Oct 15, 2017; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets acting CEO Christopher Johnson on the sidelines before a game against the New England Patriots at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Oct 15, 2017; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets acting CEO Christopher Johnson on the sidelines before a game against the New England Patriots at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

PHOENIX - For a team that went on a wild, free-agent spending spree for the second time in 13 months after firing their coach three months ago, the Jets have been awfully quiet lately. No controversies. No scandals. Nothing but the business of football really.

And that's just the way they seem to like it … at least for now.

That may change when people realize the expectations have been raised, whether they admit it or not. It will certainly change if and when the winning actually starts. But for now, they are the quiet team in town, content to not make too many headlines.

Regardless, after listening to CEO Christopher Johnson, GM Mike Maccagnan, new coach Adam Gase, and several scouts inside and outside the organization, here are 10 takeaways from the Jets' time at the NFL's annual owners meetings at the Arizona Biltmore hotel:

They have huge expectations for a breakout year for second-year QB Sam Darnold 

There is no uncertainty when they talk about the future of their franchise quarterback, and they can barely hide their excitement. What they saw at the end of last season particularly gives them reason to believe he will put it all together in Year 2. A lot of that hope also is because of Gase. No one will say bad things about the previous coaching staff, but let's just say they are very happy to have their young QB in the hands of a genuinely bright offensive coaching mind. They may have worries about this team, but Darnold is not one of them.

They believe they are loaded offensively and have huge plans for Le'Veon Bell and Jamison Crowder 

Gase looked a little like a mad scientist talking about Bell and Crowder in particular, and the ways he plans to use them. He kept saying he won't put them "in a box", which makes it sound like he's open to lining them up everywhere. Previously he said the same about the holdover weapons like Quincy Enunwa, Robby Anderson and Chris Herndon. Obviously Bell is the key, but his offense really features the slot receiver in creative ways, which makes Crowder a fascinating addition. Think of what Wes Welker used to be for the Patriots, because that seems to be how Gase envisions him.

They are serious about trading down, but it'll cost at least a second-round pick, even to move down a little 

Maccagnan wasn't lying when he said he's open to trading down and that he's already had some preliminary discussions about it. The Jets have only six picks in the draft and the third overall pick is going to be very valuable - especially for anyone that wants to get one of the top two quarterbacks before they're off the board. Word around the league is that the Jets want to recoup the second-round pick they gave up to the Colts last year in their own trade up from No. 6 to No. 3. My guess is that anyone who wants to move up, even a little, will have to start with that.

They will be very, very tempted to stay at No. 3 and take one of the best defensive players in the draft 

Yes, I know I just said Maccagnan wants to trade down. The problem with that is the top of the draft is filled with what he needs most - players who can rush the passer. And not just edge rushers. Interior rushers too. He's guaranteed to get one of the big three defensive players - Ohio State DE Nick Bosa, Kentucky LB Josh Allen, Alabama DT Quinnen Williams - and if Oklahoma QB Kyler Murray goes No. 1 he might have his choice. How can he pass up on that? The answer is that maybe he can't.

They're not afraid of new defensive coordinator Gregg Williams, and actually hope he brings a nasty side to their defense 

There's a big smile any time anyone talks about Williams and what he'll bring to the Jets' defense - and the Jets practices. It sounds like they can't wait for Williams' D and Gase's O to go head-to-head, and if it gets nasty, so be it. Of course, they don't want fights or for anyone to get hurt, but there's a feeling that Williams' aggression will bring a competitiveness and edge to practices that the Jets sorely need. And if they can translate that into a game, they might be dangerous. Left unsaid is the hope that they end up more dangerous to others than to themselves.

They're going to shop LB Darron Lee, and if they can't they're definitely not going to exercise his fifth-year option 

The signing of LB C.J. Mosley, one year after signing Avery Williams, made that clear. Gase seemed to say he could find a position for Lee, and Maccagnan talked about his inexpensive contract as if keeping him would be no big deal. But there's no way to sugarcoat it. The Jets are down on the former first-round pick and they won't be picking up his fifth-year option (which they'd have to do by May 2). So knowing he'll be gone in 2020 anyway, they will absolutely listen to offers for him, probably closer to the draft. He's only 24 and due only $1.8 million this season and isn't a terrible player, but it's hard to imagine the Jets could get more for him than a Day 3 draft pick.

