With OTAs over and voluntary minicamp set to begin, let's take a look at some guys who had some of the better under-the-radar performances during the Organized Team Activities that could unexpectedly lead to them getting a bigger role than previously anticipated. Keep in mind, the media was only allowed to attend one practice each week, meaning they have no idea how guys performed when they were not around. Thus, after speaking to a variety of sources, here's some guys who separated themselves, albeit in shorts, during this period.

1. TE Hayden Smith - Everybody I've talked to has absolutely raved about Hayden. The progress he has made from year one to year two is nothing short of phenomenal. If you think about it, this time last year he was just learning to put on a helmet for the first time. Now, he's getting ready to be make a major impact for this team. In his West Coast offense, the two-tight end set is very common, so it's more than likely we will see Hayden out there with Jeff Cumberland a majority of the time. While Konrad Reuland is a formidable player, he's not as versatile as Hayden. People at the practices have raved to me about his route running, improved blocking, and overall understanding for the game. It's been a while since the Jets have had a legitimate pass catching threat at the TE position. Maybe one might classify Dustin Keller as one, but he would show up for five games than disappear. Hayden is here to stay. This is a guy to watch closely as camp rolls around.

2. WR Zach Rogers - Overshadowed by Cordarrelle Patterson and Justin Hunter at Tennessee, Rogers has been lining up everywhere during OTAs. I'm told in addition to playing slot receiver, Rogers has been handling the duties as a punt returner and kick returner as well. In fact, he was the reason the Jets cut Royce Pollard after minicamp. Rogers, who caught 32 passes for 491 yards and seven touchdowns last season, performed so well that Pollard, who spent the entire season on the practice squad, was suddenly let go. Right off the bat Rogers clearly has a leg up on a guy like Titus Ryan in terms of making the team just due to his versatility. Rex has taken notice has well, "Rogers was very productive there and he really did a nice job of running routes and catching the football. He stood out. He caught a lot of balls out there, he was a slot receiver, you saw him return punts. And he did a good job in the special teams drills.” Rex, who is notorious for not knowing undrafted free agents names, clearly has his eye on Rogers. As should you.

3. LB Ricky Sapp - Let's start off with something that has been reported yet. Last year, Ricky found out in the middle of the season that he was playing with a stress fracture in his right ankle, which was causing him unbearable pain. As such, Rex decided to make a bold decision. He made Ricky inactive for the latter part of the season. With the season pretty much over and Rex looking ahead, he decided to "hide" Ricky. He didn't want to get him on tape, and also felt it necessary to let his ankle heal. After the season ended, Rex asked Ricky to add on some weight, but not so much that it will affect his speed. He did, and came into camp in the best shape of his life. While the team has said Quinton Coples will be starting at one of the OLB spots, the media has labeled Calvin Pace the starter. Not so fast. They should know on the days they weren't there, Ricky was receiving a TON of reps and was playing with the first team. I can see a scenario in which Antwan Barnes and Pace end up in more of a situational role with Ricky and Quinton starting. Barnes is probably best suited for that kind of role anyway, and Calvin is getting up there in age. Kristian Dyer said of every single defensive player on the field last week, Ricky "looked the best." With his ability to drop back in coverage and also get after the QB, will will be playing a lot this season. I can promise you that.

4. RB John Griffin - Like Ricky, Griffin was lighting it up in camp last summer, but suffered a high ankle sprain and was ultimately let go. After being resigned to the practice squad late in the season and activated for the Week 17 game vs. Buffalo, he's back in camp turning heads once again. RB Coach Anthony Lynn said, "he was really raw when he got here at first but I’m expecting John to really compete, not just be a camp guy but compete for playing time. He’s a big back … He’s fast, he’s quick, he can make people miss inline and he does some really nice things that I like." The problem is, the Jets are extremely loaded at the running back position, with Mike Goodson, Chris Ivory, Bilal Powell and Joe McKnight. Interestingly, however, I've been told Griffin has the best hands out of the aforementioned group, something that is a necessity in a West Coast Offense. Griffin has been making the most out of his reps, and if he continues to shine, he might just push one of these guys off the roster...

