In this week's BGA, I analyze Week 9 performances by Todd Bowles, Ryan Fitzpatrick, Bryce Petty, Brandon MarshallBen Ijalana, Matt Forte, Bilal Powell, Jalin Marshall and the Wide Receivers, Leonard Willians, Julian Stanford and the Special Teams, among others...


Ryan Fitzpatrick and Bryce Petty...

Bent: In many ways, Ryan Fitzpatrick's performance encapsulates perfectly what ails this Jets team. Aside from the two terrible interceptions, his performance was mostly okay. However, those interceptions are all that will be remembered from this game, as should be the case because they were more than enough to cancel out any positives he had.

The team as a whole has taken on the personality of its so-called leader, making plenty of good plays, winning matchups on a consistent basis and having small stretches of dominant play, only to see this all undone by the occasional dumb and avoidable mistake. By gifting Miami points, possession or the chance to extend a drive over and over again, the Jets threw away the chance of a third straight win and killed off the momentum of their season.

The first interception was clearly on Fitzpatrick, who failed to identify the defensive tackle dropping into coverage. By contrast, it's likely the second interception wasn't Fitzpatrick's fault. Once again that sums up the Jets perfectly, because it emphasizes how the issues with this team extend further than just him. It looked like he was expecting Brandon Marshall to break to the back pylon on the throw.

The wasteful turnover, on third down in the red zone, was reminiscent of the season finale in Buffalo last year. Just as in that game, if the Jets settled for a field goal, they probably would have had a chance to win the game with another field goal later on. Did you say to yourself "I bet he throws an interception here" as the ball was being snapped? I know I did.

And yet Fitzpatrick bounced back from that to fire a go-ahead touchdown pass with five minutes to go, only for the special teams unit to immediately hand back the lead on the ensuing kickoff. But nobody's going to remember that a few weeks from now.

By the way, I accidentally typed "Sanchez" instead of "Fitzpatrick" while writing that last paragraph. That can't be a good sign.

We've picked (no pun intended) apart enough games like this from Fitzpatrick this season, but a third quarter knee injury provided some intrigue in the form of Bryce Petty's first NFL appearance.

Petty entered the game with the Jets trailing, completed all of his passes, posted a 106.2 quarterback rating and led a scoring drive. I'm sure this will provide adequate ammunition for Petty supporters to call for him to take over for Fitzpatrick -- assuming Fitzpatrick's MRI doesn't leave the team with any choice in the matter.

Let's put his performance into perspective, though. Petty threw a couple of quick drop, single-read dump-offs at the line of scrimmage and the drive stalled inside the red zone. If that's all the Jets trust him to do right now, then they'll struggle to move the ball over a longer sample size.

I'm not averse to the idea of giving Petty his shot, though, especially now that any slim chance of resurrecting the season seems to have permanently slipped from the team's grasp. He came in and handled his assignments efficiently, regardless of the degree of difficulty, and it is an important step to finally have managed to get his feet wet at this level.

I remain concerned that installing him into the starting lineup too early could do more harm than good in terms of his longer term future, though. But perhaps this offensive staff will do a better job of finding creative ways to gradually expand the playbook on the fly once he gets his shot. It seems increasingly likely his day will come soon.

Offensive Line

Bent: When Ryan Clady wasn't included on the inactive list, it was assumed he must be healthy enough to start. However, Clady was obviously only kept active for emergency duties because Ben Ijalana started and played the whole game at left tackle. With Nick Mangold also out, it was apparent the Jets were going to be overmatched on the offensive line and that proved to be the case all day.

Early on, they tried double-teaming Ndamukong Suh, but that was largely ineffective. He simply walked a double-team from Brian Winters and Breno Giacomini into the backfield to blow up one early run. Later on, the Jets had some success by spreading the line out laterally to find some running lanes, which was the same approach they had success with against Miami last season. The Dolphins seemed to adjust well to this, though, and the running game grinded to a halt after halftime.

While there were a couple of well-blocked plays, the run blocking was extremely inconsistent across the board. Everyone made mistakes except from Dakota Dozier, whose excellent lane-opening block at the second level sprung Matt Forté for a first-half touchdown run on his only offensive snap. The starters also combined for four penalties, including two by Giacomini.

