Earlier this week, the Jets signed offensive lineman Erik Cook to their active roster. Jets fans might not know too much about Cook, so I’ve been looking at game footage in detail to investigate what he could bring to the table.

Cook was a seventh-round draft pick in 2010 and made his NFL debut in 2011, starting two games at center in place of an injured Kory Lichtensteiger. He was still with the Redskins in preseason last year, but was released on cut-down day and didn't play for anyone during the regular season. With the recent injury to Dalton Freeman, the Jets need depth at the center position. Unlike Mossis Madu, Cook is practice squad eligible.

After the jump, I look in detail at footage from last preseason and from 2011 to evaluate some of his strengths and weaknesses.

Who is Erik Cook?

The 26-year old Cook is the younger brother of former second round pick Ryan Cook, who started 11 games last year for the Dallas Cowboys at guard. The younger Cook followed in his brother's footsteps by going to college at New Mexico and was drafted in the seventh round in 2010.

He spent the majority of the 2010 season on the Redskins' practice squad after failing to make the 53-man roster, but was added to the active roster late in the season (although he was not activated for any games). In 2011, he made the active roster and was active for six games. He played 55 of 60 snaps in his NFL debut in week seven, following an early injury to left guard Kory Lichtensteiger (although the Redskins opted to use Cook at center and move center Will Montgomery to left guard), then started the next two games. He featured in one other game on offense that season, for just one snap.

Cook is listed at 308 pounds, but was reportedly 320 pounds while at Washington and weighed in at 318 when he attended the combine. He's also 6-6 which is considered pretty tall for a center, although he's actually only an inch or two taller than most of the top centers in the league.

2011 Regular Season

Week 6 – Eagles

Called into action without any real preparation time, Cook acquitted himself reasonably well here, although he was driven into the backfield twice on two runs that were blown up. There was also a play where he held up initially in pass protection, but then let his man get off the block and pressure the quarterback late. That play ended up being an interception. Confusion at the line also led him to get called for two false starts.

Week 7 – Panthers

In his first NFL start, Cook did pretty well early on. He made a good block on the move to the right on a run that went for seven and then on the next play, walled off a run blitzer up the middle so that the runner could make seven more on the left side. Later on he made a good block moving to his left to pick up a linebacker at the point of attack and spring the runner to the second level for 17. As the game went on, he wore down and started to have more negative plays. As in his debut, he allowed penetration a couple of times and there was a second level block he failed to make because he didn't get there in time. He was also responsible for a sack, as the Panthers fooled him by bringing a linebacker up to his shoulder and getting him to shoot the A-gap as the nose tackle dropped back. On balance this was his best game though.

Week 8 – Bills

To his credit, Cook didn't have any negative plays against the run in this game, managing to prevent penetration. However, he struggled in pass protection, giving up four pressures. Two of these saw him driven back into the quarterback, one saw the pocket collapse as the defense ran a twist stunt and the other saw him lose leverage immediately at the snap, so the pass rusher was able to force his way into the quarterback. Two of these plays ended up as sacks for other players.

Week 15 – Giants

The only other game in which Cook featured was this one, as Cook came in for one play, at left guard and the Redskins got stuffed for no gain on third and short (although Cook wasn't at fault).

2012 Preseason

It's interesting to look at the footage from last preseason to see whether Cook made any progress. Despite being the number two center throughout preseason, he didn't make the team, although that's likely because Lichtensteiger can play center in a pinch and they opted to keep third round guard Josh LeRibeus instead because of his greater upside.

Week 1 – Bills

Cook entered the game in the first quarter and played until well into the fourth quarter. He started well, driving his man out of the play on the move, so that the runner could cut upfield behind him. He also did quite well in pass protection, although he was mostly double-teaming with a guard and twice a pass rusher was able to split the double team between him and the right guard to generate pressure. Some of his old problems resurfaced here, as he was driven into the backfield a couple of times and allowed penetration on a play where he ended up getting called for a hold. He also struggled at the second level, missing a couple of blocks and then tripping as he was in position to make a clean second level block, after which he punched the turf in frustration. It seemed like they were asking him to carry out more difficult assignments than they did when he was filling in during the 2011 season, for obvious reasons.

Week 2 – Bears

In this game, Cook entered at the start of the second half and played until deep in the fourth quarter. Again, he saw himself driven into the backfield, on consecutive plays, but this time he was able to do enough to keep the lineman from disrupting the play as the first one went for eight and the next one picked up the first down. Signs of improvement there, perhaps. He also was starting to look increasing comfortable in pass protection. Still mostly double teaming, he was holding his ground a lot better when one-on-one. They also converted a fourth down on a quarerback sneak behind him. One negative was a botched exchange between him and Rex Grossman, which led to a false start being charged to Grossman.

