Sep 12, 2016; Landover, MD, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers inside linebacker Ryan Shazier (50) and Steelers inside linebacker Lawrence Timmons (94) line up against the Washington Redskins at FedEx Field. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports (Geoff Burke)
Sep 12, 2016; Landover, MD, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers inside linebacker Ryan Shazier (50) and Steelers inside linebacker Lawrence Timmons (94) line up against the Washington Redskins at FedEx Field. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports (Geoff Burke)

During the season, Bent's Game Analysis charts games for some of the Jets' upcoming opponents, enabling a breakdown of what to watch out for on gameday…

2014 began similarly to this year for the Jets, with a murderer's row of top teams in the first half of the season. That was the last time these teams met and the Jets shocked the Steelers with a 20-13 win to break an eight-game losing streak.

Despite being competitive most weeks, the season had spiralled out of control -- much like this one seems destined to. With Geno Smith benched, the Jets took a 17-0 lead as Mike Vick threw two touchdown passes, including a long one to TJ Graham. Unlikely hero Jaiquawn Jarrett forced three turnovers to help the Jets hang on. That was too little too late, but a similar upset would perhaps get this Jets season back on track. 

After the jump, I break down the positional groupings (BGA-style!) for the Steelers to try and highlight what to watch out for.

Quarterbacks

With the Jets being strong up front, but struggling in the secondary, could there be a worse match-up with them trying to prevent a three-game losing streak? Ben Roethlisberger has always been adept at avoiding sacks, extending plays and finding the open man, forcing you to maintain tight coverage.

Roethlisberger was so impressive against the Chiefs, it was almost enough to make most people forget that the Steelers had lost by 31 against the Eagles just one week prior. He threw five touchdown passes against the same team that the Jets had been held to three points by, turning the ball over eight times. By blowing out a team who themselves blew out the Jets and moving to 3-1 on the season, it's perhaps surprising that the Steelers are only a seven-point favorite. One of their other wins was against Cincinnati, who also beat the Jets this year.

Landry Jones is currently listed as the back-up to Roethlisberger. 

Offensive Line

The one glimmer of hope for the Jets entering this game is the fact that the Steelers have some injury issues on their offensive line. However, the Jets have been consistently winning the battle up front every week, and it hasn't made much difference, so is this really going to help them? You can expect the Steelers to scheme their way around any deficiencies.

Three linemen have been ruled out for the Steelers, leaving them with just six healthy bodies. Starting right tackle Marcus Gilbert is out, along with backup swing tackle Ryan Harris. Although Harris was the starting left tackle for the Super Bowl champion Broncos last year, he had graded out as one of the worst tackles in the league, so that already would have been a downgrade. With versatile reserve Cody Wallace also out, that further reduces their options. 

It sounds like the current plan is for Christopher Hubbard to start at right tackle, so that the Steelers can at least keep the rest of their line intact. I would expect Hubbard to get plenty of help as he's a guard by trade, so might feel more comfortable with a tight end (or two) on his right shoulder. If that doesn't work - or if someone else gets hurt - they have some alternatives. Starting center Maurkice Pouncey has taken some reps at right tackle and rookie BJ Finney could be seen as an option off the bench after filling in well as the starting left guard against the Chiefs.

Pouncey is a terrific athlete and Ramon Foster returns at left guard after missing the Chiefs game with chest and elbow injuries. Former first-round pick David DeCastro is the key to the Steelers' running game but does lead them in penalties (four) and sacks given up (three). Rounding out the group is Alejandro Villanueva, a former undrafted free agent who took over at left tackle from Kelvin Beachum last year.

Running Backs

Le'Veon Bell made his return from suspension against the Chiefs, with immediate effect. He rushed for 144 yards and caught five passes. He's one of the best backs in the league and for the Jets to have any chance they will have to slow him down.



DeAngelo Williams, who filled in as the starter while Bell was out, has been lauded for his veteran leadership and for his ability to contribute in a variety of ways, including as a blocker. He provides valuable cover and a change of pace.