The Jets had more success through the air, but really struggled in pass protection. Early on, the plan seemed to be for one of the guards to help Wesley Johnson engage Suh cleanly, then peel off to try and help out one of the tackles. They both needed the help, as each was beaten several times off the edge. Giacomini's lateral footspeed was no match for Cameron Wake, who beat him easily around the outside for two strip sacks, while Ijalana got beaten for several pressures.

There was plenty of interior pressure too, though. James Carpenter gave up more pressure than he has all season because he was struggling to cope with bull rushes. Johnson got beaten for the hit that knocked Fitzpatrick out of the game and Suh burned Winters for a big sack to force the Jets to punt with four minutes to go. That proved to be their last chance.

There's worse news next week, as the Rams' defensive line is even better than Miami's. For all the talk over the quarterback position, if Clady and Mangold are both out again, whoever is at quarterback will be defying the odds if he lasts the whole game.

Quarterbacks

Bent: Forté had a solid statline with 92 rushing yards and a touchdown. However, 63 of those yards came on two runs where he broke into the open field untouched and he otherwise didn't have a run longer than six yards. He also didn't catch a pass.

While he showed good burst on his touchdown run and made a nice cut at the second level on his other long run, Forté and the running game carried no kind of threat into the second half. After carrying the ball twice on the first two plays of the third quarter, Forté carried the ball just three more times the rest of the way, for 10 yards.

With the Jets playing from behind and moving the ball with modest success through the air, Bilal Powell saw more of the workload and touches in the second half. His 10 touches accounted for 51 yards but just two first downs -- both on short passes. He also fielded a downfield lateral from Fitzpatrick on a fun play reminiscent of Vinny Testaverde and Curtis Martin on the game-winning drive in a memorable 2001 win over the Colts.

In his Jets debut, CJ Spiller saw some action on offense but did not get any touches. Interestingly, they only used him as a wide receiver.

Receivers

Bent: Brandon Marshall zigged when Fitzpatrick expected him to zag on the second of his two interceptions. If Marshall ran the wrong route there, it's at least the third time this year that's happened, with an interception being the inevitable outcome each time.

Marshall led the Jets with six catches - including a spectacular one-handed snag -- and also drew three defensive penalties. However, he was shut out in the fourth quarter when the Jets needed him most.

Once again, the youngsters continue to show flashes, perhaps representing the main bright spot to be taken from this destined-to-be-lost season. This week, Jalin Marshall stepped into a bigger role from the start, leading the Jets in receiving yards and scoring what - for about 20 seconds - looked like it was going to be the winning touchdown. Marshall also made a nice falling grab, broke a couple of tackles on a nice catch-and-run and made a great block at the second level.

Charone Peake got the start, but saw his playing time and opportunities reduced this week after having been limited in practice during the week. He contributed one first down by drawing a hold on third down, though.

Robby Anderson still seems the closest of the three to becoming a breakout star. Only the slightest contact on his shoulder saw him ruled down by contact, denying him a 40-yard touchdown after a spectacular leaping grab on third down. He could have had another touchdown had Fitzpatrick not overthrown him deep when he had a step on his man. Anderson had one other first down catch and has four games in a row with at least three catches.

Disappointingly, Quincy Enunwa hasn't shown the same kind of consistent production over the last month. His 25-yard catch over the middle in the fourth quarter was his only reception of the game and actually the only time he was thrown to after halftime. In the first half he was shut out, although he drew one penalty flag and almost came up with one catch down the seam.

The Jets ran 12 plays inside the red zone before they finally scored a touchdown. There's no question they miss Eric Decker there more than anywhere, especially since it makes Marshall being the primary target all the more obvious. However, on two third down incompletions inside the 10, it looked like Austin Seferian-Jenkins was wide open.

While he might conceivably provide a decent red zone threat, Seferian-Jenkins had a really poor game as a run blocker. With the much-maligned Kellen Davis out, some fans were hopeful the running game wouldn't suffer too much. But the downgrade was immediately apparent. On 2nd-and-short at the five yard line on the opening drive, he was driven into the backfield and the run was blown up for a loss. He also had two bad whiffs at the second level, including one in another key short yardage situation.

