This analysis is based on watching and re-watching TV footage. As such, it is not always possible to accurately determine everything that was going on. However, every effort has been made to ensure that the information below is as complete and correct as possible.

Coming up after the jump, an analysis of yesterday's win over the Chiefs, including a look into what impact Jim Leonhard's injury could have on the Jets' playoff chances, an appreciation of the unsung heroes on the special teams coverage units and insight into how the Jets fooled everybody by having a gameplan that relied heavily on Vladimir Ducasse of all people. Remember, if you want me to look into anything in particular or go into more detail, leave a comment and I'll include it in BGA Extra, which will follow in a few days.

For me, this game was practically over before it began. Technical issues meant that my friends and I weren't able to get coverage of the game, necessitating a cross-town trip from yours truly to fetch another laptop to try and get the game. By the time I returned, the Jets already led 7-0 and - with the Chiefs only having averaged seven points over their previous five games, there was a good chance that was going to be unassailable, as long as the Jets didn't do anything stupid.

They remained conservative, instead feasting on errors by the Chiefs, to extend the lead in the second quarter, until they had built a 28-3 lead that even the most pessimistic Jets fan would have felt pretty secure with. The second half was a mere formality, with the Jets ultimately winning 37-10.

The Chiefs are struggling, but the Jets took care of business and neutralized those things that they do well, en route to an easy win. That's what Jets fans have been hoping for, so it should serve as an ideal preparation for the last three games, all of which promise to be tough, yet winnable.

While some aspects of the team seem to be gelling and perhaps peaking at just the right time, there are still some areas that give cause for concern, so let's look in depth at all of them.

Quarterback

The two main areas I identified in the offseason where Mark Sanchez needed to improve most were in the red zone and his accuracy on short passes. All season long, he's done dramatically better in both areas and yesterday was perhaps the best evidence yet that his hard work in these areas is paying off.

In terms of the red zone, the Jets were already number one in the NFL entering this week's game and will have stretched their lead on the rest of the league by going five for five yesterday. It was interesting to hear the announcers remark who Sanchez gives much of the credit for the red zone success to. If you missed it, have a guess. (Answer at the end of this section).

In terms of short passes, the Jets had terrific success just dumping the ball off to their backs (108 yards on five completions). So much so, in fact, that they never really needed to throw the ball downfield to advance the ball.

The Jets did make a concerted effort to take a few deep shots this week, without successfully completing one. They picked up a pass interference call on one throw down the seam to Dustin Keller and Santonio Holmes wanted a call on what seemed to be a well-thrown ball down the sideline. However, with Sanchez delivering the ball on time to his receivers underneath, in space and with accuracy so they could get upfield impetus, they managed to dink and dunk their way to a productive first half.

Sanchez was actually 0 for 4 in the second half, although two of those were dropped and he did have about five more throws that resulted in first downs via penalty.

It's very difficult to assess Sanchez's performance accurately because, while he didn't make any obvious mistakes, most of his pass completions were pretty simple. However, he does deserve credit for consistently taking what the defense gave him and getting the ball to guys in space who were then able to make things happen.

I'd also give Sanchez credit for his two well-executed touchdown runs. Sanchez has a real nose for the endzone. As someone who grew up watching Ken O'Brien (who had ZERO rushing touchdowns in 129 games as a Jet), that's refreshing to see.

Mark Brunell came in for mop-up duty and completed the same number of passes in the second half as Sanchez did. In fact, he handed the ball off every time.

Oh, and who does Mark Sanchez credit much of the Jets' red zone success to? QB coach Matt Cavanaugh. That surprised me.

Offensive Line

For the third straight week, the offensive line performed tremendously, creating space for the running game and doing a solid job of protecting Mark Sanchez. It had to be a good sign when they ran the "Blast" play on the first snap of the game and Matt Slauson's pulling block was perfectly in synch with John Conner's straight ahead pop in the hole. One broken tackle later and Shonn Greene was out to the second level...and not for the last time.

Perhaps even better was some of the blocking on screen passes. Nick Mangold got out in front of Shonn Greene on the long play that set up the second touchdown, finding a guy in space at about the ten yard line and driving him back into the endzone. Mangold also blocked his man to the ground to enable LaDainian Tomlinson to break out to the second level on another screen pass - Tomlinson did the rest, going in for a 19 yard touchdown.

The Jets did give up three sacks. One came as the Chiefs sent two guys off the left side and Tomlinson blocked one, but the other was left unblocked. That's presumably on Sanchez. Justin Houston beat Wayne Hunter on the inside, but I think that was a communication breakdown, because Hunter took a wide step to the outside as soon as the ball was snapped, as if he was expecting inside help from Brandon Moore, who actually pulled left and helped Dustin Keller, who was about to be beaten on the blindside. The last sack came on a meaningless fourth and four play late in the game and saw Tamba Hali beat D'Brickashaw Ferguson with an outside speed rush. I'd agree with those that said they probably shouldn't have been passing the ball in that situation anyway.

