Earlier this week, the Jets claimed three players via waivers. Yesterday, we looked at tackle Ben Ijalana and later today we'll be looking at running back Alex Green, but today we focus on defensive end/linebacker Scott Solomon. Jets fans might not know much about Solomon, so I've been taking a detailed look at game footage from the last few years to assess what he brings to the table.

The 24-year old Solomon was a seventh round pick out of Rice last season and was a rotational defensive end for the Titans during his rookie year. This year, they tried to convert him into a 4-3 strongside linebacker, but he failed to make their final roster.

After the jump, I'll be looking in detail at footage from the last two years to assess some of his strengths and weaknesses.

Who is Scott Solomon?

The 6-3 262-pound Solomon was a defensive end at Rice, where he had a school record 24 sacks. At the combine last year, he put up impressive numbers in almost every category, apart from the forty yard dash, where he ran a 4.88. The Titans drafted him in the seventh round and, following a preseason where he had one sack, he made their final roster and played 179 snaps as a backup defensive end.

He only recorded four tackles on defense and a hit and three pressures as a pass rusher, but was an important player for the Titans on special teams. In 2013, the Titans decided to try and convert him to a strongside linebacker role in their 4-3 defense. He played both defensive end and linebacker in preseason, recording 10 tackles and a pass defensed.

Let's look at how he performed in preseason and then go on to discuss some of the things I've observed by watching film on him. Note that some stats, such as snap counts, come from PFF.

2013 Preseason

Week One: Redskins

Solomon started off on the second unit here, playing 40 snaps over the last three quarters and recording four tackles. He was at defensive end on 19 plays and linebacker on 21. Two of his better plays came while at defensive end. He was unblocked off the backside and came downhill to stop a runner for no gain and then dropped off on a screen pass to get in front of the receiver so that he had nowhere to go and was brought down by a team mate for a loss. As a linebacker, he was mostly up close to the line of scrimmage on the tight end's side, but he made one good play where he was lined up alongside the two other linebackers, pursuing a run to the outside, negotiating traffic, taking on a blocker and then making the tackle for a loss. On another play, he forced the run outside and was probably held and he was in on the tackle for a five yard run, shedding his block at the line to bring the runner down as he attacked the hole.

Week Two: Bengals

In this game, Solomon played 14 snaps, all of them as a linebacker. He recorded three tackles, but didn't get into the game until late in the third quarter. He had some struggles here, as he was unable to get off a block on the outside (although the run still went for no gain) and got pancaked by John Conner coming off the edge on one play. His worst mistake was on this touchdown run by Daniel Herron, where he (#90) overpursued to the inside, allowing the runner to reverse his field. He also missed a tackle on a quarterback keeper, although that didn't go for a big gain. Also, he made the tackle on a 22-yard run to the opposite side after chasing across the field, but perhaps could have taken a better angle and prevented such a big gain. He did assist on the tackle on a five yard running play.

Week Three: Falcons

Solomon played nine snaps in this one, again entering for the first time late in the third quarter. He played four snaps as a linebacker and five as a defensive end. On one play he was easily handled and driven back on the edge, although the run went up the middle for no gain. On another, he came off the edge unblocked to make a tackle for a short gain, but it was still enough for the first down. He did set the edge well on one play that went for no gain. After never having dropped into coverage in 2012 or in the first two preseason games, Solomon did drop back three times here and got credit for a pass defensed when he jammed the tight end at the line and then stayed tight with him running down the seam. However, he never turned his head back for the ball, which just hit him in the back. He was pretty physical with the receiver too, so perhaps was lucky not to be flagged.

Week Four: Vikings

In the last game, he got plenty of reps over the last two and a half quarters; 26 in total, all at linebacker, and dropping into coverage 14 times. He was targeted three times, per PFF, for 23 yards and one incompletion and was also flagged for defensive holding on one play. Looking at the footage, one of these was on a nine yard dump off in front of zone coverage, where it was probably actually another player who was responsible for the receiver in question. The incompletion was a dropped pass thrown to the flat in the red zone, where he was clearly a step behind and might even have been beaten for a touchdown if the pass had been out in front of the receiver. On another play, he was again a step or two behind as the fullback leaked into the flat at the first down marker, but the quarterback elected to throw downfield and got picked off. He made a couple of tackles on pass completions where he wasn't the targeted defender, but was also cut to the ground on one screen pass. In the running game, he was blocked out of a few plays, including one where he was pancaked again. He usually would be engaging with a tight end or full back in the running game but on one play he was blocked off the edge by a pulling guard.

