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.

This week, I am going to look at the screen pass. A staple of the Chad Pennington/Vinny Testaverde eras, the screen pass is a weapon which many Jets fans feel should be used more. Some state that the Jets don't use it enough, but is that accurate? Others have said that the Jets are incapable of running this play, but does that come down to coaching, execution or personnel?

After the jump, I look at the data from the past three seasons to try and determine how successful the Jets have been in running this play compared with other teams and if there are any obvious trends linked to the personnel changes over the past couple of years.

Once again, I have used data provided by ProFootballFocus.com in researching this article and we thank them for providing us with exclusive access.

Note: In defining a "screen pass" I have used any pass where the ball was thrown to a receiver behind the line of scrimmage. Although this may eliminate some screen passes where the ball was caught beyond the line of scrimmage or where the pass travelled laterally and the play was therefore classified as a run, I consider these to be rare, so it is the simplest and most convenient way to ensure I am comparing equivalent data sets.

Why Do They "Never" Run a Screen Pass?

One common complaint is that the Jets never even tried to run a screen pass last season. Before we consider the reasons why this might be, is it justified? Let's look at some numbers from last year and compare how often teams threw screen passes when they did pass the ball. For simplicity, I will only consider the numbers for the main starting quarterback.

Jets - 8.1% of all throws were screen passes

Miami - 16.4%

Indianapolis - 11.1%

New England - 9.3%

Green Bay - 12.9%

Pittsburgh - 14.8%

Philadelphia - 15.7%

Buffalo - 12.9%

Detroit - 16.6%

Chicago - 10.8%

NY Giants - 13.0%

That's just a random sample of teams, but you can clearly see that the Jets threw less screen passes than any of them - significantly so, in some cases. You may be surprised to note that New England is the only other team that threw beyond the line of scrimmage over 90% of the time.

So, there does seem to be some truth to the complaint that the Jets don't run the screen pass as often as most other teams. What could be the reasons for this? Here are some suggestions. As always, we welcome your alternative theories in the comments.

1. Is it a strategic decision?

2. Is the quarterback incapable of running one successfully?

3. Are the receivers incapable of making the play work?

4. Are the blockers incapable of blocking capably on such plays?

5. Is the offensive co-ordinator incapable of running one successfully?

6. Has it been overlooked or forgotten in lieu of some other play?

Let's tackle these one at a time.

Strategic Decision?

A screen pass usually works best when the defense rushes the quarterback with several guys, leaving them outnumbered downfield by potential blockers. Early in the season, teams started approaching the Jets by dropping linebackers into coverage and flooding short to intermediate routes. The result of this is that the screen pass may not have been effective, because you are simply throwing a pass underneath and several would-be tacklers will have a chance to keep the play in front of them. This was a common tactic employed by opposing defenses, so it may have been a conscious decision to run fewer screen passes based on the assumption that it would not be a high-percentage play.

The Jets wouldn't be the first team to decide that running a screen pass was a low percentage play and remove it from their gameplan. After their loss to the Jets in Week Two of 2009, Bill Belichick was asked why he didn't counter the Jets pressure by running screen passes and he admitted that this would be a low-percentage and risky option because the Jets man-blitzes often accounted for the back out of the backfield. This underscores the fact that sometimes, the screen pass is an option that might not work and the fact this comes from another team that don't run very many is perhaps thought-provoking.

It's certainly possible that the Jets ran fewer screen passes than everybody else because they didn't think the play was likely to work, but that may not necessarily have been for strategic reasons.

Can Mark Sanchez Execute a Screen Pass?

The decision not to use the screen pass much may instead be born of a lack of confidence in Mark Sanchez' ability to execute the play. We'll get to exactly how successful the screen passes the Jets did run in 2010 were in due course, but the decision to not run many may simply reflect what critics of Sanchez have been saying since he was drafted. His accuracy is not very good.

Pinpoint accuracy is vitally important when throwing the screen pass. The most accurate quarterback in NFL history (in terms of completion percentage) is former Jet Chad Pennington and Jets fans will remember how successful he was in the short passing game because his receivers were able to catch the ball without breaking stride. If you throw slightly behind a receiver, or force them to stretch for the ball, they can lose all upfield momentum and the timing of the play is thrown off. If Brian Schottenheimer lacked confidence in his ability to make the throw accurately, then he might have considered a different pass to be a higher percentage option.

Do They Have the Receivers to Make a Screen Pass Work?

Receiving personnel is another key consideration. While Testaverde and Pennington had guys like Curtis Martin and Richie Anderson to dump the ball off to, the Jets lacked that type of player once Leon Washington went down in 2009. With the arrival of LaDainian Tomlinson in 2010, the Jets were better equipped to throw screen passes, but the loss of Washington removed a dynamic playmaking option from the equation.

