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Tuesday, March 5, 2019

Jets Pass Rushing Options Dwindling!

Fans and scribes that thought the Jet rebuild with 100+ million dollars available would be as easy as Supermarket Sweepstakes running up and down the grocery store aisle throwing items in the shopping cart were very much mistaken. In fact just looking at recent free agent signings such as Trumaine Johnson and Isaiah Crowell makes one wonder if it is a curse having that much money available. It also makes one wonder if the Patriots figuring long term do it the right way. They let free agents get signed by other teams and accumulate compensatory picks. Going into the draft next month they have 12 draft choices. As of this writing the Cowboys have tagged DeMarcus Lawrence, the Chiefs have tagged Dee “offsides” Ford, the Texans tagged Jadeveon Clowney and the Seahawks tagged DE Frank Clark (13 sacks in ’18). Pass rushers are a hot commodity in today’s NFL with all the rules geared toward the offense. The top tier free agents  pass rushers with substantial sack totals are hard to sign. But have faith Jet fans. The second tier pass rushers are the players the Jets should seek out. They may have to overpay but it will be worth it. Here is who the Jets should target:



Dante Fowler Jr.,OLB, LA Rams
This 24 years old may be a borderline top tier pass rusher. The Jets did try to acquire him when he was with Jacksonville. The 6’3” outside linebacker is young and he is good! In 47 games played (only started 7) this former 3rd pick of the 2015 draft already has 16 career sacks in 3 seasons and has only begun to touch his potential. He does bring some off the field baggage but Fowler’s type of play would be perfect for Gregg Williams defense. 

Ezekiel Ansah, DE, Detroit Lions
After the Lions tagged this 29 year old in 2018 he only started 2 games. Matt Patricia has contacted every car manufacturer in Detroit to drive him to the state line. No way he goes back to the Lions. With that said Jet fans may ask, “Why sign a player who is approaching 30 and cannot stay on the field”? I’ll tell you why. This 6’6” 275 defensive end is a monster when he is on the field. In 73 games started in his career, he has 48 sacks with 14 of them coming in 2015. Here is the kicker. I sign him and convince him that the Jets want to extend his career so he will be a 2nd and 3rd down player only. This way the Jets are preserving his ability and stretching it out to 3 or 4 more productive years. His contract should reflect that with incentives.

Preston Smith, DE, Washington Redskins
This 6’5” 265 pound 26 year old has slipped under the radar with big names like Jadeveon Clowney and DeMarcus Lawrence getting most of the “pub” as pass rushers. In only 32 games started, this former 2nd round pick from Mississippi State already has 24 1/2 career sacks. He had 8 sacks in 2017 and slipped to 4 in 2018 but this is another player who will flourish with Gregg Williams.

Za'Darius Smith, DE, Baltimore Ravens
Smith is one of those players we wish the Jets drafted. At 26 years old, the Ravens would be crazy to let this beast walk away in free agency. In 4 years he has 18 1/2 career sacks but this past season was a break out year. Smith had 8 1/2 sacks and get this, 24 quarterback hits which is incredible. If by some miracle the Ravens pass on him, the Jets have got to get him.

Bottom Line
From the above 4 listed, Mike Maccagnan needs to land 2. This year’s draft is rich in pass rushers but with the Jets having so many holes to fill, they should focus on pass rushers and the offensive line in free agency. Picking up Ezekiel Ansah with a short term loaded contract and Preston Smith would be a good realistic plan. Both would be costly but not out of the ball park which is good. 


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Jets Might Want To Pass On Kentucky’s Josh Allen
There is no doubt that Kentucky’s linebacker Josh Allen is one of the quickest college pass rushers you will ever see. Give him credit for coming back to play a 4th year of college football when most players go for the dollar signs. It was a good move as he had 17 sacks and 21 1/2 tackles for a loss in his last year in college. He measures 6’ 5”, 260 lbs. and spent his last year in high school going to Montclair High School in New Jersey. All the stars are lined up in the right places for the Jets to draft him (unless Nick Bosa falls into their lap). However, I hate to be the one to pour water on this specimen but I have my doubts. I have spent the last week watching game film of Josh Allen and as impressive as he looks, he has too many deficiencies in my book to make him the 3rd pick of the draft. His outside speed is super human! But in viewing the highlight film(s), I see very little of Allen taking on and shedding blocks, splitting the double team and doing stunts. I like players no matter how quick they are can take on and are not afraid of contact. He is talented but he is starting to look too much like Vernon Gholston to me. I hope I’m wrong but this is the way I see it.

                                                Josh Allen Highlights




What The Jet Scribes Are Saying
Rich Cimini, ESPN
It's too soon in the process to know that, but the Jets are guaranteed to get one of the top three defenders (arguably the top three players in the draft) -- defensive end Nick Bosa, defensive tackle Quinnen Williams or outside linebacker Josh Allen. If quarterback Kyler Murray goes No. 1 overall, the Jets will have a choice of defenders. Quinnen Williams put on a show at the combine, running the 40-yard dash in 4.83 seconds at 303 pounds. As a comparison, Leonard Williams, picked sixth in 2015, clocked a 4.97 at 302 pounds. Bosa didn't burn it up (4.79) in the 40, but his 10-yard split (1.55) was impressive. More than anything, Quinnen Williams and Bosa have excellent college tape. So does Allen, who recorded 17 sacks last season, the most by an SEC player since the NCAA starting officially counting sacks in 2000.

"Oh, yeah, I think I'm the best player in the draft, but I believe that," Allen said before running a solid 4.63. "I think every guy here should believe that, and if a team doesn't believe that, I'll see them during the season."