They think LB C.J. Mosley is going to be a star 

As giddy as the Jets are over the addition of Bell, they're even more excited about Mosley. He's not the edge rusher they need, but they look at him as a guy that can do everything from the middle of their defense. Also, as Gase said, he's a "culture changer". They see him as a Ray Lewis-type who can be the leader in their locker room, and help make young safety Jamal Adams into a real leader too, not just a team spokesman. The defense over the last few years has been a bad mix of characters and players who seemed to do what they want. They think Mosley, both with his voice and by example, is the man to put a stop to all of that. Oh, and they think he's going to be a dominant player, too.

They're not worried about what seems to be a hole at center 

I find this odd, but neither Maccagnan nor Gase were very worked up over not having an obvious starting center. They made a somewhat half-hearted run at Matt Paradis in free agency, and they had a meeting with Stefan Wisniewski that didn't seem to lead to anything. They seem oddly comfortable with Jonotthan Harrison, who re-signed after he took over at center for Spencer Long last season. They obviously saw something they liked in the 27-year-old. Don't be shocked if they also take a center on Day 2 of the draft.

Adam Gase is convinced he'll be a much better coach the second time around 

When he looked back on his time in Miami he saw a young coach who was overwhelmed by all the other stuff that went into being a head coach - the non-football stuff like planning and organizing schedules and dealing with the media and handling everyone's problems. He's more relaxed now and was able to quickly get through the basics and move onto football things. That's often a huge problem for rookie coaches. They can't focus on the most important stuff - the football - because they're swamped in executive-level issues. It's why so many coaches are better in their second stop. Gase seems confident that's the way it will be for him, and so are his bosses.

There's no playoff mandate, but make no mistake: They expect to make the playoffs 

The Jets don't want to say it, and they probably won't, but they are absolutely looking at what they built as a playoff team. They would be stunned, from top to bottom, by another five- or six-win season and barring a string of catastrophic injuries they won't even be happy with 8-8. Their internal expectations are sky high, and they believe this is the year they will finally arrive. They believe the pieces are in place for nine or 10 wins. No one will say it. No one will mandate it. But it's clear they love their team for the first time in many years.

Tags: Darron Lee, Le'Veon Bell, Sam Darnold, Ralph Vacchiano
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Quinnen Williams ready for NFL 00:02:24
Ralph Vacchiano talked to Jets target Quinnen Williams ahead of the NFL Draft. He's definitely well versed with Jets players.

There are many unknowns heading into the 2019 NFL Draft on Thursday night, but if there is one thing that many can agree on, it's that Alabama DT Quinnen Williams shouldn't make it out of the Top 3. 

Williams is highly regarded as the top interior lineman in this draft, and arguably the best overall defensive player to choose. If the Jets don't trade down, they could have a chance to nab him at No. 3 overall -- granted he makes it passed the Cardinals and 49ers with the first two picks.

While scouts have been drooling over what Williams can do on a football field, there is no need to remind the 21-year-old how he can impact an NFL team next season. Speaking with SNY's Ralph Vacchiano 1-on-1 ahead of the Draft in Nashville, Williams was confident in saying he's the best pass rusher in this year's class. 

Tags: Jamal Adams, Leonard Williams
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Jets NFL Draft Preview 00:01:48
SNY Draft Analyst Rich Cirminiello previews the Jets NFL Draft, looking at who they should pick, avoid and a possible sleeper to steal.

A late-round gem plucked from the depths of the NFL Draft can change the course of a franchise, and every team is looking for the next Tom Brady

NFL Draft expert Rich Cirminiello thinks the Jets can find value in these 10 prospects during the later rounds, and he gives a breakdown on each: 

Jalin Moore, Appalachian State, RB

A Day 3 pick who has fallen on some draft boards because of an injury that cost him most of his final college season. But Cirminiello is still high on him.

