New York Jets fullback Julian Howsare (Noah K. Murray/USA Today Sports Images)
New York Jets fullback Julian Howsare (Noah K. Murray/USA Today Sports Images)

In between now and training camp, I'm looking at some of the veterans on the Jets roster to assess what kind of contribution we might expect from them in 2016. We're going to shift gears and take a look at the practice squad in terms of who is eligible, how it will likely be made up and what we can learn from who was on there during the 2015 season.

Note: Pro Football Focus exclusively provides some stats from this article.

The basic rules

Most people should be familiar with how the practice squad system works: A group of players not signed to the active roster remains with the team and is able to practice with them during the week. However, the rules surrounding who is eligible and how long a player can remain on the practice squad are complicated.

Recent changes to the eligibility rules, introduced in 2014 and extended last month, have increased the number of players retaining practice squad eligibility and granted added flexibility to teams who want the opportunity to continue developing players.

Under the old rules, a player was only eligible to sign for a practice squad if he didn't have an accrued season. Players accrue a season by being on full pay status -- either the 53-man roster or injured reserve -- for six games in any season. The only exception to the above was players with an accrued season were still practice squad eligible if they had yet to be active in nine games in any regular season. It was also possible to use up all three years of practice squad eligibility if someone still hadn't accrued a season or been active in nine games in a season.

In 2014, the rules changed. The size of the practice squad was increased from eight to 10 and, while eligibility for the first eight spots remained as above, the two extra spots came under more relaxed rules in which anybody with two accrued seasons was still eligible, even if they had been active for more than nine games in either or both of their accrued seasons.

Last month, the NFL announced more rule changes. While the practice squad size was kept at 10, the league increased the number of spots that can be given to players with two accrued seasons from two to four. I.e., now only six of the 10 practice squad members need to meet the original criteria.

The main other rule to be aware of is that a player on a team's practice squad can be signed by any of the other 31 NFL teams at any point during the season, unless they are about to face that team within the next week. If that happens, the player must remain with his new team and on its active roster for at least three weeks, even if he gets injured. In practice, the original team will usually get first refusal in these situations, so if the player is about to be poached, teams usually get the opportunity to activate them themselves.

Players earn about $7,000 per week when on the practice squad, less than a third of what they'd get if on the active roster earning a minimum salary.

Who is eligible on the current Jets roster?

Looking at the Jets' current 90-man roster, it appears there are 56 players who are practice squad eligible and 34 who are not. However, by my calculations, 16 of those 56 won't qualify under the old criteria, so they will only be able to take up one of the four spots that come under the new rules.

Obviously, anyone without an accrued season will automatically qualify under the old rules. That would automatically include all rookies, of which there are 21 on the 90-man roster -- the seven draft picks and 14 undrafted free agents.

Another 14 players on the current roster are still treated as first-year players even though they are not rookies. That would mostly be players who were rookies last season but didn't get much of a chance to play, although it could also include players who have been in the league for longer than that but still not accrued a season. For example, Freddie Bishop went undrafted in 2013, but is treated as a first-year player because he still hasn't accrued an NFL season. Wes Saxton, Taiwan Jones and Deon Simon are among the other first year players on the roster.

Any second- or third-year players will automatically qualify under the "two-accrued-seasons" rule, but the Jets would be restricted to only four such players. Some of the players on this list would also qualify under the old rules if their accrued season(s) didn't see them on the active gameday roster at least nine times. I believe this applies to four of the 20 second- and third-year players on the Jets roster: Jarvis Harrison, Dion Bailey, Ronald Martin and Dakota Dozier. Therefore, these players could be placed on the practice squad without using one of the four spots reserved for players with up to two accrued seasons.

The other 16 players in that second- and third-year group will only be eligible under the new rules, so the Jets can only take four of the 10 practice squad members from this group. Jace Amaro, Dexter McDougle and Trevor Reilly, 2014 draftees, are among those who meet the criteria. Calvin Pryor does too, but it's obviously not realistic to expect him to end up on the practice squad, especially given his guaranteed salary for the next two years.

Finally, assuming any player in his fourth (or higher) season would not qualify by virtue of having more than two accrued seasons. However, it is theoretically possible to qualify under the old rules as long as they weren't on the active gameday roster nine times in any accrued seasons. This appears to catch Ben Ijalana, who is still practice squad eligible despite being headed into his sixth season, but everyone else with at least three accrued seasons is ineligible.

