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. For the purposes of BGA Extra (but not BGA, since that is too early in the week), I have also reviewed the coaches film, which was available for every play (whereas last year, it was only available for big plays). Statistics from PFF which are not available to subscribers were used in the completion of this article and we thank them for providing us with exclusive access to these.

Welcome to BGA Extra, where I draw a line under the previous weekend's game by responding to your questions from BGA during the week. After the jump, I respond to your questions about Sunday's game against the 49ers. If you would like your questions answered in future, remember to read my BGA game breakdowns every Monday and leave your question in the comments section.

madbacker #57Can you email the analysis to the front office? They need all the help they can get!

I'm not sure how it will help them to read an account of how badly virtually everyone played. If they don't realize that already, there's no hope for them.

jmac the manIt looked like Sanchez had enough time in the pocket to make plays if plays were there. In pass coverage, it looks like the line did OK. Is Sanchez not seeing open receivers, or are receivers not getting open?

The 49ers had so much faith in their pass rush to generate pressure with a four man rush, that they only blitzed seven times. This meant there were a lot of guys dropped into coverage, virtually all the time. The Jets dealt well with the initial four on five rush: Sanchez was only under pressure ten times, according to PFF's numbers, but if you include plays where Sanchez kept hold of the ball and the protection actually broke down, that goes up to 17.

I see this as smart gameplanning by the 49ers. By manning up on the top targets and flooding the rest of the intermediate zone with defenders, it forced Sanchez to read the field and that may have been why he was a little gun shy in the pocket because there's been so many plays recently where he saw his receiver get separation only for another defender to be lurking nearby ready to jump the route. So, yes, there were gaps that most quarterbacks in the league (or even Sanchez when he's playing well) would be able to exploit, but Sanchez seems to be too unsure of himself in those situations and needs to get back to being decisive.

hearsay

Were the receivers open though? I'd like to know what the tape shows on that. Did Sanchez have anyone to throw to?

With all the players dropping into coverage, there weren't many obvious examples of wide open receivers, but the receivers were constantly getting half a step to the point where a perfect throw would have been completed. The Niners secondary are renowned for being able to stay with their man for a few seconds, but struggle to stay with them beyond that. This was shown on the play early on which Sanchez extended and then found Schilens for a first down, having flirted with crossing the line of scrimmage. Also, Santonio Holmes got some separation downfield on the play where Sanchez lost his sack (if you look in the background of the second image of this terrific analysis from PFF you can see him with two steps on his man heading for the pylon). By then, the protection had broken down, though.

nj-e-t-sfxAnyone have any idea what happened on the "Tebow timeout"? Where Tebow was in at QB looking at the sideline in the huddle. They called TO and Sanchez came in and they ended up punting. How could Tebow get sent in as QB and they don't know what play they want to run? Did the 49ers put in a Tebow package or something?

I'm not sure, but I noticed that Tebow didn't have a headset helmet on, so was looking for signals from the sideline. Maybe that was a mistake. I know Brad Smith used to have two separate helmets - one with a headset - which he would only be able to wear when Sanchez was out of the game.

MEL31602You say the Jets are overcomplicating things with Tebow, but to me it looks like they are running the same two or three plays over and over again. Wouldn't it be better for them to run some plays that actually could fool the defense instead of running him up the middle or faking a reverse every time?

My point is that they're not going to fool the defense until they've run it up the gut a few times and established that the defense will need to stack the box or keep guys inside to prevent some easy yardage. They've done that five times - a 22 yard gain on one play and four other plays totalling 10 yards. That's not enough. I'm also not a fan of the wildcat formation with the back running parallel to the line of scrimmage as the ball is snapped. I think defenses have figured that out and that a more straightforward read option would be a more effective staple from which they could then go to the wildcat or some other variations.

MEL31602I'm not sure if you can stomach watching this game again, but when you get the coaches film, could you look at every incompletion and try to determine who is most at fault. I know sometimes it's hard to tell, but it would go a long way towards determining whether the main problem is Sanchez or the receivers around him. Just try to see if the incompletion was the result of a poor throw, a poor route, a miscommunication, poor blocking, etc.

