By contrast to the subject of yesterday's BGA, Quinton Coples has been one of the most scrutinized players this offseason. Heading into his third year in the league, people are still speculating over whether the way Rex Ryan uses him is a miscalculation on the part of the Jets' defensive mastermind.

Coples had 4.5 sacks last season, a slight decrease from the 5.5 he managed in his rookie season. Focus on him increased even further when former Jets great Joe Klecko questioned his work ethic. However, there are plenty of overlooked factors which need to be explored in more depth.

After the jump, we consider some of these things and discuss what the Jets can expect from Coples in 2014.

The "move" to "linebacker"

There were plenty of misconceptions flying around last year after the Jets shocked everyone by drafting another interior lineman and then went on to announce that Coples would be "moving to outside linebacker". Much was written about how Coples would struggle in coverage and lack the agility to play the position. However, that was rooted in the fact that the Rush Linebacker role within Ryan's defense is something the media struggles to fully understand.

That Rush role, as occupied by the likes of Terrell Suggs in Baltimore, has far more in common with a defensive end position that a linebacker position. That player will still rush the passer the majority of the time and even when they do drop into coverage, it's usually just dropping off into a passing lane or a shallow zone, not tracking a receiver down the field. Since the Rush plays on the weakside, there is no tight end on that side and therefore any concern that tight ends would be able to exploit Coples in coverage was overplayed.

Moreover, this was a role which Coples had already been playing in 2012, and with increasing regularity as the season wound to a close. While he only played 27 snaps from a standing position (some of which were merely amoeba formations with multiple linemen standing) he played as a 4-3 end on 26% of his snaps as a rookie, a not-insignificant number. Therefore, Coples seeing more time coming off the edge was something I was already predicting and, once they announced it, my research indicated that Coples was just as productive going against tackles as he was against interior linemen.

There was one major change to his role though, although it didn't involve putting more on his plate. That key change was that he stopped playing on the interior altogether. Having played there approximately 25% of the time in preseason, he saw less than 30 snaps as a defensive tackle all season, nearly all of them before week six. Maybe this was a reaction to how well the defensive line was playing without him or maybe it was an effort to get him to focus on the edge rusher role. Either way, he certainly responded over the second half of the season.

Heading into 2014, Coples has reportedly lost 15 pounds in an effort to make himself faster. This essentially cements the fact that he won't be used on the inside this season. However, while he's talking about doing more "linebackery" things like dropping into coverage, he's still going to be primarily an edge rusher and an edge setter in the running game.

At times, I'm left wondering if there are people out there who expected to see Coples going sideline to sideline like a conventional linebacker in the Derrick Brooks mold. He has even lined up in such a fashion once or twice as you can see in the image and it doesn't even look right! By the way, that play resulted in Coples mowing through the line to make a tackle in the backfield.

Who are we to question Rex Ryan?

It is surprising that the architect of one of the league's top defenses finds it so hard to earn the benefit of the doubt from the media. I've seen plenty of comments questioning the logic behind this move, including this one from ESPN New York's Rich Cimini:

To me, this move is a reach. A 280-pound linebacker? Why do I have the feeling we'll be reporting late in training camp that Coples is returning to the defensive line?

While I'm surprised Cimini hasn't - to my knowledge - attempted to play the "he's basically being used as a defensive end anyway" card, he continues to pour cold water on the move. Earlier this week he did, at least, pay Coples a compliment, saying:

There aren’t many 6-foot-6, 280-pound athletes like him walking the face of the Earth, someone who can play in a three-point stance and stand up as a linebacker.

However, even while doing this he also suggested that Coples had "underachieved" and that there might be a change if he has "another non-descript season".

Leaving aside the fact that guys like Julius Peppers and Mario Williams have both played the position at an equivalent size - and that Coples must weigh less than that now if reports of his weight loss are accurate - why would any writer know better than a head coach of a football team how to make the best use of his players?

But wait...have I not been guilty of something similar? In the past, I was outspoken about being unable to understand why the Eric Mangini Jets in 2006 and 2007 had opted to employ Eric Barton as an inside linebacker and Victor Hobson as an outside linebacker. It seemed like Barton would lack the size to take on blockers inside and Hobson would lack the speed to generate pressure off the edge.

