegiate career (28 starts) and sometimes lined up in the slot.

CB Kyron Brown, Akron (6’1”, 195)
The redshirt senior tied a school record with 51 games played in his career, starting 26 games over the last two seasons. In that timespan, he accumulated 90 tackles, four for loss, 19 pass defenses and two interceptions. Brown earned second-team All-MAC honors and was voted a team captain in 2018. The Boynton Beach, FL native also won the Iron ZIP Award for his work in the weight room.

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WR Greg Dortch, Wake Forest (5’7”, 173)
Dortch was extremely productive for the Demon Deacons despite playing just two seasons. The redshirt sophomore started all 12 games in 2018 and caught 89 passes for 1,078 yards and eight touchdowns. For his career, he registered 142 receptions, 1,800 yards and 17 touchdowns in 20 games (18 starts). The Richmond, VA native averaged a school-record 152 all-purpose yards per game for his career as he also returned punts and kicks. Dortch averaged 21.5 yards per kick return on 36 attempts and scored two touchdowns as a punt returner.

DL Fred Jones, Florida State (6’2”, 304)
A four-year player for the Seminoles, Jones is the nephew of former Jets linebacker Marvin Jones, who also attended Florida State along with Fred’s father, Fred Sr. Jones, a redshirt senior, played in 35 games and amassed 67 tackles, eight stops for loss, 2.5 sacks and three pass defenses. The Miami native was also a member of the Florida State track team, participating in the shot put and discus.

G Tyler Jones, NC State (6’3”, 306)
A four-year starter for the Wolfpack, Jones played six games his freshman year — four at right tackle and two at left guard — before starting 39 consecutive games at left tackle from 2016-18. In that timespan, he played 98% of the team’s offensive snaps and earned first-team All-ACC honors.

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  • OL Toa Lobendahn, USC (6’3”, 295)
    The only line position Lobendahn did not line up at during his USC career was right tackle. In 34 starts, the redshirt senior started 18 games at left tackle, eight at left guard, five at right guard and three at center. In 2017, he earned All-Pac 12 second-team honors and USC’s Chris Carlisle Courage and Co-Lifter of the Year Awards. Lobendahn started 13 games as a true freshman and earned Freshman All-American first-team honors before hurting his knee in 2015 and 2016 (redshirt year).

    OL Wyatt Miller, Central Florida (6’5”, 306)
    Miller started in all 39 games the past three seasons for the Knights. He was initially at right tackle before moving to left tackle for his senior season and earning second-team All-AAC honors. The Douglas, GA native grew up on his family’s blueberry farm and committed to UCF after not receiving any Power Five offers. Miller redshirted his freshman year in 2014 before playing in 49 games, 47 of which he started.

    RB Jalin Moore, Appalachian State (5’10”, 212)
    Moore, a Shelby, NC native who was the Sun Belt Offensive Player of the Year in 2016, missed most of his senior campaign with an ankle injury. He led the Sun Belt in rushing in both 2016 and ’17, earning first-team All-Sun Belt both seasons as well with a total of 2,439 yards and 22 touchdowns on 420 carries.

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    LB Jamey Mosley, Alabama (6’5”, 239)
    Younger brother of Jets linebacker C.J. Mosley, Jamey was a walk-on at Alabama before earning a scholarship as a redshirt sophomore. The Mobile, AL native played in 31 games for the Crimson Tide and recorded 21 tackles (4.5 for loss), two sacks and two pass defenses.

    DL Kyle Phillips, Tennessee (6’4”, 277)
    The Volunteers’ team captain in 2018, Phillips won the Bill Majors Award, given to the player who best exemplifies dedication toward football, as well as Defensive Player of the Year honors. Phillips played in 40 games (21 starts) at UT but didn’t become a starter until his senior year. The 22-year-old finished with 114 tackles, 16 for loss, eight sacks and nine pass defenses in four seasons.

    S Santos Ramirez, Arkansas (6’2”, 204)
    A two-year team captain, Ramirez played in 45 games in four seasons with the Razorbacks and recorded 214 tackles, three interceptions and four forced fumbles. The redshirt senior was one of only three FBS players in 2017 to record at least 60 tackles, one interception, eight pass defenses and three forced fumbles.                       

    DL Trevon Sanders, Troy (6’2”, 327)
    Sanders played in 40 games over four years for the Trojans and recorded 108 tackles, 16.5 for loss and six sacks. The Charleston, SC native was named to the All-Sun Belt first team in 2018 after earning second-team All-Sun Belt honors in 2017. Sanders’ cousin, Jarriel King, played for the Seahawks for two seasons before joining the CFL.

    WR Jeff Smith, Boston College (6’1”, 195)
    A former quarterback, Smith transitioned to wideout after his freshman year and recorded 72 catches for 1,078 yards and nine touchdowns over the next three seasons. He also had 902 rushing yards and nine ground scores for the Golden Eagles.

    DL MyQuon Stout, Appalachian State (6’1”, 280)
    Stout started three seasons at nose tackle for the Mountaineers and finished his career with 88 tackles, 8.5 for loss and 3.5 sacks. A two-time team captain, the Salisbury, NC native earned first-team All-Sun Belt honors in 2018 after he started 13 games on a defense that ranked No. 4 nationally in scoring and allowed a Sun Belt-record-low 20 touchdowns.
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    My Take
    It’s nice to see 3 offensive linemen on the list. But the two players I am really excited about are Greg Dortch from Wake Forest and Jeff “I’m not Brad” Smith from Boston College. Jeff Smith is an interesting player. This 6’1” St. Petersburg, Fla. native was a first-team Class 3A All-State pick as a high school quarterback. Smith struggled as a passer in his freshman season at BC (27-82-32.9, 253 yards, two TDs, three INT) but excelled as a runner (71-450-6.3, six TDs) in nine games (three starts). He moved to receiver the following season and Smith started 6 games and led BC with 14.6 yards per reception with 3 TDs. Jumping to his senior year Smith became a full time starter and again led the team in yards per reception (20-387-19.4) with 6 TDs. Interestingly he had 142 yards rushing on 19 attempts (7.5 yds./att) with 1 TD. The issue with Smith is he has the “dropsies” with 14 over the past 2 seasons. He has blazing speed running the 40 in 4.34. Whether he can continue to work on his new wide receiver position is questionable considering his bad hands. But the risk reward and potential upside merits the Jets to take a long look at this superior athlete. Can a player develop better hands? On the surface I would say no but if you ever saw Jerry Rice’s rookie year (not to compare him to Rice) he had the dropsies also. I would say he has a 50/50 chance to make the roster and if he does, he will be an excellent special teams players for coach Brent Boyer. If Gase trusts him, you may also see him line up at quarterback a la Brad Smith with short pass options but mostly to run the ball.