5. DB Eric Crocker - First and foremost, from all of us here at TJB, we send our condolences to Eric, who left OTAs this week to return home to California to be with his family following the loss of his father. Signed by the Jets in March, he went attended University of Arkansas at Monticello. After going undrafted in 2012, he joined the San Antonio Talons last season, where he finished the year with 70 tackles, 2 forced fumbles, 3 fumble recoveries, and 3 interceptions. Crocker, 6'2, 190lbs., has been making a name for himself during OTAs. The Jets coaches feel he has a real shot to make the team, I've learned. He has shown a ton of toughness and ability to match up with receivers during practice. Furthermore, I've been told they "can't wait" to get him in pads. His ability to run down the field and make plays on special teams will also help his cause. He reminds me a lot of Marquice Cole, who like Crocker, was signed by the Jets to a reserve/future contract. Quice became in instant star on special teams while slowly showing he had what it took to play in Rex's complicated defense as well. Crocker has been working one-on-one with Dennis Thurman and Tim McDonald to better himself every day.

Tags: NYJets

 (Rick Scuteri/AP)
(Rick Scuteri/AP)

G Brian Winters and TE Eric Tomlinson (knee) are out for Sunday's game against the Dolphins, the Jets announced Friday.

Either Dakota Dozier or Brent Qvale will start at RG for Winters, Jets head coach Todd Bowles told reporters.

TE Jordan Leggett (knee) and S Rontez Miles (eye) are doubtful.

Tags: Brent Qvale, Brian Winters, Dakota Dozier, Jordan Leggett, Muhammad Wilkerson, Rontez Miles, Will Tye
Read More

Vacchiano's 3 Keys to a Jets win 00:01:11
SNY NFL Insider Ralph Vacchiano discusses his three keys to a Jets' victory vs. the Miami Dolphins in Week 3.

SNY NFL Insider Ralph Vacchiano discusses his three keys to a Jets victory over the Miami Dolphins in Week 3.

Read More

 (Brad Penner)
(Brad Penner)

The Jets re-signed KR/WR Kalif Raymond to their practice squad after cutting him earlier in the week.

Raymond muffing a punt during the Jets' loss to the raiders in Oakland.

"He's got some tools to develop," coach Todd Bowles said on Thursday. "There are some things we like about him with his speed and catch radius as a receiver, so he's worth bringing back."

Bowles indicated Raymond would likely remain on the practice squad but added that there's still a chance he could make the active roster.

Read More

GEICO SportsNite: Jets' RBs 00:00:47
According to offensive coordinator John Morton and Matt Forte, the Jets are looking to utilize all three running backs in their home opener.

 

Read More

Jets Game Plan: Moving forward 00:03:58
The panel breaks down the positives and negatives from Sunday's game and how the Jets can learn from that loss and work towards a win.

 

Read More

In the latest episode of The Jet Stream, Jonas Schwartz and Willie Colon look back at the Week 2 loss in Oakland, and discuss what the Jets need to do to secure their first win of the season. Later, Jonas and Willie debut two of the show's newest segments, "Willie's Story Time" and "How being an NFL player is better than being you."

Click below to listen!

Read More

 (Brad Penner)
(Brad Penner)

The Jets have signed DE David Bass and cut LB Freddie Bishop to make room on the roster.

Bass, who was selected 233rd by the Raiders in the 2013 NFL Draft, had been released by the Seahawks on Tuesday.

Bishop had been signed from the practice squad to the active roster last week.

Read More

GEICO SportsNite: Jets 00:02:02
Jeane Coakley talks with quarterback Josh McCown about the Jets' home opener and with CEO Christopher Johnson about Todd Bowles' future.

