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

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

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

Thank goodness for that. As a writer, there's nothing worse than the same old story, so it was refreshing to see the Jets flip the script and produce a different outcome this week.

The NFL continues to confound with any team seemingly capable of turning it on against an elite opponent or stinking up the joint against a cellar dweller from week to week and hardly anyone capable of getting any positive or negative momentum going. Perhaps we should have guessed that the Rams had peaked last week against the 49ers and the Jets were due to break out of their slump.

For much of the first half, the Jets were making many of the same mistakes which landed them in the 3-6 hole in which they entered the game. However, they were at last able to capitalize on some mistakes by their opponents and finally imposed their will for the first time in what seems like forever to give themselves some breathing room in the second half.

Let’s look at some of those individual performances:

Quarterbacks

Mark Sanchez has born the brunt of the criticism this week following two miserable performances against the Dolphins and Seahawks, but is he a terrible quarterback or was he just in a slump? In any sport, players can go into a slump. Sometimes you just need to make a four foot putt, or knock down a couple of free throws or get that bloop single off the end of the bat and suddenly you can string together a few good moments and put together a solid performance. For Sanchez, it was his throw to Joe McKnight in the second quarter to set up a field goal that got him going.

Prior to that throw, he was already 3-for-4 as they opened - as they often do - with some simple short passes to try and get him going. His throw over the top to McKnight was thrown with excellent touch and right on the money, hitting him in stride. From that point on, Sanchez wasn't flawless, but did seem to throw the ball with a lot more confidence.

Last week, many people poked fun at Sanchez's tendency to pump-fake while in the pocket. As we all know, Sanchez sometimes lapses into a bad habit of being hesitant before delivering the ball. However, this week they put some plays in the gameplan where Sanchez was able to use the pump-fake to set up some decisive throws. His touchdown pass to Chaz Schilens saw Jeremy Kerley cut his route short as Sanchez faked the toss to the outside on a bubble screen. Schilens didn't even need to make a double move as the cornerback and safety both came up fast, anticipating the short throw. While Sanchez's throw wasn't perfect, it was good enough. On the next drive, he pump-faked left on the quick slant to Schilens who was lined up out wide and then threw down the seam to Kerley for 32 yards. This time, it wasn't the pump fake that opened up the middle of the field for the deep ball, but he looked at the check down option underneath and the slot receiver was drawn to the outside by Clyde Gates staying out in the wide flat. Could it be that Sanchez feels more in rhythm when he pump-fakes first, so the Jets can facilitate this with some quick decoy routes that will have the added benefit of preventing him from staring down his primary intended target? Late in the third quarter, he pump-faked to Stephen Hill coming across the field and then found Konrad Reuland wide open in the left flat. On this occasion, Hill was wide open and was definitely expecting it to be thrown to him judging by his reaction. Sanchez never looked at Reuland, so I don't know if he somehow sensed that Reuland (who had thrown a block at the line of scrimmage that put the safety on the ground) would be wide open. Maybe Reuland yelled at him or maybe Sanchez has just lost confidence in Hill and just got lucky that Reuland was open when he decided to pull it back and look elsewhere. Either way, all these plays add up and can only be good for Sanchez's confidence.

Sanchez did get a bit lucky on a couple of plays - he was able to recover his own fumble, he had a pass go through McKnight's hands that was almost intercepted and he had a deep ball that easily could have been picked off because Hill lost it in the lights. None of these were his fault though. While a couple of his completions could have been slightly better placed and one of his incompletions was thrown slightly too late, he only had two really inaccurate throws all day and neither proved costly or were in danger of being picked off.

Sanchez has now had a quarterback rating of over 100 in three of the four Jets wins, with the one exception being the game in Miami where they easily could have lost. Hopefully that doesn't mean the Jets need him to perform at that level to win games. Instead, when you consider how they didn't really ask him to do anything too difficult, it should be a sign that adequate play from the quarterback position shouldn't be beyond our expectations with this offense. If he can build on the confidence yesterday's win should have given him, hopefully he can play well against New England for the second time this year.

Clearly Tim Tebow's offensive contributions were non-existent this week. Perhaps more troubling than his lack of statistical production and apparent bad reads was the fact he showed frustration after one play where Jeremy Kerley motioned into the backfield and took a handoff for a one yard loss. He appeared to be remonstrating with Reuland after the play. Reuland, a tight end on the right side, initially appeared to make his block, but there was a defensive lineman in the hole because he stayed at home even though Austin Howard and Brandon Moore pulled out left to try and get some misdirection going. However, having watched this a few times, it seems possible that Reuland was supposed to get outside leverage on his man to allow Kerley to run parallel to the line of scrimmage and get to the outside on the right. He was unable to set the edge and Kerley was forced to cut back inside. It's not clear whether Reuland missed his assignment or just failed to execute the block as intended. Either way, if the Tebow package is going to hardly be used and Tebow himself will get frustrated with teammates who don't come in and execute the plays, then he's not being the selfless, team-oriented, role player he's been advertised as.