This could come down to a fascinating decision for Maccagnan: Would he prefer the outside rusher (Allen or Bosa) to fill a need or would he opt for the freakishly gifted tackle (Williams)? That decision could be based on what happens in free agency.
…..The top players will be tagged. One of those, Dee Ford of the Kansas City Chiefs, reportedly is available in a trade, but it makes little sense to give up an asset and take on a huge contract. The Jets should stay away. Frankly, they should proceed with caution in free agency. Unless there's a perfect match, why spend crazy money when they can simply draft a younger and cheaper player to do the same thing? They could double down, a route they appear willing to take. They're showing interest in Dante Fowler Jr. (Los Angeles Rams), Ezekiel Ansah (Detroit Lions) and Preston Smith (Washington Redskins), sources said. The Jets also reportedly have interest in Trey Flowers (New England Patriots).
Ansah (injuries, age) and Fowler (lack of consistency) come with red flags, so I would be hesitant to invest $15 million a year in either of them. Smith is a solid, complementary pass-rusher. Flowers is a very good, three-down player who developed nicely under coach Bill Belichick, so he would be worth a splurge. Pair Flowers with Leonard Williams and, say, Josh Allen, and you can bet the Jets' pass rush would improve significantly.

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Brian Costello, NY Post
With the NFL Scouting Combine over, here are some things I heard in Indianapolis about the Jets with free agency set to begin in a week. Teams can begin to speak to agents on March 11 and players can sign with teams on March 13. Here is some of the rumors going around about the Jets:
Most of the NFL people I spoke to believe the Jets will be aggressive in their pursuit of Steelers running back Le’Veon Bell. The Jets make sense because they have more than $100 million in salary cap space, a glaring need for a playmaker on offense and a desperate general manager in Mike Maccagnan, who needs to hit a few home runs this offseason.That being said, the people I spoke with seemed to be deducing that the Jets would be in on Bell, not that they were told that by anyone from the Jets. Maccagnan has a reputation for keeping things close to the vest and he has done that with his plans for Bell. Another variable that people seem unsure of is just how robust a market there will be for Bell. There have been no firm reports of teams being interested in signing Bell. Again, there has been speculation that the Colts, Ravens or Texans might be interested, but nothing concrete. If there are not many suitors, the asking price may not be as high as people have expected. A name to keep an eye on if the Jets don’t land Bell is Falcons running back Tevin Coleman. A few people told me that he could wind up with the Jets. One interesting element of that is Coleman and Bell share an agent – Adisa Bakari. It reminds me of last year when Kirk Cousins shared an agent with Josh McCown. Once the Jets were out on Cousins, they quickly pivoted to re-sign McCown. Could that happen this year with Bell and Coleman?…..After listening to chatter in Indy, though, it sounds like the Jets may try to fill their need for an edge rusher in free agency. Most of the top edge rushers will be off the market as teams either sign them long-term or slap the franchise tag on them. Some names to keep an eye on with the Jets are: Dante Fowler of the Rams, Trey Flowers of the Patriots and Ezekiel Ansah of the Lions. There were rumblings of the Jets having interest in them when free agency opens next week…..A few other positions the Jets are looking at are interior offensive linemen and blocking tight ends. The Jets seem to be content with sticking with Kelvin Beachum and Brandon Shell at tackles. They’d like to upgrade the middle of the line, though. The Rams’ Rodger Saffold is a candidate at left guard. Matt Paradis and Mitch Morse are the top centers on the market. Adam Gase had Paradis for a year in Denver, so that could be a match. The Jets love Chris Herndon at tight end, but feel like they need some help behind him, particularly when it comes to a run-blocker at the position.




Around The NFL
….With all the talk about the Arizona Cardinals wanting to draft Oklahoma quarterback Kyler Murray, one thing had to happen for the rumors to seem real. There had to be a report of the Cardinals engaging in trade talks for last year’s first-round pick, quarterback Josh Rosen. We now have that report, as NFL Network’s Charley Casserly said on the air he spoke with a team who told him the Cardinals are in fact shopping Rosen.…..A report from earlier Tuesday said the Patriots wouldn’t use the franchise tag on kicker Stephen Gostkowski. The bigger news comes from Tom Curran of NBC Boston who says the Patriots aren’t expected to use the tag on any player.That means defensive end Trey Flowers, ranked third on PFT’s top-100 free agents, will hit the open market.…..Word on Monday was that the Buccaneers were set to use the franchise tag on left tackle Donovan Smith, but that they’d keep talking about a long-term extension before and after the deadline to get one done. Those talks proved to be fruitful. The Buccaneers announced that they’ve reached agreement on a three-year deal with Smith on Tuesday afternoon. Mike Garafolo of NFL Media reported and PFT has confirmed that the deal is worth a total of $41.25 million. Of that total, $27 million is fully guaranteed at signing…..The Los Angeles Rams are making a surprise move, reportedly releasing starting linebacker Mark Barron, who is a very good player at his position. Barron was due to make a $3 million roster bonus on March 15, which likely had a lot to do with this decision…..The Broncos are expected to have interest in linebacker C.J. Mosley, according to Troy Renck of Denver7. This week, we learned that the Ravens will not use the franchise tag on Mosley, and the expectation is that he will be an unrestricted free agent later this month. Mosley, 27 in June, is a perennial Pro Bowler and anchored Baltimore’s linebacking corps for several years…..The Kansas City Chiefs have no intention of letting superstar wide receiver Tyreek Hill hit the open market and are working on securing him long term. According to Ian Rapoport of NFL Media, the team has begun negotiating with Hill on “what’ll be a record-setting deal.”…..The Houston Texans are parting ways with a former first-round defender. NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reports Houston released corner Kevin Johnson, per a source informed of the decision. The Texans drafted Johnson with the No. 16 overall pick in 2015. Houston confirmed the news later Tuesday. A talented corner, Johnson has struggled to stay healthy the past three seasons. He played just six games in 2016, 12 in 2017 and participated in just one tilt in 2018 before going on injured reserve after multiple concussions. Johnson has started only eight games since his rookie campaign….. 

