Now that the season is over, I'll be writing analysis articles each week until the beginning of the league year and also during the period between the draft and training camp. I'll be breaking down some of the data from the 2012 season and revisiting some of the things I wrote about over the last two offseasons to see if any patterns identified at the time have continued or if any new patterns have developed.

In this week's BGA, I'm going to put some long overdue meat on the bones of a debate that is sure to be revisited all over the place within the next month. With the Jets' two starters at guard (Matt Slauson and Brandon Moore) both out of contract, the team will no doubt be evaluating how well Slauson performed in comparison with Vladimir Ducasse, who rotated in on every third series for the majority of the season. Ducasse remains under contract and therefore looks primed to take over one of the two starting roles. However, the team will be reluctant to hand him the job until they've evaluated how much of a downgrade he represents from Slauson, if any.

After the jump, I present the data which compares how efficiently the offense performed with Slauson at left guard with how it performed when Ducasse rotated in for him.

Introduction

The Slauson-Ducasse rotation began in week two and was a contentious issue all season long. Offensive line coach Dave DeGuglielmo, who was fired last month, said the platoon was a directive that came from "high above [him]" and was lukewarm in his praise of Ducasse, saying he was "playing well enough to be an every third series guy...maybe."

This article isn't going to dedicate too much time to debating the merits or otherwise of such a system, although there were some important factors that do need to be considered. One was that Slauson had agreed to take a paycut in the offseason and it's possible one of the conditions under which he agreed to go along with the paycut was that he would be the starter as long as he remained healthy. At the same time, the Jets did need to get Ducasse some experience so they could evaluate if he had a future with team, especially with the threat of losing both their starting guards during the offseason looming over them. However, Ducasse had a playing time incentive of his own which would have meant that if his playing time exceeded 45% they owed him a $410,000 bonus. Although that's not a major amount, it's enough that the team would only trigger that if they were going to get their money's worth. It's also worth noting that the Houston Texans, one of the league's better teams, rotated their right guards AND right tackles all year long.

I'm not seeking to evaluate how well they played individually in this study. (For the record, both had positive grades per PFF, although Slauson graded negatively as a run blocker. On a per-snap basis, Slauson did have a slight edge, helped by his 20th best pass protection grade among NFL guards.) Instead, I am going to look at how well the offense performed as a unit with each of them in the game. I feel that gives us the most realistic assessment of the effect that plugging Ducasse in for Slauson had on the team.

Usage

Ducasse, following a stellar preseason where he gave up just two pressures in extended playing time, didn't receive any snaps in week one, but the Jets introduced the rotation system the following week in Pittsburgh. Ducasse would basically be on the field for the team's third, sixth, ninth and (if applicable) 12th drive of the game. They didn't always stick to this rigidly, though. If there was a short drive due to an early turnover or if one of Ducasse's turns came at the end of the half when they had no real intention of trying to score, they would often leave Slauson in for an extra series so Ducasse could get the first full series of the second half. They also left Slauson in a few times when it was Ducasse's turn, specifically against the Patriots and in a few games where things were going really badly, for whatever reason.

Overall, this meant that Ducasse's snap count was 27.6% for the season as a whole, but that was because he had fewer than one-third of the drives, not because his drives were necessarily shorter on average.

I was asked a few times during the season whether the Jets called plays any differently while Ducasse was in the game, but I honestly did not see any obvious patterns. It was clear that there were certain things each of them did well (for example, Ducasse was typically better on the move than Slauson was), but there did not appear to be a concerted effort to run those plays when either of them was in the game.

Interestingly, the Jets passed more when Ducasse was in the game (57% of the time, compared with only 52% when Slauson is in), which seems counter-intuitive when pass blocking is not seen as his strength and run blocking was Slauson's weakness. However, these numbers were skewed by two extended drives that saw Mark Sanchez throw ten passes on each. Without both of those drives, the run-pass splits would have been a lot more similar.

Another thought I had is whether the Jets tried to use Tim Tebow more when Ducasse was in the game because the zone blocking techniques employed in the classic Wildcat would tend to suit the more mobile player. The two times Tebow was in at quarterback for more than two straight plays (in Pittsburgh and Tennessee) did coincide with Ducasse being in the game, but even with those, Ducasse was only in on 31% of the Tebow plays, not significantly higher than his overall snap count.