With how predictable the packages have been in recent weeks, I wonder if they have some special wrinkles saved up for this week. They've certainly developed some tendencies, but I don't necessarily think that the Patriots have the kind of personnel in their front seven that will takes themselves out of plays or overpursue.

Offensive Line

Headline news on the offensive line this week was the performance of Austin Howard in the running game. Howard has been an above-average run blocker so far this season and I would rate this performance as comfortably his most consistent of the year. He had some good kickout blocks, got a consistent surge as a drive blocker and had no real negatives in the running game. Perhaps his best block saw him get to the outside and turn his man back to the inside to spring Gates for a 12-yard run on an end around.

Howard continues to struggle in the passing game compared with his teammates, but managed to limit the damage to one sack. He did also fall down on Sanchez's touchdown pass, but Nick Mangold proved his worth by coming across to pick up his man and enabling Sanchez to get the throw away cleanly.

Mangold had a slow start by his standards, but really started to dominate in the second half. There were some uncharacteristic missed blocks in the running game, but his overall contribution was excellent and he had no issues in pass protection. In fact, the pass protection on the interior continues to be solid as neither starting guard gave up a pressure either. Both starters were up and down in the running game though. Brandon Moore pulled a lot and was often the guy they tried to run behind. As you'd expect that led to several positive and negative plays from him. Matt Slauson had less of a key role and was also inconsistent, but did make a couple of solid blocks in the running game.

At the other tackle position, D'Brickashaw Ferguson once again didn't allow a hit or a sack as he continues to excel in pass protection. His run blocking was up and down, as he had some good kickout blocks and a good second level block on Bilal Powell's second touchdown but also had a handful of plays where he let his man get off his block to make a play.

For all his talk of wanting to show something against his former teammates, Jason Smith made a couple of mistakes and didn't have a major impact. He false started on one play and missed a couple of blocks in the running game. Vladimir Ducasse continues to rotate in for every third series at guard. This week, his three drives saw them go three and out and miss a field goal, drive from inside their own 30 to set up a made field goal and drive 38 yards for the final touchdown. Ducasse made a couple of minor mistakes but did get out in front of a screen pass well and led the way nicely for Powell's second touchdown. As it begins to look increasingly likely he'll be starting at guard next year, Ducasse is managing to hold his own and it's encouraging to see them producing with him in the game.

Running Backs

Shonn Greene has never been thought of as much of a "boom or bust" type back, but on Sunday 15 of his 18 carries went for four yards or less, netting just 30 yards total. However, on the other three carries, he read the hole well, broke to the second level and finished the run strong, picking up 10, 10 and 14 yards. 64 yards on 18 carries is a disappointing output, but he had 49 of those yards on his first nine carries and most of his second half carries amounted to little more than softening up the defense.

The main beneficiary of that was Powell, who was able to run for the first two touchdowns of his career. His 11-yard touchdown in the fourth quarter was also the longest run of his career so far. He added two catches, including one to set up that second touchdown. On the downside, he was beaten three times in pass protection, including once for a sack. Watching him, I was wondering whether his injury has compromised his lateral movement. Greene also gave up a sack as he missed a cut block.

McKnight gave the offense a spark with his first down catch and also showed good burst on a decent run over the right side. However, he did allow a short Sanchez pass to deflect off his hands and there was one play where he ran to the outside and was unable to turn the corner.

At fullback, Lex Hilliard got off to a pretty good start with some thumping blocks in the hole. However, as the game wore on his inconsistencies as a run blocker resurfaced.

Receivers

Schilens led the team in receiving this week, although Kerley wasn't too far behind. Schilens made a nice adjustment on Sanchez's touchdown throw and had two other first down catches. He did badly mess up a block on the play where Tebow rolled out and was tackled though, although he was matched up with a much bigger player.

Kerley had the big play down the seam and two other short catches, one for a third down conversion and one where he made a few extra yards by slipping a tackle. Teams are starting to show respect for him when he runs decoy routes now too.