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Tuesday, February 26, 2019

4th Draft Preview Issue With Frank Coyle From Draftinsiders.com



Jets Quietly Trying To Strengthen Offensive Line

Green Rewind contributor Ray Clifford has always said the biggest thing that Mike Maccagnan neglected was drafting offensive linemen. I happen to agree with Ray and it even goes beyond that. The coaches could not really recognize the offensive line talent they were playing. Case in point was two years ago when they started Wesley Johnson at center who could not block a piece of styrofoam. With that said the Jets may be quietly gathering some offensive players. A couple they had and a couple they acquired the last 4 weeks. It will be like throwing mud against the wall but I’m predicting two of the four will stick. Here they are:

Jon Toth, C, Kentucky
It might not seem like it, but Toth is actually an interesting addition for the Jets. Toth measures in at 6-5, 310 pounds. He didn’t miss a single game in four years at Kentucky. Sports Illustrated ranked him as the fourth overall center prospect in the 2017 NFL Draft. ESPN had him fourth as well. He was their No. 169 prospect overall. Toth had some teams interested in signing him as an 
undrafted free agent, but a sudden back injury prevented that from happening. Toth had surgery on a disc in his lower back over the summer. He should be ready to go by training camp

“He's not the best athlete at the position but his size, arm length, strength and consistency should outweigh that on the next level. Toth has the traits and ability to be an eventual starter in the NFL.”

Ben Braden, G, Michigan
Braden signed with the New York Jets as an undrafted free agent on May 7, 2017.

Scouting Report
Demonstrates requisite quickness and athleticism. Shows the ability to reach block defensive ends on the play side of outside zone plays. Good football acumen, asked to perform a variety of blocks in a pro-style offense. Fairly natural athlete for an offensive lineman. Shows when he’s asked to cut linemen and linebackers.
Shows great location ability when pulling. Played guard and tackle. 

“ Tough guy who's willing to get his block by any means necessary.”

Jordan Morgan,G, Kutztown State

Morgan received an invitation to the NFL Combine and was able to complete all of the drills. After attending the combine, he was projected to be a fourth or fifth round pick by the majority or analysts and scouts. He was ranked the eighth best guard in the draft by Sports Illustrated and the ninth best guard by NFLDraftScout.com. Morgan was drafted by the Chicago Bears in the fifth round of the 2017 NFL Draft. 

“Morgan could become a solid NFL backup with eventual starter potential if he improves his balance and stops lunging.”

Eric Smith, OT, Virginia
Smith started for 3 years at Virginia. He was a late invitation to play in the senior bowl but he wasn’t invited to attend the scouting combine and was considered a long-shot to be drafted.
He was signed as an undrafted free agent by the Dolphins and impressed early on in camp.Playing well in preseason, Smith made the 53-man roster. He suffered a knee injury in practice that landed him on injured reserve. He was activated from the injured reserve list with a few weeks to go in the season but didn’t get a chance to play and was released in final cuts after the 2018 preseason. The Patriots added him to their practice squad, but the Jets poached him for their active roster in December, although he remained inactive to the end of the year.

From Adam Gase as the Dolphin coach on Eric Smith:
“He did a lot of really good things that we liked,” Gase said. “I love how engaged he’s been since he’s been hurt. He just constantly kept working… It just starts moving so fast and you’re trying to keep your body right and keep up with what’s going on because as the season goes on… if you’re not practicing, it can get tough. He did a great job of staying up to speed and making sure that when he got a chance to jump back out there, he was ready to go.”

Frank Coyle is a long-time scout with nationwide ties with NFL and college coaches, scouts and player agents. He has published draftinsiders.com for 28 years including a 250-page NFL Draft Yearbook with over 250 in-depth scouting reports. Long-time scouting consultant for the Senior Bowl, the nation’s premier postseason All-star game and member of the FWAA and voter in College player awards - Heisman, Outland, Nagurski, Lombardi, Thorpe, Biletnikoff etc for the past 25+ years. His site is www.DraftInsiders.com

1.   Knowing the Jets have $99+ million in cap space and their weaknesses, where and on who would you spend the money on?

Jets have many needs going forward. GM Mike Maccagnan did a good job cutting cap problems in recent years to put them in the current situation. Their top priorities are edge pass rushers, a true feature back and #1 receiver, offensive tackle, defensive linemen and cornerbacks. They need to add a few top starters prior to the NFL Draft 2019. Most FA additions will probably come on the offensive side of the ball with selected defensive additions. With tags starting being used this week, edge defenders like DeMarcus Lawrence, Jadeveon Clowney, Preston Smith, Dante Fowler, Dee Ford, Trey Flowers and Shane Ray could come off the FA board soon. All these edge rushers are just entering their prime. Lawrence, Clowney, Smith, Flowers, Fowler and Ford will be expensive, but they bring the hot commodity the Jets need – edge pass pressure. Smith may not get the publicity of the others, but is an emerging impact edge defender that can make a difference. Flowers would be a coup to wrestle away from the Patriots. Always around the ball and makes plays. Jets will have to compete for the top FA prospects here or use a high draft selection. With no #2 pick currently, they may have their choice of any edge prospect other than Bosa. Josh Allen of Kentucky is a stud and the most complete edge defender in this draft class. The Jets will entertain moving back in top ten for a #2 selection. I love DE/LB Montez Sweat from Mississippi State. He strikes and brings explosiveness and power and has impact talent. He figures off the board by the middle of the first round. With $99 million in free agency available and the #3 overall selection, the Jets could address this area with two edge rushers and elevate this unit significantly with premier defenders like DL Leonard Williams and safety Jamal Adams inline already.     