The Steelers don't have a healthy full back right now, but you can expect them to employ their tight ends in the backfield and to run from two tight end sets.

Receivers

Even with Martavis Bryant suspended and impressive rookie Eli Rogers injured, the Steelers have plenty of options in the passing game, including one of the league's most dangerous receivers. Antonio Brown is going to need to pick up the pace if he's going to threaten the 2,000-yard barrier as some predicted before the season, but has two 100-yard games in the first four weeks.

The Jets' coaching staff also had plenty of praise for Sammie Coates during the week. Last year's third-round pick has had a 40-plus yard catch in each of the first four games.

With Rogers out, Markus Wheaton and Darrius Heyward-Bey should get more work. Heyward-Bey has always been somewhat inconsistent, but he's still a downfield threat and had a 31-yard touchdown catch last week. Wheaton has had a quiet season so far, but caught over 50 passes last year, so he's no slouch.

At tight end, Jesse James - last year's fifth-round pick - has been starting. He's caught 12 passes already, which is three more than he had in his rookie year. He's not much of a blocker though, so look for David Johnson to come in and handle those assignments.

Defensive Line

The Steelers defensive line is a perfect example of the kind of pipeline they have been able to create over the years in their next-man-up style system. Cameron Heyward was drafted in 2011 and was the inexperienced youngster while veterans Brett Keisel and Casey Hampton reached the twilight of their careers and Ziggy Hood developed into a solid veteran. Now Heyward is the leader and he's joined in the starting lineup by last year's second-round pick Stephon Tuitt and this year's third-rounder Javon Hargrave, who will no doubt be mentoring some high picks themselves in a few years time.

Heyward had a quiet start to the year, but broke out with three sacks last week. Tuitt also had a monster game, creating constant pressure. Hargrave has been playing the nose tackle role, which means he will typically exit for a slot cornerback in passing situations.

Veterans Ricardo Matthews and Daniel McCullers provide depth off the bench.

Linebackers

Steelers legend James Harrison was a revelation last year, as he returned to Pittsburgh for what was expected to be his swan song and ended up playing a major role as a situational pass rusher and occasional starter. He hasn't made quite the same impact so far this year, as he's yet to record his first sack. However, he does have a forced fumble and an interception to his name.



The starters outside in base are former first round pick Jarvis Jones and former Buffalo Bill Arthur Moats. Jones has been a bit of a disappointment, but is developing into a decent run defender.

On the inside, Lawrence Timmons is still the Steelers' leader, although he's in his 30s now and hasn't been the same player he once was over the last few seasons. His counterpart on the inside - Ryan Shazier - has been ruled out, but Vince Williams is a more than adequate replacement with 14 career starts and 21 tackles to his name already this year.

Youngsters Anthony Chickillo and Tyler Matakevich provide interesting options off the bench.

Defensive Backs

The Steelers are also down a couple of bodies in the secondary, with starting safety Robert Golden and backup cornerback Justin Gilbert - a former first-round pick - both ruled out. This has forced two rookies - first round cornerback Artie Burns and second-round safety Sean Davis - into big roles sooner than expected. They've each had some costly missed tackles over the first month.

The starting corners - experienced veteran William Gay and third-year pro Ross Cockrell - have done a good job so far, with veteran safety Mike Mitchell also reliable. Jordan Dangerfield was the other starting safety last week after Davis had handled the role earlier in the year. Dangerfield is in his fourth season, but that was his first ever appearance on defense.

Look for Dangerfield to start again, but with Davis seeing significant reps in the slot as he returns to the line-up.

Special Teams

The Steelers' kicking game has two youngsters entering their second season in the role. Kicker Chris Boswell missed a short field goal earlier in the year, but punter Jordan Berry has done a good job so far.

They have plenty of options in the return game, with Coates and Brown listed as the kick-off and punt returner respectively. Back-up running back Fitzgerald Toussaint has also seen some work on kick-offs.

Finally, in coverage, backup safety Shamarko Thomas is a standout and is on course to lead them in special teams tackles for the second straight year.