Brandon Bostick made a good block on Forté's touchdown run, but allowed another run to be bottled up and wasn't targeted all day. In fact, the only pass to a tight end all day was Fitzpatrick's first interception.

Defensive Line

Bent: I was immediately concerned when the Jets' starting defense took the field without Sheldon Richardson and Muhammad Wilkerson and continued to leave them on the bench throughout the first quarter. Richardson's previous off-field transgressions are well-publicized, but we shouldn't forget Wilkerson was suspended for the first quarter of the Giants game last year for missing a team meeting. I expect an explanation for their absence will present itself in due course, so I won't dwell on it too much for the time being. But it's a worrisome sign.

The Dolphins scored a touchdown on their only full drive of the first quarter, with the Jets' offense mitigating the potential damage by controlling most of the clock with two scoring drives of their own. The defensive line wasn't really to blame for any of the yardage on that drive anyway - and when Wilkerson and Richardson re-entered the game, the next drive also ended in a touchdown for the Dolphins.

You'd hope two things would've happened that would have led to these apparent team-imposed suspensions actually working out well for the team. First, once entering the game, you'd have expected each player to be particularly hungry and motivated to perform well to make up for the fact they let the team down. Second, you'd have expected them to play better down the stretch due to being fresher than usual. However, neither of these things happened.

As noted, Miami marched down and scored on their first drive with the pair back in the game, although that was the last touchdown they'd score on offense all day. The defense certainly improved once Richardson and Wilkerson hit their stride, generating as much pressure as they have all year and stifling Miami's red-hot running game for most of the day with contributions from both.

Down the stretch, however, the pressures and run stuffs dried up and the Dolphins were able to ice the game. Wilkerson in particular found himself sealed off on the edge of the line three or four times down the stretch, although it happened to Richardson once too. That would usually never happen to either of them. Richardson was in on a lot of plays but let himself down with two costly penalties.

Leonard Williams has been relatively quiet over the last few weeks, but this might have been his best game of the year. Officially, he had two quarterback hits and two tackles for loss but that doesn't tell the whole story. Williams was disruptive all day as a pass rusher, generating pressure on several other plays. He also blew up several running plays with penetration and was in on a handful of run stuffs.

Steve McLendon and Jarvis Jenkins were in the starting lineup, but Jenkins didn't play much after the first quarter. McLendon was credited with a tackle for loss and a forced fumble on the first defensive snap of the game, but otherwise didn't contribute much.

Despite Wilkerson and Richardson being absent in the first quarter, Deon Simon saw action on just one short yardage snap.

Linebackers

Bent: With Darron Lee and Bruce Carter still out, Julian Stanford continues to be forced into a full time role. For the second straight week, the opposition was able to exploit him and he made a series of mistakes to extend drives.

If you watched the game, you'll be acutely aware of his four missed tackles and two penalties, many of which came on third down. However, just as costly were the plays where he was caught out of position. Twice in coverage, a receiver that would have been his responsibility was left wide open and twice in the running game, he seemed to vacate his lane, leading to a big run.

Stanford was on the practice squad until a couple of weeks ago, so he's being forced into a role which appears beyond him. When 10 defensive players do their job but one makes a mistake that leads to the play being successful anyway, that can be demoralizing for a defense.

Either Lee or Carter returning would make a difference, but with Lee being a rookie and Carter also being prone to missed assignments at times, that's unlikely to completely resolve matters. Until that time, teams are going to continue to look to isolate Stanford and take advantage of his inexperience.

David Harris had a quiet game, with none of his five tackles made within four yards of the line of scrimmage. That perhaps emphasizes how it was Stanford they were running at or targeting in coverage. Harris was blocked out at the second level on one big run, which looked like an obvious hold. Miami also seemed to get away with a series of holds at the point of attack during the game.

Harris was close to a major game-changing play when he recovered an apparent lateral pass and took it down inside the Miami five-yard line. It's probably correct that the play was too close to overturn but it looked like a lateral to me and perhaps wouldn't have been overturned if called that way on the field either, so the Dolphins caught a break. Timeouts are important, but perhaps a challenge was worth it there. As it turns out, the Jets got the ball back and scored anyway, so that decision didn't cost them the game.

