Yesterday, the Jets announced that they had claimed cornerback Leon McFadden off waivers from the Cleveland Browns.  Jets fans may not know too much about McFadden, so I've been reviewing game footage to assess what he brings to the table.

The 23-year old McFadden is 5 foot 10, 190 pounds, and was drafted by the Browns in the 3rd round of last year's draft. He played in all 16 games last year, although only really saw significant action on defense towards the end of the year when the Browns had some injury concerns.

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

Who is Leon McFadden?

McFadden played at San Diego State, where he intercepted eight passes and broke up 39 in a four-year career. Although he was a former high school track athlete, his combine numbers were nothing special (including a 4.50 forty). However, he was still drafted early in the third round by the Browns.

In preseason last year, he had some struggles in coverage, giving up 10 catches on 14 targets. However, he showed some promise on special teams and made it onto the active roster where that was his role for most of the season. Entering week 12, he had only played five snaps on defense, but the Browns were dealing with a lot of injury issues and therefore had to call on him to play as a backup safety over the next two games, where he played a total of 41 snaps. Over the last four games, he moved back to cornerback, starting two games and seeing plenty of action in the other two, including a win over the Patriots.

Entering camp this year, he was expected to earn a role with the team and saw plenty of action in preseason, but struggled with the new emphasis on defensive holding and illegal contact, racking up eight penalties over the four games. At the same time, however, his raw coverage numbers were very good, as he only gave up seven catches on 20 targets.

Despite the Browns dealing with plenty of injury issues, he was unable to make it through final cuts, with former Jet Aaron Berry being one of the guys selected ahead of him. He joins a Jets team dealing with plenty of injuries of their own.

Since that high penalty count is plainly the most concerning issue here, I'm going to focus more closely on the footage from this preseason with the increased emphasis in place.

2014 Preseason

Week 1 - at Detroit

In this game, McFadden played in the second half and had two tackles. He gave up two catches for 13 yards on his only two targets. These comprised an easy first down on a slant route where he was playing too far off and a play where he closed on the receiver in the flat and knocked him out of bounds for a short gain. Prior to that second play, though, he had been called for three penalties in quick succession. Those three plays were a pass breakup, an interception and another incompletion and he'd have been praised for making some good plays if he got away with the level of contact. Were these penalties though? And would they have been penalties under the old interpretation of the rules? We'll come back to this issue later on.

Week 2 - at Washington

In this game, McFadden saw action throughout, had two tackles and did not allow a catch on five targets. He also broke up a pass. Those are impressive numbers, but he still had his struggles. He was hit with an illegal contact penalty on the outside and then called for a hold on an incomplete fade pass to the end zone (which initially looked harsh but then the replay showed that he clearly grabbed the receiver's jersey). There was also a play where - perhaps affected by the calls going against him - he allowed a completely clean outside release and was burned over the top, but the pass was overthrown and fell incomplete. Later on in the game, he made two good plays in coverage anticipating the break well on one incompletion and breaking up a pass at the pylon on another.

Week 3 - v St Louis

McFadden started this game, albeit more by default than as a reward for playing well. He again had two tackles and gave up three catches for 80 yards on seven targets. On two of these completions, he was actually in pretty good position but one was threaded through traffic and the other was essentially a jump ball to a much bigger receiver for 36 on 3rd and 25. Once again, there was a play where he gave up a clean release and got beaten by a step over the top but the ball was incomplete. He was actually flagged for illegal contact on that one, but they picked it up. That did seem to be correct, although he did seem to try and fail to grab the receiver to slow him up further downfield. He couldn't remain penalty free though, as he was called for illegal contact when he couldn't resist putting his hands on his man after allowing an inside release. He was in good position on a couple of incomplete passes to the end zone later on in the game, although on one there seemed to be some contact as the ball arrived and on the other he was late looking back for the ball.

