USC defensive tackle Claude Pelon (Mark J. Rebilas/USA Today Sports Images)
USC defensive tackle Claude Pelon (Mark J. Rebilas/USA Today Sports Images)

This year, I've again been breaking down each of the Jets' rookies in detail and we're now into the undrafted free agent signings. On Tuesday, I looked at Temple offensive lineman Kyle Friend, and now I move on to look at Southern California defensive lineman Claude Pelon. I've been conducting research and watching game footage to try and assess what he brings to the table.

The 23-year-old Pelon is listed at 6-foot-4, 310 pounds, and contributed on the defensive line for the Trojans over the past two seasons, although he dealt with some injuries in his senior year. Pelon had joined the Trojans as a junior college transfer after the 2013 season. He recorded 45 tackles, 8.5 tackles for loss, four sacks, a forced fumble and two passes defensed over the course of the two seasons, starting four games. He is a former linemate of current Jets starter Leonard Williams.

Note: Pro Football Focus exclusively provides some stats from this article.

Who is Claude Pelon?

Pelon could be considered as something of a journeyman before he even made it to the NFL. He went to high school in Florida, then redshirted his first year at a junior college in Kansas. After that, he transferred to another junior college in Arizona and recorded 17 tackles and two sacks in his redshirt freshman season. The following year, he stayed in Arizona but transferred to yet another junior college, where he registered 52 tackles, including 9.5 for loss, as he was named as a Prep Star JUCO All-American.

Finally, he transferred to USC for his junior and senior years. He started three games as a junior and racked up 19 tackles, six tackles for loss and 2.5 sacks. In his senior year, he missed some time through injuries, but still registered 26 tackles, 2.5 tackles for loss and 1.5 sacks. He was not invited to the combine or any All-Star games, but had a good pro day. Prior to the season, an ESPN article had described him as "likely to be drafted," but there wasn't much draft buzz surrounding him after the season.

Let's move onto some more in-depth analysis of what Pelon brings to the table, based on my research and film study.

Measurables

Pelon has good size, looks the part and put up some decent numbers at USC's pro day. I can't find a wingspan measurement for him, but he does seem to have good length, which he uses effectively.

Pelon's best numbers were for strength and explosiveness, as he posted 33 bench press reps, a 32.5-inch vertical leap and a 110-inch broad jump, all of which are excellent for his size. His 40-yard dash and shuttle runs were less impressive -- so you would perhaps expect him to lack agility and range in pursuit. Having said that, he said one team told him it clocked him at under five seconds for the 40 at his pro day.

Usage

Pelon supposedly moved from defensive tackle to defensive end in between his two seasons at USC, but I didn't actually find much difference between his assignments between the two years. At the end of 2014, Pelon seemed to be playing more as a defensive end, and in early 2015, he started a game at nose tackle because Antwuan Woods was out. I found that he typically lined up on the interior, although he wasn't shading the center very often and also got some snaps lined up opposite a tackle.

At the NFL level he'd probably be a 5-technique initially, but could also play on the interior in certain situations.

Motor

USC has plenty of defensive line talent, so the Trojans rotate their players regularly. That said, there were times when injuries piled up last year, so sometimes players had to take on a bigger role. Pelon played over 30 snaps only three times, but two of those games saw him handle 51 snaps against Arizona State and 49 in the bowl game against Wisconsin. In 2014, he played over 30 snaps eight times with a high of 66 against Nebraska in the bowl game.

I found that Pelon gave a relentless effort in the trenches and was capable of making plays late in games, exhibiting good stamina. He also played his best football at the end of the season each year with his two bowl game performances being arguably the best two games of his career.

His effort seemed less consistent on the backside when plays went away from him, but he wouldn't be expected to have much range in pursuit anyway, as already noted.

Run defense

Pelon holds up well at the point of attack and can extend his arms to stand up his blocker. This enables him to stay in front of the ball carrier whichever way the play goes or to bottle up runs right at him. He also pretty consistent in terms of his pad level and doesn't get driven off the line much, except when doubled.

Pelon's main issue in the running game seems to be that he'll explode out of his stance looking to penetrate, but won't see the play developing in front of him so might react late. I've seen plenty of aggressive linemen with this problem before, and you never know whether or not they'll learn to overcome it.

Here's an example of him doing that, as he bursts upfield leaving a big lane behind him on the draw play:

On another play, he made a bad read and went after the back on an option keeper.