There's always a strong possibility that someone not currently on the roster will end up being added to the practice squad after cut down day and plenty of scope to add players from off the street over the course of the season.

Last year's practice squad

The Jets had a total of 23 different players on last year's practice squad, 10 of whom were rookies. Fourteen of those 23, including six of the rookies, are still with the team and on the current 90-man roster.

Over the past few years the Jets have done a lot less tinkering with the practice squad than they did while Mike Tannenbaum was the general manager. John Idzik only signed a total of 29 players to the practice squad in 2013 and 2014, while back in 2011 and 2012, Tannenbaum signed a total of 60, albeit that several of those were players went onto and off the squad a few times. While Mike Maccagnan's activity last year was higher than Idzik's, several additions were short-term, late-season auditions, so his approach doesn't have much in common with Tannenbaum, who of course operated with smaller eight-man squads.

Despite the relative lack of activity, there was actually only one player who remained on the practice squad all year: Rookie defensive lineman Deion Barnes. That said, there were several players who spent most of the year on the squad. Simon and Harrison started off on the active roster, then spent the rest of the year on the practice squad when the team needed their spot. Jones, Saxton and Julian Howsare also spent most of the year on there. Jones was activated for the final game, Saxton was activated for one game in Week 4 before being added back and Howsare had a three-week gap when he was released but then reinstated. Martin also spent half the year on the practice squad and the other half on the active roster.

A few of the players were added late in the season, presumably just to get a look at them with a view to signing them to a futures deal after the season. From that group, Julian Stanford and Brandon Bostick are still with the team. Titus Davis, who had already had a stint on the practice squad earlier in the season, is another such player.

The Jets made good use of the extension to the rules in order to place players on the practice squad that wouldn't otherwise have qualified. They did this with Daryl Richardson and Matt Simms in 2014, and Mike Catapano and Kenbrell Thompkins -- each of whom eventually made their way onto the active roster -- in 2015.

Who are good candidates for the 2016 practice squad?

The extension to the new rules this year affords the Jets a wider selection of players from which to choose. With that in mind, there typically seem to be three types of players you would want to fill out your practice squad with.

First, anyone who almost made the roster as a reserve is useful to keep around in case an injury creates the need for the Jets to fill in on the active roster. Johnson is a good example of this from last year's team. Secondly, a team will look to retain anyone who is a developmental prospect. This could be either because they have technical or physical limitations they need to work on to realize their potential or because they are learning a new position. Howsare, having transitioned to full back, and Barnes, who needed to add some strength, are good examples from last year. Finally, they might look to fill out the squad with some professional players with strong character, simply because they can rely upon them to work hard and do a good job on the scout team.

From the potential fill-in category, there might be a defensive back such as Bailey or McDougle if the team can't find room for them on the active roster. It might also be a good place to stash a receiver, perhaps one that can also return kicks and brings some upside like Jalin Marshall or Chandler Worthy. Offensive line reinforcements are also useful to have, so a player like Dozier or Johnson could also find his way onto here.

In terms of players with developmental potential, it's best to to be careful about who is placed on the practice squad because if there's a high-profile player with potential, then another team could poach them. In such situations, the team might instead opt to preserve their rights by stashing them on the roster as a healthy scratch all year as the Jets did with Dozier in 2014, or at least keep them on there until the early season player movement settles down, as they did with Harrison and Simon last year.

With that in mind, the Jets likely wouldn't risk putting someone like Christian Hackenberg or -- if he shows promise -- Brandon Shell on the practice squad. However, it could be a good spot for one of their undrafted rookie defensive linemen or their only undrafted rookie offensive lineman, Kyle Friend. Other interesting potential development options include Bryce Petty, Tom Hackett and converted-tight end Jason Vander Laan.

Bishop would also be a good candidate and remaining on the practice squad would earn him approximately double what he would have earned if he stayed in the CFL, so that's a worthwhile and achievable target for him to shoot for that would justify his decision to leave Canada to try and earn an NFL job.

Conclusions

While it's obviously far too early to project who will be viable practice squad candidates, it's still interesting to look at some recent trends to get some idea of what the team's approach might be in 2016.