I also like free agent OTs, JaWuan James, Trent Brown, Cedric Ogbuehi, Jake Fisher or Donovan Smith. Tackle pickings are generally thin after a few prospects with several teams have already resigned before the FA period even starts. There could be a few released veterans, but that is usually limited at best. OT Brown would be a hit to the Patriots, a double bonus. That might put the burden on the NFL Draft 2019 where LT Jonah Williams, Greg Little and Andre Dillard are expected to be off the board probably by middle of first round. Quality offensive linemen get gobbled up quickly with 6 prospects in each of the first two rounds last April, including 10 of the first 39 selections. In the top 100 selections in the NFL Draft 2018, twenty draft choices were used on offensive linemen.

Jet corners Morris Claiborne (29) and Buster Skrine (30) are up as free agents. At $7 million for Claiborne and $6+ for Skrine, both would be costly to resign especially with veteran Tremaine Johnson (29) signed for a $12 million cap charge with an $8 million cash layout. Jets might want to resign one of the veterans with Skrine more versatile. Johnson signed a $72 million dollar contract thru 2023 with $34 million guaranteed. Veteran corners Jimmie Ward, Darqueze Dennard, Ronald Darby and Bradley Roby are second contract defenders will NFL starting skills to couple with Johnson and form a top tandem. Ward is a high-quality starter and though an expensive fit, capable of being a key missing piece almost immediately. Jets might also look to couple their starters with a developed rookie addition with starting talent.  


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2. The talk here in NY is that the Jets may pursue Le'Veon Bell in free agency. Is this a good move?

Bell would be a good addition but only on certain terms and conditions. Does he sign for anything near his $14 million former contract that he refused to sign through the fall of 2018. The Steelers will not tag him with Franchise or Transitional labels. He is a complete back who is only 27 years old and coming off sitting out the entire 2018 season. He should be primed for a big 2019 performance and an excellent compliment to young Sam Darnold. His presence takes pressure off Darnold and could convert the Green offense a 60-40 run to pass. Bell makes Darnold and the Jets defense 20% better just by his annual average production. I think he probably costs at least a 3 year deal for in the $50 million area.

3. Is this year a strong draft?

This NFL Draft class is very strong on defense especially the line and top edge defenders. GM Maccagnan faces a key question at the 3rd overall pick. Select premier defenders, LB Josh Allen, DL Quinnen Williams or Rashan Gary or corner Greedy Williams. Moving back in the first round may allow them to address two positions with the addition of a #2 draft choice. Maccagnan wisely retained the #1 pick this year by refusing to part with it in the move up last April in the first round. Jets moved from the 6th overall pick to the 3rd overall selection for three #2 selections, a month before the NFL Draft 2018. The trade closed the Bills, Dolphins and Cardinals out of the top three selections. Maccagnan put them in position for the 2nd QB and they were pleasantly surprised to land Sam Darnold with the selection. Darnold can be the franchise QB missing for the Green for decades.   

4. The Jets have tons of holes to fill especially at: offensive line, edge pass rusher, wide receiver and cornerback. How do these positions rank as far as strength in this year’s draft?

There is high quality and depth along defensive line while cornerback and offensive tackles will be positions where top talent will fall quickly. OT begins to slide after the top 4-5 prospects especially on the leftside. FA is also weak at LT. Edge rushers is always a critical but dicey position and a top priority for the Jets. The top edge rushers may be tagged in FA. Prospects, Josh Allen, Montez Sweat, Jachai Polite and Brian Burns will probably fall in that order after Nick Bosa goes before the Jets 1st round selection. I love both Allen and Sweat and think they are great fits for the Jets and rookie starters.

Wide receiver is a deep group with a few top prospects considered true #1 receivers. I like N’Keal Harry best with AJ Brown and DK Metcalf next, though none belong before the mid first round or later. Cornerback is a quality group with Greedy Williams and Deandre Baker the top two prospects who are expected to come off the board in the top selections. Corner will be a high priority for Jets especially if two FAs leave in the offseason. Greedy Williams would be an excellent fit and probably comes off the board in the top 5 picks. The corner class is deep and should see many future starters come from the middle round.     

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5. Things may change but right now, give Jets fans 3 players in each round that the Jets should consider knowing where they pick?

1st round (#3 overall) – LB Josh Allen, DT Quinnen Williams, DL Rashan Gary, CB Greedy Williams
2nd round (no pick)

3rd round (two picks, own & New Orleans)
 OLB DeAndre Walker, CB Rock Ya-Sin, WR Riley Ridley, LB Germaine Pratt, CB Kendall Sheffield, RT Kaleb McGary,  OL Elgton Jenkins and RB Benny Snell.                            

4th round
LB Ben Banogu, OT Max Scharping, WR Emanuel Hall or DT Dontavius Russell,                                      

5th round
DT Daylon Mack, CB Alijah Holder, DE Jonathan Ledbetter or CB David Long                                     

6th round (no pick)
7th round
CB Sean Bunting, WR Preston Williams, OT Derwin Gray or RB Wes Hills 

6. Everyone is looking for the next Brady situation getting a steal in the late rounds. What players are teams overlooking who are slated as late round picks or un-drafted free agents?

RB Rodney Anderson of Oklahoma and OLB Porter Gustin of Southern California were rated higher but have fallen off injury concerns. If they check out medically, late steals with definite upside potential. Linemen, OT Derwin Gray of Maryland and OG Lanard Bonner of Arkansas St are falling through the cracks and both carry starting NFL grades in time. Gray is very intriguing for the outside. Wideouts DaMarkus Lodge of Mississippi and Emmanuel Butler of Northern Arizona have talent to compete for the possession receiver role. Both have size and starting talent, though need to settle into a system. Definite late steals with real upside.                        