Also, when the Jets replaced small, quick, receivers such as Chansi Stuckey, Laveranues Coles and David Clowney with the likes of Braylon Edwards and Patrick Turner, they again lost some of the shiftiness and acceleration that lends itself to a successful screen play.

Can They Block a Screen Pass Effectively?

Although the Jets made a conscious decision to beef up the offensive line by moving on from Alan Faneca and replacing him with Matt Slauson, they still have plenty of downfield blocking ability. Nick Mangold has always excelled at getting out in front and D'Brickashaw Ferguson has also made tremendous progress in that area. Slauson and Brandon Moore might not be as athletic as Faneca was at his peak, but they are no slouches, and - despite what their rankings say - the Jets have some capable blockers at the wide receiver position.

Although the Jets had many screen passes that failed to work this season, an inaccurately thrown pass can prevent a screen pass from working even if the blocks are set up well. In fact, there were a number of occasions where the intended receiver appeared to have blockers out in front, only for the pass to fall incomplete.

Does the Offensive Co-Ordinator Know How to Design a Screen Pass?

Once again, we are thrust headlong into an Execution v Coaching debate. Any of the personnel issues listed above may or may not be the reason that the screen pass was often overlooked last season. Or are they just excuses? Fortunately, we can get some valuable insight from further research here, because Schottenheimer was also the offensive co-ordinator before many of the personnel changes took place. Will there be a marked improvement in the numbers from a few years ago, or is Schottenheimer the common denominator in the failure of Jets to run a screen pass effectively? Keep reading to find out.

Has the Screen Pass Been Forgotten?

The final question is whether the Jets reluctance to use the screen pass is a conscious decision or has it merely been overlooked because the Jets have so many weapons that they need/want to try and get involved. Maybe they haven't decided it won't work - whether that be because of the defensive alignment, or their inability to execute it well due to personnel or coaching - they've just stopped trying for whatever reason. This sounds plausible, but based on how successful the play was over the last couple of seasons, the alternative possibilities would appear more likely.

How Successful Were the Screens They DID Run?

Sanchez completed 81% of his screen passes, for just 4.0 yards per catch. Based on that, they might have been better off just running the ball, but those numbers are pretty meaningless unless you put them alongside those of his peers. Here are some pertinent examples:

Chad Henne - 87%, 6.4 ypc

Peyton Manning - 95%, 6.4 ypc

Tom Brady - 80%, 8.2 ypc

Surprisingly, Brady had a lower completion percentage, but the plays gained over twice as many yards. Again, that comes down to how accurately the ball is thrown. Just for fun, these were Chad Pennington's numbers in 2008:

Chad Pennington - 91%, 6.4 ypc.

As you can see, the Jets were not nearly as successful as these other teams. Of course, that isn't necessarily on Sanchez, although PFF did rate him negatively on ten short passes to running backs in 2010 - seven overthrows and three underthrows. In contrast, Brady had just two - one of which was David Harris' interception - and Peyton Manning had just three. Therefore, there is some evidence to suggest that Sanchez was a major part of the reason why the screen passes were not quite as effective as they might have been.

How did the team fare in Sanchez' rookie year, then? They actually ran fewer screen passes, but they also passed less overall, so as a percentage, they ran screen passes 11.8% of the time, which is comparable to a few of the examples from earlier. In 2009, Sanchez only completed 72%, so you can begin to see why they started to go away from it. However, the improvement to 81% in 2010 is a positive sign. Hopefully this suggests that Sanchez is improving in that area and the screen pass will eventually become a more reliable option. Also in 2009, the play was pretty successful when it was completed, gaining 7.5 yards per catch. However, when you consider yards per attempt, the low completion percentage drops that figure below that of Miami, New England and Indianapolis from the list of 2010 examples above.

Why Was the YPC so Low in 2010?

First it should be noted that the sample sizes are small enough that a big play could have a huge impact on the numbers. For example, Jerricho Cotchery had a 33 yard gain on a WR screen called back for a holding penalty. Had that stood, the YPC number would have risen from 4.0 to 4.7. As another example, you'll recall Tom Brady pitching to Danny Woodhead on what was ruled a 50 yard catch against the Jets. Had that been classed as a run, New England's YPC would have dropped by over a yard and Woodhead's would have almost halved.

Looking at the individual splits, one major reason is that LaDainian Tomlinson was pretty inefficient on screen passes. He averaged under three yards per catch and if you remove him from the equation, the rest of the screen passes thrown in 2010 averaged a more respectable 5.2 ypc.