Week 4 - v Chicago

McFadden started again here and gave up two catches for 49 yards on six targets. He had one tackle. He was called for pass interference early on a play where he was beaten deep then recovered as the ball was underthrown but made contact just before the ball got there. He also had one more penalty for illegal contact as the receiver pretty much just ran into him before breaking back to the ball. I find it hard to see how any cornerback can cover a player in that situation without making contact, but by the letter of the law I guess it was correct. The two catches he gave up were a back shoulder throw where he was in pretty good position but didn't look round in time to be able to contest the high throw and a play where he showed poor anticipation on a curl route. Later in the game he really started to flash, breaking up three passes and in good position on a fourth that was overthrown.

Here's my observations from watching the footage on McFadden, including footage from last season, divided into categories:

Usage

McFadden has plenty of experience in the slot and on both sides of the field. He was covering a wide selection of players, including some bigger names like Rob Gronkowski, Antonio Brown and Reggie Wayne (who he played press coverage against to break up a pass last preseason). As noted, McFadden was also employed as an emergency safety and held his own, which is useful experience. He was employed both in press and off-coverage, but seemed to prefer and be more adapt at press.

Coverage skills

In regular season action in 2013, McFadden gave up 15 completions in 22 targets and had just two penalties. That's without the current emphasis on contact, though. He did give up a few long plays (40 being the longest) but no touchdowns. There was one time when he was really exploited and that was down the stretch in the win over New England. With Cleveland up 26-14 and time winding down, McFadden was matched up with Julian Edelman in the slot. Tom Brady hit Edelman down the seam on an inside release for 23 and the next play was practically an instant replay for 19 more. Three plays later, Edelman this time broke to the outside and was able to get out of bounds. McFadden was then called for a pass interference penalty on a throw to the end zone to put the ball down to the one yard line. The announcers felt this was a horrible call because the contact as the ball arrived was incidental, but he did make contact just before that. All-in-all they picked on him for 77 yards on the drive.

One thing I noticed was that early on in his short career, McFadden was too far off his man quite often when playing in off-coverage. However, that's something which he seemed to improve on a lot, breaking on a few balls and being a lot tighter even on those plays when the pass was completed. Interestingly, in the late season loss to the Jets, he gave up four completions on throws where the receiver stopped and came back to the ball and on each occasion he was all over the receiver's back as they made the throw. That was at a point in the season where Geno Smith had finally seemed to master the timing on such throws, having been perpetually a beat late for most of the year. Had McFadden faced Smith in the same situation a month earlier, that might have been two pass breakups and a couple of interceptions.

McFadden obviously likes press coverage but learning to play within the rules is what will make or break him.

Athleticism

McFadden's measurables are not great. According to the awesome mockdraftable.com, the only areas where his combine numbers were better than average for his position were arm length and the three cone drill. His closing speed is not bad, but I do have a concern over his straight line speed because he was struggling to close the gap whenever a receiver got a step on him over the top.

Physicality

This is obviously a big part of McFadden's game and the new emphasis is a massive adjustment for him. As noted, he had a bunch of penalties and there were several other plays where he got away with contact that could easily have also been called on him. Looking back to 2013, he only had two penalties, both defensive pass interference. One of these was the disputed call against New England noted above. The other saw him read a double move and stay stride for stride with his man on a back shoulder throw, but he didn't get his head turned around in time, so when the receiver came back to contest the throw there was automatically contact and an easy call. Getting his head turned around is something he can improve upon too.

As you'll note from the recap of the games above, there was a pattern of McFadden settling down late in games and making a bunch of good physical plays on the ball. However, this is a major concern because rather than being a sign of McFadden getting into a rhythm once he's comfortable I think it has more to do with the lower standard of opponent late in games and also the fact that officials were not calling things as tight down the stretch. That would mean that his grades and numbers against NFL-level opposition were much worse than his overall numbers would suggest and also that he probably would have had even more penalties had those plays been made earlier on in games.

There have been some suggestions that the officials were calling this super-tight in preseason and that they will relax the rules once the season gets underway. Aside from being a pretty stupid way to prepare teams for the new rules and to ensure a level of consistency among officiating crews, this could mean that a guy like McFadden will make more plays that will no longer be negated by a flag. However, can you really take that chance? If anything, there were just as many plays that he did get away with which also could have been flagged.