    Greg Dortch from Wake Forest is the most interesting rookie free agent signing. He is one of those players that you would usually see on the opposition and say  “Why can’t the Jets ever get a player like this.” Well now they have one! Comically he started out measuring 5’9” when he first arrived at Wake Forest. By the time he was done, he was 5’7”. And now I’m told he is more like 5’ 6 1/2”. Whatever his height measures, he is not big. But what this Richmond Virginia native is, is a very exciting dynamic player. As a high school senior he was the Virginia 5-A player of the year. After he was redshirted his freshman year at Wake Forest, Dortch played only 2 years before declaring for the draft. The Jets may have really lucked out. In his first year he had 1,290 all purpose yard and this past season those yards increased to 1,750. He is a tremendous punt and kick off returner. And he plays wide receiver and can play in the slot. He is also one of the most exciting players you’ll see after he makes a catch with his elusive moves. He is tough but as with many college receivers who come out early, the knock on him is his route running. I always loved carrying one smallish receiver/running back (see Bruce Harper). The bigger the blockers become in the NFL,  a small quick player in space can create a lot of havoc with the ball. It is hard for the opposition to locate him behind the big bodies on the field. Greg Dortch should make the 53-man roster. Please Jets, don’t put him on the practice squad. Other teams will swipe him right up!

                                   Greg Dortch Highlights

                                   Jeff Smith Highlights

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    What The Jet Scribes Are Saying
    Rich Cimini, ESPN
    Addressing reports of internal discord, New York Jets coach Adam Gase didn't deny he's had disagreements with general manager Mike Maccagnan, but did say he's upset by the perception their relationship is strained.
    "Unless I say it, it's really irrelevant to me. I don't know who decides to put that stuff out there," Gase said Friday at the start of rookie orientation. "It kind of pisses me off a little bit, because we have discussions on everything. That's our job. We have to work through so much stuff. That's what we have to do. That's all we've done since we've been here.
    "Since we started, we're constantly in communication," he continued. "Whether he's coming down to my office or I'm going to his office, that's all we're trying to do, just trying to make sure we're on the same page all the time. We're trying to put this thing together as well as we can in a short period of time." Reports surfaced during the draft that Gase and Maccagnan, working together for the first time, had developed a rift. One report suggested Maccagnan was in danger of being fired after the draft, but that wasn't the case, sources said…..Gase and Maccagnan reportedly clashed over personnel decisions in free agency. Asked if he was frustrated by anything in free agency, Gase said they simply executed their plan, trying to sign players on their wish list. He described free agency as a "nightmare procedure.”…..The Jets, coming off three straight losing seasons, retained Maccagnan and hired Gase to replace Todd Bowles. Maccagnan and Gase had no previous working relationship, although Maccagnan had input into the hiring process. Contractually, Maccagnan has control of the 53-man roster. Gase had that power in his previous job with the Miami Dolphins.

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    Brian Costello, NY Post
    Bless Austin joins the Jets with a lofty goal in mind.The Queens native and former Rutgers cornerback has played just five games in the past two seasons thanks to knee injuries that ended both years with surgeries. The Jets took him in the sixth round of last month’s draft. Some would call it a flier on a player who has been unable to stay on the field.But Austin is not just looking to get back on the field.
    “I want to be the best to every play this game at my position,” Austin said. “Regardless of if I was healthy or not, I was always going to come to this level and have that chip [on my shoulder].” Some might scoff at Austin aiming that high without even playing a down, but spend a few minutes with him and you can feel his intensity. He has needed that as he recovered from the ACL injuries that cut short his collegiate career. Before the injuries, he was viewed as a potential second- or third-round pick. But the obvious durability concerns pushed him down the draft board, and the Jets grabbed him on Day 3. He was asked if he believes he was a second-round talent before the injuries. “I feel like I’m better than that, to be honest with you,” Austin said. “That’s just me and the expectations I set for myself.” Austin is still in the rehabilitation process for his knee, and it is unclear when he will actually be able to practice and play for the Jets. General manager Mike Maccagnan said it is possible Austin will begin the season on the physically unable to perform list…..Austin said he never doubted he would make it to the NFL, even after the injuries. Now, he has to have the patience to wait for his chance to get on the field. “It’s been tough, but nothing I can’t handle,” Austin said of not being able to play. “I persevered through this. For me to get this far and then start to stress over what if I don’t get on the field and things like that, it wouldn’t make sense. I’m just taking it day by day.”