Overall, there were these three sacks and not a great deal of other pressure on Sanchez, with the success of the screen pass no doubt helping to slow down the rush. However, the linemen still deserve credit because they are looking more and more comfortable individually and as a unit when called upon to pass protect for any length of time - and Hali and Houston are no slouches. It was good to see some nastiness from Brandon Moore in pass protection as he came over to double team Armon Gordon and just shoved him to the floor.

In terms of the running game, the interior line were dominant, whereas the tackles made a few too many mistakes, especially Wayne Hunter, whose pass protection has been encouraging over the past few games, but his run blocking hasn't been as good. He was responsible for a couple of plays that were stuffed, although many of these were after the game was already in the bag.

What I haven't mentioned yet is the role played by the much-maligned Vladimir Ducasse. Ducasse played 24 snaps, which is 32% of the time, both season highs. This is about the point at which the Jets increased Rob Turner's workload last year, using him as an extra tight end in the jumbo package. The Jets did the same thing here with Ducasse, who had most of his snaps as the inside of two tight ends on the edge of the line. However, he did have five snaps on the edge of the line as the only tight end, or as a tackle in an unbalanced line set.

With Ducasse in the game, the Jets had plenty of success and he was basically error-free, other than being called for a holding penalty which looked debateable at best. While he doesn't always manage to sustain his blocks, he did have some success moving guys off their spot and didn't allow anyone to beat him badly. I know Ducasse is in his second year, but based on this game, he is further along than Slauson (who started in HIS second year) was as a rookie.

Caleb Schlauderaff got into the action for three unremarkable, but mistake free, garbage time snaps.

Running Backs

Greene's run on the first play from scrimmage set the tone nicely and he did a good job of grinding out yardage, even later on in the game when the defense was anticipating a run. Although he's played well in three of the last four games, he hadn't broken a single tackle, so it was good to see him break two on the first play. His 187 all-purpose yards was easily a career high, as were his 58 receiving yards. He also had the longest pass reception of his career. This is definitely a guy who seems to be peaking at the right time.

The one criticism I would have is that he lost the ball on consecutive plays in the second quarter. However, he was correctly ruled as down by contact on the first one and had broken the plane on the second one, as he ran over a defensive back on his way into the endzone, so it's not really fair to say he didn't protect the ball.

Greene had a fourth catch negated by a penalty and would have had a huge gain on the play where he was held by Tyson Jackson, giving rise to a first down as well as a 15-yard unsportsmanlike conduct penalty on a teary-eyed Todd Haley. For Haley, I can see why he might have felt that a few decisions went against him, although these were more borderline than actually seeming to be incorrect. However, I can't see how he picked that moment to complain, because that was the most blatant penalty of the day - so much so that I even noticed it in real time - and actually, it was probably a smart play by Jackson. For Greene, he's come a long way since not catching a single pass until the playoffs in his rookie year.

The other two backs - Tomlinson and Bilal Powell - couldn't get anything going on the ground, as they each averaged less than two yards per carry. In fact, Tomlinson was cut down for a loss four times and probably couldn't have done anything about any of them. With the line blocking so well for Greene, it was obvious how frustrated Tomlinson was when he slammed the ball into the ground after being stuffed just a split second after receiving a handoff.

However, Tomlinson had two huge plays in the passing game - catching a 31-yarder as he was wide open on what I'd like to call a "skinny wheel" route and then taking a screen pass to the endzone for his first ever touchdown at the Jumbo Slinky.

Powell still hasn't shown any spark, which is a shame, because it would have been a good time for him to make his fresh legs count. Once McKnight returns, Powell will probably be inactive for the rest of the year, unless the Jets fall out of contention.

Finally, John Conner had some punishing blocks, as usual. He wasn't perfect, but continues to have a positive impact overall.

Receivers

With the short passing game working so well, there's not much to say about the receivers today. Plaxico Burress did not catch a pass and Santonio Holmes had just 12 yards on two catches. Dustin Keller fared slightly better, with a team-high four catches (all, obviously, in the first half). They did combine to create some first downs via penalty though - and all three got involved with downfield blocking, even Holmes who currently ranks dead last in the NFL for receivers' blocking on PFF.

Although they didn't need to pass the ball in the second half - and Holmes did contribute a key first down and one of the touchdowns - it's still a little concerning about the lack of production. They did try to get everyone involved in the second half, knowing that this is something they will have to do in next week's game, but it didn't work out. I'd imagine that will be a focus of this week's practices.

The backup receivers made an impact, with Jeremy Kerley picking up a couple of short gains and making some nice punt returns after Leonhard's injury, although he allowed Brandon Carr to strip the ball away from him for an incompletion on a ball he should have held. Patrick Turner had an important third down catch on the opening drive, but was just in for nine plays, most of which were in garbage time. Josh Baker was in for six plays, making a nice 17 yard grab, the longest of his career.

Matthew Mulligan had a big role this week and was only in for one less snap than Keller (47). He whiffed badly on one block, but was otherwise an important factor in the running game. I noticed that the Jets shared the load between him and Keller this week in terms of who stayed in to pass block, so they are perhaps trying to focus on what he does well.

