Over the course of the offseason, I’ll be posting a series of articles analyzing statistics and data rather than game film. I’ll also be revisiting last year’s offseason articles to see whether the conclusions drawn were indicative of what was actually going to happen during the season and using that information to try and determine what 2011’s data tells us about what might happen in 2012. However, before the new league year gets underway, I’m going to address some issues on the salary cap, draft picks, contracts and free agency side of things. In a few days, I’ll try and set out a realistic projection for what cap room the Jets are likely to have available once the new league year gets underway, but today I’m looking at the draft choices the Jets will have in the upcoming draft.

After the jump, I’ll list out all the picks initially held by the Jets, together with details of outstanding trades and potential compensatory picks.

As ever, if you want to jump in with questions, corrections or speculation, feel free to do so. I am also open to ideas for things you’d like me to cover over the course of the offseason.

Introduction

Here, according to WalterFootball.com are the picks that the Jets should hold in the upcoming draft:

1st Round – 16

2nd Round – 15 (47th overall)

3rd Round – 14 (76th overall)

4th Round – 13 (109th overall*)

5th Round – 19 (147th overall*)

6th Round – 18 (178th overall*)

7th Round – 17 (209th overall*)

However, this does not take into account the outcome of any conditionally traded draft picks or UFA compensatory picks. Therefore, let’s see how they will affect the Jets’ haul.

* Note: The overall position of picks from the fourth round onwards does not take into account compensatory picks at the end of the 3rd-to-7th rounds.

Conditionally Traded Picks

The Jets made three trades during the offseason for conditional draft picks. Let’s look at each of these individually:

Derrick Mason:

Mason was traded to Houston five weeks into the season for a conditional seventh round pick. The conditions were that, in order for the Jets to receive the pick, Mason would need to catch 33 passes over the last 11 games of the season. He ultimately got nowhere near this mark. Outcome: No pick owed to the Jets.

Dwight Lowery:

Lowery was traded to Jacksonville before the season began for a conditional sixth round pick. If he failed to meet the conditions, this would revert to a seventh rounder. Unfortunately, the conditions have not, to my knowledge, been officially announced. Based on what the Jets usually do, it could be based on (a) playing time, (b) the Jags re-signing Lowery when his contract expires or (c) some team-based goal. If it’s (a) that’s good news for the Jets, because he started several games for them before getting hurt. The Jags struggled in 2011, so (c) would be bad news. If it’s (b) or a combination of (a) and (b) that will depend what happens. Even if Lowery goes back to the Jags, they can perhaps get around the conditions by letting him hit free agency and then signing him immediately, as the Saints did with Jonathan Vilma. Outcome: At least a seventh rounder, possibly a sixth owed to the Jets.

Caleb Schlauderaff:

Schlauderaff was traded to the Jets for a conditional seventh rounder, although once again the trade conditions have not, to my knowledge, been released. If the conditions are not met, no pick is owed. If this is based on playing time, it’s unlikely the condition was met, because Schlauderaff played just 14 snaps. He is under contract for three years, but I suppose the condition could be something like he still has to be on the roster on the first day of the 2012 league year. Outcome: Either the Jets don’t owe a pick, or they owe a seventh rounder.

Taking the three trades together, the best case scenario is that they get an extra sixth rounder and the worst case scenario is that they get nothing because two seventh rounders will cancel each other out.

UFA Compensatory Picks

Note: UFA Compensatory Picks are different from the compensatory picks awarded when a team signs a restricted free agent or a franchised player to an offer sheet that isn’t matched. This is highly unlikely to apply to the Jets.

UFA Compensatory Picks are awarded to teams who lost a lot of free agents in the offseason. This is based on a secret formula that teams aren’t given, but the process has been going on long enough that we’ve got a pretty decent idea of how to project (assuming the NFL has not elected to change the formula, which is theoretically possible). Courtesy of the excellent AdamJT13, we now have enough information to make an informed estimate of the extra picks potentially due to the Jets.

First, here are some of the main rules:

- Teams can receive a maximum of four compensatory picks

- The maximum value of a compensatory pick is a third rounder

- Compensatory picks are added at the end of each round

- Only qualifying UFA losses count towards the calculation of how many picks are owed

- Qualifying UFA gains are offset against UFA losses and picks are only awarded to the extent that losses exceed gains

- To qualify, you must be an unrestricted free agent whose contract expired (or, in some cases, was voided) at the end of the previous season. RFA’s, even RFA’s that became UFA’s as a result of not being tendered do not qualify and neither do players who were cut, waived or released.

- Players signed after the end of the free agent signing period (usually the last week in June, but the lockout pushed this to the end of August in 2011) and players released before week 10 by their new teams do not qualify.

- The draft round value of the players appears to be mainly based on the annual value of their new contract, but playing time and postseason honors factor into things as well. For example, a player failing to have the required amount of playing time could become non-qualifying or a player with postseason honors might get bumped up to a higher round if they are on the bubble.

So, which of the Jets’ free agency signings and losses were qualifying and where does it leave them when netted out?

In terms of free agent gains, the good news is that the Jets don’t seem to have any qualifying gains which would otherwise be offset against their losses. Most of their free agent dollars were spent on re-signing players they already owned, which has no effect on the compensatory pick calculation. Those that they did sign before the end of the free agent signing period did not qualify because they were cut by their previous team before their contract expired (Strickland, Mason) or were not with a team at the end of the previous season (Burress).