Special teams

McFadden stands out on special teams, where he is productive in kick coverage, does a solid job in the vice role and operates as a blocker on the kick return units. LeQuan Lewis made a couple of nice special teams plays in preseason, but McFadden seems to be an upgrade. Seeing how much McFadden has been struggling at corner, I wonder if that's all this move is about. Could the addition McFadden be no more than a short term special teams addition who can fill in outside, in the slot or even at safety in an emergency? Lewis does not have much experience in the slot, so maybe they just wanted better special team contributions and versatility from their fifth corner.

Run defense

McFadden did make a couple of plays against the run. As you'd expect from a physical player, he isn't afraid to stick his nose in there on a running play and he came up and stopped a few runs near the line of scrimmage. However, he was blocked out of a few plays at the second level and there was one cutback run where he seemed to switch off because the runner was going the other way and then found himself easily blocked out of the play on the back side.

Tackling

McFadden seems to be a pretty solid form tackler. He shows good technique to break down in the open field and keep in front of his man, especially on special teams. I wouldn't describe him as a big hitter based on what I saw, but he did level one guy on a short pass after a series of penalties that probably had a little extra juice behind it because he was frustrated. The only tackles he tended to miss were desperation efforts where he had to dive after someone. He had 13 tackles for a loss in college.

Blitzing

McFadden blitzed eight times last season and was credited with a half sack as he came unblocked out of the slot. The quarterback actually slipped off his tackle, while another blitzer came off the other edge to finish him off.

Ball skills

McFadden is obviously a pretty good playmaker based on his college numbers and just from the examples here. On the interception that was negated by a flag, he wrestled the ball away from the receiver on the outside. He just needs to improve his timing and avoid making contact, especially with the current emphasis in place.

Instincts

There were ups and downs in this area. He anticipated breaks well at times and not so well at others and he could have been better at avoiding blocks in the open. I will say that there were a few occasions where teams tried to confuse the coverage by bunching receivers and he usually coped with that quite well. On one play he initially covered Antonio Brown well, only to then lose him once the play was kept alive. He should at least have some level of scheme familiarity because he's been learning the Mike Pettine defense that was inherited from Rex Ryan.

Demeanor

McFadden has Kyle Wilson's patented celebrate-and-then-realize-you've-been-flagged move pretty much down pat. I felt sorry for him on some of those calls and I guess he did pretty well to keep relatively calm while obviously frustrated.

Injuries

I'm unaware of any injury issues for McFadden, who played 51 games in college and all 16 games last year without ever being on the injury list.

Conclusions

McFadden had his moments, but let's be honest, he really struggled in coverage this preseason and wasn't much to write home about last year either. While we don't know how officials will call the games, McFadden has a habit of grabbing jersey or putting his hands on receivers downfield and I don't think you're ever going to coach that out of him overnight.

As you may have noticed above, I pretty much already reached the conclusion that McFadden was brought here as no more than cover. He seems to offer better special teams production and more versatility than Lewis, who only plays on the outside. For a fifth cornerback that likely won't receive any defensive reps unless there are more injuries, maybe that does make him more useful than Lewis in the short term.

If that's the case, then that's encouraging news because it suggests the Jets feel pretty good about the chances of Antonio Allen and Dee Milliner being back in the line-up early in the season (and also about the other cornerbacks on the roster being able to fill in until that time).

However, if that's not the case and they actually brought this guy in hoping for him to be an immediate contributor with a healthy amount of upside, I fear it might be something of a misfire. Still, there's over a week until opening day; plenty of time to make another move if needed.

Unless the Jets make any more signings between now and opening day, I'll be back on Sunday morning to preview the season opener!

Tags: bentdouble, BGA, Bent Double

 (Stan Szeto)
(Stan Szeto)

The Jets had a boatload of cap space as well as the No. 3 overall draft pick to work with this offseason. And LB Darron Lee thinks the moves made using those resources have looked good thus far.

