New York Jets quarterback Bryce Petty throws a pass in the fourth quarter against the Los Angeles Rams at MetLife Stadium. (Kirby Lee/USA Today Sports Images)
New York Jets quarterback Bryce Petty throws a pass in the fourth quarter against the Los Angeles Rams at MetLife Stadium. (Kirby Lee/USA Today Sports Images)

The Jets lost to the Los Angeles Rams, 9-6, Sunday at MetLife Stadium. Here is a position-by-position analysis of the game that dropped the Jets to 3-7 heading into a bye week.

Quarterbacks

Bent: Bryce Petty made his long-awaited first NFL start. It's been suggested there was concern Petty wouldn't be ready, but Chan Gailey certainly was, as he emptied out the safe, simple and conservative section of his playbook and gradually eased Petty into the game by not putting too much on his plate.

However, the well ran dry in the second half and the Jets were unable to build upon the quick drop passing attack that was effective in mitigating pressure from the Rams' front four earlier on.

Petty executed such passes pretty well all day, as the Jets spread the defense out and gave Petty a bunch of single-read quick throws reminiscent of those he'd have been required to throw all the time at Baylor.

When asked to do more, he made a couple of late reads and a couple more misreads, leading him to forcing throws into traffic or misfiring as he tried to overcompensate.

Petty avoided the major mistake until his final throw was intercepted to ice the win for the Rams. The only problem with that throw was that it was half a beat late, although it wasn't the first time he'd made that mistake -- a common one with inexperienced starters at the NFL level.

Of a greater concern were the plays when he didn't read a defender dropping off into a passing lane or primed to jump a route. This, more than anywhere, is where his abilities are not yet at an NFL-ready level. Until the Jets can develop him in that area, that's going to prevent them from running their offense effectively. For the time being -- assuming he gets another shot -- the Jets will need to pick their spots and otherwise find other, more creative, ways to enable him to be successful.

Yesterday, that involved leaning on the running game, throwing quick passes to backs out of the slot and plenty of safe conversions in the flat and on quick outs. They also converted on their only red zone trip with a beautifully-executed hook-and-ladder play.

What more could they have done -- and could they look to build into the gameplan as they gradually start to loosen the shackles? First off, they could look to go deep more often. Petty had a deep completion from his own end-zone to begin the 99-yard touchdown drive that led to the Jets' only points.

It might have been worth trying to do that more often, because it's not difficult to protect on a three or five-step drop with an immediate downfield throw if you leave extra blockers in. There's also no real need to read the coverage and, even if you throw an interception, at least that happens way down the field so it usually won't hurt you too much in terms of field position. On one other downfield throw, Petty overthrew a wide-open receiver on what could have been a 68-yard touchdown that might have been enough to win the game. Maybe a pump-and-go with the receiver making a double-move would have been effective in the second half as the Rams anticipated more of the same from the Jets.

The Jets also could have done more in terms of getting Petty on the move, just as a different way of mitigating any natural pressure. Having said that, he did a good job of avoiding a sack on one play but his throw on the move was one of his least accurate of the game.

On the whole, Petty handled himself fairly well and did some good things. An inauspicious start saw the team flagged for having 12-men in the huddle before Petty had thrown his first pass, forcing it into a third-and-long on which it came up short. The Jets then began their next drive on their own 1-yard line, so it wasn't exactly easy for him to develop any kind of an early rhythm.

Was Petty any more impressive than past backups like Brooks Bollinger, Kellen Clemens or Greg McElroy that earned a shot at starting for the Jets but never made it as a full-time starter? Not yet, at least. We need to see more -- and I hope we do.

The fact that the Jets still left Christian Hackenberg on the inactive list speaks volumes. Not only does is suggest the Jets have no desire to throw him into the fire yet, but it also gives the impression that Ryan Fitzpatrick must theoretically have been capable of starting if absolutely necessary. Had Petty been knocked out of the game, I doubt the reception that would have greeted Fitzpatrick would have been welcoming.

