New York Jets quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick (14) stretches during practice at Atlantic Health Jets Training Center. (Noah K. Murray)
New York Jets quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick (14) stretches during practice at Atlantic Health Jets Training Center. (Noah K. Murray)

Ralph Vacchiano, NFL Insider | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

The Jets are a 10-win team coming off a near-miss of the playoffs and returning most of their key players. Maybe that's why there are so few questions - or question marks - about their starters or the core of their team.

That never stops the worrying, though, especially after watching the backup quarterbacks perform (or not) in the first preseason game. That seems to be a big concern of Jets fans - which makes sense, considering neither Ryan Fitzpatrick nor Geno Smith are under contract for next season, making the "quarterback of the future" situation unclear.

So we'll start there in my first Jets mailbag for SNY.tv. Here are some of the questions you had for me via Twitter and Facebook:

Do you think the Jets will carry 4 QB's into the season - @bigguns111

That's a really intriguing question because it's rare for teams to do that. Some teams are even comfortable with only two. But the Jets are in a situation where they may have to consider it. And if they don't, it may come down to this question: Bryce Petty or Geno Smith?

More on that in a moment, but obviously Fitzpatrick is safe and the Jets didn't draft Christian Hackenberg in the second round just to cut him. Heading into camp it would seem to me that Smith is pretty safe as the backup quarterback, given his talent and his experience, and that Petty would be the odd-man out.

But from everything I've seen and been told, Petty is much-improved and the Jets are impressed with how far he's come. Impressed enough to let him compete with Smith for the backup job? Doubtful, unless Smith really falls apart in the final preseason games. Impressed enough to let him stick around and eat a roster spot so he and Hackenberg can battle it out for a starter or backup job next year if Fitzpatrick and Smith are gone?

That's to be determined. But maybe. In the end, I don't think the Jets will carry four quarterbacks because coaches are usually paranoid about not having enough players and I'm guessing Todd Bowles wouldn't want to "waste" a roster spot on a fourth quarterback that won't play. But at this point, I just can't rule it out.

Does Jalin Marshall 'Wally Pip' Devin Smith? -- @realsportsporn

Smith is still a second-round pick and teams aren't usually quick to give up on those, so I don't know if Marshall is about to "Wally Pipp" him. But he may at least get the chance because Smith is still rehabbing from his torn ACL and last week he told NJ.com that he's "just not ready to play football" yet. He remains on the Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) list and he's starting to look like a good candidate to start the season there.

As for Marshall, he's been impressive in camp and it's impossible to overlook his eye-opening, 84-yard kickoff return in the preseason opener. That return ability, plus with his receiving skills, could be enough to get him on the final roster. But then keep in mind this: Even if he does, his opportunities in the offense figure to be limited behind Brandon Marshall, Eric Decker and Quincy Enunwa. So I don't know that I'd predict that he's about to push Smith out of the Jets' future plans just yet.

Do both Jalin Marshall and Peake make the Jets 53 man roster -- @jonjy36

I think there's a possibility of that, but it will be tough and we'll need to see a few more games to really know for sure. Charone Peake is a seventh-round pick and teams usually don't like to give up on draft picks so early, so he may actually have the easier path. And he got plenty of opportunities in the Jets' preseason opener and took advantage with four catches for 45 yards, including a nifty touchdown catch in tight quarters right at the pylon from Geno Smith.

Marshall's road to the roster might be more as a returner than a receiver, so his big kickoff return certainly helped. But this decision likely comes down to how many receivers the Jets decide to take, and it could be one or the other when the final cuts are made.

You can bet whichever one gets cut will end up on the practice squad, though - unless some other team scoops him up first.

How is Amaro, the Jets TE, doing so far? Can he or will he contribute? -- @chrislocurcio

This is a tough one to answer at the moment, because when I've seen tight end Jace Amaro at camp he's looked pretty good. He obviously didn't do much in the Jets' preseason opener, though. And really, the most important thing for him is to stay healthy so the second-rounder can bounce back from his disappointing rookie season (38-345-2 in 14 games).

