Kevin Mawae was the catalyst for change at a time when the Jets needed to bury the tortured past and develop a successful, hard-nosed identity for the future. He was nasty, reliable and, because the Seattle Seahawks declined to retain his services, he was available.

The Jets signed Mawae to a five-year, $16.8M contract in February 1998—the highest salary ever awarded to a center at the time. There was no denying then, as there's no denying now, that every dime was money well spent.

In a game enamored with skill positions, Mawae's grace, agility, and startling quickness was a challenge to anyone who ever doubted a lineman's athleticism. His versatility took him from left tackle to right guard before finally settling down at center during his final season with the Seahawks.

He then re-established the center position once he put on his No. 68 jersey for the Jets.

Mawae was an eight-time Pro Bowl selection, six with the Jets for every season from 1999 to 2004. He's also an eight-time All-Pro and was selected to the NFL 2000's All-Decade Team.

In 1998, Rich Cimini wrote about then-coach Bill Parcells' recruitment strategy for the mauler who'd become the centerpiece of an effective Jets offense:

After last season, coach Bill Parcells made a shopping list of his biggest off-season needs. The No. 1 priority was to replace Roger Duffy at center. When Parcells recruited Mawae, he pulled the actual list out of a large binder and showed it to Mawae.

Parcells couldn't stomach the thought of another season without an impact center.

"You're held hostage if you don't have a center," Parcells said. "It's the worst feeling. It's like going to the dentist. Not good news."

All eyes are on the quarterback after the snap, but it's the center and his offensive line that set the tone. Parcells knew that better than anyone, and placed his faith in the 6'4", 305-pound military brat.

Ironically enough, all the moving around in Mawae's childhood translated to his style of play on the field. Talented linemen are often called anchors—an analogy that never truly fit with Mawae's active and aggressive approach to blocking.

Hindsight allows us to see Parcells' plan for the Jets more than 13 years ago with vivid clarity today.

CAREERS INTERTWINED

Parcells and the Jets masterfully orchestrated a plan to snatch Curtis Martin away from the rival Patriots. It was Mawae's job to make the coach look brilliant for the transaction.

Martin's legendary career and consistent output is well known and appreciated among fans, but a lot of what Martin did for Gang Green is a credit to the powerhouse center who made it possible in the trenches.

Without triggering a chicken-egg debate, the center and running back simply complemented one another perfectly. They were the ideal partners, tremendous athletes entering their respective primes, on a team that needed them.

Martin and Mawae powered the Jets offense from 1998 to 2005 as the most reliable players in green. Neither missed games until 2005, when injuries staggered their careers and ended streaks for consecutive starts. (Martin started in 119-straight games; Mawae's streak ended at 177.)

Nonetheless, while injuries claimed quarterbacks, free agency lured away receivers, and ineptitude removed coaches, Martin and Mawae were the Jets' cornerstones, working tirelessly to keep the team competitive.

Martin rushed for 1,287 yards and eight touchdowns in his first season with the Jets, behind the brawny and brainy offensive line Mawae led. That continued through 2004 when Martin won the NFL rushing title with 1,697 yards behind Mawae and friends.

CENTER-SLASH-FULLBACK

One of the most significant and impressive abilities in Mawae's repertoire was quickness when pulling from the center position down the line of scrimmage. From his snap to the quarterback's handoff, Mawae sealed off edges and smashed linebackers in the mouth before the running back gained yards.

When Mawae was drafted, the concept of a pulling center was considered more of a unique skill, exclusively attributed to Steelers great Dermontti Dawson.

After Mawae left Seattle for the Jets, former teammate and Seahawks standout linebacker Chad Brown doubted Mawae's potential to be in Dawson's class.

"I don't want to take anything away from Kevin, but Dermontti is in a class by himself," Brown said before showering Mawae with praise. "Most teams don't have the athletic ability of a Kevin Mawae, who gets downfield and makes blocks against defensive backs in the secondary. Those guys turns 8-yard runs into 18- or 28-yarders. He is one of the most athletic centers in the league."

No one ever accused Brown of being clairvoyant. Perhaps his assessment of Mawae's ability felt true in 1998; it definitely didn't hold as the end of the story on Mawae's career.

In 2003, Mike Martz told T.J. Quinn of the Daily News that Mawae "does things that no other center in this league can do."

"He can pull on a linebacker that's shaded further to the side than he is and block him, which he shouldn't be able to do," Martz continued.

"He's a freak."

Quinn masterfully explained the genius behind the Jets blocking assignments during Mawae's tenure, and how they managed to confuse defenses at will:

When Mawae pulls, it is generally because the former guard has designated himself as the lead blocker when calling out the blocking scheme to his offensive line. The result is a shift in the balance of the running game, former San Francisco All-Pro center Randy Cross says.

"Instead of having a fullback blocking a linebacker, now you've got a center on a linebacker and your fullback on a corner or safety," Cross says.