Disappointingly, Stephen Hill had another bad drop and also lost the deep ball in the lights and was called for an offensive pass interference penalty. I continue to be impressed by his ability to get open, although if Sanchez has lost faith in him, then that could be a problem. I'm reminded of when Anthony Becht was dropping a lot of passes during the Chad Pennington era and then Pennington had a couple of interceptions or near interceptions where Becht was wide open but Pennington took something off the throw as if trying to lob him a beach ball. Hopefully Sanchez won't fall into the same trap. To Hill's credit, after badly missing a block early in the game, he did make some good ones later on.

It was a quiet game for Dustin Keller, which doesn't really fit into the theory that Sanchez needs Keller to be performing to play well. Keller did catch a couple of balls and didn't do a bad job as a blocker, but he wasn't a major part of their offensive success this week. His backups, Reuland and Jeff Cumberland caught a pass each. As noted, Reuland seemed to mess up his block on the Tebow/Kerley play. Cumberland also messed up one block but did set the edge well on another play.

Finally, Antonio Cromartie saw some offensive snaps this week. He also had a badly missed block as they ran the ball to his side of the field for some reason.

Defensive Line

It's good to see Muhammad Wilkerson's performance getting some recognition. Wilkerson has been playing well all year, but a lot of what he does goes unnoticed in the trenches. However, this week, he did some of his best work as a pass rusher for a change. This was the most disruptive game I've seen from him so far as a pass rusher, despite the fact he saw plenty of attention from double teams. It was highlighted by his strip sack in the first half, but he got close several other times. As noted last week, he had already emulated the amount of total pressure he recorded last season. If he carries on at this rate, he's likely to more than double last year's output. He actually made a slow start in the running game, but had more and more of an impact as the game wore on, getting plenty of good penetration and blowing up several runs in the second half.

Alongside Wilkerson, veterans Mike DeVito and Sione Po'uha each had positives and negatives. It wasn't a good sign for Po'uha when Robert Turner handled him easily one-on-one on the first play of the game. However, Po'uha did make a positive impact as the game went on and was getting double teamed a lot. Three times he was able to shed his block to stuff a runner, but the difference from last year is still apparent. Those plays would probably have been one yard gains last season, but are going for four or five yards this time. DeVito has likely been playing more than the Jets intended due to the injuries to Po'uha and Kenrick Ellis. He entered the game having been in on over 62% of the snaps - his career high being 57%. He did get handled at the point of attack a few times and only disrupted a couple of plays.

Ellis barely played (three snaps) before suffering another injury. When he has played this year, he's looked good most of the time. However, it has to be a concern that he can't stay on the field, especially with DeVito being stretched and Po'uha playing hurt. The fact the Rams fell behind and starting passing a lot afford the Jets a good opportunity to limit their reps, which they took.

Quinton Coples had a pretty quiet game and did get blocked out of a couple of plays. However, he was credited with a QB hit and three tackles, including one for a loss (on yet another play blown up by Wilkerson's penetration). It must be a good sign that he's still making contributions like these even on his quietest days.

Linebackers

The linebackers didn't make much of an impact against the run this week, with the Rams picking up 114 yards at almost six yards per carry due to a bunch of missed tackles and players getting blocked out of plays. David Harris had four tackles and the rest of the linebackers had just six between them. Harris actually graded out poorly against the run, but did contribute well in the pass rush, getting a handful of pressures. He also made a couple of good plays in coverage, although he was clearly at fault on the Rams' first touchdown because he picked up the halfback when he motioned to the slot and followed him to the outside, leaving the middle unattended. It was clear that at least one of the cornerbacks on that side (Cromartie and Kyle Wilson) thought they were in zone coverage because they both stayed out there rather than following their man to the middle of the field.

Bart Scott will make more headlines for his performance in the locker room than on the field this week. He did get in on a run stuff, recovered a fumble and took out a few blockers to enable teammates to stop running plays, but his overall impact was muted. Probably his worst moment on defense saw him too busy communicating with Wilson about where to go in coverage, so he wasn't ready for the snap and the run up the middle went for a decent gain.

After a terrific performance last week, Bryan Thomas didn't do as well this week. He had one pressure and was inconsistent against the run. On the other side, Calvin Pace had a couple of pressures, but didn't have much of an impact against the run either.

Demario Davis got plenty of playing time and there were signs that he's making some progress. He had a couple of pressures, made some good plays in coverage and showed good instincts on one run to blow it up in the hole. He did get lost in zone coverage once and had one missed tackle, but overall it was a more consistent performance than last week and he is hopefully getting more comfortable at this level.

