During the offseason, I’ll be looking back at certain aspects of the Jets’ season by analyzing data compiled from all nineteen games, rather than watching film. I will be tackling as many diverse topics as possible, but welcome your suggestions or requests in the comments.

Let's begin this week with a quote from the Head Coach:

The thing that is not noticed about Braylon is, I think he is the best blocker in football at the receiver position. Each week you watch (him), he’s knocking DBs down. (We mark him on) the bracket guy and (the bracket guy) is like, “What are you doing blocking me?” We take advantage of him. (Edwards) and Hines Ward are the two guys that really get after it probably better than anybody.


- Rex Ryan, January 2011

As Jets fans, we've all seen this. The imposing Edwards has five inches and 30 pounds on some defensive backs and can often be seen making dominating blocks downfield. However, while analyzing film this year, I noticed that Edwards often misses blocks too and he was heavily penalized during the year. Even more intriguingly, according to PFF's player ratings, he ranked 103rd out of 110 receivers in terms of blocking during the 2010 season.

So, is Edwards one of the best blocking wide receivers in the NFL or is he actually one of the worst? Without even doing any research, we can be pretty confident that the answer falls somewhere in between. There must be some truth to Rex Ryan's assessment, but equally if PFF have rated every player on every snap and over 90% of wide receivers ended up with a better grade than him then there must be some areas where he could improve or needs to be more consistent.

After the jump, I look at the data and try to pinpoint where Braylon might be underperforming or where his contributions may be being overlooked.

Making the Grade

Before we analyze Braylon's performance, it may be useful to briefly explain how PFF arrives at their grades. As you've probably heard, they rewatch every single play several times so that they can assign a grade to each player. Many players will simply get a 0.0 grade if they just do their job and their performance has little bearing on the success or failure of the play. However, if there is a broken tackle, somebody sheds a block, a pass is well thrown, caught or defensed or a lineman drives back his opposite number to affect the play, then positive and negative grades from -2.0 to 2.0 are distributed accordingly to the players involved. Note: a grade above 1.0 or below -1.0 on any given play is pretty rare.

In the context of wide receiver blocking, a 0.0 grade would be the norm, because most running plays either go up the middle or don't gain enough yards for downfield blocking to affect the success or failure of the play. However, by making a block at the line or downfield, a wide receiver can potentially earn himself a positive or negative grade. The success of the play also has an impact on the grade. For example, a great block to free up a runner for four yards on 3rd and short is typically going to get a better grade than a great block that springs a runner for six yards on 3rd and long.

Most importantly of all, every player is graded on the same criteria. So, once we've looked at Braylon's performance, it might not seem to be that bad. However, in terms of netting off positive blocks against blown blocks, most of the receivers in the league will have performed better, being judged on the same criteria. Edwards might have made more key blocks than a lot of less-talented blockers than him, but they could still have a better grade by more consistently doing their job and avoiding negatively graded plays. You may feel that Edwards should have received more credit for some of his downfield blocking, but then again the same could probably be said for everybody else, so that may not have tipped the overall balance in his favor very much.

Breaking Down Braylon's Blocking in 2010

Despite the fact that his overall ranking was so low, Edwards actually had more positively graded plays (eight) as a run blocker than negatively graded plays (seven). He also had two positively graded blocks on screen passes and no negative plays for screen blocking.

Let's look at the positive plays first:

1. Week 3 (at Miami) - 1st and 10, early 2nd quarter. Edwards blocks Quentin Moses and LaDainian Tomlinson gains 21 yards

2. Week 3 (at Miami) - 1st and 10, late third quarter. Edwards again blocks Moses and the run goes for seven yards, setting up 2nd and 3

3. Week 5 (v Minnesota) - 1st and 10, middle of the fourth quarter. Edwards blocks Ben Leber to the ground, but the play just goes for a gain of one

4. Week 9 (at Detroit) - 1st and 10, late third quarter. Edwards blocks Cliff Avril and the run goes for five yards, setting up second and five

5. Week 11 (v Houston) - 3rd and five, middle of the second quarter. Screen pass goes for 26 yards, as Edwards makes a good downfield block on Troy Nolan

6. Week 12 (v Cincinnati) - 1st and 10, early third quarter. End around to Brad Smith for a 53 yard TD, as Edwards makes a good downfield block on Reggie Nelson

7. Week 13 (at New England) - 1st and 10, late first quarter. Run goes for 13 yards, as Edwards makes a good downfield block on Devin McCourty.

8. Week 16 (at Chicago) - 1st and 10, late second quarter. Run goes for 11 yards as Edwards makes a good block on Charles Tillman

9. Week 17 (v Buffalo) - 3rd and 16, early first quarter. Brad Smith keeps for 40 yards, as Edwards drives back Leodis McKelvin on the outside and shoves him out of bounds

10. AFC Title Game (at Pittsburgh) - 3rd and two at the eight yard line. Edwards makes a good block on Ryan Clark, as Jerricho Cotchery gains six on a screen pass.

