Earlier this week, the Jets signed free agent running back Kahlil Bell. Jets fans might not know too much about Bell, so I’ve been looking at game footage in detail to investigate what he could bring to the table.

Bell spent his first three years in the NFL with the Bears before being waived in August. Chicago re-signed him temporarily early in the season but didn't make much of an impact and was released four weeks later. He hasn't played for any other NFL teams, although he did attend Vikings camp as a rookie. With both Bilal Powell and Joe McKnight injured and recent practice squad addition John Griffin presumably still familiarizing himself with the playbook, the Jets needed a healthy tailback to back up Shonn Greene.

After the jump, I look in detail at footage from Bell's time in the league to evaluate some of his strengths and weaknesses.

Who is Kahlil Bell?

Bell had a pretty good college career at UCLA and was at one time projected to be a future mid-round pick, but a torn ACL in 2007 took its toll and he went undrafted in 2009 having run just a 4.74 forty at the combine and failing to improve on that at his Pro Day.

After failing to make the Vikings roster, Bell got a spot on the Bears practice squad in his rookie year and was activated late in the season following an injury to Garrett Wolfe. His impact was immediate, as he rushed for an NFL record 72-yard gain on his first NFL carry. That play, which can be seen here gives an indication of his burst, but also perhaps a lack of breakaway speed in the open field. Bell would finish the season with 220 yards at an average of 5.5 yards per carry, although after that initial big gain, he would only average 3.8 yards per carry.

In 2010, he didn't play although he remained on the Bears active roster all season. It doesn't appear that he was injured, other than a minor injury in preseason which may have contributed to him falling behind the special teams demon Wolfe on the depth chart again. The only time he made any headlines was when he got into a fight with teammate Chester Taylor in practice in December.

A solid preseason in 2011 saw him regain his spot, although he then suffered an ankle injury in the preseason finale and he underwhelmed in the first two games, carrying 11 times for 23 yards, although he did have two big plays negated by penalties. Thereafter, he would only play on special teams until late in the season when Matt Forte was injured. However the last five games of the year saw his most promising stretch as an NFL player, as he averaged 4.6 yards per carry, had at least one run of 13 yards or more in each of the five games and recorded 19 of his 21 career receptions. His most outstanding performance saw him rush for 121 yards and catch four passes for 38 yards against the Packers. He also scored his first NFL touchdown on a 25-yard catch against Seattle.

In 2012, he was originally given a one year contract for $1.26m but when he found himself third on the depth chart in August, the Bears asked him to take a paycut (to $700,000) and he refused so they waived him. His return this September saw him carry the ball 10 times for 20 yards in an uninspiring return to the lineup and the following week he carried the ball just twice and false started once in four snaps as a back up.

The Numbers

Four seasons

22 games

Three starts, all in 2011

131 carries, 589 yards, no touchdowns (4.5 ypc)

21 catches, 148 yards, one touchdown

81% catch rate, one drop (in 2009)

Three fumbles, one as a receiver, one lost

17 broken tackles, including four as a receiver

Two kick returns for 45 yards (25 longest)

Seven special teams tackles, one missed tackle

Two special teams penalties

One offensive penalty committed

Five 20+ yard plays (one as a receiver)

One 40+ yard play

Observations

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

Usage - Bell was used almost exclusively as a classic tailback. He motioned out wide or into the slot on occasion, as any other running back would, but rarely ever more than a couple of times per game. With the Bears not really a team that has a third down specialist (since Forte is a three-down back), he received plenty of reps on passing downs in those games where he started or got plenty of playing time. While the Bears did use some zone blocking last year, their scheme is a lot more similar to the Jets' system than Houston's is, so it hopefully won't take Bell as long to adjust to the scheme as it apparently did for Jonathan Grimes. In fact, the Bears run a lot of the plays that the Jets have been running this year under Sparano and Bell had some good moments on those plays.

One way he wasn't used much was in a short yardage role. He only had four carries on 3rd or 4th and three or less and was stuffed on two of these. He has also failed to rush for a touchdown despite getting a handful of carries inside the five yard line.

Running Ability - While Bell's yards-per-carry average is skewed slightly by that huge gain on his first ever carry, it is worth noting that he did have that spell of games in 2011 where he was consistently averaging comfortably better than four yards per carry. Having said that, his numbers have been underwhelming so far this year, he gained 18 on one play and another 10 on a 3rd and 19 draw play, but other than that he racked up just four yards on his other 10 carries for an average of less than three.