Tomlison was a reliable checkdown option over the middle, but perhaps his lack of speed and inability to break tackles relative to someone like Leon Washington obviously limited his ability to make much ground when catching the ball behind the line. Let's compare Tomlinson's 21 catches for 57 yards (with four incompletions) on screen passes with some of the other backs around the league.

Ray Rice (league leader in receiving yards for RBs) - 31-309 (five incompletions)

Danny Woodhead (league leader in yards per catch for RBs) - 8-96 (four inc.)

Jamaal Charles (PFF's top rated overall RB) - 20-118 (three inc.)

LeSean McCoy (league leader in receptions for RBs) - 54-408 (five inc.)

Darren McFadden (big play specialist) - 26-253 (no inc.)

While there may be some evidence that the Jets' ability to run a screen pass was hampered by the effectiveness of their receiving personnel, the accuracy of passes thrown to Tomlinson or possibly the play design may also be a factor in his low relative success rate. Maybe these factors had a material effect on his ability to break tackles. Certainly, if you look back to Tomlinson's numbers on screen passes with Phil Rivers throwing him the ball in 2008 and 2009, his production far exceeds the 21-57 he achieved in 2010. In 2009, he had 15 catches for 77 yards (with two incompletions) and in 2008 he caught 29 for 190 yards (with seven incompletions). While Tomlinson's overall numbers have dipped since 2008, there was no discernable drop-off between 2009 and 2010, which again suggests that his numbers on screen passes should have been similar and therefore must be lower due to either the passer or the system.

How Did the Jets Fare Before Sanchez?

Unfortunately, I do not have the data available to appraise the efficacy of screen passes thrown while Chad Pennington was at the helm. However, we do have data for 2008. Brett Favre may not have been that accurate as a Jet, but with Leon Washington as an option and a smaller, shiftier crop of receivers, would his numbers throwing the screen pass be significantly better than those of Mark Sanchez, or would they be similarly hampered by Brian Schottenheimer's perceived inability to design a screen play properly?

The first thing to note is that they ran the screen pass 18% of the time - more than any of the teams in the previous examples. Clearly the screen pass was more of a staple of the offense back then and they had more confidence in it. Given that he threw screens about twice as often, how did Favre's numbers stack up with Sanchez' two year totals of 77% completions, 5.5 yards per catch and 4.2 yards per attempt?

Percentage - 89.4%

Yards per Catch - 5.7 ypc

Yards per Attempt - 5.1 ypa

Clearly these numbers were significantly better than those for Mark Sanchez, which suggests that any contention that Brian Schottenheimer doesn't know how to use a screen pass can be shot down and the reason they have used it less with Sanchez at the helm must be because they expected it to be less effective. For a further comparison, let's look at what Favre did with screen passes over the last couple of years in Minnesota.

Threw a screen 13.5% of the time

Completed 85%

Yards per catch - 6.8

Yards per attempt - 5.8

A slight improvement, but not significant enough to suggest that Favre was significantly better off throwing screen passes in Minnesota.

Having reached the conclusion that LaDainian Tomlinson's effectiveness was impacted by joining the Jets, we can also consider whether any of the other Jets were more effective on screen passes before Sanchez took over at Quarterback.

- Leon Washington - 2008: 26-228 (4 incompletions), 2009: 3-25 (3 incompletions).

Already you can see how Sanchez' accuracy had an effect. Obviously, Leon was hurt early in the season, so the sample size is small, but already you can see that the play was used less and was less effective per attempt. Critics of Brian Schottenheimer might point to this as evidence that Leon was under-utilized, but it was actually just a sign that they were choosing to get the ball to him in ways other than via the screen pass. He still averaged over 14 touches a game (not including kick and punt returns) in those first six games, well ahead of his 2008 pace - under eight touches per game.

- Thomas Jones - 2008: 21-121 (3 incompletions), 2009: 5-22 (4 incompletions).

Once again, you can see a significant drop in terms of usage, accuracy and yardage per attempt. For what it's worth, Jones caught all five screen passes for 19 yards in 2010, but the Chiefs tended to use the speedier Jamaal Charles and Dexter McCluster for that play and Jones' numbers for accuracy and yards per attempt were still better than in 2009.