Those were the ten plays that earned Edwards a positive grade. Just over one every two weeks, although that isn't too bad for a wide receiver. If there were other plays you felt should have earned him a positive grade, bear in mind that under PFF's grading criteria, an equivalent block by somebody else would also not have received a positive grade.

Breaking down the ten plays, seven went for more than ten yards, although Edwards received credit for a downfield block rather than blocking a guy at the line or at the second level on four of those.

Let's now look at the seven plays which saw Edwards given a negative run blocking grade:

1. Week 9 (at Detroit) - 2nd and 7, late first quarter. Edwards missed his block on Chris Houston, who should have made the stop to force a third and long. He ultimately missed the tackle and the play went for a 12 yard gain, but Edwards still gets marked down

2. Week 9 (at Detroit) - 1st and 10, early first quarter. Edwards tried to cut block Ashlee Palmer, but Palmer hurdled him. Again, the damage was averted, as Damien Woody was able to pick him up, but the play went for a two yard gain to set up 2nd and eight

3. Week 11 (v Houston) - 1st and 10, late second quarter. Edwards tried to block Mario Williams, but got beaten and the play was blown up. A safety made the tackle for a one yard loss

4. Week 13 (at New England) - 1st and 10, early second quarter. Edwards got beaten by Patrick Chung and the play was stuffed for a gain of one to set up second and nine

5. Week 14 (v Miami) - 1st and 10, late third quarter. Edwards got beaten by Sean Smith and the play was stuffed for a gain of one to set up second and nine

6. Week 17 (v Buffalo) - 2nd and 6, early first quarter. Edwards got beaten by Arthur Moats and although Joe McKnight was able to turn the play into a five yard gain, this was because Wayne Hunter committed a holding penalty when McKnight was forced to cut back.

7. Wild Card Game (at Indianapolis) - 1st and Goal at the three. Edwards was called upon to make a key block on Pat Angerer from the slot. He missed the block and that redirected the runner into two tacklers at the goalline

It's interesting to note that he didn't actually have a negatively graded play until the eighth game of the year. This could be due to the fact that he was not as focused on his blocking in the second half of the season, although he was more reliable as a receiver. You might think that this shows that they started giving him tougher assignments at that point, but he actually lined up as a tight end 36 times all season and 26 of those were before the bye week. Only one of the seven negatively-graded plays was remotely successful and that was in spite of Edwards missing his block.

Paying the Penalty

One key factor in Edwards' blocking performances is his penalty count. Edwards was the most penalized wide receiver in the NFL this season, although only four of his penalties were in the act of run blocking. (His others were two false starts, one offensive pass interference, a taunting penalty and a running into the kicker penalty). Let's consider these plays individually, because they might show signs of Edwards being able to make some key blocks with slight refining of his technique or perhaps more favorable officiating.

1. Week 3 (at Miami) - 2nd and three, late third quarter. Edwards was called for tripping on a play that went for six yards and a first down in the red zone. If you recall the play, Edwards kind of whiffed on his block and made contact with the defender by whipping his leg at him as he rolled over. The call was perhaps a bit dubious. Although I think the play would probably have gone for a first down if he didn't trip the defensive player, Edwards would probably otherwise have been graded negatively there.

2. Week 10 (at Cleveland) - 2nd and 10, middle of the fourth quarter. Brad Smith runs for 25 out of the Seminole package, but Edwards is called for a hold. He seemed to turn his man but then held on for a split second too long. I don't know if the play would have worked without the hold, but it did look like if Edwards showed slightly better technique it could have been a key block and would certainly have received a positive grade.

3. Week 11 (v Houston) - 1st and 10, middle of the second quarter. Edwards is called for an illegal block above the waist and the play still only goes for a gain of two. It's difficult to say whether Edwards would have been given a negative grade if he didn't commit the penalty.

4. Week 12 (v Cincinnati) - 1st and 10, early first quarter. Edwards is called for an illegal block above the waist and the play still only goes for a gain of three. It's again difficult to say whether Edwards would have been given a negative grade if he didn't commit the penalty.

In terms of his PFF grade, these penalties won't have had an effect on his rating, because penalties are separately tracked. In fact, if you combined the run blocking and penalty grades, Braylon would be last in the league, although that isn't strictly fair, because not all of the penalties relate to run blocking, as noted above.

Just Doing His Job

So, on the whole, Edwards makes a strong contribution as a run blocker. If a play that receives neither a positive or negative grade is considered "just doing his job" then Edwards "just did his job" on all but 15 plays where he was employed as a run blocker. That was 464 plays in total, so Edwards can be said to have done his job 97% of the time. Of course, on many running plays, that doesn't involve much more than getting up out of your stance and walking back to the huddle, but it's still worth bearing in mind.