>>> 

I'll be back Monday to recap the game.

Stats from PFF were used in the completion of this article.

Tags: Pittsburgh Steelers
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Nov 9, 2019; Madison, WI, USA; Iowa Hawkeyes offensive lineman Tristan Wirfs (74) during the game against the Wisconsin Badgers at Camp Randall Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports (Jeff Hanisch)
Nov 9, 2019; Madison, WI, USA; Iowa Hawkeyes offensive lineman Tristan Wirfs (74) during the game against the Wisconsin Badgers at Camp Randall Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports (Jeff Hanisch)

Skimming through myriad mock drafts that have surfaced ahead of the 2020 NFL Draft, many believe Jets GM Joe Douglas will be targeting a No. 1 receiver for Sam Darnold. There are a few playmakers for New York to choose from, including Alabama's Jerry Jeudy, Oklahoma's CeeDee Lamb, and Clemson's Tee Higgins

Having a top receiver is definitely a need for the Jets, but is that what they should be focused on with the No. 11 overall pick? What about protecting Darnold? 

While there's multiple playmakers to salivate over in the first round, there's just as many offensive linemen to bulk up that unit for the Jets. 

Tags: Brandon Shell, Jamison Crowder, Kelvin Beachum, Le'Veon Bell, Robby Anderson, Sam Darnold, Scott Thompson
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Dec 29, 2019; Orchard Park, New York, USA; General view of a New York Jets helmet prior to the game against the Buffalo Bills at New Era Field. Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports (Rich Barnes)
Dec 29, 2019; Orchard Park, New York, USA; General view of a New York Jets helmet prior to the game against the Buffalo Bills at New Era Field. Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports (Rich Barnes)

Legendary Jets offensive tackle Winston Hill is taking his rightful place in Canton, Ohio.

Hill, who starred with the Jets from 1963-1976, was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame on Wednesday. 

Hill passed away in 2016 at the age of 74.

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Jets GM Joe Douglas
Jets GM Joe Douglas

Joe Douglas is heading into his first offseason as the Jets GM, and he knows there is a lot on his plate. Multiple holes need to be filled, especially on the offensive line front and the secondary. 

Knowing how crucial his first offseason calling the shots is, Douglas is already on the ground getting to work. 

Douglas is at the East-West Shrine Bowl at Tropicana Field assessing some of the best college seniors the NCAA had to offer this season ahead of the 2020 NFL Draft. And, according to the Pro Football Network, he has brought reinforcements with him. 

Tags: Jamison Crowder
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Adam Gase
Adam Gase

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

Ryan Tannehill, of all quarterbacks, secured a place in the AFC championship game on Saturday, and that has spawned a cottage industry bashing of his former coach, Adam Gase. After all, the theory goes, Tannehill finally became the quarterback everyone thought he could be as soon as Gase was no longer his coach.

It's a nice theory. And for anyone who hates Gase or thinks the Jets made a mistake by hiring him, it fits the narrative.

It just doesn't fit the facts.

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New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold (14) reacts during the second half of an NFL football game against the Cincinnati Bengals, Sunday, Dec. 1, 2019, in Cincinnati. (AP Photo/Gary Landers) (Gary Landers/AP)
New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold (14) reacts during the second half of an NFL football game against the Cincinnati Bengals, Sunday, Dec. 1, 2019, in Cincinnati. (AP Photo/Gary Landers) (Gary Landers/AP)

Jets quarterback Sam Darnold reportedly had surgery to repair a ligament in his left thumb on Tuesday, according to Brian Costello of the New York Post.

Darnold is not expected to miss any time as the surgery was performed by the Jets team doctors.

He originally suffered a thumb injury on Oct. 27 against the Jacksonville Jaguars, though, he never missed any time due to the injury. He wore a brace on his left hand under a glove for the rest of the season.

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On Thursday, former Jets GM Mike Tannenbaum talked to SNY's Jonas Schwartz about the Giants new head coach Joe Judge, going over the challenges that Judge could face.

