The TJB Hall of Fame Inductees roll on with today's entrant, Al Toon.

Not everything we remember fondly from our childhood was actually that good. TV shows, records, certain types of candy, all seem less than appealing when revisited at a more learned age. Jets wide receiver Al Toon retired when I was 16, but was unquestionably one of my favorite players of the first few years of my Jet fandom.

In essence, it doesn't really matter how good he was. The reason he goes into the TJB Hall of Fame is because he was a fan favorite, as evidenced by the number of people that were calling for him to be inducted on that basis when the notion of a new class of inductees was floated a few weeks ago. That's one of the central tenets of this hall of fame idea. We, the fans, can honor whoever we like for whatever reason we like. However, a look back on his career shows that, without question, Toon deserves to be there on merit.

Standing 6'4", the graceful, yet explosive Toon was described as "Majestic" by writer Ken Thomas in 1992 and I don't think there is a better adjective to describe him. Leaping above defensive backs, snaring catches, shrugging off tacklers and running away from cornerbacks in the open field, Toon stood out from the moment he first put on the Kelly Green and White. Simply put, to young children and adult fans alike, Toon was cool….bigger. faster, stronger.

Even before he came to the NFL, Toon was involved in one of the coolest trick plays in college football history. Although his Wisconsin Badgers would ultimately lose to Illinois in 1982, the game will forever be remembered for "the bounce pass". The quarterback (having tipped off the officials to the fact that this play would be coming so that they didn't blow the play dead), threw a sideways lateral to Toon in the flat, but so that it came up just short. Toon had to do his best acting job, as he was disappointed that the "forward pass" had fallen "incomplete", so he casually scooped the ball up as if he was going to just hand it back to the official, then suddenly turned and fired a forty yard touchdown pass to an open receiver deep downfield. Genius.

Toon was a world-class athlete, who excelled at the triple jump, where he had competed in the Olympic trials and almost went to LA in 1984. When he was selected 10th by the Jets in the 1985 draft, some critics said it was a mistake, as the Jets had been burned when they drafted an athlete to play wide receiver just a few years before.

However, unlike Johnny "Lam" Jones, who Toon would effectively replace on the Jets roster, Al was more than just an occasional deep threat. With his size, Toon was able to go over the middle and make yardage after the catch. His excellent hands made him a reliable possession option. Toon maintained that the strict nuances and intricacies of perfecting his technique for the triple jump had prepared him perfectly for the co-ordination required to twist or adjust in mid-air and still make and hold onto a tough catch.

In his rookie year (1985), Toon replaced Kurt Sohn in the starting line-up halfway through the season and ultimately caught 46 passes, more than Jones had managed in any of his five years in the league. He scored his first NFL touchdown in a week nine win over the Colts on a 17 yard pass from Ken O’Brien to open the scoring and then two weeks later, added a 78 yard score (for the longest catch of his career) in an incredible 62-28 demolition of the Bucs. He would finish the year with 3 TD catches.

He was a perfect compliment to Wesley Walker, a bona fide deep threat, and Mickey Shuler, one of the best pass-catching tight ends in the league. With Freeman McNeil spearheading the running game, the immobile but strong-armed QB Ken O'Brien had plenty of options at his disposal, as the Jets offense for the next few years would be a force to be reckoned with.

Predictably, given the promise he showed at the end of the previous season, 1986 was a breakout year for Toon. He caught 85 passes, surpassed the 1,000 yard barrier for the first time and landed in the Pro Bowl for the first of three consecutive appearances in Hawaii. He also caught a career high 8 TD passes and was a big part of the Jets nine game winning streak that took them to a league best 10-1 record. Injuries would hamper the Jets at the end of the year, as they limped into the wildcard game at 10-6. However, Toon’s sliding 22 yard TD catch keyed their win over the Chiefs and then the Jets would come within a Pat Leahy chip shot of an AFC Title Game against the Broncos (who they had already beaten that year), as they lost a double overtime heartbreaker in Cleveland.