Week 3 – Colts

In this game, he entered the game halfway through the third quarter and played the rest of the game. He had one impressive reach block where he was able to turn his man back to the inside, although the run only gained a couple of yards. There was also another play like in the last game where the action went to the right and he was able to drive his man out of the play to create a cutback lane. On another block on the move, he failed to sustain the block and his man got in on the tackle. However, there were signs that he was making adjustments and improvements, as he was initially driven into the backfield but worked hard to recover and hold his ground and was bullrushed into the quarterback, but was able to anchor himself just long enough to enable a long throw to be completed down the field.

Week 4 – Bucs

With many starters rested, Cook started this game and played into the fourth quarter. He had an interesting battle with Frank Okam, who didn't make the Bucs team but is an established NFL player who has started a total of six games in 2010 and 2011. There was some good and bad in this game from Cook, who made some good surging blocks at the point of attack and did have some success at the second level, as well as a good block where he turned his man to the outside. These were things we hadn't seen much of from him in the previous games. He did allow some penetration, but only once did his man blow up a run. There were also a couple of plays where he allowed his man to get off his block at the second level. He mostly did a good job in pass protection although he allowed his man to eventually get off his block for a late pressure and there was one play where three men rushed into the backfield with only one back to pick them up, while Cook was double-teaming with the other guard, so someone screwed up the protection there.

Bonus: There are links to two touchdowns scored by the Redskins with Cook at center here and here. Neither depended particularly on his block, but you get a good sense of how he was initially getting half beaten but then recovering with his strength to just about do enough to prevent his man from completely blowing up the play.

Observations

Based on all the footage I watched, here was my take on what Cook brings to the table, divided into categories:

Usage - Cook can play guard, but the Redskins felt he was better at center, which is why they moved Montgomery when Lichtensteiger went down. As noted, he played one snap at guard in 2011, but otherwise has just played center.

Athletic Ability - Cook's athletic numbers are not very impressive and he doesn't look like a natural athlete out there, but he can apparently dunk a basketball two-handed, which is no mean feat for a 320-pounder, even if they are 6-6. I'd say his agility and balance lets him down more than a lack of athleticism. He often ended up on the floor.

Run Blocking - I managed to last until now without mentioning pad level, which was the first thing that entered my head when the Jets signed a 6-6 lineman. Sure enough, Cook himself recognizes the importance of being able to gain the leverage advantage:

“I know I have to be low,” he said (in the WaPo article linked above). “The D-linemen and the nose guards I’ll be going up against, they definitely have an advantage of getting under me.”

This was never more apparent than in the last game, where he clearly lost the initial leverage advantage, but tried to regain it by lowering his head, but his man anticipated that and was able to peel off his block to get in on the tackle. So, this is an area where he knows he must improve (and has presumably spent the last year working on).

A common theme was Cook getting driven back into the backfield and allowing penetration. (Interesting side note: You may recall from my Willie Colon BGA that the main thing to have impressed me about his play at guard was that he hardly ever allowed any penetration - in a much, much bigger sample size). If he can improve his pad level and technique, then that will remove most of the negatives from his game. While he likely graded out negatively as a run blocker in virtually all of the games I watched, there were some impressive positive blocks too, so he has the potential to be a good run blocker if he can improve his consistency.

Pass Protection - Cook definitely looked more comfortable in the 2012 preseason games than he did in regular season action. However, it's difficult to know how much of that is attributable to the fact he's not facing starters. He doesn't really look comfortable at all when back-pedaling and can probably make some improvements to his technique there that will help him. His instincts were generally pretty good when operating as the spare man versus a conventional four-man rush and he fared better against the bullrush as time went on.

Attitude - Other than when he punched the turf in frustration, there wasn't too much in the way of demonstrative behavior from Cook, although he did display a nasty streak when he aggressively threw a guy on the floor at the end of a play. Here is a really nice article, well worth reading, that gives some insight into his character.

Scheme familiarity - The Redskins operate a zone blocking system, so he should be well-versed in the stretch/zone running plays expected to be a staple of this year's offense. They also installed the pistol last year, so he might have the leg-up on some of the team in that regard, if Bassett's sleuthing was correct and this is something the Jets will install.

Conclusions

Obviously Cook will be a long shot to make the roster, but it's nice to have someone in the fold with real NFL experience, especially with Freeman's prognosis not yet known. The Jets were using Stephen Peterman there at practice yesterday and I believe Colon can also play the position in a pinch, so the Jets have a plan in place in the event of a short-term Nick Mangold injury, but need to ensure they have more options than just Caleb Schlauderaff just in case someone is needed for more extended work.

