Over the last month, I've been looking at some of the players the Jets have added to the active roster since the end of last season. Jets fans might not know too much about some of these players, so I've been looking in detail at preseason and regular season footage to get an insight into their strengths and weaknesses. This series concludes today with a look at former Bears safety Brandon Hardin.

The 24-year old Hardin is listed at 6'3" and 217 pounds and was a third round pick in the 2012 draft. He has never played in an NFL regular season game, following some injury issues. However, he did play in six preseason games before the Bears released him in August. The Jets picked him up in January.

After the jump, I look in detail at footage from the last two preseasons to evaluate some what Hardin brings to the table.

Who is Brandon Hardin?

Hardin had a productive college career, where he was actually a cornerback, but missed his entire senior season after injuring his shoulder and requiring surgery. He returned to action in the East West Shrine Game and then had a monster pro day with great numbers across the board, including a 4.43 forty. Had he not missed his senior year, most experts agreed he would have been a much more heralded prospect, but when the Bears selected him in the third round it was considered a reach.

The Bears immediately announced that they would be converting Hardin to safety and he was the second string free safety as the preseason got underway in his rookie year. However, he suffered a scary neck injury in the second game and was placed on injured reserve shortly after. In 2013, he was unable to climb any further up the depth chart in preseason, before a broken scapula in the last preseason game sealed his fate.

Let's look in detail at his six preseason appearances.

2012 Preseason

Week 1 - Denver

Hardin was only credited with one tackle in this game but was in on several others. The one tackle he got credit for was on a 20-yard completion down the sideline where the cornerback seemed to pass off the receiver to him, but he had to cover the deep middle.

His best play saw him range across the field to jump in front of a long pass down the left sideline. That could have been an interception but the ball bounced off his hands as he may have slightly mistimed his jump. On another play he closed well on the intended receiver running down the seam, but the pass was batted down by a linebacker.

There were three plays where if you were being harsh you could say he missed a tackle. The first of these saw the runner slip away from him inside the five only to be immediately tackled by someone else before gaining any more yardage. On the second he overpursued out to the sideline on a run to the outside and the running back cut back inside for another 5-10 yards. On the last one, he actually stopped the runner at the second level, but he was able to squirm free and fall forwards for a few extra yards.

There were a couple of moments of slight hesitancy, notably on these two touchdowns (here and here - Hardin is #35), literally for just a split second each time, but where without any hesitation he might have prevented the runner from breaking the plane each time.

On special teams, there was one play where he was initially employed as a vice, double teaming the gunner, but he ran downfield and then peeled off to get a good contact to slow up another player on the kicking team in the open field. However, he didn't finish the block and this player did still end up making the tackle. He was also employed as a punt protector, getting downfield first on one punt, but overpursuing to let the return man get upfield.

Week 2 - Washington

This was the game where Hardin suffered his scary neck injury. It came on a blown coverage where he reacted quickly to make a downfield tackle on a tight end to limit the yardage to 19, but lowered his head and injured his neck while making the hit.

Prior to that, he had only been in for a handful of plays. On one, he was in a good position in coverage downfield on an overthrown ball, but perhaps would have had a chance at an interception had he been able to locate the ball while it was in the air rather than focusing on the receiver the whole time.

2013 Preseason

Week 1 - at Carolina

Hardin played 26 snaps in this game, all in the second half. He had one downfield tackle, but did okay in coverage. He was in good position on one play where the quarterback threw wide, perhaps on purpose, as Hardin had the closest receiver covered. On another, the quarterback looked for Hardin's man on a hot route, but the receiver never looked back for the ball. Hardin reacted well, but should have intercepted this and probably would have scored. He dropped the ball that hit him right in the numbers. On another play, a pass was deflected but he was unable to react fast enough to have a shot at picking it off.

Week 2 - San Diego

Hardin played 25 snaps in this game, mostly in the third quarter. He played on the first series of the fourth quarter and returned for the last play of the game, which was a Hail Mary pass that was overthrown and he leapt up to bat safely out of the back of the end zone, although it obviously wasn't going to be caught anyway.

He got in on a couple of tackles in the running game, including one play where he came up from deep to avoid a pulling lineman and prevent a runner from turning the corner on an outside run, making the stop for a two yard gain.