Toon had several big games over the course of the season, breaking out with 119 yards and a TD on six catches in the opener against Buffalo and then adding seven catches for 111 yards in the memorable 51-45 overtime win over Miami two weeks later. He really exploded in weeks nine and ten, catching 15 passes for 296 yards and five TDs.

One of the most exciting plays I can recall from my childhood, came as the Jets were eight ninths of the way through their nine game winning streak in 1986 and playing in Seattle. The gamebook may just show a 36 yard TD pass from O'Brien to Toon, but what actually happened was that O'Brien threw a high bomb down the right sideline, for Toon to leap up over the defensive back and snare. As the two fought for the ball, Toon was upended in midair and eventually landed on his back on top of the defensive player, as the ball had slid down between his legs. Smoothly and effortlessly, as if performing part of a choreographed breakdance routine, Toon rolled over the defender onto his feet and then, realizing the ball was still between his legs, coolly reached behind his legs, tapped it up into the air and grabbed it for the touchdown.

It happened so fast, that you couldn't appreciate exactly what happened until you saw it in slow motion. David Tyree might have made the helmet catch, but he has nothing on the unflappable Toon.

Toon returned to the Pro Bowl after the strike shortened 1987 season, but the season as a whole was a disappointment for the Jets. With all five teams in the AFC East (back then, the Colts were also in the division) tied at 5-5 in week 11, the Jets got a big win over the Bengals on Rich Miano’s last gasp blocked field goal return. Toon, who ended the year with 68 catches for 976 yards and 5 TDs, exploded with 23 catches for 378 yards and 3 TDs over the next three games, but the Jets lost all of them, and their last one, to miss the playoffs at 6-9.

In 1988, the Jets ended the season on a positive note, as Toon’s last minute TD catch eliminated the Giants from playoff contention and gave the Jets a winning record. However, they were already out of contention themselves, having blown several tight games. Toon enjoyed a career year, leading the NFL in receptions with 93 and finding his way onto several all-Pro teams. His accomplishments included three double-digit catch games, including 13 against the Colts and a career-best 14 against Miami and he became the first Jet since Joe Namath to win three straight team MVP awards.

In 1989, Toon only played in 6 full games and parts of five others as the Jets slumped to 4-12. He still managed to catch 63 passes though, including ten for 159 yards and a TD in a memorable 40-33 win in Miami.

Throughout his career, Toon would be inextricably linked with Jerry Rice. Drafted ahead of Rice, many thought he was the greater talent, but while Rice went on to become the consensus greatest wide receiver in NFL history, Toon's career, though spectacular while it lasted, would ultimately be limited to just 7 seasons due to injuries. Maybe if Toon had been on a team with more weapons, he would have lasted longer. Although the Jets attempted to surround him with other playmakers, injuries to those guys would leave Toon, whose toughness would lead him to play through pain, as the only threat for the Jets, so he was a marked man.

The Jets recognised this as his yards per catch average had fallen to a (then) career low 11 yards in 1988 and 1989, coinciding with injuries to the likes of Walker, McNeil and Shuler. The additions of high draft picks Rob Moore and Reggie Rembert did give him a little more freedom, although neither lived up to expectations in their own right, and Toon was a more dangerous threat again over the next two seasons. He would still miss several games, however, but continued to be a quiet leader.

Over in San Francisco, Rice stayed healthy and won several Superbowls and set many records for the 49ers. However, over the first five years of their respective careers, Toon actually had 9 more receptions than Rice. To be fair to Rice, his overall numbers were still far better than Toon’s (he had 70 TDs in that period, to Al’s 23 and more yards in every season) but this does give some indication as to Toon’s potential had he been in the right situation. Make no mistake, Al was an outstanding player and when he was healthy, the Jets usually won more than they lost.

In 1990, Bruce Coslet took over as head coach. Early in the season, it was revealed that Toon had played four games with a broken back and injuries continued to be a problem, causing him to miss four starts. As the Jets went 6-10, Toon caught 57 passes for 757 yards and six TDs. The season had started promisingly for Toon with an eight catch, 118 yard and 2 TD performance against the Bengals, but he would only post two further 100 yard games that year.