7. I am hoping that the Jets trade back with one of the teams looking for a quarterback. What do you see the chances of that happening and how do you rate this year’s QB class? 

Trading back in top half of first round keeps Jets in range of top defensive players and probably earns a #2 pick. It would be a wise move. This years’ QB class is not equal to last year. Two high prospects Dwayne Haskins and Kyler Murray are only one year starters. Teams like the Jaguars, Bengals, Giants, Redskins and Dolphins are interested in moving up. Broncos appear out after the trade for Joe Flacco. Redskins hold the 15th overall pick in first round and want to land a top QB. Jets would certainly have to get a #2 pick plus future high picks to move to middle of the round.

Raiders could be a Wild card here with three #1 picks including #4 overall plus two late #1 picks. Moving back to the Jaguars would be ironic moving from the 3rd overall to the 6th overall choice after doing the opposite last year to move up with the Colts to land Darnold. Maybe Jaguars Tom Coughlin is willing to part with three #2 picks like the Jets did last year. Great dream for Jet fans.

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8. Are there any division 2 or 3 players the Jets should look at?

CB Corey Ballantine of Washburn (Ks) and RB Wes Hills of Slippery Rock (Pa) are two D2 prospects I like. Both showed well at the All-star weeks and helped their cause. They both need to follow up with strong NFL Combine workouts.

9. Do you see any players especially QBs that might have a chance at another position in the NFL?

Murray is definite wild card – QB, running back and wideout like Tyreek Hill. Limited other QBs, but maybe Eric Dungey of Syracuse could apply his athleticism to a deluxe role weapon.

10. When do you think Kyler Murray will be picked? Round and what # pick?

Murray is a wild card. The game has changed and several teams will value him high, probable top ten pick. His size leaves a lot of questions for taking 60+ snaps a game at QB. I would have real difficulty taking him in the first round without a super plan in an offense. 

11. Any additional thoughts on the NY Jet situation and how they should proceed?

With the 3rd overall pick, a few hot prospects will emerge and give the Jets a few options moving back in the first round. Jacksonville with 6th overall pick is a natural landing spot, just a question of the price Maccagnan can extract from the Jaguars. That would be the best situation for Jets. At 6th pick, they still get a blue-chip defender and probably their pick of any offensive linemen or skilled position players. Teams build on top 100 draft choices and adding a few this year could be vital to any turnaround, especially if their FA strategy lands 3 to 4 prime additions. 


12. What are your thoughts on the coaches that Adam Gase hired?

I really like the signing of HC Adam Gase. It wouldn’t be the first coach who failed in his first assignment. He is an excellent fit for young QB Sam Darnold and I would expect his career to take off with strong coaching from Gase. New offensive coordinator Dowell Loggains reunites with Gase after time in both Chicago and Miami. Loggains is a fine addition to staff. It is important in a few key areas, experience together and success in many respects. It’s important also that Gase does not have to coach the coaches on offense. That helps Darnold immensely. 
New defensive coordinator Gregg Williams will bring his aggressive approach to the game and will give this unit a definite boost. He has made impact at several stops and can give the Jets defense new life. He does need some edge rushers and good cover man to implement his system.  He brings a tough mentality that was slipping recently despite some highly regarded prospects.
 Frank Coyle of   www.draftinsiders.com

What The Jet Scribes Are Saying
Brian Costello, NY Post
Three players the Jets will have their eyes on at the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis:

Josh Allen, OLB, Kentucky
The 6-foot-5 Allen wreaked havoc on Wildcats opponents this year, notching 17 sacks. The Jets desperately need an outside rusher, but Allen may be off the board before the Jets pick at No. 3.

Quinnen Williams, DL, Alabama
The Jets already have one strong defensive lineman named Williams. Could they add another? Quinnen Williams and Leonard Williams would give the Jets a fearsome defensive line that would be tough for teams to handle. Quinnen had eight sacks for the Crimson Tide last year and was dominant at times.

Andy Isabella, WR, UMass
The Jets are in the market for a speedy slot receiver for Adam Gase’s offense. Isabella fits the bill. All eyes will be on Isabella when he runs the 40-yard dash this week. He said in January he had run a 4.26 hand-timed 40, which would be close to the Combine record of 4.22 by John Ross.

Around The NFL
…..The NFL suspended Cowboys defensive end Randy Gregory indefinitely Tuesday for violating the league’s substance abuse policy as well as the conditions of his reinstatement from a previous suspension. Now, comes word from Adam Schefter of ESPN that Cowboys defensive tackle David Irving is under evaluation for a potential suspension.…..As Mike Clay of ESPN showed in a chart posted to his twitter account last Thursday, the turnover among the top three positions on NFL coaching staffs (head coach, offensive/defensive coordinator) over the two last seasons is sizable. The turnover of the coordinator positions, in particular, is staggering. Since the start of the 2017 NFL season, over 75 percent of coordinator positions in the NFL have changed.…..Patriots safety Devin McCourty suggested in the days preceding the Super Bowl that he’d possibly retire. He now says that he’ll be back for 2019. “I’m gonna play,” McCourty told the Sports Spectrum podcast…..The Lions have hired Kyle Caskey as their new running backs coach, Aditi Kinkhabwala of NFL Network reports…..Ndamukong Suh appears as uncertain about his future as everyone else speculating on where he might end up. The Rams defensive tackle becomes a free agent next month. “We’ll see,” Suh said, via TMZ Sports, when asked about returning to the Rams…..Tom Brady has set another NFL record: Most expensive football card. A card featuring Brady as a rookie sold for $400,100, the highest price ever for a football card, according to ESPN…..