Garrett McIntyre contributed well again with some good pass rushing, a good stop against the run and a key fumble recovery. However, he did have a roughing the passer penalty for helmet-to-helmet contact. Maybe activating Ricky Sapp (and releasing Aaron Maybin) has sparked McIntyre to raise his game. Sapp looked good again, getting close to Sam Bradford on a number of occasions. There were only two plays where Roger Saffold managed to neutralize him easily. Sapp almost got to Bradford on a quick throw as he was unblocked coming off the edge and followed that up by beating his man on the outside to force Bradford to step up, just avoiding his grasp. He also got in Bradford's face on his second touchdown pass, forcing him to throw off his back foot.

Defensive Backs

This week, Cromartie had a bit of a letdown as he was beaten for a touchdown and two first downs and also had two missed tackles. On one of the first downs, he lost Danny Amendola on a whip route, a matchup which I could have told you in advance wasn't likely to end well for Cromartie (who will likely draw the Brandon Lloyd assignment on Thursday). Cromartie did have good coverage on one throw to the end zone and also broke up a third down pass with a big hit, so it wasn't all bad. He also managed to avoid getting flagged, which is an achievement in itself when Jerome Boger's crew is working the game. That may have factored into some of the plays he gave up though.

The other cornerbacks - who will be tested on Thursday - did pretty well, apart from Wilson being involved in the mix-up on the first touchdown. Wilson did give up five other catches on nine targets, but none of them were for more than 10 yards and he was in good position on three other plays including a two-point conversion that he broke up. Ellis Lankster also broke up a pass and was in good position on a throw to the end zone. He ended up surrendering just an eight yard catch on four targets, although it was for a first down. He should also have had a sack, but missed the tackle and did jump offside once.

Despite Bassett writing earlier today that LaRon Landry played great, the film shows otherwise, as he had two bad missed tackles and a third that was negated by a penalty. He also gave up a first down in coverage. While he was correctly credited with two forced fumbles, one of these merely saw the receiver drop the ball as he was tackled in the open field and then easily fall back on it, so it was never really a potential impact play. The other, however, was a huge play and Landry did have two other positive contributions - one good open field tackle on a short pass and a pressure as he guessed the snap count and shot a gap to flush Bradford.

Landry and Yeremiah Bell did combine for 14 tackles, though, with Bell in on two tackles in the backfield. He also had a nice pass breakup, but did also get burned down the seam for the 36-yard play that set up the opening score. The Jets got a surprise contribution from their other safety, Eric Smith, who jumped a route for a first half interception and made a tackle in the backfield on another pass play. Overall, his coverage numbers were great with just two catches for 17 yards on the seven throws into his coverage. He did get beaten downfield twice though, with one falling incomplete.

Finally, Josh Bush was on the field for one snap and Aaron Berry for two, before injuring his quad. Berry almost had a sack.

Special Teams

Let's face it, if Wilson's muffed punt had been recovered by the Rams, Nick Folk's blocked field goal had stayed in bounds and been returnable and the officials hadn't spotted the hold on Chris Givens' kickoff return for a touchdown, we'd probably be staring at yet another blowout loss for the Jets. Those are the sort of things that have been going against the Jets in recent weeks, underlining how a major breakdown can turn a potential win into a heavy defeat.

They weren't the only letdowns, either. The fake punt was doomed to fail, not just because the Rams had their defensive personnel in against the Jets punt coverage offensive line (which is essentially comprised of all the backup linebackers on the roster), but because James Laurinaitis was keying Hilliard the whole way with nobody in a position to block him, so it was a bad read by Tebow. The only chance the play would have had of working would have been in Tebow was able to keep the ball, get outside on Chris Long - who seemed to have him sized up pretty good - and maybe pitch the ball to the punter if he wasn't able to turn the corner. For that to work, the punter would need to catch the ball and run about 15 yards with it, which would never have happened unless Schilens and Eric Smith were able to sustain their blocks for several seconds. In other words, too many things would have had to go right for that option to work. Ultimately, I agree with the TV crew who said that Tebow should have realized they were in their base defense and audibled to a punt.

Despite kicking two field goals of over 50 yards, Folk's misses are starting to pile up as feared. Ferguson was at fault on the one that was blocked and he looked like he was blaming his holder, Robert Malone, on the other one. Malone fared slightly better as a punter, although he did boom one into the end zone. He did have one that bounced to a stop inside the five though.

The Jets also almost lost an onside kick after it careened up off Hilliard's heel and Keller had to make a diving smother. On the kickoff return, Bush had a bad missed tackle and Berry was unable to make the tackle in the open field. However, on one other kickoff, Berry chased the return man across the field and Bush made a solid tackle, so they did at least improve on that.