On those other 15 plays, he actually had more plays where he made a positive contribution, which suggests he is at least competent as a run blocker. This is especially true if - as Rex Ryan's quote at the beginning of the article suggests - Braylon was given assignments above and beyond those that a regular wideout might be granted. PFF's ratings wouldn't take that into account, since they are just a measure of how well you do your job. If you are given a tougher job to do, then that is a reflection on your ability, but you still need to perform well at it to be successful. It's up to analysts like myself to derive added meaning from any anomalies that this will throw up.

In that respect, the value isn't seen in terms of the 15 plays where he was positively or negatively graded, many of which were of the routine variety. Instead, it's hidden within the 97% that he "just did his job" because if he held his own in those situations and most other receivers wouldn't have been able to, then he is adding tremendous value to his team, in terms of them being able to run with passing personnel on the field and increasing the potential in terms of being flexible enough to run the no-huddle or call audibles to cash in on the versatility.

For fear of accidentally writing the conclusion before I've finished the research, let's take a step back at this stage. Edwards' run blocking performance doesn't seem so bad that 90% of the receivers in the league would grade out better, so why is that?

It's All Relative

You can watch every snap of every Jets game - multiple times, if you want to - and it gives you a pretty good idea of how well a player has played, but not necessarily how well they are playing in comparison to the rest of the league. For example, in 2009, I repeatedly wrote how Kerry Rhodes - despite all the criticism he was getting - wasn't actually playing that badly, on balance. However, even I was amazed to find that he ended up number two in PFF's rankings that year. That's where the value of PFF comes in, because instead of just knowing that your guy made X good plays and Y bad plays, you can see how that stacks up against the rest of the league. In Kerry's case, it was a down year for safeties, apparently. How about Braylon? Was this a banner year for run blocking wideouts or something?

Not exactly. In fact, only 22 of the receivers (one-fifth) with over 25% snap counts graded out positively for blocking. So what led to Braylon being so far down the list?

Remember, Braylon had eight positively-graded run blocks and two positively-graded screen blocks, but also had seven negatively-graded run blocks. Let's compare that to the benchmark for run blocking wide receivers: Hines Ward.

Ward has long since been regarded as one of the best blocking wideouts in the league, if not THE best and, unlike Edwards, this time his reputation IS backed up by his PFF grades. Consistently in the top three, he placed 1st again this year, if you include playoff games. How do his blocking numbers compare to those of Edwards?

The difference is quite striking. He had 26 positively-graded run blocks and five positively graded screen blocks, as opposed to 12 negatively-graded run blocks and just one negatively-graded screen block. Not only is he more consistent in terms of making more positive than negative blocks, but Ward also seems to get more opportunities to make (or fail to make) a key block.

Why could this be? One reason is that the Jets only run to the outside 21% of the time and the Steelers do 30% of the time (perhaps to capitalize on Ward's abilities). Also, Ward is in the slot more often than Edwards, so he is more likely to be directly involved in running plays. One key difference is that Ward had ten positively-graded blocks at the second level. Edwards had zero.

Clearly Ward - who had five positively-graded blocks in the Superbowl alone - is still an elite run blocker and Edwards eventually needs to show the same level of consistency.

Not everybody that was above Edwards in the rankings is as involved as Hines Ward in the running game. You need look no further than Santonio Holmes and Jerricho Cotchery, each of whom graded out better than Edwards in 2010. Holmes had just two positively-graded run blocks and two negatively-graded run blocks, as well as two positively-graded screen blocks and only one negatively-graded screen block. He was just a couple of places above Edwards, whereas Jerricho Cotchery only just graded negatively and actually had just one negatively-graded run block on the year. He had nine positively graded run blocks, but clearly the results of these plays were not good enough to garner him a positive grade.

Arrelious Benn was in a similar position to Cotchery. He had 13 positive blocks and only one negative one, but still found himself below Ward in the rankings. Terrence Copper (14 positive blocks, five negative) rounded out the top three. Copper and Benn are notable because they played less than half as many snaps as Ward, so may have ended up with a better grade if they played as much as him.

Just to complete the picture, at the bottom of the pile was another Steeler, Mike Wallace, who had four positive and eight negative blocks (including screen blocking).

Does Size Matter?

One theory I had was that perhaps the likes of Ward might be more likely to get a positive grade on a play because they are blocking somebody of a similar size, whereas Edwards is often bigger than the guy he is blocking and therefore it tends to look more effortless.

I've decided to throw out that theory, though, because guys like Andre Johnson and Brandon Marshall were near the top of the ratings. That doesn't mean that size is important though, because guys like Danny Amendola and Eddie Royal were also near the top.