"Well I think that's really a big part of the interview process," Tannenbaum said. "I want to know what's your first 90 days like or what is it going to be like if Saquon Barkley doesn't show up on the first day of the voluntary offseason program? What's your message to him? Whats's your message to the team? What's your message to the media?"

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Oct 27, 2019; Jacksonville, FL, USA; New York Jets defensive end Kyle Phillips (98) reacts during the fourth quarter against the Jacksonville Jaguars at TIAA Bank Field. Mandatory Credit: Douglas DeFelice-USA TODAY Sports (Douglas DeFelice)
Oct 27, 2019; Jacksonville, FL, USA; New York Jets defensive end Kyle Phillips (98) reacts during the fourth quarter against the Jacksonville Jaguars at TIAA Bank Field. Mandatory Credit: Douglas DeFelice-USA TODAY Sports (Douglas DeFelice)

Bent, theJetsBlog.com Follow on Twitter

Over the last week or so, we've been taking an in-depth look at the rookie season for each of the Jets' 2019 rookie class. We conclude today with a look at defensive lineman Kyle Phillips, who was an undrafted free agent signed in May.

Phillips was one of three undrafted rookies to see action with the Jets this season, but he was the only one to make the opening day roster. In fact, the other two - cornerback Kyron Brown and wide receiver Jeff Smith - each played just one game before suffering a season-ending injury.

After being inactive on opening day, Phillips was active for every other game and finished the season with 39 tackles and 1.5 sacks. He was also credited with one pass defensed.

Tags: Jachai Polite
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Dec 16, 2018; Jacksonville, FL, USA; Washington Redskins wide receiver Jehu Chesson (16) works out prior to the game at TIAA Bank Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports (Kim Klement)
Dec 16, 2018; Jacksonville, FL, USA; Washington Redskins wide receiver Jehu Chesson (16) works out prior to the game at TIAA Bank Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports (Kim Klement)

The Jets have signed wide receiver Jehu Chesson to a reserve/future contract.

Chesson, 26, was selected by the Kansas City Chiefs with the No. 139 pick in the fourth round in the 2017 NFL Draft out of the University of Michigan.

He finished his rookie season with two receptions for 18 yards in 12 games, but was waived prior to the 2018 season. The Washington Redskins signed him soon after and he bounced between their active roster and practice squad. He had one reception for seven yards in 12 games with the Redskins in 2018.

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Dec 8, 2019; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; Miami Dolphins wide receiver DeVante Parker (11) makes a catch against New York Jets defensive back Blessuan Austin (31) during the first half at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)
Dec 8, 2019; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; Miami Dolphins wide receiver DeVante Parker (11) makes a catch against New York Jets defensive back Blessuan Austin (31) during the first half at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)

Bent, theJetsBlog.com Follow on Twitter

Over the last week or so, we've been taking an in-depth look at the rookie season for each member of the Jets' 2019 rookie class. We continue today with a look at cornerback Bless Austin, who was selected in the sixth round.

For much of the season, Austin was a forgotten man, as he was on the non-football injury list rehabbing a serious knee injury. However, he was activated in November and soon found himself in a starting role after Darryl Roberts got injured and Nate Hairston was benched. Over the next five weeks, Austin and Arthur Maulet provided the Jets with the most consistent cornerback play the team enjoyed all season and it looked like Austin was establishing himself as a potential starter for 2020 and beyond.

Tags: Trumaine Johnson
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Apr 13, 2015; New York City, NY, USA; Celebrity comedians Trevor Noah (left) and Jerry Seinfeld (center) and Larry David (right) watch an opening day game between the New York Mets and the Philadelphia Phillies at Citi Field. The Mets defeated the Phillies 2-0. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Apr 13, 2015; New York City, NY, USA; Celebrity comedians Trevor Noah (left) and Jerry Seinfeld (center) and Larry David (right) watch an opening day game between the New York Mets and the Philadelphia Phillies at Citi Field. The Mets defeated the Phillies 2-0. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

If Mike Maccagnan listened to Larry David before the 2018 NFL Draft, things would have turned out pretty, pretty, pretty good.