Defensive Line

I seem to say it every week, but Sione Pouha continues to perform superbly, constantly shedding blocks (including double teams) to blow up plays and rarely ever getting moved off his spot. Pouha actually sat out most of the second half, showing up late to register a safety on yet another play blown up in the backfield on his only snap in the last 24 minutes. He's not just blowing up runs though. Not only did he have a sack, but on another play he got a terrific surge on a bull rush to drive his man back into the quarterback and on another, he dropped into coverage, saw Dwayne Bowe running a shallow crossing route and shoved him completely off course. That's Kris Jenkins type stuff right there, people.

With Mike DeVito out and Pouha resting for much of the second half, we got an extended look at Marcus Dixon, Muhammed Wilkerson and Ropati Pitoitua. Dixon seems to be the one who is benefiting most from DeVito's absence and really seems to have upped his game over the past few weeks. Here he picked up half a sack and did a good job of penetrating and getting in on tackles. Pitoitua hasn't been as productive as he was earlier in the season before he hurt his knee, but is completely reliable whenever called upon and did stuff a couple of runs. Wilkerson, as you'd expect, has his ups and downs, but is usually good for one spectacularly blown up play per game and on Sunday he got some good pressure on Tyler Palko, forcing him to throw it away.

With Kenrick Ellis inactive, Martin Tevaseu wasn't used, although he did play the last three snaps.

Linebackers

While the Chiefs offense really didn't pose much of a threat all day, the linebackers still put the work in. It was business as usual for Calvin Pace, David Harris and Bart Scott. Pace did a good job of maintaining contain all day and came off the edge to blow up a couple of runs in the backfield. He was also credited with half a sack. Harris had a sack, blew up one run in the backfield and led the Jets in tackles. Scott had a sack, blew up one run and attacked the line more than in some recent games. He was actually in for 33 of the first 39 snaps this week, so a much bigger part of the game plan. The Jets often left base personnel in on passing downs for a change this week.

While Pace, Scott and Harris combined for 2.5 sacks, two Jets that have been piling up the sacks recently were unable to get on the board. However, the Chiefs linemen had their hands full with Aaron Maybin all day, as he rushed the passer on 20 of his 27 snaps. Jamaal Westerman, on the other hand, only rushed the passer seven times in 29 snaps, as he was called upon to play a more disciplined role.

With Westerman taking his spot, Garrett McIntyre didn't play on defense until the last series, with Nick Bellore joining him for the last three plays. Josh Mauga saw action on six snaps.

Defensive Backs

While the game was still competitive, the defensive secondary was as impenetrable as ever. In fact, the Chiefs only had four total yards in the first half. In the second, they did have some successes against the Jets' defensive backs, who were tending to play passive and giving the receivers a cushion.

Darrelle Revis had a shut-out going until Dwayne Bowe made a first down catch on him early in the third quarter, getting away with the most blatant push-off you're ever likely to see. After that, Revis did give up a handful of catches, but none for any significant yardage. He also made one great play in run support and one spectacular pass breakup.

Antonio Cromartie didn't give up a catch for most of the game, until Jonathan Baldwin made a spectacular, leaping grab.

The likes of Kyle Wilson and Donald Strickland, while obviously playing most of the time in the slot, also had a lot of snaps where they were basically lined up as an in-the-box safety, but their assignment was to pick up a receiver that had lined up in the backfield in a two back set. Marquice Cole saw 14 snaps, mostly as an in-the-box third safety.

After going into the lead, the Jets were mostly in a soft zone, so it's difficult to apportion too much blame for any of the yardage that was surrendered in the second half. The Chiefs did pick up 26 on a screen pass, which any one of a number of players could have prevented from being such a long gain, and did score a touchdown, although on that play, there were four defensive players in the area and they may even have got into each other's way. The biggest coverage breakdown was on Dwayne Bowe's late 4th quarter dropped pass in the endzone. Darrelle Revis was covering Bowe, but passed him off to someone behind him. This would either have been Kyle Wilson, who was in the slot, but reacted to the inside as his man ran a skinny post, or Eric Smith, who was closer to the middle of the field. It's not really possible to say who was at fault there, but this is the sort of breakdown they must avoid over the next few weeks.

Unfortunately, Jim Leonhard's knee injury - incurred while making an important interception with the score still 7-3 - means he is out for the season and again the Jets will have to make do without him. As I wrote last year, Leonhard isn't such a great player that they lose out significantly when he isn't there, but the fact he calls the coverages means the Jets have to do a lot of work to get on the same page by next week.

Last year, I boldly predicted that they would cope okay without him, but acknowledged that I was wary about them only having two days to prepare for life without him before their next game. Sure enough, Tom Brady picked apart the secondary after Leonhard's injury ten minutes before the end of the Jets' final practice in preparation for that game had thrown their gameplan into chaos. However, Rex Ryan vowed to fix the defense and they performed superbly in a loss to Miami the following week, after which they beat Pittsburgh and of course went on to play well in the postseason.

The major difference this time is that the Jets cannot afford to have a one-game hangover and then fix the defense, because one more loss could eliminate them. However, at least they've got all week to prepare.

During the postseason, it was Eric Smith and Brodney Pool, the two obvious starters now, who got the job done with Dwight Lowery as a third safety off the bench. However, people forget that Smith was injured too at the end of the season, so it was actually Pool and Lowery who were starting, with Cole as the third safety, in a couple of those games where they had started to turn things around.