Another area I'd like to see more from Pelon was in terms of his lateral movement and ability to get downhill, especially through traffic. He has a knack for getting into the backfield and also for making clutch stops on short yardage plays, though.

Tackling

I didn't see any issues with missed tackles from Pelon, who had four in his two years at USC, but only one as a senior.

Interestingly, even though he played much less in 2015 than in 2014 due to the time missed through injury, he had more statistical production in the running game. He had played a higher percentage of pass rush snaps in 2014, but still had over 30 percent more run snaps than in 2015. One difference, though, was that he made fewer plays in the backfield.

Pass rush

Pelon has a good get-off and is a powerful bull rusher. He showcases that on this play, which sees him drive the left guard back and then get to the quarterback for a big hit before the back can get across to slow him down.

Perhaps not surprisingly, given the fact that he was a teammate of Williams, Pelon's go-to move is the swim move. At times, he almost over-relies on this, but he had repeated success with it in the bowl game against Nebraska in 2014, which saw him recording several pressures. It shouldn't go unmentioned that current Jets defensive line coach Pepper Johnson doesn't like this technique and discourages his players from using it.

In general, a lot of the damage he does is just a combination of his athletic ability and pure effort, but he shows signs of being disruptive in such a role. Here he uses an initial upfield leverage advantage to fight off a double team block and hit the quarterback.

Again, vision is an issue, as there were a few plays where he was still trying to beat his blocker without realizing that the quarterback had already taken off.

Batting passes

Pelon does get his hands up at times, although he can sometimes be too pre-occupied with trying to beat his man, as noted. He was credited with two passes defensed at USC, although both of these were in his junior year. He did not drop into coverage.

Special teams

Pelon actually made some good contributions on special teams, blocking a couple of kicks and a tackle following a long punt return. Here's one of the kick blocks, showing further evidence of his explosiveness at the snap:

Instincts/Intelligence

I've already alluded to the potential issues Pelon sometimes seems to have with seeing how the play develops in front of him. However, that might just be a symptom of him being forced into a rotational role and then being as aggressive as possible trying to make an impact with the reps he received. Perhaps the Jets can encourage him to play with a more disciplined mindset, but we know Todd Bowles likes his linemen to play aggressively anyway.

Some might view the fact that Pelon was academically ineligible for some time as a knock on his intelligence or work ethic, but eventually overcoming that to get to a big school and retain eligibility is a positive sign.

Injuries

As noted, the first half of Pelon's 2015 season was disrupted by injuries. He sprained his knee in the spring and needed arthroscopic knee surgery, causing him to miss the first game. He played the following week, but then suffered a high ankle sprain a few weeks later. That proved to be well timed as the team had a week off, so he hadn't missed any games when he was able to suit up two weeks later. However, he lasted just three snaps before spraining his knee, leading to him missing three more games. Finally healthy down the stretch, he played the most consistent football of his career.

Attitude/Demeanor

The USC defensive line seems like a close-knit unit and, as a group, it worked hard to overcome the loss of Williams and numerous injury issues in 2015. Pelon obviously displayed toughness by overcoming injuries last season to finish the year strong. There don't seem to be any off-field concerns, either.

On the field, Pelon definitely has a fiery personality. In 2014, he committed six penalties, but showed much better discipline in 2015. The only time he was penalized all year was an offside and 12-men on the field double-penalty late in the win over Arizona, which might not even have been his fault.

Scheme fit

Since Pelon is following in Williams' footsteps by making the jump from USC to the Jets, you might think he'd be a similarly ideal fit. However, Williams played in three different systems in each of his years with the Trojans (4-3, 5-2 and 3-4) whereas Pelon was just in a 3-4 system. Typically, a 3-4 system would mean that players did a lot of two-gapping, but Pelon played with an attacking mindset, so that could mean he fits in well with the Jets.

Williams might be a helpful familiar face to have in the building for Pelon. Even though they played just one season together, they apparently knew each other pretty well before Pelon decided to go to USC.

Conclusions

If there's a theme to the Jets' undrafted free agent class so far, it's that the Jets have targeted a group of players whose potential value might have been overlooked by other teams. Pelon could have got lost in the shuffle on a USC defensive line with a lot of NFL talent and didn't have much statistical production, but he still contributed well and developed to the point where he was playing his best football right at the end of his final season.

Had he remained healthy all year and produced like he did over the second half of the season, Pelon might have drawn a lot more attention and perhaps would have been a candidate for postseason honors and a projected late-round pick.