The most notable of the acquisitions made by GM Mike Maccagnan include CB Trumaine Johnson, LB Avery Williamson, and first-round draft pick QB Sam Darnold. These three players are the crucial chess pieces Lee thinks will help them now and in the future.

"This is a game of chess, not checkers," Lee told Jets.com's Eric Allen. "Adding those important pieces like Tru, Avery, and Sam is huge. It has us going in the right direction in my opinion, but implementing those guys in our brotherhood and our standard in what we have here is huge. Seeing how they're abiding by it also and they're jelling in smoothly with it -- it makes you excited. It can't help but make you excited because they're buying in."

Tags: Avery Williamson, Trumaine Johnson, Darron Lee
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NFL commissioner Roger Goodell broke his silence about the legalization of sports betting that the United States Supreme Court voted in favor for on May 14.

This enormously impacts the professional sporting world as Congress could now regulate sports betting if they wish to do so. However, if they elect not to, each State is allowed to act on its own in implementing their own system.

No matter what happened, Goodell's top priority is making sure that the integrity of the game continues to flourish moving forward with the ruling...

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Nov 26, 2016; East Hartford, CT, USA; Tulane Green Wave cornerback Parry Nickerson (17) returns his interception against the Connecticut Huskies in the second quarter at Rentschler Field. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports (David Butler II)
Nov 26, 2016; East Hartford, CT, USA; Tulane Green Wave cornerback Parry Nickerson (17) returns his interception against the Connecticut Huskies in the second quarter at Rentschler Field. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports (David Butler II)

Bent, theJetsBlog.com Follow on Twitter

With the first of their three sixth-round picks in last month's draft, the Jets selected Tulane cornerback Parry Nickerson. This regime has already brought in several young cornerbacks, but none of them have managed to separate themselves from the pack.

Does Nickerson's skill-set give him a chance to eventually become the home-grown starter they've been trying to develop?

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North Squad defensive tackle Nathan Shepherd, of Fort Hays State, runs drills during the North team's practice for Saturday's Senior Bowl NCAA college football game in Mobile, Ala., Wednesday, Jan. 24, 2018. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)
North Squad defensive tackle Nathan Shepherd, of Fort Hays State, runs drills during the North team's practice for Saturday's Senior Bowl NCAA college football game in Mobile, Ala., Wednesday, Jan. 24, 2018. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)

The Jets have signed DT Nathan Shepherd, who they drafted 72nd overall last month out of Fort Hays State.

Shepherd was an Division II All-America selection in his 2016 and 2017 seasons. Last season, he tallied 38 tackles (12.5 for loss) and four sacks. 

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive: If you're a team like the Jets, still in the beginning stages of a total rebuild, you can take a chance on raw players like Nathan Shepherd, a Canadian who was a smallish linebacker in high school before growing into an NFL-caliber defensive tackle at Division II Fort Hays (Kan.) State.

Tags: Muhammad Wilkerson, Sheldon Richardson
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GEICO SportsNite: Jets charity 00:01:47
The New York Jets hosted the "Taste of the Jets" event to help raise money for the Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation.

The New York Jets hosted the "Taste of the Jets" event to help raise money for the Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation. 


New York Jets first round pick Sam Darnold works out during NFL rookie camp, Friday, May 4, 2018, in Florham Park, N.J. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez) (AP)
New York Jets first round pick Sam Darnold works out during NFL rookie camp, Friday, May 4, 2018, in Florham Park, N.J. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez) (AP)

When recently retired Cowboys TE Jason Witten watches Sam Darnold, he sees similarities between the no. 3 overall pick and former Cowboys QB Tony Romo. 

Romo and Darnold share the ability to thrive even when the scripted play goes awry. Romo made a career out of extending plays and Darnold earned a similar reputation while at USC.

"He's calm, he's got this poise. He reminds me a little bit of Tony Romo, the way he creates plays," Witten said...