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    Manish Mehta, NY Daily News
    The tears didn’t fall until weeks later when he was alone in his room. He had stayed strong until that point, his mother’s words replaying on a loop in his mind: Make sure you finish school. (Jet Linebacker) Neville Hewitt was 14, a high school sophomore figuring out his own path when his mother, Debbie Jones, was derailed by a 25-year drug-trafficking prison sentence. His younger brother, Horace, had already cried. Now, Neville was overcome by a deep sadness, unaware of the sacrifice and strength required to make it through a surreal decade-long journey without the woman he cared about most…..Hewitt would lean on friends and strangers to carve an improbable path to the NFL, never losing sight of reuniting with his mother one day. Jailhouse visits, court hearings and a near-release dotted their lives before increasingly tough immigration policies led to Jones’ deportation to her native Jamaica two years ago. A recent victory in the circuit court of appeals has given the family hope that she’ll be able to permanently return to the United States again…..Hewitt, 26, spent three years with the Dolphins before finding his niche with the Jets last season. He was a core special teamer, who did a solid job as a starting linebacker during Darron Lee’s four-game suspension in December. His football I.Q. coupled with great instincts prompted the Jets to re-sign him to a one-year, $1.5 million deal this offseason. “He’s the kind of guy you want on your team,” says Adam Gase, who coached Hewitt for two seasons in Miami. “We thought he was awesome on special teams. He was full speed all the time. He always made plays. He was relentless.” Personal trainer Brian Martin at BMartin Sports Academy in Fairfield, New Jersey, has provided comprehensive on-field work, body management and film study every offseason to help cultivate Hewitt’s talent. “Neville is a student of the game,” Martin says. “He works at his craft every day. His attention to detail in training and recovery is truly unique.”…..Mother and son have a shared understanding now. They have learned to live with what is… not what might have been. The life they could have had together is gone, but the life that awaits can be just as special. They aren’t anchored by the past. So, they believe in the promise of tomorrow. They believe in that sweet day when Debbie will come home for good and bring the family together again. They believe everything happens for a reason. They’ve both come too far to believe anything else.

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    AFC East News 
    …..Derek Anderson announced his retirement this week after spending less than a full year with the Buffalo Bills……Former New England Patriots player Greg Spires will be brought to a New Hampshire courtroom Monday morning where he will face a stalking charge…..The Dolphins are giving Mark Walton a tryout. Walton had 14 carries for 34 yards and five receptions for another 41 yards as a rookie for the Cincinnati Bengals in 2018. Cincinnati cut the former Miami Hurricanes running back after three arrests in three months. Walton left the Miami Hurricanes football team after he missed over half of his junior season in 2017…..The Patriots will receive 4 compensatory draft picks in 2020 as the rich get richer…..Bless Austin joins the Jets with a lofty goal in mind. The Queens native and former Rutgers cornerback has played just five games in the past two seasons thanks to knee injuries that ended both years with surgeries. But the 6th round pick’s goal is to be the best ever at his position….Julian Edelman received his degree from Kent State on Saturday…..Dolphin coach Brian Flores said let the best man win. The Dolphins begin organized team activities Monday, giving Flores his first look at his quarterbacks: Ryan Fitzpatrick, who is entering his 14th season and playing for his eighth team, and second-year player Josh Rosen, recently acquired in a trade with the Arizona Cardinals. “As far as the quarterback position, like every other position, there’ll be competition there,” Flores told reporters…..New York Jets head coach Adam Gase is only interested in what third-round pick Jachai Polite does from here on out, not what happened during the pre-draft process…..While the Jets were welcoming their draft class during the start of Rookie Orientation on Friday, they also made a couple roster moves cutting CB Rashard Robinson, WR Stacy Coley and DL Charles Tapper….Miami un-drafted free agents is loaded with ex-hurricanes. First-year defensive tackle Kendrick Norton spent some time on the Dolphins active roster last season, and first year head coach Brian Flores likes his potential. Norton is one of four former University of Miami players at the rookie minicamp along with QB Malik Rosier, RB Mark Walton and TE Darrell Langham….

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    Monday, May 6, 2019

    Jets Draft Revisited

             By Green Rewind Contributor Ray Clifford

         I've had about a week now to absorb the Jets draft and look at their picks a little more closely.  And I would give them a grade that hovers somewhere between a C+ and a B-.  I will start by saying that I don't include their first pick in my assessment because a) If you're anyone but the Giants that pick was a gimme and b) I felt all along that this draft grade would be determined by their picks in the later rounds, not by their first pick. It would have been nice to have a 2nd rounder but not having one is the reason we DO have Sam Darnold.  Which is where my problem with Maccagnan's drafting begins. The Jets seem to be going about this in reverse of the trends of the successful teams of late.  Look at the Cowboys, the Browns and the Colts.  They rebuilt their teams by concentrating on the O Line.  Yes, Dallas and Indy already had their QB's but they knew to protect him they needed to upgrade the line.  As it turned out Romo got hurt and Dak Prescott stepped right into a great situation and has thrived. Andrew Luck has apparently returned to his Pro Bowl form and Baker Mayfield has clearly benefitted from the line in front of him.  Now compare that with the Jets. Mike Maccagnan has drafted exactly THREE players for the offensive line since he has been the GM.  He knew for two years they were going to draft a "franchise" quarterback and did virtually nothing to prepare for him.  So I thought this year, other than the first pick, would be different.  Let's look at these picks. In round 3 they had two picks and with the second one took an OL Edoga out of USC.  A solid pick because of his flexibility to play multiple positions.  But the first pick was Polite, an LB out of Florida. Definitely a risk/reward pick.  I would rather have seen them take Terry McLaurin out of OSU if he was not going to take an OL, mainly because he has blazing speed, could be a 3rd or 4th receiver and will be a Special Teams standout.  Three lineman he passed over that could have been good additions were Deiter out of Wisconsin, McGovern from Penn St. and Froholdt from Arkansas. 
        In the 4th the Jets picked Trevon Wesco, a TE from W.Va. a stretch pick that every publication I looked at had rated as a late round pick.  Meanwhile they passed on guards Powers and Samia both out of Oklahoma and Jordan from OSU. Maybe Wesco would have still been available in a round or two later?
        In the 5th they took Cashman, a LB out of Minnesota. Undersized but got good reviews.  Is he better than Darron Lee?  I guess we'll find out.  Passed on tackles Edwards from Wisconsin and Skule from Vanderbilt.
       Finally, in the 6th they took Austin a cornerback from Rutgers.  I live in Big 10 territory, so I saw enough of Rutgers to wonder, what about their defense was any good?  He passed on tackles Prince out of OSU, Daley of South Carolina and Gray of Maryland.  I know Maryland wasn't very good either, but their offense was actually decent, they just couldn't stop a runny nose on D. I'm not saying he should have taken these guys instead of who they took.  Drafting is a crap shoot not a science.  If it was that black and white Tom Brady wouldn't have lasted to round 6, Joe Montana to round 4 and James Harrison wouldn't have been undrafted.  But if you want to build a team to be a consistent winner you need to build from the lines out, not the other way around.  But Maccagnan has spent the better part of his drafts on either defense or offensive skill positions.  Leaving the OL to see who gets cut, undrafted free agents or trying to trade for someone to get another year or two out of them.  We had a TON of cap room this past offseason and it was mainly spent on a RB, a LB, a WR and a DB along with re-signing a couple of their own.  He missed on at least three OL who were highly sought after free agents.  Knowing this I can't look at this draft and say that Maccagnan did enough to put Sam Darnold in a position to thrive.