2019 NFL Draft Order
*Asterik next to teams that might draft QBs
Rnd. Pick # NFL team
1 1 Arizona Cardinals *       
1 2 San Francisco 49ers       
1 3 New York Jets       
1 4 Oakland Raiders *     
1 5 Tampa Bay Buccaneers*       
1 6 New York Giants  *     
1 7 Jacksonville Jaguars *       
1 8 Detroit Lions       
1 9 Buffalo Bills       
1 10 Denver Broncos *       
1 11 Cincinnati Bengals *       
1 12 Green Bay Packers *       
1 13 Miami Dolphins *       
1 14 Atlanta Falcons       
1 15 Washington Redskins *       
1 16 Carolina Panthers       
1 17 Cleveland Browns       
1 18 Minnesota Vikings       
1 19 Tennessee Titans       
1 20 Pittsburgh Steelers       
1 21 Seattle Seahawks *       
1 22 Baltimore Ravens       
1 23 Houston Texans       
1 24 Oakland Raiders    from Chicago [R1 - 1]
1 25 Philadelphia Eagles       
1 26 Indianapolis Colts       
1 27 Oakland Raiders    from Dallas [R1 - 2]
1 28 Los Angeles Chargers *       
1 29 Kansas City Chiefs       
1 30 Green Bay Packers  from New Orleans [R1 - 3]
1 31 Los Angeles Rams       
1 32 New England Patriots*


NFL Calendar:
Feb. 26-March 4 -- NFL combine, Indianapolis.
March 13 -- League year and free agency begin.
March 24-27 -- Annual owners meeting, Phoenix.
April 25-27 -- NFL draft, Nashville, Tenn.

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Wednesday, February 20, 2019

3rd Draft Preview With WalterFootball.com

Latest Jet Moves From Brian Costello, NY Post
The Jets declined the team options Tuesday on three defensive backups — nose tackle Mike Pennel, linebacker Kevin Pierre-Louis and safety Terrence Brooks.

The moves created about $5.5 million in salary-cap space, leaving the Jets a little more than $100 million under the cap. They also have a league-low 39 players under contract, so there is a lot of work to be done in free agency.

Jet Free Agents-Keep’em Or Not

Decision time is coming for the Jets and the rest of the NFL. Here is my take on the Jets free agents.

Jonotthan Harrison, C
Keep him! Sign him and give him a raise. You know my thoughts on offensive lineman. We need as many good ones as possible. Harrison started the final 8 of 9 games at center last year and I though he did a very good job. In fact the year before I couldn’t understand why he didn’t play more instead of Wesley Johnson. Love for Harrison to diversify and learn the guard position. He can become very valuable. 

Josh McCown, QB
Don’t keep him! Mccown will be 40 years old. He has been a good Jet for two years though when Darnold went down, it was obvious that Josh can’t play anymore. He has been a great mentor for Darnold and if there is some way the Jets can keep him as an assistant quarterbacks coach, I would do it.

Henry Anderson, DE
Keep him!  He tied for the team-lead in sacks with seven and was a disruptive force. He is 27 and I would disregard the talk that he is not a fit in Gregg Williams’ defense. The Jets don’t have any pass rushers knocking the door down to play for them. 

Buster Skrine, CB  
Don’t Keep him. This cornerback has driven Jet fans crazy with his untimely penalties. He showed he can be a pretty good blitzer but he’ll be 30 in April and the Jets need someone who can stay with Edelman in the slot.

Morris Claiborne, CB
Not sure! He made some great plays this past year and looked like the player people thought he would become when he was chosen the 6th player in the draft. On the other hand some of his penalties left Jet fans scratching their head. For a great athlete, he looked so un-athletic at times it was crazy. What ever the Jets do, I wouldn’t give him more than a one-year contract which would make it his third in a row.

Jason Myers, K
Keep him! I say that but he may want to cash in on his Pro Bowl season. If he prices himself out of the market, let him go. Remember the Jets got him off waivers and kickers are so hot and cold I never like to commit a huge contract to one.

Jermaine Kearse, WR
Don’t keep him! Nice guy and good receiver but he made too many clumsy plays this season. The Jets have got to get younger and faster. Kearse is just not a burner.

Neville Hewitt, LB
Keep him! Hewitt was very active the last 4 games of the year filling in for Darron Lee. If you gave me a choice between the two, I’d take Hewitt. Adam Gase had him in Miami and cut him once but all I know is #46 was on my screen a lot in the last 4 games he played.

Brandon Copeland, OLB
Keep him! Like Hewitt, Copeland made plays when he was on the field. He had 5 sacks for the Jets. He has been around the NFL since 2013 with the Jets being his 4th team. This Ivy league product from the University of Pennsylvania can be a solid player off the bench.

Darryl Roberts, CB
Keep him! If I had a choice, I’d keep him over Trumaine Johnson which will never happen. This CB who also played safety showed some talent. A former 7th round pick by the “dark side” Roberts was late for a meeting or more and was benched the last game of the season.

Bilal Powell, RB
Keep him! Everyone says he is gone. If he comes back 100% from his injury, why would the Jets cut this vastly underrated pro? All he does is run hard, catch passes, block and is a great locker room guy. Powell can be a very good spot player. And if the Jets upgrade their offensive line, I’d love to see how effective he can be.

Steve McLendon, NT
Don’t Keep him. At 33 years old this mountain of a man is just not as effective as he once was. The Jets need a huge upgrade here!

James Carpenter, G 
Keep him! He is probably gone. But after losing Spencer Long (he played well at guard) and until I see a plan and the Jets pursue offensive lineman, I would keep him but leave the final decision up to new offensive line coach Frank Pollack. I’ve said for two years that Carpenter would play much better if he lost 15 lbs. 