Week 3 - at Oakland

In this game, Hardin only played in the fourth quarter but still saw action on 17 plays. He had two downfield tackles on 22 and 21 yard completions over the middle where he was playing deep. He was targeted once, for this touchdown. On the play, Hardin (still #35) got caught up in traffic on a rub route and didn't take a particularly good angle. Again, he could have helped himself by anticipating better here.

Week 4 - Cleveland

The final preseason game usually features backups, so you might expect Hardin (who started) to perform better in this one, but it was actually his worst game by some margin. Having said that, the Browns starters did do some of the damage, including on the first play of the game where they threw a 45-yard bomb to Josh Gordon. The cornerback passed Gordon off to Hardin downfield and Hardin didn't react fast enough as he initially went to cover the same slot receiver as the cornerback. On another early play, Hardin came up too fast and overpursued on a slant route, allowing Gordon to turn the corner upfield.

Hardin was used in direct coverage a lot more in this game and did not fare well. On one play he picked up a tight end running a post pattern and couldn't prevent a 21-yard completion. That was pretty tight coverage though and he almost got a finger on the ball. On another play, he was matched up with a receiver in the slot for the only time all preseason, but the outside receiver came underneath and Hardin failed to react to this in time, getting turned around and leaving him open for 12 over the middle.

As if this wasn't bad enough, there were also three plays where he didn't get over in time from center field, leading to two first downs and this touchdown. He wasn't in direct coverage on these plays, so it's hard to blame him for them, but they were plays where an elite player would perhaps be expected to break it up.

There were a couple of plays where he was in a better position, although the receiver slipped on one and the other was a bad overthrow. He injured himself late in the game, but might have been due to be a final cut anyway following this disappointing finish to the preseason.

Usage

There are many reports out there saying that Hardin was employed as a strong safety in Chicago. This is inaccurate. Hardin was employed as a deep safety, often single-high. In 2013, he was only in the box 14 times in 121 snaps and his role in 2012 was essentially the same.

Coverage skills

Any time you get a former cornerback moving into a safety role, that can be an advantage in coverage. However, Hardin was mostly employed in coverage support rather than in direct coverage.

Hardin did a disciplined job of keeping things in front of him, but there were times where he reacted a beat late or failed to anticipate something with the ball in the air. There were occasional flashes of him breaking well to the ball, but not many.

Athleticism

Hardin's measurables are incredible and obviously the reason he was drafted so high despite injury concerns. The Bears are apparently adopting a "maximum ceiling" approach to their draft strategy and this fits in with that. While there were instances where he showcased this athleticism (and he's an impressive physical specimen that looks more like a linebacker than a defensive back), he was so hesitant at times that this mitigated some of those gifts.

Physicality

One thing I noticed from Hardin was that there were a lot of plays where he came up but then pulled up short of getting in on the tackle. I know Jets fans in recent years have been frustrated at what they perceive to be "shying away from contact" by the likes of Kerry Rhodes and Antonio Cromartie and it's difficult to determine whether that's what this was or if Hardin was just being extremely disciplined in terms of keeping the play in front of him. I lean towards the latter, because there were a couple of plays where he did actually lay the lumber on a ball carrier that was held up in that situation although I expect there was some degree of uncertainty in his new position and over-cautiousness in terms of not wanting to make a mistake. It's possible he was tentative in certain situations due to some of his injuries, but most of the time he would break himself down as he arrived at the ball, which is certainly preferable to a safety coming up too fast and overpursuing (although he did do this once or twice).

As noted, he wasn't employed in direct coverage much, so I couldn't really comment on his physicality in coverage based on the footage viewed.

Run defense

As he wasn't in the box very often, Hardin didn't really contribute much as a run defender. He got in on a few tackles at the second level, but there was only one play where he came up and stopped a run. That was on an outside run where he came up from deep. He did run blitz a few times, but the run went the other way each time.

Tackling

This ties in with the last few sections, but Hardin didn't make a ton of tackles, nor did he miss too many bad ones. He had a few plays where he took a bad angle and overpursued, but not many instances of having a runner wrapped up and letting him get away. There were, however, a few times where he didn't quite make a clean stop, enabling the runner to fall forward and a few other times where he hesitated when going to make a tackle allowing costly yardage.

Blitzing

Hardin only blitzed once and only had one sack in his college career. However, his combination of speed and size (he's basically the same size as Rhodes) could mean he'd be good at this in a special packages role.

