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, your breakdown of yesterday’s win over the Colts, together with detailed analysis of personnel groupings and individual performance.

Join me after the jump as I attempt to cover every angle.

I needed that.

For reasons I’d rather not get into, this has been a somewhat traumatic week in the Bent household. However, I was able to enjoy a Jets victory to lift my spirits when I felt like I needed it the most. So, thanks to the Jets for that, at least.

Sure, it wasn’t against one of the stronger teams in the AFC and you’d expect most teams to be able to take care of business against an opponent like that, especially with all the injuries they were dealing with. However, sometimes we concern ourselves too much with whether the team is on the right path or looking like a force to be reckoned with and forget to enjoy the game itself. All I wanted this week was for our guys to beat their guys and that’s what happened.

Within that performance, there were some very encouraging signs, but these are of course tempered by the fact that the injury-riddled Colts were somewhat undermanned. Let’s get into some of these…

Quarterbacks

After I criticized the Jets for how they’d been using Tim Tebow over the past few weeks, I’d like to applaud them for their use of Mark Sanchez this week. Straightforward, low degree-of-difficulty short passes, getting rid of the ball and not passing unless they needed to.

Of course, everybody’s life is made easier when you can run the football and that was the key factor here. If Sanchez only has to drop back to pass 20 times (or less) and many of those are simple, low-risk passes, then you’re limiting the amount of times bad things can happen and hopefully increasing the chances of a big play when you do go downfield.

Critics will point to the fact that he only had 82 yards passing, but he didn’t need any more than that and it was good that the Jets didn’t fall into the trap of trying to boost his numbers and get more people involved. I’ll leave you to decide if that could have happened with Santonio Holmes in the line-up.

Sanchez’s response was perfect. He looked decisive and confident and his teammates seemed to feed off that. When the time came to convert some first downs, he was on point, also throwing accurately on two red zone touchdowns. He only really misfired on three throws all day – a wide third down throw to Kerley, which at least was safely out of the reach of any defenders, a dump off to Bilal Powell, which was underthrown as he came under fire in the pocket and one overthrow that was nearly intercepted by a diving safety. That last one was the only time he came anywhere near making a costly mistake.

Due to the fact he was getting rid of the ball, he wasn’t under pressure very much. The one time he was sacked, an unblocked blitzer came off the edge and Sanchez saw it and looked for his hot read on the outside. However, Jeff Cumberland didn’t look back for the ball in time, so Sanchez ate it. I’d give Sanchez credit there both for recognizing the blitz and not forcing the throw.

Despite not completing any long balls, Sanchez impressed on first down throws to Chaz Schilens (twice), Jeremy Kerley and Stephen Hill. He also managed to fit both touchdown passes into tight windows. By not asking him to do too much, the Jets enabled Sanchez to play within himself. However, that’s not an option they’ll have every week, because their offensive line isn’t always going to dominate up front. Still, it does get some of the stink off from his recent performances and allows him, the fans and his teammates to build confidence.

Tebow’s role on offense wasn’t a major factor (aside from the intangible aspects like preparation time in practice and on-field confusion). However, they FINALLY ran the shotgun sneak on third and short and, of course, picked up the first down in the process. I’d be okay with them doing that most of the time in that situation.

Tebow did throw one pass on offense, overthrowing Kerley on a tipped ball. His biggest contribution was, of course, on special teams, but at least he is starting to make something happen every week. When Brad Smith was a Jet, even in the days before they used the Seminole formation, he’d always do something to contribute, whether that was a tackle, catching a pass, running an end around or whatever. Tebow is starting to have a similar impact. Maybe we should be expecting more, but it’s a start.

Offensive Line

One of the main benefits of not passing the ball very much, is that it makes it a lot easier to protect the quarterback. The Jets gave up no pressure up the middle and although Jerry Hughes got the better of Austin Howard a few times, Sanchez basically went otherwise unpressured. The Colts linemen did almost collapse the pocket a few times, but Sanchez was able to get rid of the ball each time.