Al Toon was refreshingly different from the modern breed of trash-talking, give me the damn ball, me-first, endzone-extravaganza executing wide receivers. Quiet, humble and classy, he represented the Jets in a manner befitting one of the league's top role models. In an era when NWA and Public Enemy were the flavor of the month, Toon listed his favorite musical act as Luther Vandross. In 1990, when he signed a contract extension, he said that he didn't want to be the highest paid player on the team and therefore accepted a $1.25m a year contract, $50,000 less than the then highest-paid player, Ken O'Brien.

"I didn't want to create any animosity between myself and any player who typically gets paid more…it gets to the point where a few thousand here and a few thousand there isn't worth it to affect team unity." he said. Why can't today's stars (and guys not worthy of being called a star), deal with their situations with the same level of class and decorum?

1991 was a renaissance of sorts, as Toon only missed one game and fell just short of his third thousand-yard season, with big games in wins over Green Bay and New England helping to lead the Jets to a wild card berth that they clinched with a winner-takes-all overtime victory in Miami on the final day of the season. Although he didn’t score a TD all season, he delivered with a diving ten yard TD catch in the wild card game against the Oilers, but the Jets came away with just three points from four trips inside the ten (including two fourth downs stuffed at the one and an O’Brien interception) and ultimately lost 17-10.

Toon’s final season saw him start just eight games and make a career low 31 catches for 311 yards as the concussions that had plagued him throughout his career really started to take their toll. He eventually would announce his retirement after what was initially reported as his fifth career concussion, but then officially reported as his ninth. Toon would later estimate that the final concussion of his career was his thirteenth.

Here at TJB, we have discussed the dangers associated with concussion at length. Expert Chris Nowinski even described the Jets franchise as "ground zero" for the concussion problems that persist today, with Toon and Wayne Chrebet the two most high-profile victims. Sadly for Toon, his battle with post concussion syndrome has been particularly harsh. He said that he was unable to watch his kids on a merry-go-round without feeling dizzy and expected to have to deal with issues such as headaches, nausea and disorientation for the rest of his life. At one stage, there was even media reports of Toon suffering from amnesia and constant confusion.

Happily, recent reports on Toon's health have been more positive. He even completed a triathlon in 2004, which included a marathon run. He is now involved in mentoring his son, Nick, who - after red-shirting the 2007 season - is now 6'3", 220 pounds and looks set to push for playing time as a wide receiver and kick returner for the Badgers at his Father's alma mater. Just last month, Toon also was appointed to the board of directors for the Green Bay Packers. He can now add a place in the TJB hall of fame to his list of achievements.

Since Toon has retired, he has been seriously missed. It may feel like forever since you saw #88 making a spectacular catch or running away from defenders. That may, in part, be due to the "curse of the number 88 jersey". Since Toon retired, everyone who has worn the jersey has suffered from an unfortunate inability to hold onto the football. Anthony Becht, Doug Jolley, Stevie Anderson, Chas Gessner, Sean Ryan, Curtis Caeser, Kyle Brady, Quinn Early. Good luck, Bubba Franks. Perhaps this is a sign they should have retired his number. He deserves it.

Tooooooooon!!!

Tags: Main Page, Bent Double

Who will the Jets select #3? 00:05:13
SNY NFL Insider Ralph Vacchiano and SNY NFL Draft Expert Rich Cirminiello discuss who the Jets will select third overall in the NFL Draft.

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

In less than a week, Jets GM Mike Maccagnan will make the most important draft pick of his tenure with the team, the one that surely will define his legacy.

No pressure, right?

Tags: Eli Manning, Josh McCown, Ralph Vacchiano
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Tulane Green Wave cornerback Parry Nickerson returns his interception against the Connecticut Huskies in the second quarter at Rentschler Field. (David Butler II/USA TODAY Sports)
Tulane Green Wave cornerback Parry Nickerson returns his interception against the Connecticut Huskies in the second quarter at Rentschler Field. (David Butler II/USA TODAY Sports)

Bent, theJetsBlog.com Follow on Twitter

Over the last few weeks, we looked at some of the players who have been invited to attend an official pre-draft visit with the Jets. With the visits ending earlier this week, let's take a final look at a selection of the players New York brought in.