Pelon is one of three 300-pound defensive linemen the Jets brought in via undrafted free agency and, if they can all remain healthy, they might end up getting some significant preseason reps with the third unit. If Pelon can repeat some of the impressive things he was able to do in college when given that chance, he'll give himself a strong chance of at least being retained as a practice squad project.

Up next: We'll take a look at Temple wide receiver Robby Anderson. Could he compete for a roster spot? Let us know in the comments who you'd like us to look at after that.

Comments

Dec 9, 2018; Orchard Park, NY, USA; New York Jets outside linebacker Jordan Jenkins (48) lines up for a play against the Buffalo Bills during the second quarter at New Era Field. Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports (Rich Barnes)
Dec 9, 2018; Orchard Park, NY, USA; New York Jets outside linebacker Jordan Jenkins (48) lines up for a play against the Buffalo Bills during the second quarter at New Era Field. Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports (Rich Barnes)

Bent, theJetsBlog.com Follow on Twitter

The Jets haven't had a difference-making edge rusher since John Abraham was traded almost a decade ago. With new defensive coordinator Gregg Williams renowned for his attacking defenses, who will step up and produce off the edge in 2019? …


Projected Starters: Jordan Jenkins, Brandon Copeland
Projected Backups: Jachai Polite, Frankie Luvu
On the Bubble: Tarell Basham, Kyle Phillips, Justin Alexandre, Bronson Kaufusi, Harvey Langi
Departures: Josh Martin, Jeremiah Attaochu

The Rundown

The Jets were expected to address their need for an edge rusher in the offseason, but they came up short on some attempted big-money deals. In the end, they re-signed Brandon Copeland and drafted Jachai Polite, but otherwise didn't make the big splash they were expected to.

Tags: Brandon Copeland, Jachai Polite, Jordan Jenkins
Read More
Comments

Apr 25, 2019; Nashville, TN, USA; Quinnen Williams (Alabama) is selected as the number three overall pick to the New York Jets in the first round of the 2019 NFL Draft in Downtown Nashville. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports (Christopher Hanewinckel)
Apr 25, 2019; Nashville, TN, USA; Quinnen Williams (Alabama) is selected as the number three overall pick to the New York Jets in the first round of the 2019 NFL Draft in Downtown Nashville. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports (Christopher Hanewinckel)

When the Jets' rookies report to camp on Friday, Quinnen Williams is not expected to be among them, reports SNY's Ralph Vacchiano. But an NFL source added that the two sides are "hopeful" Williams' rookie contract will be done in time to report with the full team next week.

Williams, the Jets' first round pick (3rd overall), is one of just five 2019 first-round picks who have not yet signed their contracts. The exact issue with Williams' deal isn't clear, but rookie deals are usually held up due to "offset language" or the payment schedule for his signing bonus.

Whenever the 21-year-old signs he'll get a fully guaranteed, four-year contract worth $32.6 million, with a signing bonus of $21.5 million.

Read More
Comments

Dec 15, 2018; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets wide receiver Robby Anderson (11) celebrates his touchdown against the Houston Texans during the second quarter at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Dec 15, 2018; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets wide receiver Robby Anderson (11) celebrates his touchdown against the Houston Texans during the second quarter at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

Bent, theJetsBlog.com Follow on Twitter

The Jets aren't considered as having one of the top wide receiver units around the league, but have some promising top-end talent. However, there are roles available further down the depth chart …


Projected Starters: Robby Anderson, Quincy Enunwa, Jamison Crowder
Projected Backups: Deontay Burnett, Josh Bellamy, Charone Peake
On the Bubble: Greg Dortch, Quadree Henderson, Jeff Smith, Deonte Thompson, JJ Jones, Tim White
Departures: Andre Roberts, Jermaine Kearse, Rishard Matthews, Terrelle Pryor

The Rundown

The Jets will be hoping that each of their top three receivers plays a big role in 2019, as they seek to build their offense around quarterback Sam Darnold. While none of them have had a thousand-yard season before, each of their top three receivers has been close to that level of production.

