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Sunday, March 31, 2019

Jets Move From Free Agency To The Draft!

As we move away from the free agent period, most of the big names have been signed. The big one still left is Ezekiel Ansah, the edge pass rusher who is still unsigned because teams are waiting for the Dr.’s report on his injured shoulder. The Jets have been signing some of their own players. Within the last couple of days WR Deontay Burnett, DB Jeremy Clark, QB Davis Webb, OL Ben Braden and S Doug Middleton have all signed their exclusive rights tenders. The Jets are still thin (real thin) at offensive line so don’t be surprised if they pick up a few veteran players such as: John Sullivan (C), Brett Jones (C), Josh Sitton (G) or Corey Robinson (T) among others. Missing out on centers Mitch Morsse and Matt Paradis, Jets offensive line coach Frank Pollack (best off season PU by Jets) knows what the team needs and his voice will be heard in the next 4 weeks. Moving toward draft day, Green Rewind’s own rankings have changed a bit. Here are our latest top ten:

1) Nick Bosa, Ohio State, Edge
2) Ed Oliver, Houston, DL
3) Quinnen Williams, Alabama, DL
4) Montez Sweat, Miss. St., Edge
5) Clelin Ferrell, Clemson, Edge
6) Josh Allen, KY., Edge
7) Jawaan Taylor, Florida, OL
8) Rashan Gary, DL, Michigan
9) Devin White, LB, LSU
10)T.J. Hockenson, TE, Iowa

Please keep in mind this is not the way I think the draft will go. But it is my rankings based on talent. A few things.

1) We love Nick Bosa. He has the best skill set of any of this overloaded defensive talent draft. A lot of Jet fans are enamored with Josh Allen the pass rusher from Kentucky. He is one of the most gifted athletes you will ever see. But in reviewing all his film, I am not convinced he will get by with his talent in the NFL. I had addressed this before but if you look closely at his sacks, they are all basically the same move. He uses his incredible speed to go around the tackle to the outside almost untouched. There is very little film of him doing a spin move, a bull rush, splitting a double team or even doing stunts to go inside. His move is the same almost each and every sack. I would pass on Josh Allen.

2) I had Quinnen Williams as the second most talented player in the draft but this has changed. Now I would take Houston’s Ed Oliver before Williams but it’s very close. And I changed it before Oliver’s pro day last week. Both players have an incredible first step. What stands out to me about Ed Oliver is that this 6’3” 291 lbs. Houston native has a motor unlike anything I’ve seen in a long time. He has an edge to him getting into an on field argument with his coach but I think this is a positive. So Ed Oliver is a nose ahead of Quinnen Williams but both will be excellent pros.  
                                   Ed Oliver Highlights

3) Okay, here is a scenario we may see next month in Nashville for the top 10 picks.

1 Arizona Cardinals-Kyler Murray QB, Oklahoma, It’s pretty well known how new coach Kliff Kingsbury feels about Murray. Rumors are swirling that Josh Rosen is on the market.   
2 San Francisco 49ers-Quinnen Williams, DL, Alabama, With Dee “offside” Ford signed as a free agent, GM John Lynch bypasses Nick Bosa and goes for this great DL from Alabama. 
3 New York Jets-Nick Bosa, Ohio State, Edge, GM Mike Maccagnan can’t resist Bosa after fielding incredible last second offers from teams wanting to move up to the Jets spot.   
4 Oakland Raiders- Ed Oliver, Houston, DL. Jon Gruden loves the Raider mystique and loves getting guys who fit. No one on the draft board fits in more with the Raiders than Oliver. 
5 Tampa Bay Buccaneers-Dwayne Haskins, QB Ohio State, Despite assurances from new coach Bruce Arians that Jameis Winston is the starter, he can’t resist what Haskins offers. 
6 New York Giants-Josh Allen, KY., Edge, GM Dave Gettleman insists if Allen wasn’t available, he would have traded out of round. He adds, “hog mollies will be gotten later on.”     
7 Jacksonville Jags-T.J. Hockenson, TE, Iowa, With Doug Marrone on notice, Tom Coughlin reaches for this 21 year old who had 49 catches with 6 TDs as a sophomore. And he blocks well. 

