As we first reported last night, the Jets have hired Fresno State secondary coach Tim McDonald to replace Dennis Thurman as the defensive backs coach. DT has been promoted to defensive coordinator.

McDonald was a 6x Pro Bowler and 6x All Pro as a safety for the St. Louis Cardinals and San Francisco 49ers. McDonald's son, TJ, a safety from USC, is considered one of the best prospects in this 2013 NFL Draft. Thus, it wouldn't surprise me at all to see the Jets draft him.

In fact, Fresno radio host, Alexan Balekian tweeted the following last night: "TD [Fresno State Head Coach Tim DeRuyter] text me last night, he said tmac [McDonald] got an offer he couldn't refuse, expect the jets to draft his son TJ."

McDonald is also credited for turning Fresno State safety Phillip Thomas into one of the premier prospects for this draft.

Thus, as George Takata, Director of CBS 47 Sports in Fresno tweeted: "Scenario: Jets on the clock. Phillip Thomas & T.J. McDonald both on the board. T-Mac - who do you pick????"

Tags: NYJets
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Apr 25, 2019; Nashville, TN, USA; Quinnen Williams (Alabama) and guests on the red carpet prior to the first round of the 2019 NFL Draft in Downtown Nashville. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports (Kirby Lee)
Apr 25, 2019; Nashville, TN, USA; Quinnen Williams (Alabama) and guests on the red carpet prior to the first round of the 2019 NFL Draft in Downtown Nashville. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports (Kirby Lee)

Anthony McCarron, SNY.tv | Twitter |

In a pre-draft interview with the NFL Network Thursday, Quinnen Williams proudly talked about a glass keepsake his agent had given him to mark what became a life-changing night when the Jets took him with the third overall pick. 
 
Appropriately, the present was focused on the woman whom Williams credits for so much - his mother, Marquischa. She died of breast cancer in 2010 at age 37, when Quinnen Williams was only 12 years old. 
 
NFL Network's cameras showed the gift Williams got from Nicole Lynn, his rep at Lil Wayne's agency, Young Money APAA Sports. It read: "We know you would be here today if Heaven wasn't so far away. Still loved, still missed and very dear. Unseen, unheard, but always near. 
 
"In loving memory of Mrs. Marquischa Williams."

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Jets draft Quinnen Williams 00:00:46
New York Jets stay put and take defensive tackle Quinnen Williams with the 3rd overall pick.

The Jets didn't find an offer they liked to trade away their No. 3 overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft. So they called Alabama DT Quinnen Williams up to accept his new Jets jersey on the stage in Nashville. 

Williams was the 2018 John Outland Trophy winner for the best interior lineman in college football last season, and for good reason. He tallied 71 tackles, eight sacks, and 19.5 tackles for loss over 15 games as Alabama made their way to the National Championship yet again. The 6-foot-3, 303-pounder has received comparisons to Rams DT Aaron Donald, and the Jets are hoping that will come to fruition. 

So how does Williams fit in new defensive coordinator Gregg Williams' scheme? GM Mike Maccagnan believes Quinnen Williams could be put anywhere on the Jets' front this season.

Tags: Leonard Williams
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 (SNY)
(SNY)

The Jets decided to stick with their No. 3 overall pick, and upgrade their defensive line by taking Alabama DT Quinnen Williams

With the 49ers taking Ohio State's Nick Bosa, it appeared the Jets would trade out of their slot. Instead, they take the best interior lineman in college football this past season.


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Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive: The Jets were in a perfect position to get an elite defender in this draft, especially after the Cardinals made it official and took QB Kyler Murray first overall. And they made a great choice, taking Williams, whom they hope will have an Aaron Donald-like impact in the middle of their defense.

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Vacc talks with Jets #1 pick 00:01:36
SNY's Ralph Vacchiano talks with Jets number 1 draft choice Quinnen Williams

After reportedly trying to trade down, the Jets took Alabama DT Quinnen Williams with the No. 3 pick in the NFL Draft on Thursday night -- something Williams called his "life dream."

And Williams told SNY's Ralph Vacchiano that he's ready to dominate right away.

"For sure, man. Just coming from Alabama, man, I'm already built with the mentality," he said. "Built with the process, build with the standard. Just going into the NFL."