The Jets do have big plans for him, so they certainly hope he can contribute. And he has the skills to be a big part of the passing game if he ever gets going. He was a terrific receiver in college and there seems to be no reason why he can't do the same in the pros. The key for him, though, is to work on his blocking. The Jets want him to be an every-down tight end, which means he has to block to stay in for obvious running plays. At the moment, he needs more work in that area.

But a guy with his receiving skills usually can find a place in the offense somewhere. So yes, I think he will contribute this year, especially if he stays health. And I expect that we'll see that more and more as the preseason goes on.

Who's better the Giants or the Jets? -- @PH1Losophical

I put this question in the Jets mailbag, instead of my Giants mailbag (coming tomorrow over at SNY.tv/Giants, by the way) because my answer is going to be "Jets." But it's not by much and it's not a simple answer either. That's why you're going to get this explanation:

I actually love the team the Giants have put together and the fact that they've got what I consider to be an elite quarterback at the helm makes them dangerous. Their drafting in recent years has been better and their $200 million offseason spending spree has made them a much better team than they were a year ago.

Two things worry me about the Giants, though: 1.History suggests that free agency is a terrible way to build a winner in the NFL, so while I think the Giants' spending spree will work wonders on their defense I have to be skeptical based on the track record. And 2.They are not deep. Really, look at almost every position on their roster and while the starters may be good (and in some cases could be Pro Bowlers) the backups are untested at best, and in some cases very questionable in talent. A couple of injuries to starters and I could see the whole thing falling apart.

That said, if you assume they're healthy, I think the Giants have got the talent to win double-digit games. I haven't made my prediction yet, but given how far they have to climb from last year - 6-10, the NFL's worst defense - I'm likely to predict they'll be 9-7.

As for the Jets, they're coming off a 10-win season and bring back almost everybody and there's no reason to think that with their defense they can't win 10 again. My biggest worry about them? Fitzpatrick is coming off what was by far the best season of his 11-year career. Considering he's never had a season like that before, can he really do it again at age 33? That takes a leap of faith that's hard to make, especially after a contract stalemate kept him out all offseason.

I actually think Fitzpatrick can take a little bit of a step back and the rest of the Jets team is still good enough to get him to 10 wins. Whether that's good enough for the playoffs in the tough AFC is anybody's guess. But I'll at least give them the edge in New York by the slightest of margins -- though if you promise me the Giants will be intact in the second half of the season, the race for New York supremacy could be really, really close.

Tags: Bryce Petty, Christian Hackenberg, Devin Smith, Geno Smith, Jace Amaro, Ryan Fitzpatrick, Ralph Vacchiano
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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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Mike Maccagnan
Mike Maccagnan

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


Watch the NFL Draft with FuboTV - 7 Day Free Trial!


April 24, 11:23 AM

According to Bleacher Report's Mike Freeman, there are NFL teams "convinced" the 49ers will end up selecting DT Quinnen Williams with the No. 2 pick, and that the Jets will follow by taking Nick Bosa at No. 3. Freeman also reports there's chatter about teams considering trading up to try to get Williams.

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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)

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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)

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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)

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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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Dec 23, 2018; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold (14) throws a pass while Green Bay Packers defensive back Eddie Pleasant (35) defends during the second half at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports (Ed Mulholland)
Dec 23, 2018; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold (14) throws a pass while Green Bay Packers defensive back Eddie Pleasant (35) defends during the second half at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports (Ed Mulholland)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

A week-by-week look at the Giants' 2019 schedule, and some way-too-early predictions that are sure to change a lot:

Week 1 (Sept. 8) - @ Cowboys, 4:25 p.m.

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Mike Maccagnan
Mike Maccagnan

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

There's just a little more than a week to go and still some mystery - even at the top of the NFL Draft where the smart money is still on Oklahoma quarterback Kyler Murray and Ohio State defensive end Nick Bosa going 1-2 to the Cardinals and the 49ers.