Parry Nickerson, CB, Tulane

Nickerson is a four-year starter who was a constant standout on the Tulane defense. During his career, he recorded 16 interceptions, broke up another 31 passes and scored two defensive touchdowns. He turned heads at the scouting combine when he ran a 4.32 40-yard dash.

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Jonas Schwartz and Willie Colon are ready to open their present that is the #3 pick in the NFL Draft. The guys discuss the possibility of the Jets trading up, yet again, and the crazy idea of selecting a non-QB (can someone say Bradley Chubb) with the 3rd overall selection. Plus, former NFL QB Dan Orlovsky calls in to give his insight into the top four quarterbacks.

Click below to listen

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 (Tim Fuller)
(Tim Fuller)

The Jets will open the 2018 season in Detroit against the Lions on Monday night football, and finish things in Week 17 on the road against the Patriots.

Their entire 2018 schedule has been confirmed by SNY's Ralph Vacchiano, and is below...

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

Former QB Dan Orlovsky thinks the Jets are targeting Oklahoma QB Baker Mayfield with the No. 3 pick in the Draft, and one of the reasons is very specific.

Orlovsky, who played under Kyle Shanahan, noted that Jets OC Jeremy Bates is from the Mike Shanahan coaching tree. And that one of the traits Shanahan loved about John Elway is that he would screw his back foot into the ground when he threw -- adding that Bates loves that trait in quarterbacks as well. 

"There's one guy in the Draft who has that trait," Orlovsky said earlier this week on SNY's Jet Stream podcast. "And it's Baker Mayfield. He does the same thing when he throws. And I just think that those coaches fall in love with traits of guys that remind them of players that they had success with in the past. I think that they're looking at Baker Mayfield and going 'that's our guy.'"

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Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield drops back to pass against Ohio State during the first half of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Sept. 9, 2017, in Columbus, Ohio. (AP Photo/Jay LaPrete) (Jay LaPrete/AP)
Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield drops back to pass against Ohio State during the first half of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Sept. 9, 2017, in Columbus, Ohio. (AP Photo/Jay LaPrete) (Jay LaPrete/AP)

Projecting trades in a Mock Draft is a futile effort. There are too many variables and rumors. It's mostly speculation. And really, it's just an exercise in fantasy football.

But … well, who doesn't love fantasy football?

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Oct 14, 2017; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Southern California Trojans quarterback Sam Darnold. (Kirby Lee)
Oct 14, 2017; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Southern California Trojans quarterback Sam Darnold. (Kirby Lee)

In his latest mock draft, Sports Illustrated's Albert Breer has the Jets taking Sam Darnold as their quarterback of the future at No. 3. 

Many experts believe Darnold could be the first overall pick by the Browns, and if he doesn't land with Cleveland, then the Giants would scoop him up at No. 2. However, with Josh Allen as Breer's No. 1 pick and the Giants electing to go with Saquon Barkley over a quarterback, Darnold drops in the Jets' lap. 

So, there is no need for the Jets to choose between Josh Rosen or Baker Mayfield...

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Mangold's Hall of Fame chances 00:04:59
Dan Graca and Jon Hein debate over Nick Mangold's chances at making the Hall of Fame and the Devils' chances at beating the Lightning.

After a year out of football, No. 74 is officially hanging up the cleats. 

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive: On the lists of favorite players and all-time greats, you'll rarely find a center. They're buried in the trenches, often noticed only when a bad snap happens or a defensive tackle breaks through.

The same was probably true for Nick Mangold during his 11 NFL seasons - rarely noticed from the outside and incredibly underappreciated game to game. Yet somehow he still emerged from his long career as a fan favorite. And he definitely emerged as one of the Jets' all-time greats.

