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Sunday, April 8, 2018

Jets Scavenger Hunt In Scrapheap

  Say what you want about General Manager Mike Maccagnan but he should get an A for effort signing players who are deemed low risk, high reward. What some may view as a MASH unit of concussed football players, the Jets have made some interesting subtle moves. The one common denominator for the new free agents signings (not Josh McCown for example) is that the age of the players are mostly below 28 years old with wide receiver/kick returner Andre Roberts being 30 years old. Of course the “big splash” signing was CB Trumaine Johnson who will make Morris Claiborne and the whole secondary better. Running back Isaiah Crowell is a fine pick-up but it is former Seahawks back Thomas Rawls who to me is one of the more interesting signings. After an outstanding rookie year, Rawls has been hurt with a severe ankle injury hampering his return to his former self. The Jets got him on the cheap and it shouldn’t take the coaching staff long in training camp, maybe a week to see if he is worth carrying on the roster. Expect Teddy Bridgewater to start training camp on the PUP (Physically Unable to Perform) list while his bad knee continues to heal. In fact I’d be surprised if Bridgewater practices on back to back days during the whole season. 
  Terrelle Pryor is my favorite signing. Two years ago I convinced my son to take him on his fantasy team even though he was on the Cleveland Browns. Pryor had an incredible first half of the season making the adjustment from quarterback to wide receiver. He had 77 receptions for 1,007 yards and 5 TDS (1 rushing) on the winless Browns. Pryor will stretch the field and can run with the ball. Look for him in the Wildcat and he may throw a pass or two.
  Replacing center Wes Johnson with Spencer Long and Travis Swanson was not the Jets first choice. Both have a history of injuries but it is still an improvement over Johnson. With improvement play from the center position, the Jets guards Brian Winters and James Carpenter (if still on the team) will be more effective. 
  The tight ends picked up this week Clive Warford (Raiders) and Bucky Hodges (Vikings) have a good chance to stick. Warford has a better chance. He has 70 career receptions for 768 yards in 44 games. Not Gronk numbers but this is a good pick up. 
  The Jets were active but not headliners and will be rolling over money into the 2019 season. As of this writing Johnathan Hankins the former Giant who played one year with the Colts and was cut visited the Jets a couple of days ago. There is a need on the defensive line and this would be a good signing.

Jets Free Agent Signings
QB Josh McCown: One year, $10 million
QB Teddy Bridgewater: One year, $5 million
RB Isaiah Crowell: Three years, $12 million
RB Thomas Rawls: Agrees to deal
WR Terrelle Pryor: Agrees to deal
WR Andre Roberts: Agrees to deal
TE Clive Warford: Claimed off waivers
TE Bucky Hodges: Agrees to deal
OT Ben Ijalana: One year
G Spencer Long: Agrees to deal
C Travis Swanson: Agrees to deal
C Jonotthan Harrison: One year
DE Xavier Cooper: One year
DT Mike Pennel: Three years, $12 million max
OLB Kevin Pierre-Louis: Two years, $6 million
OLB Brandon Copeland: Agrees to deal
ILB Avery Williamson: Three years, $22.5 million
ILB Neville Hewitt: Agrees to deal
CB Trumaine Johnson: Five years, $72.5 million
CB Morris Claiborne: One year, $7 million
S Terrence Brooks: Two years
K Cairo Santos: One year, $2 million

Jets Mock Draft 2.0

1. Baker Mayfield, QB Oklahoma
I feel like Faye Dunaway in Chinatown when Jack Nicholson keeps slapping her and she keeps repeating …”she’s my sister, she’s my daughter, she’s my sister.” Green Rewind’s Ray Clifford and Ralph Sharaga are now slapping me and I keep repeating…..”Baker Mayfield, Josh Rosen, Baker Mayfield, Josh Allen.” Josh Rosen’s concussion history keeps haunting me. I listened to Steve Palazzolo from Pro Football Focus on the radio this week and he made an incredible case for Mayfield. He had the stats to back it up even with Mayfield throwing into tight windows. So “today” he is my pick.

2. No pick

3. Kemoko Turay, Rutgers, Edge rusher, Rutgers
Jets luck out as Turay slips into the 3rd round because of his history of shoulder surgeries. The 6’5” Newark NJ product is the real deal.
Came back with a strong 2017 season. Had 16 sacks, 24 QB hits and 70 hurries in four years.

4. Braden Smith, Guard, Auburn
Jets smarten up continuing to get depth on the offensive line. Smith started 27 consecutive games and held his own when playing against projected first round picks. An NFL scout said he lacks stamina to complete a consistent season and plays better in the first part of the season. Other scouts say he is coachable and has the potential to be a solid starter.