Tags: Quincy Enunwa, Robby Anderson, Sam Darnold
Read More
Comments

New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold, left, hands off to running back Le'Veon Bell while running a drill at the team's NFL football training facility in Florham Park, N.J., Tuesday, June 4, 2019. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez) (Julio Cortez/AP)
New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold, left, hands off to running back Le'Veon Bell while running a drill at the team's NFL football training facility in Florham Park, N.J., Tuesday, June 4, 2019. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez) (Julio Cortez/AP)

Jets running back Le'Veon Bell was a workhorse for the Pittsburgh Steelers, but that won't be the case for the Jets. Not right away, at least, says head coach Adam Gase

Bell, 27, signed a big four-year, $52.2 million deal with the Jets with $35 million guaranteed this offseason. Money like that, the second-most to any running back in the NFL per Spotrac, indicates the Jets should have big plans for Bell, but he's not going to be tossed right into the fire. 

According to Gase, the Jets will ease Bell into his touches after the rusher didn't play in 2018 because of his contract dispute with the Steelers. 

Tags: Le'Veon Bell
Read More
Comments

 (Seth Wenig)
(Seth Wenig)

The Jets made Quinnen Williams the third-overall pick at the 2019 NFL draft and his odds at earning the league's Defensive Rookie of the Year Award are nearly the same. 

According to BetOnline.ag, Williams has 17/2 odds at landing the honor, which are the fourth-best odds among defensive rookies. 

Of those with better odds than Williams, two were selected after him. Tampa Bay Buccaneers linebacker Devin White, the fifth-overall pick, and Jacksonville Jaguars pass rusher Josh Allen, the seventh-overall pick, landed 8/1 and 7/1 odds, respectively. San Francisco 49ers defensive end Nick Bosa, who was the lone defender picked ahead Williams at pick No. 2, has the best odds for the award at 5/1.

Tags: Jachai Polite, Quinnen Williams
Read More
Comments

Dec 9, 2018; Orchard Park, NY, USA; New York Jets cornerback Trumaine Johnson (22) reacts to his interception against the Buffalo Bills during the fourth quarter at New Era Field. Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports (Rich Barnes)
Dec 9, 2018; Orchard Park, NY, USA; New York Jets cornerback Trumaine Johnson (22) reacts to his interception against the Buffalo Bills during the fourth quarter at New Era Field. Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports (Rich Barnes)

Bent, theJetsBlog.com Follow on Twitter

There is widespread concern that the cornerback position could be a weakness for the Jets in the upcoming season. With roles available, could someone unexpected step up and become a key contributor?


Projected Starters: Trumaine Johnson, Darryl Roberts, Brian Poole (slot/nickel)

Projected Backups: Derrick Jones, Parry Nickerson, Blessuan Austin

On the Bubble: Arthur Maulet, Tevaughn Campbell, Mark Myers, Kyron Brown

Departures: Morris Claiborne, Buster Skrine, Rashard Robinson

The Rundown

Tags: Buster Skrine, Morris Claiborne, Trumaine Johnson
Read More
Comments

Williamson tries to make sushi 00:02:59
Jeane Coakley joined Avery Williamson as he tried to learn the art of sushi making. He then got to enjoy a boatload of sushi, literally.

If the whole football thing doesn't work out for Jets LB Avery Williamson, I think he might have found an alternative. 

SNY's Jeane Coakley was on hand with Williamson at a sushi restaurant in the city to see how well he would do as a sushi chef. 

After making his own rolls, Williamson was very pleased with the result. And, of course, he's liking how the offseason has gone thus far with the Jets...

Tags: Avery Williamson
Read More
Comments

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

In the last six months, the Jets have finished off their third straight season of double-digit losses, their eighth straight season of missing the playoffs, and they've fired their head coach and general manager. No wonder so many believe that things couldn't possibly get any worse.

Of course, that's not the defeatist attitude around One Jets Drive these days. Inside their building, they believe things are about to get much, much better. They have added many talented reinforcements, a high-energy coach, and a GM who seems ready to pull them in the right direction.

Will it all work out for this star-crossed franchise? It's not too early to guess. So here are five bold predictions for what to expect from the Jets this year:

Tags: Jamal Adams, Leonard Williams, Le'Veon Bell, Quincy Enunwa, Sam Darnold, Ralph Vacchiano
Read More
Comments

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)

Each year, football fans anxiously await the new Madden NFL game to hit the shelves. But their player ratings generate even more buzz. 

Well, EA Sports has released their initial rankings for each team, and Jets fans may not like where their team has ended up. 

At the moment, the Jets are a 78 overall with an 73 offense and 80 defense, which is good for the sixth-worst team in the game. The Dolphins, an AFC East rival, are the game's worst team at 72 overall, while the Bills are third-worst at 78 overall. The Super Bowl defending-champion Patriots are an overall 87. 