During an appearance Tuesday on The Michael Kay Show, the Curb Your Enthusiasm star and Seinfeld co-creator explained how he tried to make Jackson to the Jets happen.

"I did call Mike Maccagnan before the 2018 draft and I recommended that he draft Lamar Jackson," David said. "I have a witness -- yes, I have a witness."

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Aug 8, 2019; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets linebacker Blake Cashman (53) tackles New York Giants running back Paul Perkins (28) during the second half at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Schneidler-USA TODAY Sports  (Dennis Schneidler)
Aug 8, 2019; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets linebacker Blake Cashman (53) tackles New York Giants running back Paul Perkins (28) during the second half at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Schneidler-USA TODAY Sports (Dennis Schneidler)

Bent, theJetsBlog.com Follow on Twitter

Over the last week or so, we've been taking an in-depth look at the rookie season for each of the Jets' 2019 rookie class. We continue with a look at linebacker Blake Cashman, who was selected in the fifth round out of Minnesota.

Cashman took advantage of the Jets' injury issues at inside linebacker as he got the opportunity to start five games and he was productive in those games, racking up 33 tackles, three quarterback hits, a pass defended and a fumble recovery. He ended the season with 40 tackles in seven games. However, he suffered a season-ending injury in the Jacksonville game and missed the second half of the year.

When Cashman was drafted, it seemed most likely that he'd primarily be a core special-teamer and perhaps work toward getting some reps as a situational coverage linebacker. However, when Avery Williamson was lost for the year in the preseason, Cashman suddenly became the primary backup at inside linebacker and was thrust into a full-time role due to CJ Mosley's opening day injury.

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Jets general manager Joe Douglas previously said he wouldn't hang up if and when trade calls come in on either running back Le'Veon Bell or safety Jamal Adams.

Speculation has surrounded both players since early in the 2019 season. 

Listening to trade calls still be true, but the GM changed his tune a bit on Monday. Douglas praised both Adams and Bell instead of discussing those potential calls. 

Tags: Jamal Adams, Le'Veon Bell
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New York Jets center Jonotthan Harrison (78) lines up in the first half of an NFL football game against the Pittsburgh Steelers, Sunday, Dec. 22, 2019, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)  (Seth Wenig/AP)
New York Jets center Jonotthan Harrison (78) lines up in the first half of an NFL football game against the Pittsburgh Steelers, Sunday, Dec. 22, 2019, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig) (Seth Wenig/AP)

The Dolphins, Rams, Bengals and Chargers. What do those four teams have in common?

They were the only teams to have their offensive lines ranked worse than the Jets in Pro Football Focus' final offensive rankings following the 2019 NFL season. 

The oft-struggling Jets line landed at No. 28 in the analytics outlet's final numbers. 

Tags: Kelvin Beachum
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New York Jets tight end Trevon Wesco (47) catches a pass against the Atlanta Falcons in the second half at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports (Brett Davis)
New York Jets tight end Trevon Wesco (47) catches a pass against the Atlanta Falcons in the second half at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports (Brett Davis)

Bent, theJetsBlog.com Follow on Twitter

Over the next week or so, we're taking an in-depth look at the rookie season for each of the Jets' 2019 rookie class. We continue today with a look at tight end Trevon Wesco, who was selected in the fourth round out of West Virginia.

On the face of it, Wesco had a disappointing season, as he only caught two passes, struggled in pass protection and did little to elevate the Jets' underwhelming running game. However, there were signs of usefulness throughout the season and some evidence of progression.

He typically had mixed results as a run blocker from the tight end position early in the season but seemed to improve his consistency as the season went along. He seemed to hold up well at the point attack and was able to handle assignments that required him to set the edge against defensive linemen while at times flashing dominance against smaller players in space.

