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 (Timothy T. Ludwig)
(Timothy T. Ludwig)

Jets GM Mike Maccagnan won't rule out the possibility of the team carrying four quarterbacks this season.

The Jets currently have Geno Smith and Bryce Petty under contract and recently drafted Christian Hackenberg.

Meanwhile, the team remains open to re-signing free agent Ryan Fitzpatrick.

"In a perfect world, I think if it's in the best interest of the team at the end of training camp that we carry four quarterbacks, then we carry four quarterbacks," Maccagnan said on WFAN radio, according to Rich Cimini of ESPN. "It's not unprecedented in the NFL. It's been done before. To me, it's a position where you have to take some time to really invest, grow, and develop players."

Brian Bassett, Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | TJB Posts

The Jets could conceivably keep four QBs on their roster for the 2016 season but it would be a waste of roster space. The Jets are playing coy with their quarterbacks because maybe they think they can get a little something for one of them in a trade should they bring Ryan Fitzpatrick back via free agency.

The truth is someone is going to give; Geno Smith could be their starter or he could be on the street. The Jets could also be willing to part ways with Bryce Petty now that they've drafted a quote-unquote more expense and more recent version of Petty in Hackenberg.

Tags: Bryce Petty , Geno Smith , Ryan Fitzpatrick

Jordan Jenkins highlights 00:01:29
Georgia LB Jordan Jenkins highlights

This year I will once again be breaking down each of the Jets draft picks (and most of the undrafted free agent signings) in detail. Yesterday, we took a two-part look at quarterback Christian Hackenberg, but now we move on to look at the Jets' third round pick, linebacker Jordan Jenkins from Georgia. I've been watching game footage to try and assess what he brings to the table.

The 21-year old Jenkins is listed at 6'3" and 259 pounds and was a regular starter at outside linebacker for four years at Georgia. He recorded 204 tackles, 19 sacks, five passes defensed, six forced fumbles and three fumble recoveries over the course of his career. During those four seasons, Georgia went 40-13, as Jenkins played in 52 games. After almost entering the NFL draft in 2015, he returned for his senior season and was drafted by the Jets in the third round.

Note: Some stats from this article are exclusively provided by Pro Football Focus.

Who is Jordan Jenkins?

Jenkins made an immediate impact as a freshman, starting six games at outside linebacker and recording 31 tackles and five sacks. Over the next two seasons, he would start every game, recording 45 tackles (including 12 for loss, which was 5th-best in the SEC) and five sacks in 2013 and a career-high 70 tackles and five sacks in 2014. He had lost weight entering the 2014 season and took on a slightly different role.

In his senior year, Jenkins' production was down slightly (58 tackles and four sacks), but that's because he was hampered by a groin/hip injury that caused him to miss one game and be limited in several others. He had played over 200 more snaps in 2014.

Jenkins attended the senior bowl but pulled his hamstring at the scouting combine and couldn't complete a full workout. He did complete the disciplines he missed at his pro day though. Most sources have had him listed as a third-rounder or thereabouts throughout most of the draft process so he was selected about where expected by the Jets.

Let's move on to look at some of my own analysis from watching Jenkins' film. Here are my observations, divided into categories.

Click here to read more

Darron Lee (Ohio State) after being selected by the New York Jets as the number twenty overall pick in the first round of the 2016 NFL Draft at Auditorium Theatre. (Kamil Krzaczynski)
Darron Lee (Ohio State) after being selected by the New York Jets as the number twenty overall pick in the first round of the 2016 NFL Draft at Auditorium Theatre. (Kamil Krzaczynski)

The New York Jets 'strongly considered' trading their first round pick to the Dallas Cowboys, Jets GM Mike Maccagnan admitted to Mike Francesa on Tuesday on WFAN radio.

The Cowboys reached out to a number of teams drafting in the teens and 20s, including the Jets, in hopes of moving back into the first round to select QB Paxton Lynch. The offer was Dallas' second and third round picks (Nos. 34 and 67), according to Peter King of Sports Illustrated, but the Cowboys found no takers.

"The deal was a deal we strongly considered," Maccagnan said on Tuesday. "And probably came fairly close to it. But at the end of the day, we liked the player at [No.] 20, and felt good about taking him and going forward."

The Jets used the pick to select linebacker Darron Lee from Ohio State. 

"It was a situation where, maybe if there's different players available and Lee wasn't available, maybe it would have been a trade we would have considered [even] more strongly," said Maccagnan. "Everybody uses trade charts, so you try to figure out what's fair. At the end of the day, we felt it would be better in our interests to hold onto the pick and take the player."

Penn State Nittany Lions quarterback Christian Hackenberg scrambles out of the pocket against the Army Black Knights during the second quarter at Beaver Stadium. (Rich Barnes/USA Today Sports Images)
Penn State Nittany Lions quarterback Christian Hackenberg scrambles out of the pocket against the Army Black Knights during the second quarter at Beaver Stadium. (Rich Barnes/USA Today Sports Images)

New York Jets GM Mike Maccagnan appeared on ESPN Radio on Monday and gave his thoughts about Christian Hackenberg, Laremy Tunsil and Dee Milliner. Here's what he said:

  • Maccagnan did not rule out the possibility of Hackenberg, New York's second-round pick, playing in 2016, though added that he hopes the team can re-sign quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick.
  • Hackenberg's maturity will be a factor in determining his playing time early on.
  • Maccagnan said he is "excited" to see what Geno Smith can do and is looking forward to seeing Bryce Petty's progression.
  • Maccagnan said Tunsil, a top-ranked offensive lineman who fell to the No. 13 spot after a video surfaced of him smoking a bong out of a gas mask prior to the draft, was a good kid. The Jets considered trading up for Tunsil on Thursday.
  • Though the Jets will not pick up Milliner's fifth-year option, Maccagnan said Milliner is a "wild card" in a good way. Should Milliner play well in 2016, the Jets could look to negotiate a contract after the season.
Tags: Bryce Petty , Dee Milliner , Geno Smith , Ryan Fitzpatrick

 (Kamil Krzaczynski)
(Kamil Krzaczynski)

The 2016 NFL Draft has come and gone, so how did the Jets fare? In truth we won't know for at least two to three years, and assigning grades just hours after a player has been selected and has yet to even take a single practice snap is folly, but folly we all love to read anyway. 

We thought we would take a little different approach and list the players the Jets got through the 2016 NFL Draft process and how soon they might contribute to the team on the field come the regular season...


WILB Darron Lee (Ohio State), Pick No. 20

Lee is the second step in Todd Bowles and Mike Maccagnan's multiyear overhaul of the team's aging linebacking corps. In general, Todd Bowles has deferred to veterans on the roster with a few exceptions and Bowles said during the draft press conference that Lee will be behind Erin Henderson but start in third down packages immediately.

I expect the Jets' first-round pick will catch and surpass Henderson at some point in training camp. Lee more naturally slots into the weak inside linebacker role than Henderson does and brings more playmaking ability to it. Unless Lee can't absorb the playbook, the rookie should quickly start and will bring sideline to sideline range in backside pursuit, blazing fast interior blitz speed and technically sound coverage skills from his days as a safety in college and high school. Lee is a perfect embodiment of Bowles' de-emphasized pass rush from the edge in favor of his heavily interior blitz scheme -- a fact driven home further by this next player.

SOLB Jordan Jenkins (Georgia), Pick No. 83

Take a bow, Calvin Pace. It has been an incredible run for a player who started with the team in 2008 as a free agent from Arizona and has been an integral part of this defense for every year since then. While Pace was never a sack machine, his textbook sealing the edge to take away the fulcrum point of any opponents' running game was vital to the long-term success of this defense.

Jenkins will be expected to take the torch from Pace and should be a player in the Courtney Upshaw style. Jenkins was the less heralded Georgia linebacker in this draft to Leonard Floyd, but was the more productive college player. With a wide open spot at the position, I fully expect Jenkins to assume the starter's role in camp. Expect Jenkins to be utilized attacking upfield against the edge of the offense and have limited success against the pass, but to be a stout player against the run.