On the basis of the preseason as a whole, Solomon's performance was pretty disappointing. While he didn't grade out too badly, a lot of the positive plays he made were unblocked and - as is perhaps to be expected - he did look pretty lost in space and in coverage at times. He also contributed nothing as a pass rusher. I would therefore suggest that the Jets did not sign him because they were impressed with how well he was handling the switch to linebacker.

Could it instead be that they were impressed with his potential as a defensive end last year and will move him back there? Again, based on the footage I watched from last year, I doubt that. Again, he graded out okay and made a few nice plays here and there penetrating gaps and making unblocked tackles in the running game, but he was also blocked out of some plays and lost contain sometimes.

As a pass rusher last year, while he generated pressure a few times, he didn't really impress even when he did. Of his four pressures last year, only one came in the last 14 games. The first came as he dropped off at the line and wasn't blocked so when Tom Brady stepped up he was able to jump in his face, but that still went for a touchdown. On the second, the line broke down altogether and he was actually the last of three guys to get to the quarterback. The following week, he did actually beat a lineman for a pressure for the first time, driving him upfield and then making an inside move to pressure the throw. His one quarterback hit on the year saw him come unblocked on an inside stunt up the middle. While he did have one preseason sack in 2012, even that wasn't particularly impressive because he only beat Bobbie Massie, who at the time was in a massive slump and getting beaten like a drum on almost every play - the Cardinals surrendered four sacks and 10 quarterback hits that day, according to NFL.com. Solomon did beat Massie around the outside, but Kevin Kolb actually escaped his grasp, only to stumble to the ground so he was ruled down in the pocket.

So, if the Jets didn't claim him because of his on-field performance as either a defensive end or a linebacker, why make this claim at all? I see two possible reasons. Firstly, they like his potential and versatility and want to develop him on the active roster (he is not practice squad eligible). Secondly, something I haven't mentioned yet, they must like his special teams ability.

The one place where Solomon really did flash last season was on special teams. He operated as a front line ("wedge") blocker on their kick return unit, showed an uncanny knack for getting downfield in kickoff coverage (where he had three special teams tackles, including one inside the 20) and there was one play in particular where he was one of three linemen to collapse the offensive line on a field goal attempt, enabling the safety to come up and block it, then scrambling to his feet and getting out in front of the return man to throw a couple of downfield blocks. I think Mike Westhoff would have loved this guy.

In particular, his role as a blocker on the kickoff wedge could be something they specifically need from him over the first game or two while Garrett McIntyre is starting. They might be reluctant to use McIntyre in that role until Coples returns. In the past, the Jets have used guys like Mike DeVito, Lex Hilliard and Patrick Turner in that role, all of whom are gone. While Konrad Reuland and Jeff Cumberland remain, I can't imagine they'd risk using both of those two in that role and I don't see any obvious candidates in the receiving corps or on the defensive line this time.

Conclusions

I've pretty much already arrived at my conclusion, which is that Solomon has been added to the roster primarily for special teams purposes. Once Garrett McIntyre returns to a backup role, he might even be surplus to requirements and they could replace him with Lansanah or something. My conclusion might not be correct, but based on the research I carried out, it seems the most plausible explanation.

While he's here they will get a chance to look at him to see whether he has any long-term potential. In terms of a role on this defense, his most closely resembles that of Calvin Pace (or, when Coples is back, McIntyre again). That could be a spot they're looking to fill in future, so if he can demonstrate potential in that area then maybe he'll stick around for a backup role or to develop for the future. As noted, he is not practice squad eligible, so if they want to retain his rights, they'll have to keep him on the active roster unless he gets injured.

I'll be back to look at Alex Green later today. And, yes, Brady Quinn is on my to-do list as well, if he lasts that long.