Tags: Nick Mangold
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New York Jets defensive end Leonard Williams gestures while jogging on the field prior to the game against the Buffalo Bills at New Era Field. (Rich Barnes/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Jets defensive end Leonard Williams gestures while jogging on the field prior to the game against the Buffalo Bills at New Era Field. (Rich Barnes/USA TODAY Sports)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

Jets GM Mike Maccagnan made it clear he had no worries about the state of the Jets' defensive line heading into the offseason. Sure, they've lost a lot of talent in recent years, trading Sheldon Richardson, cutting Muhammad Wilkerson and not re-signing Damon Harrison.

But they still have Leonard Williams, the sixth pick of the 2015 draft, and despite a down season last year, the Jets have huge expectations for him.

Tags: Damon Harrison, Leonard Williams, Muhammad Wilkerson, Sheldon Richardson, Steve McLendon, Ralph Vacchiano
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Los Angeles Chargers kicker Nick Rose attempts a field goal during an NFL game against the New York Jets at MetLife Stadium. (Kirby Lee/USA TODAY Sports)
Los Angeles Chargers kicker Nick Rose attempts a field goal during an NFL game against the New York Jets at MetLife Stadium. (Kirby Lee/USA TODAY Sports)

The Jets were awarded kicker Nick Rose on Monday after the Los Angeles Chargers placed him on waivers, the team announced.

Rose made 11 of 14 field goals in 10 games with the Chargers and Washington Redskins last season and converted on 23 of 26 extra points. He went 1-for-3 as a member of the Chargers in Weeks 16 and 17, and 10-for-11 in eight games with Washington. His longest make last year was 55 yards.

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Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

Brian Winters remembers everything about the moment his 2017 season went off the rails. He remembers the time, the place, the play, and without question, the pain.

"It was second quarter in Oakland (in Week 2) with five minutes to go before half when we were driving in to the north end zone. I still remember it like it was yesterday," said the 26-year-old guard. "It was an outside zone play and (running back) Bilal (Powell) was trying to stretch it outside of me, so I went to continue to push my guy through. And as soon as I pushed through I felt like a pop."

Tags: Brian Winters, Wesley Johnson, Ralph Vacchiano
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Oklahoma Sooners wide receiver Jeff Badet catches a touchdown pass against Texas Longhorns defensive back Kris Boyd in the second quarter at the Cotton Bowl. (Tim Heitman/USA TODAY Sports)
Oklahoma Sooners wide receiver Jeff Badet catches a touchdown pass against Texas Longhorns defensive back Kris Boyd in the second quarter at the Cotton Bowl. (Tim Heitman/USA TODAY Sports)

Bent, theJetsBlog.com Follow on Twitter

Last week, we looked at some of the players who have been invited to attend an official pre-draft visit with the Jets. More names have leaked out over the past seven days, so let's break down some of the more interesting ones in detail.

Jeff Badet, WR, Oklahoma

Badet spent most of his collegiate career at Kentucky, but saw some high profile action last year after transferring to Oklahoma. He wasn't invited to the scouting combine, but if he had been, his pro day numbers for the 40-yard dash, vertical jump and broad jump would all have ranked first or second at the receiver position.

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Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield drops back to pass against Ohio State during the first half of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Sept. 9, 2017, in Columbus, Ohio. (AP Photo/Jay LaPrete) (Jay LaPrete/AP)
Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield drops back to pass against Ohio State during the first half of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Sept. 9, 2017, in Columbus, Ohio. (AP Photo/Jay LaPrete) (Jay LaPrete/AP)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive: It's not quite crunch time yet, but there are less than three weeks until the start of the first round of the NFL draft, which means draft boards are in their final stages all around the league. It also means that the truth about which players are being targeted by which teams is starting to leak out -- albeit slowly.

Still, there are a lot of variables, especially in the first two picks. But at the moment there aren't many changes to my latest Mini-Mock Draft. The Browns are still taking a quarterback at 1. The Jets are still definitely taking one at 3. And I still think the Giants will take one -- assuming the right one is available -- at 2.

Here's a full look at my new Top 10, with some updated inside information...