Tags: Jamal Adams, Leonard Williams, Le'Veon Bell, Sam Darnold, Trumaine Johnson
Read More
Comments

Chris Herndon (89) Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Chris Herndon (89) Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

Bent, theJetsBlog.com Follow on Twitter

Last week, the Jets announced that tight end Chris Herndon would be suspended for the first four games of the 2019 regular season. This will obviously be a blow for the team, as they look to establish their new-look offense under Adam Gase. Herndon caught 39 passes last year to lead all rookie tight ends, including 32 over the last 10 games.

However, if the Jets intend to make a move to improve their tight end depth and give themselves further cover at the position, the options are somewhat unappealing.

Last month, even before the Herndon suspension was announced, Bucky Brooks wrote on NFL.com that the Jets should consider trading for veteran Jimmy Graham. However, adding a veteran who is past his prime and still on a high salary would be an overreaction at this point, especially if they had to give up anything of value to acquire him from the Packers.

Tags: Austin Seferian-Jenkins, Chris Herndon, Eric Tomlinson
Read More
Comments

 (Seth Wenig)
(Seth Wenig)

Jamal Adams and Marcus Maye built a strong chemistry when the two were rookies in 2017. Last season injuries prevented the duo from building on that start to their careers. 

Due to a slew of injuries, including shoulder and thumb issues, Maye was held to only six games played in 2018. Adams wasn't shaken by injuries. His season went in the opposite direction as he landed his first Pro Bowl nod. 

However, Adams recognizes the success of the Jets' secondary takes more than just him and he recently told the team's website that he's excited to have Maye back healthy and ready to go for this year's training camp. 

Tags: Jamal Adams, Marcus Maye
Read More
Comments

Nov 12, 2018; Santa Clara, CA, USA; New York Giants receiver Quadree Henderson (15) during the game against the San Francisco 49ers at Levi's Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports (Kirby Lee)
Nov 12, 2018; Santa Clara, CA, USA; New York Giants receiver Quadree Henderson (15) during the game against the San Francisco 49ers at Levi's Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports (Kirby Lee)

Bent, theJetsBlog.com Follow on Twitter

The Jets' 2019 roster is already starting to take shape but finding unexpected contributions and building depth from unlikely sources is something that could really help them progress to the next level.

Let's highlight 10 players that haven't received much attention during the offseason, each of whom has a chance to end up on the final roster.

WR Quadree Henderson

Tags: Brandon Copeland, Brent Qvale, Charone Peake, Darron Lee
Read More
Comments

Oct 14, 2018; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets tight end Chris Herndon (89) catches a pass over Indianapolis Colts cornerback Chris Milton (28) during the first half at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports (Vincent Carchietta)
Oct 14, 2018; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets tight end Chris Herndon (89) catches a pass over Indianapolis Colts cornerback Chris Milton (28) during the first half at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports (Vincent Carchietta)

Jets tight end Chris Herndon has been suspended without pay for the first four games of the 2019 season for violating the NFL's substance abuse policy, the team announced on Friday. 

Herndon, 23, pleaded guilty to a DUI that occurred in June 2018 back in January. 

He received a 90-day driver's license suspension and was fined $639 in municipal court while the NFL continued to investigate. A first-time offender is typically given a two-game suspension, per the league's alcohol policy, but the commissioner can impose additional discipline for aggravating circumstances. 

Tags: Chris Herndon
Read More
Comments

Dec 24, 2017; East Rutherford, NJ; General overall view of MetLife Stadium during an NFL football game between the Los Angeles Chargers and the New YorK Jets. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports (Kirby Lee)
Dec 24, 2017; East Rutherford, NJ; General overall view of MetLife Stadium during an NFL football game between the Los Angeles Chargers and the New YorK Jets. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports (Kirby Lee)

The NFL is starting to get creative in its continued pursuit for an 18-game schedule. 

According to Andrew Beaton of the Wall Street Journal, one idea being proposed among owners is to limit players to a maximum of 16 regular season games. That would mean, by rule, the Giants and Jets would have to pick at least two games for players like Saquon Barkley and Sam Darnold to sit out. 

The NFLPA has pushed back against an 18-game schedule, largely because the toll an extra two games would place on the players' bodies would be too much to handle on top of an already grueling 16-game schedule. Giants long snapper and NFLPA vice president Zak DeOssie voiced these concerns back in June. 