Ball skills

It doesn't seem like Hardin has very good hands. He dropped one easy interception and there were a few other plays where he might have been able to pick the ball off. Part of that was perhaps down to him failing to anticipate and react in time, though, rather than his ability to catch the ball. He did have one interception and eight passes defensed in two years at Oregon State. He did get his hands on a few balls and jumped a few routes, but could have done a better job of being alert to tipped or overthrown passes in his area.

Instincts

Since he was playing a new position, we should probably give Hardin a pass here, but there was a constant sense he was a beat slow to react and occasional confusion over what he should do in a given situation. It reminded me of Demario Davis' rookie season. If he could start to get more comfortable in his role, Hardin would start to make a lot more plays because he'd arrive half a step sooner.

Special teams

Hardin made some minor contributions on special teams. He was employed as a punt protector, on the punt rush unit, as a secondary vice when doubling a gunner and blocking on the kick return unit. He'll likely need to shine in these roles and also in kick coverage (where he had one assist as a tackler) to have a realistic shot at a roster spot.

Injuries

As noted, Hardin is yet another player who became available because of major injury concerns. Whether any of these will pan out remains to be seen, but there's potential upside in a lot of them. To recap, he missed 2011 after shoulder surgery, had a serious neck injury in 2012 and then broke his scapula last August.

Off-field issues

I could not find any details of any off-field issues for Hardin.

Conclusions:

Yes, of course, this is another long-shot that depends primarily on whether Hardin can get healthy. Even if he can, he still has to prove he can make the transition to safety.

While completing this analysis, I was reminded of Jaiquawn Jarrett, another high draft pick safety who also struggled before being released early in his second season. Since he did make the team and - other than that one play Jimmy Graham made on him - acquitted himself pretty well, that's an interesting re-read for context.

The Jets do have several promising safeties under 25 and may even add another in the draft next weekend, so competition is high. However, there are places up for grabs. The main thing Hardin brings to the table that none of the other safeties do is his size and speed combo.

Hardin did show inexperience at times, but wasn't constantly making bad mistakes. While it looks likely he'll end up as a story of unfulfilled promise, you can't blame the Jets for giving him one last shot.

That wraps up our look at the guys the Jets have added to the roster since the end of the season. We'll be back with some more analytical stuff after the draft, including articles on Dee Milliner and Quinton Coples.

Tags: bentdouble, BGA, Bent Double

Washington Redskins wide receiver Terrelle Pryor runs with the ball as Philadelphia Eagles cornerback Jalen Mills attempts to make the tackle at FedEx Field. (Geoff Burke/USA TODAY Sports)
Washington Redskins wide receiver Terrelle Pryor runs with the ball as Philadelphia Eagles cornerback Jalen Mills attempts to make the tackle at FedEx Field. (Geoff Burke/USA TODAY Sports)

The Jets and Redskins will have joint practices from Aug. 12 to Aug. 14 ahead of their preseason game on Aug. 16, and Washington's defense seems to be ready to go after current Jet wide receiver Terrelle Pryor.

Redskins linebacker Zach Brown called out Pryor, who signed a one-year, $4.5 million deal with New York after one year with the Redskins, by saying other members of Washington's defense "have it out for him."

"That's going to be something right there," Brown said on "Inside the Locker Room" on Team 980, according to NBC Sports Washington's JP Finlay. "The boys are gonna have it out for him. We can put hands on him now ... [head coach] Jay [Gruden] ain't here to protect you anymore."

Tags: Washington Redskins
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Jamal Adams (center) Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)
Jamal Adams (center) Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)

Jets S Jamal Adams has never liked to lose, and his father -- former NFL RB George Adams -- gave the perfect anecdote to explain why. 

"As a G.A. Giant, we didnt' lose," George told The Post's Steve Serby as he referenced Jamal's Pop Warner days. "I gave the ball to J., he got the first down, and they came out and measured and then they said, 'No, no, no. We gotta remeasure.' So they didn't give us a first down, so they got the ball and they scored and we lost.

"He cried like a baby. So what I told him, I said, 'That's life. That's football. You're gonna get some people to say one thing and it's another, but the thing is, I'm teaching you how to lose.' And that really just didn't set with him, because he just don't like losing."