Other free agents:
OL Ben Ijalana, OL -Don’t Keep Him.
Brent Qvale,-Don’t Keep Him.
OL Dakota Dozier-Keep him,
TE Neal Sterling,-Keep him
S Rontez Miles, Don’t Keep Him.
OLB Josh Martin,Don’t Keep Him.
OLB Jeremiah Attaochu,Don’t Keep Him.
LB Emmanuel Lamur Don’t Keep Him.
WR Rishard Matthews.Don’t Keep Him.


Jets Long Shot Receivers To Root For!

I’m one of the only people who really think that Robby Anderson can develop into a #1 receiver. He has the size and the speed. If he has the desire to master his craft like a Julian Edelman and perfect his route running, and maybe stay off the road in the off season, he has the potential to be an All-Pro. It is all up to him.  Some Jet fans want them to sign Antonio Brown. This would be a huge mistake. The interesting thing about wide receivers, if you have a good eye and patience, you can get one on the cheap. There is story after story about wide receivers that go un-drafted or switch positions to (receiver) and make it. Every team is looking for these type of players so they don’t have to spend draft picks and millions for established players like Antonio Brown or Odell Beckham Jr. (me thinks he will be an ex-Giant soon). Look at Adam Thielen of the Minnesota Vikings. He was an un-drafted free agent who did not receive an invitation to the NFL Combine. In the last two years Thielen has caught 204 passes for 2,649 yards and 13 TDs. Very impressive. Mike Maccagnan has been doing pretty good getting receivers in the later rounds or in free agency. Quincy Enunwa was a 6th round pick. Chris Herndon was a 4th round pick and Robby Anderson was an un-drafted free agent. And now the Jets just signed two other wide receivers in the last month that are both very interesting stories. The players are Tim White and DeAngelo Yancey. Both were signed to future reserve contracts and will be busting their butts to make the 53-man roster. I’m not a betting man but I would say one of the two will make the Jets. DeAngelo Yancey was drafted by the Green Bay Packers in the fifth round of the 2017 NFL Draft with the 175th overall selection. Tim White signed with the Baltimore Ravens as an un-drafted free agent in 2017. We’ll look at each one but first the money difference for practice squad players and roster players is night and day. In 2018 practice squad players were paid a minimum of $7,600 per week, which equates to $129,200 for the season. The NFL minimum salary in 2019 will be $495,000 which is almost 4X as much. So the money motivation is there for the player(s) if they have the ability and the desire.

Tim White
Full disclosure that I have been a Tim White fan going back to his days at Arizona State University. His is one of those typical stories you hear about an athlete who works his way through horrible conditions. Growing up in the LA area, White actually walked round trip 16 miles each day to school and back. His days started at 5:30 AM. He was one of nine brothers and sisters in a family that was homeless for stretches of his childhood. His brother, Elwood who Tim was very close to was unfortunately shot to death in 2012. Where his bothered strayed into a life of gangs, Tim escaped through sports he became a dual sport athlete in both track and football (started in only his junior year) in high school. He went to a junior college and in two years at ASU, he had 3,381 all-purpose yards and 12 TDs. He is slightly built at 5 feet 10, 181 pounds. But why this story is a little different from similar ones you and I hear is that this former 2016 Olympic trials participant not only worked hard on the athletic field but he actually took a loving to scholastics and eventually took pride to get better grades instead of just depending on football. In addition to being a potential slot receiver, White returns punts and kickoffs. I’ve seen him at his best and he is explosive. His chance to wear the new Jet uniform this Fall is very small but as a Jet fan and ASU alumni, I’m rooting for Tim White to be a New York Jet.

Scouting Report
Collegiate triple-jumper with good speed and great explosiveness. Plays fast when attacking down the field. Early accelerator off the line of scrimmage and runs with a smooth gait. Has ability to hit second gear and climb over cornerback. Tape shows a quality ball tracker able to adjust his route and body to the throw. Has unusually large hands for his size. Bouncy feet help trigger quick escapes when challenged by press corners. Operates with good foot quickness in and out of his breaks with a whip route that can put cornerbacks in a trailing position. Talented return man with two years of experience as both a kick and punt returner at Arizona State.

                                  Tim White Highlights


DeAngelo Yancey
DeAngelo Yancey was drafted by the Green Bay Packers in the fifth round of the 2017 NFL Draft with the 175th overall selection. He is from Georgia and was never considered a five star football player and only ranked as a  three-star recruit by Rivals.com. Yancey was one of the state's top sprinters. He got a scholarship to Purdue and during his career there he played in 39 games and caught 141 passes for 2,344 yards and 20 touchdowns. While with the Packers, Yancey had players like Devante Adams, Randall Cobb and Jordy Nelson ahead of him on the depth chart plus a quarterback that was calling most of the shots on offense. He spent part of last season on the Packers practice squad but was released in October. Like Tim White, Yancey seems to have some kind of maturity that has inspired him to work at his craft. It is a tough climb to make an NFL roster and tomorrow the Jets could say good-bye to both. But these are the type of players you hope will make the best of any chance to make it in the NFL. Let’s hope the Jets got something here!

Scouting Report
A good player on a bad team, DeAngelo Yancey has the size and speed to fight for a spot in the NFL. Averaged 19.4 yards per touch his senior season. He's a vertical threat with the stride and long speed to take defenses over the top. With his size, Yancey can go up and get 50/50 balls and has the length to be a threat in contested situations. Yancey's top-end speed and range are eye-catching and his 10 touchdowns in 2016 provided him the film to show teams what he can do as a developmental prospect. 