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New York Jets first round draft pick Sam Darnold works out during NFL rookie camp, Saturday, May 5, 2018, in Florham Park, N.J. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez) (Julio Cortez/AP)
New York Jets first round draft pick Sam Darnold works out during NFL rookie camp, Saturday, May 5, 2018, in Florham Park, N.J. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez) (Julio Cortez/AP)

Former USC offensive coordinator Tee Martin explained on The Jet Stream podcast Wednesday why Sam Darnold will be a great fit for the Jets.

"Sam is a great fit," Martin said. "Just going back to how he was recruited, when we first got to know him -- he was a guy that was a linebacker and played some wide receiver. Point guard on the basketball team. When he dropped back and started throwing a few passes, we were like 'this kid can throw the ball.'"

And the way Darnold threw the ball changed how USC viewed him...

Tags: Sam Darnold
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New York Jets first round pick Sam Darnold works out during NFL rookie camp, Friday, May 4, 2018, in Florham Park, N.J. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez) (AP)
New York Jets first round pick Sam Darnold works out during NFL rookie camp, Friday, May 4, 2018, in Florham Park, N.J. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez) (AP)

Jonas Schwartz and Willie Colon are back for a special edition of The Jet Stream podcast where they take a deep dive into the Jets' newest quarterback, Sam Darnold. The guys chat with Sam's former offensive coordinator from USC, Tee Martin, about the kid's emergence in college and how he compares to Peyton Manning. Later, Sam's best friend and former USC teammate, Jake Russell, joins the show to discuss what he's like off the field and his competitiveness on it.

Click below to listen...

Tags: Sam Darnold
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Aug 31, 2017; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets wide receiver Robby Anderson (11) during second half against Philadelphia Eagles at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)
Aug 31, 2017; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets wide receiver Robby Anderson (11) during second half against Philadelphia Eagles at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)

Robby Anderson's felony resisting arrest with violence charge stemming from an incident at an event in Miami in May, 2017 will be dropped, his attorney, Ed O'Donnell told the NFL Network's Mike Garafolo.

During the incident, Anderson allegedly fought with arresting officers.

While Anderson's 2017 issue will be resolved, he is still dealing with his recent reckless driving arrest.

Tags: Robby Anderson
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Oct 29, 2017; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Cincinnati Bengals running back Joe Mixon (28) is tackled by Indianapolis Colts defensive end Henry Anderson (96) during the first half at Paul Brown Stadium. Mandatory Credit: David Kohl-USA TODAY Sports (David Kohl)
Oct 29, 2017; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Cincinnati Bengals running back Joe Mixon (28) is tackled by Indianapolis Colts defensive end Henry Anderson (96) during the first half at Paul Brown Stadium. Mandatory Credit: David Kohl-USA TODAY Sports (David Kohl)

On day three of the draft, the Jets opted to trade a seventh-round pick for former Colts defensive lineman Henry Anderson. However, this move has flown under the radar somewhat with the focus on the players brought in via the draft.  

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 (Kirby Lee)
(Kirby Lee)

The Jets still have some money to spend, which is why they will be hosting free-agent S Kenny Vaccaro this week at their facility, per the Daily News' Manish Mehta.

Vaccaro was drafted 15th overall by the Saints back in 2013, where he has spent the last five season. His best year came in 2015 when he totaled 104 tackles, three sacks, one forced fumble, one fumble recovery, and five passes defended. 

Last season, the 27-year-old tallied 79 tackles, one sack, one interception, and one forced fumble over 14 games. 

Tags: Jamal Adams, Marcus Maye
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Connecticut Huskies defensive lineman Folorunso Fatukasi participates in workout drills during the 2018 NFL Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium. (Brian Spurlock/USA TODAY Sports)
Connecticut Huskies defensive lineman Folorunso Fatukasi participates in workout drills during the 2018 NFL Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium. (Brian Spurlock/USA TODAY Sports)

Bent, theJetsBlog.com Follow on Twitter

The Jets had back-to-back picks in the sixth round of last month's draft, and they used the second of them to select defensive lineman Folorunso Fatukasi with the No. 180 pick. Let's provide some insight into what Fatukasi brings to the table and how he might fit in should he make the team.