In comparison with Colin Baxter, Cook was much better in the regular season games, so he's a step up in that regard. It's also useful to compare their preseason performance, since they'd both have been going against backups. Baxter didn't do a bad job overall, but was completely dominated by a couple of NFL-level players (notably DeMarcus Dobbs) so while Cook's consistency perhaps wasn't as good, he more capable of holding his own at the top level.

Cook did show promise at times, although it was readily apparent that he had plenty of room for improvement. I always like to see players making adjustments and improving at their area of weakness and the fact he was able to show signs of this gives some hope that he can continue to improve. While he struggled for the most part, his regular season experience is going to come in handy if he ends up on a roster and gets called into action again.

Tags: BGA, Bent Double

Stanford, CA, USA; UCLA Bruins quarterback Josh Rosen (3) (Sergio Estrada)
Stanford, CA, USA; UCLA Bruins quarterback Josh Rosen (3) (Sergio Estrada)

The Jets will reportedly take UCLA QB Josh Rosen over USC QB Sam Darnold if both of them are available at No. 3, reports Lance Zierlein of NFL.com.

In his Mini Mock Draft 5.0, SNY's Ralph Vacchiano has Rosen going to the Jets.

Darnold had been expected to go No. 1 to the Browns, but recent reports have the Browns instead taking Oklahoma QB Baker Mayfield.

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Nov 18, 2017; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Southern California Trojans quarterback Sam Darnold (right) and UCLA Bruins quarterback Josh Rosen (3) shake hands after their game at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports (Kelvin Kuo)
Nov 18, 2017; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Southern California Trojans quarterback Sam Darnold (right) and UCLA Bruins quarterback Josh Rosen (3) shake hands after their game at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports (Kelvin Kuo)

At least one of USC QB Sam Darnold, UCLA QB Josh Rosen, and Wyoming QB Josh Allen will be on the board when the Jets select at No. 3 overall at the NFL Draft on Thursday night.

All three quarterbacks spoke with SNY's Ralph Vacchiano about the potential of playing for the Jets, with Rosen playfully jawing back at Vacchiano.

Click below to see...

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Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

ARLINGTON, Tex. -- After months of rumors, reports and lies -- a lot of lies -- here is my final best guess about how the first 10 picks of the 2018 NFL draft are going to play out on Thursday night.

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Nov 2, 2017; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets general manager Mike Maccagnan on the sidelines before a game against the Buffalo Bills at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Nov 2, 2017; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets general manager Mike Maccagnan on the sidelines before a game against the Buffalo Bills at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive: ARLINGTON, Tex. -- The Jets have been searching for a franchise quarterback for nearly 50 years now. They've found a few candidates along the way, though none of them were great. And they've missed on many, many more.

Now Jets GM Mike Maccagnan has a chance to change all that when he makes the No. 3 overall pick in the NFL draft on Thursday night. When he made the bold and early move to trade up from 6 to 3, surrendering three second-round picks over the next two years to the Indianapolis Colts in the process, there was no doubt he had a Quarterback of the Future in mind.

But which one? Here's a look at how I expect the Jets' selection to play out...

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

There's a "mounting belief" among head coaches and general managers around the league that the Cleveland Browns will take Oklahoma QB Baker Mayfield with the No. 1 pick in the NFL Draft on Thursday night, reports Adam Schefter of ESPN.

A report Wednesday from Mary Kay Cabot of Cleveland.com indicated that the Browns could be deciding between Mayfield and Wyoming QB Josh Allen at No. 1.

The Browns had been linked most recently to USC QB Sam Darnold as their likely choice at No. 1, with Mayfield's name first thrown in the mix on Tuesday. Now, the Browns are reportedly "cooling" on Darnold...

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Nick Mangold talks career 00:04:53
After announcing his retirement, New York Jets great Nick Mangold sits down with SNY to talk about his career and future.

After announcing his retirement, New York Jets great Nick Mangold sits down with SNY to talk about his career and future.

Tags: Nick Mangold
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Darnold talks Giants and Jets 00:01:27
Sam Darnold talks about meeting Eli Manning, his visits with the Giants and Jets and advice he received from fellow Trojan Mark Sanchez.

USC QB Sam Darnold didn't get to meet with Eli Manning during his visit with the Giants, but got to see plenty of Jets during his visit with them.

"I saw him from a distance and he was working, so I didn't want to bother him," Darnold said about Manning. "We had a chance to meet at the Manning Camp, which was awesome."