    Jets Lose To Vikings Again
    Being a Jet fan since 1964 I tend to be a glass half empty type of guy. All is going okay and I loved the Jets signing Wake Forest wide receiver Greg Dortch as an un-drafted free agent (see Cimini and Mehta below). So far so good. Then I see get a report from Pro-Football Talk that the Jets lost out on a good wide receiver prospect Jeff Badet. This guy is a real speedster who could have added a nice “stretch the field” element to the Jet offense. But at the 11th hour it was the Vikings who scooped him up from their own practice squad. According to Pro-Football Talk:

    “the Vikings gave Badet a $75,000 signing bonus to keep the 2018 practice-squad player away from the Jets.”

    After three years at Kentucky, Badet transferred to Oklahoma, because he wanted to play with Baker Mayfield. He did not get an invitation to the Combine but Badet ran the 40-yard dash in 4.27 seconds at the Oklahoma Pro Day in 2018. He did not light it up statistcally in college but in his last year at Kentucky he averaged 21.6 yards per reception. These are the type of receivers I love.  Is it me or does it seem like unless Mike Maccagnan over pays (really over pays) for a free agent, he cannot complete a deal. Yes the Jets got C.J. Mosley this year but with a five-year, $85 million contract and Truman Johnson last year for a five-year, $72.5 million contract. I don’t see where Maccagnan is making great moves. I do give him credit for the Sam Darnold trade and he does pretty good right after the draft signing un-drafted free agents. But the lack of offensive linemen and getting stiffed by the Vikings (Anthony Barr also) is not good. Except for the start of free agency, Maccagnan just does not move quickly enough. He moved down in the later rounds but has not done so in the earlier rounds. In 2020 the Patriots will have 13 draft picks. The Jets will never be able to compete as long as this continues. And by the way, Adam Gase does not get a free ride. Sure the Jets just signed former Dolphin QB Nick Falk but I haven’t seen one other former Dolphin want to come to the Jets to play for Gase. I’m more nervous with the possibility of seeing Sam Darnold get injured than anything else. Like I said I’m a half empty type of guy. 

    Green Tidbits
    .....If Avery Williamson can improve on his pass coverage just a little bit, he may have an All-Pro season with the new weapons around him on defense....Trumaine Johnson’s weight is down and he seems to be taking things more serious.....Prediction for Jet fans that if he is serious about his career Jachai Polite will be the steal of the draft…..The Jets need for DBs may be overrated if the Jet pass rush becomes a legitimate threat…..If Darron Lee is not traded I still want Frankie Luvu and Neville Hewitt to get as many or more reps than him.....Le'Veon Bell signing still does not feel right. Please let me be wrong and let Bell rush for 125 yds and catch 5 passes for 75 yds and score 2 TDS vs Bills on opening day…..IMHO Trenton Cannon needs an awesome preseason to stick on the roster….My latest prayer to the Ewbank in the sky is that unknown offensive linemen Jon Toth, Eric Smith and Ben Braden turn out to be gems…….According to NFL Next Gen Stats, in addition to his 7 sacks last year, Henry Anderson was double teamed 60% of the snaps and had 16 QB hits. Anderson may be the best Jet signing this off-season….90% of the phone calls on sports radio around NY have been about Giants picking Daniel Jones in first round at #6. The pick was fine. The rationalization by GM Dave Gettleman might eventually bury him……Jets are collecting tight ends and quarterbacks at warp speed. Oh know! They just let Brandon Silvers go!….Jets new uniforms do nothing for me but admittedly I really like the helmets…..If I were a betting man, I’d say Davis Webb is the next QB to be gone from the Jets….Living in the suburbs can I ever go to a bagel or grocery store on a Sunday morning just once  without local youth teams and cheerleaders asking for donations?......