Now that I've gone back over the 2007 season, I can see the wisdom behind Mangini making that move. It was true that Hobson would lack the speed to generate any pressure coming off the edge. However, Mangini (perhaps in concert with defensive coordinator Bob Sutton) knew that the Jets were unlikely to generate any pressure off the edge with their outside personnel, often resorting to sending them on delayed blitzes in the hope that they could avoid being picked up. Barton getting there half a step quicker wasn't going to make any significant positive influence on the Jets pass rush, but replacing him with the slightly slower Hobson inside might have more of a negative effect. So, leaving Hobson, who at least had the strength to hold up reasonably well against the run, on the outside, was an exercise in damage limitation.

This highlights one of the biggest differences between Ryan and Mangini. As I wrote yesterday, Ryan seeks to put his players in a position whereby they can play to their strengths. Mangini was allowing how he used his players to be dictated by what they could not do. In Mangini's defense, the Jets had been cap-strapped at the time and he didn't have ideal personnel to work with, so building a conservative, bend-but-not-break defense was the best chance they had of remaining competitive.

There's something much more interesting we can learn from the 2007 season that's relevant to this topic, though.

Whoever heard of a 280-pound linebacker?

Oh how they scoffed when the Jets announced they were going to be moving a defensive tackle to linebacker. Nobody ever tried that before. It's unheard of. Except...

Die-hard Jets fans may remember a game from that 2007 season when the Jets silenced the partisan Steelers faithful at the Meadowlands (no, that's not a misprint) with a stunning overtime win. The Jets threw a strategic wrinkle that the Steelers weren't expecting, by employing Shaun Ellis - a 6'5" 285-pound defensive lineman - as an outside linebacker. The result was that the Jets - who entered the game with a league-low nine sacks in nine games - sacked Ben Roethlisberger seven times, with Ellis recording one sack and two half-sacks. That was just a one-off, a novelty though. Except...

Over the last six games of the season, the Jets persisted with the Ellis-at-outside-linebacker experiment. He played 93 snaps as an outside linebacker in those six games. Contrast that with Coples, who only played 173 snaps as an outside linebacker in 14 games. That's fewer snaps-per-game standing up.

In addition, unlike the situation with Coples, Ellis wasn't simply playing a defensive end role without putting his hand in the dirt or just standing up in some pass packages, he was actually playing an outside linebacker role in the base defense. Mangini and Sutton's defense doesn't operate like a hybrid, so they were actually bringing in another interior lineman (often CJ Mosley) and taking an outside linebacker out of the game for Ellis to replace.

Any concerns about Coples' speed, agility or hip fluidity and the effect they could have on his ability to carry out such a role would apply equally to Ellis. In fact, I'd clearly peg Coples as better than him in these categories, although we can't make a measurables comparison because Ellis opted not to work out at the combine. Did it effect Ellis, though? Not really, because he dropped into coverage just three times in those six games, no more or less than he would in any typical season. By contrast, Coples dropped into coverage 25 times last year, although it is interesting to note that nine of these plays were when he had his hand in the dirt. Opposing teams were unable to exploit Ellis being out of position, as he was one of the Jets' better defensive performers throughout the season. The Jets were out of the race by midseason, but pretty competitive down the stretch.

Assessing Coples' progress

Some have suggested, perhaps based on the sack totals, that Coples was less productive once he moved full-time into the edge rusher role. However, that's not true at all. In his rookie year, Coples never had more than four total pressures (sacks plus hits plus hurries) in a game. However, in the second half of last year, he averaged 4.5 per game.

That's not entirely as cut-and-dried as it would seem. You would typically expect a higher rate of pressure coming off the edge than you would for an interior player. However, at the same time, we shouldn't forget that those rookie pass rush numbers do include some plays where he was coming off the edge.

What about the first half of the year, though? Just one sack, four hits and four pressures? That was definitely a slow start for him in terms of production. Of course this was partly attributable to the change in role, but also let's not forget that he broke his foot in August, so the fact it took him until October to get firing on all cylinders could also be attributable to that.