So let's move on and look at the success the Jets enjoyed with Ducasse at left guard and then compare this to the overall numbers...

2012: The Numbers

Whilst compiling the numbers for the offense when Ducasse was in for Slauson, I was pretty underwhelmed. It didn't look like they had a great deal of success. However, let's not forget that the offense was pretty bad all year, so it would be interesting to compare with the overall results.

These were the final numbers:

On 46 drives*, the Jets gained 1,200 yards, scoring seven touchdowns and two field goals. They compiled a total of 72 first downs (including the seven touchdowns) and rushed for 464 yards on 109 carries. Between them, the quarterbacks threw 123 times with Ducasse in for Slauson, completing 70 for 747 yards, three touchdowns and five interceptions.

(* Note: On two drives, Slauson was in for the first play and then Ducasse replaced him, so the data for the drive from that point onwards was compiled. There was one series where the Jets simply threw one pass before halftime and then the clock ran out, so that has been omitted from the data.)

On their own, these numbers are pretty underwhelming, but let's compare them with the data for the offense as a whole:

- The offense as a whole gained 25.8 yards per drive (not including kneel-downs at the end of the half). With Ducasse in for Slauson, they averaged 26.0 yards per drive.

- Their drive success ratio (the percentage rate at which the team managed to pick up a first down or touchdown - see above link again) was 64.7% (27th in the league). With Ducasse in for Slauson, this went up to 66.7%, which would have been good enough for 21st.

- The Jets scored 26 offensive touchdowns and seven of them came on drives where Vlad was in for Slauson. That's basically in line with his snap count.

- Having said that, they only kicked two field goals, which contributed to the fact their points-per-drive with Ducasse in for Slauson was under 1.2, whereas overall it was 1.30.

- With Ducasse in for Slauson, the Jets gained 4.3 yards per carry, well above their season's average of 3.8 yards per carry. This was not influenced dramatically by outliers - even if you remove the longest run, a 36-yard Shonn Greene run against Miami from the numbers, you still get 4.0 which is still better than the overall average. Also, any yard per carry numbers could be looked at with skepticism because of the 252-yard game against the Colts which skews the numbers upwards, but they gained just 57 yards on 14 carries with Ducasse in for Slauson in that game, so his average was pretty consistent throughout the year.

- They also gained 80 rushing yards per game with Ducasse in for Slauson, which is 27% of the team total, again in line with his snap count.

- When the Jets passed the ball with Ducasse in for Slauson, they completed 57% of their passes (overall 55%) and gained over 10.7 yards per completion (overall 10.6) but they had five interceptions and only three touchdowns, so the QB rating was lower (66.0 compared with 68.3 overall).

- With the offensive explosion in week one (when he didn't play) and a slow start in weeks two, three and four (16 yards per drive with no scores), Ducasse had a lot of ground to make up over the remainder of the season. For the last 12 weeks, the Jets posted the following numbers with him in the game for Slauson (together with where that would put you in the league standings for the whole year in parentheses): 29.7 yards per drive (19th), 1.54 points per drive (24th), 4.6 yards per carry (7th), 60% completions (17th), 72.5 QB rating (still 30th).

Ducasse AND Slauson

If the Jets had Moore locked up for next season - and maybe that's a priority, who knows? - then the question of Ducasse v Slauson would be a very straightforward matter. You'd pick the one who is the better player - or if it's close, the best value - and roll with them as your left guard. However, that's not necessarily the case. The Jets may re-sign Moore or may fill that other guard position with another free agent or draft pick. However, there's one other option and that's to play Ducasse and Slauson together.

It's a small sample size, but we do have some data on this. Last year, they had Ducasse in for Moore for two series against the Patriots. The first saw them run the ball three times for five yards and then punt. The second was slightly more successful with two runs for 16 yards, a five yard pass and two incompletions leading to a field goal. Some more substantive data exists in the form of the week 17 game against the Bills where Ducasse filled in for Moore at right guard for the final 59 snaps and the Jets ran all over the Bills (gaining 197 yards on 38 carries over those last 59 snaps). The Bills were a demoralized bunch at that stage of the season though.

Note: There was another three plays in 2012 where Ducasse came in at guard when Nick Mangold was hurt and Slauson slid over to center, but we'll ignore these three plays - two runs for 12 yards and a false start penalty.