    What The Jet Scribes Are Saying
    Rich Cimini, ESPN
    As an economics major at Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut, Mike Maccagnan studied risk versus reward -- a concept he applies to his current job as general manager of the Jets. Based on risk and reward, Quinnen Williams was perhaps the safest big decision he has ever made. No player is a 100 percent sure thing, but recent trends show the former Alabama star is as close to "can't miss" as there is in today's NFL…..Williams and coach Adam Gase have something in common. Actually, that something is a someone -- Saban.Like Williams, Gase worked under the legendary coach in college. At Michigan State, he was an undergraduate assistant on Saban's coaching staff, basically a behind-the-scenes grunt eager to cut his teeth in the coaching profession. Gase must have done a good job because he was invited to join Saban's first staff at LSU, where he served as a graduate assistant….Of the 17 rookie free agents who signed with the Jets, the most fascinating is Wake Forest wide receiver/kick returner Greg Dortch, a 5-foot-7, 173-pound spitfire who averaged one touchdown per game in college. He led the ACC last season with an average of 145.8 all-purpose yards per game. He recorded 89 receptions for 1,078 yards and eight touchdowns, and he also scored twice on punt returns. In three seasons, Dortch scored 19 touchdowns in 20 games. Clearly, Dortch's size was the main reason he wasn't drafted, but there's a big heart in that small body. In 2017, he punctured his small intestine while landing on a pylon as he scored his second touchdown against Louisville, but he stayed in the game and scored two more touchdowns. He was rushed to the hospital later that night and underwent emergency surgery, ending his season. Dortch couldn't have landed in a better place because -- maybe you've heard? -- the Jets need a punt and kickoff returner after losing All-Pro Andre Roberts in free agency…..The addition of quarterback Luke Falk, who was claimed on waivers on Friday, is a clear indication Gase isn't sold on Davis Webb as the No. 3. Why would he be? After all, Webb has yet to take a regular-season snap. Neither has Falk, but he has a connection to Gase because he spent last season with the Miami Dolphins. Gase likes Falk's potential, so he pulled him off waivers for the second year in a row. (Last September, he was released by the Titans, the team that drafted him in the sixth round in 2018.) The Jets will take four quarterbacks to training camp, which means one has to go. Falk, Webb and Brandon Silvers are fighting for two spots. Sam Darnold and Trevor Siemian are set as the No. 1 and No. 2, respectively.

    Brian Costello, NY Post
    The NFL draft is over. The active part of free agency is long over. Rosters are not set, but the heavy lifting is done. Now, it is tinker season. Teams will add and remove pieces for the next few months until they have to settle on their 53-man rosters to start the season. With their roster pretty much set, the Jets have undergone some major changes. They spent more than $120 million in free agency — highlighted by the additions of Le’Veon Bell and C.J. Mosley. They made a big trade for guard Kelechi Osemele. Then, last week they drafted Quinnen Williams in the first round and added others who they hope can contribute this season. “I think we’ve done some good things in terms of improving the talent at certain positions,” general manager Mike Maccagnan said. “I think you’re never truly done. I don’t think people realize it’s not as if you finish the draft and that’s the last time you spend looking at the roster.”…..The Jets currently have Jonotthan Harrison penciled in as their starting center. The 27-year-old is no stranger to that role. He started 19 games at center for the Colts in 2014-15, plus another four at guard in 2016. With the Jets, he ended up starting eight games last year after Spencer Long was injured and ineffective. The Jets were happy with how Harrison played down the stretch. Still, he projects more as a competent backup than a Week 1 starter. The Jets showed some interest in centers in free agency, but seemed scared off by their hefty price tags and decided to spend that money elsewhere. Then, they went into the draft thinking about drafting one, but things did not fall that way.It is still possible that Maccagnan could sign a veteran or make a trade for a center, but the market is thin.……you’d like the Jets to have an All-Pro wide receiver. But overall, they have upgraded the offense around Darnold enough to help him in Year 2. Bell is a huge addition that will help the passing game as well as the running game. Jamison Crowder is a weapon for Adam Gase in the slot. Chris Herndon showed a lot of promise as a rookie and now can be paired with rookie Trevon Wesco to form a nice duo at tight end. The key here will be Gase. Can he get the most out of Robby Anderson and Quincy Enunwa?

    Manish Mehta, NY Daily News
    Keep an eye on Wake Forest wide receiver Greg Dortch. One NFC scout I spoke to this week was fawning over Dortch like he was the next coming of Wes Welker. I had to tell the scout to exhale and relax, because there’s little chance of Dortch turning into Welker. But this kid could have a shot to stick as a returner and slot option. Dortch is only 5-7, 173 pounds, but his quickness and start-stop ability inside the numbers make him an intriguing flier. Dortch racked up 142 catches for 1,800 yards and 17 touchdowns as a two-year starter. He was a high-volume pass catcher last year, accounting for a ridiculous 39.6 percent of his team’s receptions. He also averaged 22.1 and 20.9 yards per kickoff return, respectively, in two years.…..The Jets would trade Lee in a New York minute in a reasonable deal. It hasn’t happened yet, so he’s a member of the team. For now. Don’t rule out a trade later this spring. In the meantime, his $1.8 million base salary in the final year of his rookie deal is relative peanuts. The Jets won’t pick up his fifth-year option, which is about $10 million. They’ll gladly take the 2021 compensatory pick when he walks in free agency after this season. Truth be told, Lee did a decent job in coverage last season. He could find a meaningful role in Greg Williams’ defense…..