 

Read More

 (Stan Szeto)
(Stan Szeto)

It's been a tough two weeks of the season for Jets linebacker Darron Lee, and head coach Todd Bowles wants to see more out of the second-year player. 

Standing at 6-foot-1 and 231 pounds, Lee has looked overmatched at times during the Jets' first two games this year. So far Lee has 12 tackles and one sack. 

Tags: Darron Lee
Read More

New York Jets defensive end Muhammad Wilkerson (96) looks to the fans prior to the game against the Buffalo Bills at New Era Field. (Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports)
New York Jets defensive end Muhammad Wilkerson (96) looks to the fans prior to the game against the Buffalo Bills at New Era Field. (Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports)

Jets defensive end Muhammad Wilkerson (bruised shoulder) did not participate in Wednesday's practice, but he believes he'll be ready to play against the Dolphins on Sunday. 

Wilkerson suffered the injury during last week's matchup in Oakland, but does not think the bruise is too serious. Head coach Todd Bowles also said he doesn't believe the injury will keep Wilkerson out of action. 

Below is the rest of the Jets' injury report from Wednesday's practice: 

Tags: Muhammad Wilkerson
Read More

 (Brad Penner)
(Brad Penner)

Christopher Johnson, the Jets' acting owner as his brother Woody Johnson serves as Ambassador to the United Kingdom under President Donald Trump, says the team isn't tanking.

"It couldn't be further from the truth," Johnson told reporters on Wednesday. "I want to win every game. Every player in that locker room wants to win. What you're seeing, I think, are growing pains. These are young guys. There are some older guys on the team. Some of them, they're doing an extraordinary job. But I think you're going to see this team get better and better and better. That's what I'm looking for. And we are definitely not tanking."

The Jets, who have started the season 0-2 and are expected to have one ot the worst records in the NFL this season, trimmed the roster of the majority of their veterans during the offseason.

Read More

Dec 11, 2016; Green Bay, WI, USA; Green Bay Packers defensive end Datone Jones (95) during the game against the Seattle Seahawks at Lambeau Field. Green Bay won 38-10. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports (Jeff Hanisch)
Dec 11, 2016; Green Bay, WI, USA; Green Bay Packers defensive end Datone Jones (95) during the game against the Seattle Seahawks at Lambeau Field. Green Bay won 38-10. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports (Jeff Hanisch)

The Jets held workouts with six players on Tuesday, reports NFL Insider Adam Caplan.

The team worked out wide receivers Corey "Philly" Brown, Josh Huff, and Paul Turner; defensive ends Datone Jones and Alex McCalister; and defensive tackle Stefan Charles.

Read More

Sep 17, 2017; Oakland, CA, USA; Oakland Raiders running back DeAndre Washington (33) picks up a first down before being tackled by New York Jets outside linebacker Darron Lee (58) in the first quarter at Oakland Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports (Cary Edmondson)
Sep 17, 2017; Oakland, CA, USA; Oakland Raiders running back DeAndre Washington (33) picks up a first down before being tackled by New York Jets outside linebacker Darron Lee (58) in the first quarter at Oakland Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports (Cary Edmondson)

The Jets defense may have allowed 45 points to the Raiders this past Sunday, but they are not embarrassed as they believe the unit as taken positive steps forward. 

The Raiders racked up 410 total yards as they had both the run and pass game working in their home opener. Though it was a bad performance, LB Darron Lee spoke about why there were no heads hung in the locker room following the game. 

Bent, theJetsBlog.com Follow on Twitter: The Jets surprisingly hung around for the better part of three quarters, but eventually the game slipped away from them and the Raiders came away with the anticipated blowout win. Aside from a couple of ill-timed turnovers, the run defense was the biggest issue in yesterday's game...