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 (Brad Penner)
(Brad Penner)

Former Jets QB Mark Sanchez has been suspended four games after violating the performance-enhancing drug policy, the league announced Friday. 

Sanchez, who last played for the Jets in 2013, was the Bear's third-string quarterback last season. He claimed that "unknowing supplement contamination" was the reason for his drug test to turn up positive. 

The 31-year-old took to Instagram to explain the whole story...

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 (Kamil Krzaczynski)
(Kamil Krzaczynski)

The Jets have already begun condensing their roster for next season as the team announced several cuts on Friday. 

Among them was former Bears RB Jeremy Langford, who signed a reserve/future contract with the Jets worth $630,000 this offseason. The 26-year-old spent time jumping through practice squads last season, and though he was promoted to the Ravens' 53-man roster, an injury pushed him to the IR the same week he joined the team. 

Langford was released following his IR placement, and the former fourth-round pick wouldn't see time for the rest of the season.

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New York Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. (13) greets Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant (88) during warmups before a game at MetLife Stadium. (Brad Penner)
New York Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. (13) greets Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant (88) during warmups before a game at MetLife Stadium. (Brad Penner)

WR Dez Bryant was released by the Cowboys on Friday afternoon, with Bryant reportedly hinting afterwards that he might be staying in the NFC East.

Bryant, 29, had a down year in 2017, with 69 receptions for 838 yards and six touchdowns in 16 games.

"I let a lot of things get in the way that bother me mentally," Bryant said late last season. "I feel like, if anything, I need to deal with in the offseason - is that. Like I said, there's only certain things I can control."

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Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield drops back to pass against Ohio State during the first half of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Sept. 9, 2017, in Columbus, Ohio. (AP Photo/Jay LaPrete) (Jay LaPrete/AP)
Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield drops back to pass against Ohio State during the first half of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Sept. 9, 2017, in Columbus, Ohio. (AP Photo/Jay LaPrete) (Jay LaPrete/AP)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

The Jets are taking a quarterback with the third overall pick in the draft. They know it. Everyone knows it. And they know everyone knows it. "I mean, you'd have to be out of your mind to think otherwise," was how one team official said it. The only lingering question is: Which one?

The Jets have had or will have had private meetings and workouts with all of the top four, and GM Mike Maccagnan has made the rounds at their Pro Days. When they traded up to No. 3 they were convinced that they'd be happy with choosing from whichever two (or three) fell to them. And obviously at least two of the Big Four -- USC's Sam Darnold, UCLA's Josh Rosen, Oklahoma's Baker Mayfield and Wyoming's Josh Allen -- will still be there...

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Jonas Schwartz and Willie Colon take their deepest dive yet into the NFL Draft. They discuss the latest with the four quarterbacks, as well as look back at Willie's draft process with the Steelers in 2006. Later, Brian Costello of the New York Post joins the show to give his take on the draft and the possibility of Mike Maccagnan signing defensive tackle Johnathan Hankins.

Click below to listen

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New York Jets quarterback Josh McCown (15) gestures after thrown a touchdown pass to wide receiver Robby Anderson, not pictured, during the second half of an NFL football game against the Carolina Panthers, Sunday, Nov. 26, 2017, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Bill Kostroun) (Bill Kostroun/AP)
New York Jets quarterback Josh McCown (15) gestures after thrown a touchdown pass to wide receiver Robby Anderson, not pictured, during the second half of an NFL football game against the Carolina Panthers, Sunday, Nov. 26, 2017, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Bill Kostroun) (Bill Kostroun/AP)

The Jets' preseason schedule has been officially released for the 2018 season. 

The Falcons will be Gang Green's first opponent of the new year on their home turf. Then, they will hit the road to face the Redskins on Aug. 16 at 8 p.m.

The annual Snoopy Bowl at MetLife Stadium between the Jets and Giants will be the Week 3 matchup, with the Jets getting home field advantage.

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Top QB prospect Josh Rosen 00:01:13
Former UCLA quarterback Josh Rosen is expected to be taken as one of the top QB's in the 2018 NFL Draft.

