It's not just the Jets players that will need to get to grips with a new system this season. The hire of Marty Mornhinweg means that after I spent last year familiarizing myself with Tony Sparano's concepts and tendencies, I've now got to get a handle on the Jets' new offensive system.

Obviously, I don't have access to the playbook (not that I'd be able to share it even if I did). Nor will I need to get anywhere close to the level of understanding as any of the players on the team (especially the quarterbacks). I just wanted to get an idea in advance of some of the approaches Mornhinweg takes and how that corresponds to our ideal of a prototypical west coast offense. It will also be interesting to cover some of the main differences between the scheme and those run by the Jets over the last few years. I've also been on the look-out for any quirky patterns or unusual aspects.

To that end, I've been watching footage of the Eagles offense from 2012 and 2011 and after the jump I'll take a look at some of the plays that are staples of Mornhinweg's offense, together with details of some of the things I noticed about his play calling and game planning.

Before I even start, I'll direct you to a piece Mike Nolan did for Turn on the Jets. Although this was written back in January before many of the personnel changes on the offense were undertaken, it still serves as an outstanding primer in terms of how the running game works and what the Eagles were looking to do in the passing game. This saves me having to go over old ground. As ever, exclusive data from PFF has been used in my article.

Coaching set-up

The first thing worth noting is that Andy Reid always had some level of involvement in the offense, so before we even start to break down what the Eagles did over the last few years, we must consider that there may be elements of that offense that will be enhanced now that Reid is out of the picture and others which might not feature as heavily, if at all. While this is one of those things that is impossible to accurately discern, the fans' perspective seems to be that the Eagles ran a more run-heavy offense when Mornhinweg was running the show, but would tend to pass more when Reid got heavily involved. Reid ceded play-calling duties to Mornhinweg during the 2006 season, but his direct involvement in offensive game planning has apparently been intermittent since then.

In many respects, this creates a similar issue to that of last year, where we were trying to evaluate Tony Sparano's offense without knowing which elements of that offense came from the offensive coordinator and which ones came from the head coach. Of course, this time, the roles are reversed and it's the coordinator that is bringing his offense to the Jets rather than the head coach. Reid and Mornhinweg do have very similar offensive philosophies in terms of scheme, but that doesn't mean they don't have different philosophies in respect of game planning and play calling.

So, we're flying blind to an extent, but just bear in mind that Mornhinweg's scheme will evolve slightly without Reid's influence. Of course, Rex Ryan may have his own offensive beliefs that will impact strategy and the personnel available to Mornhinweg is also going to become a factor in that.

Running game

Without getting too deeply into blocking schemes, I think it's safe to say that Mike Devlin's role as offensive line coach will be to implement Mornhinweg's system, so we can expect them to use the same kind of blocking schemes. Devlin - a former NFL offensive lineman who played in multiple systems - was an offensive line coach for two years at Toledo, but they ran a spread offense, so this will be somewhat different. Mornhinweg favors a zone blocking scheme, but it isn't a pure zone scheme as they do run some gap-blocking plays. You might see one or two players pulling to the outside at times.

Zone blocking, when coupled with a lot of stretch runs, dovetailed nicely with what the Eagles would do in the passing game. A lot of their runs involve all (or most) of the linemen moving in unison, so that enables them to run play action looks by creating a moving pocket. As the action flows in one direction, the angle of the handoff usually dictates whether or not the runner will have a cutback option, which is also something which features heavily. If everyone is on the move to the outside and the defense is moving laterally trying to avoid getting caught on the inside, then this can lead to a downhill surge which - if all goes to plan - causes most of the front seven to overrun the play. The runner might need to slip one tackle at the point of attack in order to get into the open field, but it's an effective misdirection play for Mornhinweg's offenses.

This reminds me of a similar misdirection play that was a staple of the Brian Schottenheimer offense, particularly in 2010. That play - termed "the swerve" - operated with similar zone blocking principles upfront. The main difference being that I wouldn't often anticipate the Eagles to have run this type of counter out of a I-formation. Here's an example of the swerve in action.