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Apr 25, 2019; Nashville, TN, USA; Quinnen Williams (Alabama) is selected as the number three overall pick to the New York Jets in the first round of the 2019 NFL Draft in Downtown Nashville. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports (Christopher Hanewinckel)
Apr 25, 2019; Nashville, TN, USA; Quinnen Williams (Alabama) is selected as the number three overall pick to the New York Jets in the first round of the 2019 NFL Draft in Downtown Nashville. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports (Christopher Hanewinckel)

Jets players seem to love the team's selection of defensive tackle Quinnen Williams at No. 3 overall.


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Marquee free-agent signing Le'Veon Bell tweeted, "Welcome to the Fam @QuinnenWilliams Let's Get It."

Tags: Avery Williamson, Darron Lee, Jamal Adams, Le'Veon Bell
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 (SNY)
(SNY)

Here are updates on the latest Jets information from the NFL Draft, including picks, reports and more.


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April 25, 8:39 PM:

The Jets have taken DT Quinnen Williams with the No. 3 overall pick.

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Apr 26, 2018; Arlington, TX, USA; Sam Darnold (Southern California) is selected as the number three overall pick to the New York Jets in the first round of the 2018 NFL Draft at AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports (Tim Heitman)
Apr 26, 2018; Arlington, TX, USA; Sam Darnold (Southern California) is selected as the number three overall pick to the New York Jets in the first round of the 2018 NFL Draft at AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports (Tim Heitman)

The Giants weren't going to let this one go unanswered.

After the Jets thanked the Giants on Twitter before Thursday's NFL Draft for passing on Sam Darnold last year, the Giants answered, "You're welcome" with a photo of last year's No. 2 overall pick Saquon Barkley posing with his Offensive Rookie of the Year award.

Tags: Sam Darnold, Saquon Barkley
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Houston Texans outside linebacker Jadeveon Clowney against the Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field. (Eric Hartline/USA TODAY Sports)
Houston Texans outside linebacker Jadeveon Clowney against the Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field. (Eric Hartline/USA TODAY Sports)

The Jets and Giants both need a pass rusher. Could Texans star Jadeveon Clowney be an option?

Ahead of Thursday's NFL draft, ESPN's Chris Mortensen reported that the Texans are open to trading Clowney, whom they franchise tagged last month.

However, the Houston Chronicle's John McClain has reported Houston wants to sign the 26-year-old Clowney to a contract extension.

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Who should Jets draft at #3? 00:00:47
The Jets have a lot of options at number 3, who should they draft? Chris Simms gives his take.

Here are the latest Jets rumors and reports leading into the NFL Draft, which kicks off Thursday night...


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April 25, 6:31 PM:

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Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

NASHVILLE -- The Jets, for the first time in a long time, are not interested in drafting a quarterback, as GM Mike Maccagnan proudly acknowledged on Tuesday. That puts them in a very powerful position with the third overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft.

Teams that need quarterbacks can get desperate around the draft. Just ask Maccagnan, who surrendered three second-round picks to move up three spots so he could draft Sam Darnold a year ago. And when there's no consensus on the top quarterbacks - and there really seems to be none this year - prices can really go crazy. That's why Maccagnan said he'd be looking for market value "and then some" for the No. 3 pick.

Tags: Leonard Williams, Steve McLendon, Ralph Vacchiano
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New York Jets cornerback Trumaine Johnson reacts to his interception against the Buffalo Bills during the fourth quarter at New Era Field. (Rich Barnes/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Jets cornerback Trumaine Johnson reacts to his interception against the Buffalo Bills during the fourth quarter at New Era Field. (Rich Barnes/USA TODAY Sports)

Jets cornerback Trumaine Johnson took ownership of his 2018 struggles and is looking forward to a fresh start with new head coach Adam Gase.

"Last year was last year and that was my fault for sure," Johnson said after Wednesday's practice during voluntary minicamp, according to the New York Post's Brian Costello. "A clean slate is definitely good for me."

Johnson was one of the Jets' biggest free-agent signings last offseason when he joined New York on a five-year, $72.5 million deal. But even though he led the team with four interceptions, his 2018 season was a disappointment.

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Quinnen Williams ready for NFL 00:02:24
Ralph Vacchiano talked to Jets target Quinnen Williams ahead of the NFL Draft. He's definitely well versed with Jets players.

There are many unknowns heading into the 2019 NFL Draft on Thursday night, but if there is one thing that many can agree on, it's that Alabama DT Quinnen Williams shouldn't make it out of the Top 3. 