8 Detroit Lions- Drew Lock, QB, Missouri, With Matt Stafford throwing only 21 TD passes, Matt Patricia cannot pass up on Lock who has a rifle & his personality reminds him of Brady. 
9 Buffalo Bills-D. K. Metcalf, WR, Old Miss., Continuing with surrounding Josh Allen with quality, Bills can’t resist this dynamic WR who averaged 21.9 yards per reception.      

10 Denver Broncos-Daniel Jones, QB, Duke, John Elway’s prayers are answered as he plucks the player the Broncos had rated as the most complete quarterback on the board.   

T-Ball Skills & Drills

It is extremely possible that for the second consecutive year (3rd if you count Jamal Adams) that a player unexpectingly falls right into the Jets lap. As I have been saying for weeks now, and even years if you have followed me, the closer we get to draft day the quarterback feeding frenzy will take hold. My rankings talent wise do not include a QB in the top 10 but because there is such a desperate need to get that franchise quarterback, teams overpay and overrate players at that position. Case in point is to look at what Denver GM John Elway has gone through the last few years trying to find that missing piece. Starting in 2008 with Jay Cutler as the starter, here is a list of players who have started regular season games for the Broncos at quarterback:
Kyle Orton, Chris Simms,Tim Tebow, Peyton Manning, Brock Osweiler, Trevor Simian, Paxton Lynch and Case Keenum. And this list doesn’t tell the whole story considering Manning started 57 games during that span. The point is (and we Jet fans know this) it is incredibly hard to find that franchise quarterback. Why is this important to Jet fans? Even though the 2019 crop is not as good as the 2018, teams will reach and reach hard. The Jets picking 3 are in a wonderful position to be in. I wasn’t overly happy that Mike Maccagnan was lobbying publicly the Jets willingness to trade down. He should have been more political with a statement like: “We love the position we are in and will stay there considering the quality of players at the top of this year’s draft. I’ll never say never but unless we are blown away with an offer, we are good with the third pick.” Right now there are an abundance of teams looking for a quarterback. I count at least 13. If the Jets trade out of the 3rd pick, they should not move down too far. I would be reluctant to move out of the top 10 and even hesitant about moving below 6. I strongly feel the Jets pick becomes more valuable as we get closer to draft day. And Maccagnan might want to consider waiting for the draft itself before even considering a trade. He’ll be under pressure with the clock but he should come prepared with 31 different scenarios written out. Of all the teams that need quarterbacks that might contact the Jets about their pick, I would say Denver, Washington and Cincinnati would be the most likely suitors. I would also say Miami but there is no way the Jets will entertain a trade to better a team in their division. 


How The Eagles Moved From 13 to 2 To Draft Wentz
Just to show how a team does it the right way one should look at the Philadelphia Eagles and the 2016 draft. The Eagles had the 13th pick. They were infatuated with Carson Wentz the quarterback from North Dakota State. Picking 13th the Eagles knew they had to get up to the 1st or 2nd pick to have a chance. It would be a major undertaking to do it with one trade so Eagle General Manager, Brooklyn born Howie Roseman planned to try and make the move with multiple trades. The first step was to get into the top 10. For this Philadelphia sent Byron Maxwell, Kiko Alonso and the 13th overall pick to Miami for the Dolphins' No. 8 pick. Then about a week before the draft the Eagles acquired the No. 2 overall pick in a trade with the Cleveland Browns. The Browns received Philadelphia's No. 8 overall pick, a third- and fourth-round selection in the draft, and their first-round pick and second-round pick in 2018. The Eagles also got a conditional fifth-round pick (a compensatory fourth-rounder) from the Browns the following season. At the time of this trade, almost everyone thought the Eagles overpaid and overpaid a lot. Howie Roseman realized the value of a franchise quarterback and with a lot of help from Nick Foles, the Eagles went out and won a Super Bowl within two years of the trade. It was a brilliant move by Roseman. Teams might be reluctant to try the same this year waiting for the next super QB crop in 2020 but I promise you there will be teams that will be enamored with Kyler Murray, Dwayne Haskins and Drew Lock. This is all good for the Jets. Now don’t blow it!