Other than a good kickoff return from McKnight, the one bright spot was Schilens. He had two good tackles and also maintained his lane well to lead to the tackle by Bush referenced above. He also drew the holding penalty that negated Givens' runback.

Conclusions

While this was an encouraging win for the Jets, I'm not yet convinced that this is a sign that they're about to turn their season around. In truth, this performance wasn't all that different from how the Jets played over the last two weeks in two games they ended up getting blown out in. What was different was that they finished drives, got a few lucky breaks and made some key plays at the right time. That meant they had the lead in the second half and were able to close the game out instead of chasing the game.

I'm sorry to say that this could indicate that this Jets team has a very fragile psyche and that they perhaps suffer from a tendency to let things get to them when not everything is going their way. That can have a negative affect on things like body language, motivation, effort and confidence.

However, the good news is that the boost in confidence they got from this performance will hopefully carry over to the next few games and if they can get off to some good starts they should remain competitive. When a team does have a tendency to respond negatively to adversity, that's not easy to turn round without anything positive to build upon. Now they've had a positive performance, hopefully there's more of a chance to get everyone on the same page and for more focused and opportunistic performances like the one against the Rams to be seen more often over the second half of the season.

We're back to normal service now, so hit me with your BGA questions in the comments section and I will answer them for you in BGA Extra on Wednesday or Thursday.

Tags: BGA, Editorial Aside, Bent Double

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)

Jonas Schwartz and Willie Colon are back in the studio to give their instant reaction to the Jets' selection of quarterback Sam Darnold with the third pick in the NFL Draft.

The guys welcome in SNY Draft expert Ralph Cirminiello to break down the positives and negatives of Darnold's game. Then, SNY Jets analyst Ray Lucas joins the show to give his two cents on the pick, and to discuss whether Darnold has the tools to be a great QB in the NFL.

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Sam Darnold talks Jets with SNY 00:02:03
SNY NFL Insider Ralph Vacchiano talks to San Darnold after the QB was chosen by the New York Jets with the third pick in the NFL Draft.

When this whole thing started, USC QB Sam Darnold was projected to be the No. 1 overall pick. He was the safest quarterback prospect that checked all the boxes. 

But the Browns decided to go with Oklahoma QB Baker Mayfield. And the Giants steered clear of a quarterback, going with Penn State RB Saquon Barkley instead. 

So, when the Jets saw Darnold in their lap at No. 3, they called his name. 

Tags: Sam Darnold, Scott Thompson
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Maccagnan on Darnold selection 00:00:57
Jets general manager Mike Maccagnan discusses how the Jets landed on Sam Darnold with the third overall pick in Thursday's draft.

"I knew whatever happens happens. And it happens for a reason."

"I'm really excited about being with the Jets...really excited to meet my teammates and co

Tags: Sam Darnold
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SNY's Jets panel on Darnold pick 00:02:19
Ray Lucas, Willie Colon and the SNY Jets crew react to the selection of QB Sam Darnold by the Jets with the third pick in the NFL Draft.

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

When the Jets traded up from No. 6 to No. 3, they were convinced that the best quarterback in the draft likely wouldn't be available.

So this was quite a surprise.

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 (Tim Heitman)
(Tim Heitman)

The Jets have the guy who they hope is their Quarterback of the Future. 

With the No. 3 overall pick in the NFL Draft, the Jets selected USC QB Sam Darnold -- who many experts had going No. 1 to the Browns. 

However, he slipped down to the Jets, and they jumped on the opportunity. SNY's Ralph Vacchiano reported last week that Darnold could be in consideration if the Browns or Giants didn't take him first. The assumption by most was that the pick would be between UCLA's Josh Rosen or Oklahoma's Baker Mayfield

Tags: Josh McCown, Scott Thompson
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Top QB prospect Sam Darnold 00:01:02
Former USC quarterback Sam Darnold is expected to be taken as one of the top QB's in the 2018 NFL Draft.

The Jets traded up and got their guy: Sam Darnold is coming to New York. 

Darnold completed 63.1 percent of his passes for 4,143 yards, 26 touchdowns, and nine interceptions in 14 games in 2017 during his second season as a starter for the Trojans.

Here are some of Darnold's best moments at USC.

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Southern California Trojans quarterback Sam Darnold throws the ball against the Oregon State Beavers during the second quarter at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. (Kelvin Kuo/USA TODAY Sports)
Southern California Trojans quarterback Sam Darnold throws the ball against the Oregon State Beavers during the second quarter at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. (Kelvin Kuo/USA TODAY Sports)

With the 3rd pick of the 2018 NFL Draft, the New York Jets select USC QB Sam Darnold. 