                                                                DeAngelo Yancey 



_________________________________________________________________________________
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1. Knowing the Jets have $99+ million in cap space and their weaknesses, where and on who would you spend the money on?
 The Jets must upgrade the offensive line, first and foremost. They need to protect Sam Darnold. There are some quality blockers available on the market like center Matt Paradis, guard Rodger Saffold and right tackle Ja'Wuan James. I'd like to see the Jets obtain at least one of them, then perhaps another somewhat lesser offensive lineman. 


2. The talk here is NY is that the Jets may pursue Le'Veon Bell in free agency. Is this a good move?
I would not pursue Le'Veon Bell. He wants too much money, and teams aren't going to get the same player as before, at least not for the long term. Bell is also a bad guy to have in the locker room. Running backs grow on trees, so overpaying for a runner seems like a bad idea to me.


3. Is this year a strong draft?
This is not a strong draft. It was expected to be strong, but several players returned to school, while others like Deionte Thompson and Bryce Love have seen their draft stock plummet for various reasons. The 2020 draft class looks excellent.

4. The Jets have tons of holes to fill especially at: offensive line, edge pass rusher, wide receiver and cornerback. How do these positions rank as far as strength in this year’s draft?
This is the year to get an edge rusher, and the Jets should be able to obtain either Josh Allen or Nick Bosa with their first pick. Edge rusher is strong, while the other positions are medium to slightly sub par in terms of strength.

5. Things may change but right now, give Jets fans 3 players in each round that the Jets should consider knowing where they pick?
The first pick should be one of Allen, Bosa or Quinnen Williams. Round 3 could be a receiver like J.J. Arcega-Whiteside, a cornerback like Saivion Smith or a running back like Darrell Henderson. Round 4 could be an interior lineman like Ross Pierschbacher, a cornerback like Sean Bunting or a running back like Wes Hills. In Round 5, the Jets could take a receiver like Keelan Doss, an edge rusher like Ben Banogu or a running back like Alex Barnes. In Round 7, the Jets could take a cornerback like Alijah Holder, an edge rusher like Nate Hall or  a tackle like Bobby Evans.

6. Everyone is looking for the next Brady situation getting a steal in the late rounds. What players are teams overlooking who are slated as late round picks or un-drafted free agents?
Some late-round sleepers include an edge rusher like Penn State's Shareef Miller, who has plenty of upside and a frame to pack on some muscle, and cornerback Jimmy Moreland, who is a very instinctive cornerback from James Madison who will likely play in the slot.

7. I am hoping that the Jets trade back with one of the teams looking for a quarterback. What do you see the chances of that happening and how do you rate this year’s QB class?
 I could definitely see that happening, most likely with the Redskins or Dolphins. This quarterback class is not very good. The 2020 and 2021 quarterback classes will be far better.

8. Are there any division 2 or 3 players the Jets should look at?
John Cominsky from Charleston (Division II) would be a solid choice in the fifth round. He looked great at the East-West Shrine Game. 

9. Do you see any players especially QBs that might have a chance at another position in the NFL?
This may sound crazy, but Kyler Murray is too short to be a quarterback, so if he fails at the position, he would be a great receiver/offensive weapon, but he'd likely go to baseball if he were to fail at quarterback. Buffalo's Tyree Jackson is another quarterback who could move to receiver.

10. When do you think Kyle Murray will be picked?
I think Murray will be taken in the top 15. Every team Charlie and I have spoken to believes Murray should be a second-round pick, but will go in the first because he's a hot name.

What The Jet Scribes Are Saying
Brian Costello, NY Post
The 2019 Jets are going to look drastically different than their 2018 counterparts. Adam Gase and a nearly entire new coaching staff is in place, but the roster also will be much different. The Jets have 23 players scheduled to become unrestricted free agents on March 13, or 43 percent of their 53-man roster. It is a big number, and it will be interesting to see how many of them re-sign with the Jets. Gang Green already took care of locking up their priority on the free-agent list with a four-year, $36 million extension for wide receiver Quincy Enunwa in December. Now, general manager Mike Maccagnan must comb through his other free agents and get evaluations from Gase and his staff to see who is worth keeping and to whom they should wave goodbye…..They have one notable restricted free agent — wide receiver Robby Anderson, who should be in line for a second-round tender.




2019 NFL Draft Order
*Asterik next to teams that might draft QBs
Rnd. Pick # NFL team
1 1 Arizona Cardinals *       
1 2 San Francisco 49ers       
1 3 New York Jets       
1 4 Oakland Raiders *     
1 5 Tampa Bay Buccaneers*       
1 6 New York Giants  *     
1 7 Jacksonville Jaguars *       
1 8 Detroit Lions       
1 9 Buffalo Bills       
1 10 Denver Broncos *       
1 11 Cincinnati Bengals *       
1 12 Green Bay Packers *       
1 13 Miami Dolphins *       
1 14 Atlanta Falcons       
1 15 Washington Redskins *       
1 16 Carolina Panthers       
1 17 Cleveland Browns       
1 18 Minnesota Vikings       
1 19 Tennessee Titans       
1 20 Pittsburgh Steelers       
1 21 Seattle Seahawks *       
1 22 Baltimore Ravens       
1 23 Houston Texans       
1 24 Oakland Raiders    from Chicago [R1 - 1]
1 25 Philadelphia Eagles       
1 26 Indianapolis Colts       
1 27 Oakland Raiders    from Dallas [R1 - 2]
1 28 Los Angeles Chargers *       
1 29 Kansas City Chiefs       
1 30 Green Bay Packers  from New Orleans [R1 - 3]
1 31 Los Angeles Rams       
1 32 New England Patriots*


NFL Calendar:
Feb. 26-March 4 -- NFL combine, Indianapolis.
March 13 -- League year and free agency begin.
March 24-27 -- Annual owners meeting, Phoenix.
April 25-27 -- NFL draft, Nashville, Tenn.