Tags: Darron Lee, Morris Claiborne, Muhammad Wilkerson
Read More

 (Cary Edmondson)
(Cary Edmondson)

Bent, theJetsBlog.com Follow on Twitter

The Jets surprisingly hung around for the better part of three quarters, but eventually the game slipped away from them and the Raiders came away with the anticipated blowout win. Aside from a couple of ill-timed turnovers, the run defense was the biggest issue in yesterday's game.

Let's break down the performances on the defensive side of the ball from the Jets' 45-20 loss to the Raiders in Week 2...

Tags: Buster Skrine, Darron Lee, Demario Davis, Dylan Donahue, Jamal Adams, Jordan Jenkins, Leonard Williams, Marcus Maye, Morris Claiborne, Muhammad Wilkerson, Steve McLendon
Read More

Latest look at the next Jets QB 00:00:44
SNY.tv takes a look at how the top collegiate quarterbacks did on the field last weekend.

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

Another loss for the Jets, another step closer to the No. 1 overall pick in the 2018 draft.

Of course, even if they don't land the top spot they seem sure to land something in the Top 10, where they'll have a shot at one of the many top college quarterbacks available. Here's a look at some of them, and how their stock has risen or fallen from last week...

Read More

 (Stan Szeto)
(Stan Szeto)

Jets WR Jermaine Kearse notched his first touchdowns with the team in the loss to the Raiders on Sunday. 

Kearse and another Jets newcomer, QB Josh McCown, have found chemistry early this season. McCown found the 27-year-old seven times for 59 yards in the season opener against the Bills. 

Bent, theJetsBlog.com Follow on TwitterKearse continued his strong start as a Jet by leading them with 64 yards on four catches, including two touchdowns. He showed some veteran smarts with a subtle push-off on the first touchdown and made a tough catch with a defender draped over him for his other score. However, his other three catches -- one of which was negated by a penalty -- were short of the first down marker. >> Read more about the receivers and the Jets' offensive performance in Bent's Game Analysis.

Tags: Jermaine Kearse, Charone Peake, Robby Anderson
Read More

 (Stan Szeto)
(Stan Szeto)

After putting up 38 total yards in their season opener, the Jets' run game saw an increase in production in loss to the Raiders Sunday. 

Veteran RB Matt Forte was the leader of the running back committee after posting a dismal 16 yards on six carries against the Bills last week. He posted 53 yards on nine carries with his longest being a 16-yard gain.

Bent, theJetsBlog.com Follow on Twitter: After a disappointing first game, the Jets had more success with their running game this week, as three backs combined for 95 yards on 21 carries.

Tags: Bilal Powell, Elijah McGuire, Matt Forte
Read More

Sep 17, 2017; Oakland, CA, USA; New York Jets wide receiver Jermaine Kearse (10) catches the ball for a touchdown against Oakland Raiders cornerback David Amerson (29). (Stan Szeto)
Sep 17, 2017; Oakland, CA, USA; New York Jets wide receiver Jermaine Kearse (10) catches the ball for a touchdown against Oakland Raiders cornerback David Amerson (29). (Stan Szeto)

Bent, theJetsBlog.com Follow on Twitter

The Jets surprisingly hung around for the best part of three quarters, but eventually the game slipped away from them and the Raiders came away with the anticipated blowout win. Aside from a couple of ill-timed turnovers, the run defense was the biggest issue in yesterday's game.

However, we're going to break down the performances on the offensive side of the ball first...

Tags: ArDarius Stewart, Ben Ijalana, Brandon Shell, Brent Qvale, Brian Winters, Bryce Petty, Chad Hansen, Charone Peake, Christian Hackenberg, Dakota Dozier, James Carpenter, Jeremy Kerley, Josh McCown, Kelvin Beachum, Robby Anderson, Wesley Johnson, Will Tye
Read More

Sep 17, 2017; Oakland, CA, USA; New York Jets quarterback Josh McCown (15) prepares to throw a pass against the Oakland Raiders in the third quarter at Oakland Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports (Cary Edmondson)
Sep 17, 2017; Oakland, CA, USA; New York Jets quarterback Josh McCown (15) prepares to throw a pass against the Oakland Raiders in the third quarter at Oakland Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports (Cary Edmondson)

Jets QB Josh McCown threw for his first touchdowns as a Jet in the team's 45-20 loss to the Oakland Raiders on Sunday. 