The big story from the offensive line this week was the run blocking. Although the Colts had some injury issues, any time you can take advantage to the tune of 250 yards, you must be doing something right. I did say last week that there were some signs that the running game was starting to come together and this week they started off with some well-blocked plays where you could already see they were more in synch than they had been. From there, they seemed to grow in confidence as the game went on, presumably as the Colts players saw their confidence take a nose-dive.

The Jets’ favorite play this week was definitely a simple trap block with Brandon Moore looping behind Nick Mangold to lead the way up the middle. They did also run this with Matt Slauson leading the way, but it seemed to be more effective with Moore making that block. Overall, Moore didn’t grade out that well, because he missed a couple of blocks in space and didn’t always sustain his blocks at the second level, but he never got badly beaten and was the driving force behind a lot of the successful runs.

Mangold, after a rough performance two weeks ago and a mediocre one last week was back to his best this week, despite the ankle injury which limited him during the week. As you’d expect, he regularly took his man and turned him aside to create a running lane. Though he let his man get off his block a few times, he was more consistent than Moore. They took the opportunity to rest him at the end of the game, moving Slauson to center and Vladimir Ducasse to left guard.

Slauson had a couple of great blocks in this game, driving guys out of the play on a regular basis. He also had more success on pulling blocks than Moore, going in either direction. It was good to see the Jets punch in a touchdown with him at center and like Moore, while he didn’t always sustain his blocks, he never let anyone get into the backfield or anything. The only thing that let him down was a false start.

Although he got beaten a few times in pass protection, Howard made some good kickout blocks and set the edge well on one run. To nitpick, there was one play where he didn’t get his hands on the edge rusher, although he slipped as he turned the corner. There was another play where his man tried to avoid having to engage with him and he gave him enough of a shove with his initial thrust to prevent him from being able to stop the runner. I’d be more comfortable with Howard if I saw him engage with his man on a more consistent basis, but that play highlights how his athletic gifts can enable his block to still be effective even when he doesn’t.

The biggest revelation in the running game was D’Brickashaw Ferguson, who was more of a focal point in the running game than he has been all season. In the second half, he grew in confidence, doing a terrific job of blocking down on his man to create a huge seam or set the edge on a number of occasions. His first half performance was a little more uneven, with some good kickout blocks mixed in with a few instances of his man being able to get off his block to make a play. If he can build on that second half performance, he could be a force in the running game, as he was from 2008 to 2010.

Off the bench, Ducasse continued to rotate in at left guard (every third series) and the offense continued to perform well, scoring their second and fifth touchdowns with him in the game. Ducasse made some good contributions in this one, notably throwing a key block on the last touchdown and on another play where he drove his man downfield at the second level. He did fail to make a couple of blocks in space and may have been fortunate to avoid a couple of holding calls, but he isn’t getting beaten and helped create a seam on several occasions.

Jason Smith continues to have a role on offense, but his best block of the day came not from the jumbo tight end position. Instead, he lined up as a fullback and made a driving block to the second level. In his more conventional role, Smith got beaten a couple of times, but did do his job on a couple of big runs.

Caleb Schlauderaff was active for the first time all year, but did not play.

Running Backs

Earlier this week, I almost made a post on TJB about whether Shonn Greene is ready to breakout. I didn’t and he did. My reasoning was that the Jets running game had started to coalesce a little over the last few games and looked ready to put it all together. Couple this with the fact that Greene struggled at the start of last year just as he has this year and this was the point where he started to pick things up and you’ve got a recipe for a prediction that could make you look pretty smart. If you made it. Which I didn’t.

Greene looked like a completely different player this week. You’ll recall he finished a couple of runs strongly in the latter stages of Monday night’s game and he built on that in this game. It wasn’t all down to the offensive line, either. The least elusive running back in the NFL entering this game (per PFF) somehow managed to break eight tackles and had more than half of his yards after contact. On a number of occasions, his blocking failed him, but he still made something positive happen, no better illustrated than on his four yard touchdown run where he span out of a tackle in the backfield and then side-stepped another man in the hole.