P Lachlan Edwards (Sam Houston), Pick No. 235

I know Edwards won't be a "starting 22" player, but I think we can all agree that Ryan "Shankapotomus" Quigley did enough damage to both sides of the ball with his errant punts that I am treating the Jets drafting a punter as a deadly serious matter. It is no coincidence that Edwards was drafted in a year where the NFL moved their touchback to the 25 yard line. While Edwards' 42.5 YPP average in college is fine, it is his hangtime which supposedly sets him apart. With a new rule, smart teams will be looking to hang punts (and kickoffs) in the air just shy of the goal line to get their coverage under it. In case Edwards doesn't work out, they've also brought in Tom Hackett (Utah), the punter with the best average punt distance in 2015 as a free agent.

OT Ryan Clady (Denver Broncos), Pre Draft Trade

Since he was acquired along with the selection that became Charone Peak for a fifth rounder I think it is fair to include Clady in the group. Clady will take over the left tackle position given up by the retiring D'Brickashaw Ferguson. He has struggled to stay healthy but should be an arbitrage version of Ferguson assuming he can hold up for a full season.


CB/S Juston Burris (NC State), Pick No. 118

If you like hard-nosed cornerbacks who are solid in man coverage, relish run support and have some ball skills then Burris is just that sort of prospect. While he needs to work on his technique to see time on the field in the NFL, Burris held opponents to a 34 percent completion rate as a senior and allowed just one touchdown in 44 targets.  

I expect Burris will see work as a core special-teamer initially. Depending on how training camp and the preseason games go, he might work into the cornerback rotation early. Longer term, I could easily see Burris becoming a much bigger part of the defense as a safety/corner hybrid in Bowles' multiple scheme. Coverage safeties in the NFL become harder and harder to acquire through the draft, so to me Burris is just the sort of prospect who loves physical play and has enough functional strength and coverage skills to be a fantastic free safety in the NFL if given time to adjust.


QB Christian Hackenberg (Penn State), Pick No. 51

I am not going to get into Hackenberg here. Just expect there's more to come from me and you should really be reading Bent's BGA on this anyway.

OL Brandon Shell (South Carolina), Pick No. 158

While he has the size, frame, length and history as a starter in college in the SEC, Shell doesn't have the quick gliding feet to play at the left tackle position. He also hasn't demonstrated the ability to generate enough power and leverage through his dipping and bending to best play at guard. In the end, Shell might be best suited as a right tackle only, which is never good for a player, especially if that player might only be a backup. To me, Shell looks like a hold-the-fort type who will have a hard time getting a starting spot as a right tackle and might be upgraded on even if/when he does.

WR Charone Peake (Clemson), Pick No. 241

You might have noticed that Chan Gailey has a thing for wide receivers who are over six feet tall, are physical downfield run blockers and can streak downfield just as easily as run technical routes in the short game. Could Charone Peake be the developmental receiver the Jets have needed for years?

While some analysts think Peake generally plays smaller than big, he has put some crushing blocks, nastiness and impressive paws on film. He also impressed scouts with his technically sound route-running at the Senior Bowl.

Our old friend Matt Miller even found himself warring with his biases of recent Clemson receivers yet still walking away impressed with what he saw from Peake.

Peake struggled to stay healthy, was almost never used as a special-teamer in college and was miscast in a deep speed role at Clemson. If the Jets were to allow Peake to utilize his strengths, he might wind up being quite the steal.  
Peake might never become a workhorse NFL receiver, but I give big credit to the Jets for looking in the right places. There is no Combine test which can indicate success but if there were, Peake would be the singular best prospect in 2016 on that logic. Throw in some of the impressive things he's done on tape and if he can stay healthy and be used in the right role, there's real potential that outweighs where the Jets drafted him.

Tags: Brian Bassett


The Jets made a number of deals with undrafted players after the NFL Draft ended Saturday. This list will be updated as more signings are confirmed (comments by Bent of 

Doug Middleton, S, Appalachian State: Heavy hitter who has played both safety positions and also some cornerback.

Claude Pelon, DT, Southern Cal: 310-pound tackle who came on strong at the end of last year and did 33 bench press reps at his pro day.

Tom Hackett, P, Utah: Two-time Ray Guy award winner who can compete with 7th round pick Lac Edwards.

Jason VanderLaan, QB/TE, Ferris State: Athletic small school QB who the Jets are apparently going to convert to tight end.

Quenton Bundrage, WR, Iowa State: Regarded as a potential draft pick a year ago but had just 41 catches in ISU's run-first offense coming off a 2014 knee injury.

Jalin Marshall, WR/KR, Ohio State: Electric receiver and punt returner who slid after his workout numbers weren't as good as expected.

Tarow Barney, DT, Penn State: Another athletic 300-pounder who did 31 bench press reps at his pro day.

Robby Anderson, WR, Temple: Regarded as a possible mid-round pick after posting superb pro day numbers coming off a near-1,000 yard season.

Kyle Friend, C/G, Temple: Starting center the last few years but also saw some time at guard and did 41 bench press reps at his pro day.

Lawrence Thomas, DL, Michigan State: could play inside and out and shows promise against the run.

Ross Martin, K, Duke, and Daniel Sobolewski, K, Albright: Pro Football Focus called Martin the most accurate kicker available in the draft and both could provide competition for Nick Folk.

Romar Morris, RB, North Carolina: Didn't play much last year, but ran a 4.36 40-yard dash at his pro day.

Dahon Taylor, OL, Virgina Union: Taylor is an athletic small-school prospect with good size from nearby Florence, NJ.

Helva Matungulu, DL, Western Carolina: Matungulu grew up in Kenya and was another small-school prospect whose stock was said to be rising prior to the draft. 

The Jets also have reportedly offered a tryout to Terron Beckham, the cousin of Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. 

Terron Beckham, projected as a running back, did not play in college, but has become an internet phenom with his workouts. At a pro day workout he ran a 4.47 40-yard dash, did a 44-inch vertical jump, an 11-foot broad jump and 36 reps on the bench.

 (Matthew OHaren)
(Matthew OHaren)

In part one of our look at the Jets' second round pick, quarterback Christian Hackenberg. I set the scene by reviewing his career so far and critiquing a must-watch analytics video from YouTube. In this part, I move on to look at some of my own analysis from watching Hackenberg's film.

While the analysis is based on multiple games, all gifs are from the Michigan State game which - perhaps more than any other - had a healthy mix of good and bad moments despite being a 55-16 blowout loss (and Hackenberg's worst-graded game of the year) in the end.  

The game was initially tight with Penn State about to make it a one-possession game late in the second quarter, but then the Spartans returned a fumble by one of the receivers for a long touchdown. Hackenberg led a touchdown drive to cut the lead to 10 just before halftime, but the third quarter saw two time-consuming touchdown drives on either side of a three-and-out to make it 34-10 and effectively put the game out of reach.

Here are my observations, divided into categories...

Click here to read more

 (Mike Carter)
(Mike Carter)

This year I will once again be breaking down each of the Jets draft picks (and most of the undrafted free agent signings) in detail. We began Sunday with first round pick Darron Lee. Now we move on to look at the Jets' second round pick, quarterback Christian Hackenberg from Penn State. I've been watching game footage to try and assess what he brings to the table.

The 21-year old Hackenberg is listed at 6'4" and 226 pounds and was one of the top high school recruits in the nation before enrolling at Penn State. He was the Big Ten Freshman of the Year in 2013 and a three-year starter. During his time at Penn State, Hackenberg won 20 of 38 starts and completed 56 percent of his passes for over 8,000 yards with 48 touchdowns and 30 interceptions. Following an uneven college career, he's a polarizing player in the scouting community with opinions ranging from thos who rate him as a first round talent to those giving him an undraftable grade.

Note: Some stats from this article are exclusively provided by Pro Football Focus.

Who is Christian Hackenberg?

Click here to read more

 (Rich Barnes)
(Rich Barnes)

The Jets will not be picking up CB Dee Milliner's fifth-year option, reports Dom Cosentino of NJAM.

Milliner will cost $4.02 million against the cap in 2016 and will be eligible for free agency after the season.

He has dealt with injuries to his achilles tendon and wrist during his first three seasons with the Jets, and played in just five games this past season after being limited to three games in 2014. 

Milliner's fifth-year option was guaranteed for injury only. If he would've suffered an injury heading in to year five of a potential contract, the Jets would not have had the option of cutting him.

Milliner was selected ninth overall by the Jets in the 2013 NFL Draft.

