Opening statement…

Again as always, you watch the tape and maybe not everything jumps out at you like you thought after the game, but for the most part, it’s not surprising, (and) you pretty much have the idea after the game. I think that was the case (here). Some individuals absolutely had tremendous games and then there’s others that never played quite as well. (The) challenge to our guys is, are (you) doing what we’re asking you to do? In this league, no matter who you are, no matter how good you are, you’re going to get beat physically in this league. It happens. It’s not something you except, you step right back up and you take that challenge again, but that does happen. Are our mistakes physical or are some mental? Is (it) something that’s, why we’re not doing exactly what we’re asking you to do and that’s the challenge to the team that I put out. And then as a coach too, put your guys in position to be successful and that’s always going to be the thing that you look for. The other thing you do is you get out there and you do the corrections and you can’t move forward unless you correct some of the mistakes that were made and that’s what we did today. And that’s what it’s always about, win or lose.

On the blocked the punt…

Well, what you do is like you have the flyers. The three flyers is something that we’ve done in the past here. We’ve been fairly successful with it and by numbers we have the numbers that you look for, you know what I mean. There’s six rushers and you have seven blockers. We have seven blockers, but are there things that we could’ve done a better job physically? Absolutely. It wasn’t really necessarily a bust in assignment, it was more of a technique deal. But, we could’ve helped. Obviously, certain guys (are) in a tougher predicament. Tanner (Purdum) is in a tougher predicament because he’s got somebody over his nose. So, you’re challenged a little bit that way, but we just have to do a better job of it.

On whether he could tell that the block punt was going to happen before the snap…

No. You know what the rule is, even yesterday when you guys asked me about it. You cover the guy up. Whenever you get a guy outside, you can cover that guy up, so we know that obviously that’s a possibility. But, just by the sheer numbers of it, we can get into technical terms, you always count outside in. You have three this way, then it’s one, two, three and back here it’s one, two, three, four. Whatever the case may be, that’s how you count. Everybody knows we’re a man protection team. Sometimes you have an uncovered guy, so I guess you’re punching holes. You can do different things like that, but we’re a man protection team and we know how to count. We assume that there’s going to be somebody on the nose. At least we’re ready for that.

On whether he saw the way that Carolina aligned their punt block formation and was like “uh oh”…

No. I mean, maybe Tanner did because you’ve got a guy over your nose (joking). But again, that’s something we’re aware of.

On if he thought the punt would be blocked before the play occurred…

No. We had the numbers. Again, they hadn’t really shown that they would bring the guy over but they did. But you’re certainly aware that that’s a possibility. And again, it doesn’t really change your number count. It’s just obviously you’re not in an ideal situation if you’re snapping the ball and then having to protect. But, that’s always been the case in this league. Before they changed the rule, that happened all the time.

On how he approaches the final two weeks…

This team’s going to play hard regardless. Whether there’s a playoff scenario out there or not, this team will play hard. I’m confident of that. I’m confident we’ll prepare, we’ll do everything, we’re professionals and this team is close. You never want to go out that way. You want to go out being true to yourself and everything else. Did I flash the playoff scenario up there? Absolutely. Absolutely I did. And I think there’s only one playoff scenario (for us) of all the lists of a million of them. A lot of things have got to happen. Are we aware that Detroit needs to beat Baltimore for us to be alive? Yeah, we’re aware of it, there’s no doubt. I don’t care how small the chances of getting in (are). I think this league has proved that you’ve just got to get in. I don’t know what the percent is. (If there’s) a one percent chance of getting in then, by gosh, we’re going for it. We’ll see tonight. There might be (a) zero percent chance if tonight doesn’t go right. Our guys certainly are aware of it and I’m sure we’ll all be cheering for Detroit.