Given the complexity of the Jets' scheme, I think it's unlikely that the Jets will sign anyone to fill the void. Instead, I anticipate that they will employ Cole or Strickland in the box, or perhaps sometimes in center field. I could see them using Cromartie to roam deep on some passing downs too and Cole and Strickland have the versatility to line up opposite their man with Cromartie eight yards behind and then they have the option to rush the passer and have Cromartie pick up their guy in off-man coverage. When Pool was out earlier in the year, they did run some two safety packages with three or four cornerbacks, so the biggest upheaval will almost certainly just be in terms of how well they can communicate back there.

On Sunday, Pool actually started and then it became apparent that they were going to rotate Pool and Smith like they did in the Buffalo game (but not last week). Obviously, once Leonhard went down, Smith and Pool were in full time (although Tracy Wilson got three snaps for Smith at the end). Neither was badly exposed in coverage and Smith even added a sack, although he did also miss a tackle.

Pool has always concerned me because he seems more susceptible to blown assignments than anyone else (remembering that I can't always be certain whose fault a given play is). However, he played smart, disciplined football at the end of last year, so perhaps if he's playing full time, his focus will be greater. I note that I've highlighted the discrepancy between how well Smith plays when he's getting the majority of the snaps compared with when he's in a backup role, so perhaps something similar can be said for Pool and how much more likely he is to blow an assignment if he's coming in cold off the bench.

Isaiah Trufant went into the game on defense with three plays to go, but then there was a timeout and he came out of the game again for some reason.

Special Teams

There's not much to be said about the kicking game, as Nick Folk didn't attempt a field goal. TJ Conley punted well, with a 45.0 average and three downed inside the 20, one of which set up Pouha's safety. One of his kicks was almost blocked, but he got away a great punt. However, he did have a short one from the endzone, which led to a field goal. Note: Other than Sebastien Janikowski's 61-yarder in week three, the Jets' opponents are perfect on field goals this year.

Instead, I want to focus on the coverage units, which were excellent this week. While Javier Arenas fared slightly better, Dexter McCluster was held to four yards on one punt return and 85 yards on five kickoffs, as the Jets did a great job of getting downfield.

In particular, I wanted to highlight the work of Nick Bellore, who had two tackles and has quietly moved up to 2nd place in the NFL in special teams tackles. However, it wasn't either of his tackles that stood out. Instead there was one kickoff where he just annihilated Jerheme Urban, the lead blocker, and knocked him flying. Tracy Wilson cleaned up behind him with the tackle on about the 15-yard line.

It wasn't just Bellore, though. Cole, Trufant and Tracy Wilson all did a great job of getting downfield all day, with Cole downing a punt at the five and Trufant combining with Mauga to down a punt at the one. McIntyre also contributed a forced fumble.

Most of all, it's good not to have to talk about another muffed punt, although Leonhard's injury gives further cause for concern. However, Kerley looked good and will hopefully be much more comfortable with a full time role than putting him out there at random times.

Conclusions

Same conclusion: One game at a time. These three wins in a row won't mean anything if they don't win on Sunday.

The Leonhard injury presents a huge challenge and they will probably need to open up the playbook a bit more to win this one, but the play of Greene, the offensive line, the defense, the coverage units and Sanchez avoiding any serious mistakes give them a solid foundation with which they are capable of beating anyone. Hopefully, they will carry over some momentum from this game in all of those areas.

Remember, if there's anything else you'd like me to comment upon or go into more detail about, let me have your suggestions in the comments and I'll respond in BGA Extra later in the week.
Tags: BGA, Bent Double

New York Jets defensive end Leonard Williams on the sidelines during the third quarter against the Buffalo Bills at MetLife Stadium. (Brad Penner/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Jets defensive end Leonard Williams on the sidelines during the third quarter against the Buffalo Bills at MetLife Stadium. (Brad Penner/USA TODAY Sports)

The Jets have officially picked up DL Leonard Williams' fifth-year option, keeping Williams with the team through 2019 at least. 

Williams, 23, the sixth overall pick of the 2015 NFL Draft, will make $14.2 million in 2019, assuming he's considered a defensive end. If they try to say he's a defensive tackle, the contract will be $11.4 million, according to SNY's Ralph Vacchiano. The contract becomes fully guaranteed next March.

"It's definitely time to step up and take it to the next level," Williams said last week via Vacchiano. "That comes with a lot. It's just not my play on the field. It comes with my leadership, how I approach work, how much time I'm putting in outside of the mandatory hours into my craft, into my game."

Tags: Leonard Williams
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Who will the Jets select #3? 00:05:13
SNY NFL Insider Ralph Vacchiano and SNY NFL Draft Expert Rich Cirminiello discuss who the Jets will select third overall in the NFL Draft.

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

In less than a week, Jets GM Mike Maccagnan will make the most important draft pick of his tenure with the team, the one that surely will define his legacy.

No pressure, right?