Tags: BGA, Bent Double

Who should the Jets pick at six? 00:05:25
Ralph Vacchiano and Tony Pauline discuss who the Jets will select with the sixth overall pick in the NFL Draft.

Ralph Vacchiano and Tony Pauline discuss who the Jets will select with the sixth overall pick in the NFL Draft. 

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The Class of 2017: Quarterbacks 00:05:06
SNY NFL Insider Ralph Vacchiano and draft analyst Tony Pauline take a close look at the quarterbacks available in the 2017 NFL Draft

Ralph Vacchiano Facebook | Twitter | Archive

After not doing a Mock Draft in about a decade, I've now done two versions in less than three weeks - with a third (and final) version still to come. So with eight days to go until the draft, here's my SNY Mock Draft, version 2.0. The information comes from NFL sources, draft experts, and in some cases my own mind:

1. Cleveland Browns - Myles Garrett, DE, Texas A&M

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Daily News Live: New York Jets 00:03:45
Daily News Live considers all of the Jets' options regarding the No. 6 overall pick in the NFL draft.

Daily News Live considers all of the Jets' options regarding the No. 6 overall pick in the NFL draft.


New York Jets head coach Todd Bowles on looks on against the Washington Redskins during the first half at FedEx Field. (Brad Mills)
New York Jets head coach Todd Bowles on looks on against the Washington Redskins during the first half at FedEx Field. (Brad Mills)

The less the rest of the nation has to see the Jets, the better.

That seemed to be the thinking of the NFL and its partner networks as they made up the 2017 schedule. The Jets, coming off a 5-11 season and heading for a year that doesn't appear to be promising, are scheduled to play only one game in prime time on national TV - a league-mandated Thursday night game that every team must have.

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 (Kelley L Cox)
(Kelley L Cox)

The Jets will open the 2017 season in Buffalo against the Bills and close it in New England against the Patriots.

The Jets will also face the Raiders in Oakland in Week 2 and host the L.A. Chargers in Week 16...

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Njoku discusses the NFL draft 00:05:15
Miami tight end David Njoku discusses his senior season and how he is handling the pressure that comes with being a top draft pick.

 (Brian Spurlock)
(Brian Spurlock)

Ralph Vacchiano Facebook | Twitter | Archive

Here is the most up-to-date information on what the Jets have done during free agency, including contract details and salary cap information. The signing period will continue through the NFL draft and right up until the start of training camp in July, so bookmark this page and keep checking back for frequent updates.

JETS SALARY CAP SPACE

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Marshon Lattimore highlights 00:00:35
SNY.tv takes a look at the highlights of Ohio State CB Marshon Lattimore.

The Jets will meet with Ohio State CB Marshon Lattimore on Tuesday, a source told Ian Rapoport of NFL.com.

Gareon Conley, another CB from Ohio State, will visit the Jets on Tuesday as well.

Lattimore, 20, became a starter for the Buckeyes this past season, and was given First Team All-Big Ten honors.

The 6'0", 194-pounder redshirted during his first season at Ohio State in 2014 and was limited to just seven games in 2015 due to hamstring issues.

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Motivated Muhammad Wilkerson 00:02:29
The DNL crew discusses Muhammad Wilkerson's arrival at the Jets' Florham Park facility after coming off a disappointing 2016 season.

Ralph Vacchiano Facebook | Twitter | Archive

For the first time in three years, Muhammad Wilkerson showed up for the start of the New York Jets' offseason training program.

The big defensive lineman was pictured at the Jets facility in Florham Park, New Jersey, on Monday morning, as the team officially kicked off its voluntary workouts. Last year, Wilkerson declined to participate because he wasn't happy with being tagged as the Jets "franchise player." He skipped them in 2015 as he hoped to pressure the Jets to give him a new deal.

Tags: Austin Seferian-Jenkins, Bryce Petty, Buster Skrine, Christian Hackenberg, David Harris, Eric Decker, Leonard Williams, Matt Forte, Muhammad Wilkerson, Quincy Enunwa, Ralph Vacchiano
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Alabama linebacker Reuben Foster (Mark J. Rebilas/USA TODAY Sports)
Alabama linebacker Reuben Foster (Mark J. Rebilas/USA TODAY Sports)

In addition to meeting with Miami tight end David Njoku on Monday, the New York Jets also met with Alabama linebacker Reuben Foster and NC State safety Josh Jones, according to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport.