Running backs

Bent: With Petty at quarterback, that piled the pressure on the Jets' running game to be successful, and it didn't fare too badly with Matt Forte and Bilal Powell combining for 198 yards from scrimmage. That included eight plays of 10 yards or more. In fact, the Jets only had nine such plays all game.

It wasn't like the Jets were gaining consistent yards on the ground though. Despite his solid stats overall (98 yards rushing and another 11 yards on two catches), Forte was stopped for two or fewer yards 11 times, including seven in the first half. That represented half of his total touches. Still, he showed good vision and made some nice cuts to break out to the second level, as well as fighting for extra yardage on a couple of plays.

Powell continues to provide a spark, scoring the Jets' only points on the first half gadget play and later rescuing an inaccurately-thrown lateral to spin away for a nice first down run. Should he have run out of bounds just before halftime, though? Powell opted to cut back inside with a couple of seconds left when perhaps the Jets could have attempted an extremely long field goal or a Hail Mary pass. In a game in which neither team had many chances to score, that was potentially a wasted opportunity.

The recently-signed C.J. Spiller gained four yards on his first carry as a Jet, but disappointingly dropped his only target on a short throw to the flat, killing the Jets' momentum on the drive after Los Angeles took a fourth-quarter lead. They had gained six, 10 and seven yards on the first three plays of the drive to move to midfield, but Spiller's drop was the first of three straight incompletions.

Offensive line

Bent: Some of the struggles with the running game could be attributed to the offensive line, which missed some key guys and seemed destined to be overmatched against the Rams' excellent front. In that regard, they deserve credit for managing to compete as well as they did.

It's worth asking if the Jets miscalculated by not trying to run more in the second half. While part of this was attributable to their inability to sustain drives due to their passing game stalling, the Jets carried the ball just eight times in the second half, after having carried 17 times for over 100 in the first half. The Rams did the opposite, as they kept trying to run even though the Jets held them to just three yards per carry -- with 24 of their 39 yards coming on one play -- before halftime. They ended up with 125 yards.

In terms of pass protection, the Jets didn't face much of a challenge early on because Petty was getting the ball out almost immediately on most of his throws. But later, when required to hold up in protection, the Jets had some issues. Petty was sacked just once and hit three other times officially, but he was under pressure at least 10 times, mostly in the second half.

Breno Giacomini's best contribution was probably when he drew a personal foul by getting involved in a shoving match after a short yardage conversion. While he got burned for the Rams' only sack, he made fewer mistakes than he has in either of his other appearances so far this season.

James Carpenter deserves some serious credit because he successfully dealt with the formidable Aaron Donald one-on-one on a number of occasions. Donald definitely got the better of him a number of times, particularly when bull rushing or penetrating at the point of attack. Donald was frustrated for much of the game, but started to dominate down the stretch with his most impressive move seeing him bull rushing Carpenter into the backfield and then smoothly transitioning into a rip move to get by Wesley Johnson when he came over to help.

Johnson had some issues in the running game, both at the point of attack and in space, but the unit continues to function somewhat efficiently with him in there for Nick Mangold. This is nowhere near the mess that was created when Colin Baxter filled in for Mangold back in 2011.

Now the full-time left tackle, Ben Ijalana was beaten a few times in pass protection and allowed his man to bat down a pass, something which has been a constant issue for him all season. In addition, he had a penalty that negated a first-down completion. He made some good blocks in the running game, but on one of the key moments of the game, he was badly beaten inside on a run that was blown up in the backfield early in the fourth quarter. That play was second-and-3 at the Rams' 39, and the Jets failed to convert the third down and ended up punting. That was as close as they got to field goal range after their first score.