Tags: Sam Darnold, Saquon Barkley, Zak DeOssie
Read More
Comments

Avery Williamson stops by SNY 00:03:39
Avery Williamson joins Jeane Coakley for a day at SNY. Williamson tries his hand at broadcasting and gets a behind-the-scenes look at SNY.

Avery Williamson's tenure with the Jets got off to a solid start in 2018, but could a career in sports broadcasting be in his future?

The Jets linebacker recently stopped by the SNY Studios and learned all the ins and outs of the business. Watch as he goes over his shot sheets, stops by the makeup room, and makes his way to the SNY desk.

Tags: Avery Williamson
Read More
Comments

A general view of a New York Jets helmet and an NFL football during the game between the Buffalo Bills and the New York Jets at Ralph Wilson Stadium. (Kevin Hoffman)
A general view of a New York Jets helmet and an NFL football during the game between the Buffalo Bills and the New York Jets at Ralph Wilson Stadium. (Kevin Hoffman)

Walt Michaels, former head coach of the New York Jets, died on Wednesday, his daughter told the Wilkes Barre Times-Leader. He was 89.

Michaels spent six seasons with the Jets as the bench boss, racking up a 39-47-1 overall.

His playing cabegan in 1951 as a seventh-round pick by the Cleveland Browns, but was traded to the Green Bay Packers before his rookie season where he played one season. From 1952-1961, he returned to the Browns where he played linebacker. Michaels was a five-time Pro Bowler.

Read More
Comments

Dec 30, 2018; Foxborough, MA, USA; New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady (12) and New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold (14) congratulate each other after New England's win at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports (Winslow Townson)
Dec 30, 2018; Foxborough, MA, USA; New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady (12) and New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold (14) congratulate each other after New England's win at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports (Winslow Townson)

Bent, theJetsBlog.com Follow on Twitter

With training camp just a couple of weeks away, it's a good time to take stock of the rest of the AFC East. Let's review some of the big storylines for each of the Jets' rivals, and assess where they should stand in the Power Rankings...

1. New England Patriots - 2018 record: 11-5

Ordinarily, you'd expect any team to struggle to overcome the loss of key contributors like Trey Flowers, Rob Gronkowski and Trent Brown, among others. However, the Patriots have traditionally had no problems integrating replacements for their departing stars.

Tags: Le'Veon Bell, Robby Anderson, Sam Darnold
Read More
Comments

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)

Both of New York's football teams have potential MVP candidates in their backfield, according to Bovada. Only one of the two have a player under center that was given odds, though.

Odds Shark released Bovada's latest odds for the NFL's 2019 MVP Award and both Jets running back Le'Veon Bell and Giants running back Saquon Barkley were listed by the odds makers. Both landed with +5000 odds to take home the top-individual silverware next season.

The only rusher with higher odds to land the honor was Alvin Kamara from the New Orleans Saints.

Tags: Le'Veon Bell, Sam Darnold
Read More
Comments

Dec 15, 2018; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold (14) reacts after a touchdown by New York Jets running back Elijah McGuire (not pictured) during the fourth quarter against the Houston Texans 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) reacts after a touchdown by New York Jets running back Elijah McGuire (not pictured) during the fourth quarter against the Houston Texans at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

There's a new general manager (Joe Douglas), a new head coach (Adam Gase), a new star (Le'Veon Bell), and a new attitude (Gregg Williams and many others). All of that has the Jets thinking this is going to be a great season.

But the "old" quarterback -- 22-year-old Sam Darnold -- is still the biggest reason for hope of all.

The Jets may not be ready to say it publicly, but internally they are thinking playoffs. In fact, they're expecting their first playoff berth since 2010. They may not be ready to win the AFC East, but they feel there's no reason why they can't emerge as an AFC contender.

Tags: Jamal Adams, Leonard Williams, Le'Veon Bell, Quincy Enunwa, Sam Darnold, Ralph Vacchiano
Read More
Comments

New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold is pressured by Houston Texans defensive end J.J. Watt during the first half at MetLife Stadium. (Kirby Lee/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold is pressured by Houston Texans defensive end J.J. Watt during the first half at MetLife Stadium. (Kirby Lee/USA TODAY Sports)

Of all the new coaches that could help Sam Darnold in his second NFL season, it's Jets defensive coordinator Gregg Williams who could have the biggest impact on the quarterback.

Williams has a reputation for being intense and bringing that competitive energy into practices, which is one of the reasons why head coach Adam Gase hired him. 