Teams react to it, and several defenses the Jets have seen this season - notably the Green Bay Packers - began reacting to Mawae's movement, rather than the guards. Once the linebackers started following Mawae, the Jets were able to counter the other way for big gains.

The center established the offensive rhythm.

BY ANY MEANS

As president of the NFL Player's Association, cameras often captured Mawae in the center of this offseason's nasty labor dispute. He wasn't caught very often when he was a player doing things that earned him an intense reputation.

That's a step below calling him dirty, but a distinction that must be made for a player who "knows how much he can get away with within the rules," according to an anonymous coach speaking with Cimini in 2004.

"Sometimes he goes a little too far," the coach continued.

Early into the 2004 season, Mawae fractured his right hand in a victory against the San Diego Chargers. Then-coach Herm Edwards was mum on the details, but left room for people to speculate on Mawae's status and wonder if his streak of 157-consecutive starts was in jeopardy.

It wasn't.

Mawae returned to the field with his right hand wrapped in a cast and switched to southpaw for his ball-snapping duties. What began as a testament to his ironman toughness evolved into a running joke as analysts and fans questioned the severity of the injury weeks later.

Truthfully, it looked like Mawae was enjoying the club and using it to his advantage at every opportunity.

"The ref came up to me three or four times and said, 'I'm getting complaints,' " Mawae said after a 2004 win against Miami. "I said, 'What do you want me to do?' Don't play against me. Or I'll hide one hand behind my back."

The layers of bandages eventually came off, but Mawae's style never softened. His brand of football has a philosophy; and while he's a friendly, devout Christian off the field, Mawae's pride in his work is what made his career special to football fans.

He's the throwback player to generations ago who'd buckle his chin pad, play through pain, and do everything within his power to walk away knowing he did what was necessary.

"You either play football or you don't," Mawae told the Daily News. "Guys say I cross the line, but I've never seen my name on a list of the dirtiest players. If people take exception to the way I play, I don't care. They don't have to like it, but they'd better be ready for the way I play."

OVER IN A SNAP

To put it gently, the Jets' overall success varied widely during Mawae's tenure.

The 1998 season produced the team's best results with a 12-4 regular-season finish and a heart-breaking end in Denver for the AFC Championship Game.

Injuries devastated the team at various positions for years until Martin and Mawae suffered season-ending injuries in 2005. Martin's knees disallowed him from returning to football; Mawae's torn triceps tendon spelled the end of his career with the Jets. The future Parcells envisioned in 1998 ended.

Even without a championship, the mission was accomplished. Through Mawae, the Jets elevated from the 3-13 and 1-14 disasters of the Rich Kotite era (or error). There were bumps in the road in Mawae's seven seasons with the Jets, but hope always existed behind him. He embodied the team's competitive spirit and helped establish an identity for the Jets that still exists today.

In 2009, Mawae's successor Nick Mangold told The Jets Blog, "He really set up the center position in New York. People really know about it because of Kevin and what he was able to do."

Mangold made a seamless transition into a role Mawae defined and placed his own stamp on it, but that doesn't negate what Mawae meant for the Jets, or how people evaluate an offensive lineman.

"It was difficult coming in and having that kind of a player here before you. You have that hanging over your head," Mangold said. "But I do appreciate Kevin."

We all do.

Tags: Main Page

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

There is no doubt who the biggest winner was in the 2017 draft for the Jets. No one had a better three days than Christian Hackenberg.

Once thought to be the Jets possible Quarterback of the Future, he apparently still is after the Jets avoided the Quarterback Class of 2017 with all of their nine draft picks over the three days of the NFL draft. That wasn't a guarantee, either. They heavily scouted the top ones, and all of them except for North Carolina's Mitch Trubisky were available when they made the sixth overall pick.

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

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

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

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

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 (James Snook)
(James Snook)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 


THE VITALS:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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 (James Snook)
(James Snook)

Ralph Vacchiano Facebook | Twitter | Archive

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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 (AP)
(AP)

Ralph Vacchiano Facebook | Twitter | Archive

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

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

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Ralph Vacchiano Facebook | Twitter | Archive

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

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

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

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

 

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

Ralph Vacchiano Facebook | Twitter | Archive

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

So yes, the Jets need pretty much everything.

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

Ralph Vacchiano Facebook | Twitter | Archive

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

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

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

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

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

Ralph Vacchiano Facebook | Twitter | Archive

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

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

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

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

Ralph Vacchiano Facebook | Twitter | Archive

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

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

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

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 (Bill Streicher)
(Bill Streicher)

Ralph Vacchiano Facebook | Twitter | Archive

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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 (Kelley L Cox)
(Kelley L Cox)

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

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

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

 (Brian Spurlock)
(Brian Spurlock)

Ralph Vacchiano Facebook | Twitter | Archive

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

JETS SALARY CAP SPACE

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

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

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

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

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

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

Ralph Vacchiano Facebook | Twitter | Archive

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Ralph Vacchiano Facebook | Twitter | Archive

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

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

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

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

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

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

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