Fatukasi is a player whose run-stuffing abilities have stood out over the past four seasons with UConn. He's strong at the point of attack, can get off blocks to make plays in the running game and can create penetration either with his strength or quickness.

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South squad offensive tackle Antonio Garcia of Troy battles defensive end Tanoh Kpassagnon of Villanova in a blocking drill during Senior Bowl practice at Ladd-Peebles Stadium. (Glenn Andrews/USA TODAY Sports)
South squad offensive tackle Antonio Garcia of Troy battles defensive end Tanoh Kpassagnon of Villanova in a blocking drill during Senior Bowl practice at Ladd-Peebles Stadium. (Glenn Andrews/USA TODAY Sports)

The Jets claimed former Patriots offensive lineman Antonio Garcia off waivers and cut kicker Nick Rose, the team announced on Monday.

Garcia, 24, was a third-round pick last season but did not appear in a game after he had reportedly developed blood clots in his lungs, according to the Boston Herald's Jeff Howe.

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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)

Former Jets coach Chuck Knox, who was paramount in the Jets drafting Hall of Fame QB Joe Namath, died Saturday at 86. 

Knox started his vast coaching career with the Jets in 1963 as part of Weeb Ewbank's first Jets staff. Knox was big on the run game, which awarded the nickname of "Ground Chuck."

However, he saw something in Namath during his time at the University of Alabama, and knew the Jets needed him...

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Daily News Live: Sports gambling 00:03:44
Eric Chemi of CNBC joins Daily News Live to discuss the legalization of sports gambling and the ramifications of this newly amended bill.

The United States Supreme Court struck down a 25-year old law on Monday that had basically prevented all states except Nevada from having legalized sports gambling. "The legalization of sports gambling requires an important policy choice, but the choice is not ours to make," the Supreme Court announced. "Congress can regulate sports gambling directly, but if it elects not to do so, each State is free to act on its own."

The ruling was an enormous immediate victory for the state of New Jersey, which could have a gambling venue open in Monmouth Park within a few weeks, according to the NY Post. There will be a press conference in Monmouth Park on Monday at 1 p.m. Aside from New Jersey, The Post notes that New York and Illinois are among roughly 15 other states who have "introduced bills to legalize and regulate sports betting tied to the Supreme Court outcome." 

The NBA and MLB have been preparing for Monday's potential outcome, reports Brian Windhorst of ESPN, who said each league had hired lobbying firms, submitted written statements, and sent executives to testify in statehouses. Windhorst added that every professional sports league had been involved, but with the NBA and MLB at the forefront...

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Oct 15, 2017; Landover, MD, USA; Washington Redskins center Spencer Long (61) lines up against the San Francisco 49ers at FedEx Field. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports (Geoff Burke)
Oct 15, 2017; Landover, MD, USA; Washington Redskins center Spencer Long (61) lines up against the San Francisco 49ers at FedEx Field. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports (Geoff Burke)

Jets C Spencer Long is ready for an injury-free 2018 season with his new team.

Last season, Long was only able to make six starts for the Redskins due to a knee injury and was placed on IR in November. The ailment plaguing the 2014 third-round pick was rooted in a chronic quad issue which was corrected this offseason by surgery and an improved regiment.

"It was basically like a fraying rope," Long said...

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May 4, 2018; Florham Park, NJ, USA; New York Jets running back Trenton Cannon (40) during New York Jets rookie mini camp at Atlantic Health Training Center. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)
May 4, 2018; Florham Park, NJ, USA; New York Jets running back Trenton Cannon (40) during New York Jets rookie mini camp at Atlantic Health Training Center. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)

With their final pick of the 2018 draft, the Jets selected Virginia State running back Trenton Cannon.

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New York Jets offensive tackle Kelvin Beachum against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Raymond James Stadium. (Aaron Doster/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Jets offensive tackle Kelvin Beachum against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Raymond James Stadium. (Aaron Doster/USA TODAY Sports)

In the post-draft Honeymoon period, most fans, players and media alike are heaping praise on QB Sam Darnold. But Darnold's teammate T Kelvin Beachum wants to wait before he fully joins the fray. 