Another positive is that Lorenzo Mauldin has emerged nicely over the past three weeks. The Jets are definitely better off since Richardson has moved back onto the line, freeing up reps for their outside linebackers. Mauldin was officially credited with half a sack and two other quarterback hits but also created pressure on a couple more plays. After having just seven total pressures in the first six games, Mauldin has 15 in the last three.

Even more encouraging than his ability to create pressure was that Mauldin made some nice plays against the run, shooting gaps to get in on a couple of run stuffs and driving his man upfield on the outside to force another run back inside, shedding the block to get in on the stop. However, the Jets used the same defensive scheme as last week on a couple of plays where Mauldin crashed inside and Stanford peeled outside to contain the edge. Miami anticipated this and had some success cutting back and running directly into the teeth of this stunt.

Mike Catapano and Jordan Jenkins were each exploited in coverage, with Catapano giving up a 20-yard gain on a wheel route and Jenkins beaten outside for a short touchdown pass. Jenkins had a chance to redeem himself but dropped an easy interception with Miami in the red zone, which easily could have been a pick six. He had a couple of pressures and was in on a couple of stops in the backfield, though.

Josh Martin was also credited with a half sack, making a good inside move. He and Catapano only played eight snaps combined.

Defensive Backs

Bent: Despite losing Marcus Williams early in the game, the secondary actually had one of their best games, holding Ryan Tannehill to less than 150 yards passing. In fact, over 100 of those yards came against the linebackers.

Despite his recent struggles, Darrelle Revis wasn't targeted all day. I wonder if Miami suspected that his comments during the week - where he essentially admitted he isn't very good anymore - were an effort to dupe them into challenging him. Then again, perhaps Revis anticipated this response and it was an audacious triple-bluff that prevented him from being isolated in coverage.

Considering the mostly-manufactured conflab about his lack of effort on a few plays over the past few weeks, I was surprised to see Revis approaching a couple of tackle attempts tentatively and conservatively in the first half, but that's probably a good thing. When people started saying the same things about Kerry Rhodes, he started going for big hits and gambling for impact plays and it did not end well.

Buster Skrine returned to the lineup and did well in coverage. The only first down catch he gave up was negated by off-setting penalties. However, he did make a couple of mistakes in the open field.

Darryl Roberts stepped in for Williams and gave up a couple of first downs -- one on an easy quick slant where he was playing too far off and another as he badly missed an open field tackle in the flat. On another play, he made a good tackle in the flat and he also did well to force a run back inside on the edge. However, he got lucky on one overthrow where the receiver had a step on him deep.

Marcus Gilchrist and Calvin Pryor held up quite well at safety. Gilchrist broke up one pass, as all three targets thrown his way were incomplete. Pryor was also in good position on three third down incompletions, breaking up the last one with a hit on the receiver. Pryor also made a couple of plays in run support, including one where he knifed into the backfield to make a tackle for loss.

Rontez Miles and Antonio Allen saw brief action at safety, with Miles making a good open field tackle on one play in coverage. Juston Burris didn't play again, though, and his reps have dried up, as he's played just three snaps in the last four games.

While it was a solid performance overall by the secondary, it was infuriating early on when the Jets handed the Dolphins two first downs with personal fouls. I have some sympathy for Skrine because Jarvis Landry was clearly the instigator of the incident that led to his penalty, but you still can't afford to lose your cool like that. I have no sympathy whatsoever for Pryor, who cancelled out a nice play by dancing around unnecessarily and drawing a taunting flag.

You want the team to be fired up and playing with energy, but when they're struggling, the approach has to be more business-like, mature and disciplined. Act like you've done it before because incidents like that are pathetic, embarrassing, selfish and, frankly, can sometimes make you hard to root for.

Special teams

Bent: For a change, special teams were a big story this week, with the Dolphins scoring the winning touchdown on a kickoff return, not long after they had a special teams blunder that almost gifted the game to the Jets. There was also a punt return touchdown negated by a penalty and a return game muff.