1. Miscommunication with Holmes. Timing was off

2. Conner drop. Would only have been a short gain with Willis all over him.

3. Holmes found a gap in the zone. Very inaccurate pass (high and wide) was broken up.

4. Turner drop. Unrelated penalty at the end of the play gave the Jets a first down.

5. Pass to Holmes coming back to the ball deflected over his head.

6. Interception on screen pass. Would have been a good gain, but Howard's man beat him and tipped it.

7. Horrible throw to Cumberland down the seam who was not open. Dropped pick. (See PFF link above for breakdown).

8. Out pattern to Holmes, who got separation. Too early and well wide of the target.

9. Checkdown to Powell, hit as he threw. Short hopped the throw.

10. Overthrew Powell as he tried to get open across the field. Threw behind him on the same play last week.

11. Rolled out and threw deep to Holmes. Broken up. Some have suggested this was underthrown and that Holmes would have been open, but actually Goldson was in perfect position and played the ball the whole way.

12. Desperation throw underneath as he was knocked down in the pocket. Basically thrown at Powell's feet.

13. Over the middle to Turner who wasn't open and got nailed (again see PFF link above for breakdown).

14. Not even sure if this was intended for Turner or Cumberland but neither was open and it bounced nowhere near either of them.

15. Pressured again and his throw was deflected at the line.

16. Throw down seam to Turner who had inside position and half a step was too high.

I'd have to conclude that Sanchez's accuracy and decision making is the biggest problem. Well, it was on Sunday.


lindro88Were you being sarcastic when you said the Jets have more talent then most NFL teams?

No...but you weren't the only person to take issue with that statement, as we'll see.

damionWhere is all this talent you speak of? Can you list more then four teams the jets are currently more talented then? Why are they in shotgun formation on third and two in the first quarter and later in the 1st half it was 3rd and 1 and they were passing? I thought we were ground and pound looks like Schotty's playbook to me, can we stop blaming him now?

A lot of the talent I was talking about is on the injured list or under-performing for various reasons. Mangold had a nightmare on Sunday, but that doesn't stop him being talented (for example). However, when everyone plays bad on the same day, your talent level looks a lot worse than it is. As for four less talented teams, I have the pleasure of watching some pretty bad teams every week, so I'll nominate the Browns, Jags, Raiders and Cheifs as the four worst in the AFC off the top of my head. Of course, you will now list out all the most talented players on those teams and tell me how much more talented than the Jets that makes them, but it's all good fun.

The Jets haven't been a good short yardage team over the last few seasons. It's interesting that everyone go annoyed with the Jets never running the ball on 3rd and short over the last couple of years and now a guy that used to just give it to his fullback every time (with a 95% success rate) is passing with a struggling quarterback in those situations. That shows an alarming lack of faith in the personnel. Schottenheimer was never going to be successful with personnel that was ill-suited to his system and seems to be having much more success with the Rams. As I'd been saying for two years, while Schottenheimer was a problem, the issues on offense ran a lot deeper and wouldn't magically be fixed once he left.


NebkrebWhen the Jets called their second timeout of the first half, it was right before the 49ers snapped the ball. If I saw it correctly on my TV, the reason the Jets called TO is because a 49ers WR was completely uncovered on the left side. I mean completely. Closest defender was maybe a safety shaded just outside the LT. I would like confirmation on this, and if you can see who was to blame.

It's difficult to say who was to blame because it wasn't an official play so there is no coaches film, but the Jets got very lucky as Colin Kaepernick had snuck out to the sideline as if he was leaving the game and stayed out by the sideline. LaRon Landry was the nearest defender and didn't seem to have noticed him at all when the play was blown dead.

? EverythingIs the Superbowl out of the question?

No, but we can calculate the exact probability based on the Jets' decision to IR Santonio Holmes but not Darrelle Revis. Rex Ryan didn't IR Revis because of the "0.0002% chance" he could play in the Superbowl. However, it was reported that Holmes was 99% done for the season. So there was a 1% chance he could play in the Superbowl. This would mean there's a 0.000002% chance or a 1 in 50,000,000 chance that both could play. So, if Rex is conceding that there's NO chance of Holmes AND Revis being able to play in the Superbowl, then the chance of them both being in the Superbowl must have been less than 1 in 999,999,999 to be classed as infinite on a modern calculator. So, that would mean there's a 5% chance of them reaching the Superbowl. Having said that, this obviously reduces if you take Holmes out of the equation.