Other Observations

One alarming thing about going back through the footage to check which drives Ducasse entered the game for was that there were five or six occasions when the Jets committed a pre-snap penalty on the very first play after he entered. This is evidence of one of the downsides of a rotational system - that it can cause people not to be on the same page and take you out of your rhythm. Ducasse only committed one of these penalties himself though and, if anything, it reflects well on him that the offense still had the same amount of success despite this factor. (Penalty yardage is factored into the data).

In terms of pass protection, there was no evidence to suggest Sanchez was under pressure any more often when Ducasse was in the game rather than Slauson and no obvious signs that the Jets were giving one more help than the other. Ducasse only gave up two sacks and one QB hit all year, although that wouldn't be surprising if he was helping someone with a double team most of the time. This didn't seem to be the case though, as both he and Slauson had plenty of one-on-one assignments.

Conclusions

The numbers seem to suggest that there was no real difference in how the offense performed when the Jets put Ducasse in for Slauson, other than in terms of the running game, where they fared better with Ducasse in. In fact, over the last 12 games, they fared considerably better with Ducasse overall.

Maybe it is unfair to do a direct comparison because Ducasse gets to enter the game when he is fresh and others are not and also perhaps once the offense have established some tendencies on their early drives, which they can then break to exploit the defense's expectations. The team may also be more conservative early on in games. However, based purely on the numbers, the suggestion is that if Ducasse was to replace Slauson at left guard next year, the offense wouldn't suffer dramatically and might even see some improvements.

Nobody knows how well Ducasse will adapt to being a full time player - although in his limited extended action in the regular season and in preseason he has shown an ability to settle down and get comfortable. Another factor is the new system, which is a concern considering how long Ducasse took to pick up Bill Callahan's blocking scheme. However, Ducasse's athleticism should serve him well in a west coast offense that will likely use a lot of stretch/zone runs and he did seem to pick up Sparano's system pretty well (faster than Mangold by some accounts).

In weighing up who is the better value between the two, obviously Ducasse is earning the minimum in 2013 so that figures to be a lot less than what Slauson will command (although I'd only expect him to get a deal somewhere around $3m per year). However, if Ducasse does a decent job this year, the Jets could find that extending him at the end of the season ends up costing them more than Slauson would have, so that could be another consideration.

While this study gives me comfort that Ducasse can probably handle a starter role, that doesn't answer the question of what to do with their other guard spot. Moore seems to be the guy most fans would like to see back, but Slauson could end up returning instead of him and getting paired with Ducasse instead.

One thing Slauson has in his favor is an ability to play center and either guard position. He's even worked at tackle (for "emergency purposes"). Moore, a converted defensive lineman, has only ever played right guard and Ducasse - while he has played tackle in the past - cannot play center in the event of another Mangold injury like Slauson can.

It's up to the Jets to make this crucial decision count but based on this study, spending anything substantial to keep Slauson in the lineup and Ducasse on the bench probably wouldn't give you very good value for money...and that's something which should be of prime importance during the first year of the Idzik regime.

I'll be back next week with something "special" as we head towards free agency. I've got several articles in the works, but if there's anything you'd like me to investigate or revisit, let me know in the comments.

Tags: BGA, Editorial Aside, Bent Double

Apr 27, 2017; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Jamal Adams (LSU) poses with NFL commissioner Roger Goodell (right) as he is selected as the number 6 overall pick to the New York Jets in the first round the 2017 NFL Draft at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports (Kirby Lee)
Apr 27, 2017; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Jamal Adams (LSU) poses with NFL commissioner Roger Goodell (right) as he is selected as the number 6 overall pick to the New York Jets in the first round the 2017 NFL Draft at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports (Kirby Lee)

There has long been a conventional wisdom in the NFL that safeties aren't usually worth high draft picks. There are exceptions, of course, but good ones can often be developed later. And there are more premium positions like quarterback, receiver, cornerback and defensive end.

Still, the value was so high on LSU safety Jamal Adams that he was a great pick for the Jets when he fell to No. 6.

But taking another one near the top of the second round?

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 (James Snook)
(James Snook)

The NFL draft may be over, but the search for rookies is still ongoing, with teams scrambling to sign undrafted free agents to fill out their roster. The Jets have 84 players on their roster including their nine new draft picks. So, without releasing anybody else, they have room to sign six UDFAs.