The importance of the practice squad is something that can be both understated and overstated at times. Nevertheless, there are usually some contributors each season that had spent time there. In addition to Thompkins and Catapano, the likes of Brent Qvale, Rontez Miles and Marcus Williams have all spent time on the practice squad over the past couple of seasons, but went on to contribute for the Jets last season.

Heading into the 2016 season, I'm sure Maccagnan will make productive use of the practice squad. If used correctly, it enables you to effectively extend the active roster by a few spots and retain the rights of some promising players that you can continue to develop until they're ready to contribute.

Tags: Ben Ijalana, Bryce Petty, Calvin Pryor, Dakota Dozier, Deon Simon, Dexter McDougle, Jace Amaro, Jarvis Harrison, Julian Howsare, Mike Catapano, Ronald Martin, T.J. Barnes, Taiwan Jones, Trevor Reilly, Wes Saxton
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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)

Bent, theJetsBlog.com Follow on Twitter

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)

Bent, theJetsBlog.com Follow on Twitter

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)

Bent, theJetsBlog.com Follow on Twitter

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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Nov 25, 2018; Baltimore, MD, USA; Baltimore Ravens running back Ty Montgomery (88) rushes by Oakland Raiders defensive end Fadol Brown (95) during the fourth quarter at M&T Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports (Tommy Gilligan)
Nov 25, 2018; Baltimore, MD, USA; Baltimore Ravens running back Ty Montgomery (88) rushes by Oakland Raiders defensive end Fadol Brown (95) during the fourth quarter at M&T Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports (Tommy Gilligan)

RB Ty Montgomery, who signed a one-year deal with the Jets earlier this week, showed promise in his first few years with the Packers, but fell out of favour last year and ended up being traded to Baltimore. What could the former third-round pick bring to the table with the Jets and how will he complement Le'Veon Bell?

Montgomery is an interesting player who was drafted as a wide receiver but was forced into a position change in 2016 due to injuries. He handled the change so impressively that the Packers decided to make the move permanent in 2017. This wasn't as outlandish as it perhaps seemed at the time, as Montgomery had played running back in high school and even carried 39 times in college -- including 23 in his senior year.

With his experience at wide receiver and his ability to also return kick-offs, Montgomery is regarded as a versatile triple-threat option. On a team that already has a stable of versatile backs, he could fit in well...

Tags: Elijah McGuire, Le'Veon Bell
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New York Jets defensive tackle Leonard Williams looks on during his game against the Atlanta Falcons at MetLife Stadium. (Vincent Carchietta/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Jets defensive tackle Leonard Williams looks on during his game against the Atlanta Falcons at MetLife Stadium. (Vincent Carchietta/USA TODAY Sports)

Leonard Williams is already a fan of his new defensive coordinator. 

The Jets hired veteran defensive coordinator Gregg Williams as they revamped their coaching staff this offseason and their defensive tackle is expecting big things. 

"I feel like that kind of energy brings the best out of people," Leonard Williams told nyjets.com. "Same with our offensive line coach (Dowell Loggains) and head coach (Adam Gase) -- he's a great, passionate offensive coach -- so I feel like practice is going to be really competitive and it's going to be able to push our team."

Tags: Leonard Williams
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Nov 25, 2018; Baltimore, MD, USA; Baltimore Ravens running back Ty Montgomery (88) rushes by Oakland Raiders defensive end Fadol Brown (95) during the fourth quarter at M&T Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports (Tommy Gilligan)
Nov 25, 2018; Baltimore, MD, USA; Baltimore Ravens running back Ty Montgomery (88) rushes by Oakland Raiders defensive end Fadol Brown (95) during the fourth quarter at M&T Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports (Tommy Gilligan)

The Jets have been searching for running back depth behind marquee signing Le'Veon Bell, and on Thursday they got their man.

ESPN's Adam Schefter reports that the club is signing Ty Montgomery to a one-year deal. Montgomery was scheduled for a visit earlier Thursday with the Jets, a day after they met with Spencer Ware

Montgomery spent the first three-plus seasons of his career with the Packers before they traded him to the Ravens in October. The trade came two days after Montgomery fumbled late in a game against the Rams when he ran a kickoff out of the end zone, ignoring instructions to take a knee. 