The Jets, who own the No. 6 pick in next week's NFL Draft, have given no indication as to which player they might pick, as a sample of 30-plus mock drafts has New York picking between eight players, ranging from quarterbacks to cornerbacks.

Foster, who recorded five sacks and 115 total tackles in his senior season with Alabama in 2016, is a 6-foot, 229-pound linebacker who did not participate in the NFL combine.

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 (Scott Galvin/USA Today Sports Images)
(Scott Galvin/USA Today Sports Images)

CB Marcus Williams has signed his free agent tender with the Jets, the team announced Monday.

Williams, who has spent the last three seasons with the Jets, has eight interceptions over the last two seasons. 

Tags: Marcus Williams
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QB Mitch Trubisky highlights 00:01:06
SNY.tv takes a look at the best plays of former UNC quarterback and NFL Draft prospect Mitch Trubisky.

Ralph Vacchiano Facebook | Twitter | Archive

The only consensus among the mock drafters on whom the Jets will take at No. 6 is that there is no consensus -- and that's unusual for such a high pick this late in the process.

But with only 10 days to go until the first round of the NFL draft begins, the picks in 32 mock drafts examined by SNY are split fairly evenly among eight players. The belief seems to be that the Jets will use the pick to fix their secondary (50 percent of the mock drafts have them going corner or safety), though some still believe they'll take a quarterback (32 percent).

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Tight end David Njoku highlights 00:01:34
SNY.tv takes a look at the best plays from former Miami Hurricanes tight end David Njoku.

The New York Jets will meet with Miami tight end David Njoku on Monday after his previously scheduled meeting with thwe Giants was canceled, according to ESPN's Jordan Raanan.

After having a formal interview with the Giants at February's NFL Combine, Njoku was scheduled to meet with the Giants for a second time on Monday, according to The Record's Art Stapleton. Instead, the New Jersey native will meet with the Jets. 

The 20-year-old Njoku, who is expected to be a first-round pick in the NFL Draft, had 43 catches and eight touchdowns for the Hurricanes last season.

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California Golden Bears quarterback Davis Webb (Kelley L Cox/USA TODAY Sports)
California Golden Bears quarterback Davis Webb (Kelley L Cox/USA TODAY Sports)

The New York Jets will meet with former California Golden Bears quarterback Davis Webb this week, according to ESPN's Adam Caplan.

Webb, 22, threw for 4,295 yards, 37 touchdowns and 12 interceptions in his senior season with Cal. In his four-year college career, which includes three seasons at Texas Tech, he threw for 9,852 yards, 83 touchdowns and 34 interceptions.

Webb, a 6-foot-5, 229-pound quarterback, has drawn comparisons to Brock Osweiler, according to his NFL.com draft profile page.

"He obviously is going to need coaching after being in those offenses at Texas Tech and Cal," one AFC scout told NFL.com. "I think he has enough between the ears to unlearn some of his bad habits and start to get things right. I see another Nick Foles if you give him time to develop."

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Ohio State cornerback Gareon Conley intercepts the ball intended for Clemson wide receiver Mike Williams during the first quarter in the 2016 CFP semifinal at University of Phoenix Stadium. (Joe Camporeale/USA TODAY Sports)
Ohio State cornerback Gareon Conley intercepts the ball intended for Clemson wide receiver Mike Williams during the first quarter in the 2016 CFP semifinal at University of Phoenix Stadium. (Joe Camporeale/USA TODAY Sports)

The New York Jets will meet with former Ohio State cornerback Gareon Conley this week, according to the New York Daily News' Manish Mehta.

Conley, whom Scouts Inc. rates as the No. 21 prospect in the 2017 NFL Draft, totaled four interceptions and eight passes defensed in 13 games with the Buckeyes last season.

A 6-foot, 195-pound junior, Conley ran a 4.44-second 40-yard dash, had a 37-inch vertical leap and recorded a 6.68-second three-cone drill time at the NFL combine.

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 (Scott Galvin/USA Today Sports Images)
(Scott Galvin/USA Today Sports Images)

The Jets have terminated the contract of LB Julian Stanford.