Beachum started all 16 games for the Jets last season, blocking for Josh McCown and Bryce Petty. At some point this season, he may be blocking for Darnold. 

"I've heard that he is a great person," Beachum said via Darryl Slater of NJ.com. "I'm excited to get him in that room." 

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New York Jets first round draft pick Sam Darnold works out during NFL rookie camp, Saturday, May 5, 2018, in Florham Park, N.J. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez) (Julio Cortez/AP)
New York Jets first round draft pick Sam Darnold works out during NFL rookie camp, Saturday, May 5, 2018, in Florham Park, N.J. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez) (Julio Cortez/AP)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive: The Jets have four quarterbacks on their roster, which seems like one too many. They cut Bryce Petty last week to clear at least a little room on their depth chart, but they still have another move to make. Or maybe two.

Whatever they end up doing, the Jets' quarterback situation isn't as clear cut as some think, from the identity of the Opening Day starter all the way down to the likely odd-man out. As Todd Bowles said last weekend, the Jets are "open to anything right now" -- especially at quarterback.

"We're going to let it all play out before make those kinds of decisions," he said.

Tags: Christian Hackenberg, Josh McCown, Sam Darnold, Teddy Bridgewater, Ralph Vacchiano
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 (Noah K. Murray)
(Noah K. Murray)

For some draft picks, the process of becoming acclimated to a new environment is quicker given their circumstances.

Saquon Barkley of the Giants was born in Brooklyn, and didn't live far from his new home even when he was in Pennsylvania. Shaquem Griffin of the Seahawks may be making a shift from Florida to Seattle, but he has his twin brother Shaquill Griffin to guide him through the process.

Sam Darnold, on the other hand, is transitioning from sunny, laidback Los Angeles to the hustle and bustle of New York City without someone to lean on, or understanding of how this side of the states operates. In fact, he just visited the Big Apple for the first time only a few weeks ago.

Tags: Sam Darnold, Christian Hackenberg, Josh McCown
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May 4, 2018; Florham Park, NJ, USA; New York Jets tight end Chris Herndon (89) during New York Jets rookie mini camp at Atlantic Health Training Center. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)
May 4, 2018; Florham Park, NJ, USA; New York Jets tight end Chris Herndon (89) during New York Jets rookie mini camp at Atlantic Health Training Center. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)

The Jets selected tight end Chris Herndon with the first of their day three picks in the 2018 draft last month. Herndon, who went to college at Miami, was injured towards the end of the 2017 season, which may have prevented him from going earlier. The Jets scooped him up with the 107th overall pick and will be hoping he proves to be a bargain. Let's weigh up his likely role in 2018 before reviewing his strengths and weaknesses.

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New York Jets first round draft pick Sam Darnold works out during NFL rookie camp, Saturday, May 5, 2018, in Florham Park, N.J. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez) (Julio Cortez/AP)
New York Jets first round draft pick Sam Darnold works out during NFL rookie camp, Saturday, May 5, 2018, in Florham Park, N.J. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez) (Julio Cortez/AP)

The Jets have consistently said they don't want to throw their No. 3 overall pick Sam Darnold into the fire this season. Former Giants QB Phil Simms doesn't understand why. 

Simms looks at Darnold's situation as being the potential Jets savior at quarteback. In turn, he needs to get on his feet and hit the ground running. 

"He'll fit in fine," Simms told NJ.com's Darryl Slater at BTIG Charity Day on Tuesday. "If I was the Jets, I would play him from Day 1. That's just me. Start him. Let's go. Got a long offseason, training camp, preseason games. They probably won't [start Darnold in Week 1].

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Namath talks Darnold 00:01:07
New York Jets legend Joe Namath shares his thoughts on the team's rookie QB Sam Darnold, and what lies ahead for the new signal caller.

Legendary Jets QB Joe Namath spoke Tuesday about the recently-drafted Sam Darnold and whether starting him this season should be on the table.