Brian Winters continues to play much more consistently than he ever has in the past, making some nice run blocks and only getting beaten once in pass protection. It's a shame he couldn't have performed like this over his first three seasons when the rest of the line was often doing well and he was the weak link. Shouldn't the Jets start to worry about the fact that Winters, Johnson and Ijalana are all out of contract at the end of the year? Not that they'd break the bank for any of those guys, but losing all three is going to destroy their depth, especially with Ryan Clady, Giacomini and maybe even Mangold as potential cap casualties.

Receivers

Bent: This was probably a frustrating game for the Jets' primary pass catchers. All in all, the Jets got just 22 yards on 12 targets to their top two receivers. Brandon Marshall caught four passes for 15 yards and Quincy Enunwa caught just one of his six targets for seven yards. Both made contributions as blockers, including on Powell's touchdown where Enunwa set the edge perfectly as Marshall made the pitch, but you'd expect more in terms of statistical production.

Robby Anderson is still finding ways to produce though, as he led the Jets with 69 yards on three catches. Most of that came on his 52-yard catch of a Petty bomb thrown from his own end zone. That was a tough catch with a defender draped all over him, which is an encouraging sign because his physicality at the point of the catch has been inconsistent so far.

Anderson's other two catches came up just short of the first-down marker, but he could have added a 68-yard touchdown on a play where the defense blew the coverage but Petty overthrew him. Anderson inexplicably seemed to slow down momentarily before breaking into the open field and perhaps would have been able to make the catch had he accelerated at full speed. He was also unable to get any separation on a crucial third down in the fourth quarter.

While it's apparent there are some areas where he needs to sharpen his skills, Anderson's production -- exactly 300 yards from scrimmage in the last eight games -- is encouraging, especially in light of some of the near misses that could have bolstered those numbers.

The other rookies, Jalin Marshall and Charone Peake, didn't produce much this week. Peake caught two short passes and had a third short catch negated by a penalty. Marshall wasn't targeted.

At tight end, Brandon Bostick had some really bad moments as a blocker. On one play, he was thrown into the end zone by his man, who blew up the run as the Jets tried to run their ball out from their own goal line. Bostick also had several other plays where he missed his block. However, he bounced back with a couple of good blocks late in the game, including a good lead block from the fullback position.

There were more encouraging signs from newly-signed Eric Tomlinson in his NFL debut. Tomlinson was in the starting lineup and sealed his man off effectively on the first snap. Later, he drove his man off the line and to the ground in dominating fashion. He was only in on a handful of snaps, but these flashes suggest he could be a serious asset to the running game. Austin Seferian-Jenkins, on the other hand, did not get any reps.

Defensive line

Bent: After a week when there were more revelations about Muhammad Wilkerson and his off-field behavior, you might have expected that he'd be motivated to put in a strong performance to remind everyone how good he is and re-establish himself as a leader. However, for the two and a half quarters, he provided them with absolutely nothing. No pressures, no tackles, no disruption.

Making matters worse, he was driven off the line several times again, just as he was down the stretch last week. This is something that simply never used to happen more than once or twice a game to Wilkerson.

Perhaps Wilkerson deserves a pass because it's been reported that he's still nowhere near 100 percent having come back from leg surgery at the end of last season. Even so, the idea Wilkerson's struggles are because he hasn't conducted himself with the same level of determination and professionalism as he was before he signed his extension is concerning.

Down the stretch, he at last made some contributions with a quarterback hit on a stunt and four run stuffs. Had he played like that all day, it could have been a classic Wilkerson performance. However, when that's his only production all day and he also has a series of negative plays, it's extremely disappointing, especially with the Jets having just invested so much into Wilkerson's future.

On the other hand, Sheldon Richardson was much more productive. His seven tackles included two in the backfield, and he had a quarterback hit and a couple of other pressures. Even this was somewhat disappointing though, as he didn't really make any of the kind of dominant plays we've become accustomed to over the years. He was also driven off the line on one play and missed a chance of a sack by overrunning Case Keenum in the pocket.

Leonard Williams blew up a few runs in the first half, but had a quieter second half and was handled at the point of attack on a few second-half runs. He had one pressure. Every now and again, Williams has a monster game like last week, suggesting he's about to break out fully. He so far hasn't been able to follow up with another big game, and that pattern continued.