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The confounding part of this is that a player who has shown such promise has been so disregarded by this coaching staff. I get that fifth-year options come at a serious cost to salary cap space and Milliner was a first round pick of a former regime. But the willful, almost brazen disinterest to involve him in the defense has been painful to watch. In that time, Marcus Williams looks to have permanently passed Milliner on the depth chart. I expect Williams will move into some sort of platoon role with Buster Skrine for the slot/boundary positions alongside Darrelle Revis with Antonio Cromartie no longer with the team.

Another confusing part for me is the great tape Milliner put together at the end of his rookie season. In fact, that run was some of the best cornerback play I've ever seen from a Jets defender beyond a fellow named Revis. For Milliner, his inability to stay healthy has made it hard for him to push his case. It could be that Milliner had not sufficiently recovered in 2015 from his Achilles injury or it could be some other reason that Todd Bowles -- a head coach who loves cornerbacks -- can't truck with Milliner.

What isn't confusing about this whole affair is that fifth-year options are guaranteed for injury only. This explains why the Jets loosed Quinton Coples mid-season; it was an effort to avoid having to pay him his option money should something happen. The same situation also just played out with the Redskins, where they effectively shelved Robert Griffin III so that they could control the situation with him after the season ended and avoid massive cap debt due to injury.

Either way, the Jets will let Milliner play out his string and make a decision on his future after that. Maybe Milliner will be injury-free and be allowed the chance he needs in 2016, but I don't expect to see much of him since the team seems this disinterested in his future.

Tags: Dee Milliner

New York Jets defensive lineman Sheldon Richardson (Brad Penner/USA Today Sports Images)
New York Jets defensive lineman Sheldon Richardson (Brad Penner/USA Today Sports Images)

The New York Jets have picked up the 2017 option for defensive end Sheldon Richardson, according to the New York Daily News' Manish Mehta.

Richardson will earn $8.06 million in 2017.

Richardson will earn $1.78 million in 2016, according to Spotrac. He signed a four-year, $10.05 million deal with the Jets after he was drafted.

The 25-year-old Richardson recorded five sacks and two forced fumbles in 11 games for the Jets last year. Paired with rookie Leonard Williams and veteran Muhammad Wilkerson, whom the Jets franchise tagged this offseason, the three linemen combined for 20 sacks last year.

Richardson served a four-game suspension for violating the NFL's substance abuse policy, and could face more discipline by the league stemming from a road race last July.

He has 16 1/2 sacks and four forced fumbles through 43 career games with New York.

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Based on how disruptive a force Richardson has been while on the field, this makes total sense. Now the Jets have contract control of him through 2017 with the option to franchise him through 2018 if they so choose.

Pairing Richardson with Leonard Williams and a revamped linebackers corps could make a very interesting front seven for the Jets in 2016. Even better, the group will get the chance to mesh together over the next three (or more) seasons.

In light of questions surrounding Muhammad Wilkerson's long-term status with the team, the Jets would like to make Richardson an integral part of their defense moving forward. Of course as Richardson has proven, his ability to steer clear of the law and substance-related suspensions could submarine his future with this team and the league. I look forward to watching Sheldon Richardson be the bowling ball of butcher knives for this Jets defense for seasons to come.

Tags: Leonard Williams , Muhammad Wilkerson , Sheldon Richardson

Jets LB Darron Lee highlights 00:01:00 takes a look at the best plays of the season from Ohio State linebacker and Jets first round draft pick, Darron Lee.

This year I will once again be breaking down each of the Jets draft picks (and some of the undrafted free agent signings) in detail. Today, we begin with first-round pick Darron Lee, a linebacker from Ohio State. I've been watching game footage to try and assess what he brings to the table.

Lee, 21, is listed at 6-foot-1, 232 pounds and the Jets selected him with the 20th overall pick. He was a two-year starter at weakside linebacker for the Buckeyes. In 28 starts, he recorded 146 tackles, 11 sacks, five passes defensed, three interceptions, three forced fumbles and three touchdowns.

Lee entered the draft after his redshirt sophomore season and solidified his status as a first round pick with a solid performance at the combine, including a 4.47 time in the 40-yard dash.

Note: Some stats from this article are exclusively provided by Pro Football Focus.

Who is Darron Lee?

Lee was a high school quarterback who also played running back, wide receiver and safety and returned kicks. He also competed in track and field in high school.  

A lifelong Ohio State fan, Lee was initially recruited as a safety but was injured just two games into his freshman year, causing him to miss the remainder of the 2013 season. He bulked up and studied film while he was out and became the starter at weakside linebacker over the next two years.

He made an instant impact in his first game as a starter in 2014 with a huge hit on Navy's Keenan Reynolds and a 66-yard fumble return for a touchdown. He added another touchdown on a fumble return against Michigan. Lee finished that season with 80 tackles, 6.5 sacks, three passes defensed, a forced fumble and two interceptions. He was the defensive MVP in the College Football Playoff semifinal win over Alabama and the Buckeyes went on to win the national title over Oregon the following week

In 2015, Ohio State had another good year, going 12-1, but missed out on the playoffs when they lost 17-14 to Michigan State. They beat Notre Dame in the Fiesta Bowl as Lee finished with 66 tackles, 4.5 sacks, two forced fumbles, two passes defensed and an interception, which he returned for a crucial touchdown against Northern Illinois.

After an outstanding display at the combine, Lee had been widely regarded as a mid-to-late first round prospect before being selected by the Jets with the 20th pick, although some experts had dropped him into day two.
Here are my observations from watching footage from Lee's OSU career, divided into categories:

To read more, click here.

Brian Hoyer is headed to Chicago, and no longer an option for the Jets. (Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports)
Brian Hoyer is headed to Chicago, and no longer an option for the Jets. (Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports)

Free agent quarterback Brian Hoyer has agreed to a deal with the Bears, according to multiple media reports.

If the deal goes through, the Jets will have one fewer option at quarterback as they try to hammer out a contract deal with Ryan Fitzpatrick.

Hoyer played 11 regular season games for the Houston Texans last season after taking over from Ryan Mallett, throwing for 2,060 yards and 19 touchdowns.

Hoyer was signed as an undrafted free agent by the New England Patriots out of Michigan State in 2009. He spent three years as Tom Brady's backup before spending the next few seasons with the Pittsburgh Steelers, Arizona Cardinals, Cleveland Browns and the Texans.

Hoyer is expected to back up Jay Cutler.

Clemson Tigers wide receiver Charone Peake (19) warms up before playing against the Alabama Crimson Tide in the 2016 CFP National Championship at University of Phoenix Stadium. (Joe Camporeale)
Clemson Tigers wide receiver Charone Peake (19) warms up before playing against the Alabama Crimson Tide in the 2016 CFP National Championship at University of Phoenix Stadium. (Joe Camporeale)

The Jets picked Clemson wide receiver Charone Peake with the No. 241 overall pick in the seventh round of the 2016 NFL Draft. 

Peake, a 6-foot-2, 209-pound receiver, battled injuries in 2013 and 2014, but had his best year in college in 2015, grabbing 50 catches for 716 yards. He also caught five touchdowns en route to Clemson's run to the National Championship Game.'s draft profile speaks highly of Peake, saying he "possesses outstanding combination of size, length and deep speed."

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Peake has nice size and did well in 2015 after becoming a full time starter for the first time, posting 50 catches. Peake, who suffered an ACL injury in 2013, has shown some ability to get deep since returning from the injury. Four of his five touchdowns last season came on passes thrown more than 20 yards downfield, according to Pro Football Focus.

Peake ran a 4.45-second 40-yard dash at the NFL Combine and a 4.38-second at his pro day, but the rest of his athletic numbers were pretty average. He has good hands but is more of an outside receiver than a slot guy and perhaps needs a bit of work in terms of his route running. Rated as a 3rd-to-4th round pick by CBS, this closes out the Jets draft with the kind of value pick that perhaps makes some of the earlier reaches a little easier to stomach.

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For all the shade I've thrown in the past few days let me make it up by saying I LOOOOOOOOOVE this draft pick for the Jets.

Peake was not hyper productive in the college ranks but he might have a chance to be a better pro player than he was in college. Why do I say this? Partially it is because Clemson asked him to run deep, clear out routes where he was not as effective, but in the short and intermediate range, Peake shone. Peake also did a great job at the NFL Combine passing all the most important tests for wide receivers, according Kevin Cole's regression tree, which you can read about here

People will lazily compare Peake to Martavis Bryant or Sammy Watkins, but the truth is that Peake didn't dominate and produce at the college ranks, so that's one of the main reasons why he's a seventh rounder. Peake has a lot of upside based on his size, speed and his ability to run crisp routes, but he will need to barge his way into the picture to stick on this roster and carve out a role.