On how he assesses the job Marty Mornhinweg has done…

I think Marty’s done a tremendous job. I think the job that all of our assistants have done has been a tremendous job. Obviously, it’s a big challenge. Anytime you’re implementing a new system (there is a challenge) I think there’s maybe six different starters from the previous season, even though it’s a brand new system, you’ve got that. You have a rookie quarterback. Obviously, there’s big challenges there but I think he’s done a nice job. I don’t think there’s any doubt.

On if new system and new starter are why the team has the 29th-ranked offense and you can still compliment Coach Mornhinweg…

No, I absolutely have spoken highly of (Coach Mornhinweg). There’s a lot of contributing factors. I’ve always said that. Injuries are part of things and certainly we don’t make excuses. It is what it is. But I think we’re a better football team when you have your weapons available to you, a (Jeremy) Kerley, a (Santonio) Holmes healthy, or whatever. I think that helps you. But we haven’t been set up in an ideal situation. There was one (point) earlier in the year where you thought two of your best receivers were Stephen Hill and Clyde Gates. Clyde wasn’t available to us almost the entire year and Stephen went down. But again, it’s not that I’m making an excuse, I’m not. It’s just the reality that you’ve had guys you’re picking up during the season that really hadn’t even had training camp with you and all of that. Sometimes I think it just makes sense that you’re not, probably, going to be as productive initially until these guys get caught up to where you would be. Again, it’s challenging. We’re not proud of those numbers but I’m proud of the job Marty’s done. I’m proud of the job all these assistant coaches have done.

On if he attributes the defense giving up big plays to mental or physical breakdowns…

Well, I don’t know about that. Unfortunately we’ve been giving up a lot of big plays all season, so I don’t know if it’s been more recently. Maybe more run after the catch or something like that than we’ve given up previously. The ball’s really not getting shot over our head like it was. (Carolina) ran a screen pass on us. I’m a little mystified by that one still, but again, they executed it well. There’s no question they did. A great job on their part. They made a huge play on it. You’ve got to give them credit. We’ve just got to play it a little different I think.

On what Milliner could have done to get off of that block better…

Again, there’s a lot of things that contribute to it. Number one, you try to attack the guy at the line of scrimmage, (not letting) him get down the field is a big thing. We had some contributing factors involved, I’m not calling out specific guys. Unfortunately, we’re a team that doesn’t make that many mistakes and we made a couple of errors that way. We made a technique error, we made an assignment error in that. They ran our corner off – they ran him down the field. We’re in man coverage so my eyes are on my man so when it was time (it was like), “Oh, shoot. It’s a run.” Now the guy is down the field and I have to put myself in position where I turn the guy back inside and that didn’t happen. We have to get physical with the guy. It looked like, in that situation, our corner was almost caught in a two-way go, “Do I take it inside or outside?” We have to turn it back. That’s something we wish we had over.

On the amount of breakdowns…

We had a couple of those things. We had an error up front, we never ran a stunt right that I thought we would have played, we missed that. Sometimes it gives you another opportunity to hit the screen, that’s why you put the stunt in. We missed it. It just wasn’t played like I thought it would have been played.

On if he thinks he needs to win the final two games to remain the head coach…

We need to win these two games because we have two games left, that’s what we’re trying to do. Again, I’ve said it I don’t know how many times, but this is about we need to get a win. All that other stuff, it will take care of itself down the road. We know what we have in front of us. The opportunity to make the playoffs might not be big but I still hope it exists tomorrow. If it does, again, we still have that and that’s what we’re playing for, the opportunity to get into the playoffs. Even if not, even if that opportunity is taken away, we have two more opportunities and we’re going to do everything we can in our power to play as well as we can possibly play.

On having three non-winning seasons and he thinks it affects his job security…

Again, I’m not sure how it does. The only thing I know I can do is do the best job I possibly can and keep my focus on the job at hand and not worry about other things.

On if he feels that the support of the locker room helps his job security…

I mean, again, I don’t know. I think we’re better served as a team to be focused on playing (and) doing a great job. If I’m a player, just doing what I can do as a player to play the best I possibly can and then a coach the same way, to put everything we got on the job at hand. I think (we would) be better served that way. I certainly appreciate the comments by Willie (Colon), but again, let’s just do this job and everything will take care of itself.