In 2016, Stanford notched 15 solo tackles and assisted with 7 more across 9 games. He did not record a sack or interception. His lone season with the Jets, which began on the practice squad, ended when an ankle injury landed him on injured reserve.

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 (Scott Galvin)
(Scott Galvin)

Jets CB Nick Marshall has been suspended without pay for the first four games of the 2017 season for violating the NFL's performance enhancing substances policy, the league announced Friday.

Marshall is eligible to participate in all offseason and preseason practices and games.

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Corey Griffin and Brian Bassett are joined by Jets and NFL Draft writer Jeff Lloyd as Draft Season is in full swing, and this week they take a close look at the offensive options in the draft, even if they don't love what they see.

Click below to listen!

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QB Mitch Trubisky highlights 00:01:06
SNY.tv takes a look at the best plays of former UNC quarterback and NFL Draft prospect Mitch Trubisky.

The Jets are bringing in North Carolina QB Mitch Trubisky for a visit today, according to Adam Caplan of ESPN.

Trubisky is widely regarded as the top quarterback prospect in this year's NFL Draft.

The Jets have made their interest in Trubisky known over the last month. New York sent a large contingent of scouts for the quarterback's pro day, and followed it up with a private workout in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.

Tags: Bryce Petty, Christian Hackenberg
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Oct 30, 2016; Cleveland, OH, USA; New York Jets offensive guard Wesley Johnson (76) during the second half against the Cleveland Browns at FirstEnergy Stadium. The Jets won 31-28. Mandatory Credit: Scott R. Galvin-USA TODAY Sports
Oct 30, 2016; Cleveland, OH, USA; New York Jets offensive guard Wesley Johnson (76) during the second half against the Cleveland Browns at FirstEnergy Stadium. The Jets won 31-28. Mandatory Credit: Scott R. Galvin-USA TODAY Sports

Center Wesley Johnson has signed his restricted free agent tender for $2.75 million to return to the Jets, according to multiple reports

Johnson started the final four games with the Jets last year when Nick Mangold was placed on injured reserve with an ankle injury. 

During his three seasons with the Jets, Johnson has started in nine games, with eight of those coming in 2016. 

 

Tags: Wesley Johnson

QB Pat Mahomes highlights 00:01:22
SNY.tv takes a look at the best plays from former Texas Tech quarterback Pat Mahomes II.

Latest Update (April 12)

10:00AM: Texas Tech QB Patrick Mahomes is visiting with the Jets today, according to Adam Schefter of ESPN.

Mahomes would have hired Jeremy Bates to be his private QB coach this offseason, but was unable to once the Jets hired Bates as the team's QB coach, Schefter added. The two have mutual respect for each other.

With the draft 15 days away, the Jets are reportedly looking hard at the quarterbacks available.

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Texas A&M quarterback Trevor Knight (Troy Taormina/USA TODAY Sports)
Texas A&M quarterback Trevor Knight (Troy Taormina/USA TODAY Sports)

The New York Jets held a workout with former Texas A&M quarterback Trevor Knight, NFL Network's Ian Rapoport reports.

Knight, 23, threw for 2,432 yards, 19 touchdowns and seven interceptions in 11 games with the Aggies last year.

In three prior seasons with the Oklahoma Sooners, Knight threw for 3,424 yards, 25 touchdowns and 19 interceptions.

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New York Jets head coach Todd Bowles leaves the field following a game against the Buffalo Bills at MetLife Stadium. (Brad Penner/USA Today Sports Images)
New York Jets head coach Todd Bowles leaves the field following a game against the Buffalo Bills at MetLife Stadium. (Brad Penner/USA Today Sports Images)

The New York Jets will play three preseason games at MetLife Stadium this year.

New York will open its preseason slate at home against the Tennessee Titans between Aug. 10 and Aug. 14, then face the Detroit Lions on the road in Week 2, played between Aug. 17 and Aug. 21.

The Jets will be the road team when they face the New York Giants at MetLife Stadium in Week 3, played between Aug. 24 and Aug. 28, then end their preseason schedule at home against the Philadelphia Eagles on Aug. 31.