Tags: Chris Herndon, Le'Veon Bell, Sam Darnold, Trevon Wesco
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New York Jets offensive tackle Chuma Edoga (75) blocks Jacksonville Jaguars defensive end Josh Allen (41) during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Oct. 27, 2019, in Jacksonville, Fla. (AP Photo/Stephen B. Morton) (Stephen B. Morton/AP)
New York Jets offensive tackle Chuma Edoga (75) blocks Jacksonville Jaguars defensive end Josh Allen (41) during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Oct. 27, 2019, in Jacksonville, Fla. (AP Photo/Stephen B. Morton) (Stephen B. Morton/AP)

Bent, theJetsBlog.com Follow on Twitter

Over the next week or so, we're taking an in-depth look at the rookie season for each of the Jets' 2019 rookie class. We continue today with a look at tackle Chuma Edoga, who was selected in the third round of this past year's NFL Draft.

Of course, any discussion of the Edoga pick needs to acknowledge the fact that the Jets had already made a pick earlier in the round. That proved disastrous, as edge rusher Jachai Polite had a disappointing training camp and didn't even make it onto the practice squad, let alone the opening day roster.  

The Edoga pick was more successful, as the 22-year old made it onto the roster and ultimately made eight starts. However, his rawness was exploited during those appearances, leaving many fans concerned that this will also prove to be a wasted pick. Edoga ended up the season on injured reserve.

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Dec 29, 2019; Orchard Park, New York, USA; New York Jets strong safety Jamal Adams (33) warms up prior to the game against the Buffalo Bills at New Era Field. Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports (Rich Barnes)
Dec 29, 2019; Orchard Park, New York, USA; New York Jets strong safety Jamal Adams (33) warms up prior to the game against the Buffalo Bills at New Era Field. Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports (Rich Barnes)

Jets safety Jamal Adams has been named an AP first-team All-Pro, it was announced Friday.

Adams, who was named a second-team All-Pro last season, was named to his second straight pro bowl earlier this season.

The star out of LSU has been the anchor of the Jets' defense over the last few seasons and was at the top of nearly every key defensive statistic for Gang Green this year.

Tags: Jamal Adams
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A.J. Epenesa (Kim Klement)
A.J. Epenesa (Kim Klement)

After having the No. 3 pick in the NFL Draft in 2018 and 2019 and nabbing Sam Darnold and Quinnen Williams, the Jets find themselves all the way down at No. 11 for the 2020 draft.

But there will still be plenty of elite players to choose from.

Here's how the latest mocks see things shaking out...

Tags: Brian Winters, Quincy Enunwa, Quinnen Williams, Robby Anderson, Sam Darnold, Danny Abriano
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Sep 8, 2019; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets running back Le'Veon Bell (26) celebrates with New York Jets wide receiver Robby Anderson (11) after scoring a touchdown against the Buffalo Bills during the second half at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports  (Noah K. Murray)
Sep 8, 2019; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets running back Le'Veon Bell (26) celebrates with New York Jets wide receiver Robby Anderson (11) after scoring a touchdown against the Buffalo Bills during the second half at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

The Jets' 6-2 finish has given the franchise a renewed sense of hope, even though GM Joe Douglas didn't want to use that word. Hope, he said, is "not a strategy." The only way they can really capitalize on their strong finish is with a plan.

And they'll need a good one, too, because while Douglas is right that "Going 6-2, that's not luck," it's also not the sign of a finished product. The Jets were a disappointing 7-9 overall this season and did not look like a franchise on the verge of a long-awaited breakthrough. They have big, gaping holes throughout their roster.

So there is a lot of work still to do.

Tags: Avery Williamson, Brian Poole, Brian Winters, Jordan Jenkins, Kelvin Beachum, Robby Anderson, Ralph Vacchiano
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Nov 3, 2019; Miami Gardens, FL, USA; New York Jets defensive tackle Quinnen Williams (95) sacks Miami Dolphins quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick (14) during the first half at Hard Rock Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports
Nov 3, 2019; Miami Gardens, FL, USA; New York Jets defensive tackle Quinnen Williams (95) sacks Miami Dolphins quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick (14) during the first half at Hard Rock Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Bent, theJetsBlog.com Follow on Twitter

Over the next week or so, we're going to take an in-depth look at the rookie season for each of the Jets' 2019 rookie class. We begin today with a look at the third overall pick, defensive tackle Quinnen Williams.