In his latest mock draft, ESPN's Mel Kiper sees the Jets grabbing UCLA QB Josh Rosen with their third overall pick -- as SNY's Ralph Vacchiano projects in his Mini Mock Draft 3.0. 

The Jets clearly traded up to the No. 3 slot to take one of the highly touted quarterbacks. With Wyoming's Josh Allen and USC's Sam Darnold going to the Browns and Giants respectively, Rosen appears the best option for the Jets in Kiper's mind. 

CLICK BELOW TO READ KIPER'S ANALYSIS

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Oct 22, 2017; Miami Gardens, FL, USA; New York Jets tight end Eric Tomlinson (83) hurdles Miami Dolphins strong safety Nate Allen (29) during the first half at Hard Rock Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports (Jasen Vinlove)
Oct 22, 2017; Miami Gardens, FL, USA; New York Jets tight end Eric Tomlinson (83) hurdles Miami Dolphins strong safety Nate Allen (29) during the first half at Hard Rock Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports (Jasen Vinlove)

Bent, theJetsBlog.com Follow on Twitter

Having opted to let Austin Seferain-Jenkins leave in free agency, the Jets are relying on a group of young tight ends to replace his production, recently adding two more options to the mix.

It's possible the Jets could look to add to the group via the draft but, for now, let's consider what each of the tight ends currently on the roster brings to the table, and consider how they might be used in 2018...

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Top QB prospect Josh Rosen 00:01:13
Former UCLA quarterback Josh Rosen is expected to be taken as one of the top QB's in the 2018 NFL Draft.

With the NFL Draft a little over two weeks away, the Jets continue to get their last live look at the top prospects they could select with their third overall pick. 

After Oklahoma QB Baker Mayfield wraps up his private workout with the Jets Tuesday, UCLA QB Josh Rosen will visit the team, per SNY's Ralph Vacchiano.

After Rosen's visit, USC QB Sam Darnold is expected to be next on the list at some point later this week. Wyoming QB Josh Allen is also expected to visit at a later date.

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 (Aaron Doster)
(Aaron Doster)

The Jets continue to bolster their defense with another addition at the second tier in vetearn LB Kevin Minter, the team announced Monday. 

Minter most recently played for the Bengals in 2017, where he tallied 32 tackles in nine games. 

He was a second round draft pick by the Cardinals back in 2013, and he would spend four seasons in Arizona before heading to Cincinnati. He totaled 175 tackles, five sacks, one forced fumble, and six passes defended over 61 games (37 starts). 

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Dec 1, 2016; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Charles Johnson (12) runs after the catch in the second quarter against the Dallas Cowboys at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Rempel)
Dec 1, 2016; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Charles Johnson (12) runs after the catch in the second quarter against the Dallas Cowboys at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Rempel)

The Jets continue to stack their wide receiving corps for next season as former Vikings WR Charles Johnson signed a deal with the team on Monday. 

Johnson, who was waived by the Panthers in July 2017, sat out all last season due to surgery on his right knee. He played for the Vikings from 2014-16, where he totaled 60 receptions for 834 yards and two touchdowns over 39 games. 

The Grand Valley State product was a Packers' seventh-rounder back in 2013, and after joinging the team's practice squad following camp that year, the Brown picked him up to join their 53-man squad. He dressed but never saw action with the Browns. 

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The Jets' free agency strategy 00:12:52
The Jets Nation panel analyzes the Jets' recent free-agent additions, including former Vikings franchise quarterback Teddy Bridgewater.

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

Here is the most up-to-date information on whom the Jets have added and lost during free agency, including contract details and salary cap information. Be sure to bookmark this page and check back for frequent updates.