Tags: Jamal Adams, Scott Thompson
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Sep 10, 2017; Landover, MD, USA; Washington Redskins wide receiver Terrelle Pryor (11) (Geoff Burke)
Sep 10, 2017; Landover, MD, USA; Washington Redskins wide receiver Terrelle Pryor (11) (Geoff Burke)

This offseason, the Jets signed QB Teddy Bridgewater, drafted QB Sam Darnold and re-signed QB Josh McCown. Regardless of who gets to be the starting quarterback, they're going to need someone to throw to. 

WR Terrelle Pryor, who signed a one-year, $4.5 million deal in March, certainly believes he can be that guy, after having 'minor' ankle surgery recently.

"Right now I'm healthy and I'm ready to get back to form and have a dominant year," Pryor said...

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General overall view of MetLife Stadium Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports (Kirby Lee)
General overall view of MetLife Stadium Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports (Kirby Lee)

Former Jets TE Kellen Winslow Jr., who was just arrested for suspicion of burglary last week, has even bigger problems with the law in his latest arrest. 

Winslow was arrested on Thursday and faces two counts of forcible rap, two counts of forcible sodomy and one count of forcible oral copulation, according to the San Diego Union-Tribune. He also faces charges of kidnapping with the intent to commit rape, residential burglary and indecent exposure. 

It is unknown whether or not Winslow's arrest last Thursday corresponds to this arrest...

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New York Jets cornerback Derrick Jones runs a drill during organized team activities at the Atlantic Health Jets Training Center. (Ed Mulholland/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Jets cornerback Derrick Jones runs a drill during organized team activities at the Atlantic Health Jets Training Center. (Ed Mulholland/USA TODAY Sports)

Bent, theJetsBlog.com Follow on Twitter

Over the next few weeks, we're going to look back at last year's rookies in an effort to assess what their role will be in 2018 and where we can expect them to make improvements on what they brought to the table last year.

Derrick Jones was considered a bit of a long-term project when the Jets selected him with their final pick in 2017's draft. He's a terrific athletic with excellent size and length, but was considered raw having spent much of his collegiate career as a wide receiver, starting just eight games in total. The Jets carried him on their active roster all year, but he only suited up for three games and didn't get any defensive reps.

Tags: Derrick Jones, Robby Anderson
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Josh McCown (15) Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)
Josh McCown (15) Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)

A lot will change between mid-June and September 10th, the day of the Jets season opener, but if they were to play that week one game against the Lions tomorrow, Todd Bowles knows who his starting quarterback would be: Josh McCown. 

Bowles also confirmed that Teddy Bridgewater is the current backup, leaving rookie Sam Darnold as the third-string. But all three will have ample time during training camp to change his mind, when "a lot of things count."

"Josh will start come training camp and we will see what happens at the end of training camp," Bowles said after minicamp...

Tags: Josh McCown
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New York Jets quarterback Christian Hackenberg works out prior to an NFL football game against the Philadelphia Eagles, Thursday, Aug. 31, 2017, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Bill Kostroun) (Bill Kostroun/AP)
New York Jets quarterback Christian Hackenberg works out prior to an NFL football game against the Philadelphia Eagles, Thursday, Aug. 31, 2017, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Bill Kostroun) (Bill Kostroun/AP)

Former Jets QB Christian Hackenberg visited the Patriots on Thursday, according to Field Yates of ESPN.

The Patriots currently have Tom Brady, Brian Hoyer and rookie seventh-round pick Danny Etling. NFL Network's Mike Garafolo reports that the Patriots aren't expected to sign Hackenberg, though he remains an option going forward...

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Elijah McGuire the new LT? 00:01:58
Marc Malusis and Jon Hein discuss Jets running backs coach Stump Mitchell saying that Elijah McGuire could be the next LaDainian Tomlinson.

Entering his second season in the league, Elijah McGuire is expected to make an impact on the Jets in 2018.

The running back had 377 rushing yards in 2017 but those within the organization see something more in the 24-year-old-- they see one of the best running backs ever: LaDainian Tomlinson.

"He has the skillset to be a LaDainian Tomlinson, if he was given that opportunity," Jets running backs coach Stump Mitchell said...

Tags: Elijah McGuire
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See the Jets in minicamp action 00:00:59
SNY captures the highlights, routes and deep throws at New York Jets minicamp Thursday.

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive: The Jets are heaping praise on the shoulders of their prized rookie quarterback, but to them it's more than just dreamy hype. They're not just trying to sell everyone on the promise of Sam Darnold. They believe it. In fact, so far he's been even better than they expected.