If that doesn't happen, it could have a huge impact on the Jets - especially if Murray falls and teams that love him want to trade up.

For now, though, let's assume Murray-Bosa will go 1-2 as expected. If that happens, here's a look at how the Jets' six picks could go:

First round (3rd overall) - DE/LB Josh Allen, Kentucky

Tags: Chris Herndon, Ralph Vacchiano
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New York Jets strong safety Jamal Adams reacts during the second half against the Green Bay Packers at MetLife Stadium. (Vincent Carchietta/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Jets strong safety Jamal Adams reacts during the second half against the Green Bay Packers at MetLife Stadium. (Vincent Carchietta/USA TODAY Sports)

We already knew the Jets' 2019 opponents, but on Wednesday we found out the full schedule -- including a home opener against the Bills, three prime time games, and Le'Veon Bell's revenge game against the Steelers in Week 16.

Most pivotal stretch

The Jets play five games this season against teams who made the playoffs in 2018, and four of those games come in a row -- two on the road and two at home.

Tags: Le'Veon Bell, Sam Darnold, Danny Abriano
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Dec 15, 2018; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold (14) drops back to pass against the Houston Texans during the first quarter at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Dec 15, 2018; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold (14) drops back to pass against the Houston Texans during the first quarter at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

The Jets will begin the 2019 season at MetLife Stadium -- and the second game of the season will feature a homecoming of sorts, as Odell Beckham Jr. returns to MetLife Stadium as a member of the Browns.

New York's first road game will be at the Patriots in Week 3, and Le'Veon Bell's revenge game against the Steelers will come at home in Week 16.

Here is the full schedule, according to Brian Costello of the New York Post:

Tags: Le'Veon Bell
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Oct 27, 2018; Tallahassee, FL, USA; Florida State Seminoles defensive end Brian Burns (99) during the first half against the Clemson Tigers at Doak Campbell Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Melina Myers-USA TODAY Sports (Melina Myers)
Oct 27, 2018; Tallahassee, FL, USA; Florida State Seminoles defensive end Brian Burns (99) during the first half against the Clemson Tigers at Doak Campbell Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Melina Myers-USA TODAY Sports (Melina Myers)

It's well-documented that the Jets haven't had a player that can create constant pressure off the edge for some time. While Muhammad Wilkerson and Calvin Pace each posted seasons with double-digit sacks in recent years, Wilkerson did much of his damage on the interior and Pace was in more of a clean-up/contain role. You'd need to go back to John Abraham -- whom the Jets traded away 13 years ago -- for the last player who was a consistent threat off the edge.

The 2019 Draft gives the Jets a realistic chance to address this need once and for all. Nick Bosa or Josh Allen could be available with the Jets picking third and could provide an immediate upgrade over the current candidates to start -- such as Jordan Jenkins and Brandon Copeland. However, the Jets might instead move back to pick up more draft capital.

If the Jets opt to trade down, one of the top edge rushers who might still be available is Florida State's Brian Burns. Could he be the guy they target to upgrade their pass rush?

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Sep 23, 2018; Landover, MD, USA; Green Bay Packers running back Ty Montgomery (88) runs after a catch against the Washington Redskins during the second half at FedEx Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Mills)
Sep 23, 2018; Landover, MD, USA; Green Bay Packers running back Ty Montgomery (88) runs after a catch against the Washington Redskins during the second half at FedEx Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Mills)

The Jets landed their top free agent target in Le'Veon Bell this offseason, but they went right back into the free agency pool to find his backup in Ty Montgomery as well. Montgomery officially signed with the Jets on Monday, and he couldn't be happier to get started with Gang Green. 

"It's a fresh start," Montgomery told newyorkjets.com's Ethan Greenberg. "It's a new opportunity and it's a great opportunity. I get to go out there and I speak for myself with my play. Finally. And I'm looking forward to that."