New York Jets new general manager Mike Maccagnan speaks during a press conference at Atlantic Health Jets Training Center. (William Perlman/NJ Advance Media )
New York Jets new general manager Mike Maccagnan speaks during a press conference at Atlantic Health Jets Training Center. (William Perlman/NJ Advance Media )

The Jets selected Sam Houston State punter Lachlan Edwards with the No. 235 pick in the 2016 NFL Draft. 

Edwards is the first of two picks the Jets will have in the seventh round of the draft. 

On 41 attempts last season, Edwards averaged 41.5 yards per punt. His longest punt of the year went 62 yards. In 2014 he was an First Team All-Southland Confernce punter. 

In 2014 he was sixth in the nation with an average punt of 44.4 yards. 

Bent, Follow on Twitter

The Jets definitely needed a punter because they don't have one on the roster and fans have been calling for them to draft one for years. Most sources listed two-time Ray Guy award winner Tom Hackett as the top punter, but I suspect teams were scared off by the fact that Hackett primarily uses a rugby-style technique.  

Edwards, despite also being an Australian, is actually not a rugby-style punter. Edwards is big (6-foot-5) and had pretty good numbers in college, but was only the third punter selected with Hackett still on the board. Hopefully the Jets have found someone who can occupy a spot they've found so problematic to fill and be effective.

Brian Bassett, Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | TJB Posts

Since the Jets had no punter on the roster I'm not surprised that they would use a pick to take one. Having said that, it doesn't do a lot to change the general ickiness I feel about this draft overall for the Jets.

The Jets had to address the awful inconsistency that was Ryan Quigley last year. The Jets were bad in terms of net yards and in their coverage efficiency was among the league's worst. I hope that Edwards meets the requirements of whatever the new special teams coach needs to best gain field position over their opponents this season and beyond.

South Carolina Gamecocks offensive tackle Brandon Shell (71) blocks Florida Gators defensive lineman Jonathan Bullard (90) during the second quarter at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium. (Kim Klement)
South Carolina Gamecocks offensive tackle Brandon Shell (71) blocks Florida Gators defensive lineman Jonathan Bullard (90) during the second quarter at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium. (Kim Klement)

The Jets traded up into the fifth round and selected South Carolina offensive tackle Brandon Shell with the No. 158 pick in the 2016 NFL Draft. 

New York sent its 2017 fourth-round draft pick to the Washington Redskins in order to draft Shell. 

Starting from the 2012 season, Shell made 47 consecutive starts, playing both right and left offensive tackle. 

The 6-foot-6, 328-pound Shell is third on the all-time list for starts at South Carolina. 

According to's draft profile, Shell, the great nephew of Art Shell, brings plenty of talent to the offensive line. 

"He simply looks like an NFL tackle with a pro build and long limbs," the profile said. "He may be best at right tackle, a spot which he held down for three years, but he did flash athleticism to pass protect on the left side when he took over the blind side spot as a senior." 

General manager Mike Maccagnan said the Jets considered taking Shell in the fourth round when they selected CB Juston Burris

Bent, Follow on Twitter

Shell was another player with a late-round projection that showed some promise in a major conference. He played right tackle in 2014 and then stayed in school and moved to left tackle in his senior year. I'd expect him to be a right tackle at the NFL level.  

He has size, length and pretty good athletic numbers. In 2015, Shell had excellent pass protection numbers, although this might be because they gave him more help on the left side. He also didn't quite have the same impact as a run blocker as he had in the previous season.

It's interesting that the Jets gave up a future pick to acquire Shell, and this suggests they were particularly high on him. However, the Jets have added a raft of linemen in the mid-rounds over the past several years and none of them have really panned out. Perhaps Shell will be the one to buck that trend.

Brian Bassett, Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | TJB Posts

Another year, another third-day offensive line prospect that probably would be best suited as a guard.

Shell has the size and frame and is known for his quickness and burst but will struggle against much more athletic and agile edge rushers in the NFL. Shell is the nephew of former Raiders coach Art Shell and is known as a good kid, smart with football intelligence. But he might struggle transitioning to the pros as a tackle as a rookie. Expect the team to try him there but I wonder if he might be better served moving inside.

New York Jets general manager Mike Maccagnan speaks to the media during the 2015 NFL Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium. (Brian Spurlock)
New York Jets general manager Mike Maccagnan speaks to the media during the 2015 NFL Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium. (Brian Spurlock)

Despite rumors of the Jets looking to add a quarterback through a trade, general manager Mike Maccagnan said the team is looking to bring back free agent Ryan Fitzpatrick. 

Maccagnan said the Jets are not actively seeking another veteran quarterback. 

"I would say simply to dispel anything, we're not at this point in time in any discussions with any teams for any other quarterbacks," Maccagnan said, according to ESPN NY's Rich Cimini. "I can put that to bed at this point in time."

The Jets were rumored to be interested in trading for Rams quarterback Nick Foles, reports Jordan Schultz of the Huffington Post

Maccagnan, however, said New York's goal has always been to re-sign Fitzpatrick. 

"Our focus, from the pro standpoint, is to get Ryan [Fitzpatrick] back in the fold," Maccagnan said, according to's Darryl Slater. "Nothing has changed from that standpoint. We've been very public about that."

With the Jets' selection of Penn State's Christian Hackenberg in the second round, the team now has three quarterbacks on the roster, as Hackenberg joins Geno Smith and Bryce Petty.

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Since the Jets have taken Hackenberg, have Petty and Smith already on the roster and are supposed to want to bring back Fitzpatrick, any interest in Foles seems unlikely.

If the Jets want to let their younger QBs duke it out for some of those spots that's fine, but if they were or are interested in Foles I can't imagine it means Fitzpatrick would also be back. There is no way this team can afford four active roster spots at the quarterback position come September.

Tags: Ryan Fitzpatrick

North Carolina State cornerback Juston Burris (11) gets ready to knock down the pass in front of Central Michigan wide receiver Anthony Rice (80) at Carter Finley Stadium. North Carolina State defeated Central Michigan 48-14. (James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports)
North Carolina State cornerback Juston Burris (11) gets ready to knock down the pass in front of Central Michigan wide receiver Anthony Rice (80) at Carter Finley Stadium. North Carolina State defeated Central Michigan 48-14. (James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports)

The Jets selected N.C. State cornerback Juston Burris with the No. 118 overall pick in the fourth round of the 2016 NFL Draft. 

The 6-foot-1, 207-pound corner recorded 38 tackles, one interception and forced one fumble during his final season at N.C. State.

Considered a physical corner, he had 121 tackles and three interceptions during his college career. 

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Burris is a nice prospect, although he was seen as a late round pick in most places. He brings good size and physicality and would play on the boundary rather than in the slot. He seems to have some good technical ability, but as with most physical players, he takes chances in terms of being flagged for holding.  

With the versatility Todd Bowles seems to like in his defensive backs, it's worth noting that Burris's athletic profile might also enable him to develop into someone who can take reps at the safety position. He could also be an asset on special teams. As with all the Jets' picks this year, I'll be breaking him down in more detail over the next few days.

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This is where the best teams in the league separate themselves from the teams that can't stay consistently excellent. These are the picks that might be a slow burn on the roster, but could provide long-term help to their team down the road.  

Burris has man and zone coverage skills and has some hawkish tendencies as a defensive back, but I do wonder if he might struggle with his functional agility and long speed based on how he tested at the NFL Combine. At the pro level, he might struggle to keep up with very sudden and speedy receivers. If he is asked to work against slower possession types, Burris might be better served lining up across from them.  

It could be that the Jets think that with some time and coaching Burris could become a contributing cornerback, but I wonder if Burris wouldn't make a great extra safety in big nickel or big dime sets.

 (Kirby Lee)
(Kirby Lee)

The New York Jets head into the third day of the NFL draft with three more picks and plenty of needs to fill.

After going with Ohio State linebacker Darron Lee as the team's first-round selection with the 20th overall pick Thursday night, the Jets surprised some by drafting Penn State quarterback Christian Hackenberg in the second round Friday night.