    Around The NFL
    …..Baltimore Ravens sixth-round pick Trace McSorley, an athletic quarterback out of Penn State, signed his four-year rookie contract the team announced on Saturday…..Mecole Hardman,the Chiefs' top 2019 draft pick, who was one of four Kansas City selections who signed rookie contracts, the team announced on Saturday…..Albeit, it was the first day of rookie minicamp without any pads, but receivers D.K. Metcalf (Seattle) and Parris Campbell(Colts) grabbed headlines and highlights with their showcase performances.Metcalf, a star at the NFL Scouting Combine, turned heads with a leaping catch along the sidelines of his initial Seahawks practice and drew praise from new coach Pete Carroll. "He may be even more unique than we thought," Carroll said via the Seattle Times' Bob Condotta.Campbell, who went up against fellow second-rounder Rock Ya-Sin on a few occasions at the Colts' minicamp, hauled in contested catches, broke some big gains and lined up in the slot and outside, which was the biggest question mark for him coming into the draft…..It just might take a while for Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott to get said extension as Dallas has a logjam of players deserving of paydays. That line began with pass rusher DeMarcus Lawrence, who signed a mega deal, and quarterback Dak Prescott and receiver Amari Cooper are next up.After picking up Elliott's fifth-year rookie option, Dallas executive vice president Stephen Jones stressed that a deal will get done, but there's no rush as it pertains to the NFL's reigning rushing leader…..Oakland Raiders head coach Jon Gruden put an end to any lingering speculation surrounding his offensive tackles.Gruden announced Friday that second-year pro Kolton Miller would remain on the left side to start off the season, while Trent Brown will man the right side. Brandon Parker carries the responsibility of swing tackle…..There was no escaping the narrative of cornerback Greedy Williams being a bad tackler during the 2019 NFL Draft."What's missing is if you studied the game film, I was mostly a man corner," Williams told NFL Network's Aditi Kinkhabwala. "At LSU I did my job. Tackling wasn't a big thing they wanted me to do. They wanted me to cover."I wasn't able to showcase my tackling ability. Now that I'm here, I can work zone, man, anything. So I'm able to prove that I'm a great tackler.”…..The Houston Texans couldn't afford to maintain the status quo during the offseason when it came to protecting their franchise quarterback Deshaun Watson. The Texans used the draft to bolster the ranks with the selections of offensive tackles Tytus Howard in the first round and Max Scharping in the second round.The Texans began the rebuilding process on the offensive line during free agency by signing left tackle Matt Kalil and bringing back right tackle Seantrel Henderson…..New England traded Garoppolo to San Francisco during the 2017 season for the 49ers’ 2018 second-round draft pick. That pick turned out to be the 43rd overall pick in the 2018 NFL draft. But the Patriots didn’t use it. Instead, they traded it for two picks — and then traded those two picks for more picks, and kept making more trades until the point when they’ve drafted six players with picks that came completely or in part from the 49ers’ second-rounder. And they’re still not done……

    Sunday, April 28, 2019

    Jets Can’t Escape Turmoil Rumors During Draft!

    Leave it to our green and white to have rumors stir up during the draft about a rift between Adam Gase and Mike Maccagnan. More on that later. First the draft picks.

    Round 1, # 3 overall: Quinnen Williams, DT, Alabama
    Round 2, No Pick
    Round 3, #  68 overall: Jachai Polite, OLB, Florida
    Round 3, #  92 overall: Chuma Edoga , OT, USC
    Round 4, # 121 overall: Trevon Wesco, TE, West Virginia
    Round 5, # 157 overall: Blake Cashman, ILB, Minnesota
    Round 6, # 196 overall: Blessuan Austin, CB, Rutgers
    Round 7, No Pick

      Going into the draft, I had said I would be happy with 3 players if the Jets did not trade back. Nick Bosa, Ed Oliver or Quinnen Williams are the 3 players I coveted. Ideally if Mike Maccagnan was able to trade down a couple of picks, and accumulate additional picks and take Ed Oliver, that would have been my first choice. Contrary to what many people have said, Josh Allen, the edge pass rusher from Kentucky is overrated. He is an incredible athlete but in reviewing most of his games, he has nothing more than a speed move on the outside. As I mentioned before, he lacked other moves NFL edge pass rushers need to have such as a spin move or splitting two defenders or even a bull rush. And Josh Allen seems to shy away from contact. The Jets don’t need him. I loved Ed Oliver as the top prospect on my list and Nick Bosa is also a stud. Don’t get me wrong, Quinnen Williams was rated as the number one prospect on many draft boards. Williams has both great physical traits and an even better attitude. I heard some reliable scouts say he uses his hands better than any defensive linemen they have ever seen. He can play all 5 positions up front. The only negative on Quinnen Williams is that he has only done it one year for Alabama. 
      Without a number 2 pick the Jets went boom or bust with 3rd round edge pass rusher Jachai Polite from Florida. The knock on him was at the NFL Combine he showed awful numbers and his interviews turned off most teams. As it turns out, he was nursing a hamstring and with regards to the interview process, I put more of that on the agent than the player. I’ve seen Jachai Polite in interviews. He does not articulate like John F. Kennedy but he doesn’t come across as bad as was reported. With that said he has some maturing to do but the athleticism is there. Before the Combine, he was listed as a late first or early second round pick so the Jets may have lucked out. I’m counting on him being surrounded by Jamal Adams, Avery Williamson, Steve McLendon and BJ Mosley will help.
      The Jets second third round pick was a desperately needed offensive lineman. USC offensive tackle Chuma Edoga blocked for Sam Darnold and he will get another chance. Edoga is considered an excellent pass blocker but needs to upgrade his run blocking. Another knock is his size. He is listed at 6' 4", 302 lbs. but many consider that too light. Wow! How things have changed. Former Jets Super Bowl starting tackle Winston Hill was listed at 6’4" 270 lbs. and he was considered big. Well different time, different era. Nevertheless with tackles Kelvin Beachum and Brandon Shell entering the final year of their contracts, this was a logical pick.
      In the fourth round, tight end Trevon Wesco from West Virginia was chosen. Wesco (6-foot-3, 267) is considered a blocking tight end and ESPN draft analyst Todd McShay called Wesco the best blocking tight end in the draft. He has been called “Nasty” as a blocker. Wesco will be the sixth tight end on the Jets roster. They can’t keep them all so Eric Tomlinson and Neal Sterling (who I really like) days may be numbered.
      I found the Jets choice in the fifth round, inside linebacker Blake (I’m not Brian) Cashman the most interesting. Cashman measures 6-foot-1, 235 lbs. and his progression since making the football team at Minnesota as a walk on has been stunning. He worked his way into the starting lineup and he even became team captain his senior year. This player has a nose for being in the right place at the right time. The only knock on  Cashman besides his size is that he has had three shoulder operations since 2016. If his shoulders are healed correctly as Mike Maccagnan has said, Darron Lee’s days as a Jet will be coming to an end. Blake Cashman is a winner and the type of player teams want on the field.
     Sixth round pick cornerback Blessuan Austin from Rutgers is just throwing mud against the wall. He is coming off back-to-back knee surgeries (same knee) in 2017 and 2018 and has only played in 5 games total in both those years. At one time he was considered one of the top cornerback prospects in the country but now he will start the off season workouts on the PUP (Physically Unable to Perform) list. But who knows! At one time the Jets passed on Ronnie Lott because the Jet Doctors said his knee will never hold up in the NFL.