Darnold, 20, completed 63.1 percent of his passes for 4,143 yards, 26 touchdowns, and nine interceptions in 14 games in 2017 during his second season as a starter for the Trojans.

But how did the Jets' players react to the pick?

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Head to SNY on Facebook and Twitter to watch SNY's Draft Night Live tonight as soon as the Jets are on the clock with the No. 3 pick.

Jonas Schwartz, former NFL players and current SNY analysts Ray Lucas and Willie Colon, and SNY Draft Expert Rich Cirminiello will be giving analysis in advance of the pick and reaction after. 

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Apr 26, 2018; Arlington, TX, USA; A general view of the front of the stadium before the NFL Draft at AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports (Tim Heitman)
Apr 26, 2018; Arlington, TX, USA; A general view of the front of the stadium before the NFL Draft at AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports (Tim Heitman)

Tune to SNY tonight at 7 for the Jets Nation Draft Day special, which will take you right up to when the Browns go on the clock with the No. 1 pick at the Draft at 8 p.m.!

The special will feture Jonas Schwartz, Ray Lucas, and Willie Colon from our SNY Studios, with Jeane Coakley reporting from the Jets Facility at Florham Park and Ralph Vacchiano from Dallas the site of this year's NFL Draft.

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Stanford, CA, USA; UCLA Bruins quarterback Josh Rosen (3) (Sergio Estrada)
Stanford, CA, USA; UCLA Bruins quarterback Josh Rosen (3) (Sergio Estrada)

The Jets will reportedly take UCLA QB Josh Rosen over USC QB Sam Darnold if both of them are available at No. 3, reports Lance Zierlein of NFL.com.

In his Mini Mock Draft 5.0, SNY's Ralph Vacchiano has Rosen going to the Jets.

Darnold had been expected to go No. 1 to the Browns, but recent reports have the Browns instead taking Oklahoma QB Baker Mayfield.

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Nov 18, 2017; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Southern California Trojans quarterback Sam Darnold (right) and UCLA Bruins quarterback Josh Rosen (3) shake hands after their game at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports (Kelvin Kuo)
Nov 18, 2017; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Southern California Trojans quarterback Sam Darnold (right) and UCLA Bruins quarterback Josh Rosen (3) shake hands after their game at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports (Kelvin Kuo)

At least one of USC QB Sam Darnold, UCLA QB Josh Rosen, and Wyoming QB Josh Allen will be on the board when the Jets select at No. 3 overall at the NFL Draft on Thursday night.

All three quarterbacks spoke with SNY's Ralph Vacchiano about the potential of playing for the Jets, with Rosen playfully jawing back at Vacchiano.

Click below to see...

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Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

ARLINGTON, Tex. -- After months of rumors, reports and lies -- a lot of lies -- here is my final best guess about how the first 10 picks of the 2018 NFL draft are going to play out on Thursday night.

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Nov 2, 2017; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets general manager Mike Maccagnan on the sidelines before a game against the Buffalo Bills at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Nov 2, 2017; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets general manager Mike Maccagnan on the sidelines before a game against the Buffalo Bills at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive: ARLINGTON, Tex. -- The Jets have been searching for a franchise quarterback for nearly 50 years now. They've found a few candidates along the way, though none of them were great. And they've missed on many, many more.

Now Jets GM Mike Maccagnan has a chance to change all that when he makes the No. 3 overall pick in the NFL draft on Thursday night. When he made the bold and early move to trade up from 6 to 3, surrendering three second-round picks over the next two years to the Indianapolis Colts in the process, there was no doubt he had a Quarterback of the Future in mind.

But which one? Here's a look at how I expect the Jets' selection to play out...

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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)

There's a "mounting belief" among head coaches and general managers around the league that the Cleveland Browns will take Oklahoma QB Baker Mayfield with the No. 1 pick in the NFL Draft on Thursday night, reports Adam Schefter of ESPN.

A report Wednesday from Mary Kay Cabot of Cleveland.com indicated that the Browns could be deciding between Mayfield and Wyoming QB Josh Allen at No. 1.

The Browns had been linked most recently to USC QB Sam Darnold as their likely choice at No. 1, with Mayfield's name first thrown in the mix on Tuesday. Now, the Browns are reportedly "cooling" on Darnold...

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Nick Mangold talks career 00:04:53
After announcing his retirement, New York Jets great Nick Mangold sits down with SNY to talk about his career and future.

After announcing his retirement, New York Jets great Nick Mangold sits down with SNY to talk about his career and future.