When Greene burst through a seam for 21 early in the game, would it have surprised anyone if his next 15 carries netted only 30 yards and left him with another underwhelming statline? Instead, Greene was picking up big chunks and falling forward for positive yardage when there wasn’t room. He’d been struggling with his reads in this new offense, but seems to have figured it out, bouncing one run outside for 19 and cutting back up the middle for one of his other touchdowns.

The bad news is that Greene’s sudden rise to prominence coincides with injuries to each of his backups. The Jets have options: Jonathan Grimes has been inactive in two of his three games and hasn’t played on offense yet; John Griffin, who was having a good camp until he got injured is a phone call away; and fullback Lex Hilliard has played as a tailback in the past. However, they would prefer to have Powell or McKnight available.

Before getting hurt, Powell stayed in to block three times, showed good power on a short yardage conversion and bounced a run off the edge for eight yards. However, he also got stuffed on two other runs. McKnight’s role already seemed to be increasing even before Powell went down. He had two first down runs including a 61-yarder that ended with him injured.

At fullback, Hilliard had a couple of good run blocks including one on a short yardage play but was driven back into the runner a couple of times too. His run blocking hasn’t been that good so far, but I think the Jets are benefiting from his consistency. One play they ran a couple of times was a double-trap from a three back set with both fullbacks (Hilliard and Cumberland) leading the way up the middle.

Receivers

There weren’t many opportunities for the receivers to shine in the passing game, but they all caught at least one ball. Stephen Hill, in particular, made a welcome return, catching all three balls (his first since Week 1), including one for a touchdown and two first downs.

Jeremy Kerley also caught three passes, including two where he took a dump-off in the flat and picked up some yardage after the catch. Those types of passes are important to get Sanchez going.

Chaz Schilens made two nice first down catches and looks to be something of a go-to guy for Sanchez in third down situations. He did miss a couple of run blocks, though.

Finally, Jason Hill didn’t play very much, but got on the scoreboard with a well-executed route to the inside and a clean catch.

At tight end, Dustin Keller only caught one short pass, but his return still provided a boost. You could imagine someone making the joke that Keller’s return gave the running game just what it needed, but that wouldn’t actually be that far from the truth as Keller had several key blocks in the early stages. He did a particular good job of setting the edge, but his best block saw him lead the runner on the outside and drive his man out of the play at the sideline. As you’d expect, he did get beaten a couple of times, but maybe Keller’s blocking is going to be improved this year.

With Keller doing a solid job, Konrad Reuland was only in on four snaps. Cumberland did see plenty of time in two tight end sets, but his blocking was extremely inconsistent as he got beaten inside four times. Cumberland sometimes fails to anchor himself when making his block, but when he did, he managed to sustain a few good blocks on the edge. He was also the only Jets player to drop a pass, on his only target.

Even Antonio Cromartie made a contribution on offense this week, running a fake reverse that definitely opened up the middle for a modest gain.

Defensive Line

Moving onto defense, other than the four sacks and four turnovers, the first thing that jumps out at you from the boxscore is the rushing numbers. 41 yards on 17 carries – an average of less than 2.5 yards per carry. For the defense to achieve this without Kenrick Ellis and Sione Po’uha is extremely impressive, even with the Colts a few men down.

As expected, Mike DeVito got the bulk of the workload at nose tackle, with the Jets also using Muhammad Wilkerson and Quinton Coples on the inside on certain four man fronts. Daniel Muir rotated in for 12 snaps, whereas Damon Harrison barely played until he got five of his seven snaps on the final series.

As BGA readers will know, I’ve been saying DeVito can hold his own at the nose tackle position for some time. He only got taken out of a couple of plays and did a great job of holding his ground. On one play, he got good penetration to redirect the runner, on another he assisted on a run stuff and on the best of the bunch, he threw aside a double team and stuffed the runner for no gain. Whether he would be able to handle this role against a bigger offensive line like San Francisco or Pittsburgh is another matter, but yesterday’s performance was outstanding.