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Mike Maccagnan
Mike Maccagnan

Here are the latest Jets rumors and reports leading into the NFL Draft, which kicks off Thursday night...


Watch the NFL Draft with FuboTV - 7 Day Free Trial!


April 24, 11:23 AM

According to Bleacher Report's Mike Freeman, there are NFL teams "convinced" the 49ers will end up selecting DT Quinnen Williams with the No. 2 pick, and that the Jets will follow by taking Nick Bosa at No. 3. Freeman also reports there's chatter about teams considering trading up to try to get Williams.

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Alabama Crimson Tide defensive lineman Quinnen Williams before the 2019 College Football Playoff championship game against the Clemson Tigers at Levi's Stadium. (Matthew Emmons/USA TODAY Sports)
Alabama Crimson Tide defensive lineman Quinnen Williams before the 2019 College Football Playoff championship game against the Clemson Tigers at Levi's Stadium. (Matthew Emmons/USA TODAY Sports)

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With the luxury of picking third in a draft with a number of potential impact defenders, the Jets are certain to have a top prospect fall to them. Alabama defensive tackle Quinnen Williams is one such prospect.

Williams had a breakout year in 2018, as he racked up eight sacks and was second in the SEC with 20 tackles for a loss. He's regarded as one of the most disruptive defensive tackle prospects in years. However, the Jets already have Leonard Williams and just re-signed Henry Anderson, so they don't necessarily have an immediate need at the position.

Tags: Leonard Williams
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Aug 12, 2017; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets general manager Mike Maccagnan reacts on the field before a preseason game against the Tennessee Titans at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Aug 12, 2017; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets general manager Mike Maccagnan reacts on the field before a preseason game against the Tennessee Titans at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

With the NFL Draft kicking off Thursday night, rumors continue to fly left and right. And one of the latest comes from ESPN's Dianna Russini, who reports that Washington, which currently has the No. 15 pick, is targeting Ohio State quarterback Dwayne Haskins

We do know that the Jets are looking to trade down from the No. 3 overall pick, with sources telling SNY's Ralph Vacchiano that Gang Green is "determined" to do so.

So could the Jets engage Washington on a trade for the third pick? If Washington firmly believes that Haskins is its guy, it may not want to risk waiting until No. 15 to get him.

Tags: Washington Redskins
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Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers running back Le'Veon Bell (26) (Philip G. Pavely)
Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers running back Le'Veon Bell (26) (Philip G. Pavely)

Le'Veon Bell wasn't at the Jets' voluntary minicamp that started on Tuesday, but head coach Adam Gase didn't seem too worried about it.

"It's voluntary -- that's what it is," Gase said. "It's the CBA, it's the rules. He was here that first week and got a lot of good information. The good thing is, having the iPads and things like that helps -- if a guy's not here, he can keep up on what we're doing as far as playbook goes. For him, he has a pretty good training regimen that he goes through."

Gase added that it's been a few seasons since Bell has gone through a full offseason, but knows how to handle it. Translation: Gase isn't worried about Bell getting ready without coming to voluntary camp.

Tags: Darron Lee, Le'Veon Bell, Danny Abriano
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Jets get back to work 00:01:20
The Jets hit the field for the first time this season with a new head coach. The squad was excited and liked the energy from the first day.

There's one chance at a first impression, and it appears Adam Gase nailed his toward Jets franchise quarterback Sam Darnold

The key pairing in regards to the future of the organization are still getting to know one another, but have began on the right foot, it appears. On Tuesday, Darnold told reporters that working with Gase has been "awesome." 

"It's been nothing but good things," he said of Gase and the new coaching staff. 

Tags: Sam Darnold
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Jets NFL Draft Preview 00:01:48
SNY Draft Analyst Rich Cirminiello previews the Jets NFL Draft, looking at who they should pick, avoid and a possible sleeper to steal.

Trading down is certainly on the table for GM Mike Maccagnan and the Jets on Thursday. 

But NFL Draft expert Rich Cirminiello sees trouble on the horizon for the Jets if they're not careful. 