Tags: Elijah McGuire, Le'Veon Bell
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New York Jets safety Jamal Adams reacts during the second quarter against the Buffalo Bills at MetLife Stadium. (Brad Penner/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Jets safety Jamal Adams reacts during the second quarter against the Buffalo Bills at MetLife Stadium. (Brad Penner/USA TODAY Sports)

Safety Jamal Adams was one of the key Jets players who recruited running back Le'Veon Bell to New York.

Turns out, he also had a role in bringing linebacker C.J. Mosley to the Meadowlands as well.

"Obviously he's a tremendous player, I was excited to get him," Adams said, according to newyorkjets.com. "I kind of recruited him at the Pro Bowl. I didn't think they'd get rid of him, no one did. He came to us and I can't tell you how excited I am."

Tags: Avery Williamson, Brandon Copeland, Jamal Adams, Jordan Jenkins
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Dec 9, 2018; Kansas City, MO, USA; Kansas City Chiefs running back Spencer Ware (32) runs against the Baltimore Ravens at Arrowhead Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports (Jay Biggerstaff)
Dec 9, 2018; Kansas City, MO, USA; Kansas City Chiefs running back Spencer Ware (32) runs against the Baltimore Ravens at Arrowhead Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports (Jay Biggerstaff)

The Jets may have landed their guy in RB Le'Veon Bell this offseason, but that doesn't mean they're finished looking for running backs in free agency. 

Spencer Ware, the former Chiefs running back, visited the Jets today, per ESPN's Rich Cimini. And according to ESPN's Field Yates, Gang Green will have another running back meeting on Thursday in the versatile former Packer Ty Montgomery

SNY's Ralph Vacchiano has reported the Jets are not sold on Eli McGuire and Trenton Cannon has too small a sample size after his rookie season in 2018, which is why they're looking for depth. Other than free agency, the Jets have been diligent in scouting the top running backs in the NFL Draft as well. 

Tags: Elijah McGuire, Le'Veon Bell
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Mike Maccagnan
Mike Maccagnan

With just over two weeks left until the NFL draft kicks off, here's our Jets Mock Draft 4.0:

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

If you buy into the theory that the Cardinals are taking Oklahoma QB Kyler Murray No. 1 (and I do), be assured that the 49ers will take Ohio State's Nick Bosa with the second pick. That leaves the Jets with the choice of three options: Allen, Alabama DT Quinnen Williams or trade down. They would surely trade down if the right deal comes along. If not, the choice is tough. Many scouts think Williams might be the best defensive player in the draft, but Allen is the edge rusher the Jets so desperately need. Finding edge rushers has proven to be exceedingly difficult (and expensive) so it makes more sense to go with the 6-5, 260-pound Allen here.

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Sep 30, 2017; Baton Rouge, LA, USA; Troy Trojans quarterback Brandon Silvers (12) looks to pass downfield during the game between the LSU Tigers and the Troy Trojans at Tiger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports (Stephen Lew)
Sep 30, 2017; Baton Rouge, LA, USA; Troy Trojans quarterback Brandon Silvers (12) looks to pass downfield during the game between the LSU Tigers and the Troy Trojans at Tiger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports (Stephen Lew)

The Jets have added more quarterback depth behind Sam Darnold.

They announced Wednesday morning that they signed QB Brandon Silvers, who had recently played for the Memphis Express of the AAF before the league shut down. Silvers had 777 yards passing, four touchdowns and one interception in three starts.

Silvers was a four-year starter at Troy University, where he last played in 2017. 

Tags: Davis Webb, Josh McCown, Sam Darnold
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Aug 30, 2018; Philadelphia, PA, USA; New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold (left) and quarterback Josh McCown (right) warm up before a preseason game against the Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports (Bill Streicher)
Aug 30, 2018; Philadelphia, PA, USA; New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold (left) and quarterback Josh McCown (right) warm up before a preseason game against the Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports (Bill Streicher)

The Jets will not have to travel far for their first preseason game. 

They'll take on the Giants during Week 1 of the preseason (Aug. 8-11) for a "road game" at MetLife Stadium before hitting actually traveling and playing the Falcons in Atlanta in Week 2 (Aug. 15-18). 

During Week 3 (Aug. 22-25), when the starters are expected to play the most, they'll host the Saints. Finally, they'll wrap up the preseason slate against the Eagles (Aug. 29-31). 