"First of all, anybody that is starting on that field has to have convinced their teammates that he's worthy to start," Namath said. "And for a 20-year-old rookie quarterback, that's gonna be tough to do early on. Because the big leagues -- pro football -- is different than college football."

While Namath thinks Darnold and any rookie has a lot to prove, he believes he should be out there if he shows he's ready.

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 (Noah K. Murray)
(Noah K. Murray)

Jets CEO Christopher Johnson is confident Sam Darnold is the answer his team's decade-long quarterback question.

Johnson was present at BTIG Charity Day, where he appeared for the Lupus Research Alliance, on Tuesday. He had some strong words about his No. 3 overall pick, saying the moment Darnold's name was called, it was the start to the Jets' revival.

"I honestly think (people) are going to look back 20 years from now and say this is the moment the Jets shifted into a new gear -- that they became a new team," he told reporters.

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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)

The Jets announced they have signed K Taylor Bertolet, while waiving CB Bryson Keeton

Bertolet was a tryout at the team's rookie minicamp this past weekend. The Texas A&M product spent time with the LA Rams in training camp last season. In his senior year back in 2015, Bertolet was a perfect 38-for-38 in extra-point attempts and 22-for-31 (71 percent) in field goals.

The Jets now have three kickers on their current roster with Cairo Santos and Nick Rose to compete with Bertolet at camp. 

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North Squad defensive tackle Nathan Shepherd of Fort Hays State stretches during Senior Bowl practice at Ladd-Peebles Stadium. (Glenn Andrews/USA TODAY Sports)
North Squad defensive tackle Nathan Shepherd of Fort Hays State stretches during Senior Bowl practice at Ladd-Peebles Stadium. (Glenn Andrews/USA TODAY Sports)

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The Jets selected defensive tackle Nathan Shepherd with their lone Day 2 pick in the 2018 draft. Shepherd, who attended Fort Hays State University, raised his stock throughout the offseason and was selected by the Jets 72nd overall. Let's consider his strengths and weaknesses and how the Jets might use him in 2018.

Shepherd is expected to be raw, having only played college football at Division II schools. That's a concern for a player who took a circuitous path to the NFL and will turn 25 during his rookie season.

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Connecticut Huskies defensive lineman Folorunso Fatukasi reacts after a sack. (David Butler II/USA TODAY Sports)
Connecticut Huskies defensive lineman Folorunso Fatukasi reacts after a sack. (David Butler II/USA TODAY Sports)

The Jets signed two draft picks and two undrafted free agents on Sunday.

Defensive end Folorunso Fatukasi and defensive back Parry Nickerson, both sixth-round picks, and linebackers Frankie Luvu and Anthony Wint, agreed to terms with New York as the Jets begin minicamp.

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GEICO SportsNite: Sam Darnold 00:03:53
Ralph Vacchiano reports on the impressions of Sam Darnold at the Jets minicamp and Jeane Coakley speaks with Todd Bowles about the young QB.

Aug 31, 2017; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets quarterback Christian Hackenberg (5) throws a pass during the second half of their game against the Philadelphia Eagles at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports (Ed Mulholland)
Aug 31, 2017; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets quarterback Christian Hackenberg (5) throws a pass during the second half of their game against the Philadelphia Eagles at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports (Ed Mulholland)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- Christian Hackenberg has apparently made major changes to his throwing motion in an attempt to revitalize his stalled NFL career.

He just never bothered telling his current team about his plans.

Tags: Christian Hackenberg, Ralph Vacchiano
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FLORHAM PARK, N.J. - Sam Darnold fumbled the first snap of team drills on his first two days in a Jets uniform, and he fumbled five snaps overall. That was eye-opening because he had some fumbling issues at USC that were a cause for concern for some.

But get over it. It was the first two days of an NFL career that likely will last more than a decade and he was working with a tryout center who's NFL career will likely be over by Sunday afternoon. In the bigger picture, there was a lot to like about the Jets' 20-year-old franchise quarterback who looked poised, accurate and showed off a strong arm throughout the weekend...

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