If the Jets do trade down, here are two names they should steer clear from: 

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Feb 28, 2018; Indianapolis, IN, USA; New York Jets general manager Mike Maccagnan speaks to the media during the 2018 NFL Combine at the Indianapolis Convention Center. Mandatory Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports (Trevor Ruszkowski)
Feb 28, 2018; Indianapolis, IN, USA; New York Jets general manager Mike Maccagnan speaks to the media during the 2018 NFL Combine at the Indianapolis Convention Center. Mandatory Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports (Trevor Ruszkowski)

After the first two picks are made in Thursday night's NFL Draft, there's a good chance the Jets won't be on the clock with the No. 3 pick for long. There are still plenty of indications that they want to trade down in the hopes of adding to their paltry collection of six picks.

That's understandable given how deep in talent the first three-to-four rounds of this draft are believed to be. It makes even more sense considering they don't have a second-round pick and have to wait out 65 picks before they make their second selection in Round three. And maybe GM Mike Maccagnan really will get an offer he can't refuse from some quarterback-needy team.

But unless he's really overwhelmed and doesn't have to drop very far, he should stay right where he is and take Kentucky's Josh Allen at No. 3 -- because Allen is exactly the type of defensive player the Jets so desperately need.

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Dec 1, 2018; Atlanta, GA, USA; Alabama Crimson Tide defensive lineman Quinnen Williams (92) reacts after a sack against the Georgia Bulldogs during the first quarter in the SEC championship game at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports (Jason Getz)
Dec 1, 2018; Atlanta, GA, USA; Alabama Crimson Tide defensive lineman Quinnen Williams (92) reacts after a sack against the Georgia Bulldogs during the first quarter in the SEC championship game at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports (Jason Getz)

It'd be rather difficult for the Jets to mess up the third overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft. 

Gang Green will almost certainly come out with a game-changing talent up front, unless they opt to trade back, which is still entirely possible at this point. Here are some prospects they should target with their selection, along with commentary from NFL Draft expert Rich Cirminiello.

Nick Bosa, Ohio State, DE

"It's really a two-pronged approach. You stay at No. 3, you're going to get an elite defensive lineman," Cirminiello told SNY. "Nick Bosa is the best player in the draft. You didn't get to see that last year [at Ohio State] because he was injured. I think the Niners take him." 

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Dec 30, 2018; Seattle, WA, USA; Seattle Seahawks defensive end Frank Clark (55) pressures Arizona Cardinals quarterback Josh Rosen (3) during the first quarter at CenturyLink Field. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports (Joe Nicholson)
Dec 30, 2018; Seattle, WA, USA; Seattle Seahawks defensive end Frank Clark (55) pressures Arizona Cardinals quarterback Josh Rosen (3) during the first quarter at CenturyLink Field. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports (Joe Nicholson)

The Jets could get their pass rusher without drafting one. 

Per Ian Rapoport of NFL Network, the Jets are one of three teams that are interested in Seahawks franchise-tagged defensive end Frank Clark. 

The Colts and Chiefs are the other two teams that have talked with the Seahawks, who are reportedly seeking a first-round pick in return for Clark. 

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Jan 1, 2019; Orlando, FL, USA; Kentucky Wildcats linebacker Josh Allen (41) reacts to the crowd during the second half against the Penn State Nittany Lions in the 2019 Citrus Bowl at Camping World Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports (Jasen Vinlove)
Jan 1, 2019; Orlando, FL, USA; Kentucky Wildcats linebacker Josh Allen (41) reacts to the crowd during the second half against the Penn State Nittany Lions in the 2019 Citrus Bowl at Camping World Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports (Jasen Vinlove)

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One of the prospects most commonly linked to the Jets in this draft cycle has been Kentucky edge defender Josh Allen. This makes a lot of sense, as Allen is considered one of the best pass rushers in the draft and that's arguably the Jets' biggest need.

With Jordan Jenkins and Brandon Copeland currently projected as the starters on the edge, any rookie has a great opportunity to come in and play a big role and would be expected to win a starting job. The Jets have done their homework on Allen, whom they met with at the combine and then brought in for an official visit earlier this month.