Tags: Eli Manning, Josh McCown, Ralph Vacchiano
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Tulane Green Wave cornerback Parry Nickerson returns his interception against the Connecticut Huskies in the second quarter at Rentschler Field. (David Butler II/USA TODAY Sports)
Tulane Green Wave cornerback Parry Nickerson returns his interception against the Connecticut Huskies in the second quarter at Rentschler Field. (David Butler II/USA TODAY Sports)

Bent, theJetsBlog.com Follow on Twitter

Over the last few weeks, we looked at some of the players who have been invited to attend an official pre-draft visit with the Jets. With the visits ending earlier this week, let's take a final look at a selection of the players New York brought in.

Parry Nickerson, CB, Tulane

Nickerson is a four-year starter who was a constant standout on the Tulane defense. During his career, he recorded 16 interceptions, broke up another 31 passes and scored two defensive touchdowns. He turned heads at the scouting combine when he ran a 4.32 40-yard dash.

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Jonas Schwartz and Willie Colon are ready to open their present that is the #3 pick in the NFL Draft. The guys discuss the possibility of the Jets trading up, yet again, and the crazy idea of selecting a non-QB (can someone say Bradley Chubb) with the 3rd overall selection. Plus, former NFL QB Dan Orlovsky calls in to give his insight into the top four quarterbacks.

Click below to listen

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 (Tim Fuller)
(Tim Fuller)

The Jets will open the 2018 season in Detroit against the Lions on Monday night football, and finish things in Week 17 on the road against the Patriots.

Their entire 2018 schedule has been confirmed by SNY's Ralph Vacchiano, and is below...

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Jan 1, 2018; Pasadena, CA, USA; Oklahoma Sooners quarterback Baker Mayfield (6) passes against the Georgia Bulldogs in the first quarter in the 2018 Rose Bowl college football playoff semifinal game at Rose Bowl Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports (Kirby Lee)
Jan 1, 2018; Pasadena, CA, USA; Oklahoma Sooners quarterback Baker Mayfield (6) passes against the Georgia Bulldogs in the first quarter in the 2018 Rose Bowl college football playoff semifinal game at Rose Bowl Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports (Kirby Lee)

Former QB Dan Orlovsky thinks the Jets are targeting Oklahoma QB Baker Mayfield with the No. 3 pick in the Draft, and one of the reasons is very specific.

Orlovsky, who played under Kyle Shanahan, noted that Jets OC Jeremy Bates is from the Mike Shanahan coaching tree. And that one of the traits Shanahan loved about John Elway is that he would screw his back foot into the ground when he threw -- adding that Bates loves that trait in quarterbacks as well. 

"There's one guy in the Draft who has that trait," Orlovsky said earlier this week on SNY's Jet Stream podcast. "And it's Baker Mayfield. He does the same thing when he throws. And I just think that those coaches fall in love with traits of guys that remind them of players that they had success with in the past. I think that they're looking at Baker Mayfield and going 'that's our guy.'"

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Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield drops back to pass against Ohio State during the first half of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Sept. 9, 2017, in Columbus, Ohio. (AP Photo/Jay LaPrete) (Jay LaPrete/AP)
Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield drops back to pass against Ohio State during the first half of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Sept. 9, 2017, in Columbus, Ohio. (AP Photo/Jay LaPrete) (Jay LaPrete/AP)

Projecting trades in a Mock Draft is a futile effort. There are too many variables and rumors. It's mostly speculation. And really, it's just an exercise in fantasy football.

But … well, who doesn't love fantasy football?

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Oct 14, 2017; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Southern California Trojans quarterback Sam Darnold. (Kirby Lee)
Oct 14, 2017; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Southern California Trojans quarterback Sam Darnold. (Kirby Lee)

In his latest mock draft, Sports Illustrated's Albert Breer has the Jets taking Sam Darnold as their quarterback of the future at No. 3. 

Many experts believe Darnold could be the first overall pick by the Browns, and if he doesn't land with Cleveland, then the Giants would scoop him up at No. 2. However, with Josh Allen as Breer's No. 1 pick and the Giants electing to go with Saquon Barkley over a quarterback, Darnold drops in the Jets' lap. 

So, there is no need for the Jets to choose between Josh Rosen or Baker Mayfield...

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Mangold's Hall of Fame chances 00:04:59
Dan Graca and Jon Hein debate over Nick Mangold's chances at making the Hall of Fame and the Devils' chances at beating the Lightning.

After a year out of football, No. 74 is officially hanging up the cleats. 

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive: On the lists of favorite players and all-time greats, you'll rarely find a center. They're buried in the trenches, often noticed only when a bad snap happens or a defensive tackle breaks through.

The same was probably true for Nick Mangold during his 11 NFL seasons - rarely noticed from the outside and incredibly underappreciated game to game. Yet somehow he still emerged from his long career as a fan favorite. And he definitely emerged as one of the Jets' all-time greats.

Tags: Nick Mangold
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New York Jets defensive end Leonard Williams gestures while jogging on the field prior to the game against the Buffalo Bills at New Era Field. (Rich Barnes/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Jets defensive end Leonard Williams gestures while jogging on the field prior to the game against the Buffalo Bills at New Era Field. (Rich Barnes/USA TODAY Sports)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

Jets GM Mike Maccagnan made it clear he had no worries about the state of the Jets' defensive line heading into the offseason. Sure, they've lost a lot of talent in recent years, trading Sheldon Richardson, cutting Muhammad Wilkerson and not re-signing Damon Harrison.