Below is a running list of UDFAs who have reportedly signed with the Jets, plus some players who have been invited to their rookie mini-camp (May 5-7) for a tryout. The list has been compiled from NFL sources, published reports, and sometimes straight from the players themselves.

Check back often, as this list will be updated constantly over the next few days. It can also change quickly as players and teams back out of agreements. Nothing is official until a player actually signs on the dotted line:

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Devin Smith will miss the 2017 season with a torn ACL. (Mark L. Baer-USA TODAY Sports)
Devin Smith will miss the 2017 season with a torn ACL. (Mark L. Baer-USA TODAY Sports)

Minutes after the 2017 NFL Draft ended, the Jets got bad news about their second-round pick from 2015.

Wide receiver Devin Smith will miss the 2017 season with a torn ACL, according to general manager Mike Maccagnan. Smith, who missed most of last season and has only played three NFL games, sustained the injury in the first team workout of the year.

Tags: Devin Smith
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Jan 1, 2016; New Orleans, LA, USA; Mississippi Rebels wide receiver Derrick Jones (19) reacts after a first down against the Oklahoma State Cowboys during the second half in the 2016 Sugar Bowl at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports (Derick E. Hingle)
Jan 1, 2016; New Orleans, LA, USA; Mississippi Rebels wide receiver Derrick Jones (19) reacts after a first down against the Oklahoma State Cowboys during the second half in the 2016 Sugar Bowl at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports (Derick E. Hingle)

The Jets selected Derrick Jones with the 204th overall pick in the seventh round of the NFL Draft on Saturday. He was their third pick of the sixth round and final pick of the draft.

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Nov 28, 2015; Ann Arbor, MI, USA; Ohio State Buckeyes running back Jalin Marshall (7) makes a reception for a touchdown defended by Michigan Wolverines safety Jeremy Clark (34) in the third quarter at Michigan Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports (Tim Fuller)
Nov 28, 2015; Ann Arbor, MI, USA; Ohio State Buckeyes running back Jalin Marshall (7) makes a reception for a touchdown defended by Michigan Wolverines safety Jeremy Clark (34) in the third quarter at Michigan Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports (Tim Fuller)

The Jets selected Jeremy Clark with the 197th overall pick in the sixth round of the NFL Draft on Saturday. He was the second of four Jets' sixth-round picks.

 


THE VITALS:

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

The Jets traded down for fifth time in 24 hours Saturday at the start of the sixth round of the NFL draft. 

After making seven selections in the draft, including the first of the sixth round, the Jets sent their second pick of the sixth round (191st overall) to the Cowboys, (who sent the Jets their sixth-round pick (221st) as well as a fifth-round choice in the 2018 draft.

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Louisiana Lafayette Ragin Cajuns running back Elijah McGuire (15) runs the ball against the Kentucky Wildcats in the first half at Commonwealth Stadium. (Mark Zerof)
Louisiana Lafayette Ragin Cajuns running back Elijah McGuire (15) runs the ball against the Kentucky Wildcats in the first half at Commonwealth Stadium. (Mark Zerof)

The Jets selected Elijah McGuire with the 188th overall pick in the sixth round of the NFL Draft on Saturday. He was the first of the Jets' three six-round picks.

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Mar 4, 2017; Indianapolis, IN, USA; West Georgia defensive end Dylan Donahue speaks to the media during the 2017 combine at Indiana Convention Center. Mandatory Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports (Trevor Ruszkowski)
Mar 4, 2017; Indianapolis, IN, USA; West Georgia defensive end Dylan Donahue speaks to the media during the 2017 combine at Indiana Convention Center. Mandatory Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports (Trevor Ruszkowski)

The Jets selected Dylan Donahue with the 181st overall pick in the fifth round of the NFL Draft on Saturday.

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GEICO SportsNite: Jets draft 00:02:05
Jeanne Coakley talks with the Jets' first-round pick, Jamal Adams, and highlights the team's second- and third-round picks.

The Jets selected Jordan Leggett with the 150th overall pick in the fifth round of the NFL Draft on Saturday.