It appeared New York might try to add a pass rusher at that spot, which they did in the third round with Georgia's Jordan Jenkins. But with Ryan Fitzpatrick still a free agent and in a contract stalemate, the Jets took Hackenberg, who set the school marks for career passing yards, completions and touchdowns.

On Day 3, New York is likely to look to add depth on the offensive line, at cornerback and perhaps at tight end.

© 2016 by STATS LLC and Associated Press.

Jets Nation: Jenkins 00:01:47
The Jets Nation panel breaks down the third-round selection of Georgia linebacker Jordan Jenkins.

The Jets selected Georgia OLB Jordan Jenkins with the No. 83 overall pick in the 2016 NFL Draft. 

Jenkins recorded four sacks and 58 total tackles during his senior season at Georgia. For his college career, Jenkins tallied 204 tackles, 39 tackles for a loss and 19 sacks. He also won Georgia's Most Improved Player of the Year award during the 2014 season. 

Jenkins is the second linebacker the Jets have taken in this year's draft, as they selected Ohio State's Darron Lee in the first round. 

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Jenkins has good length can generate some excellent power as an edge-­setting strong side outside linebacker. Jenkins might not be a top pass rusher, but his physical style and smarts make him a likely early contributor and potential starter for this team this year. Jenkins is regarded as something of a hybrid - he moved around the Georgia defense and played in two and three-point stances for Georgia and will settle in as an outside linebacker in the Jets' scheme.

Jenkins has some good burst at using his heavy hands to extend and beat up blockers with his limbs. He is best attacking the pocket, but at linebacker, his change of direction skills and awareness will be challenged in space.
Whatever madness took the Jets in the second round seems to have left them with this pick. This to me proves that the Jets under Todd Bowles (and back with Rex Ryan too) are less concerned with pressuring the quarterback around the edge than they are at locking down receivers and pressuring up the middle.  

By drafting two linebackers in the first three picks the Jets have used the draft to re-work the middle of their defense but it means that they will still have some work to do when it comes to overhauling their offensive line, developmental defensive backs and wide receivers in the rounds to come.

Could this pick mean that the Jets won't be bringing back Calvin Pace? Quite possibly. The Jets have needed to get some younger blood at linebacker, specifically at their edge setters on defense.

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Jenkins fills an obvious need at outside linebacker and was a projected third-round pick in most places so seems to be reasonable value. He is only 21 years old and his arms are over 34 inches long, so he has the youth and length that the current Jets regime obviously see as desirable traits.  

While Jenkins is not a great athlete, he teased some explosiveness at the combine and usually holds up well at the point of attack. He lacks experience of dropping into coverage and his pass rushing production was good but not elite. However, he's a consistent player who should have a good chance to contribute from day one.

Christian Hackenberg highlights 00:01:12 takes a look at the best plays of the season from Penn State quarterback Christian Hackenberg.

The Jets selected Penn State QB Christian Hackenberg with the No. 51 overall pick the 2016 NFL Draft. 

Hackenberg threw for 2,525 yards and 16 touchdowns during his final season with Penn State. During his three-year college career, the 6-foot-4 quarterback threw for 8,457 yards and 48 touchdowns.

He completed 53.5 percent of his passes or higher during his time at Penn State. 

GM Mike Maccagnan said the Jets are thrilled about Hackenberg's "potential and upside." 

Maccagnan added that the drafting of a quarterback does not alter the team's attempt to re-sign Ryan Fitzpatrick. 

"It doesn't change anything with our approach to Ryan," Maccagnan said. "Our goal is to facilitate a deal with [Fitzpatrick]."'s Ian Rapoport said the Jets will not rush Hackenberg into a starting spot. 

"Jets plan to sit Christian Hackenberg, let him grow," Rapoport said. "They've believed in the player for awhile. Expect a Ryan Fitzpatrick deal to be [one year]."

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I cannot express how much I hate this pick. There were so many players that the Jets could've taken who would have been day-one starters compared to whatever Hackenberg turns into. The Jets might as well have drafted Paxton Lynch yesterday if they were going to waste away their second-round pick in this fashion. Now the Jets have two "toolsy" underachieving quarterbacks eating up roster spots with valuable middle-round picks in consecutive seasons.

With players like Le'Raven Clark, Cody Whitehair and Mackensie Alexander still on the board, the Jets must like Hackenberg about as much as I hate the pick. Yes, Hackenberg was on a track to be a top pick when he played under Bill O'Brien and he will be moving back to an offensive mind that will be playing chess in Chan Gailey compared to the checkers that James Franklin wanted Hackenberg to play. But still, Hackenberg has accuracy issues and he'll need time to adjust to the NFL game.

As for what the Jets do from here at QB? I still expect the Jets will bring back Ryan Fitzpatrick for a year. The coaching staff might want to give Bryce Petty more time but I was not enthused by what I saw last summer at camp in him. Geno Smith might be moved, but who would take him? And hey, he's still the best QB the team currently has under contract.

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It's hard to get excited over a player who won't contribute anything this season, while so many other players who might have made the current Jets team better were still available. The Jets have already indicated their intention to let Hackenberg sit and give him time to potentially develop into a starter, which I guess is smart. However, anyone who watched his film from Penn State will know that he has a long way to go and a lot of improvements to make before he even begins to look like an NFL prospect so it might take longer than that. That's if it happens at all.

Some sections of the scouting community were really down on Hackenberg, with Pro Football Focus famously giving him an undrafted grade, and also, crucially, dispelling the myth that he had played a lot better as a freshman before Bill O'Brien left and the scheme changed.

Hackenberg has a nice combination of size, athletic ability and arm talent, and, by all accounts, is a film junkie and passionate about the game. However, his decision making, pocket presence and accuracy were awful his whole career and he rubbed a few people the wrong way with his attitude as well. Some will suggest that he didn't stand a chance due to Penn State's poor offensive line and lack of skilled playmakers, but that doesn't mean he's suddenly going to develop poise, accuracy and decision making abilities overnight if put into a better situation.  

One positive thing is that he wasn't as bad in 2015 as he had been in 2014, but it was a low bar and I doubt anybody would describe his performance as good.

I suppose the hope is that, for as much work as the analysts put into their assessment of players, there's no reason to believe that they know better than the Jets' professional network of scouts and coaches. I assume Hackenberg managed to convince the Jets when he visited the team that he was worthy of selection at this spot. We perhaps won't find out if he has a real chance to prove the doubters wrong for a few more years.

 (Kamil Krzaczynski)
(Kamil Krzaczynski)

After the Jets' pick of Darron Lee Thursday night, I found a mixed reaction from fans. They were either 1) blindsided by taking an interior linebacker in the first round, 2) willing to give the pick some room to breathe or 3) hopping mad the Jets didn't take a quarterback.  

I am going to leave the quarterback thing aside for the most part, but I will say a few things. It is clear the Jets front office, coaching staff and scouting departments didn't have enough critical mass of consensus to believe that Paxton Lynch was worth a first round grade and I don't disagree with their assessment.

I am a big proponent of heuristics, which in this case means if the whole of the Jets organization isn't sold on bringing in Lynch with the 20th pick, what reason should I have to think that I know better? I know for a fact that I do not know better.


To be clear, I have no problem going all-in on a first round quarterback if he's the right player, but to burn a first round pick on a player who has clear talent gaps, legitimate concerns about his decision-making, some painful windup mechanics and then some choice comments about his defense on top of all that? In Denver, John Elway has earned himself lots of leeway and he has a fully developed offense and defense he can put around Lynch in the next 18 months. But from what I've watched, I still don't think Lynch will pan out -- even in an optimal situation with the Broncos.

But enough about that, here's what is on my brain concerning Darron Lee...

Linebacker done changedMike Tanier wrote that "Lee is the kind of linebacker who can play every down in the modern NFL" and he's exactly right. For head coach Todd Bowles, weakside interior linebackers in a defense that can run nickel or dime packages as base is going to be a three-down player. 15 years ago Lee would be considered a tweener, but he stepped in early as a linebacker at Ohio State after converting from safety and he's never looked back. Lee can do all the things the Jets need someone to do well in the heart of their defense. He can play some light coverage, will be a force in Bowles' interior blitz-heavy scheme and with his speed he will be a beast in backside pursuit -- an area of severe pain for the Jets for almost 10 years.