We'll have to wait and see whether that second half output was indicative of what he's capable of producing all the time or whether those numbers will even off. If he can generate pressure at that rate, those numbers would be comparable to the elite edge rushers around the NFL. Even when he wasn't producing statistically, there were signs throughout the season that he was giving opposing tackles more and more problems and there were plenty of examples of him beating his man but not generating a pressure because the opposing quarterback got rid of the ball almost immediately. He could perhaps benefit indirectly from a better performance from the secondary this year too.

It's not all about pass rushing though. How did Coples fare against the run? Again, he showed improvements in this area. As a unit, the Jets run defense was the best in the NFL for the majority of the season, with Coples playing over 80% of the snaps. That in and of itself indicates that he was making positive contributions. He graded out positively (+4.5) according to PFF, having had a negative grade (-1.5) as a rookie. Once again, he showed improvements in this area over the second half of the year. Overall, he had eight tackles for a loss in 14 games, as opposed to five in 16 as a rookie.

Maybe the change to his role accelerated his growth, maybe it set him back. Either way, it seems clear he did improve from year one to year two and that progress is something the Jets will be keen to continue fostering.

Conclusions

While much has been written and speculated about Coples' role and likely performance in 2014 and beyond, the proof is in the pudding and it will be exciting to see what he can achieve this season.

It remains to be seen whether the weight loss will work in his favor, but if he can get to the quarterback a half-step sooner, that could make a huge difference. Coples had a team leading 15 quarterback hits in 2013; Turning just half of these into sacks would take him comfortably into double-digits.

As long as he remains healthy, the sky's the limit for Coples and Ryan has set up the defense in such a way as he could make a real name for himself this year if he lives up to his promise. Things are moving in the right direction, so perhaps we should trust Rex Ryan. He knows what he's doing.

This series continues next weekend with an article focusing on Kenrick Ellis.

Tags: bentdouble, BGA, Bent Double

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

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

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

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

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

Click below to listen

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Bent, theJetsBlog.com Follow on Twitter

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

2017: Safety Jamal Adams, No. 6

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

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

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

So, who will it be?

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

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

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

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

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

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 (Kevin Jairaj)
(Kevin Jairaj)

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

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


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

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

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 (Dennis Wierzbicki)
(Dennis Wierzbicki)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

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

No pressure, right?

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

Bent, theJetsBlog.com Follow on Twitter

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

Parry Nickerson, CB, Tulane

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

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

Click below to listen

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 (Tim Fuller)
(Tim Fuller)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

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

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

Tags: Damon Harrison, Leonard Williams, Muhammad Wilkerson, Sheldon Richardson, Steve McLendon, Ralph Vacchiano
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Los Angeles Chargers kicker Nick Rose attempts a field goal during an NFL game against the New York Jets at MetLife Stadium. (Kirby Lee/USA TODAY Sports)
Los Angeles Chargers kicker Nick Rose attempts a field goal during an NFL game against the New York Jets at MetLife Stadium. (Kirby Lee/USA TODAY Sports)

The Jets were awarded kicker Nick Rose on Monday after the Los Angeles Chargers placed him on waivers, the team announced.

Rose made 11 of 14 field goals in 10 games with the Chargers and Washington Redskins last season and converted on 23 of 26 extra points. He went 1-for-3 as a member of the Chargers in Weeks 16 and 17, and 10-for-11 in eight games with Washington. His longest make last year was 55 yards.

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Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

Brian Winters remembers everything about the moment his 2017 season went off the rails. He remembers the time, the place, the play, and without question, the pain.

"It was second quarter in Oakland (in Week 2) with five minutes to go before half when we were driving in to the north end zone. I still remember it like it was yesterday," said the 26-year-old guard. "It was an outside zone play and (running back) Bilal (Powell) was trying to stretch it outside of me, so I went to continue to push my guy through. And as soon as I pushed through I felt like a pop."