McCown was held without a passing touchdown in the season opener against the Bills, but he made up for it with two in Oakland. However, it wouldn't be enough as the Raiders racked up points in front of their hometown fans. 

Bent, theJetsBlog.com Follow on TwitterOn paper, McCown had a very good game. He came away with two touchdown passes and a 113.1 quarterback rating and even contributed 31 yards on the ground. However, there were a series of mistakes that are not reflected in his passing numbers...

Tags: Josh McCown
Read More

Sep 17, 2017; Oakland, CA, USA; Oakland Raiders running back Marshawn Lynch (24) dances on the sideline as wide receiver Michael Crabtree (15) watches during a break in the action against the New York Jets in the fourth quarter at Oakland Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports (Cary Edmondson)
Sep 17, 2017; Oakland, CA, USA; Oakland Raiders running back Marshawn Lynch (24) dances on the sideline as wide receiver Michael Crabtree (15) watches during a break in the action against the New York Jets in the fourth quarter at Oakland Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports (Cary Edmondson)

Jets linebacker Jordan Jenkins was not happy with how Raiders RB Marshawn Lynch danced during Sunday's 45-20 loss to the Oakland Raiders at Oakland Coliseum.

Jenkins, who was upset at the way the Jets lost, didn't like seeing Lynch dancing and celebrating on the sideline after Oakland took a 35-13 lead on Jalen Richard's 52-yard touchdown run.

"I'm an old-school guy," Jenkins said, according to NJ.com's Darryl Slater. "I don't like when things like that happen. That was embarrassing, losing like that, and to have Marshawn dancing like that. Seeing that happen, that should infuriate the whole [Jets] team. It should infuriate everybody. And we should have to have a good response coming into next Sunday." 

Tags: Jordan Jenkins, Oakland Raiders
Read More

Jets Post Game Overtime: 9/17 00:13:52
The Jets Post Game Overtime crew gives out its report cards following the Jets' 45-20 loss to the Oakland Raiders on Sunday.

 

Read More

GEICO SportsNite: Jets 00:03:05
The Football Night in New York crew breaks down the Jets' 45-20 loss to the Oakland Raiders on Sunday.

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

The Jets are not a good football team, so when they have an opportunity -- any opportunity -- they have to take advantage.

That's why what happened at the end of the first half of Sunday's 45-20 loss was so catastrophic to their chances on Sunday in Oakland. Forget the final score. Forget that this game turned into a blowout. And forget all the reasons why the Raiders deserved to win this game big.

Tags: Oakland Raiders
Read More

New York Jets quarterback Bryce Petty during the game against the Oakland Raiders during the second quarter at Oakland Coliseum. (Stan Szeto/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Jets quarterback Bryce Petty during the game against the Oakland Raiders during the second quarter at Oakland Coliseum. (Stan Szeto/USA TODAY Sports)

Bryce Petty will be the New York Jets' No. 2 quarterback for the near future, head coach Todd Bowles said after Sunday's 45-20 loss to the Oakland Raiders at Oakland Coliseum.

Bowles did not initially name a backup quarterback to Josh McCown. Although Petty was listed second on the depth chart prior to the season, he was inactive for New York's Week 1 loss to the Buffalo Bills due to a sprained MCL.

Christian Hackenberg, the Jets' 2016 second-round pick, was listed as inactive for Sunday's game.

Tags: Bryce Petty, Christian Hackenberg, Josh McCown, Oakland Raiders
Read More

Bowles and McCown on 45-20 loss 00:01:56
Jets head coach Todd Bowles and quarterback Josh McCown talk about what went wrong in the team's 45-20 loss to the Oakland Raiders.