Steve McLendon was credited with 1.5 sacks, as he was cleaning up pressure generated by other players. Amazingly, McLendon now has more sacks (a career-high 3.5) than either Richardson (1.5) or Wilkerson (2.5) so far this season. It's also more than Damon Harrison has in his entire career. Against the run, McLendon blew up one play but otherwise had a rough game and was routinely handled at the point of attack.

Surprisingly, Deon Simon was the defensive lineman with the most impressive highlight this week, throwing his blocker aside to blow up a run in the backfield. It's good to see a positive flash from Simon, who had underwhelmed and lost playing time in recent weeks following an encouraging start.

Anthony Johnson saw a couple of reps in his Jets debut and was in on the stop at the goal line where Benny Cunningham fumbled.

Linebackers

Bent: It was relieving to hear Darron Lee was back from injury because Julian Stanford had been totally overmatched alongside David Harris over the past few weeks. However, to my surprise, Stanford remained in the starting lineup and Lee only played sparingly in passing situations. Hopefully this is because they anticipated Lee would not be healthy enough to jump back into a starting role; if they felt he would be even less effective than Stanford has been, that's not a good sign.

In that rotational role, Lee had a couple of impressive moments, generating some pressure as a blitzer and breaking up an end zone throw on a wheel route to force the Rams to settle for a field goal. It will be interesting to see if the second half of his rookie season is as impressive as those of Harris and Jonathan Vilma, each of whom made a similarly slow start.

Stanford made fewer mistakes than last week, but still had a couple of bad missed tackles and was blocked out at the second level on a few late runs. There were also two running plays where he inexplicably ran away from the ball carrier in a situation where he might have been able to make a stop. It's difficult to work out what he was doing on this play, for example, as he engaged a blocker to his right rather than continuing to flow downhill to fill the obvious running lane to his left.



Harris had an active performance, leading the team with 11 tackles and adding a pass defensed and three pressures. He stuffed a couple of runs at the line and blew up a screen pass for a loss, but was blocked out of a handful of running plays. Harris and Lee were also each credited with a half-sack.

Lorenzo Mauldin had another disruptive game, although he was banged up and didn't play much compared to recent weeks. He was credited with 0.5 sacks and his pressure led to another sack. He was also in on a couple of run stuffs and almost intercepted another pass.

Jordan Jenkins was blocked off on a couple of running plays and also missed a tackle. He had two tackles, but didn't generate any pressure. It's been an underwhelming rookie season so far from Jenkins.

Mike Catapano did not make any significant contributions off the bench. Through nine weeks, he has just two tackles on the year.

Defensive backs

Bent: Darrelle Revis really struggled early on. The Rams converted three third downs by targeting him; otherwise, their offense was basically non-existent. Later on, he was burned for a deep catch. Revis settled down in the second half, with good coverage on two incompletions and an important tackle short of the marker, but was also penalized on an illegal hands to the face call.

It's extremely disconcerting to see Revis as the weakest link on the defense, especially when Wilkerson is also struggling to make an impact. While both played better later on, that's scant consolation when the Jets have Revis, Wilkerson and Fitzpatrick over $50 million between them this season. If it takes Revis until after halftime to warm up these days, perhaps he is no longer fit to be a starter at the NFL level, let alone such a highly-paid one.

Buster Skrine gave up a couple of first downs, but held up well for the most part, making a good third-down tackle, blowing up a screen pass and disrupting a throw on a blitz from the slot. Skrine was on the right end of a couple of officiating decisions, as he drew a flag for offensive pass interference and then had a flag for defensive pass interference on a pass breakup in the end zone picked up.

Remember a few weeks ago when Skrine was penalized four times? He's only been flagged once in the three games since. In a season and a half with the Jets, that's the only time he's had more than one penalty in a game. As suspected at the time, it seems that had more to do with Jerome Boger and his crew than Skrine himself. He's otherwise been their most consistent defensive back.