Tags: Nick Mangold
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Darnold talks Giants and Jets 00:01:27
Sam Darnold talks about meeting Eli Manning, his visits with the Giants and Jets and advice he received from fellow Trojan Mark Sanchez.

USC QB Sam Darnold didn't get to meet with Eli Manning during his visit with the Giants, but got to see plenty of Jets during his visit with them.

"I saw him from a distance and he was working, so I didn't want to bother him," Darnold said about Manning. "We had a chance to meet at the Manning Camp, which was awesome."

Regarding the Jets, Darnold said he got to see a bunch of players he was familiar with.

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UCLA QB Josh Rosen (Mark J. Rebilas/USA TODAY Sports)
UCLA QB Josh Rosen (Mark J. Rebilas/USA TODAY Sports)

UCLA QB Josh Rosen, who is expected to be taken early in the first round during the NFL Draft on Thursday night, had fun with reporters who were asking him on Wednesday about the potential of being selected by the Jets at No. 3 or Giants at No. 2.

"You're trying to catch me," Rosen playfully told SNY's Ralph Vacchiano when asked about the media spotlight in New York.

Rosen also discussed his visits to the Jets and Giants. Hear his full comments below...

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Willie Colon picks Josh Rosen 00:01:03
SNY Jets Analyst Willie Colon thinks the Jets will select quarterback Josh Rosen with the third pick in the NFL Draft.

Former Jet and current SNY analyst Willie Colon thinks the Jets will tab UCLA QB Josh Rosen with the No. 3 pick in Thursday's NFL Draft in Dallas. 

"I think [GM Mike] Maccagnan is at the point where he's okay with a kid being an outward thinker -- that's the label, so to speak, with Rosen," Colon said Tuesday on The Jet Stream Podcast on SNY. "But I think he understands he's an extremely polished quarterback."

Along with Rosen, the Jets have been connected to Oklahoma QB Baker Mayfield, who SNY's Ralph Vacchiano and Peter Schrager of Fox Sports believes will be the Jets' pick. ...Click below to listen to the Jet Stream podcast with Colon, Schrager, and Jonas Schwartz...

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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)

Peter Schrager of Fox Sports would be "shocked" if the Jets pass on Baker Mayfield if he's available when they pick at No. 3 during Thursday's NFL Draft, he said during Tuesday's Jet Stream Podcast on SNY.

Schrager spoke of "glowing reports" he received from the dinner Mayfield had with team brass a few weeks ago, and thinks the Jets are all-in on Mayfield -- even if Sam Darnold is available at No. 3.

"Everything I've been listening to for the last two, three months has been that Baker Mayfield -- if he's on the board -- is going to be the pick for the Jets," Schrager said. "That might include Sam Darnold as well -- if Darnold somehow falls. I think that they have been in love with Mayfield for this entire time. I'd be shocked if they went with one of the other guys."

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Jonas Schwartz and Willie Colon are finally ready to see who the Jets select in this year's NFL Draft! Will it be Sam Darnold, Josh Rosen, Baker Mayfield, or Josh Allen? To get their answer, they welcome the NFL Network's Peter Schrager to the show for his take on each quarterback, and discuss why Rosen is the guy and why Mayfield is mostly definitely not.

Click below to listen

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Jets' third-round options 00:05:01
SNY NFL Insider Ralph Vacchiano and SNY NFL Draft Expert Rich Cirminiello discuss who the Jets will take in the third round of the draft.

The bulk of the attention has been on who the Jets will do with the No. 3 overall pick in Thursday night's NFL Draft.

It will be a quarterback. But which one? At least two of Sam Darnold, Baker Mayfield, Josh Allen, and Josh Rosen will be available when the Jets pick.

Lost in the shuffle a bit has been the fact that the Jets have a third round pick (72nd overall) as well. And SNY NFL Insider Ralph Vacchiano and SNY NFL Draft Expert Rich Cirminiello recently discussed who the Jets could take with that pick.

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Top QB prospect Baker Mayfield 00:01:01
Former Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield is expected to be taken as one of the top QB's in the 2018 NFL Draft.

What is NFL Draft week without some drama over the No. 1 pick?

With reports circulating Monday that Wyoming QB Josh Allen is no longer in consideration for the Browns' No. 1 pick, ESPN's Adam Schefter is now reporting that Oklahoma QB Baker Mayfield is "definitely" in the conversation. 

Schefter continues by saying the Browns may have their choice in mind for their first overall pick, and before that decision was made, Mayfield was a player in the mix.

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Nick Mangold retires from NFL 00:02:30
After spending eleven seasons with the Jets, Nick Mangold announces his retirement from the NFL.