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Nov 26, 2016; Berkeley, CA, USA; California Golden Bears wide receiver Chad Hansen (6) catches a pass against UCLA Bruins defensive back Marcus Rios (9) during the third quarter at Memorial Stadium the California Golden Bears defeated the UCLA Bruins 36 to 10. Mandatory Credit: Neville E. Guard-USA TODAY Sports (Neville E. Guard)
Nov 26, 2016; Berkeley, CA, USA; California Golden Bears wide receiver Chad Hansen (6) catches a pass against UCLA Bruins defensive back Marcus Rios (9) during the third quarter at Memorial Stadium the California Golden Bears defeated the UCLA Bruins 36 to 10. Mandatory Credit: Neville E. Guard-USA TODAY Sports (Neville E. Guard)

The Jets selected Chad Hansen with the 141st overall pick in the fourth round of the NFL Draft on Saturday.

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The Road to the NFL Draft 00:03:29
SNY shares the stories of three paths to the NFL Draft: Miami's David Njoku, Ohio State's Curtis Samuel and Anthony Cioffi from Rutgers.

SNY shares the stories of three paths to the NFL Draft: Miami's David Njoku, Ohio State's Curtis Samuel and Anthony Cioffi from Rutgers.

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

The Jets made two deals during the third round of the NFL Draft Friday, giving them two extra picks going into rounds 4-7 Saturday.

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Jan 9, 2017; Tampa, FL, USA; Alabama Crimson Tide wide receiver ArDarius Stewart (13) before the 2017 College Football Playoff National Championship Game at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports (Kim Klement)
Jan 9, 2017; Tampa, FL, USA; Alabama Crimson Tide wide receiver ArDarius Stewart (13) before the 2017 College Football Playoff National Championship Game at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports (Kim Klement)

The Jets selected ArDarius Stewart with the 79h overall pick in the third round of the NFL Draft on Friday. 

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Marcus Maye highlights 00:01:11
SNY.tv takes a look at the best plays of the season from the Jets' second-round pick, safety Marcus Maye.

The Jets selected Marcus Maye with the 39th overall pick in the second round of the NFL Draft on Friday.

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Daily News Live: NFL Draft 00:06:20
The Daily News Live panel assesses the first-round picks of the Giants and Jets and the needs of each team going into Rounds 2 and 3.

The panel analyzes the first round picks of the Jets and Giants and their needs that have to be addressed going into Round 2.

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Oct 2, 2016; East Rutherford, NJ, USA;New York Jets strong safety Calvin Pryor (25) hits Seattle Seahawks wide receiver Doug Baldwin (89) after a catch in the first half at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: William Hauser-USA TODAY Sports (William Hauser)
Oct 2, 2016; East Rutherford, NJ, USA;New York Jets strong safety Calvin Pryor (25) hits Seattle Seahawks wide receiver Doug Baldwin (89) after a catch in the first half at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: William Hauser-USA TODAY Sports (William Hauser)

The Jets are looking to trade safety Calvin Pryor going into Friday night's second and third round of the NFL draft, according to USA Today reporter Tom Pelissero.

The Jets took LSU safety Jamal Adams in the first round Thursday. Pryor is going into his fifth year with the Jets, who might not pick up his option at the end of the season, which would make him a free agent next March.

Tags: Calvin Pryor
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Jamal Adams excited to be a Jet 00:01:13
First-round pick Jamal Adams speaks to the media for the first time after being selected by the New York Jets in the 2017 NFL draft.

First round pick Jamal Adams speaks to the media for the first time about being selected by the Jets.

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 (James Snook)
(James Snook)

Ralph Vacchiano Facebook | Twitter | Archive

The first round of the Draft couldn't have worked out much better for the Jets. A player atop their board, whom they didn't think they'd get, ended up falling right into their lap. And for the second time in three years, they stood pat at No. 6 and ended up with a Top 3 player.

Could they have a similar stroke of luck in the second round?

It's entirely possible with the Jets slated to pick seventh when Day 2 of the draft resumes on Friday night. They will have three picks over two rounds -- 39th overall in Round 2, and 70th and 107th overall in Round 3 (the latter is a comp pick and the final pick of the night). And there are a whole bunch of players still available that many considered first-round talents...

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 (Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports)
(Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports)

While most of the attention this weekend will be on the top picks, it's those teams that can find some diamonds in the rough who end up having the most productive draft classes. Every team, even the Jets, has seen success with late-round picks and undrafted free agents, and the Jets will be hoping some of this weekend's less-heralded selections will emulate some of those lightning-in-a-bottle type successes from the past.

With that in mind, let's count down my choices for the top draft steals in Jets history...