5. Nathan Shepard, Defensive Tackle, Fort Hays St.
The Jets dip into Division 2 for this 6’5” 315 pound project. He has put on 100 pounds since high school moving from linebacker to the line. This native of Ontario, Canada has tremendous upside and improved every week of the season. 

6. Antonio Callaway, WR, Florida
Callaway didn't play in 2017 because of a suspension. NFL teams already had major off-the-field concerns about Callaway. While he loves football, he has a lot of issues in terms of hanging out with bad influences, and teams are concerned about him consistently failing drug tests in the NFL. I would still take a shot at this 1st round talent. I remember when the Jets were told to stay away from Laveranues Coles when he came out of Florida State and he straightened out his life. Room him with Josh Mccown, Bilal Powell or Jamaal Adams. Keep him away from Robby Anderson.

7. Tanner Lee, QB, Nebraska 
I’ve come 180 degrees on this player. I thought he looked horrible at the Senior Bowl. But watching him during the Combine (I know, I say the Combine is overrated) he threw two out passes with a flick of the wrist that I haven’t seen since Marino. Take a shot and carrying four QBs with the Jet’s situation for a year is not a felony.

JETLINERS By Green Rewind Contributor Ralph Sharaga

1:  The concussions and shoulder injury are a concern for Josh Rosen, but the other stuff is ridiculous. Can you imagine if Joe Namath was in this year’s draft. With all the vetting they do now, he’d have more red flags than the Indy 500 during an ice storm. I can just hear Mel Kiper. “Knee injury, cocky attitude, party guy…mid to late 4th round.”

2: Speaking of Rosen, I think he and Jeremy Bates could be a great marriage personality-wise and I’d be glad to officiate the wedding.

3:  Todd Bowles was playing with house money last year since no one thought the Jets would win a game. Yeah, he won 5 games and got them to play, but his game management must improve or he’ll send Marty to an early grave. This year, his 4th, he needs to get to .500 or better to keep his job. And don’t feel badly, should he be fired. There are always job openings in the Trump White House.

4:  Glad the Jets didn’t pursue Suh.  If Bowles game management doesn’t send Marty to an early grave, Suh’s cheap shot penalties would have.

5:  Doubly glad Kirk Cousins chose Minnesota. All throughout that process, a voice in my head kept repeating the same thing over and over…”Neil O’Donnell 2.0…Neil O’Donnell 2.0.”

6:    Can you believe that Devin Smith is still on the Jet’s roster. He must’ve filled the void left by Vern Gholston. Seems like Ohio St. has an arrangement with the Jets that a Buckeye must waste a space on the Jet roster until hell freezes over - or the Jets win their second Super Bowl….and you know which of those will come first.

7:   Jets should have been suspicious of Robbie Anderson at his pro day when his 40 time was announced as, 0-60 in 4.34 seconds.

8:  Still think the Jets offensive line needs to improve - something Marty has been shouting about for the past 7 drafts. In its present state, Josh Allen would be the best fit. He spent all last season at Wyoming running for his life.

9:  The over/under on how many passes Terrelle Pryor will attempt next season is 4. I’ll take the under after his first one turns into a pick six. Still like the signing, though.

10:  Recently met a USC professor and big Trojan fan who attended the USC-UCLA game this past season. And even he admitted that Rosen looked far more advanced than Darnold. But what impressed him most was that Rosen warmed up before the game by serving tennis balls – all aces.

11:  Time to go out on a limb. As far as whom the Jets draft, I can’t give you his last name, but his first name will be Josh.

12:    Off topic:  Anyone notice the average age of the Mets starting lineup. On road trips this year, instead of hotels, they’ll be staying at assisted living facilities.

13: Jet trivia time. The AFL awarded the Jets the first pick in 1965 draft and had them do whatever was necessary to sign Namath. They also had the fourth pick in the draft and chose the legendary Tom Nowatzke. Who did Kansas City choose with the 5th pick?  Hint: If he were in this year’s draft, he’d be rated on a par with Saquon Barkley. Answer below:

That’s right. Gale Sayers. And we thought passing up Marino for O’Brien was bad.