Darryl Roberts was the only other cornerback to see action as three cornerback options -- or four if you include Antonio Allen -- played solely on special teams. Roberts blew up a screen, broke up a pass on the outside and made a play in run support in a decent performance. He gave up one first down in coverage.

Marcus Gilchrist and Calvin Pryor have been playing much more consistently at safety over the past few weeks. Gilchrist was credited with a tackle for loss on a play he made in the flat and also had a touchdown-saving tackle at the goal line in the first quarter when the Rams ended up settling for a field goal. Pryor forced a fumble on a stop at the goal line and made another good play in run support, but did give up two first downs in coverage.

Rontez Miles made a couple of contributions in brief action off the bench, making a stop in the flat and a third-down tackle to force a punt.

Special teams

Bent: In a tight game, Nick Folk failed to score for the first time since the Jets were shut out 31-0 by the Chargers in 2014. Entering this year, Folk had never missed an extra point, but this was his second miss of the season. It didn't matter in the end, but it could have been crucial. Folk kicked off just twice, with one touchback.

Punter Lac Edwards is still struggling to hit his stride at the NFL level. It seems like most of his kicks either travel too far or he gets under the ball and lays it up too short. Three of his first four punts were returned more than 10 yards. Then, as he adjusted, his last four punts were all 35 yards or fewer with only one landing within the 20.

In a 9-6 game, when there's a difference of over 12 yards between the net averages of two punters who kicked 15 times between them, this has a major impact. Rams punter Johnny Hekker's performance called to mind Brandon Fields' similar performance when the Dolphins beat the 2010 Jets 10-6 in a similar game. That underlines how far away the Jets are from having a good punter, despite using a draft pick on Edwards.

Jalin Marshall continued to struggle, as he muffed yet another punt before being temporarily replaced by Nick Marshall. Spiller was also uninspiring in the return game and Brent Qvale had a bad missed block in space.

In kick coverage, Allen was credited with two tackles, including one where he saved a potentially longer return over by the sideline. He's been valuable on the second wave this year. The only time the first wave got to the return man was when Nick Marshall got downfield well to blow up a punt return.

Tags: Antonio Allen, Austin Seferian-Jenkins, Ben Ijalana, BGA, Bilal Powell, Brandon Marshall, Brent Qvale, Brian Winters, Bryce Petty, Buster Skrine, Calvin Pryor, Charone Peake, Christian Hackenberg, Darrelle Revis, Darron Lee, David Harris, Deon Simon, Jalin Marshall, James Carpenter, Jordan Jenkins, Leonard Williams, Loc Edwards, Lorenzo Mauldin, Marcus Gilchrist, Matt Forte, Mike Catapano, Muhammad Wilkerson, Nick Folk, Nick Mangold, Quincy Enunwa, Rontez Miles, Ryan Clady, Ryan Fitzpatrick, Sheldon Richardson, Steve McLendon, Wesley Johnson
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Mike Maccagnan
Mike Maccagnan

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

 

April 22, 2:46 PM

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

The Jets could get their pass rusher without drafting one. 

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

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

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

Bent, theJetsBlog.com Follow on Twitter

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

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

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

Bent, theJetsBlog.com Follow on Twitter

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

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

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

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

Bent, theJetsBlog.com Follow on Twitter

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

10. OT Brandon Shell, 5th round, 2016

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

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

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

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

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

Bent, theJetsBlog.com Follow on Twitter

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

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

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

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

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

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

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

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

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

Bent, theJetsBlog.com Follow on Twitter

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Projected Pick: Top-10

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

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

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

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

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Mike Maccagnan
Mike Maccagnan

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

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

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

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

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

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

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

Most pivotal stretch

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Bent, theJetsBlog.com Follow on Twitter

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Winter is here.

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

Click below...

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Jets have added more quarterback depth behind Sam Darnold.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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