5. Brandon Moore, OG, Illinois, 2002 (Undrafted)

Having been drafted as a defensive tackle, "Meat" spent over a decade with the Jets, winning the starting right guard spot in 2004 and making it his own, as he ascended to Pro Bowl status by 2011. Moore, who was selected to announce one of the Jets' picks on Friday, sneaks into the top-five ahead of more recent undrafted pick-ups Mike DeVito and Damon Harrison, because he lasted a lot longer with the team than they did.

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Jamal Adams is selected as the No. 6 overall pick to the New York Jets in the first round the 2017 NFL Draft at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. (Kirby Lee/USA TODAY Sports)
Jamal Adams is selected as the No. 6 overall pick to the New York Jets in the first round the 2017 NFL Draft at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. (Kirby Lee/USA TODAY Sports)

The Jets bolstered their secondary by picking LSU safety Jamal Adams with the No. 6 pick in the NFL Draft on Thursday, and the team is high on Adams' potential.

"He is an outstanding player, obviously. Smart, fast, tough, physical, he's an alpha, he's good on and off the field," Bowles said. "He checked all the boxes for us and really, we think we got a real good football player. We had him rated high."

Adams, a 6-foot, 214-pound defensive back, was one of the highest-rated players in the draft -- one whom the Jets originally didn't think would be there at 6, according to ESPN's Jenna Laine.

Tags: Calvin Pryor, Marcus Gilchrist
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GEICO SportsNite: NFL Draft 00:04:36
The Football Night in New York crew analyzes Jamal Adams and Evan Engram, the first-round picks of the Jets and Giants respectively.

The Football Night in New York crew analyzes Jamal Adams and Evan Engram, the first-round picks of the Jets and Giants respectively.

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Jets Nation: Jamal Adams 00:00:42
Jeane Coakley goes one-on-one with Jamal Adams, talking to the Jets' newest member about how it feels to be drafted in the first round.

The Jets selected Jamal Adams with the sixth overall pick in the first round of the NFL Draft.

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Jets Nation: Maccagnan on draft 00:02:07
Jeane Coakley goes one-on-one with Mike Maccagnan to learn about his mindset heading into the 2017 NFL draft.

Jeane Coakley goes one-on-one with Mike Maccagnan and discuss his mind set heading into the 2017 NFL draft.

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Vacchiano joins Loud Mouths 00:05:39
Ralph Vacchiano joins Loud Mouths to discuss the NFL Draft and the players the Jets are considering with the sixth overall pick.

Ralph Vacchiano joins Loud Mouths to discuss the NFL Draft and the players the Jets may be looking at with the 6th overall pick.

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 (AP)
(AP)

Ralph Vacchiano Facebook | Twitter | Archive

When a team is picking in the Top 10, it should be a lot easier to predict who they're going to take than it has been for the Jets at No. 6 this year. There usually aren't a lot of variables. In this draft, though, there are a ton.

The big one, of course, is the Quarterback Question: Will the Jets pick one or pass? There's also the question of whether they'll make the pick at all (word is that GM Mike Maccagnan is listening to offers to trade down). And if they stay put, it's also not completely clear which players will go in the Top 5.

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Ralph Vacchiano Facebook | Twitter | Archive

Many people around the NFL consider this to be one of the hardest first rounds to project in years. That's at least partly due to the uncertainty about where the quarterbacks will go, but also because of deep top tier of talent (perhaps 10 or 11 picks deep) and because many scouts don't see much of a difference between players ranked in the 10-15 range and those they rank down near 25-32.

After consulting with many NFL sources and experts (and my own imagination), here is my final answer on the first round: My SNY Mock Draft 3.0. I feel pretty good that the Cleveland Browns will indeed make the first overall selection. Other than that … no guarantees and I reserve the right to change my mind:

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Oct 23, 2016; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; A New York Jets helmet on the bench displays a sticker with the number 90 in memory of former New York Jet Dennis Byrd who was killed in a car accident last week. The Jets face the Baltimore Ravens today at MetLife Stadium. The Jets are wearing Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports (Ed Mulholland)
Oct 23, 2016; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; A New York Jets helmet on the bench displays a sticker with the number 90 in memory of former New York Jet Dennis Byrd who was killed in a car accident last week. The Jets face the Baltimore Ravens today at MetLife Stadium. The Jets are wearing Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports (Ed Mulholland)

The Jets waived unning back Brandon Burks, wide receiver Darius Jennings, long snapper Josh Latham, linebacker Jeff Luc and defensive lineman Julien Obioha on Wednesday, ESPN.com's Richi Cimini reports.