- Jerricho Cotchery - 2008: 12-50 (one incompletion), 2009/2010: 16-123 (one incompletion)

Here we start to see a pattern develop. Sanchez was just as good, if not better, in terms of throwing screen passes to his receivers. That seems to apply across the board, but I've used Cotchery to illustrate this because he is the main target and the one who seems to have the most success per attempt (Brad Smith, Braylon Edwards and Santonio Holmes have a combined 11 catches for 18 yards over the last three years). When you throw the ball to a receiver in the flat, it's more of a fast pass, whereas Sanchez seems to struggle with a soft dump-off to his backs. In other words, touch is as much of a problem for him as accuracy. Of his 10 incomplete screen passes in 2010, none went to wide receivers and of his 12 incomplete screen passes in 2009, only three did.

Just to underline this, let's compare Favre's 2008 numbers for RB screens only, to those of Sanchez in 2009/2010:

Favre - 47 for 54 (87%), 349 yards (6.5 ypc, 7.4 ypa)

Sanchez - 36 for 53 (68%), 134 yards (2.5 ypc, 3.7 ypa)

That's pretty illuminating.

Is Blocking the Problem?

To answer this question, we can again look back to 2008, when the Jets had more success with the screen pass. The offensive line was the same in 2010 as it was back in 2008, apart from the fact that Matt Slauson replaced Alan Faneca. Looking at PFF's ratings for screen blocking in 2008, all five graded positively. Ferguson and Woody were 3rd and 6th in the league for screen blocking among tackles, Faneca and Moore were 6th and 14th respectively among guards and Mangold was 10th among centers. So, all five were capable of doing a good job. None have factored in the leaders for screen blocking since then, due to the Jets not running many screens and having limited success when they do so.

Maybe Alan Faneca was better at blocking in space in 2008 than Matt Slauson is now, but otherwise, the line should still be able to perform up to that level. In fact, any downgrade from the left guard position can perhaps be offset by Ferguson's improvements in that area. One minor concern might be that Brandon Moore was graded as the worst guard in the NFL on screen passes in 2009. However, he was back in the middle of the pack in 2010, so that's probably just an aberration due to the small sample size. Overall, I think the linemen are equipped to block screen passes effectively and are not the reason for the play not being as successful as it might have been.

One other underrated aspect was that Laveraneus Coles was an surprisingly effective blocker on screens. In 2008, he ranked behind just Jabar Gaffney for screen blocking among wide receivers, despite having a negative blocking grade overall. Having said that, Coles had a negative grade for screen blocking in 2009 with the Bengals and overall I consider the current crop of Jets wideouts to be about as good at blocking as that 2008 group.

Looking Ahead

Although the yards per attempt and the percentage of throws that were screens dipped in 2010, the Jets did throw more screen passes overall and Sanchez was able to improve his completion percentage from 72% to 81%, which is hopefully a sign that he is growing in that area. If the Jets get younger at the Right Tackle position, that may improve their ability to get out in front. There is evidence to suggest that Brian Schottenheimer and Bill Callahan have had success with the screen pass in the past, so that shouldn't hold them back. The final question is whether they have the personnel at running back to make the screen game work.

LaDainian Tomlinson did not produce well on screen passes last year and is not getting any younger. However, with a reduced role and better ball placement, he can perhaps replicate his 2009 numbers which would represent a big improvement. Shonn Greene is developing as a receiver, catching two screen passes for 14 yards last year, but also seeing five fall incomplete. Again, better accuracy from Sanchez should see an improvement there. It would seem that Joe McKnight is well equipped to make an impact in this area, although he - perhaps surprisingly - only had 13 catches for 66 yards in three years at USC. Then again, Sanchez was his Quarterback for some of that time. One other option might be John Conner, who caught 25 passes for 193 yards in college, so should represent an upgrade over Tony Richardon (4-for-17 on screen passes over the last three years) in the passing game.

Conclusions

Maybe Brian Schottenheimer could draw up better plays or call them at better times. Maybe the blocking could be better. Maybe the playmaking abilities of the Jets' skill position players leave a lot to be desired. However, on this occasion, the evidence points overwhelmingly to the fact that Mark Sanchez is the weak link at the moment in the Jets' screen game. When throwing the ball to his backs, Sanchez' accuracy is statistically well below that of his peers. Furthermore, even when he completes the pass, his ball placement is inconsistent, reducing the effectiveness of the play. The statistics and my recollections from film study during the season both bear this out.

The fact that he improved his completion percentage on screen passes in 2010 is a positive sign that hopefully this is an area that he will contnue to grow in. If the screen pass is a weapon they can use more effectively over the next few seasons, it will make the offense all the more dynamic.

Tags: BGA, Main Page, Bent Double

 (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:

WR Brisley Estime, Syracuse
CB Xavier Coleman, Portland State
OL Kevin Kenton, Tennessee State (tryout)
LB Connor Harris, Lindenwood

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

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

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

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

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