The Dolphins looked dangerous on kick returns all day so it was pretty risky to lay the ball up and play contain rather than trying to boot a touchback each time. However, after Allen was flagged for offside, Nick Folk had to kick from five yards deeper, leading to the long touchdown return.

That penalty - which was unequivocally a bad call - negated a kickoff that the Jets had managed to blow up inside the 20 yard line despite Jakeem Grant breaking six tackles. Would Miami have won the game if the original kickoff had stood? After the first two touchdown drives, only one of their seven drives covered more than 30 yards, so the above perhaps seems unlikely.

What happened to the coverage units that looked much better earlier in the year than those of last year? Personnel-wise, I believe Carter, Lee, Davis and Marcus Williams were the only core special teamers missing. That shouldn't make a massive difference, especially since Carter is the only one of those I'd regard as especially good on special teams. However, it was his replacement - Taiwan Jones - who got drawn slightly out of his lane and missed the key tackle. Behind him, Skrine - deputizing for Williams - picked the wrong lane to fill and was unable to make a saving tackle.



Part of the issue, which becomes particularly apparent when forced to introduce a couple of new players due to injury, is a lack of live game reps because returns are so rare these days. That's the case on the punt unit too, which means there's a downside to having a punter who specializes in getting good hangtime to limit the chance of a return.

When such a punter kicks it too far, the coverage units are less organized and perhaps less prepared to actually cover than they ideally would be. That's what happened on Lac Edwards' second quarter punt that was returned for a long touchdown by Grant. Ironically, that was negated by a penalty which Allen himself drew by being blocked in the back.

Overall, the Jets missed nine tackles on just five returns, with Catapano and Peake guilty on the negated punt return and Pryor managing to miss two on one kick return. More damage could have been done if not for good open field plays by Miles and Nick Marshall. Peake also had a penalty on special teams, as did Ijalana.

Edwards is really struggling right now. Perhaps nervous about kicking the ball too far, he had two other punts that were too high and short, netting just 35 and 33 yards. Compounding matters, long- snapper Tanner Purdum still seems to be firing bullseyes with a lot less accuracy than he has in the past.

Jalin Marshall continues to have his own issues in the return game, as he muffed an easy fair catch and was lucky to recover the ball deep in Jets territory. He made 10 yards on his only punt return of the day, but was replaced on kickoffs by Spiller, who looked pretty slow and didn't get past the 25 on either of his return attempts.

Spiller made one big play on special teams, blowing up the punter after his fumble to set the Jets up for the go-ahead score. Somehow it seems fitting that the special teams threw that lead away, though.

Tags: Antonio Allen, BGA, Bilal Powell, Brandon Marshall, Breno Giacomini, Brian Winters, Bryce Petty, Buster Skrine, Calvin Pryor, Charone Peake, Dakota Dozier, Darrelle Revis, Darron Lee, David Harris, Eric Decker, Jalin Marshall, James Carpenter, Jordan Jenkins, Kellen Davis, Leonard Williams, Lorenzo Mauldin, Marcus Gilchrist, Marcus Williams, Matt Forte, Mike Catapano, Muhammad Wilkerson, Nick Folk, Nick Mangold, Quincy Enunwa, Rontez Miles, Ryan Clady, Ryan Fitzpatrick, Sheldon Richardson, Steve McLendon, Wesley Johnson
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Mike Maccagnan
Mike Maccagnan

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

 

April 22, 2:46 PM

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

The Jets could get their pass rusher without drafting one. 

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

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

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

Bent, theJetsBlog.com Follow on Twitter

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

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

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

Bent, theJetsBlog.com Follow on Twitter

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

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

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

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

Bent, theJetsBlog.com Follow on Twitter

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

10. OT Brandon Shell, 5th round, 2016

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

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

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

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

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

Bent, theJetsBlog.com Follow on Twitter

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

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

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

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

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

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

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

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

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

Bent, theJetsBlog.com Follow on Twitter

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Projected Pick: Top-10

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

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

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

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

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Mike Maccagnan
Mike Maccagnan

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

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

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

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

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

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

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

Most pivotal stretch

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Bent, theJetsBlog.com Follow on Twitter

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Winter is here.

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

Click below...

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Jets have added more quarterback depth behind Sam Darnold.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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