In any case, it's clear from the plays that I broke down earlier that Edwards was often charged with blocking a guy of equivalent size or bigger.

2009 and 2008

So, is Edwards capable of being a more consistent blocker? It would certainly appear so, based on the two seasons prior to this one. In 2009, he still graded out negatively, but was much higher up the list, near the middle of the pack. Back in 2008, playing for the Browns, he may have been one of the league's worst receivers overall, thanks to his 19 dropped catches, but he actually graded out positively and in the top 25 for his blocking. Maybe he had easier blocking assignments in those days, though. Note: He also had seven penalties in 2009 and 11 in 2008.

Conclusions

Based on this research, I'd suggest that Braylon Edwards is capable of being an elite blocker, although he does tend to have the occasional lapse in either judgment, technique or focus. If he can improve in these areas in the same manner as he seems to have corrected his issues in terms of catching the ball, then there's every chance he could become an even more dynamic and productive player over the next few seasons.

Although his PFF rating was poor, that can perhaps be explained away by the fact he was given tougher assignments than many of his peers. While it does underscore how he must become more consistent, I don't feel that his bottom-ten ranking truly reflects his ability and contribution.

Was Rex Ryan jumping the gun slightly to call him the best in the league? Of course he was. Then again, talking up his guys is not out of character for Rex and if it motivates Edwards to continue to take pride in his blocking, then that can only be a good thing...if Edwards remains a Jet, of course.

Note: Exclusive data provided by ProFootballFocus.com have been used in the compiling of this analysis. This information is not available to the general public, so we are grateful to have been granted exclusive access. Off-season subscriptions are still available at their website and you can follow them on twitter (@profootbalfocus) where one of their analysts is always happy to respond quickly to any questions you might have.
Tags: BGA, Main Page, Bent Double

Darnold talks Giants and Jets 00:01:27
Sam Darnold talks about meeting Eli Manning, his visits with the Giants and Jets and advice he received from fellow Trojan Mark Sanchez.

USC QB Sam Darnold didn't get to meet with Eli Manning during his visit with the Giants, but got to see plenty of Jets during his visit with them.

"I saw him from a distance and he was working, so I didn't want to bother him," Darnold said about Manning. "We had a chance to meet at the Manning Camp, which was awesome."

Regarding the Jets, Darnold said he got to see a bunch of players he was familiar with.

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UCLA QB Josh Rosen (Mark J. Rebilas/USA TODAY Sports)
UCLA QB Josh Rosen (Mark J. Rebilas/USA TODAY Sports)

UCLA QB Josh Rosen, who is expected to be taken early in the first round during the NFL Draft on Thursday night, had fun with reporters who were asking him on Wednesday about the potential of being selected by the Jets at No. 3 or Giants at No. 2.

"You're trying to catch me," Rosen playfully told SNY's Ralph Vacchiano when asked about the media spotlight in New York.

Rosen also discussed his visits to the Jets and Giants. Hear his full comments below...

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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)

The Cleveland Browns could be deciding between Oklahoma QB Baker Mayfield and Wyoming QB Josh Allen with the No. 1 overall pick in Thursday night's NFL Draft, reports Mary Kay Cabot of Cleveland.com.

The Browns had been linked most recently to USC QB Sam Darnold as their likely choice at No. 1, with Mayfield's name first thrown in the mix on Tuesday. Now, the Browns are reportedly "cooling" on Darnold.

If the Browns are legitimately interested in Mayfield at No. 1 and take him, it would throw a wrench in the Jets' reported plan to tab Mayfield at No. 3.

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Willie Colon picks Josh Rosen 00:01:03
SNY Jets Analyst Willie Colon thinks the Jets will select quarterback Josh Rosen with the third pick in the NFL Draft.

Former Jet and current SNY analyst Willie Colon thinks the Jets will tab UCLA QB Josh Rosen with the No. 3 pick in Thursday's NFL Draft in Dallas. 

"I think [GM Mike] Maccagnan is at the point where he's okay with a kid being an outward thinker -- that's the label, so to speak, with Rosen," Colon said Tuesday on The Jet Stream Podcast on SNY. "But I think he understands he's an extremely polished quarterback."

Along with Rosen, the Jets have been connected to Oklahoma QB Baker Mayfield, who SNY's Ralph Vacchiano and Peter Schrager of Fox Sports believes will be the Jets' pick. ...Click below to listen to the Jet Stream podcast with Colon, Schrager, and Jonas Schwartz...

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

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

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

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

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

Click below to listen

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Bent, theJetsBlog.com Follow on Twitter

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

2017: Safety Jamal Adams, No. 6

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

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

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

So, who will it be?

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

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

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

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

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

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 (Kevin Jairaj)
(Kevin Jairaj)

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

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


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

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

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 (Dennis Wierzbicki)
(Dennis Wierzbicki)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tags: Leonard Williams
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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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