That intensity, coupled with the different schemes and looks he will deploy in the defense in practice, is something should benefit Darnold, according to offensive coordinator Dowell Loggains. 

 

Tags: Sam Darnold
Read More
Comments

Dec 28, 2018; San Antonio, TX, United States; Washington State Cougars safety Jalen Thompson (34) celebrates with teammates after an interception against the Iowa State Cyclones during the first half in the 2018 Alamo Bowl at Alamodome. Mandatory Credit: Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports (Soobum Im)
Dec 28, 2018; San Antonio, TX, United States; Washington State Cougars safety Jalen Thompson (34) celebrates with teammates after an interception against the Iowa State Cyclones during the first half in the 2018 Alamo Bowl at Alamodome. Mandatory Credit: Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports (Soobum Im)

Bent, theJetsBlog.com Follow on Twitter

The NFL's supplemental draft takes place on July 10th, with the potential for multiple selections for the second year in a row. Could any of the available players interest the Jets, though?

New general manager Joe Douglas has already stated his intent to investigate any and all options to upgrade the roster he inherited from his predecessor, Mike Maccagnan. With the option to forego a 2020 draft pick to add a draftable prospect at this late stage of the offseason, he might be tempted to pull the trigger.

When Douglas and new director of player personnel Chad Alexander were both on the Ravens staff, they opted to use a fifth-round pick on tackle Jared Gaither in 2007. This proved to be a nice pick-up as he started 28 games in his first three years. New assistant general manager Rex Hogan was also on a Bears team that used a seventh-round pick on fullback Harvey Unga in the 2010 supplemental draft. This pick was less successful, though.

Read More
Comments

 (Robert Deutsch)
(Robert Deutsch)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

For the second straight offseason, the Jets went on a huge spending spree, and this time it looks like they spent their money more wisely. They brought in stars and players who can truly make a difference.

At least that's what they believe.

Tags: Jamal Adams, Leonard Williams, Le'Veon Bell, Quincy Enunwa, Sam Darnold, Trumaine Johnson, Ralph Vacchiano
Read More
Comments

 (Geoff Burke)
(Geoff Burke)

Bent, theJetsBlog.com Follow on Twitter

The Jets franchise has been blessed with consistency at the center position throughout most of its history. From the Super Bowl-winning John Schmitt to two-time Pro Bowler Joe Fields, the reliable Jim Sweeney, Hall of Fame nominee Kevin Mawae and all-pro Nick Mangold, the Jets have rarely had an extended period without a solid long-term solution at the position.

However, since Mangold's retirement, the Jets have been unable to adequately fill the position. While there seems to be plenty of optimism that Jonotthan Harrison could fill that role, fans and media remain skeptical.

Tags: Le'Veon Bell, Sam Darnold
Read More
Comments

Apr 25, 2019; Nashville, TN, USA; Quinnen Williams (Alabama) is selected as the number three overall pick to the New York Jets in the first round of the 2019 NFL Draft in Downtown Nashville. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports (Christopher Hanewinckel)
Apr 25, 2019; Nashville, TN, USA; Quinnen Williams (Alabama) is selected as the number three overall pick to the New York Jets in the first round of the 2019 NFL Draft in Downtown Nashville. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports (Christopher Hanewinckel)

The New York Jets selected defensive tackle Quinnen Williams with the third-overall pick at the 2019 NFL draft and despite that, some believed he was the top prospect.

The latest addition to that group is EA Sports, as the producers of the upcoming video game, Madden 20, gave the Alabama product the best ranking of any rookie in the game.

Williams' overall rating in Madden 20 is an 80. He edges out the Bills' first-round pick, another defensive tackle in Ed Oliver, and the second-overall pick, pass rusher Nick Bosa. Those two were rated 79 and 78 overall, respectively.

Tags: Quinnen Williams
Read More
Comments

Three titles, one year, one city 00:01:01
SNY's documentary on the magical year of 1969 in New York for the Mets, Jets, and Knicks premieres tonight after Mets Post Game!

SNY's documentary on the magical year of 1969 in New York for the Mets, Jets, and Knicks premieres tonight after Mets Post Game!