On his relationship with John Idzik…

It’s been tremendous. I think we both want the same thing, we both want to win. From the day I met him, it was clear that’s what John wants to do. He obviously wants to build a team that’s a perennial winner. There’s no question about that. I understand that. There’s no doubt. As you say, we haven’t had a winning record or something like that, but hopefully these next two weeks we can get a couple more wins. Again, I’ve had a great relationship with him and that hasn’t changed one bit.

On whether he believes he is the right person to coach the team…

Of course I believe it. Of course, no question I believe it. There’s no doubt, but again I’d rather get out of this press conference and go to work (laughter). That’s how I feel about this.

On whether it ever crosses his mind that he might not be retained as head coach…

No, not until you guys bring it up.

On whether he ever has any inkling of where he stands with management…

No.

On whether speculation about his job security bothers him…

No, because my job is not to speculate on this or that, my job is to try and get this team ready to go. Right now, that’s where my focus is going to be, and whether you guys believe me or not, I’m telling you the truth.

On whether he thinks the team has played to its potential…

We certainly haven’t played to our goal. We want to win. We don’t go into any game that we don’t think we’re going to win. We think we’re going to win every single game. Clearly, that hasn’t been the case, but to a man, if you ask anybody if we think we’re going to win, absolutely I think we’re going to win regardless of who we play. I haven’t seen any tape on the Cleveland Browns yet, but I think we’re going to win. It’s just the way it is and as a competitor, you go into that arena thinking that.

On why he believes he is the right person to coach the team…

Look, I’m a competent guy, even though I know that will be questioned a zillion times forward and backward, whatever, that’s fine. But I know I’m a good football coach. I believe in this team. I believe in this organization and I’m determined to bring a winner to this team, there’s no question about it. I know and I believe that I’m the right guy for it. Now again, I’m not the guy making that decision. If I was, it’d be easy and you guys wouldn’t be asking me the questions anymore. But that’s not the case. So again, all I know is what I can do is get this team ready to go and play at the very best of our abilities. That’s exactly what I plan on doing.

On whether he ever thinks “what went wrong” when the team was on the path to the Super Bowl three years ago…

No, but again, I guess I kind of disagree with you. I think that this team is on the right path. It might not be reflective in our record right now. I understand that, but I believe this team is going in the right direction.

Tags: Transcript, Brian Bassett
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Mike Maccagnan
Mike Maccagnan

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


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


April 24, 11:23 AM

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Nick Bosa, Ohio State, DE

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

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

The Jets could get their pass rusher without drafting one. 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

10. OT Brandon Shell, 5th round, 2016

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Projected Pick: Top-10

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

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

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

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

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Mike Maccagnan
Mike Maccagnan

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

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

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

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

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

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

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

Most pivotal stretch

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Bent, theJetsBlog.com Follow on Twitter

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Winter is here.

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

Click below...

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

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

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

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

Tags: Elijah McGuire, Le'Veon Bell
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New York Jets defensive tackle Leonard Williams looks on during his game against the Atlanta Falcons at MetLife Stadium. (Vincent Carchietta/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Jets defensive tackle Leonard Williams looks on during his game against the Atlanta Falcons at MetLife Stadium. (Vincent Carchietta/USA TODAY Sports)

Leonard Williams is already a fan of his new defensive coordinator. 

The Jets hired veteran defensive coordinator Gregg Williams as they revamped their coaching staff this offseason and their defensive tackle is expecting big things. 

"I feel like that kind of energy brings the best out of people," Leonard Williams told nyjets.com. "Same with our offensive line coach (Dowell Loggains) and head coach (Adam Gase) -- he's a great, passionate offensive coach -- so I feel like practice is going to be really competitive and it's going to be able to push our team."

Tags: Leonard Williams
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