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    My Take On The Draft
    After the safe pick in the first round with Quinnen Williams, Mike Maccagnan really took some chances. I’m not crazy about taking players who get injured in college all the time. My feeling is that if they are always injured in college, they will be injured as pros. See Dee Milliner. Remember that you can never really judge a team’s draft right after it happens. Most of the team grades you see are just grades based on previous mock drafts. It will take 2-3 years to judge this and any NFL draft. Take all the grades you see with a grain of salt. It is what the players do on the field that counts. Two players I really wanted after the second round were the center-guard from Penn State, Connor McGovern and the wide receiver from Iowa State, Hakeem Butler. Both went in the third round and the Jets just missed on each. But let’s see how Maccagnan did. One thing good about the draft and the un-drafted free agents is following them in the pre-season games. We’ll know more about each player by the first game on September 8th.

    Jets Un-drafted Free Agent Signings
    The following list is totally unofficial and can change quickly. We can criticize Mike Maccagnan for a lot but getting un-drafted free agents to sign with the Jets has been a strength of his. The Jets will not hold their annual rookie minicamp but will instead host a four-day rookie orientation from May 9-12 at the team facilities in Florham Park. This is the way Adam Gase did it in Miami but I don’t understand the thinking. I always thought the three-day mini-camp outside on the field was a chance for the team to look at a lot of the un-drafted free agents and only invite the ones they think have a chance to stick back in July. Last season, the Jets ran a three-day rookie minicamp, hosting 44 different tryout players. Gase is taking the opposite approach and wants his players to learn the playbook instead. I don’t get it but he’s the boss now. Remember that the Jets signed players like Robby Anderson and Frankie Luvu by seeing them on the field. Boy I hope this new coach works out. I’m starting to get nervous. Okay here is the list of the Jets un-drafted free agents: 

    Greg Dortch, WR, Wake Forest-At 5’7” this receiver/kick returner has a great chance to stick.

    John Battle, S, LSU-Friend of Jamal Adams. 2 yr starter, excellent athlete, lacks instincts.

    Kyron Brown, CB, Akron-75th ranked prospect according to Played well at Akron.

    Santos Ramirez, S, Arkansas-52nd ranked safety. Very slight chance to stick.

    Jalin Moore, RB, Appalachian State-Another Jet prospect coming off an injury (ankle). But “Moore has ability to find yardage on his own”…. has a shot for practice squad.

    Wyatt Miller, OL, Central Florida-6’4” 305 guard. Wyatt's got the size, he's got the speed, and he's got the technique. Offensive line is wide open. Right place right time for this road grader.

    James Mosley, LB, Alabama-CJ’s brother. Walk-on at Alabama. Unlike CJ,  James is an overachiever. Non-starter who saw limited action. What better situation than to practice against Tide players?

    Kyle Phillips, DL, Tennessee-Interesting prospect at 6-4, 273 lbs. Is light for NFL but had 12 sacks the last 2 years for Volunteers. Get those milk shakes going!

    Fred Jones, DL, Florida State-Former Jet Marvin Jones nephew. Great on the run. Soft on the pass rush.”ability to play both sides of a block; not a starter but a solid rotational run-down player.”

    Justin Alexander, DL, Incarnate World-From Elmont NY. Edge pass rusher is only way to make team. Had 55 tackles, 12.5 tackles for loss, 8.5 sacks and 3 forced fumbles in 2018.

    Jeff Allison, LB, Fresno State-A thumper who loves to hit. He’ll need to impress Gregg Williams learning playbook to be invited back in July.

    Jabril Frazier, EDGE, Boise St.-Another player who has a big injury resume. At 6’4” 239lbs., this player had an impressive 138 tackles, 24.5 for a loss and 18 sacks the last 2 seasons.

    Toa Lobendahn, OL, USC-Limited as a pro prospect but like other OL prospects, right place at right time.

    Trevon Sanders, DL, Troy-327 lbs. player who is best suited for nose tackle. Moves well for his size but will have to impress quickly because of the number of defensive linemen coming in.

    Malik Reed, EDGE, Nevada-Had 25.5 tackles for loss and 16 sacks over the past two seasons as Jets continue searching for the next John Abraham.

    MyQuon Stout, DL — Appalachian State-6’0” 292 lbs. Undersized finished his college career with 56 tackles, 4 sacks and 9 tackles for loss.

    Tyler Jones, OL, NC State-According to pro football focus, Jones had allowed just 14 pressures in 2017, the lowest total in the ACC. Good chance for practice squad.

    Jeff Smith,WR, Boston College- Had 72 receptions for 1,078 yards and 9 touchdowns for Eagles. Also played some QB with 93 passing attempts with 6 TDS. Another Brad Smith?

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    The WWE Mike Maccagnan-Adam Gase Gage Match
    Rumors were swirling around the internet in the middle of the draft. Mike Maccagnan’s job was supposedly in jeopardy and after the draft he was going to be replaced by Philadelphia Eagle vice president of player personnel Joe Douglas. I don’t know which was better, the Maccagnan rumor or the rumors as to why the people who printed them were doing it. The Athletic’s Michael Lombardi stated  “many in the league expect changes in the Jets’ front office after the draft.” Then it was said that Lombardi’s brother who was on the Jets staff last year (I don't even know if this is true) was fired by Maccagnan and this was payback spreading this rumor at the most inappropriate time. Another rumor stated that Michael Lombardi is close to Bill Belichick and someone on his staff or even BB himself did this just to be annoying. Whatever is going on, hopefully it will not hurt any progress by the Jets. Make no mistake, I originally wrote that the model of not having the GM hire his own coach will not work and I still stand by that. And even though Adam Gase is growing on me he has got to know his place in the league. He has not won a thing yet in the NFL and I have not seen any free agents he has coached wanting to play for the Jets because they love playing for Adam Gase. I’m open minded about the Jets situation. Coaches and GMs always argue (See Bill Parcells and George Young) usually about personnel. Gase and Maccagnan have got to eventually get on the same page to put the Jets in the best position to win. Enough BS already! 