Williams is highly regarded as the top interior lineman in this draft, and arguably the best overall defensive player to choose. If the Jets don't trade down, they could have a chance to nab him at No. 3 overall -- granted he makes it passed the Cardinals and 49ers with the first two picks.

While scouts have been drooling over what Williams can do on a football field, there is no need to remind the 21-year-old how he can impact an NFL team next season. Speaking with SNY's Ralph Vacchiano 1-on-1 ahead of the Draft in Nashville, Williams was confident in saying he's the best pass rusher in this year's class. 

Tags: Jamal Adams, Leonard Williams
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Jets NFL Draft Preview 00:01:48
SNY Draft Analyst Rich Cirminiello previews the Jets NFL Draft, looking at who they should pick, avoid and a possible sleeper to steal.

A late-round gem plucked from the depths of the NFL Draft can change the course of a franchise, and every team is looking for the next Tom Brady

NFL Draft expert Rich Cirminiello thinks the Jets can find value in these 10 prospects during the later rounds, and he gives a breakdown on each: 

Jalin Moore, Appalachian State, RB

A Day 3 pick who has fallen on some draft boards because of an injury that cost him most of his final college season. But Cirminiello is still high on him.

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Alabama Crimson Tide defensive lineman Quinnen Williams before the 2019 College Football Playoff championship game against the Clemson Tigers at Levi's Stadium. (Matthew Emmons/USA TODAY Sports)
Alabama Crimson Tide defensive lineman Quinnen Williams before the 2019 College Football Playoff championship game against the Clemson Tigers at Levi's Stadium. (Matthew Emmons/USA TODAY Sports)

Bent, theJetsBlog.com Follow on Twitter

With the luxury of picking third in a draft with a number of potential impact defenders, the Jets are certain to have a top prospect fall to them. Alabama defensive tackle Quinnen Williams is one such prospect.

Williams had a breakout year in 2018, as he racked up eight sacks and was second in the SEC with 20 tackles for a loss. He's regarded as one of the most disruptive defensive tackle prospects in years. However, the Jets already have Leonard Williams and just re-signed Henry Anderson, so they don't necessarily have an immediate need at the position.

Tags: Leonard Williams
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Aug 12, 2017; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets general manager Mike Maccagnan reacts on the field before a preseason game against the Tennessee Titans at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Aug 12, 2017; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets general manager Mike Maccagnan reacts on the field before a preseason game against the Tennessee Titans at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

With the NFL Draft kicking off Thursday night, rumors continue to fly left and right. And one of the latest comes from ESPN's Dianna Russini, who reports that Washington, which currently has the No. 15 pick, is targeting Ohio State quarterback Dwayne Haskins

We do know that the Jets are looking to trade down from the No. 3 overall pick, with sources telling SNY's Ralph Vacchiano that Gang Green is "determined" to do so.

So could the Jets engage Washington on a trade for the third pick? If Washington firmly believes that Haskins is its guy, it may not want to risk waiting until No. 15 to get him.

Tags: Washington Redskins
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Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers running back Le'Veon Bell (26) (Philip G. Pavely)
Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers running back Le'Veon Bell (26) (Philip G. Pavely)

Le'Veon Bell wasn't at the Jets' voluntary minicamp that started on Tuesday, but head coach Adam Gase didn't seem too worried about it.

"It's voluntary -- that's what it is," Gase said. "It's the CBA, it's the rules. He was here that first week and got a lot of good information. The good thing is, having the iPads and things like that helps -- if a guy's not here, he can keep up on what we're doing as far as playbook goes. For him, he has a pretty good training regimen that he goes through."

Gase added that it's been a few seasons since Bell has gone through a full offseason, but knows how to handle it. Translation: Gase isn't worried about Bell getting ready without coming to voluntary camp.

Tags: Darron Lee, Le'Veon Bell, Danny Abriano
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Jets get back to work 00:01:20
The Jets hit the field for the first time this season with a new head coach. The squad was excited and liked the energy from the first day.

There's one chance at a first impression, and it appears Adam Gase nailed his toward Jets franchise quarterback Sam Darnold

The key pairing in regards to the future of the organization are still getting to know one another, but have began on the right foot, it appears. On Tuesday, Darnold told reporters that working with Gase has been "awesome." 

"It's been nothing but good things," he said of Gase and the new coaching staff. 

Tags: Sam Darnold
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Jets NFL Draft Preview 00:01:48
SNY Draft Analyst Rich Cirminiello previews the Jets NFL Draft, looking at who they should pick, avoid and a possible sleeper to steal.