Tags: Brian Winters, Wesley Johnson, Ralph Vacchiano
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Oklahoma Sooners wide receiver Jeff Badet catches a touchdown pass against Texas Longhorns defensive back Kris Boyd in the second quarter at the Cotton Bowl. (Tim Heitman/USA TODAY Sports)
Oklahoma Sooners wide receiver Jeff Badet catches a touchdown pass against Texas Longhorns defensive back Kris Boyd in the second quarter at the Cotton Bowl. (Tim Heitman/USA TODAY Sports)

Bent, theJetsBlog.com Follow on Twitter

Last week, we looked at some of the players who have been invited to attend an official pre-draft visit with the Jets. More names have leaked out over the past seven days, so let's break down some of the more interesting ones in detail.

Jeff Badet, WR, Oklahoma

Badet spent most of his collegiate career at Kentucky, but saw some high profile action last year after transferring to Oklahoma. He wasn't invited to the scouting combine, but if he had been, his pro day numbers for the 40-yard dash, vertical jump and broad jump would all have ranked first or second at the receiver position.

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

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive: It's not quite crunch time yet, but there are less than three weeks until the start of the first round of the NFL draft, which means draft boards are in their final stages all around the league. It also means that the truth about which players are being targeted by which teams is starting to leak out -- albeit slowly.

Still, there are a lot of variables, especially in the first two picks. But at the moment there aren't many changes to my latest Mini-Mock Draft. The Browns are still taking a quarterback at 1. The Jets are still definitely taking one at 3. And I still think the Giants will take one -- assuming the right one is available -- at 2.

Here's a full look at my new Top 10, with some updated inside information...

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 (Brad Penner)
(Brad Penner)

Former Jets QB Mark Sanchez has been suspended four games after violating the performance-enhancing drug policy, the league announced Friday. 

Sanchez, who last played for the Jets in 2013, was the Bear's third-string quarterback last season. He claimed that "unknowing supplement contamination" was the reason for his drug test to turn up positive. 

The 31-year-old took to Instagram to explain the whole story...

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 (Kamil Krzaczynski)
(Kamil Krzaczynski)

The Jets have already begun condensing their roster for next season as the team announced several cuts on Friday. 

Among them was former Bears RB Jeremy Langford, who signed a reserve/future contract with the Jets worth $630,000 this offseason. The 26-year-old spent time jumping through practice squads last season, and though he was promoted to the Ravens' 53-man roster, an injury pushed him to the IR the same week he joined the team. 

Langford was released following his IR placement, and the former fourth-round pick wouldn't see time for the rest of the season.

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New York Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. (13) greets Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant (88) during warmups before a game at MetLife Stadium. (Brad Penner)
New York Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. (13) greets Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant (88) during warmups before a game at MetLife Stadium. (Brad Penner)

WR Dez Bryant was released by the Cowboys on Friday afternoon, with Bryant reportedly hinting afterwards that he might be staying in the NFC East.

Bryant, 29, had a down year in 2017, with 69 receptions for 838 yards and six touchdowns in 16 games.

"I let a lot of things get in the way that bother me mentally," Bryant said late last season. "I feel like, if anything, I need to deal with in the offseason - is that. Like I said, there's only certain things I can control."

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

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The Jets are taking a quarterback with the third overall pick in the draft. They know it. Everyone knows it. And they know everyone knows it. "I mean, you'd have to be out of your mind to think otherwise," was how one team official said it. The only lingering question is: Which one?

The Jets have had or will have had private meetings and workouts with all of the top four, and GM Mike Maccagnan has made the rounds at their Pro Days. When they traded up to No. 3 they were convinced that they'd be happy with choosing from whichever two (or three) fell to them. And obviously at least two of the Big Four -- USC's Sam Darnold, UCLA's Josh Rosen, Oklahoma's Baker Mayfield and Wyoming's Josh Allen -- will still be there...

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Jonas Schwartz and Willie Colon take their deepest dive yet into the NFL Draft. They discuss the latest with the four quarterbacks, as well as look back at Willie's draft process with the Steelers in 2006. Later, Brian Costello of the New York Post joins the show to give his take on the draft and the possibility of Mike Maccagnan signing defensive tackle Johnathan Hankins.

Click below to listen

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