Alternate answer: Yes.


NebkrebI remember one play, I think in the 3rd quarter, in which they ran a draw, with Powell getting the ball. It looked like he had miles of space, but instead of cutting to his right, he cut to his left, directly in to the ONE defender who had a chance of stopping him. If he goes to his right, he gets at least 8 yards and probably a first down. If you could review that play I would love any confirmation.

You'll like this:



Here's where Powell takes the handoff. As you can see, the blocks are about to develop in front of him so he has a chance to make a read. The guys on the left are set to make kick out blocks to the outside and the guys on the right are tempted into rushing off the edge so that the draw play is effective. There's clearly a lane right up the middle. As I mentioned in BGA, this is the same play where Powell made a nice run in overtime in Miami, but going over the left side. In order for that lane to open up the Jets would need Mangold to make a difficult reach block on the formidable Navarro Bowman, to get to his right shoulder and turn him back to the inside. It would also require Cumberland to make his block at the second level. So, let's see how it played out as Powell hit the hole.



As you can see, this was the moment where Powell committed to going left by making a hard step in that direction. However, if he looked up, he should have been able to see that Mangold and Cumberland didn't have outside leverage. However, they each had inside leverage. Look at the lane to the right if Powell had made a cutback at this moment or after taking one step to the left. Mangold ending up driving Bowman to the left and into Powell's path, whereas if Powell had cut back to the right, that would have taken him completely out of the play. While the play design obviously relies on Mangold making that reach block, there should also be a secondary read whereby if he doesn't get that leverage, then there should be an open lane to the right instead. Mangold's initial step before making the reach block was to the right, as if he was going to help out the right side of the line in pass protection. That tells me it's probably a crucial step to try and sell the pass action before the ball is handed off. However, it also makes the block that much more difficult, especially if the linebacker is not fooled. Bowman made a hop-step to his right, perhaps reading the play and ensuring Mangold didn't have the angle to get the leverage on him. Clearly, Powell missed a chance to cut back to the right, but what about once he went left?

What happened was that Powell started off to the outside, perhaps read the fact that Kerley had enabled his man to get outside leverage and more upfield and cut back directly into where Bowman (and Patrick Willis, who had sidestepped Jeff Cumberland's block at the second level) were able to stuff him for a short gain. However, had Powell continued to the outside, Chaz Schilens had his man blocked and it looked like he would have been able to turn the corner for a good 8-10 yards. Even if he didn't turn the corner, he'd have been one on one with Carlos Rogers and should have been able to fall forward to at least get a couple more yards than the one and a half he ended up with.


lindro88

Describing the Jets as having more talent then most teams in the NFL seems a little hopeful to say the least. Where is all the talent you are referring to? I see a team with no explosive offensive weapons, a bad QB, and a Defense that can't stop the run or rush the passer.

Yes, by saying they had a lot of talent, I was talking more about the number of talented players on the team than the overall talent and I appreciate that they have guys that have been disappointing at some key spots. When you consider just how important the QB position is in terms of what it means for every other offensive player then maybe I was underestimating the importance of that spot in particular. Even when Sanchez has played well in the past, it's been clear he was not the finished article and now he's slumping again.

Ironically, there are several players on this team that I think a lot of Jets fans overrate: Landry, Howard, Moore and Harris spring to mind. Not that they are all bad players, but they are often considered to be better than they are by Jets fans. However, even despite this, I still think the team has talent. We'll revisit this again in a bit.


texasclampHow is it possible to throw a interception on a screen pass? Sanchez could use a real QB coach.

It's difficult to defend anything from Sanchez's performance on Sunday, but if Howard didn't get badly beaten on that play, it likely would have gone for a big gain. As for the QB coach, how do we know he's part of the problem? Sanchez might have been even worse if not for his input. Doesn't seem likely, but what happens if they replace the QB coach with someone considered to be a proven QB coach and nothing changes...or Sanchez gets even worse? Food for thought.

lewieb50You said you think the Jets have more talent than most of the league (or something to that effect). I don't see that at all. Can you comment on my assessments (this assumes Revis and Holmes out although we don't know how long the latter will be missing) QB: Not in the top half. RB: Near the bottom. WR: Average to slightly below. Hill has potential, not down on him, but he's not there. Kerley's pretty good as a slot/3rd guy. The rest? Not much. TE: I guess above average with Keller there. OL: As a group, middling. DL: Middling. LB: Below average. DB: I'll go above average but maybe I'm kidding myself. Specials: Average to slightly above. Where am I off? And, if I'm not off, doesn't it seem that the Jets talent level is below average?