When the Jets drafted Williams with the third pick in last April's draft, some questioned the wisdom in selecting yet another interior lineman.

The team was already slated to pay over $14 million to Leonard Williams who was playing out the fifth-year option on his rookie deal. In addition, they had already drafted two interior linemen in 2018 and given a decent-sized contract to Henry Anderson, so depth was not a concern.

Tags: Quinnen Williams
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Dec 29, 2019; Orchard Park, New York, USA; New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold (14) looks on against the Buffalo Bills during the fourth quarter at New Era Field. Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports (Rich Barnes)
Dec 29, 2019; Orchard Park, New York, USA; New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold (14) looks on against the Buffalo Bills during the fourth quarter at New Era Field. Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports (Rich Barnes)

From an off-field bout with mononucleosis to on-field struggles with development, Jets quarterback Sam Darnold's second year in New York ultimately impressed general manager Joe Douglas.

"Talk about toughness and talk about adversity," Douglas said. "Not many guys faced more adversity than Sam, as far as dealing with the mono and some rough patches during the year. But I think the respect that Sam has earned from everyone in this building -- and especially in the locker room -- as far as his ability to handle adversity, to come back, to play really good football, to watch him grow throughout the year, to watch him grow from Year 1 to Year 2, just with everything -- the decision-making, the leadership -- it was really impressive to see."

Darnold went 7-6 as a second-year starter, completing 273 of 441 passes (61.9 percent) for 3,024 yards and 19 touchdowns to 13 interceptions in 13 games.

Tags: Sam Darnold
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Dec 29, 2019; Orchard Park, New York, USA; New York Jets wide receiver Robby Anderson (11) runs with the ball after a catch as Buffalo Bills defensive back Siran Neal (33) defends during the second quarter at New Era Field. Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports (Rich Barnes)
Dec 29, 2019; Orchard Park, New York, USA; New York Jets wide receiver Robby Anderson (11) runs with the ball after a catch as Buffalo Bills defensive back Siran Neal (33) defends during the second quarter at New Era Field. Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports (Rich Barnes)

Upon the completion of his fourth season in the NFL, Jets wide receiver Robby Anderson is set to hit free agency, leaving general manager Joe Douglas with a decision to make.

Anderson was the Jets' second-leading receiver on the 2019 season, a big-play threat with 52 receptions for 779 yards (15.0 average) and five touchdowns in 16 games (15 starts).

After becoming a restricted free agent at the end of the 2018 season, Anderson signed a one-year contract at roughly $3 million. Will he remain with the Jets or explore his options elsewhere?

Tags: Robby Anderson
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With safety Jamal Adams eligible to renegotiate his rookie contract, the Jets and general manager Joe Douglas have a decision on their hands.

Upon the completion of Year 3 in the NFL, Adams enters 2020 with one year left on the four-year, $22 million deal he signed as the 2017 draft's sixth overall pick.

Speaking at Tuesday's end-of-year press conference as the offseason begins, Douglas acknowledged that the Jets will go over Adams' situation later in the week.

Tags: Jamal Adams
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Le'Veon Bell's future with the Jets is up in the air, and GM Joe Douglas did nothing on Tuesday to shut down the trade rumors that have been surrounding the running back for months.

Asked point blank if he wanted Bell to be part of the team next year, Douglas hedged.

"My personal experience with Le'Veon has been very positive," Douglas said. "He's done everything we've asked him to do as a person, as a teammate. ... he's one of our best workers, he's one of our best teammates. He connects and engages with everybody, so I can't say enough positive things about Le'Veon."