I wouldn't expect to see the "blast" play too often under Mornhinweg. That was the other staple play of the Bill Callahan running game and Sparano inherited it and made use of it last year. That play involves the left guard pulling to block a defensive end coming off the opposite edge, opening a gap over right guard. Sparano's best running play last year was probably the trap which usually involved Austin Howard pulling in behind the right guard and leading the way up the middle. Again, I didn't see the Eagles run this play.

With the risk of a counter keeping the front seven on their heels and to the inside, that should open up the possibility of runs to the outside. With that action flowing to the outside, if the tackle can get to the outside shoulder of the player with outside contain, then he can drive them to the inside and allow the running back to turn the corner. Usually you end up with a read-and-react situation where someone will maintain contain on the outside, but the blocking motion will enable one of the linemen to drive their guy out of his lane and the runner, having started off running parallel to the line of scrimmage, must anticipate and hit that hole.

One other aspect of the offensive line that the Jets have used in recent years has been an unbalanced line. I would assume that Mornhinweg sees this as unnecessarily complicated because it is not something the Eagles have tended to do. The only adjustment they made to their regular five starters was on the goal line, where they would often go with six linemen. In those situations, they used Todd Herremans - a starter at tackle - as the extra tight end and put the extra lineman in at tackle.

Passing Game

Jets fans should be familiar with a west coast offense, having watched Paul Hackett's version of one from 2001 to 2004. This was considered a dink-and-dunk offense, especially with Chad Pennington running it. However, whether Pennington adapted his game to fit that conservative style or the offense just operated better with him playing that way is unknown. No doubt Pennington's shoulder injuries - although the first of those came in Hackett's final season - and Herm Edwards' conservative nature were factors too.

Mornhinweg's west coast scheme has typically been more expansive. In fact that's another area where he apparently differs from Reid, who is thought to favor a dink and dunk approach. However, the concepts remain pretty much the same. Short, high-percentage throws spread the defense out and give the receivers a chance to make plays in the open field, with a lot of throws down the seam and deep shots down the sideline mixed in to stretch the defense vertically. Quick passing can alleviate the pressure on the quarterback, help him to get into a rhythm and make the offense slightly less predictable. However, it does require the quarterback to make decisive reads and accurate throws, two areas where Mark Sanchez lost confidence last year.

As has been widely noted, Mornhinweg's offenses have thrown a lot of screen passes. (Note: A screen pass is defined as any pass caught behind the line of scrimmage for these purposes). My previous studies on screen passes here and here revealed that the Jets don't throw the screen pass as much as most other teams and that they weren't too successful when they did. However, in 2011, they threw more and dramatically improved on how effectively they ran them for most of the season, only to then overuse the screen pass over the last few games with disappointing results, as defenses were well prepared to stop it.

To update the research for 2012, the amount of times that Sanchez threw a screen pass went back down again under Sparano, to 7% of the time - even less than in 2010. He also had miserable numbers of 65% completions and five yards per attempt. Three of Tim Tebow's seven passes were screen passes, but netted just two yards and Greg McElroy threw five screens in 31 attempts - for 58 yards. As you'd expect, the Eagles ran screen passes much more - 17% of the time in total. The Eagles completed over 90% and gained 5.7 yards per attempt.

Another key staple for the Eagles is the throw down the seam to the tight end, usually Brent Celek. I mention this mainly because I watched a lot of Kellen Winslow Jr. highlights last night and that seems to be his bread and butter. If Winslow can earn himself a contract in mini camp, then he could fit well into that stretch-the-field tight end role. If not, it's also a route Jeff Cumberland has seen plenty of success with.

As noted above, the Eagles would use a moving pocket and the fact that they get rid of a lot of quick passes to alleviate some of the pressure on their young quarterbacks. It's also worth looking into whether there was any difference between how they protected the experienced and mobile Mike Vick in contrast with the younger, more inexperienced Nick Foles.

There was one major difference - they left tight ends in to block a lot less with Foles in the game. In Vick's 10 starts, the Eagles left a tight end to block approximately once every five plays and a back in to block about the same. However, in Foles' six starts, while they again left a back in once every five plays on average, they only left a tight end in 31 times - less than once every 15 plays. In fact, in week 14 against the Bucs, backs stayed in to block 23 times and a tight end never stayed in to block. Having said that, there is a possibility that DeSean Jackon's absence was a factor in this and the Eagles wanted Brent Celek running more routes. For comparison's sake the Jets left tight ends and backs in to block about 25% less than the Eagles did last year.