Trading down is certainly on the table for GM Mike Maccagnan and the Jets on Thursday. 

But NFL Draft expert Rich Cirminiello sees trouble on the horizon for the Jets if they're not careful. 

If the Jets do trade down, here are two names they should steer clear from: 

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Feb 28, 2018; Indianapolis, IN, USA; New York Jets general manager Mike Maccagnan speaks to the media during the 2018 NFL Combine at the Indianapolis Convention Center. Mandatory Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports (Trevor Ruszkowski)
Feb 28, 2018; Indianapolis, IN, USA; New York Jets general manager Mike Maccagnan speaks to the media during the 2018 NFL Combine at the Indianapolis Convention Center. Mandatory Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports (Trevor Ruszkowski)

After the first two picks are made in Thursday night's NFL Draft, there's a good chance the Jets won't be on the clock with the No. 3 pick for long. There are still plenty of indications that they want to trade down in the hopes of adding to their paltry collection of six picks.

That's understandable given how deep in talent the first three-to-four rounds of this draft are believed to be. It makes even more sense considering they don't have a second-round pick and have to wait out 65 picks before they make their second selection in Round three. And maybe GM Mike Maccagnan really will get an offer he can't refuse from some quarterback-needy team.

But unless he's really overwhelmed and doesn't have to drop very far, he should stay right where he is and take Kentucky's Josh Allen at No. 3 -- because Allen is exactly the type of defensive player the Jets so desperately need.

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Dec 1, 2018; Atlanta, GA, USA; Alabama Crimson Tide defensive lineman Quinnen Williams (92) reacts after a sack against the Georgia Bulldogs during the first quarter in the SEC championship game at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports (Jason Getz)
Dec 1, 2018; Atlanta, GA, USA; Alabama Crimson Tide defensive lineman Quinnen Williams (92) reacts after a sack against the Georgia Bulldogs during the first quarter in the SEC championship game at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports (Jason Getz)

It'd be rather difficult for the Jets to mess up the third overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft. 

Gang Green will almost certainly come out with a game-changing talent up front, unless they opt to trade back, which is still entirely possible at this point. Here are some prospects they should target with their selection, along with commentary from NFL Draft expert Rich Cirminiello.

Nick Bosa, Ohio State, DE

"It's really a two-pronged approach. You stay at No. 3, you're going to get an elite defensive lineman," Cirminiello told SNY. "Nick Bosa is the best player in the draft. You didn't get to see that last year [at Ohio State] because he was injured. I think the Niners take him." 

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Dec 30, 2018; Seattle, WA, USA; Seattle Seahawks defensive end Frank Clark (55) pressures Arizona Cardinals quarterback Josh Rosen (3) during the first quarter at CenturyLink Field. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports (Joe Nicholson)
Dec 30, 2018; Seattle, WA, USA; Seattle Seahawks defensive end Frank Clark (55) pressures Arizona Cardinals quarterback Josh Rosen (3) during the first quarter at CenturyLink Field. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports (Joe Nicholson)

The Jets could get their pass rusher without drafting one. 

Per Ian Rapoport of NFL Network, the Jets are one of three teams that are interested in Seahawks franchise-tagged defensive end Frank Clark. 

The Colts and Chiefs are the other two teams that have talked with the Seahawks, who are reportedly seeking a first-round pick in return for Clark. 

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Jan 1, 2019; Orlando, FL, USA; Kentucky Wildcats linebacker Josh Allen (41) reacts to the crowd during the second half against the Penn State Nittany Lions in the 2019 Citrus Bowl at Camping World Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports (Jasen Vinlove)
Jan 1, 2019; Orlando, FL, USA; Kentucky Wildcats linebacker Josh Allen (41) reacts to the crowd during the second half against the Penn State Nittany Lions in the 2019 Citrus Bowl at Camping World Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports (Jasen Vinlove)

Bent, theJetsBlog.com Follow on Twitter

One of the prospects most commonly linked to the Jets in this draft cycle has been Kentucky edge defender Josh Allen. This makes a lot of sense, as Allen is considered one of the best pass rushers in the draft and that's arguably the Jets' biggest need.

With Jordan Jenkins and Brandon Copeland currently projected as the starters on the edge, any rookie has a great opportunity to come in and play a big role and would be expected to win a starting job. The Jets have done their homework on Allen, whom they met with at the combine and then brought in for an official visit earlier this month.