Marshawn Lynch ran for a touchdown in his first home game with Oakland and Derek Carr threw three TD passes to Michael Crabtree to lead the Raiders to a 45-20 victory over the New York Jets on Sunday.

Cordarrelle Patterson and Jalen Richard added long touchdown runs to help put the game away and give the Raiders (2-0) wins in the opening two games of the season for the first time since their AFC championship season in 2002.

Josh McCown threw a pair of TD passes to Jermaine Kearse but the Jets (0-2) proved to be no match for the more powerful and talented Raiders. >> Read more

Copyright 2017 by The Associated Press

Tags: Josh McCown, Oakland Raiders
Read More

Bowles on traveling to Oakland 00:01:47
Todd Bowles on the challenge of traveling across the country to face a talented Raiders team, and trying to slow down Marshawn Lynch.

 

Read More

New York Jets quarterback Christian Hackenberg (5) throws a pass against the Tennessee Titans during the third quarter at MetLife Stadium. (Dennis Schneidler-USA TODAY Sports)
New York Jets quarterback Christian Hackenberg (5) throws a pass against the Tennessee Titans during the third quarter at MetLife Stadium. (Dennis Schneidler-USA TODAY Sports)

Seven Jets players are listed as inactive for the team's Week 2 matchup against the Raiders.

QB Christian Hackenberg, CB Derrick Jones, S Rontez Miles, LB Bruce Carter, OL Jonotthan Harrison, TE Eric Tomlinson, TE Jordan Leggett will not suit up on Sunday, according to the team.

QB Bryce Petty, who missed last week's game, is active and will be the backup behind QB Josh McCown. WR Jeremy Kerley and TE Neal Sterling will also return after missing last week's game.

Dakota Dozier is slated to back up C Wes Johnson in the absence of Harrison, who suffered a concussion during practice this week.

Tags: Christian Hackenberg, Derrick Jones, Jordan Leggett, Rontez Miles
Read More

Jets players to watch on Sunday 00:01:10
The crew from Jets Game Plan discusses its "players to watch" in Sunday's game against the Raiders in Oakland.

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

THE GAME

The Jets (0-1) at the Oakland Raiders (1-0) at the Oakland Alameda Coliseum in Oakland, on Sunday, Sept. 17 at 4:05 p.m. ET.


Coverage on SNY:

Tags: Buster Skrine, Morris Claiborne, Muhammad Wilkerson, Oakland Raiders, Ralph Vacchiano
Read More

Vacchiano's 3 Keys to a Jets win 00:01:09
SNY NFL Insider Ralph Vacchiano discusses his three keys to a Jets' victory vs. the Oakland Raiders in Week 2.

SNY NFL Insider Ralph Vacchiano discusses his three keys to a Jets' victory vs. the Oakland Raiders in Week 2.

 

Read More

New York Jets head coach Todd Bowles, center, looks on after challenging a call during the second half of an NFL football game against the Buffalo Bills, Sunday, Jan. 1, 2017, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Bill Kostroun) (Bill Kostroun/AP)
New York Jets head coach Todd Bowles, center, looks on after challenging a call during the second half of an NFL football game against the Buffalo Bills, Sunday, Jan. 1, 2017, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Bill Kostroun) (Bill Kostroun/AP)

DL Lawrence Thomas and OLB Freddie Bishop have been signed off the practice squad before Sunday's game against the Raiders. The Jets also waived/injured LB Edmond Robinson, who will revert to injured reserve if he isn't claimed by another organization.

Thomas, who is in his second year out of Michigan State, played only three games last season, including one start. He had six tackles with his best outing coming against the Giants (five tackles).

Read More

GEICO SportsNite: Jamal Adams 00:01:37
Jeane Coakley talks to Jamal Adams about what he and the Jets expect from a potent Raiders offense going into their matchup on Sunday.

 

Tags: Jamal Adams
Read More