Tags: Brandon Copeland, Jordan Jenkins
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Oct 20, 2018; Pullman, WA, USA; Washington State Cougars offensive lineman Andre Dillard (60) celebrates a touchdown against the Oregon Ducks in the first half at Martin Stadium. Mandatory Credit: James Snook-USA TODAY Sports  (James Snook)
Oct 20, 2018; Pullman, WA, USA; Washington State Cougars offensive lineman Andre Dillard (60) celebrates a touchdown against the Oregon Ducks in the first half at Martin Stadium. Mandatory Credit: James Snook-USA TODAY Sports (James Snook)

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It's been a common refrain this season that the Jets need to overhaul their entire offensive line. However, they don't really have an urgent need to address the tackle positions in the short term, as the team has confidence in Kelvin Beachum and Brandon Shell. However, both Beachum and Shell are out of contract at the end of the year. While Shell is a candidate to sign a lucrative extension, Beachum will be 30 in June, so the Jets perhaps need to find his heir apparent.

Much of the attention in this draft cycle has been centered around Alabama's Jonah Williams at the tackle position, with Jawaan Taylor from Florida considered the primary alternative to Williams. However, Washington State's Andre Dillard's stock seems to be on the rise.

Could Dillard actually be the ideal fit to be the Jets' long-term solution on the blind side? Let's review what he brings to the table.

Tags: Brandon Shell, Kelvin Beachum
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Oct 14, 2018; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets wide receiver Quincy Enunwa (81) runs on to the field before his game against the Indianapolis Colts at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports (Vincent Carchietta)
Oct 14, 2018; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets wide receiver Quincy Enunwa (81) runs on to the field before his game against the Indianapolis Colts at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports (Vincent Carchietta)

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The Jets have had some undrafted gems like Wayne Chrebet, Damon Harrison and Robby Anderson, but it's harder to find examples of late-round steals.  Chris Herndon was a good find in the fourth round, as were Jason Fabini, Kerry Rhodes and Bilal Powell. However, we're limiting ourselves to players they've found in the 5th round or later in this list.

10. OT Brandon Shell, 5th round, 2016

Tags: Jeremy Kerley, Quincy Enunwa
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New York Jets quarterback Christian Hackenberg (5) warms up before a preseason NFL football game against the New York Giants Saturday, Aug. 26, 2017, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez) (Julio Cortez/AP)
New York Jets quarterback Christian Hackenberg (5) warms up before a preseason NFL football game against the New York Giants Saturday, Aug. 26, 2017, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez) (Julio Cortez/AP)

The Jets are notorious for their draft mistakes with ESPN's annual fan montage almost as much of an institution as the draft itself. Coming up with a top 10 ranking of the biggest mistakes in the last 25 years is therefore a challenging task.

10. Bryan Thomas, DE, 22nd pick in 2002

Thomas sneaks into the top-10 mainly because the Jets could have taken Ed Reed here. While Thomas was a solid Jet for over a decade, defensive end was a position of strength at the time with Shaun Ellis and John Abraham. The plan to move Ellis inside never really worked and Thomas' career got off to a slow start.  

Tags: Calvin Pryor, Christian Hackenberg, Dee Milliner, Geno Smith
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Sep 15, 2018; University Park, PA, USA; Penn State Nittany Lions cornerback Amani Oruwariye (21) during the first quarter against the Kent State Golden Flashes at Beaver Stadium. Penn State defeated Kent State 63-10. Mandatory Credit: Matthew O'Haren-USA TODAY Sports (Matthew OHaren)
Sep 15, 2018; University Park, PA, USA; Penn State Nittany Lions cornerback Amani Oruwariye (21) during the first quarter against the Kent State Golden Flashes at Beaver Stadium. Penn State defeated Kent State 63-10. Mandatory Credit: Matthew O'Haren-USA TODAY Sports (Matthew OHaren)

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An up-to-date depth chart for the Jets would currently have Trumaine Johnson and Darryl Roberts as the starters with Brian Poole pencilled in as the nickel back. While the team might hold out hope that youngsters such as Derrick Jones or Parry Nickerson could step up and challenge for a role, they ideally need to improve their depth and find an upgrade to start over Roberts.