 

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Jets eye DE, QB in late rounds 00:04:51
Ralph Vacchiano and Tony Pauline discuss which players the Jets could choose in the later rounds of the NFL Draft.

Ralph Vacchiano Facebook | Twitter | Archive

They are coming off a miserable 5-11 season, released many of their most recognizable players, and they are beginning what looks like a complete rebuilding job.

So yes, the Jets need pretty much everything.

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GEICO SportsNite: NFL Draft 00:01:05
Jets GM Mike Maccagnan discusses the final days of preparation leading up to the NFL Draft on Thursday.

Ralph Vacchiano Facebook | Twitter | Archive

One last look at the top players on the board for the Jets as they prepare to make the sixth overall pick on April 27:

1.CB Marshon Lattimore, Ohio State - He has been in the No. 1 spot on this board almost from the beginning because of his skill and because he seems likely to be there at 6. The Chicago Bears seem to like him at 3 and there's a chance the Tennessee Titans will take him at 5, but both teams seem to have other priorities. If he gets through to the Jets, it will be hard to pass up this 6-foot, 193-pounder who could give them the shut-down cornerback they haven't had since Darrelle Revis was still Darrelle Revis. (Last report: 1)...

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Jets or Giants draft QB first? 00:03:14
Daily News Live predicts which New York football team is more likely to take a quarterback in the upcoming NFL Draft.

Daily News Live predicts which New York football team is more likely to take a quarterback in the upcoming NFL Draft.

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

Ralph Vacchiano Facebook | Twitter | Archive

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

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

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GEICO SportsNite: Jets Draft 00:02:39
Jeane Coakley and Willie Colon discuss if the Jets should take a TE, the QB situation and the offensive line ahead of Thursday's draft.

Boom or Bust: Jabrill Peppers 00:01:50
Jon Hein and Marc Malusis debate if the Jets would be smart to use their first-round pick to select Michigan's Jabrill Peppers.

Ralph Vacchiano Facebook | Twitter | Archive

After initially being "open for business" with the sixth pick of the draft and admitting a desire to trade down, Mike Maccagnan seemed to close up shop on Monday. Now the Jets GM says "We feel pretty good at 6 right now."

And they should, because if the sudden frenzy over the quarterbacks in this draft is more than just a smokescreen, the Jets will end up with a better player at 6 than they previously believed.

For the longest time it didn't look like any quarterback would go in the first five picks of the NFL draft. The scouting world was down on all of the top quarterbacks in the draft and few believed any were worthy of even a Top 10 pick. The idea that any of them could end up as the top pick seemed crazy -- as crazy as the idea that two could go in the Top 10...

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 (Bill Streicher)
(Bill Streicher)

Ralph Vacchiano Facebook | Twitter | Archive

Jets GM Mike Maccagnan has spent a lot of time this offseason looking at the quarterbacks in this draft. But that isn't necessarily unusual. In fact, he said, the Jets "feel pretty good" about the quarterbacks they already have.

"We have the two young guys (Christian Hackenberg and Bryce Petty) and we like both of them in terms of ability and potential," the Jets GM said during his pre-draft press briefing on Monday. "We feel pretty good about the guys we have."

That hasn't stopped him from looking, of course, and at least considering the possibility of the Jets drafting a quarterback with the No. 6 overall pick. They have scouted the top quarterbacks in the draft heavily this offseason and many believe the Jets will take one in that spot...

Tags: Bryce Petty, Calvin Pryor, Christian Hackenberg, Sheldon Richardson, Ralph Vacchiano
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Giants, Jets eye tight ends 00:05:01
Ralph Vacchiano and Tony Pauline discuss whether the Giants or Jets will select a tight end in the NFL Draft.

Ralph Vacchiano and Tony Pauline discuss whether the Giants or Jets will select a tight end in the NFL Draft.

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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 (Kelley L Cox)
(Kelley L Cox)

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

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

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

 (Brian Spurlock)
(Brian Spurlock)

Ralph Vacchiano Facebook | Twitter | Archive

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

JETS SALARY CAP SPACE

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

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

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

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

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

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

Ralph Vacchiano Facebook | Twitter | Archive

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Ralph Vacchiano Facebook | Twitter | Archive

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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