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My Jet Draft Nightmare
As we get closer to draft time, I have to confess my own personal demon with my March and April horrible nightmare. Every year as we approach the draft, I have some great memories. Going down to New York City to watch the draft live with friends Ralph Sharaga and Len Kaye. I cherished those days even though we heard names like Mike Taylor, Carl Barzilauskas and Johnny "Lam" Jones come from an always tanned Pete Rozelle as Jet first round picks. Despite these busts we continued our trek into the city excited to see celebrities like Howard Cosell and Paul Zimmerman walking the floor before the picks started. It was the 1983 draft that it started. Ralph had been touting Dan Marino for three years and I became something of a Pitt Panther fan following Marino. In his senior year he threw 17 TD passes and 23 Interceptions. By no means star quality numbers. But if you watched him as closely as both Ralph and I did, you saw his incredible quick release and the toughness he had staying in the pocket till the last second before getting hit. In his Junior year Marino lit it up throwing 37 TD passes and 23 Interceptions and 2,876 yards in only 12 games. He torched Georgia that season in the Sugar Bowl throwing for 261 yards and 3 TD passes. He did everything his Junior year. He made an average team great! He made the “back hip” pass part of his repertoire as only a 20 year old. He knew how to step up in the pocket while Tom Brady was still in diapers. He did things we haven’t seen since Joe Namath’s Junior year at Alabama. As draft day approached in 1983, everyone who followed the NFL knew it was a special quarterback class. John Elway was the first off the board picked by the Colts who he never played for. Todd Blackledge was the next QB picked by the KC Chiefs. We sat in the balcony of the New York Sheraton Hotel drooling over what might become an incredible day in Jet history. We all kept referring to Ralph’s mock draft list because of his accurate history. With the 14th pick, the Bills took Jim Kelly, the place where we all thought Marino would end up. Then with the next pick the Patriots took Tony Eason. The tension was building as we three were wishing and hoping but knew Marino could not last till the 24th pick. After the Eason pick, defensive players seemed to be the trend. The Cowboys with the pick (#23) before the Jets chose Jim Jeffcoat the defensive end from Arizona State and a cheer went up led by us three. This was it. Looking the Jets in the eye was a franchise changer. As Rozelle approached the podium, it was one of the most exciting times I ever felt. Then it happened. “With the 24th pick, the New York Jets pick Ken O’Brian, Quarterback California-Davis.” I was in so much shock and disappointed, I went out of the room to gather myself and missed the next 5 picks including the 27th by the Dolphins-Dan Marino. Since that infamous day April 26, 1983 the reoccurring nightmare has haunted me for 35 years. I’ve tried everything to get rid of them. But these nightmares keep coming every March and April like ragweed and pollen. Nothing has worked including medication, shrinks and even hypnotism. Last year did help with Sam Darnold falling into the Jets laps at 3. But I need more assurance. I’m hoping Sam can get me out of this long term funk as I head into my senior years. Hey Mike Maccagnan, help a Jet fan find lasting peace all year round. Get Sam some protection up front! 

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What The Jet Scribes Are Saying
Manish Mehta, NY Daily News
The Jets might have whiffed on the top two centers on the free-agent market, but Adam Gase has a message from some borderline panicked people about the state of the offensive line:
The Jets head coach didn’t sound overly concerned this week at the annual league meetings about the group paid to protect the franchise’s most important player. Although CEO Christopher Johnson recently underscored the importance of giving Sam Darnold better weapons and protection heading into his second season, it’s fair to wonder whether Gang Green did enough to improve the offensive line.
“I would say that we’re a work in progress right now,” Gase said. “We’ll see how the draft goes. The last three years, we’ve added so many guys during that waiver claim (period) after training camp … whether it’s guys that we’ve had in the past, whether it’s young players that got cut or moving on and we end up picking them up. We make some changes up front. Trades. So many things that can happen. We’re at a good starting point right now.” “I think we absolutely need to add,” Gase continued. “We just don’t have that many bodies. You want to create competition. That’s really what you want to do at the end of the day. You want to try to make it to where a couple guys get on a field – that young guy or second- or third-year developmental player is kind of pressing at their heels. So it’s like, ‘Hey I got to keep working because this guy is coming up behind me and he’s going to try to take my spot.’”