Read More
Comments

Dec 30, 2018; Baltimore, MD, USA; Baltimore Ravens inside linebacker C.J. Mosley (57) reacts after sacking Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield (not pictured) during the second half at M&T Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports (Tommy Gilligan)
Dec 30, 2018; Baltimore, MD, USA; Baltimore Ravens inside linebacker C.J. Mosley (57) reacts after sacking Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield (not pictured) during the second half at M&T Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports (Tommy Gilligan)

The New York Jets' new defensive star, C.J. Mosley, knows a thing or two about what makes a winning pedigree. The former Baltimore Raven made the playoffs twice with his old team and learned how to lead a defense from Ray Lewis and Terrell Suggs. He has already assumed a role as a vocal leader and a "culture changer" for the Jets' defense.

There's no doubt that Mosley's teammates will listen when he speaks up. That said, Mosley's latest bulletin-board statement is sure to get Gang Green's collective blood pumping.

"We know the whole NFL is sleeping on the Jets, so we're ready to prove them wrong," Mosley told NewYorkJets.com. "They always have been [doubting the team], even I was when I wasn't here."

Tags: CJ Mosley
Read More
Comments

New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold unsnaps his helmet as he heads to the bench during the second half against the New England Patriots at Gillette Stadium. (Winslow Townson/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold unsnaps his helmet as he heads to the bench during the second half against the New England Patriots at Gillette Stadium. (Winslow Townson/USA TODAY Sports)

After the Jets spent big money this summer, making splashes with the additions of Le'Veon Bell, C.J. Mosley, Jamison Crowder and Quinnen Williams, there has been a renewed buzz around Florham Park.

Meanwhile, their stadium-mates, the Giants, continued their roster revamp in controversial fashion - they said goodbye to stars Odell Beckham Jr. and Landon Collins, drafted a quarterback sixth overall and turned the keys over to an extremely young defense.

While the Giants are still rebuilding, the Jets are going all-in with a young quarterback, a budding defense and a new coach.

Tags: Eli Manning, Landon Collins, Le'Veon Bell, Marcus Maye, Odell Beckham Jr., Saquon Barkley, Sterling Shepard
Read More
Comments

New England Patriots wide receiver Julian Edelman scores a touchdown against New York Jets cornerback Morris Claiborne during the third quarter at MetLife Stadium. (Brad Penner/USA TODAY Sports)
New England Patriots wide receiver Julian Edelman scores a touchdown against New York Jets cornerback Morris Claiborne during the third quarter at MetLife Stadium. (Brad Penner/USA TODAY Sports)

The Jets have not beaten the New England Patriots since Week 16 of the 2015 season, but this year could be different.

Just ask Patriots wide receiver Julian Edelman. 

The Super Bowl LIII MVP has noticed what the Jets have done this offseason and expects Gang Green to be a challenge for the defending Super Bowl champions this upcoming season. 

Tags: Jamal Adams, Le'Veon Bell, New England Patriots, Sam Darnold
Read More
Comments

Oct 14, 2018; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets former quarterback Joe Namath Before the National Football League game between the New York Jets and 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 former quarterback Joe Namath Before the National Football League game between the New York Jets and the Indianapolis Colts at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports (Vincent Carchietta)

Joe Namath says there is no doubt about it, Tom Brady is the best quarterback to play the game. 

The Jets legend and Hall of Fame quarterback was asked about the greatest of all time at the position while on The Howard Stern Show on Monday, and while Namath has idolized many quarterbacks, none compare to the six-time Super Bowl champion who has tortured the Jets the last two decades. 

"Tom is the best," Namath said. "I've been asked that question for many years -- Johnny [Unitas] was my hero, Otto Graham was great, Slingin' Sammy Baugh, I go back, these guys are great. But meantime, Tom has been challened more in recent history, certainly with huge games than anybody I can recollect -- and he stepped up every time."

Tags: Le'Veon Bell
Read More
Comments

New York Jets quarterbacks Sam Darnold and Josh McCown watch second half of play against the New York Giants at MetLife Stadium. (Noah K. Murray/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Jets quarterbacks Sam Darnold and Josh McCown watch second half of play against the New York Giants at MetLife Stadium. (Noah K. Murray/USA TODAY Sports)

Josh McCown was a mentor to Sam Darnold in the Jets quarterback's rookie year. 

And even though he won't be around Darnold in his second year with New York after announcing his retirement and transition to ESPN NFL analyst, he is confident Darnold will show vast improvement in 2019.

"I tried to empty the clip with him and give him everything I could," McCown told ESPN's Rich Cimini. "He'll be just fine."

Tags: Josh McCown, Sam Darnold
Read More
Comments