Play calling tendencies

One thing I noticed about Mornhinweg - ignoring the fact that run/pass ratios might have been warped by how closely Reid had been involved with the offense in any given week - was that he seems to have a meticulous approach towards developing tendencies. The Eagles offense provides for many staple plays which can involve misdirection and the Eagles aren't afraid to run a play several times, perhaps with limited levels of success, to set something else up. For example, if the offensive line all starts moving to the right in unison, that could be a stretch run to the right side, but there's also the possibility of the quarterback faking and throwing the ball while on the move in front of a moving pocket. Also, there's the cutback option. If a runner goes to the outside three times in a row, then that's where you might get the offense anticipating a given play and the possibility of exploiting that with a tendency breaker.

Under Brian Schottenheimer, the Jets set a lot of things like this up, but there was a Wile E. Coyote-esque quality to Schottenheimer, who seemed reluctant to revisit a well-thought out plan that had previously failed. Often, it would seem like this was a play which caught out the defense and would have worked but for one person making a mistake they ordinarily wouldn't or some other example of poor execution. As for Tony Sparano, I criticized him last year for running misdirection plays impatiently - without having set them up well enough with a developed tendency first.

What I saw from Mornhinweg was a willingness to make a play (or even just a formation or some other kind of wrinkle) a key feature of an offensive game plan one week and then you might not see it again for three weeks.

Let's look in detail at such a play. An ideal tendency-breaker and referred to as Mornhinweg's favorite running play in Nolan's article linked above, the sprint draw is a perfect example, because they ran it four times in the opening game, then hid it for a few weeks, before re-visiting it later in the season to great success. Here's how they lined up:

The first key is that the two tackles, rather than moving forward, or laterally, immediate drop back into a pass protection stance, such as you might expect to find on most running plays.

Vick sprints back to hand the ball off to LeSean McCoy. That's important, because he's getting the ball further away from the line, so he has more time to make his reads than on a conventional draw play, where he'd already be on the move and it might be harder to change direction. The center, Jason Kelce, folds behind the right guard as each guard blocks a defensive tackle. Kelce's season ended after week two, which might be another reason they stopped running this play for a while.

A lot of the sprint draws the Eagles ran were designed to go right up the middle, as the ends hopefully rush the outside and get too far upfield. This enables the tackles to peel off and block someone else at the second level. However, in this case, Jabaal Sheard (#97) has inside leverage, so he gets pushed to the inside and McCoy, by virtue of the depth of the hand-off has time to make that read and take the outside lane instead. This could be a built-in read in case the end tries to shoot the gap into the backfield or by design if he is prone to doing that.

You can see Kelce emerging from behind the right guard to get into position to prevent D'Qwell Jackson (#52) from getting across to blow up the play. Had Sheard rushed outside then the run could have gone up the middle instead with Kelce getting onto Jackson earlier. As it happens, Athyba Rubin (#71) drove his man back and stretched the play out well, but not quite well enough to prevent Kelce from still being able to get to Jackson in time.

McCoy heads into the open field where he is one on one with Eric Hagg (#27). That's a mismatch and the play goes for 22.

This play creates a lot of other options. Since Vick is on the move as he makes the hand-off, he can fake the hand off and roll out effectively. In fact, the Eagles typically use a lot of these rollouts to set up the sprint draw rather than the other way around. Finally, here's an example of where they set up in a similar manner (albeit from the shotgun), but passed the ball to McCoy instead for a touchdown.

The death of the wildcat?

Something I haven't seen speculated upon is whether the Jets are still going to run a wildcat-style package this year. There was some discussion that they'd been working with some direct snap plays at OTA's and even though Tony Sparano and Tim Tebow are gone, Ryan has long been a proponent of these packages. Also, the Jets hired David Lee to be the quarterback coach and he was the offensive coordinator when Arkansas re-introduced the wildcat on a national scale and made it popular again.