Whether or not they trade down in the draft, the Jets are expected to have their eye on a handful of potential day two picks at the cornerback position. They'll be looking for a long-term solution, but ideally will be targeting someone who can contribute right away.

One such cornerback who could potentially drop to the third round is Penn State's Amani Oruwariye, although some experts believe he could go earlier than that. If the Jets were to pick up a second-round pick in a trade down, could he be a possible target?

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Feb 28, 2018; Indianapolis, IN, USA; New York Jets general manager Mike Maccagnan speaks to the media during the 2018 NFL Combine at the Indianapolis Convention Center. Mandatory Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports (Trevor Ruszkowski)
Feb 28, 2018; Indianapolis, IN, USA; New York Jets general manager Mike Maccagnan speaks to the media during the 2018 NFL Combine at the Indianapolis Convention Center. Mandatory Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports (Trevor Ruszkowski)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

There are some impressive defensive prospects sitting at the top of the NFL draft this year, including a few that are a perfect match for exactly what the Jets need. They might even have their choice of any defensive player they want with the third overall pick.

But it seems they really would prefer not to make that pick.

According to multiple NFL sources, the Jets seem "determined" to trade down in the first round of the NFL Draft, which begins on Thursday in Nashville. Jets GM Mike Maccagnan has made it clear several times that he's "open" to the idea, though he may be downplaying just how open to it he actually is.

Tags: Sam Darnold, Ralph Vacchiano
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NC State Wolfpack guard Garrett Bradbury against the South Carolina Gamecocks during the college football opener at Bank of America Stadium. (Jim Dedmon/USA TODAY Sports)
NC State Wolfpack guard Garrett Bradbury against the South Carolina Gamecocks during the college football opener at Bank of America Stadium. (Jim Dedmon/USA TODAY Sports)

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The center position remains one of the Jets' biggest needs following the departure of Spencer Long in the offseason. While the Jets opted to re-sign Jonotthan Harrison and claim to have been encouraged by his progress in his eight starts last year, he's not widely viewed as a starter-level performer. The Jets will therefore be keen to find an upgrade, both in the long and short term.

As usual, there are only a few NFL-ready center prospects that could be immediately installed into the starting lineup. With no second-round pick, there's concern among the fanbase that all the potential rookie starters at the position will be off the board by the time the Jets make their first selection in Round 3.

They may instead decide to prioritize the position and target Garrett Bradbury, who is considered by most experts to be the center most likely to come off the board first. If they trade back, is this a viable strategy?

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Mar 3, 2019; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Alabama defensive lineman Quinnen Williams (DL19) goes through workout drills during the 2019 NFL Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports (Brian Spurlock)
Mar 3, 2019; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Alabama defensive lineman Quinnen Williams (DL19) goes through workout drills during the 2019 NFL Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports (Brian Spurlock)

A week from today, the Jets will have the No. 3 pick heading into Nashville for the 2019 NFL Draft. And GM Mike Maccagnan is expected to take one of the top defensive playmakers in the draft -- if he doesn't trade down of course. 

Players like Josh Allen and Nick Bosa are at the top of the pack among prospects. There is also Quinnen Williams, a defensive tackle out of Alabama, that the Jets could consider at 3. 

Jets DE Leonard Williams has seen Williams in action during his offseason training in California, and admitted the kid is "a freak."

Tags: Avery Williamson, Leonard Williams
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Oct 20, 2018; Annapolis, MD, USA; Houston Cougars defensive tackle Ed Oliver (10) applies pressure on Navy Midshipmen quarterback Garret Lewis (7) as guard David Forney (68) blocks during the second quarter at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports (Tommy Gilligan)
Oct 20, 2018; Annapolis, MD, USA; Houston Cougars defensive tackle Ed Oliver (10) applies pressure on Navy Midshipmen quarterback Garret Lewis (7) as guard David Forney (68) blocks during the second quarter at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports (Tommy Gilligan)

Most of the focus heading into the draft has been centered around the Jets using their top picks to fill needs. However, could they instead stick to a "best player available" philosophy and use their first pick on a player they feel has a chance to be elite, regardless of their position?