But they still have Leonard Williams, the sixth pick of the 2015 draft, and despite a down season last year, the Jets have huge expectations for him.

Tags: Damon Harrison, Leonard Williams, Muhammad Wilkerson, Sheldon Richardson, Steve McLendon, Ralph Vacchiano
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Los Angeles Chargers kicker Nick Rose attempts a field goal during an NFL game against the New York Jets at MetLife Stadium. (Kirby Lee/USA TODAY Sports)
Los Angeles Chargers kicker Nick Rose attempts a field goal during an NFL game against the New York Jets at MetLife Stadium. (Kirby Lee/USA TODAY Sports)

The Jets were awarded kicker Nick Rose on Monday after the Los Angeles Chargers placed him on waivers, the team announced.

Rose made 11 of 14 field goals in 10 games with the Chargers and Washington Redskins last season and converted on 23 of 26 extra points. He went 1-for-3 as a member of the Chargers in Weeks 16 and 17, and 10-for-11 in eight games with Washington. His longest make last year was 55 yards.

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Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

Brian Winters remembers everything about the moment his 2017 season went off the rails. He remembers the time, the place, the play, and without question, the pain.

"It was second quarter in Oakland (in Week 2) with five minutes to go before half when we were driving in to the north end zone. I still remember it like it was yesterday," said the 26-year-old guard. "It was an outside zone play and (running back) Bilal (Powell) was trying to stretch it outside of me, so I went to continue to push my guy through. And as soon as I pushed through I felt like a pop."

Tags: Brian Winters, Wesley Johnson, Ralph Vacchiano
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Oklahoma Sooners wide receiver Jeff Badet catches a touchdown pass against Texas Longhorns defensive back Kris Boyd in the second quarter at the Cotton Bowl. (Tim Heitman/USA TODAY Sports)
Oklahoma Sooners wide receiver Jeff Badet catches a touchdown pass against Texas Longhorns defensive back Kris Boyd in the second quarter at the Cotton Bowl. (Tim Heitman/USA TODAY Sports)

Bent, theJetsBlog.com Follow on Twitter

Last week, we looked at some of the players who have been invited to attend an official pre-draft visit with the Jets. More names have leaked out over the past seven days, so let's break down some of the more interesting ones in detail.

Jeff Badet, WR, Oklahoma

Badet spent most of his collegiate career at Kentucky, but saw some high profile action last year after transferring to Oklahoma. He wasn't invited to the scouting combine, but if he had been, his pro day numbers for the 40-yard dash, vertical jump and broad jump would all have ranked first or second at the receiver position.

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Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield drops back to pass against Ohio State during the first half of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Sept. 9, 2017, in Columbus, Ohio. (AP Photo/Jay LaPrete) (Jay LaPrete/AP)
Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield drops back to pass against Ohio State during the first half of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Sept. 9, 2017, in Columbus, Ohio. (AP Photo/Jay LaPrete) (Jay LaPrete/AP)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive: It's not quite crunch time yet, but there are less than three weeks until the start of the first round of the NFL draft, which means draft boards are in their final stages all around the league. It also means that the truth about which players are being targeted by which teams is starting to leak out -- albeit slowly.

Still, there are a lot of variables, especially in the first two picks. But at the moment there aren't many changes to my latest Mini-Mock Draft. The Browns are still taking a quarterback at 1. The Jets are still definitely taking one at 3. And I still think the Giants will take one -- assuming the right one is available -- at 2.

Here's a full look at my new Top 10, with some updated inside information...

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 (Brad Penner)
(Brad Penner)

Former Jets QB Mark Sanchez has been suspended four games after violating the performance-enhancing drug policy, the league announced Friday. 

Sanchez, who last played for the Jets in 2013, was the Bear's third-string quarterback last season. He claimed that "unknowing supplement contamination" was the reason for his drug test to turn up positive. 

The 31-year-old took to Instagram to explain the whole story...

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 (Kamil Krzaczynski)
(Kamil Krzaczynski)

The Jets have already begun condensing their roster for next season as the team announced several cuts on Friday. 

Among them was former Bears RB Jeremy Langford, who signed a reserve/future contract with the Jets worth $630,000 this offseason. The 26-year-old spent time jumping through practice squads last season, and though he was promoted to the Ravens' 53-man roster, an injury pushed him to the IR the same week he joined the team. 

Langford was released following his IR placement, and the former fourth-round pick wouldn't see time for the rest of the season.

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New York Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. (13) greets Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant (88) during warmups before a game at MetLife Stadium. (Brad Penner)
New York Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. (13) greets Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant (88) during warmups before a game at MetLife Stadium. (Brad Penner)

WR Dez Bryant was released by the Cowboys on Friday afternoon, with Bryant reportedly hinting afterwards that he might be staying in the NFC East.

Bryant, 29, had a down year in 2017, with 69 receptions for 838 yards and six touchdowns in 16 games.