Bell is a patient runner with pretty good vision. Most of his best runs saw him following his blocker and then making a decisive and well-timed cut and he doesn't dance about, doing a good job of getting his momentum going upfield and identifying and hitting cutback lanes. While he lacks that breakaway speed he does have a good initial burst and hits the hole hard, enabling him to get to the second level on occasion. He also has some slipperyness to his game, which enables him to avoid or break tackles. Bell was listed at 212 as a rookie, but bulked up to over 220 with the Bears. There were a few good examples of him running over defensive backs at the second level or driving the pile for a few extra yardage, so he does have power.

In his first season, he averaged a disappointing 2.1 yards per carry after contact according to PFF, but in 2011 he averaged an above-average 2.6 yards per carry after contact, helped by his performance over the last two games where he broke 10 tackles.

Pass Protection - Bell has stayed in to pass block on 67 plays in his NFL career and has given up one sack and three pressures. While he does make a good attempt to get in front of the pass rusher and anchor himself, this can sometimes mean he is prone to the pass rusher making a quick move to get around him. On the sack he gave up, that's what happened as Chad Greenway came on a delayed blitz, although it only resulted in a sack because of pressure from the outside causing the quarterback to step up. On each of the pressures he gave up, he at least got enough of the man to prevent the sack, so he was never really beaten cleanly. One of these was a big completion and one enabled the quarterback to get to the outside on a scramble, but the other forced a throw away on third down. He should hopefully be able to do at least an adequate job if called upon to do this with the Jets.

Receiving Threat - Bell showed some ability to be a pass-catching threat out of the backfield in the last four games of 2011 as he caught at least four passes in each game, including a 25-yard touchdown against Seattle. Most of the receptions he made were dumpoffs or checkdowns although he did turn some of these into decent gains by making yardage after the catch. The only exceptions were the touchdown against Seattle (where he ran downfield and then across the field easily beating the linebacker and making a catch near the pylon) and two others where he ran quick slants (once after having motioned out wide).

Hands - He did drop a pass as a rookie but hasn't done since. That was on the play before his big 72-yard run and wasn't entirely his fault as he lined up outside and the quarterback threw behind him to the outside with a defensive back hitting him as the ball arrived to jar it loose. Since most of his catches were checkdowns and dumpoffs, he didn't really show much in the way of spectacular catches but he seemed to catch the simpler ones cleanly enough.

One major concern would be fumbles, as he had three of those in the last two games of 2011 and clearly wasn't protecting the ball too well on any of them. As it turned out, the Bears recovered two of them anyway, including one in the end zone for a score, but he did lose a bad one inside his own 20.

Special Teams - With five solo tackles and two penalties to his name on special teams, Bell is not renowned as much of a contributor on that unit. In fact, that's the main reason he fell behind Garrett Wolfe on the depth chart. Wolfe is an outstanding gunner, so there were no doubt games where Bell was inactive due to Wolfe being needed in that role. However, Bell didn't do a bad job of getting downfield and making tackles as a punt protector. The Jets obviously have that position locked down for the foreseeable future though!

Attitude - There wasn't much to see on the film in respect of chippyness, blown assignments or demonstrative behavior from Bell, although he does have a few off-field concerns. Other than the fight with Taylor mentioned above (which was said to have been "brewing for some time"), he was also suspended in college for two games, reportedly for "being a bad teammate". Also, you may or may not think the fact he refused to take a paycut and lost his job as a result is a bad sign. Despite these concerns, Bell seemed to play extremely hard and gave an insight into his drive and ambition last year:

It was never my goal to be on a practice squad or be a third-string running back. But good things come to those who wait.


Conclusions

Any move you make at this stage of the season, especially when it looks like you're already out of contention, is likely to be a low risk move. It's certainly true that there have been examples of running backs being signed off the street at this point in a season and going on to contribute and find a home.

Less than a year ago, people were writing about what a Bell's bright NFL future, so maybe the Bears gave up on him too soon. In fact, with the Jets' running backs having struggled for most of the season, it might not take much for Bell to provide them with an upgrade.

Based on what I saw, Bell has the ability to execute some of the plays that Shonn Greene has been struggling with over the first part of the season. However, his performance this season shows that if the run blocking ahead of him isn't good, he's no more likely to produce that Greene is. It would make a lot of sense for the Jets to give Bell every chance to show that he can be a keeper. This might also motivate Greene too, so hopefully the Jets will benefit one way or another.
Tags: BGA, Editorial Aside, Bent Double

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)

Jonas Schwartz and Willie Colon are back in the studio to give their instant reaction to the Jets' selection of quarterback Sam Darnold with the third pick in the NFL Draft.