That's why he has "a real chance" to be the opening day starter, according to a team source.

The 21-year-old Darnold has been that good since the Jets took him with the third overall pick in the NFL Draft. They've been giving him regular first-team reps throughout the spring and through this week's three-day mini-camp. And given how well he's handled them, this summer he can expect even more.

Tags: Josh McCown, Sam Darnold, Teddy Bridgewater, Ralph Vacchiano
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New York Jets strong safety Jamal Adams (33) lines up against the Denver Broncos during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Dec. 10, 2017, in Denver. (AP Photo/Jack Dempsey)  (Jack Dempsey/AP)
New York Jets strong safety Jamal Adams (33) lines up against the Denver Broncos during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Dec. 10, 2017, in Denver. (AP Photo/Jack Dempsey) (Jack Dempsey/AP)

If there is one player Jets S Jamal Adams would like to emulate in his career, it would certainly be one of the best to ever play the safety position. 

Former Steelers S Troy Polamalu, an eight-time Pro Bowler and four-time First Team All-Pro member, changed how safeties were perceived in the NFL. Polamalu wasn't just a ballhawk as his position was normally asked to do, but he was relentless on the blitz as well as run defense. 

Adams says it was Polamalu's smarts along with his physicality that makes him his role model now that he is in the NFL...

Tags: Jamal Adams
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May 22, 2018; Florham Park, NJ, USA; New York Jets wide receiver Robby Anderson (11) runs after a catching the ball during organized team activities at Atlantic Health Training Center. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)
May 22, 2018; Florham Park, NJ, USA; New York Jets wide receiver Robby Anderson (11) runs after a catching the ball during organized team activities at Atlantic Health Training Center. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)

This offseason, Jets WR Robby Anderson has been battling numerous legal issues. He has been arrested twice in nine months, but the Jets have had his back throughout this process. 

That doesn't mean the NFL will. 

Anderson, who has one of his two legal cases still in the works, knows the NFL has the jurisdiction to suspend him for his run-ins with the police...

Tags: Robby Anderson
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Darnold impresses at Jets camp 00:03:04
Jets offensive coordinator Jeremy Bates breaks down the performance of rookie QB Sam Darnold at the team's minicamp on Wednesday.

Jets QB Sam Darnold may be a rookie, but his new team isn't treating him like one. 

The No. 3 overall pick hasn't been eased into his new role with the Jets, but rather, the team is throwing everything they can at him. Offensive coordinator Jeremy Bates said the entire playbook has been thrown his way during the team's three-day mandatory minicamp. 

The reason? Bates says that's how you see what Darnold can truly handle.

Tags: Josh McCown, Sam Darnold, Teddy Bridgewater
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Josh McCown (15) Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)
Josh McCown (15) Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)

With all NFL talk revolving around the new national anthem policy, Jets QB Josh McCown wants people to focus on the work behind the scenes that doesn't get as much recognition. 

McCown, who is a member of the Players' Coalition, has been a big supporter and advocate for social justice reform. For one, he was one of a few Jets members that signed a letter to Gov. Andrew Cuomo and other officials calling for bail reform in the country. 

It is work like that letter that McCown wishes got more attention than the anthem policy...

Tags: Josh McCown
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 (Noah K. Murray)
(Noah K. Murray)

Over the last few weeks, we've been looking back at last year's rookies in an effort to assess what their role will be in 2018 and where we can expect them to make improvements on what they brought to the table last year.

Jeremy Clark spent virtually the entire 2017 on the injured list, which was something the Jets must have anticipated when they drafted him. Clark was recovering from a torn ACL when the Jets selected him in the sixth round, presumably on the basis that he'd have gone much sooner had he been healthy. He was unable to practice at training camp and his rookie season was essentially a redshirt year. However, the Jets were able to activate him at the end of the year and he made his NFL debut in the season finale.

Preseason Stats: Did not play.
Regular Season Stats: One game played.
Projected Role: Back-up cornerback.

Tags: Jeremy Clark
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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)

Former Jets QB Christian Hackenberg was waived by the Raiders on Tuesday.

Hackenberg was traded last month for a conditional seventh-round pick in 2019 -- a pick the Raiders will now get to keep. 

"I was disappointed in not really giving Christian the opportunity to go to camp," Raiders coach Jon Gruden said after Tuesday's practice, per ESPN. "We felt like we needed to add a couple defensive linemen. We ran out of numbers, and that's not good at that position heading into camp."