Tags: Le'Veon Bell, Danny Abriano
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Oct 6, 2019; Arlington, TX, USA; Dallas Cowboys kicker Brett Maher (2) and punter Chris Jones (6) watch a missed field goal in the fourth quarter against the Green Bay Packers at AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports (Tim Heitman)
Oct 6, 2019; Arlington, TX, USA; Dallas Cowboys kicker Brett Maher (2) and punter Chris Jones (6) watch a missed field goal in the fourth quarter against the Green Bay Packers at AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports (Tim Heitman)

The Jets have signed former Cowboys K Brett Maher to a reserve/future contract, the team announced Tuesday.

Maher, 30, was released by Dallas on Dec. 9. At the time, he led the NFL with 10 missed field goal attempts this season.

Overall in 2019, Maher made 20 of 30 kicks, which included going just 5-for-13 from 40 yards and beyond.

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New York Jets GM Joe Douglas talks to SNY's Jeané Coakley about his first year as a GM and the bright spots heading into the 2020 offseason.

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Oct 27, 2019; Jacksonville, FL, USA; New York Jets defensive end Leonard Williams (92) reacts after sacking Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Gardner Minshew (15) during the third quarter at TIAA Bank Field. Mandatory Credit: Douglas DeFelice-USA TODAY Sports (Douglas DeFelice)
Oct 27, 2019; Jacksonville, FL, USA; New York Jets defensive end Leonard Williams (92) reacts after sacking Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Gardner Minshew (15) during the third quarter at TIAA Bank Field. Mandatory Credit: Douglas DeFelice-USA TODAY Sports (Douglas DeFelice)

General manager Dave Gettleman stands by the Giants' decision to trade for defensive lineman Leonard Williams from the Jets, although the late-October move did nothing to alter the team's contention for the playoffs.

The Giants gave the Jets a pair of NFL draft picks -- a 2020 third-rounder and a 2021 fifth-rounder -- for Williams, who had little impact on New York's defense in the second half of the 2019 season.

Speaking at Tuesday's end-of-year press conference, where he addressed his return and the Giants' decision to fire head coach Pat Shurmur after two years, Gettleman said that Williams was a move the general manager would do again.

Tags: Leonard Williams
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Aug 29, 2019; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; Philadelphia Eagles running back Wendell Smallwood (28) is tackled by New York Jets linebacker Harvey Langi (44) and defensive end Bronson Kaufusi (91) during the first half at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)
Aug 29, 2019; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; Philadelphia Eagles running back Wendell Smallwood (28) is tackled by New York Jets linebacker Harvey Langi (44) and defensive end Bronson Kaufusi (91) during the first half at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)

The Jets announced on Monday that the team came to terms with nine players on a reserve/ future contract.

The contract type keeps a player tied to a team but it doesn't go into effect until the new league year in 2020. 

Typically the type of contract is used for practice squad players. 

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Jamal Adams
Jamal Adams

Jets safety Jamal Adams was in the giving mood this holiday season. 

While it was a sober Monday mood on locker cleanout day, Jets players had at least one reason to smile.

Adams, the Jets' star defensive standout, gifted some Jordan shoes to each and every one of his teammates. 

Tags: Jamal Adams
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The Jets added wide receiver Jamison Crowder last offseason and throughout the tough season for his team, the wideout quietly shined. 

In his first season with the Jets, Crowder led the the team in receptions (78), receiving yards (833) and touchdowns (6). His receptions was also a career-high for him personally. 

Things got off to a very quick start. 

Tags: Jamison Crowder, Sam Darnold
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Nov 17, 2019; Landover, MD, USA; New York Jets tight end Ryan Griffin (84) runs after a catch against the Washington Redskins during the first half at FedExField. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Mills)
Nov 17, 2019; Landover, MD, USA; New York Jets tight end Ryan Griffin (84) runs after a catch against the Washington Redskins during the first half at FedExField. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Mills)

The Jets missed tight end Ryan Griffin over the final three games of the 2019 regular season. 

He's slated to miss plenty of more time, too. 

Griffin told ESPN during the team's locker cleanout day on Monday that his ankle injury could sideline him up to six months. 

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