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GEICO SportsNite: Willie Colon 00:01:32
Willie Colon calls it quits for his career in the NFL and hosted a retirement party Friday attended by friends and teammates.

 (Seth Wenig/AP)
(Seth Wenig/AP)

The Jets added free agent cornerback John Ojo on Friday. The 6'3, 205 lb former Edmonton Eskimo has spent the past three years in the Canadian Football League.

His CFL run was highlighted by a 41 tackle, five interception season in 2015. 

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Corey Griffin and Brian Bassett deliver a new podcast, as they dive into the potential trade market for Sheldon Richardson (if there is one), and start prospecting for new Jets recruits as the NFL Draft approaches.

Click below to listen!

 

Tags: Sheldon Richardson
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Malik Hooker highlights 00:00:35
SNY.tv takes a look at the best plays from former Ohio State safety and NFL Draft prospect Malik Hooker.

Ohio State S Malik Hooker and Missouri DE Charles Harris are among the defensive Draft prospects the Jets will visit with on Thursday and Friday, reports Ian Rapoport of NFL.com.

The Jets have the sixth overall selection in the Draft, which takes place April 27-29 in Philadelphia.

Hooker was a First Team All-Big Ten selection this past season.

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 (Ron Chenoy)
(Ron Chenoy)

The Jets have signed TE Brian Parker, the team announced Thursday.

Parker, who played in nine games for the Chiefs in 2015 (making one reception), initially signed with the Chargers as an undrafted free agent in 2015.

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RB Leonard Fournette highlights 00:02:11
SNY.tv takes a look at the best plays from former LSU running back and NFL Draft prospect Leonard Fournette.

Ralph Vacchiano, SNY.tv

I don't remember doing a mock draft any time in the last 20 or so years (though I did find internet evidence of one in 2010). I'm still interpreting my record in all the other years to be perfect -- no misses. But, as they say, "No guts, no glory". It's time to put that streak on the line with my first Mock Draft for SNY. It won't be my last, either. I'll be revising this up until Draft Week. So keep checking back. This is simply version 1.0:

1. Cleveland Browns - Myles Garrett, DE, Texas A&M
Yeah, they need a quarterback, but he's the best player in the draft and they have a decent young QB on the roster. Plus they have the No. 12 pick (so stay tuned).

2. San Francisco 49ers - Solomon Thomas, DE Stanford
They need a quarterback too, but they have a new coach and GM on long-term deals. They can wait until there's a better QB crop.

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Should Jets trade for Sherman? 00:01:57
Dan Graca and Jon Hein discuss if the Jets should make a trade for Richard Sherman.

Dan Graca and Jon Hein discuss if the Jets should make a trade for Seahawks CB Richard Sherman.

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RB Leonard Fournette highlights 00:02:11
SNY.tv takes a look at the best plays from former LSU running back and NFL Draft prospect Leonard Fournette.

Ralph Vacchiano Facebook | Twitter | Archive

When Leonard Fournette, the star running back at LSU and a possible target for the Jets with the sixth pick of the draft, weighed a surprising 240 at the NFL scouting combine in early March, he blamed it on drinking way too much water.

Apparently, all that water weight is now gone.

Tags: Bilal Powell, Calvin Pryor, Marcus Gilchrist, Matt Forte, Ralph Vacchiano
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New York Jets center Nick Mangold (74) against the Arizona Cardinals at University of Phoenix Stadium. (Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports)
New York Jets center Nick Mangold (74) against the Arizona Cardinals at University of Phoenix Stadium. (Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports)

Ralph Vacchiano, SNY.tv

Former Jets center Nick Mangold is making his first known free-agent visit to meet with the Baltimore Ravens on Wednesday, according to a report.

The 33-year-old, who was released by the Jets in February, was expected to arrive in Baltimore late Tuesday night, according to ESPN. The Ravens traded their starting center, Jeremy Zuttah, to the San Francisco 49ers last month but did not bring in a replacement.

They do have two in-house candidates - John Urschel and Ryan Jensen, both of whom are 25. If healthy, the 33-year-old Mangold could conceivably compete for that job, or at least provide a veteran mentor to help the young centers.

Tags: Nick Mangold, Ralph Vacchiano
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