Tags: Christian Hackenberg
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Sam Darnold on adjustments 00:00:32
Jets rookie QB Sam Darnold explains the challenges he's facing while making the adjustment to calling plays in the huddle in the NFL.

Jets QB Sam Darnold on Tuesday shed light on the learning curve he has experienced during his transition to the NFL.

"It hasn't been super easy to adjust but it's all the same plays," Darnold said on the first day of the Jets' mandatory minicamp. "It's just getting used to the different terminology... being able to picture the play in my head when it's called makes it easier to call it in the huddle."

Darnold, the Jets' first round pick this year, earned roughly 20 first-team reps, according to Newsday. QB Josh McCown led the pack with around 20 first-team reps, while Teddy Bridgewater also had a handful of first-team snaps.

Tags: Sam Darnold
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Jets QB's throwing deep 00:00:33
See Sam Darnold, Teddy Bridgewater and Josh McCown throwing darts to their receivers at New York Jets minicamp on Tuesday.

Check back here for highlights from the Jets' first day of mandatory minicamp...


The first day of the Jets' three-day mandatory minicamp kicked off on Tuesday, and rookie QB Sam Darnold continues to get some reps with the first-team offense. Throughout the day, Darnold bounced around the depth chart by taking most of his reps with the third team to go along with his few throws with the first team. 

CLICK BELOW TO SEE THE VIDEO

Tags: Quincy Enunwa, Sam Darnold, Terrelle Pryor
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Sep 10, 2017; Orchard Park, NY, USA; General view of a New York Jets helmet on the field before a game against the Buffalo Bills at New Era Field. Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports (Rich Barnes)
Sep 10, 2017; Orchard Park, NY, USA; General view of a New York Jets helmet on the field before a game against the Buffalo Bills at New Era Field. Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports (Rich Barnes)

Last Thursday in San Diego, California, ex-Jets tight end Kellen Winslow Jr. was arrested on suspicion of burglary at a mobile-home park, reports NBC San Diego's Rafael Avitabile.

A burglary call was made at around 2:30 p.m. by a neighbor in the Park Encinitas Mobile Home Park.

According to Winslow's publicist, Denise White, "An over-reactive neighbor called police after she saw Kellen walking around a mobile home." Winslow was later arrested and charged with first-degree burglary as well as being held on $50,000 bail. 

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Five Things for the Jets 00:00:33
SNY NFL Insider Ralph Vacchiano reveals the five most interesting things to watch for during this week's New York Jets minicamp.

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

The next few weeks and months are all about one thing for the Jets, really - the preparation for The Sam Darnold Era. It's going to begin at some point. The Jets believe it will be glorious.

The only question is: When?

Tags: ArDarius Stewart, Chad Hansen, Dylan Donahue, Jordan Jenkins, Jordan Leggett, Josh McCown, Leonard Williams, Lorenzo Mauldin, Quincy Enunwa, Robby Anderson, Sam Darnold, Teddy Bridgewater, Terrelle Pryor, Ralph Vacchiano
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New York Jets offensive tackle D'Brickashaw Ferguson (60) walks off the field following training camp at SUNY Cortland. (Richard Barnes)
New York Jets offensive tackle D'Brickashaw Ferguson (60) walks off the field following training camp at SUNY Cortland. (Richard Barnes)

Former Jets OL D'Brickashaw Ferguson still gets asked if would kneel during the national anthem despite being out of the NFL today. 

Well, he broke that silence on Monday when he penned an article addressing that exact question. Ferguson began his piece by noting his thoughts about the anthem protests reached its peak while watching the Jets against the Dolphins last season.

He saw how the entire team locked arms on the sideline, and wondered what he could do. 

Tags: D'Brickashaw Ferguson
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New York Jets running back Elijah McGuire lunges for yards defended by Buffalo Bills outside linebacker Lorenzo Alexander during the second half at MetLife Stadium. (Vincent Carchietta/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Jets running back Elijah McGuire lunges for yards defended by Buffalo Bills outside linebacker Lorenzo Alexander during the second half at MetLife Stadium. (Vincent Carchietta/USA TODAY Sports)

Bent, theJetsBlog.com Follow on Twitter

Over the next few weeks, we're going to look back at last year's rookies in an effort to assess what their role will be in 2018 and where we can expect them to make improvements on what they brought to the table last year.