Oh the devaluation! - Gone are the days of massive 250 pound thumpers who could smash the run for three downs. Because of this, there's been a lot of half-baked analysis over the last five years about the devaluation of running backs and linebackers. That is partially true, but what isn't discussed is the value of "foundational" three-down linebackers or running backs has increased. Ezekiel Elliott and Todd Gurley have just proven than at running back.

What most observers haven't caught up to yet is -- as mentioned above - the role and requirements of linebackers have changed and the distinctions between defensive backs and off-ball linebackers have been blurred. What I can see is as the pass to run ratio continues to accelerate, players like Lee will become more valuable.  

Double A Gap Goodness - For anyone who watched the 2015 Jets, it was abundantly clear that Bowles loves him some Double-A gap blitzes. Why is the Double A successful? Because it is the straightest line to the quarterback. Double A's also pair perfectly with a coach who believes his defense starts with boundary cornerbacks who can play man coverage, thereby allowing the other nine players to mix and match at will. Some may be concerned that Lee has too much straight line speed, but that seems to pair perfectly with the defensive line he'll get to work with in New York.

It Can't All Be Roses, Though … Right? -- This is all to say that Lee is not without concerns. While Bowles said Lee's weight at 232 is fine, I bet Lee could benefit from a full offseason strength program to dial in his weight and speed to match what the Jets will require of him. Also, Bowles made it known that he believes Lee has technique to work on, and he's right. Footwork and leverage are areas where Lee must improve. Lee also has made analysts question whether or not he has that "dog" mentality that scouts love to see from linebackers. Part of that might be that he's still young and a relatively recent conversion from safety, but expect there to be lots of talk about Lee's intensity in the coming months until we see him on the field.

As best I can tell, Lee doesn't shy away from contact, but does seem to lean a little too much on his athleticism. Can he be more football player than athlete in the NFL? That's the big question I have. The best breakdowns of Lee I can find come from Matt Waldman and Jene Bramel on Rookie Scouting Portfolio. This is the definitive critique of Lee's game; Waldman and Bramel take an excellent and exhaustive look at Lee's game as he transitions to the NFL.

Corey Griffin and Brian Bassett offer up a draft day special edition of TheJetsBlog Podcast. The guys discuss Jets first round pick LB Darron Lee, and where he fits in on the Jets defense. They chat with Matt Waldman of Rookie Scouting Porfolio, who breaks down the lightning-fast Lee. Plus,'s Dom Consentino hops on the phone to give his take on Lee, and what GM Mike Maccagnan will do on days two and three of the draft.

Jets Nation: Lee talks size 00:01:42
Jonas Schwartz talks with Jets first-round selection Darron Lee about his weight and playing the linebacker position in the NFL.



Jets Nation: Maccagnan on Lee 00:01:51
Michelle Yu catches up with Jets general manager Mike Maccagnan to break down the Jets' choice of Darron Lee with the twentieth pick.

Jets GM Mike Maccagnan spoke about the team's first-round draft pick, LB Darron Lee out of Ohio State.

Laremy Tunsil (Kamil Krzaczynski/USA Today Sports Images)
Laremy Tunsil (Kamil Krzaczynski/USA Today Sports Images)

The New York Jets considered trading up in Thursday's NFL Draft to select former Ole Miss offensive tackle Laremy Tunsil after a video of him smoking from a gas mask emerged from his Twitter account prior to the draft, causing him to slide down, according to the New York Daily News' Manish Mehta.

Once considered the No. 1 draft prospect, Tunsil fell to No. 13, where the Miami Dolphins picked him, when a 30-second video was posted on Tunsil's account at 7:47 p.m. ET. He said he was hacked, though admitted the video was of him and was two years old.

"Man, it was a mistake," Tunsil said. "It happened years ago. Somebody hacked my Twitter account, and that's how it got on there."

Tunsil also said his Instagram account, which posted screenshotted messages asking an Ole Miss staffer for money to help pay rent and his mother's bills, was hacked. He admitted during his press conference that he took money from coaches at Ole Miss.

"I don't know why they hacked my account," Tunsil said. "I didn't do nothing to nobody. I'm harmless."

The Jets sought trading up during the draft, according to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport, and Tunsil was a likely target despite the video, but the asking price was too steep, according to Mehta.

New York instead selected former Ohio State linebacker Darron Lee with the No. 20 pick.

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Many people seem to be lauding Mike Tannenbaum for taking one of the draft's most talented players with the 13th pick, and in terms of on-field talent, this seems reasonable. However, Tunsil will face significant scrutiny once he enters the league following the bizarre escalation of events leading up to the draft and continuing after he was selected.

I would not have had a problem with the Jets taking Tunsil with the 20th pick, even though there's some risk attached that Tunsil will continue to face off-field distractions that might affect his on-field development. Such a talented player, in an area where the Jets anticipate a long-term vacancy would have been difficult to resist there. Nevertheless, I'm not convinced that surrendering further picks to secure him would have been a sensible use of available resources.

The Jets were actually first reported to have been trying to move up after Tunsil had already gone off the board, so it's possible they only had cursory interest in Tunsil and made much more substantial efforts to move up for someone else a few picks later on.

Tags: Miami Dolphins

New York Jets general manager Mike Maccagnan speaks to the media during the 2015 NFL Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium. (Brian Spurlock)
New York Jets general manager Mike Maccagnan speaks to the media during the 2015 NFL Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium. (Brian Spurlock)

Jets general manager Mike Maccagnan said he doesn't envision Muhammad Wilkerson being traded and is still optimistic the team can reach an agreement with quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick.

Maccagnan noted how difficult it is to trade a player who has gotten the franchise tag and suggested that such a deal would have occured before the draft.

Maccagnan said he was unaware of the reports that circulated earlier Thursday that Fitzpatrick was willing to sit out of the season if the Jets didn't change their offer. Reports later in the day said Fitzpatrick was not willing to miss the season.

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Maccagnan made it clear that if the Jets were going to move Wilkerson they would have had to get his tender signed first. Since that hasn't happened ... do not expect the Jets to move Wilkerson in-flight of the NFL Draft.

Now, should Wilkerson sign his tender before the draft starts up tomorrow night, or again on Saturday then maybe the team might be able to move him. But since that hasn't happened, I think it is time to stop chasing this story and assume that the next big event with Wilkerson will be when he determines to signs his tender and show up to the Jets facility for training camp so that he can get his season to count toward his pending free agency next year.

Maccagnan said to the press that nothing has changed in the Fitzpatrick situation and that he was actually unaware of the Ryan Fitzpatrick story that crept up on Thursday, something which I believe and don't think he has any reason to lie about. Fitzpatrick is a free agent and worrying about him on draft day is not something that was going to help in sussing out potential trades to move up or back.

If the Jets were worried about their quarterback situation they have every chance to address it head on with the 20th pick. At that point after potentially slotting at the eighth pick, if Lynch was ranked in the Jets top 20 he would have been a screaming value to the team at that pick ... but it was clear they rated Lee over him. In due time, Fitz will be back with the Jets and they will meaningfully address the position either later in this draft or next year.

Tags: Muhammad Wilkerson , Ryan Fitzpatrick

Jets Nation: Jets draft Lee 00:02:40
The Jets Nation Draft Day Special crew breaks down the Jets' selection of linebacker Darron Lee with the No. 20 pick in the NFL draft.

The Jets selected linebacker Darron Lee out of Ohio State University with the No. 20 pick in the 2016 NFL Draft.

Jets coach Todd Bowles said Lee will start off behind Erin Henderson at Demario Davis' old spot. GM Mike Maccagnan emphasized that Lee will be an inside linebacker to start.

"He makes us a lot faster," Bowles said, who is not concerned about Lee being too light at 232 pounds. "We were looking for a versatile player. . .He doesn't have to be a 240, 250 pounds. That's not what we were looking for

Bowles added that Lee's speed and athleticism is important in the league now, with more spread offenses and declining use of fullbacks.

Video: Jets 1st round pick Darron Lee highlights

Lee, after two season with the Buckeyes, tallied 89 total solo tackles.

He had 11 sacks, three interceptions, five passes defended, two fumble recoveries and three forced fumbles.