In terms of losses, there were plenty, but not all of them were picked up and retained by another team. Therefore the likes of Pryce, Richardson, Laury, Clemens and Gholston do not qualify. Some of their players that got picked up were cut or traded by the Jets rather than seeing their contract expire. Therefore, Cotchery, Taylor, Lowery and Hartsock do not qualify. A couple were RFA’s that they decided not to tender, so Steve Weatherford and James Ihedigbo do not qualify. That seems to leave four that potentially qualify, which is the maximum number anyway, as noted above. Let’s look at each of these in detail.

Before we do, though, let’s refer back to Adam’s post for the approximate 2008 annual salary thresholds he used to accurately determine the appropriate draft round for each qualifying player:

7th Rounders – $0.9m to $2.7m

6th Rounders - $2.7m to $4m

5th Rounders - $4m to $5m

4th Rounders - $5m to $6.5m

3rd Rounders – Over $6.5m

These numbers applied back in 2008, when the salary cap was $116m and Adam was suggesting that the increase in these thresholds from year to year was more or less in line with the salary cap. Since the 2011 cap was $120.375m, we can apply a 3.8% increase to these figures and hope to be accurate, but the cap in 2009 was $129M, so it’s possible that the numbers would have been increased by more than that and then may not have been adjusted back down again for the reduction in the cap last year.

However, it’s probably an accurate enough starting point, so our thresholds kick in at $0.93m, $2.8m, $4.2m, $5.2m and $6.7m. So, let’s see where the Jets UFA losses fell:

Shaun Ellis:

Ellis got a one year deal for $4m, so he seems to have fallen just short of being a 5th rounder. However, he did play in 14 games, starting 10, so maybe that would be enough to push that up to a 5th rounder. Given that he played less than a third of the total snaps, I’d say this seems unlikely, but there’s no reason I can see that he shouldn’t fetch a sixth rounder.

Brad Smith:

Smith got a $15m, four year deal, so his average annual salary comes in at $3.75m. That puts him in the sixth round range and it seems unlikely he’ll be bumped up a level because he only played 44 more snaps than Ellis and started five fewer games. This looks certain to be a sixth rounder.

Drew Coleman:

Coleman got a three year, $7.4m deal. That puts his average at just below $2.5m, putting him just short of sixth round status. Maybe it’s close enough for him to get bumped up a level due to his playing time – 16 appearances, four starts, 49.4% snap count – but that was the maximum value for the deal, so the base salary might be lower anyway. This looks like a seventh rounder.

Braylon Edwards:

Edwards is an interesting case, because it’s possible he might not qualify, for a couple of reasons. First of all, his base salary was widely reported as just $1m which is pretty close to our estimated threshold. Secondly, he was released before the season ended. Finally, he did not play much. However, his salary was reported in some places as $1.6m, which leads me to believe he probably had a roster bonus early in the year. Also, he was released before the end of the year, but after week 10, which Adam suggests hasn’t stopped players from qualifying in the past. Finally, although he didn’t play much, I was surprised to see that he did play 22% of the snaps for the 49ers this year and Adam cites examples of players who have qualified despite having playing time of less than 20% in the past. All this leads me to conclude he’ll fetch them a seventh rounder, although had he met his incentives, the return would be greater.

The actual compensatory picks are usually announced in the third week of March or thereabouts.

EDIT: Since compiling this article, I’ve found another site that did a projection here. The good news is that their take basically agrees with my best case scenario.

Conclusions

Overall, the Jets currently have one pick in each round and, based on my projections, they will have several additional late round picks. I would suggest that they will get three seventh rounders and two sixth rounders, although the best case scenario might see one of the seventh rounders improved to a sixth (based on Lowery meeting his conditions) and it’s not inconceivable that Ellis could be worth a fifth rounder rather than a sixth. The worst case scenario might see Edwards not qualifying, Lowery only earning them a seventh and Schlauderaff costing them a pick. Even this would still net them two sixths and a seventh in addition to the picks they already have in each round.

These picks could come in useful, like when the Jets drafted Slauson in 2009 or could be packaged to move up in an earlier round and target someone specific. Maybe they could even trade one for a veteran player, although I doubt they would want to add a player with a high salary in this manner. No matter how accurate the projections, it figures to be a busy offseason.

We will of course update you once more concrete information is known.

Tags: BGA, Bent Double

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)

Bent, theJetsBlog.com Follow on Twitter

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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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)

It's not Sam Darnold, but it's a start: Jets sixth-round draft pick RB Trenton Cannon signs his rookie deal, the first of the team's draft picks to do so. 

Cannon, who played his college ball at Virginia State, led the CIAA (Division II) in rushing after posting 1,638 yards on 212 attempts (148.9 per game). He also scored 17 touchdowns, which led his Trojan team. 

"I'm feeling good, just settling on in," said Cannon, via Jets official site. "Right now I'm getting into the playbook, learning the plays."

Cannon adds running back depth to Gang Green, who lost Matt Forte to retirement. He joins a running backs room that is led by Bilal Powell and sophomore Elijah McGuire

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 (Chuck Cook)
(Chuck Cook)

Bent, theJetsBlog.com Follow on Twitter

The Jets today announced that they had signed seven undrafted free agents, so let's take a look into what each of them brings to the table...

FB Dimitri Flowers

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