First of all, when I say "Wildcat" I don't really mean the "Wildcat" per se. "Wildcat" has become a generic term to represent any formation where someone other than the quarterback takes the snap, so I'm going to look into whether Mornhinweg uses such formations, not just the classic wildcat with the second back lined up out wide and running a jet sweep.

The short answer is not very much. At least not over the last two years. However, when you have an athlete like Vick at the quarterback position, you can run designed quarterback runs and option type plays, which is something the Eagles did a lot in the red zone. So perhaps they would have used more "wildcat" if they didn't have a guy like Vick as their starter.

It's not something they've abandoned altogether though. In 2011, they signed Ronnie Brown, who was one of the main guys involved in Miami popularizing the wildcat at the NFL level. Sure enough, they went with Brown at quarterback and Vick at receiver on one early season play:

Brown went straight up the middle and the Rams were all over it, with two guys stuffing him for a two yard loss. That would be the last such play they ran with Brown receiving the snap, although he only played one more game that year anyway, so they may have planned to use it more.

The following week, they went with an actual wildcat play:

This time it was Jeremy Maclin taking the snap and LeSean McCoy did come across on a jet sweep.

However, rather than turning the corner, he pitched the ball back to Vick who was able to look downfield.

On this occasion, Vick couldn't find an open receiver and ended up scrambling for seven yards. They ran exactly the same play in 2010 and got 37 yards out of it. See that play here.

In week three they ran another gadget play with Vick at wide receiver. This time, Bryce Brown was effectively the quarterback and McCoy lined up just beside and in front of him.

However, at the snap, McCoy stepped in front of it to "intercept" it and run over the right side. The play went for a short gain and that was basically it for wildcat-style plays in 2011.

In 2012, they avoided them until Foles' second start. They then ran a similar play to the one above. This time Foles was in the shotgun and Brown "intercepted" the snap and ran outside. The Eagles ran this play four times in that game, but it was the only time all season they used it, so that's a good example of Mornhinweg working a "feature" play into his offense for a particular opponent. The first three times they ran it all gained more than five yards (32 in total), but the last one went for a loss.

It does look like Mornhinweg has experimented with some of these packages and will be amenable to working them into his game plan at times.

Conclusions

This isn't supposed to be a comprehensive look at the Mornhinweg offense, but hopefully gives some insight into certain elements and I'll leave it to you to discuss how well certain players on the Jets' new-look offense will fare in the comments.

Mornhinweg has had some good statistical success over the years, but his offenses haven't always worked as well as hoped. Last year, the Eagles beat the Ravens 24-23 early in the season, but only scored more points than that one other time. Much like Sparano last year, the main challenge for Mornhinweg is going to be to overcome weaknesses in personnel and find a way to ensure execution is better than over the past few seasons. He has a good pedigree and this could be a chance to turn his career around because he's still associated with his disastrous stint as Lions' head coach.

It may be time for Mornhinweg to empty the playbook and throw the kitchen sink at this challenge. If so, that's going to be fun to watch. As to how much success he's going to have, that remains to be seen.

That's it for this week's BGA. However, I'll be back if the Jets sign any of the mini camp tryout guys with the relevant scouting details.

Tags: BGA, Bent Double

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

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

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

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

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

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

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

No pressure, right?

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

Bent, theJetsBlog.com Follow on Twitter

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

Parry Nickerson, CB, Tulane

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

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

Click below to listen

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 (Tim Fuller)
(Tim Fuller)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

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

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

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

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

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

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Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

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

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

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

Bent, theJetsBlog.com Follow on Twitter

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

Jeff Badet, WR, Oklahoma

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

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

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

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

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

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 (Brad Penner)
(Brad Penner)

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

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

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

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 (Kamil Krzaczynski)
(Kamil Krzaczynski)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

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

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

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

Click below to listen

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

CLICK BELOW TO READ KIPER'S ANALYSIS

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

Bent, theJetsBlog.com Follow on Twitter

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

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

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

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

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

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

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 (Aaron Doster)
(Aaron Doster)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

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

JETS SALARY CAP SPACE

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Bilal Powell...

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

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

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

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

Tags: Johnathan Hankins
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