The guys welcome in SNY Draft expert Ralph Cirminiello to break down the positives and negatives of Darnold's game. Then, SNY Jets analyst Ray Lucas joins the show to give his two cents on the pick, and to discuss whether Darnold has the tools to be a great QB in the NFL.

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Sam Darnold talks Jets with SNY 00:02:03
SNY NFL Insider Ralph Vacchiano talks to San Darnold after the QB was chosen by the New York Jets with the third pick in the NFL Draft.

When this whole thing started, USC QB Sam Darnold was projected to be the No. 1 overall pick. He was the safest quarterback prospect that checked all the boxes. 

But the Browns decided to go with Oklahoma QB Baker Mayfield. And the Giants steered clear of a quarterback, going with Penn State RB Saquon Barkley instead. 

So, when the Jets saw Darnold in their lap at No. 3, they called his name. 

Tags: Sam Darnold, Scott Thompson
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Maccagnan on Darnold selection 00:00:57
Jets general manager Mike Maccagnan discusses how the Jets landed on Sam Darnold with the third overall pick in Thursday's draft.

"I knew whatever happens happens. And it happens for a reason."

"I'm really excited about being with the Jets...really excited to meet my teammates and co

Tags: Sam Darnold
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SNY's Jets panel on Darnold pick 00:02:19
Ray Lucas, Willie Colon and the SNY Jets crew react to the selection of QB Sam Darnold by the Jets with the third pick in the NFL Draft.

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

When the Jets traded up from No. 6 to No. 3, they were convinced that the best quarterback in the draft likely wouldn't be available.

So this was quite a surprise.

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 (Tim Heitman)
(Tim Heitman)

The Jets have the guy who they hope is their Quarterback of the Future. 

With the No. 3 overall pick in the NFL Draft, the Jets selected USC QB Sam Darnold -- who many experts had going No. 1 to the Browns. 

However, he slipped down to the Jets, and they jumped on the opportunity. SNY's Ralph Vacchiano reported last week that Darnold could be in consideration if the Browns or Giants didn't take him first. The assumption by most was that the pick would be between UCLA's Josh Rosen or Oklahoma's Baker Mayfield

Tags: Josh McCown, Scott Thompson
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Top QB prospect Sam Darnold 00:01:02
Former USC quarterback Sam Darnold is expected to be taken as one of the top QB's in the 2018 NFL Draft.

The Jets traded up and got their guy: Sam Darnold is coming to New York. 

Darnold completed 63.1 percent of his passes for 4,143 yards, 26 touchdowns, and nine interceptions in 14 games in 2017 during his second season as a starter for the Trojans.

Here are some of Darnold's best moments at USC.

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Southern California Trojans quarterback Sam Darnold throws the ball against the Oregon State Beavers during the second quarter at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. (Kelvin Kuo/USA TODAY Sports)
Southern California Trojans quarterback Sam Darnold throws the ball against the Oregon State Beavers during the second quarter at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. (Kelvin Kuo/USA TODAY Sports)

With the 3rd pick of the 2018 NFL Draft, the New York Jets select USC QB Sam Darnold. 

Darnold, 20, completed 63.1 percent of his passes for 4,143 yards, 26 touchdowns, and nine interceptions in 14 games in 2017 during his second season as a starter for the Trojans.

But how did the Jets' players react to the pick?

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Head to SNY on Facebook and Twitter to watch SNY's Draft Night Live tonight as soon as the Jets are on the clock with the No. 3 pick.

Jonas Schwartz, former NFL players and current SNY analysts Ray Lucas and Willie Colon, and SNY Draft Expert Rich Cirminiello will be giving analysis in advance of the pick and reaction after. 

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Apr 26, 2018; Arlington, TX, USA; A general view of the front of the stadium before the NFL Draft at AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports (Tim Heitman)
Apr 26, 2018; Arlington, TX, USA; A general view of the front of the stadium before the NFL Draft at AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports (Tim Heitman)

Tune to SNY tonight at 7 for the Jets Nation Draft Day special, which will take you right up to when the Browns go on the clock with the No. 1 pick at the Draft at 8 p.m.!

The special will feture Jonas Schwartz, Ray Lucas, and Willie Colon from our SNY Studios, with Jeane Coakley reporting from the Jets Facility at Florham Park and Ralph Vacchiano from Dallas the site of this year's NFL Draft.

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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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