    What The Jet Scribes Are Saying
    Bob Glauber, Newsday
    (Adam) Gase is a strong-willed coach who will let his feelings be known, and there certainly will be differences of opinion over time. The coach reportedly was upset by the Jets’ signing of Le’Veon Bell to a four-year, $52 million contract; not so much with the signing itself, but with the amount of money they invested in the running back position, which has been devalued over time. If there indeed is frustration on Gase’s part about the contract, it certainly didn’t help that Bell was a no-show earlier in the week for the team’s voluntary minicamp — especially after he missed the entire 2018 season in a contract stalemate with the Steelers. Gase publicly has lauded the signing of Bell and seemed excited at last month’s NFL spring meetings about how the running back’s versatility will benefit the Jets’ offense…..If there truly was disagreement between Gase and Maccagnan about Bell’s signing, then last week’s no-show was a see-what-I-mean moment for the coach……There is a delicate balance to be struck here, and if problems already are surfacing, you can’t help but wonder if there will be more down the road. There are simply too many past examples of the coach-GM relationship coming unglued to ignore the possibility that the Gase-Maccagnan partnership will meet a similar fate.

    Rich Cimini, ESPN
    After intense speculation about the possibility of a trade, the New York Jets kept the No. 3 overall pick in the NFL draft and used it Thursday night to select defensive tackle Quinnen Williams.With quarterback Kyler Murray and defensive end Nick Bosa off the board, the Jets -- 29th in scoring defense last season -- opted for Williams over outside linebacker Josh Allen and defensive tackle Ed Oliver. Williams becomes the highest-drafted defensive player in franchise history.
    "You combine the technique, you combine the instincts, you combine the athletic ability, I think he has the parts and pieces to be a really good player," general manager Mike Maccagnan said. Maccagnan spoke to several teams before the draft and on the clock about a potential trade, but he said "there was never an offer" that tempted him. Williams was believed to be the second-rated player on their draft board, behind Bosa. The pass-rushing Allen would've filled a pressing need, but Maccagnan felt Williams' value was too high to pass up. Sound familiar? In 2015, the Jets felt the same way about defensive end Leonard Williams (no relation) when he unexpectedly fell to them with the sixth pick. Williams and Williams are now teammates, playing under new defensive coordinator Gregg Williams…..The question now is how they will split up the playing time in their 3-4 base front. Williams joins a veteran group that includes returning starters Leonard Williams, Henry Anderson and nose tackle Steve McLendon.
    Anderson re-signed in March, receiving a three-year, $25.2 million contract that includes a $17 million guarantee. Williams is making a guaranteed $14.2 million in the final year of his contract and appears to be in line for a long-term extension. With Quinnen Williams on board, they will have one of the highest-paid defensive lines in the league. "I think they're building a huge defense, just by bringing in C.J. Mosley, with Jamal Adams on the back end, and you're building up a massive defensive line up front," Quinnen Williams said. "It sounds like a great defense."

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    Brian Costello, NY Post
    Mike Maccagnan’s job status figured to be a cloud hanging over the Jets’ 2019 season. But no one could have expected it to start this soon. Surprisingly, Maccagnan’s future with the Jets became a source of speculation during the NFL draft — to the point at which he had to answer questions about it Friday night. Reports and rumors have been flying about a rift between the Jets general manager and new coach Adam Gase, with some suggesting Maccagnan could be fired in the coming days.
    Multiple sources have shot down those rumors, saying there is nothing to them. Logically, the rumors make little sense. Have Maccagnan and Gase disagreed on players over the past two months? Certainly. Every coach and GM have different views on certain players. But it would be shocking if there were a rift between these two before they have even gone into a game together. Losing leads to dysfunction inside organizations. Right now, the Maccagnan-Gase team is undefeated.

    Manish Mehta, NY Daily News
    Maccagnan definitely brought some game-changers into the building. He landed dynamic — yet mercurial — offensive weapon Le’Veon Bell to help the young franchise quarterback. He paid a pretty penny for game-wrecking Pro Bowl linebacker C.J. Mosley, who is roughly a trillion times better than the player that he drafted not so long ago (Darron Lee). Maccagnan, who has made 15 draft-day trades, is far from perfect, but it appears that he made the Jets better in free agency and the draft this offseason. Sure, his draft record is uneven at best, but there have been some recent glimmers of hope. Jamal Adams is a one-man culture changer. The organization’s bold decision to trade up to position itself for a franchise quarterback last year will go down as one of the most brilliant decisions in Jets history. Chris Herndon will prove to be a gift from the fourth-round Gods. Although Maccagnan should have traded down in the first round this week to acquire more assets, it’s hard to complain about getting arguably the safest, best player in this draft. Alabama defensive tackle Quinnen Williams has the skills to be a special player for a very long time. Third-round USC tackle Chuma Edoga has a chance to be a starting tackle in 2020 (if not sooner).The Jets still have holes (offensive line, cornerback, wide receiver) that won’t be filled with long-term solutions in the coming weeks/months, but Maccagnan has made solid choices after an uneven first few years. The powers that be, opted to fire Todd Bowles, but retain Maccagnan because of their belief the general manager can learn from his previous missteps. The past few months have been solid for Maccagnan by every objective measure even if you don’t agree with every decision. That hasn’t stopped the NFL rumor mill from going into overdrive the past few days. The latest installment of the league’s whisper-down-the-lane chatter centered on Maccagnan’s immediate future and his relationship with Adam Gase…..Maccagnan and Gase are less than four months into what each hope is a long and prosperous relationship. But make no mistake: This is a critical year for everyone.

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