…..“We have to add players,” Gase said. “We literally have how many linemen right now? We have eight or nine linemen right now. We’re going to go to camp with what? Fourteen, 15, 16. We have to add some pulses.”

Rich Cimini, ESPN
When the New York Jets' decision-makers conducted their strategy sessions ahead of NFL free agency, they never imagined C.J. Mosley would be available. They figured he'd re-sign with the Baltimore Ravens or get the franchise tag. After all, who lets a four-time Pro Bowl linebacker, three months shy of his 27th birthday, out of their clutches?
So, yes, the Jets were "shocked" when Mosley became a free agent, according to coach Adam Gase.

"When he hit the market," Gase said, "it was a full-court press for us."

It took a record-setting contract to land Mosley -- crazy money, some league insiders will tell you -- but the Jets felt compelled to do it because they're determined to build a winning culture. Gase talked about it on Tuesday at the NFL owners meetings, saying he wants to fill the locker room with football-first players who put team and winning above themselves. "Dogs," safety Jamal Adams calls them. The Jets identified Mosley as one of those dogs -- a "culture-changer," Gase said -- and they defeated the Ravens in an intense bidding war. Gase is attempting to eradicate the losing mindset from the Jets' locker room, and his first big move was to steal a piece of the Raven Way.

…..Quite frankly, it's an insane amount of money for a linebacker who doesn't sack the quarterback and doesn't excel in pass coverage. The Ravens never thought they would lose him, but there's an old saying in free agency: It only takes one. The Jets were the one, a team flush with cap space and desperate to remove the stink of eight straight non-playoff seasons.
"It's what the market bears out," said general manager Mike Maccagnan, defending the Mosley contract. "A lot of people were surprised when he [got to free agency]. He was highly sought after, and we knew going into it that we'd have to be very aggressive."
Winning franchises such as the Ravens draft and develop their own culture-changers, from one generation to the next. The Jets have failed at that, so they have to buy them. And it ain't cheap.

Brian Costello, NY Post
The Jets have a head coach whose background is on offense for the first time in more than 20 years. They signed the best available offensive free-agent weapon this month. They have a quarterback who showed great promise as a rookie entering his second season.

Could the 2019 Jets offense actually be explosive?

It is hard to fathom after watching the terrible offenses of the past few years, but with Adam Gase now running the show, Le’Veon Bell in the backfield and Sam Darnold entering his second season, there is hope.

“I don’t know,” Gase said at the owners meetings here this week when asked about how good the offense can be. “We need to have a meeting first so everybody can know what our offense actually is. It’s so hard to predict. We’ve got to go through … I’ll let you know in September or October. We just need to get started.

“We’re talking about all these things and in my head I’m going, ‘Can we just go practice right now?’ because I’m curious, too. I like the guys we’ve got on our roster. I’m excited to work with Sam. I’m excited to see Le’Veon Bell and Quincy [Enunwa] and Robby [Anderson] and Chris [Herndon]. There’s a lot of guys. I’m excited to get going.”

…..Gase is excited about the potential matchup issues Bell and Crowder can create along with receivers Anderson and Enunwa and tight end Herndon.“It’s another guy to worry about, really,” Gase said of Bell’s receiving ability. “It’s kind of a man-zone thing. If you want to play man-to-man, that means Bell has either a back or a safety on him. That’s a good matchup. If you want to go zone, now Crowder is going to have inside leverage with a guy playing soft in the nickel. Now he’s able to work his thing. That gives him freedom on a lot of option routes where he can break out, break in, he can go down the middle, run deeper corner routes. That’s where the ball starts going. You start getting those zone coverages, those middle-field open zones. The ball is probably going to Herndon or Crowder probably.”

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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*

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