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New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold passes the ball against the Buffalo Bills during the second quarter at New Era Field. (Rich Barnes/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold passes the ball against the Buffalo Bills during the second quarter at New Era Field. (Rich Barnes/USA TODAY Sports)

 

The Jets have a new head coach and several new free-agent acquisitions, and quarterback Sam Darnold is optimistic about New York's potential heading into his second year in the NFL.

"It's going to be really fun to play with these guys and kind of get a feel throughout OTAs and training camp how we're going to do things," Darnold said, according to newyorkjets.com. "I'm really excited about where we're going."

Tags: Le'Veon Bell, Quincy Enunwa, Robby Anderson, Sam Darnold
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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)

The new-look Jets reported for work for the first time under new head coach Adam Gase on Monday, for the start of their offseason workout program. Some roster shuffling and a free-agent spending spree has made them look a lot different than when last season ended.

But the transformation is not complete.

Despite all their free-agent additions over the last 13 months, there are still holes to fill in the Jets' lineup. And with free agency basically over, their last chance to do it is really the upcoming draft. So here's a look at what's left on the Jets' "to-do list", and some of the players they could add at the NFL Draft, which is now about two weeks away...

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Dec 4, 2017; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers running back Le'Veon Bell (26) sits on the bench against the Cincinnati Bengals in the first half at Paul Brown Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports (Aaron Doster)
Dec 4, 2017; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers running back Le'Veon Bell (26) sits on the bench against the Cincinnati Bengals in the first half at Paul Brown Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports (Aaron Doster)

The NFL Shop need to update its Le'Veon Bell Jets jerseys. 

Now that the team has reported for offseason training and the new uniforms have been revealed, the new Jets running back announced on Monday that he will continue to wear No. 26. 

Bell posted a rendering of himself in the new Jets uniform on Twitter Monday, which read, "It's a New Era in NY, go grab that Gang Green 26."

Tags: Le'Veon Bell, Marcus Maye
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Mar 3, 2019; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Mississippi State defensive lineman Montez Sweat (DL51) 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; Mississippi State defensive lineman Montez Sweat (DL51) goes through workout drills during the 2019 NFL Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports (Brian Spurlock)

Bent, theJetsBlog.com Follow on Twitter

Since the Jets traded John Abraham prior to the 2006 draft, the team has never really had a productive edge rusher that can rack up sacks and generate consistent pressure. Could the 2019 draft be where they finally address that need?

Much has been made of the fact that either Josh Allen or Nick Bosa might be available when the Jets make the third pick in this month's draft, either of whom would be viewed as a promising solution to one of the team's biggest weaknesses. However, the Jets may instead opt to trade down, especially if Bosa and Allen are the first two players selected and neither available to them. If they do, who could they target to address this need?

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Nov 12, 2018; Santa Clara, CA, USA; New York Giants receiver Quadree Henderson (15) during the game against the San Francisco 49ers at Levi's Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports (Kirby Lee)
Nov 12, 2018; Santa Clara, CA, USA; New York Giants receiver Quadree Henderson (15) during the game against the San Francisco 49ers at Levi's Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports (Kirby Lee)

The Jets have claimed KR/WR Quadree Henderson, per ESPN's Field Yates.

Henderson was waived by the Giants on Thursday, as they will likely use newest S Jabrill Peppers and WR Corey Coleman in their return game. The Jets, on the other hand, released Andre Roberts despite putting together a Pro Bowl season in 2018. 

The 22-year-old Henderson was in his first season with the Giants last year. He was primarily used as the team's punt and kick returner when he did get between the hashes. In five games, Henderson totaled 68 yards on nine punt returns and 112 yards on five kick returns.

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Oct 15, 2017; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; 
		New York Jets safety Jamal Adams (33) gets called for pass interference in front of New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski (87) in the 1st half at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports (Robert Deutsch)
Oct 15, 2017; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets safety Jamal Adams (33) gets called for pass interference in front of New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski (87) in the 1st half at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports (Robert Deutsch)

Jamal Adams is not buying Rob Gronkowski's retirement. 

The Patriots tight end revealed on March 24 that he was stepping away from football at the age of 29 after a nine-year career that included three Super Bowl championships. 

The Jets' Pro Bowl safety, however, does not expect the retirement to last very long. 

Tags: Jamal Adams
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