Elijah McGuire had what looked like being a breakout performance against the Jaguars in Week 4, when he racked up 131 yards on 12 touches, including a spectacular 69-yard touchdown run. However, that breakout never fully materialized as he struggled to produce much over the rest of the year, other than the occasional flash. Will he be able to earn a more significant role in 2018?

Tags: Bilal Powell, Brian Winters, Elijah McGuire, Matt Forte, Wesley Johnson
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Sep 17, 2017; Oakland, CA, USA; New York Jets linebacker Dylan Donahue (49) before the game against the Oakland Raiders at Oakland Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports (Stan Szeto)
Sep 17, 2017; Oakland, CA, USA; New York Jets linebacker Dylan Donahue (49) before the game against the Oakland Raiders at Oakland Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports (Stan Szeto)

Over the next few weeks, we're going to be looking back at last year's rookies in an effort to assess what their role will be in 2018 and where we can expect them to make improvements on what they brought to the table last year.

Dylan Donahue will be hoping to bounce back after a rookie season that was cut short by injury and an offseason which saw him dealing with off-field issues. The coaching staff has been high on his potential, but he didn't really get much of a chance to deliver on that yet.

Preseason stats: Three games, four tackles, 0.5 sacks
Regular-season stats: Four games, five tackles
Projected role: Situational pass rusher

Tags: Dylan Donahue
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Los Angeles Rams cornerback Trumaine Johnson (22) in action during the first half of an NFL football game against the Washington Redskins Sunday, Sept. 17, 2017, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Kelvin Kuo) (Kelvin Kuo/AP)
Los Angeles Rams cornerback Trumaine Johnson (22) in action during the first half of an NFL football game against the Washington Redskins Sunday, Sept. 17, 2017, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Kelvin Kuo) (Kelvin Kuo/AP)

After the Jets missed out on QB Kirk Cousins in free agency this offseason, the team almost had more cap space than they knew what to do with. 

They gave some of that money to QB Teddy Bridgewater, but they handed the most to CB Trumaine Johnson, who inked a big five-year, $73 million contract with the Jets. 

Johnson played for the Rams his entire career but was free to leave this offseason after the team acquired Aqib Talib, Sam Shields and  Marcus Peters. As the top corner on the market, he had options. But he chose to sign with the Jets to win games...

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New York Jets players and coaching staff lock arms during the national anthem before the game against the Miami Dolphins at MetLife Stadium. (Kyle Terada/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Jets players and coaching staff lock arms during the national anthem before the game against the Miami Dolphins at MetLife Stadium. (Kyle Terada/USA TODAY Sports)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | ArchiveThe NFL as a whole would prefer to have its players standing at attention during the national anthem, with no more player protests. For some owners, that's a patriotic gesture. For others, it's simply business. Mostly, though, NFL owners just really want this whole anthem/protest controversy to go away.

That's why it's so bizarre that the league has instead managed to make it infinitely worse.

The NFL knows it too, which is probably why Commissioner Roger Goodell remained so silent when President Donald Trump and the Philadelphia Eagles managed to turn the traditional visit to the White House by the Super Bowl champs into a political football earlier this week. Most of the Eagles weren't planning to go, so the president loudly cancelled the event.

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New York Jets acting CEO Christopher Johnson on the sidelines before a game against the New England Patriots at MetLife Stadium. (Brad Penner/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Jets acting CEO Christopher Johnson on the sidelines before a game against the New England Patriots at MetLife Stadium. (Brad Penner/USA TODAY Sports)

The Jets are continuing to try and impact the community, as Jets CEO Christopher Johnson, along with QB Josh McCown, LT Kelvin Beachum and former Jets LB Demario Davis, sent a letter to New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo calling for bail reform.

The letter was not only addressed to Cuomo, but also to the speaker of the house and the senate president. It brings up several points that the Jets hope lawmakers will take into account.

 

Some of the points raised are...

Tags: Demario Davis, Josh McCown, Kelvin Beachum
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Nov 2, 2017; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; Buffalo Bills quarterback Tyrod Taylor (5) is sacked by New York Jets linebacker Jordan Jenkins (48) (Brad Penner)
Nov 2, 2017; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; Buffalo Bills quarterback Tyrod Taylor (5) is sacked by New York Jets linebacker Jordan Jenkins (48) (Brad Penner)

With two NFL seasons in the books, Jets LB Jordan Jenkins knows what he needs to do to set himself apart in his third year: finish sacks. 