Well, the first thing I'd note is that if you remove Revis and Holmes, the talent on the team does take a big hit, if I'm going to have to take them out of the equation then I'll acknowledge that will bump them down the list because it's two of their most talented players. However, in terms of your assessments, I would make the following comments: QB - I'd probably go lower than that. My point is that having a bad QB makes players that have talent less effective. RB - I think Greene is talented, just a poor fit for this system. WR - Again, I think some of these guys have talent, but haven't been as effective as they might be because of the quarterback's slow development. OL - Yes, they aren't doing well as a group, but individually there are talented players there. Again, this underlines what I was saying about how badly the team is playing, but I believe they have talent. If they're being ineffective, it's not because they don't have talent, it's because they're being used wrongly, let down by teammates or are struggling uncharacteristically for some reason. DL - I still think they have great talent on the defensive line. Are they playing well? No. But they can stop the run, as they showed in week two. I think Po'uha's back is still a big factor here and Ellis doesn't have the conditioning to take on more reps. LB - they definitely seem to be aging all at once, but maybe the defensive line play has been a factor. Harris is definitely a guy who is very good when those around him play well, but his limitations are exposed when he is forced to take on blocks or chase plays down in space. DB - Even with Revis out, this unit has a lot of talent and has played well most of the year.

I can see why people would take umbrage at what I said because it makes no sense for a roster filled with talented players to be playing so poorly. I guess what I'm saying is that talented players don't generally all lose it overnight, so the reason for their poor play (which I'm not denying) is something else. Coaching? Injuries? Lack of motivation? Poor chemistry? Whatever it is, probably a combination of all of these combined with me overrating some of the talent which may indeed have fallen off overnight, hopefully some of that is fixable and the team can get back on the right track.


dgrayIn baseball, there are a lot of statistical analyses that look at the contribution of the individual to the team success (in terms of runs scored/allowed or wins above replacement) and players generally follow a trajectory with catchers (the most physically demanding position) having the steepest fall off of any position after age 32 ... It would seem much harder, but Is there anything similar in football? Or any rules of thumb of performance fall off due to age (by position)? Considering Pace, Scott, Thomas and Pouha are all 32+, the defense could just be hitting an inflection point. What looks like a team quitting could just be an inability to execute (shed blocks, chase down players, wrap up tackles). I hope this isn't the case, but have you read anything statistical about age vs performance or do you have any thoughts?

This builds nicely on what I was just saying about the Jets apparently dwindling talent base. I haven't seen a specific study, but it's not like there are no good players aged over 32 in the NFL. Peppers, Justin Smith, Urlacher, Abraham, Lewis are examples of front seven players that continue to be productive at or beyond that age. Po'uha didn't play regularly until 2008, so he shouldn't be as worn down as anyone else his age would be. Scott had a few years on the bench too, although I can see how his style of play could wear him down (although actually he looks fresher than last year). Hopefully there are other reasons for their recent downturn in form, which would mean they have more to offer.

a57seCould you break down the defensive stats before Sanchez' fumble and after? What I am looking for is not so much numbers but who might have played worse or better after the fumble...

Of 379 total yards and 245 rushing yards, 225 and 129 came after the fumble. Obviously as the game slipped away, they became more tired and demoralized, but they did still give up 116 rushing yards before that, even if much of it was on gadget plays, so it's not like the defense was playing well until he fumbled. As I already noted, Ellis played worse in the second half and Po'uha actually was better after halftime. Everyone else was consistently bad or average.

a57se

Brendan and I both speculated that we thought the Jets might play a lot of 46 fronts against the 49'ers. I don't recall seeing them use it much, if at all yesterday. If they did, how much success if any, did they have with it and what was the personnel group they used?