Regarding the Jets, Darnold said he got to see a bunch of players he was familiar with.

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UCLA QB Josh Rosen (Mark J. Rebilas/USA TODAY Sports)
UCLA QB Josh Rosen (Mark J. Rebilas/USA TODAY Sports)

UCLA QB Josh Rosen, who is expected to be taken early in the first round during the NFL Draft on Thursday night, had fun with reporters who were asking him on Wednesday about the potential of being selected by the Jets at No. 3 or Giants at No. 2.

"You're trying to catch me," Rosen playfully told SNY's Ralph Vacchiano when asked about the media spotlight in New York.

Rosen also discussed his visits to the Jets and Giants. Hear his full comments below...

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Willie Colon picks Josh Rosen 00:01:03
SNY Jets Analyst Willie Colon thinks the Jets will select quarterback Josh Rosen with the third pick in the NFL Draft.

Former Jet and current SNY analyst Willie Colon thinks the Jets will tab UCLA QB Josh Rosen with the No. 3 pick in Thursday's NFL Draft in Dallas. 

"I think [GM Mike] Maccagnan is at the point where he's okay with a kid being an outward thinker -- that's the label, so to speak, with Rosen," Colon said Tuesday on The Jet Stream Podcast on SNY. "But I think he understands he's an extremely polished quarterback."

Along with Rosen, the Jets have been connected to Oklahoma QB Baker Mayfield, who SNY's Ralph Vacchiano and Peter Schrager of Fox Sports believes will be the Jets' pick. ...Click below to listen to the Jet Stream podcast with Colon, Schrager, and Jonas Schwartz...

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

Peter Schrager of Fox Sports would be "shocked" if the Jets pass on Baker Mayfield if he's available when they pick at No. 3 during Thursday's NFL Draft, he said during Tuesday's Jet Stream Podcast on SNY.

Schrager spoke of "glowing reports" he received from the dinner Mayfield had with team brass a few weeks ago, and thinks the Jets are all-in on Mayfield -- even if Sam Darnold is available at No. 3.

"Everything I've been listening to for the last two, three months has been that Baker Mayfield -- if he's on the board -- is going to be the pick for the Jets," Schrager said. "That might include Sam Darnold as well -- if Darnold somehow falls. I think that they have been in love with Mayfield for this entire time. I'd be shocked if they went with one of the other guys."

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Jonas Schwartz and Willie Colon are finally ready to see who the Jets select in this year's NFL Draft! Will it be Sam Darnold, Josh Rosen, Baker Mayfield, or Josh Allen? To get their answer, they welcome the NFL Network's Peter Schrager to the show for his take on each quarterback, and discuss why Rosen is the guy and why Mayfield is mostly definitely not.

Click below to listen

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Jets' third-round options 00:05:01
SNY NFL Insider Ralph Vacchiano and SNY NFL Draft Expert Rich Cirminiello discuss who the Jets will take in the third round of the draft.

The bulk of the attention has been on who the Jets will do with the No. 3 overall pick in Thursday night's NFL Draft.

It will be a quarterback. But which one? At least two of Sam Darnold, Baker Mayfield, Josh Allen, and Josh Rosen will be available when the Jets pick.

Lost in the shuffle a bit has been the fact that the Jets have a third round pick (72nd overall) as well. And SNY NFL Insider Ralph Vacchiano and SNY NFL Draft Expert Rich Cirminiello recently discussed who the Jets could take with that pick.

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Top QB prospect Baker Mayfield 00:01:01
Former Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield is expected to be taken as one of the top QB's in the 2018 NFL Draft.

What is NFL Draft week without some drama over the No. 1 pick?

With reports circulating Monday that Wyoming QB Josh Allen is no longer in consideration for the Browns' No. 1 pick, ESPN's Adam Schefter is now reporting that Oklahoma QB Baker Mayfield is "definitely" in the conversation. 

Schefter continues by saying the Browns may have their choice in mind for their first overall pick, and before that decision was made, Mayfield was a player in the mix.

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Nick Mangold retires from NFL 00:02:30
After spending eleven seasons with the Jets, Nick Mangold announces his retirement from the NFL.

Nick Mangold, who spent 11 seasons with the Jets, announced his retirement at the team's facility after signing a one-day contract on Tuesday. 

Tags: Nick Mangold
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GEICO SportsNite: Jets 00:01:07
Jets general manager Mike Maccagnan discusses the team's strategy for its No. 3 overall pick with the draft just a few days away.