"I let a lot of things get in the way that bother me mentally," Bryant said late last season. "I feel like, if anything, I need to deal with in the offseason - is that. Like I said, there's only certain things I can control."

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Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield drops back to pass against Ohio State during the first half of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Sept. 9, 2017, in Columbus, Ohio. (AP Photo/Jay LaPrete) (Jay LaPrete/AP)
Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield drops back to pass against Ohio State during the first half of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Sept. 9, 2017, in Columbus, Ohio. (AP Photo/Jay LaPrete) (Jay LaPrete/AP)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

The Jets are taking a quarterback with the third overall pick in the draft. They know it. Everyone knows it. And they know everyone knows it. "I mean, you'd have to be out of your mind to think otherwise," was how one team official said it. The only lingering question is: Which one?

The Jets have had or will have had private meetings and workouts with all of the top four, and GM Mike Maccagnan has made the rounds at their Pro Days. When they traded up to No. 3 they were convinced that they'd be happy with choosing from whichever two (or three) fell to them. And obviously at least two of the Big Four -- USC's Sam Darnold, UCLA's Josh Rosen, Oklahoma's Baker Mayfield and Wyoming's Josh Allen -- will still be there...

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Jonas Schwartz and Willie Colon take their deepest dive yet into the NFL Draft. They discuss the latest with the four quarterbacks, as well as look back at Willie's draft process with the Steelers in 2006. Later, Brian Costello of the New York Post joins the show to give his take on the draft and the possibility of Mike Maccagnan signing defensive tackle Johnathan Hankins.

Click below to listen

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New York Jets quarterback Josh McCown (15) gestures after thrown a touchdown pass to wide receiver Robby Anderson, not pictured, during the second half of an NFL football game against the Carolina Panthers, Sunday, Nov. 26, 2017, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Bill Kostroun) (Bill Kostroun/AP)
New York Jets quarterback Josh McCown (15) gestures after thrown a touchdown pass to wide receiver Robby Anderson, not pictured, during the second half of an NFL football game against the Carolina Panthers, Sunday, Nov. 26, 2017, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Bill Kostroun) (Bill Kostroun/AP)

The Jets' preseason schedule has been officially released for the 2018 season. 

The Falcons will be Gang Green's first opponent of the new year on their home turf. Then, they will hit the road to face the Redskins on Aug. 16 at 8 p.m.

The annual Snoopy Bowl at MetLife Stadium between the Jets and Giants will be the Week 3 matchup, with the Jets getting home field advantage.

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Top QB prospect Josh Rosen 00:01:13
Former UCLA quarterback Josh Rosen is expected to be taken as one of the top QB's in the 2018 NFL Draft.

In his latest mock draft, ESPN's Mel Kiper sees the Jets grabbing UCLA QB Josh Rosen with their third overall pick -- as SNY's Ralph Vacchiano projects in his Mini Mock Draft 3.0. 

The Jets clearly traded up to the No. 3 slot to take one of the highly touted quarterbacks. With Wyoming's Josh Allen and USC's Sam Darnold going to the Browns and Giants respectively, Rosen appears the best option for the Jets in Kiper's mind. 

CLICK BELOW TO READ KIPER'S ANALYSIS

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Oct 22, 2017; Miami Gardens, FL, USA; New York Jets tight end Eric Tomlinson (83) hurdles Miami Dolphins strong safety Nate Allen (29) during the first half at Hard Rock Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports (Jasen Vinlove)
Oct 22, 2017; Miami Gardens, FL, USA; New York Jets tight end Eric Tomlinson (83) hurdles Miami Dolphins strong safety Nate Allen (29) during the first half at Hard Rock Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports (Jasen Vinlove)

Bent, theJetsBlog.com Follow on Twitter

Having opted to let Austin Seferain-Jenkins leave in free agency, the Jets are relying on a group of young tight ends to replace his production, recently adding two more options to the mix.

It's possible the Jets could look to add to the group via the draft but, for now, let's consider what each of the tight ends currently on the roster brings to the table, and consider how they might be used in 2018...

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Top QB prospect Josh Rosen 00:01:13
Former UCLA quarterback Josh Rosen is expected to be taken as one of the top QB's in the 2018 NFL Draft.

With the NFL Draft a little over two weeks away, the Jets continue to get their last live look at the top prospects they could select with their third overall pick. 

After Oklahoma QB Baker Mayfield wraps up his private workout with the Jets Tuesday, UCLA QB Josh Rosen will visit the team, per SNY's Ralph Vacchiano.

After Rosen's visit, USC QB Sam Darnold is expected to be next on the list at some point later this week. Wyoming QB Josh Allen is also expected to visit at a later date.

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 (Aaron Doster)
(Aaron Doster)

The Jets continue to bolster their defense with another addition at the second tier in vetearn LB Kevin Minter, the team announced Monday. 

Minter most recently played for the Bengals in 2017, where he tallied 32 tackles in nine games. 

He was a second round draft pick by the Cardinals back in 2013, and he would spend four seasons in Arizona before heading to Cincinnati. He totaled 175 tackles, five sacks, one forced fumble, and six passes defended over 61 games (37 starts). 