In his Jets debut, Muir held up well at the point of attack on one run, but was driven off the line on another. He rushed the passer on seven of his 12 snaps, helping to flush the quarterback on one occasion. Harrison, to his credit, looked excellent in terms of getting a push in the pocket, although he was blocked to the ground on his first snap. They didn’t run the ball with him in there.

Wilkerson had another disruptive day, recording a sack, a pressure, a forced fumble, a batted pass and seven stops. On one play he was once again double-teamed on a pass rush, but made a spin move to get to the quarterback for a pressure. While it was good to see him contributing as a pass rusher, it was in the running game where he really excelled himself, stuffing several runs at or near the line. His only major black mark was a roughing the passer penalty.

Coples also had his most productive game, with 1.5 sacks, a hit, a pressure, a tackle for a loss and two other stops. He made one good play against the run, shedding his block to stop the runner for a short gain, but the tackle for loss came as the runner tripped and he was taken out of one play early on. He had a facemask penalty on his first sack. Overall, he’s continuing to look – as he has since preseason began – like he’s going to be consistently productive at this level.

Linebackers

For the second straight week, the Jets did a much better job of tackling. After all their struggles early in the season, the Jets have missed just three tackles in the last two games. This might be because of an adjustment they seem to have made. On certain plays, it seems like one of the linebackers (usually Bart Scott, but sometimes Calvin Pace) will be a step further back than usual as the ball is snapped. Perhaps this is helping them to see the plays better and keeping them in their lane.

You can tell when Scott is feeling good, because he takes on the lead blocker and then chirps at him after the play is over. Last week, he was not doing that. This week, he was doing a lot of that, especially in the second half, disrupting a series of plays in so doing. He may have poked the bear a little too much, because on one occasion he got absolutely pancaked and landed flat on his back. However, he did get in on a couple of run stuffs, helped flush the quarterback out of the pocket a few times and broke up a pass in the flat. He did get beaten a couple of times in coverage, but they were zone miscommunications rather than being too slow, including one play where he let a guy get open behind him in the end zone, only for Andrew Luck to miss the throw.

David Harris wasn’t around the ball as much as last week, but did stuff a couple of runs and recovered a fumble. I’d like to know why Harris and Scott were both on the punt team for Robert Malone’s last kick.

The outside linebackers graded out disappointingly as Pace and Bryan Thomas recorded just one assist between them, although their primary role was to set the edge, as usual. Pace rushed the passer 31 times and generated no pressure, although many of these were from the defensive end position on a three man line, going 3-on-5. He’s used to that from 2010. As for Thomas, he did hit the quarterback once, but was also blocked to the ground on another play.

Demario Davis keeps seeing his playing time increase. He still hasn’t shown much against the run or in coverage, although he did recover a fumble this week. However, as a pass rusher, he continues to look pretty dynamic. He had a hit and two pressures this week.

Also off the bench, Aaron Maybin played a huge role this week, with 0.5 sacks, two hits and two pressures. Both of those pressures led to turnovers, as one helped cause Cromartie’s first half interception and the other caused Luck to step up to avoid him, from where Wilkerson swatted the ball out of his hand. Maybin also blew up the running play on which Coples made the tackle in the backfield. This is what the Jets have been waiting for. Let’s see if he can sustain it.

Since his breakout game in Pittsburgh, Garrett McIntyre has been a disappointment. He was limited to eight snaps this week, with no real impact. Nick Bellore saw his first defensive snaps of the season down the stretch. With Josh Mauga down, he might be needed to back up on the inside, so it’s useful to see him involved.