"Quick to diagnose and flow to the ball. Has unusual ability to find the most efficient routes to the ball. Has athleticism and flexibility to contort his body and succeed through difficult tackle angles," according to continued: "Smallish linebacker. Play strength doesn't come close to matching puffed up listed weight. Balance issues at point of attack could plague him over his NFL career."

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Lee was not a player that was closely linked to the Jets much during the pre-draft process. At only 232 pounds, he was perhaps considered a better fit for a conventional 4-3 system, but with the recent trend of hybrid safeties playing inside linebacker, perhaps that's a direction the Jets plan to go in. With the flexible nature of Todd Bowles' system, I'm sure they'll find a way to make the most of his talents.

Prior to the offseason the Jets expressed a desire to get younger and faster and this is a definite step in that direction. Lee ran a 4.47 40-yard dash at the scouting combine and can go sideline-to-sideline if you keep him clean. He's a player with good character that the Jets obviously were high on, as they kept their interest in him quiet while several other potential names leaked out.

On the whole, I'm glad the Jets didn't surrender more picks to trade up and that they selected someone who will hopefully make contributions from day one.

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This was not a pick that I expected the Jets to make, but that doesn't mean it's a bad pick. Lee will be called undersized, but in a defense that runs nickel as their base, a player like Darron Lee who can play three downs flowing to the ball sideline to sideline on running plays or working in short coverage will be invaluable. The Jets have needed new blood at off-the-line-of-scrimmage linebacker and according to Todd Bowles Lee will play the "Mo" linebacker role (AKA the Weak Inside Linebacker) for the team. The old days of inside linebackers needing to play at 250 pounds is a thing of the past, especially as the NFL orients more and more of the offense around the run. The Jets were looking for a young three down player and Lee will fit that requirment for them from day one.

Some will decry using early picks on off the LOS inside linebackers, but I would refute that point. This argument is the extreme, but is Luke Kuechly valuable to his team? What isn't as valuable is a linebacker who must be replaced on passing plays because he is a thumper ... that's why the linebacker position has been devalued.

Athletically, Lee was one of the most gifted players in this draft class. After running a scorching 40 time, Lee tested out as the most athletically freakish linebacker in this class via his pSPARQ score of 140 -- good for the 92nd percentile in NFL athleticism. This means that Lee is a smooth and fluid runner with freak athleticism who after he masters the playbook will be turned loose in a defense which has elite players both ahead and behind him.

GM Mike Maccagnan also mentioned Lee's age repeatedly during the press conference. This was very interesting to me because Maccagnan also made note of age for first round picks and how Leonard Williams was of a similar age last year. While it might not seem like a big deal, it really is. Age is a undervalued attribute to date in the NFL scouting community. A player who is playing elite football at a younger age is more likely to see that production continue when he makes the jump to the pros. Also, it also lets the Jets consider their second contract with a talented former first rounder when they are still very young ... likely just 25 or 26 years of age.

New York Jets quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick warms up prior to an NFL football game against the Buffalo Bills, Thursday, Nov. 12, 2015, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Bill Kostroun) (Bill Kostroun/AP)
New York Jets quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick warms up prior to an NFL football game against the Buffalo Bills, Thursday, Nov. 12, 2015, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Bill Kostroun) (Bill Kostroun/AP)

Quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick would "rather not play football" than return to the Jets at their current contract offer, according to Adam Schefter.

Update - 5 p.m.: This report has been refuted by Brian Costello on Twitter. "Fitz wants to play," Costello wrote.

The Jets have reportedly offered between $7-8 million to Fitzpatrick. The team reportedly also prefers an incentive-driven contract offer, but Fitzpatrick is resisting such an offer, according to Brian Costello.

The Jets and Fitzpatrick have been far apart in contract negotitations all offseason. Fitzpatrick is reportedly seeking something comparable to what other NFL starters have gotten this offseason, while the Jets offer has been much lower. 

The Jets have a plan for Fitzpatrick, according to Dom Cosentino of This plan includes placing a value on his worth, given his age (33), his career arc, and whatever their long-term plan is at quarterback.

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I can't tell if this is this is the last hurrah for Fitzpatrick's agent, Jimmy Sexton, in a cash grab move for his client or if Fitzpatrick really feels that way. Either way, it is meant to elicit a response from the Jets front office and if Fitzpatrick is truly content to hang up his cleats it would feel like a very odd and unsatisfying conclusion to this whole sordid affair. I get that Fitzpatrick might feel undervalued but if no single other NFL team is willing to match or better the Jets offer than Fitzpatrick does truly need to consider whether he wants to play for love of money or for love of the game. No judegment from me, but right now it seems like the former rather than the latter.

As for the Jets? I don't think this will do anything to slide their draft board around. Good GMs use their draft board like lazy home chefs use their RONCO chicken rotisserie roasters ... JUST SET IT AND FORGET IT! Maybe this puts the Jets back in play for Brian Hoyer after the draft concludes or maybe this puts the Jets into the trade market for a player like Nick Foles, Mike Glennon or Sam Bradford.  

Let's just hope that Fitzpatrick is willing to come back for his love of the game.

Tags: Ryan Fitzpatrick

 (Brian Spurlock)
(Brian Spurlock)

In the last two years I have had some fun with Excel pivot tables to create graphical representations of the draft class. I used the same method as last year to display how the 2016 NFL Draft projects. To come up with the list, I used the CBS Sports top 1000 prospect list and filtered it down to just the top players who would account for the first seven rounds. Then I added another 44 for priority free agents. This gives a look at how many players at a given position might be drafted in any given round. 

The setup:

First off, let me be clear that no draft board is set up this way. But since we have no way to know how the Jets are setting up their board, all we can do is try to take some of the guesswork out of how it might look.

This year, the Jets have the "fortune" of drafting late in each of the rounds that they currently hold draft picks. It is common sense, but this means that New York could be looking at the scraps from their round or any sliders from previous rounds for a positional perspective.

Here are the results with a color coded "heat map" to demonstrate higher/lower frequencies of players in a given round. After the jump I've added some conclusions and how it pertains to the New York Jets come April 28-30 based on their current slotted picks.

The NFL Draft world is losing its mind -- And Jets fans are reaping the benefits!!! Thanks to a wealth of defensive line talent, two quarterbacks (maybe three when Paxton Lynch goes in the top 20) will go right at the top who had borderline first round grades just a few months ago. That recipe makes for a delicious stew of players who might tumble to the Jets at the 20th pick. Maybe … just maybe … the Jets won't actually draft another defensive lineman with a first round draft pick? The Jets then might be able to easily zag in the first round while the rest of the world zigs? It also might press players down into the teens that the Jets covet yet they might more easily be able to trade up to get.

Chasing the Tackle -- Looking at the offensive lineman positions, if we assume that Laremy Tunsil, Ronnie Stanley and Jack Conklin are all gone before the Jets pick, you can see they would be getting the last of the tackles with a first round grade in Taylor Decker. If Decker is still on the board when the Jets pick they are going to have to consider whether scraping the barrel on first round tackles outweighs getting a better talent at another spot. As always, it comes back to how the Jets have set up their board. If the Jets want to address the spot in the second round, Germain Ifedi and Le'Raven Clark could be options. I like Joe Dahl in the third round and then Joe Haeg and Joe Thuney as third or even potential fourth rounders with decent upside.  

Hard to ignore receiver -- I wish the Jets would have been more involved in the wide receiver class of 2014 since it has proven to be so damn talented, but that's water under the bridge now. If Mike Maccagnan goes strictly by how his board sets up, how other teams draft and a longer and lower talent tier at receiver this all might push the Jets into drafting a receiver in the first three rounds.

The Jets' receivers are set at the first three spots, but Brandon Marshall looks likely to finish his career with the Jets in a few years time, Eric Decker is talented but best as a strong second or "1B" and Devin Smith has yet to stay on the field long enough to prove his worth. Depending on the Jets' board, Laquan Treadwell, Josh Doctson and Corey Coleman could all be staring the Jets in the face with the 20th pick. The second and fourth rounds seem more fungible for the Jets but should Leonte Carroo or Pharoh Cooper be on the board during the Jets' third round selection it would be hard to ignore the value they could bring long term. 

Patience for pursuit - 14 players are designated as either defensive ends or outside linebackers in the first two rounds, according to CBS. If I was the Jets, unless someone like Leonard Floyd fell into my lap at the 20th pick, I would be patient and see who slips into the second round. Could Bronson Kafusi make it to their pick? Would Su'a Cravens be a good fit? Could the Jets hold off on pulling the trigger until the third round, even if it involves trading up, to grab Kyler Fackrell?