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Dec 1, 2016; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Charles Johnson (12) runs after the catch in the second quarter against the Dallas Cowboys at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Rempel)
Dec 1, 2016; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Charles Johnson (12) runs after the catch in the second quarter against the Dallas Cowboys at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Rempel)

The Jets continue to stack their wide receiving corps for next season as former Vikings WR Charles Johnson signed a deal with the team on Monday. 

Johnson, who was waived by the Panthers in July 2017, sat out all last season due to surgery on his right knee. He played for the Vikings from 2014-16, where he totaled 60 receptions for 834 yards and two touchdowns over 39 games. 

The Grand Valley State product was a Packers' seventh-rounder back in 2013, and after joinging the team's practice squad following camp that year, the Brown picked him up to join their 53-man squad. He dressed but never saw action with the Browns. 

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The Jets' free agency strategy 00:12:52
The Jets Nation panel analyzes the Jets' recent free-agent additions, including former Vikings franchise quarterback Teddy Bridgewater.

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

Here is the most up-to-date information on whom the Jets have added and lost during free agency, including contract details and salary cap information. Be sure to bookmark this page and check back for frequent updates.

JETS SALARY CAP SPACE

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Dec 27, 2017; Bronx, NY, USA; Iowa Hawkeyes running back Akrum Wadley (25) rushes against Boston College Eagles defensive tackle Noa Merritt (94) during the second half of the 2017 Pinstripe Bowl at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports (Vincent Carchietta)
Dec 27, 2017; Bronx, NY, USA; Iowa Hawkeyes running back Akrum Wadley (25) rushes against Boston College Eagles defensive tackle Noa Merritt (94) during the second half of the 2017 Pinstripe Bowl at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports (Vincent Carchietta)

Bent, theJetsBlog.com Follow on Twitter

While the Jets are reportedly hosting Baker Mayfield and Josh Rosen for official Draft visits this week, we've also been keeping an eye on who else is reportedly scheduled to attend. Last year, both Jamal Adams and Marcus Maye took official visits before being selected with the Jets' top two picks.

Aside from the quarterbacks, most of this year's names that have leaked so far would be players the Jets might be hoping will drop to day three of the draft or maybe even be available as a priority free agent if they go undrafted. Let's look at some of the more interesting prospects...

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Jan 1, 2018; Pasadena, CA, USA; Oklahoma Sooners quarterback Baker Mayfield (6) passes against the Georgia Bulldogs in the first quarter in the 2018 Rose Bowl college football playoff semifinal game at Rose Bowl Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports (Kirby Lee)
Jan 1, 2018; Pasadena, CA, USA; Oklahoma Sooners quarterback Baker Mayfield (6) passes against the Georgia Bulldogs in the first quarter in the 2018 Rose Bowl college football playoff semifinal game at Rose Bowl Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports (Kirby Lee)

With the NFL Draft just 17 days away, Oklahoma QB Baker Mayfield is scheduled to meet with the Jets in Florham Park on Monday and Tuesday, according to multiple reports.

The Jets have already met with Mayfield on multiple occasons -- including at the Senior Bowl and Scouting Combine -- and the team held a private workout with him. 

The 22-year-old Mayfield, who is expected to be selected early in the first round, threw 119 touchdowns in three seasons with Oklahoma and capped it off by throwing 43 touchdowns and six interceptions in 2017 when he started a career-high 14 games...

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New York Jets running back Bilal Powell is pursued by Los Angeles Chargers defensive end Isaac Rochell on a 57-yard touchdown run in the third quarter during an NFL football game at MetLife Stadium. (Kirby Lee/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Jets running back Bilal Powell is pursued by Los Angeles Chargers defensive end Isaac Rochell on a 57-yard touchdown run in the third quarter during an NFL football game at MetLife Stadium. (Kirby Lee/USA TODAY Sports)

Despite the retirement of Matt Forte, the Jets have bolstered their depth in the offensive backfield with a couple of veteran additions. Let's give consideration to what each back brings to the table and how they might find a niche in the Jets' offense this season.

Bilal Powell...

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Sep 10, 2017; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Indianapolis Colts nose tackle Al Woods (99) and Indianapolis Colts defensive tackle Johnathan Hankins (95) wait to take the field before the Colts game with the Los Angeles Rams at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports (Robert Hanashiro)
Sep 10, 2017; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Indianapolis Colts nose tackle Al Woods (99) and Indianapolis Colts defensive tackle Johnathan Hankins (95) wait to take the field before the Colts game with the Los Angeles Rams at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports (Robert Hanashiro)

Free agent DT Johnathan Hankins visited the Jets on Thursday, reports Dan Graziano of ESPN. Hankins, who was cut by the Colts earlier this offseason, has also visited the Redskins.

After spending the first four seasons of his career with the Giants, Hankins agreed to a four-your deal with the Colts worth $30 million, with $14.5 million guaranteed. 

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive: The Jets were obviously looking for an upgrade at defensive tackle when they made their brief -- and ill-advised -- pursuit of Ndamukong Suh. Thankfully, they pulled the plug on that before it happened. Johnathan Hankins could turn out to be a much better fit...

Tags: Johnathan Hankins
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