Montgomery had a pretty rough 2018 season, which is why the fresh start feels so good. He played in seven games with the Packers -- the team he spent the previous three seasons with -- but was traded the game after fumbling a key kickoff return after the Rams in Week 8. He was shipped to Baltimore to play for the Ravens, however he didn't see many touches. 

Tags: Ty Montgomery, Le'Veon Bell
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Mar 4, 2019; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Louisiana State defensive back Greedy Williams (DB34) goes through workout drills during the 2019 NFL Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports (Brian Spurlock)
Mar 4, 2019; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Louisiana State defensive back Greedy Williams (DB34) goes through workout drills during the 2019 NFL Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports (Brian Spurlock)

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Although the Jets re-signed Darryl Roberts and added Brian Poole in free agency, most Jets fans would like to see an upgrade to their cornerback group. General manager Mike Maccagnan admitted last month that Roberts is unproven, so perhaps he would feel more comfortable with one of the top draft prospects as his second starter.

The Jets' draft strategy could therefore entail trading down and targeting the top cornerback prospects. Many experts believe Greedy Williams from LSU could be the first cornerback to be selected. Is he a good fit to be the Jets' top pick?

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Sep 8, 2018; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Cougars defensive tackle Ed Oliver (10) in action during the game against the Arizona Wildcats at TDECU Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports (Troy Taormina)
Sep 8, 2018; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Cougars defensive tackle Ed Oliver (10) in action during the game against the Arizona Wildcats at TDECU Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports (Troy Taormina)

While Quinnen Williams' pre-NFL Draft visit with the Jets has been well documented, the team is hosting another intriguing name -- who also plays Williams' position -- on Tuesday. 

Former Houston defensive tackle Ed Oliver is also meeting with the Jets, according to NFL Network's Ian Rappaport. The Jets own the No. 3 pick in the draft, and while Williams is certainly an option at that spot, Oliver is not as highly touted.  

ESPN's Todd McShay has Oliver going 18th overall to the Vikings in his latest mock draft, in which he has the Jets pouncing on Williams with the third pick. But with the looming possibility the Jets could trade down in the first round, Oliver becomes a viable option for a team that could address its need on the interior defensive line through the early portions of the draft. 

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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)

Alabama DT Quinnen Williams will visit the Giants and Jets this week, per SNY's Ralph Vacchiano. 

Williams is regarded as one of the top defensive players in the draft, with some scouts going as far as labeling him the best defensive player in the draft. 

Both the Jets and Giants are expected to target defensive players in the draft and while Williams is not necessarily a pass rusher, he is still talented enough to make an immediate impact on any team's defensive front. 

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Winter is here.

With Game of Thrones set to return Sunday for its eighth and final season, New York athletes gave their predictions and talked about theories for how the saga will end.

Click below...

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Nov 25, 2018; Baltimore, MD, USA; Baltimore Ravens running back Ty Montgomery (88) rushes by Oakland Raiders defensive end Fadol Brown (95) during the fourth quarter at M&T Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports (Tommy Gilligan)
Nov 25, 2018; Baltimore, MD, USA; Baltimore Ravens running back Ty Montgomery (88) rushes by Oakland Raiders defensive end Fadol Brown (95) during the fourth quarter at M&T Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports (Tommy Gilligan)

RB Ty Montgomery, who signed a one-year deal with the Jets earlier this week, showed promise in his first few years with the Packers, but fell out of favour last year and ended up being traded to Baltimore. What could the former third-round pick bring to the table with the Jets and how will he complement Le'Veon Bell?

Montgomery is an interesting player who was drafted as a wide receiver but was forced into a position change in 2016 due to injuries. He handled the change so impressively that the Packers decided to make the move permanent in 2017. This wasn't as outlandish as it perhaps seemed at the time, as Montgomery had played running back in high school and even carried 39 times in college -- including 23 in his senior year.

With his experience at wide receiver and his ability to also return kick-offs, Montgomery is regarded as a versatile triple-threat option. On a team that already has a stable of versatile backs, he could fit in well...

Tags: Elijah McGuire, Le'Veon Bell
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