New York Jets' Jamal Adams (33) and Los Angeles Chargers' Sean McGrath (84) fight for control of the ball during the second half of an NFL football game Sunday, Dec. 24, 2017, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Bill Kostroun) (Bill Kostroun/AP)
New York Jets' Jamal Adams (33) and Los Angeles Chargers' Sean McGrath (84) fight for control of the ball during the second half of an NFL football game Sunday, Dec. 24, 2017, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Bill Kostroun) (Bill Kostroun/AP)

Bent, theJetsBlog.com Follow on Twitter

The Jets own the third pick in this year's draft, their highest since 1996. How have they drafted in the first round over the past five years?

2017: Safety Jamal Adams, No. 6

It's too early to tell how Adams' career will pan out, but the signs so far have been promising. He started every game in his rookie year as the Jets' secondary definitely played better than it had in 2016. On the field, Adams had his ups and downs, but he showed flashes of brilliance in a versatile role. Off the field, he's played a big part in the ongoing culture change that has galvanized the team and has also been a useful tool in player recruitment.

Tags: Calvin Pryor, Damon Harrison, Darron Lee, Dee Milliner, Jamal Adams, Leonard Williams, Muhammad Wilkerson, Quinton Coples, Sheldon Richardson
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Nov 18, 2017; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Southern California Trojans quarterback Sam Darnold (right) and UCLA Bruins quarterback Josh Rosen (3) shake hands after their game at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports (Kelvin Kuo)
Nov 18, 2017; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Southern California Trojans quarterback Sam Darnold (right) and UCLA Bruins quarterback Josh Rosen (3) shake hands after their game at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports (Kelvin Kuo)

It will be an absolute stunner if the Jets don't take a quarterback after trading up to No. 3 in the NFL Draft, which takes place on Thursday night in Dallas.

So, who will it be?

At least two out of the group of Baker Mayfield, Sam Darnold, Josh Rosen, and Josh Allen will be available for the Jets. 

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Wyoming quarterback Josh Allen runs a drill at the NFL football scouting combine in Indianapolis, Saturday, March 3, 2018. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy) (Michael Conroy/AP)
Wyoming quarterback Josh Allen runs a drill at the NFL football scouting combine in Indianapolis, Saturday, March 3, 2018. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy) (Michael Conroy/AP)

The Browns' choices for their No. 1 pick seem to have come down to two choices just three days away from the NFL Draft: Sam Darnold or Josh Allen?

Yes, there is always the prospect of the Browns going with RB Saquon Barkley with their first overall selection, knowing they have the No. 4 pick later on. However, experts including SI's Peter King see Cleveland getting their quarterback first before addressing anywhere else. 

Recently, rumblings about Allen going No. 1 have gained some steam. But King's most trusted source says Allen is too much of a risk, and the Browns don't want to get another quarterback pick wrong.

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 (Kevin Jairaj)
(Kevin Jairaj)

Broadway Joe loves Broadway Baker. Or at least that's what could be Baker Mayfield's nickname if the Jets were to select him with their No. 3 overall pick. 

Hall of Famer and former Jets QB Joe Namath loves what he has seen from Mayfield over the years of watching him play. He recently watched the Georgia-Oklahoma College Football Playoff matchup at the Rose Bowl on New Year's Eve, and after his daughter asked if he had seen anything like the back-and-forth bout, he responded saying he wouldn't want to be going up against Mayfield...


Everything you need to know about the Jets and No. 3 >> Read more

Vacc's Mini Mock Draft has Jets tabbing Mayfield >> Read more

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 (Dennis Wierzbicki)
(Dennis Wierzbicki)

The Jets have not stopped looking for help on their defensive line as they hosted numerous free-agent linemen on Monday. 

Former Bears DT Lamarr Houston and former Patriots DT Chris Jones were among those looking to impress the Jets. Houston split time with the Bears and Texans last season, totaling five sacks over 10 games. A former second-round pick by the Raiders back in 2010, Houston is entering his ninth season in the NFL this year. 

Jones played for the division-rival Patriots in 2013 and 2014, where he finished with nine sacks and 79 tackles over 28 career games. He most recently played for the 49ers in 2016, where he had 17 tackles over six games. He did not play for an NFL squad in 2017. 

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

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

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

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

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

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

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

No pressure, right?

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

Bent, theJetsBlog.com Follow on Twitter

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

Parry Nickerson, CB, Tulane

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

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

Click below to listen

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 (Tim Fuller)
(Tim Fuller)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

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

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

Tags: Damon Harrison, Leonard Williams, Muhammad Wilkerson, Sheldon Richardson, Steve McLendon, Ralph Vacchiano
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