What the Jets scribes are saying…..
Rich Cimini, ESPN
Mel Kiper Jr. and Todd McShay don't agree on everything -- that's for sure. But they have found common ground in regard to the New York Jets' pick in the upcoming draft:Josh Rosen.In their dueling mock drafts for ESPN, Kiper goes Josh Allen-Sam Darnold-Rosen in the first three picks, while McShay projects Darnold-Allen-Rosen. Picking second, the New York Giants could ruin the quarterback flow by picking running back Saquon Barkley, which is certainly feasible. But let's play along with Mel and Todd, analyzing their mocks from a Jets perspective.I believe the choice could be Baker Mayfield over Rosen in this scenario. Despite his size (a shade under 6 feet 1), lack of experience in a pro-style offense and minor character concerns, he's very much in play for the Jets, as I mentioned a couple of weeks ago. Surprised? Yeah, I am, too, but he has impressed the Jets during the pre-draft process. He's the most accurate passer in the draft and a winner. He has the "it" factor, something the Jets haven't had in a young quarterback in a long time. Frankly, I think he'd be a better choice than Rosen, whose own coach (Jim Mora) questioned his passion and commitment to football. You don't expect a prospect's college coach to be so brutally candid, but all Mora did was reinforce the perception that started to form when Rosen was a freshman at UCLA. The concerns go beyond his dorm-room hot tub and his outspoken personality; that stuff got blown out of proportion. What raises questions among some scouts is whether he loves football and whether his teammates love him. One AFC scout told me Rosen reminds him of the character Bo Callahan in the movie "Draft Day." If you need a refresher, Google it. As a passer, Rosen is the most polished of the top four quarterbacks. "Pro ready," is what the scouts say about him. He played 107 snaps from under center last season, the fifth most of any Power 5 quarterback. But here's the thing: The NFL isn't a 7-on-7 drill; there's more to playing quarterback than making pretty throws. Rosen can't play off-script as well as Darnold, Allen and Mayfield; he's a pure pocket passer with limited mobility. He has durability questions (a shoulder injury in 2016 and two concussions in 2017). And, come to think of it, what's he ever won? He was 17-13 as a starter at UCLA. Can he lift a franchise?

Brian Costello, NY Post
The Jets drafted running back Elijah McGuire last year, but they still might be in the market for another back in the middle rounds. Bilal Powell is in the final year of his contract and could be gone in 2019, so they may be looking to find a long-term back. A year after drafting wide receivers ArDarius Stewart and Chad Hansen, the Jets have a crowded receivers room. They signed Terrelle Pryor in free agency and are getting Quincy Enunwa back from injury. They have just six draft picks after moving up from No. 6 to 3 in the first round, so there are only so many areas they can address, and I don’t think receiver is one.
The Jets let Austin Seferian-Jenkins walk in free agency. They say they like Jordan Leggett, a fifth-round pick from a year ago, who missed his rookie season with a knee injury. Still, I think they could take a tight end in the middle rounds. Penn State’s Mike Gesicki is an athletic pass catcher who could be tempting if he lasts until the third round.

Manish Mehta, NY Daily News
The Jets quarterback decision is absolutely fascinating. My understanding is that it's a fluid and complicated situation. Shortly after Gang Green traded with the Colts to jump up to the No. 3 spot a couple weeks ago, I touched base with folks on One Jets Drive to get a better handle on the motivation behind the deal. The people in the organization that I spoke to loved Baker Mayfield's fire, competitiveness and leadership, but thought he was a tick below Sam Darnold, Josh Allen and Josh Rosen at that time. However, they cautioned that there was still an important part of the evaluation process that included Pro Days — and more importantly — the impending private workouts and visits to Florham Park. Make no mistake: The Jets are currently divided on which quarterback to take at No. 3. Oh, sure. The team will invariably try to sell us that (INSERT DRAFTED QB HERE) was the top choice all along, but I've heard enough varying opinions about these four quarterbacks from inside the organization to know better. Let's get something clear: There isn't a civil war on One Jets Drive, but there are varying opinions and preferences. This regime has encouraged healthy debate through the years for all draft prospects, so I firmly believe that it's a good thing that there are differing positions on the top four signal callers. It shouldn't come as a surprise, after all. There are good and not-so-good traits for each of those players. Full disclosure: Rosen would be my choice if he's on the board. The former UCLA quarterback has drawn comparisons to Jay Cutler because of his intellect and relatively low tolerance for people who don't share his football I.Q. New offensive coordinator Jeremy Bates got the best out of Cutler in Denver and Chicago. I have confidence that Bates would help turn Rosen, a quiet leader, into a star for the next decade. It would be a perfect personality match.Rosen might not have the escapability to make plays off schedule like the other three guys, but he is the best in the pocket. When I see Rosen, I see Matt Ryan.

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