They didn't use the conventional 46 with a safety in the box and two OLBs outside the left tackle's shoulder, but they used plenty of the hybrid front which is a variation on that. San Francisco runs a lot of bunch formations and multiple receiver sets that force you to match up and make it difficult to align yourselves in a classic 46 look, so perhaps that was a factor.

a57seWho were the CB's on the 85 Bears?

Mike Richardson and Leslie Frazier.

Oh, sorry, I now see that you were making a point about how the 46 defense can be effective without big name cornerbacks.


xboozer32Doesn't Cumberland seem to be a step or two behind everything thats happening around him?

Didn't really see too many bad plays or examples of hesitation from him, but I'll keep an eye out next week. He had one or two nice moments, but really hasn't emerged yet with Keller out.

RudibagerCan you comment on why Kerley looked so scared and hesitant to catch any punts within the 10? I get that he was hoping they would go in the endzone for a touchback, but I think he did it three times!

I don't really know, other than perhaps he still has the yips following his fumble in Pittsburgh.

leviI dont understand how basically the whole team can play bad collectively. It leads me to believe it's all in the preparation and that falls on the coaches' shoulders. I understand the secondary should have suffered after losing Revis but why can't they stop the run? I didn't expect they would beat San Fran but it didnt have to be an embarrassment. Monday night against Houston does not seem like a game they will get it together for either. So what do they do if Sanchez refuses to protect the football? They can't continue to start him if he plays that horribly again. So who is to blame for the run defense? How much blitzing did they do and did it work?

Your first point is kind of where I was coming from when I made my controversial comments about the talent on the team. They CAN stop the run, as they showed in Pittsburgh. Hopefully this will be fixed. The 49ers, like Miami, did a good job on the offensive line and they missed too many tackles with the chief culprit being David Harris. Smith was 4-for-10 with one sack when blitzed. The Jets sent an average of 4.3 rushers per dropback, a pretty low number compared with some of Rex Ryan's more aggressive games.

damionWhy is tackling a problem with a defensive head coached team?

Jason (from NYJetsCap) has an interesting theory on this. He thinks the Jets' tackling is suffering due to the reduction in full contact practices.

Simply Simon (via E-mail)

Is Sanchez's lower back injury affecting his play?

Maybe...but we seem to be having this conversation every year. If he's going to be constantly hurt, then I get fed up of using that as an excuse for him, because what good is it if he can only play well when he's healthy...but then never is?

bradysucksWhat is the story with the Jets being 31st in the NFL against the run? I though Pouha, Harris, Devito etc could tackle? What is up with this?

They can tackle...they just didn't on Sunday. Harris had five missed tackles and DeVito had a bad one on the Manningham run. Po'uha had one too, but it was not that costly. The Jets can stop the run, as they proved with a disciplined display in Pittsburgh. Hopefully this can be fixed.

BrendanSlauson and Vlad went to a 65/35 split last week (I believe they were 80/20 the week prior). Vlad actually played solidly against a defense that was destroying the offense. Do you think Vlad creeps up to almost an even split this week?

I don't know. Maybe they'll ramp that up, or maybe they'll continue to do it slowly. Ducasse actually got the best overall grade on the offense this week on PFF in just 20 snaps, which is a sign of how poor the execution was by everyone else. Slauson was poor and if he has another game like that then sitting him for Ducasse might be wise.

tishDid anyone play well (receive a positive grade or continued to play hard after the game was really over)?

Cromartie was excellent. However, given his tendency to be inconsistent, I hope this is a sign of things to come and not just a case of him wasting one of his better performances on a game they had no chance of winning.

tishDid the Jets run any screen plays that essentially work like a running play or put Sanchez in a position to make an easy completion (even though his accuracy was awful)?

The first play of the game was a quick toss to Holmes on the outside for a nice gain. However, the defensive end was ready for it and got a hand up in the lane so that was a very dangerous pass that easily could have been tipped and intercepted. Later on, they tried the screen to Greene which was a good call, at the right time and Howard blew his assignment forcing Sanchez to throw off his backfoot and it was tipped and intercepted.

>>>

Okay, guys, that's it for another week. Let us never speak of this again. I'll be back to do the usual in respect of the Texans game on Tuesday. Hey, maybe the Jets will win! Wouldn't that be something?

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)

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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)

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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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