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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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