Darnold, Bridgewater face Skins 00:01:19
Sam Darnold and Teddy Bridgewater both saw significant action in a preseason loss to the Redskins on Thursday night.

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

LANDOVER, Md. - The education of Sam Darnold continued with another strong performance from the rookie quarterback on Thursday night. He's done just about everything the Jets have asked him to do so far.

But if the Jets really want to see if he's ready to be their Opening Day starter, they're going to have to ask him to do more.

Jets coach Todd Bowles and offensive coordinator Jeremy Bates have been painfully conservative with Darnold so far. All his throws in his first NFL start were short passes in the Jets' 15-13 loss to the Redskins. It did not appear that he was even looking deep. Maybe that was by design. They're trying to get Darnold comfortable and teach him about NFL defenses.

At some point this summer, though, he's going to have to be unleashed.

In the mean time, he's continuing to show signs that he's ready to be a starting quarterback in the NFL.

For example:

  • He got a taste of NFL pressure on his first drive, playing behind a makeshift offensive line without his LT (Kelvin Beachum) and RG (Brian Winters). He did manage to avoid a sack on the second play, though, when he ran a designed rollout right into Washington's Ryan Kerrigan but he somehow avoided him and threw the ball away.
  • When he got time on the second drive he completed five passes for 45 yards and marched the Jets down field for a field goal. The only blemish was a third-down sack where he held the ball too long. It was more of a coverage sack, though. Upon first glace it did not appear he had an open target.
  • Despite the pressure on that first series, he stood strong in the pocket and took some hits right after delivering passes. That coverage sack was even an example where he didn't look "skittish" (to borrow an old word from Giants history).

It wasn't all good, though. Darnold did throw his first NFL interception, on a 4th-and-1 from the Redskins 20. He tried to force the ball to a well-covered Jermaine Kearse, and the ball was tipped up by a safety and picked off by another one. It was a bad throw and bad decision. It would've been nice to see how he responded on the next drive, but that turned out to be his final throw.

In all, Darnold completed 8 of 11 passes for 62 yards. Through two games he's 21 for 29 for 158 yards with one touchdown and one interception. That's a completion percentage of 72.4 and a passer rating of 82.2. That's not bad, but it's also an average of a measly 5.4 yards per attempt. His longest completion is 18 yards and he's only attempted one truly deep pass, and that was in the opener and he wasn't even close to completing it to receiver Charles Johnson.

If Darnold wins this job, chances are the Jets will be conservative at the start anyway. They want to win, and it's hard to do that by having a rookie quarterback come out firing. But they'll have to open up the offense a little more, so it would sure help the Jets if they could see whether he could do that.

With two preseason games left, consider that the next big test.

In the meantime, here are a few other observations from the Jets' second preseason game …

  • QB Teddy Bridgewater took a shot to the lower legs from Redskins LB Peter Robertson and he bounced right up. That's a great sign, even though it wasn't clear whether the hit was to his bad knee. Maybe more importantly, Bridgewater looked good again. He completed 10 of 15 passes for 127 yards with one touchdown and one interception and it could've been better but his second- and third-team receivers and tight ends didn't do him any favors with some very catchable passes. He still made some big-time plays and throws. There should be no doubt he is still a starter in this league. If any team needs a QB for the start of the season (Hello, Philadelphia?) he's got to be No. 1 on the trade list.
  • The Jets are still not getting much of a pass rush, but LB Jordan Jenkins showed some signs that maybe he could be the edge rusher they so desperately need. He got a great rush on Redskins QB Alex Smith on the first play of the game (though he was flagged for roughing the passer when he drove Smith into the ground). He later made a nice tackle to combine on a sack with DE Leonard Williams.
  • Rookie DT Nathan Shepard is getting some pretty consistent push in the middle, if not outright pressure. But there are times he still shows that he's a rookie from Fort Hays State. On the second quarter there was a play where he was completely off balance and literally was just shoved to the ground by a Redskins guard. That can't happen to an NFL DT.
  • Speaking of being pushed around, that describes the Jets' defense perfectly. Even the Redskins' second-team defense was able to just march down the field on them. They gave up several big plays thanks to some poor tackling and poor positioning - like when LB Darron Lee got flattened on a 30-yard run, and S Doug Middleton just stood in the secondary like a traffic cone on a 25-yard screen pass. Their performance was not a good sign.
  • RB Bilal Powell (6 carries, 17 yards, and two catches for 20 yards) looked decent in limited action. The Jets are real hopeful that he and RB Isaiah Crowell, who was out with a concussion, can help them sustain drives in a way they couldn't last year. If they can, that will take some of the pressure off Darnold (you know, assuing he wins the starting job).
  • Jets LB Frankie Luvu made two tackles that would've been considered dangerous even before the NFL's new rule against lowering the helmet. On the first, he flattened Redskins QB Colt McCoy right after he threw a pass. He was called for roughing the passer, but it could've/should've been lowering the helmet. When he was flagged for lowering the helmet in the third quarter it was clear he needed a refresher course in tackling technique if the undrafted rookie free agent has any hope of sticking around.
Tags: Sam Darnold, Teddy Bridgewater, Ralph Vacchiano
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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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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 22, 2:46 PM

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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)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Winter is here.

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

Click below...

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

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

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

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

Tags: Elijah McGuire, Le'Veon Bell
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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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