In terms of athletic potential, there's few prospects in this class that rival Houston defensive lineman Ed Oliver, and he's potentially versatile enough that the Jets might feel good about Gregg Williams finding a role for him within their defense. If the Jets trade down, could Oliver be the top player on their board?

Projected Pick: Top-10

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Dec 23, 2018; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold (14) throws a pass while Green Bay Packers defensive back Eddie Pleasant (35) defends during the second half at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports (Ed Mulholland)
Dec 23, 2018; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold (14) throws a pass while Green Bay Packers defensive back Eddie Pleasant (35) defends during the second half at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports (Ed Mulholland)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

A week-by-week look at the Giants' 2019 schedule, and some way-too-early predictions that are sure to change a lot:

Week 1 (Sept. 8) - @ Cowboys, 4:25 p.m.

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Mike Maccagnan
Mike Maccagnan

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

There's just a little more than a week to go and still some mystery - even at the top of the NFL Draft where the smart money is still on Oklahoma quarterback Kyler Murray and Ohio State defensive end Nick Bosa going 1-2 to the Cardinals and the 49ers.

If that doesn't happen, it could have a huge impact on the Jets - especially if Murray falls and teams that love him want to trade up.

For now, though, let's assume Murray-Bosa will go 1-2 as expected. If that happens, here's a look at how the Jets' six picks could go:

First round (3rd overall) - DE/LB Josh Allen, Kentucky

Tags: Chris Herndon, Ralph Vacchiano
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New York Jets strong safety Jamal Adams reacts during the second half against the Green Bay Packers at MetLife Stadium. (Vincent Carchietta/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Jets strong safety Jamal Adams reacts during the second half against the Green Bay Packers at MetLife Stadium. (Vincent Carchietta/USA TODAY Sports)

We already knew the Jets' 2019 opponents, but on Wednesday we found out the full schedule -- including a home opener against the Bills, three prime time games, and Le'Veon Bell's revenge game against the Steelers in Week 16.

Most pivotal stretch

The Jets play five games this season against teams who made the playoffs in 2018, and four of those games come in a row -- two on the road and two at home.

Tags: Le'Veon Bell, Sam Darnold, Danny Abriano
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Dec 15, 2018; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold (14) drops back to pass against the Houston Texans during the first quarter at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Dec 15, 2018; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold (14) drops back to pass against the Houston Texans during the first quarter at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

The Jets will begin the 2019 season at MetLife Stadium -- and the second game of the season will feature a homecoming of sorts, as Odell Beckham Jr. returns to MetLife Stadium as a member of the Browns.

New York's first road game will be at the Patriots in Week 3, and Le'Veon Bell's revenge game against the Steelers will come at home in Week 16.

Here is the full schedule, according to Brian Costello of the New York Post:

Tags: Le'Veon Bell
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Oct 27, 2018; Tallahassee, FL, USA; Florida State Seminoles defensive end Brian Burns (99) during the first half against the Clemson Tigers at Doak Campbell Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Melina Myers-USA TODAY Sports (Melina Myers)
Oct 27, 2018; Tallahassee, FL, USA; Florida State Seminoles defensive end Brian Burns (99) during the first half against the Clemson Tigers at Doak Campbell Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Melina Myers-USA TODAY Sports (Melina Myers)

It's well-documented that the Jets haven't had a player that can create constant pressure off the edge for some time. While Muhammad Wilkerson and Calvin Pace each posted seasons with double-digit sacks in recent years, Wilkerson did much of his damage on the interior and Pace was in more of a clean-up/contain role. You'd need to go back to John Abraham -- whom the Jets traded away 13 years ago -- for the last player who was a consistent threat off the edge.

The 2019 Draft gives the Jets a realistic chance to address this need once and for all. Nick Bosa or Josh Allen could be available with the Jets picking third and could provide an immediate upgrade over the current candidates to start -- such as Jordan Jenkins and Brandon Copeland. However, the Jets might instead move back to pick up more draft capital.

If the Jets opt to trade down, one of the top edge rushers who might still be available is Florida State's Brian Burns. Could he be the guy they target to upgrade their pass rush?