JETS SALARY CAP SPACE

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Dec 27, 2017; Bronx, NY, USA; Iowa Hawkeyes running back Akrum Wadley (25) rushes against Boston College Eagles defensive tackle Noa Merritt (94) during the second half of the 2017 Pinstripe Bowl at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports (Vincent Carchietta)
Dec 27, 2017; Bronx, NY, USA; Iowa Hawkeyes running back Akrum Wadley (25) rushes against Boston College Eagles defensive tackle Noa Merritt (94) during the second half of the 2017 Pinstripe Bowl at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports (Vincent Carchietta)

Bent, theJetsBlog.com Follow on Twitter

While the Jets are reportedly hosting Baker Mayfield and Josh Rosen for official Draft visits this week, we've also been keeping an eye on who else is reportedly scheduled to attend. Last year, both Jamal Adams and Marcus Maye took official visits before being selected with the Jets' top two picks.

Aside from the quarterbacks, most of this year's names that have leaked so far would be players the Jets might be hoping will drop to day three of the draft or maybe even be available as a priority free agent if they go undrafted. Let's look at some of the more interesting prospects...

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

With the NFL Draft just 17 days away, Oklahoma QB Baker Mayfield is scheduled to meet with the Jets in Florham Park on Monday and Tuesday, according to multiple reports.

The Jets have already met with Mayfield on multiple occasons -- including at the Senior Bowl and Scouting Combine -- and the team held a private workout with him. 

The 22-year-old Mayfield, who is expected to be selected early in the first round, threw 119 touchdowns in three seasons with Oklahoma and capped it off by throwing 43 touchdowns and six interceptions in 2017 when he started a career-high 14 games...

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New York Jets running back Bilal Powell is pursued by Los Angeles Chargers defensive end Isaac Rochell on a 57-yard touchdown run in the third quarter during an NFL football game at MetLife Stadium. (Kirby Lee/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Jets running back Bilal Powell is pursued by Los Angeles Chargers defensive end Isaac Rochell on a 57-yard touchdown run in the third quarter during an NFL football game at MetLife Stadium. (Kirby Lee/USA TODAY Sports)

Despite the retirement of Matt Forte, the Jets have bolstered their depth in the offensive backfield with a couple of veteran additions. Let's give consideration to what each back brings to the table and how they might find a niche in the Jets' offense this season.

Bilal Powell...

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Sep 10, 2017; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Indianapolis Colts nose tackle Al Woods (99) and Indianapolis Colts defensive tackle Johnathan Hankins (95) wait to take the field before the Colts game with the Los Angeles Rams at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports (Robert Hanashiro)
Sep 10, 2017; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Indianapolis Colts nose tackle Al Woods (99) and Indianapolis Colts defensive tackle Johnathan Hankins (95) wait to take the field before the Colts game with the Los Angeles Rams at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports (Robert Hanashiro)

Free agent DT Johnathan Hankins visited the Jets on Thursday, reports Dan Graziano of ESPN. Hankins, who was cut by the Colts earlier this offseason, has also visited the Redskins.

After spending the first four seasons of his career with the Giants, Hankins agreed to a four-your deal with the Colts worth $30 million, with $14.5 million guaranteed. 

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive: The Jets were obviously looking for an upgrade at defensive tackle when they made their brief -- and ill-advised -- pursuit of Ndamukong Suh. Thankfully, they pulled the plug on that before it happened. Johnathan Hankins could turn out to be a much better fit...

Tags: Johnathan Hankins
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A general view of a New York Jets helmet and an NFL football during the game between the Buffalo Bills and the New York Jets at Ralph Wilson Stadium. (Kevin Hoffman)
A general view of a New York Jets helmet and an NFL football during the game between the Buffalo Bills and the New York Jets at Ralph Wilson Stadium. (Kevin Hoffman)

Former Jets WR/DB and Super Bowl champion, Bill Rademacher, has passed at the age of 75, the team confirmed on Tuesday. 

Rademacher came out of Northern Michigan undrafted, and ending up joining the Jets as a receiver in 1964. He would play in New York for five seasons that included a Super Bowl title in 1968. 

After getting released in 1969, he joined the Boston Patriots where he played just two seasons before retiring. Radebacher, then, became the head coach of Norther Michigan, where he owned a 37-16-1 career record. 

Overall, he played in 58 games totaling 24 receptions for 282 yards and three touchdowns.

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