Defensive Backs

This was a match-up I figured Cromartie would have problems with. Reggie Wayne is an excellent route runner. However, Cromartie gave him a tough time, getting his hands on several passes. He did give up a couple of first down catches and was burned deep on an overthrow to the end zone, but his biggest issue was with penalties. Cromartie entered the game with just two penalties in his last 13 appearances, but yesterday he was flagged three times. He returned two interceptions for scores, but neither counted due to his own penalty on one and a Maybin block-in-the-back penalty on the other. While the touchdown was negated, his first interception still stood and helped the Jets open up their lead in the second quarter. Penalties are the one area where the Jets will definitely need to improve next week.

While the Jets made this game look easy, it was a pretty difficult game to grade, due to the number of passes completed by the Colts that were either a receiver finding a gap in the zone or a legal pick-play on the outside. It’s always difficult to apportion blame in such situations. However, Luck’s overall numbers were nothing special so I guess you could say they played well as a unit.

Ellis Lankster was responsible for or involved in four passes that went for first downs, but had a good pass breakup and then intercepted a pass in the end zone. Kyle Wilson was targeted a lot (13 times) and usually in good position, although he did get beaten a few times on third down. His forced fumble basically ended the game and he also made a tackle for a loss in the flat.

At safety, LaRon Landry played pretty well, breaking up two passes and nailing Luck on a blitz. He also had a touchdown saving tackle and came up to make a play in run support. Remarkably, he wasn’t penalized.

Yeremiah Bell racked up another eight tackles, including one good open field tackle, but also gave up a couple of first downs in zone coverage. He should have added a sack, but let the quarterback get away from him in the pocket – the only Jet to miss a tackle all day.

With Eric Smith out, the two rookies – Antonio Allen and Josh Bush – filled the void nicely between them. Allen had a sack and a pass interference penalty (where he was in tremendous position but didn’t get his head turned around), whereas Bush was in good position on one throw and almost got to Luck on a blitz. It would be good for the coaching staff’s confidence in these two to increase so that they can establish themselves for a bigger role in the near future.

Finally, Isaiah Trufant was on the field for a handful of snaps, the first time he has played on defense since Week 1. Hey, they’ve won in a blowout every time he plays, maybe we should…? Um, no.

Special Teams

The highlight on special teams this week was the superbly designed fake punt toss from Tebow to Bellore. I’ve got to give Mike Westhoff (more) credit because the two previous fakes were (until this week) probably the two best-blocked running plays all season. On this one, they again sold the action to the left and Bellore ran clear down the seam, even finishing it off with a Superman dive. Great preparation and a perfect example of how to break a tendency for a big play. Maybe Westhoff should be the offensive coordinator too.

Robert Malone’s punting this week was fine, other than the one that bounced into the end zone (and even that was a 38-yard net, which is acceptable). Nick Folk only got to try extra points this week, but did have two touchbacks on kickoffs.

On special teams, McIntyre, Allen, Bellore, Lankster and Schilens all made good tackles and Trufant forced a fumble which Bush recovered, only to see it overturned by the replay booth.

In the return game, McKnight had one good kickoff return, with Reuland making a good block. Once again, Kerley didn’t get a chance to run back any punts.

Conclusions

This was Classic Jets: Just when you thought they were out, they went and pulled you back in. On Sunday, they actually looked like a pretty good football team from top to bottom.

Now…will they be able to build on that, or will we be looking back in a few weeks and wondering (as we have been with regard to the Bills game for the last month) whether this even happened?

Next up, New England. For once, the Jets head there with some momentum, but they’ve faced the Pats coming off a loss in the past and it hasn’t been pretty. If they can perform well in this one, maybe certain people will be forced to take them seriously. Let’s hope they have a viable plan in place.

I’m afraid that, for reasons beyond my control, I won’t be able to do a BGA Extra this week, so I’m really sorry about that. However, if there was anything from the game that you’d like me to look into later, please ask me anyway and I’ll mention it when I do the BGA Extra for next week’s game. Hopefully, normal service can be resumed by then.

Tags: BGA, Editorial Aside, 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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