Tags: Brandon Copeland, Jordan Jenkins
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Oct 20, 2018; Pullman, WA, USA; Washington State Cougars offensive lineman Andre Dillard (60) celebrates a touchdown against the Oregon Ducks in the first half at Martin Stadium. Mandatory Credit: James Snook-USA TODAY Sports  (James Snook)
Oct 20, 2018; Pullman, WA, USA; Washington State Cougars offensive lineman Andre Dillard (60) celebrates a touchdown against the Oregon Ducks in the first half at Martin Stadium. Mandatory Credit: James Snook-USA TODAY Sports (James Snook)

Bent, theJetsBlog.com Follow on Twitter

It's been a common refrain this season that the Jets need to overhaul their entire offensive line. However, they don't really have an urgent need to address the tackle positions in the short term, as the team has confidence in Kelvin Beachum and Brandon Shell. However, both Beachum and Shell are out of contract at the end of the year. While Shell is a candidate to sign a lucrative extension, Beachum will be 30 in June, so the Jets perhaps need to find his heir apparent.

Much of the attention in this draft cycle has been centered around Alabama's Jonah Williams at the tackle position, with Jawaan Taylor from Florida considered the primary alternative to Williams. However, Washington State's Andre Dillard's stock seems to be on the rise.

Could Dillard actually be the ideal fit to be the Jets' long-term solution on the blind side? Let's review what he brings to the table.

Tags: Brandon Shell, Kelvin Beachum
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Oct 14, 2018; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets wide receiver Quincy Enunwa (81) runs on to the field before his game against the Indianapolis Colts at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports (Vincent Carchietta)
Oct 14, 2018; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets wide receiver Quincy Enunwa (81) runs on to the field before his game against the Indianapolis Colts at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports (Vincent Carchietta)

Bent, theJetsBlog.com Follow on Twitter

The Jets have had some undrafted gems like Wayne Chrebet, Damon Harrison and Robby Anderson, but it's harder to find examples of late-round steals.  Chris Herndon was a good find in the fourth round, as were Jason Fabini, Kerry Rhodes and Bilal Powell. However, we're limiting ourselves to players they've found in the 5th round or later in this list.

10. OT Brandon Shell, 5th round, 2016

Tags: Jeremy Kerley, Quincy Enunwa
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New York Jets quarterback Christian Hackenberg (5) warms up before a preseason NFL football game against the New York Giants Saturday, Aug. 26, 2017, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez) (Julio Cortez/AP)
New York Jets quarterback Christian Hackenberg (5) warms up before a preseason NFL football game against the New York Giants Saturday, Aug. 26, 2017, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez) (Julio Cortez/AP)

The Jets are notorious for their draft mistakes with ESPN's annual fan montage almost as much of an institution as the draft itself. Coming up with a top 10 ranking of the biggest mistakes in the last 25 years is therefore a challenging task.

10. Bryan Thomas, DE, 22nd pick in 2002

Thomas sneaks into the top-10 mainly because the Jets could have taken Ed Reed here. While Thomas was a solid Jet for over a decade, defensive end was a position of strength at the time with Shaun Ellis and John Abraham. The plan to move Ellis inside never really worked and Thomas' career got off to a slow start.  

Tags: Calvin Pryor, Christian Hackenberg, Dee Milliner, Geno Smith
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Sep 15, 2018; University Park, PA, USA; Penn State Nittany Lions cornerback Amani Oruwariye (21) during the first quarter against the Kent State Golden Flashes at Beaver Stadium. Penn State defeated Kent State 63-10. Mandatory Credit: Matthew O'Haren-USA TODAY Sports (Matthew OHaren)
Sep 15, 2018; University Park, PA, USA; Penn State Nittany Lions cornerback Amani Oruwariye (21) during the first quarter against the Kent State Golden Flashes at Beaver Stadium. Penn State defeated Kent State 63-10. Mandatory Credit: Matthew O'Haren-USA TODAY Sports (Matthew OHaren)

Bent, theJetsBlog.com Follow on Twitter

An up-to-date depth chart for the Jets would currently have Trumaine Johnson and Darryl Roberts as the starters with Brian Poole pencilled in as the nickel back. While the team might hold out hope that youngsters such as Derrick Jones or Parry Nickerson could step up and challenge for a role, they ideally need to improve their depth and find an upgrade to start over Roberts.