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Sep 23, 2018; Landover, MD, USA; Green Bay Packers running back Ty Montgomery (88) runs after a catch against the Washington Redskins during the second half at FedEx Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Mills)
Sep 23, 2018; Landover, MD, USA; Green Bay Packers running back Ty Montgomery (88) runs after a catch against the Washington Redskins during the second half at FedEx Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Mills)

The Jets landed their top free agent target in Le'Veon Bell this offseason, but they went right back into the free agency pool to find his backup in Ty Montgomery as well. Montgomery officially signed with the Jets on Monday, and he couldn't be happier to get started with Gang Green. 

"It's a fresh start," Montgomery told newyorkjets.com's Ethan Greenberg. "It's a new opportunity and it's a great opportunity. I get to go out there and I speak for myself with my play. Finally. And I'm looking forward to that."

Montgomery had a pretty rough 2018 season, which is why the fresh start feels so good. He played in seven games with the Packers -- the team he spent the previous three seasons with -- but was traded the game after fumbling a key kickoff return after the Rams in Week 8. He was shipped to Baltimore to play for the Ravens, however he didn't see many touches. 

Tags: Ty Montgomery, Le'Veon Bell
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Mar 4, 2019; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Louisiana State defensive back Greedy Williams (DB34) goes through workout drills during the 2019 NFL Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports (Brian Spurlock)
Mar 4, 2019; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Louisiana State defensive back Greedy Williams (DB34) goes through workout drills during the 2019 NFL Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports (Brian Spurlock)

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Although the Jets re-signed Darryl Roberts and added Brian Poole in free agency, most Jets fans would like to see an upgrade to their cornerback group. General manager Mike Maccagnan admitted last month that Roberts is unproven, so perhaps he would feel more comfortable with one of the top draft prospects as his second starter.

The Jets' draft strategy could therefore entail trading down and targeting the top cornerback prospects. Many experts believe Greedy Williams from LSU could be the first cornerback to be selected. Is he a good fit to be the Jets' top pick?

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Sep 8, 2018; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Cougars defensive tackle Ed Oliver (10) in action during the game against the Arizona Wildcats at TDECU Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports (Troy Taormina)
Sep 8, 2018; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Cougars defensive tackle Ed Oliver (10) in action during the game against the Arizona Wildcats at TDECU Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports (Troy Taormina)

While Quinnen Williams' pre-NFL Draft visit with the Jets has been well documented, the team is hosting another intriguing name -- who also plays Williams' position -- on Tuesday. 

Former Houston defensive tackle Ed Oliver is also meeting with the Jets, according to NFL Network's Ian Rappaport. The Jets own the No. 3 pick in the draft, and while Williams is certainly an option at that spot, Oliver is not as highly touted.  

ESPN's Todd McShay has Oliver going 18th overall to the Vikings in his latest mock draft, in which he has the Jets pouncing on Williams with the third pick. But with the looming possibility the Jets could trade down in the first round, Oliver becomes a viable option for a team that could address its need on the interior defensive line through the early portions of the draft. 

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Dec 1, 2018; Atlanta, GA, USA; Alabama Crimson Tide defensive lineman Quinnen Williams (92) reacts after a sack against the Georgia Bulldogs during the first quarter in the SEC championship game at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports (Jason Getz)
Dec 1, 2018; Atlanta, GA, USA; Alabama Crimson Tide defensive lineman Quinnen Williams (92) reacts after a sack against the Georgia Bulldogs during the first quarter in the SEC championship game at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports (Jason Getz)

Alabama DT Quinnen Williams will visit the Giants and Jets this week, per SNY's Ralph Vacchiano. 

Williams is regarded as one of the top defensive players in the draft, with some scouts going as far as labeling him the best defensive player in the draft. 

Both the Jets and Giants are expected to target defensive players in the draft and while Williams is not necessarily a pass rusher, he is still talented enough to make an immediate impact on any team's defensive front. 

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Winter is here.

With Game of Thrones set to return Sunday for its eighth and final season, New York athletes gave their predictions and talked about theories for how the saga will end.

Click below...

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