Jenkins was always known as a great run stopper, using his speed to scale sideline to sideline. However, the pass rush has been an element of his game that has been inconsistent. 

In his rookie season, Jenkins totaled 2.5 sacks while accumulating three in 2017. It might be progress, but those numbers don't jump off the page. That is why Jenkins is ready to set himself apart this season by making sure to get the quarterback to the ground, and ultimately, show people how dominant he can really be on the field.

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Sep 24, 2017; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Bears running back Jordan Howard (24) stiff arms Pittsburgh Steelers defensive back J.J. Wilcox (27) during the second half at Soldier Field. Chicago won 23-17 in OT. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports (Dennis Wierzbicki)
Sep 24, 2017; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Bears running back Jordan Howard (24) stiff arms Pittsburgh Steelers defensive back J.J. Wilcox (27) during the second half at Soldier Field. Chicago won 23-17 in OT. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports (Dennis Wierzbicki)

Free agent S JJ Wilcox took a flight to New Jersey on Tuesday night, confirmed SNY's Ralph Vacchiano, and the Jets' signing of Wilcox became official on Wednesday, with the Jets waiving LB Freddie Bishop

Wilcox flew to New Jersey just hours after rejecting the 49ers at the last minute, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter. One source told Schefter that Wilcox "flipped" after he was at the 49ers' offices to sign with them, and wanted to instead play for the Jets under head coach Todd Bowles.

Another source told Schefter that "he got stage fright." 

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Aug 31, 2017; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets tight end Jordan Leggett (49) runs with the ball during the second half of their game against the Philadelphia Eagles at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports (Ed Mulholland)
Aug 31, 2017; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets tight end Jordan Leggett (49) runs with the ball during the second half of their game against the Philadelphia Eagles at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports (Ed Mulholland)

Over the next few weeks, we're going to be looking back at last year's rookies in an effort to assess what their role will be in 2018 and where we can expect them to make improvements on what they brought to the table last year.

What the Jets' coaching staff will hope to see from tight end Jordan Leggett this season hasn't really changed from a year ago, because he didn't get a chance to suit up during the season. He's therefore not had a chance to showcase his blocking, route-running or pass catching skills, other than in preseason.

Preseason Stats: Three games, five catches for 40 yards.
Regular Season Stats: Zero games played.
Projected Role: Reserve tight end.

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Oct 9, 2016; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers running back Le'Veon Bell (26) runs between New York Jets strong safety Rontez Miles (45) and outside linebacker Erin Henderson (58) during the fourth quarter of a game at Heinz Field. Pittsburgh won 31-13. Mandatory Credit: Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports  (Mark Konezny)
Oct 9, 2016; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers running back Le'Veon Bell (26) runs between New York Jets strong safety Rontez Miles (45) and outside linebacker Erin Henderson (58) during the fourth quarter of a game at Heinz Field. Pittsburgh won 31-13. Mandatory Credit: Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports (Mark Konezny)

Jets S Rontez Miles is expected to miss three-to-four months after undergoing surgery to repair a torn meniscus, confirms SNY's Ralph Vacchiano.

Along with Miles, the current safeties on the Jets' roster are Jamal Adams, Marcus Maye, Terrence Brooks, and Doug Middleton

Miles, 29, came off the bench in 13 games for the Jets last season after appearing in all 16 games (including four starts) for them in 2016.

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New York Jets outside linebacker Jordan Jenkins against the Buffalo Bills at New Era Field. (Timothy T. Ludwig/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Jets outside linebacker Jordan Jenkins against the Buffalo Bills at New Era Field. (Timothy T. Ludwig/USA TODAY Sports)

Jets LB Jordan Jenkins was among the many athletes displeased with President Donald Trump's decision to disinvite the Eagles from visiting the White House to acknowledge their Super Bowl victory this past season. 

Jenkins spoke after the Jets' OTA on Tuesday, and said he isn't sure if President Trump felt disrespected. But it still wasn't the right thing to do because the visit could have been more than just an acknowledge of the victory. 

"In my mind, I think it's immature when you do something like that," Jenkins told NJ.com's Darryl Slater. "That's an immature thing to do...

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