Whether or not they trade down in the draft, the Jets are expected to have their eye on a handful of potential day two picks at the cornerback position. They'll be looking for a long-term solution, but ideally will be targeting someone who can contribute right away.

One such cornerback who could potentially drop to the third round is Penn State's Amani Oruwariye, although some experts believe he could go earlier than that. If the Jets were to pick up a second-round pick in a trade down, could he be a possible target?

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Feb 28, 2018; Indianapolis, IN, USA; New York Jets general manager Mike Maccagnan speaks to the media during the 2018 NFL Combine at the Indianapolis Convention Center. Mandatory Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports (Trevor Ruszkowski)
Feb 28, 2018; Indianapolis, IN, USA; New York Jets general manager Mike Maccagnan speaks to the media during the 2018 NFL Combine at the Indianapolis Convention Center. Mandatory Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports (Trevor Ruszkowski)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

There are some impressive defensive prospects sitting at the top of the NFL draft this year, including a few that are a perfect match for exactly what the Jets need. They might even have their choice of any defensive player they want with the third overall pick.

But it seems they really would prefer not to make that pick.

According to multiple NFL sources, the Jets seem "determined" to trade down in the first round of the NFL Draft, which begins on Thursday in Nashville. Jets GM Mike Maccagnan has made it clear several times that he's "open" to the idea, though he may be downplaying just how open to it he actually is.

Tags: Sam Darnold, Ralph Vacchiano
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NC State Wolfpack guard Garrett Bradbury against the South Carolina Gamecocks during the college football opener at Bank of America Stadium. (Jim Dedmon/USA TODAY Sports)
NC State Wolfpack guard Garrett Bradbury against the South Carolina Gamecocks during the college football opener at Bank of America Stadium. (Jim Dedmon/USA TODAY Sports)

Bent, theJetsBlog.com Follow on Twitter

The center position remains one of the Jets' biggest needs following the departure of Spencer Long in the offseason. While the Jets opted to re-sign Jonotthan Harrison and claim to have been encouraged by his progress in his eight starts last year, he's not widely viewed as a starter-level performer. The Jets will therefore be keen to find an upgrade, both in the long and short term.

As usual, there are only a few NFL-ready center prospects that could be immediately installed into the starting lineup. With no second-round pick, there's concern among the fanbase that all the potential rookie starters at the position will be off the board by the time the Jets make their first selection in Round 3.

They may instead decide to prioritize the position and target Garrett Bradbury, who is considered by most experts to be the center most likely to come off the board first. If they trade back, is this a viable strategy?

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Mar 3, 2019; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Alabama defensive lineman Quinnen Williams (DL19) goes through workout drills during the 2019 NFL Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports (Brian Spurlock)
Mar 3, 2019; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Alabama defensive lineman Quinnen Williams (DL19) goes through workout drills during the 2019 NFL Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports (Brian Spurlock)

A week from today, the Jets will have the No. 3 pick heading into Nashville for the 2019 NFL Draft. And GM Mike Maccagnan is expected to take one of the top defensive playmakers in the draft -- if he doesn't trade down of course. 

Players like Josh Allen and Nick Bosa are at the top of the pack among prospects. There is also Quinnen Williams, a defensive tackle out of Alabama, that the Jets could consider at 3. 

Jets DE Leonard Williams has seen Williams in action during his offseason training in California, and admitted the kid is "a freak."

Tags: Avery Williamson, Leonard Williams
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Oct 20, 2018; Annapolis, MD, USA; Houston Cougars defensive tackle Ed Oliver (10) applies pressure on Navy Midshipmen quarterback Garret Lewis (7) as guard David Forney (68) blocks during the second quarter at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports (Tommy Gilligan)
Oct 20, 2018; Annapolis, MD, USA; Houston Cougars defensive tackle Ed Oliver (10) applies pressure on Navy Midshipmen quarterback Garret Lewis (7) as guard David Forney (68) blocks during the second quarter at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports (Tommy Gilligan)

Most of the focus heading into the draft has been centered around the Jets using their top picks to fill needs. However, could they instead stick to a "best player available" philosophy and use their first pick on a player they feel has a chance to be elite, regardless of their position?

In terms of athletic potential, there's few prospects in this class that rival Houston defensive lineman Ed Oliver, and he's potentially versatile enough that the Jets might feel good about Gregg Williams finding a role for him within their defense. If the Jets trade down, could Oliver be the top player on their board?

Projected Pick: Top-10

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