Nick Mangold, who spent 11 seasons with the Jets, announced his retirement at the team's facility after signing a one-day contract on Tuesday. 

Tags: Nick Mangold
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GEICO SportsNite: Jets 00:01:07
Jets general manager Mike Maccagnan discusses the team's strategy for its No. 3 overall pick with the draft just a few days away.

New York Jets' Jamal Adams (33) and Los Angeles Chargers' Sean McGrath (84) fight for control of the ball during the second half of an NFL football game Sunday, Dec. 24, 2017, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Bill Kostroun) (Bill Kostroun/AP)
New York Jets' Jamal Adams (33) and Los Angeles Chargers' Sean McGrath (84) fight for control of the ball during the second half of an NFL football game Sunday, Dec. 24, 2017, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Bill Kostroun) (Bill Kostroun/AP)

Bent, theJetsBlog.com Follow on Twitter

The Jets own the third pick in this year's draft, their highest since 1996. How have they drafted in the first round over the past five years?

2017: Safety Jamal Adams, No. 6

It's too early to tell how Adams' career will pan out, but the signs so far have been promising. He started every game in his rookie year as the Jets' secondary definitely played better than it had in 2016. On the field, Adams had his ups and downs, but he showed flashes of brilliance in a versatile role. Off the field, he's played a big part in the ongoing culture change that has galvanized the team and has also been a useful tool in player recruitment.

Tags: Calvin Pryor, Damon Harrison, Darron Lee, Dee Milliner, Jamal Adams, Leonard Williams, Muhammad Wilkerson, Quinton Coples, Sheldon Richardson
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Nov 18, 2017; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Southern California Trojans quarterback Sam Darnold (right) and UCLA Bruins quarterback Josh Rosen (3) shake hands after their game at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports (Kelvin Kuo)
Nov 18, 2017; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Southern California Trojans quarterback Sam Darnold (right) and UCLA Bruins quarterback Josh Rosen (3) shake hands after their game at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports (Kelvin Kuo)

It will be an absolute stunner if the Jets don't take a quarterback after trading up to No. 3 in the NFL Draft, which takes place on Thursday night in Dallas.

So, who will it be?

At least two out of the group of Baker Mayfield, Sam Darnold, Josh Rosen, and Josh Allen will be available for the Jets. 

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Wyoming quarterback Josh Allen runs a drill at the NFL football scouting combine in Indianapolis, Saturday, March 3, 2018. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy) (Michael Conroy/AP)
Wyoming quarterback Josh Allen runs a drill at the NFL football scouting combine in Indianapolis, Saturday, March 3, 2018. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy) (Michael Conroy/AP)

The Browns' choices for their No. 1 pick seem to have come down to two choices just three days away from the NFL Draft: Sam Darnold or Josh Allen?

Yes, there is always the prospect of the Browns going with RB Saquon Barkley with their first overall selection, knowing they have the No. 4 pick later on. However, experts including SI's Peter King see Cleveland getting their quarterback first before addressing anywhere else. 

Recently, rumblings about Allen going No. 1 have gained some steam. But King's most trusted source says Allen is too much of a risk, and the Browns don't want to get another quarterback pick wrong.

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 (Kevin Jairaj)
(Kevin Jairaj)

Broadway Joe loves Broadway Baker. Or at least that's what could be Baker Mayfield's nickname if the Jets were to select him with their No. 3 overall pick. 

Hall of Famer and former Jets QB Joe Namath loves what he has seen from Mayfield over the years of watching him play. He recently watched the Georgia-Oklahoma College Football Playoff matchup at the Rose Bowl on New Year's Eve, and after his daughter asked if he had seen anything like the back-and-forth bout, he responded saying he wouldn't want to be going up against Mayfield...


Everything you need to know about the Jets and No. 3 >> Read more

Vacc's Mini Mock Draft has Jets tabbing Mayfield >> Read more

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 (Dennis Wierzbicki)
(Dennis Wierzbicki)

The Jets have not stopped looking for help on their defensive line as they hosted numerous free-agent linemen on Monday. 

Former Bears DT Lamarr Houston and former Patriots DT Chris Jones were among those looking to impress the Jets. Houston split time with the Bears and Texans last season, totaling five sacks over 10 games. A former second-round pick by the Raiders back in 2010, Houston is entering his ninth season in the NFL this year. 

Jones played for the division-rival Patriots in 2013 and 2014, where he finished with nine sacks and 79 tackles over 28 career games. He most recently played for the 49ers in 2016, where he had 17 tackles over six games. He did not play for an NFL squad in 2017. 

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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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