Skinny on the interior - Thanks to the scheme change in the college system, this is yet again a tough class to find interior linebacker help. The best shot to not chase talent looks to be in the fourth round. The Jets have enough stopgap options with the return of Erin Henderson and Jamari Lattimore as a developmental player, but if the team wants to find a player who can soak up snaps this year on the interior, the fourth round might be the best place to not miss out on value elsewhere in other rounds.

Running back value on days two and three - With Matt Forte, Bilal Powell and Khiry Robinson in place, the Jets have a formidable group of running backs to shoulder the load this year. But there are some compelling players who might be available in the middle of the draft that could still bring value to this team if given the chance. Alex Collins or CJ Prosise could be options in the third round. There's also Jonathan Williams, Jordan Howard or even specialists like Daniel Lasco or Tyler Ervin who could be value plays in the fourth and maybe even fifth rounds.

Just round the corner - Since the Jets have Darrelle Revis, Buster Skrine, Marcus Williams and Dee Milliner (not so much), they don't have a burning need at the cornerback position. But this is a tremendously deep class of athletic and playmaking cornerbacks. I think the Jets would be wise to take one of the later-round guys they can groom into a contributor given time and coaching.

So who are some players who might fit the bill for the Jets? Notre Dame's Keivarae Russell is a player I have my eye on. The Jets might not want to invest early in him, but Virginia Tech's Kendall Fuller has the pedigree and might wind up being the best of the Fuller family. Rashard Robinson has some concerns off the field but could be a talented player with some player development support as a fourth rounder. 

Maybe the Jets are interested in a safety/corner hybrid like Jalen Mills, and Sean Davis would also be an interesting option who could play from a variety of sets for Todd Bowles defense.  

Tags: Brian Bassett

QB Paxton Lynch highlights 00:01:04 takes a look at the best plays of the season from Memphis quarterback Paxton Lynch.

If quarterback Paxton Lynch is still on the board when the Jets make their pick at No. 20, they may pass, according to Gary Myers.

Lynch has been linked to the Jets many times this offseason, including an early mock draft from Todd McShay and a few more recent ones.

Brian Bassett, Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | TJB Posts

For the last three weeks, the conventional logic pointed to the Browns using their pick at number eight to take Paxton Lynch. This crystallized even more once the Eagles moved into the second spot. Could the Browns really be in love with Connor Cook or Christian Hackenberg? Could they avoid a first round QB altogether? Maybe, but that seems unlikely for the Browns, even a new analytics based Browns team. For me, if Lynch slides past the Browns, the free fall begins. This fact is underscored by Daniel Jeremiah who has Lynch out of the first in his most recent mock draft.  

Are the Jets interested in Lynch? I honestly don't think he's smart or decisive enough to run a Chan Gailey offense but that's just my opinion. I wouldn't draft him at twenty and I sure as hell wouldn't draft him at seven. Myers seems to think the Jets are not interested, but consider that all this new haze around Lynch means that he is now the pivot point for the first round. Everyone has an agenda regarding Paxton Lynch because he's the most fungible player.

Some teams want him drafted ahead of him so that another player they truly covet falls further down. Teams late in the first could also be signalling that they aren't interested simply because they are praying that he falls to them at a fantastic value. In short, we really won't know anything until the draft starts playing out and the real proof point will be what happens at the eighth pick and then when the Jets are on the clock.

Corey Griffin and Brian Bassett are gearing up for the 2016 NFL Draft, and Tony Pauline of joins the show to talk about all the options on the table for the Jets.

Daily News Live: Wilkerson 00:02:34
The Daily News Live panel debates whether the Jets should trade All-Pro defensive end Muhammad Wilkerson before the NFL Draft.

 (Dennis Wierzbicki)
(Dennis Wierzbicki)

It's time for the 11th Annual TJB draft picks projection contest on TheJetsBlog!

The rules are simple - pick 10 players you think the Jets might draft and you score one point for each one that the Jets select. Trades are irrelevant as you do not need to allocate a round to where a certain guy is selected (undrafted free agent signings do not count). You are allowed 10 selections, even though the Jets currently only have six picks. Obviously they could end up with more or less than six due to trades (and could even, in theory, end up with more than 10).

You can only enter the contest once and we cannot accept any new entries or edits to existing entries once the first pick of the draft has been announced. We also ask that you be specific when mentioning players with commons names such as Jones or Williams.

Let's see if anyone can dethrone the current champion, The Faceless Man. The all-time record is four (although that came in a year where we gave everyone two extra picks because the Jets had 12).

The winner gets our eternal respect (until next year), bragging rights and perhaps a beer or two if any of us ever meet you.

This year's tie breaker question is which number pick in the draft do you expect Ohio State quarterback Cardale Jones to be selected with? Please include your guess with the picks projection.

Post your entries here in the comments or email them to Bent (

Good luck, everyone!

WR Josh Doctson highlights 00:01:25 takes a look at the best plays of the season from TCU wide receiver Josh Doctson.

The New York Jets might select a wide receiver in the first round, according to Ian Rapoport.

The team could pick Josh Doctson or Will Fuller, Rapoport said.

New York has the No. 20 overall pick in the draft.

Brian Bassett, Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | TJB Posts

This might be pre-draft smokescreen, but GM Mike Maccagnan seems to adhere pretty strictly to a "best player available" mentality when it comes to the draft. The worry among Jets fans at the timing of D'Brickashaw Ferguson's retirement and the quick acquisition of Ryan Clady filled the team's biggest hole as they headed into the draft. While offensive line, edge rusher and interior linebacker help would be major upigrades for the Jets, wide receiver, like cornerback, is a position on which the team needs to consider their longer-term options.

Yes, the Jets have Brandon Marshall and Eric Decker and just drafted Devin Smith in the second round a year ago, but the team isn't without the need. Brandon Marshall had a career year in 2015 and is north of 30 years old. Eric Decker's contract with the Jets runs through 2018, but could the Jets want to get out of it before then?  

The wide receiver class is not as insanely deep and talented as the 2014 class, nor is considered as strong at the top of the 2015 class's Amari Cooper or DeVante Parker. Having said that, many think that Treadwell's physical receiving style is tailor made for the NFL and some have even used DeAndre Hopkins as a comparison. Josh Doctson might an older prospect, but he still has the potential to be a good player and he backed up his film with some solid testing at the NFL Combine.

Read More:

Winston Hill, a durable All-Pro offensive tackle who played 15 seasons and helped protect Joe Namath on the way to the New York Jets' Super Bowl victory in 1969, has died. He was 74.

The team announced Tuesday night that Hill, a member of the Jets' inaugural Ring of Honor class in 2010, died in his adopted hometown of Denver.

Hill made a franchise-record eight All-Star teams, the first five at left tackle and the last three on the right side. He also holds the team mark for offensive linemen with 195 consecutive games played, keeping his streak going despite breaking a leg in the 1965 preseason. Hill also was selected in 1970 for the AFL's all-time second team.

Jets owner Woody Johnson called Hill "one of the Jets' all-time greats" in a statement provided by the team.

"I was very sad to hear of the passing of Winston Hill," Johnson said. "He was our most decorated player with a franchise-record eight all-star game appearances. And as accomplished as he was on the field, he was an even better person whose profound impact on his teammates and those who came in contact with him left an impression for a lifetime.

"He was the type of man who, if you were his friend, you thought you were his best friend." >> Read more

Copyright 2016 by The Associated Press

QB Paxton Lynch highlights 00:01:04 takes a look at the best plays of the season from Memphis quarterback Paxton Lynch.

With the NFL draft just two days away, many experts are finalizing their predictions on who will end up where. As of today, many of these analysts are predicting with the 20th overall pick, the New York Jets will select QB Paxton Lynch of Memphis.

The Jets currently have a gaping hole at the quarterback position, as last year's starting QB Ryan Fitzpatrick remains unsigned. 

Lynch had a great season for Memphis in 2015, throwing for career-highs in yards (3,776), touchdowns (28), and a career-low in interceptions (four). His completion percentage of 66.8 percent was also a career-high. Lynch was brought in for a visit with the Jets earlier this month.

Experts such as Bucky Brooks and Charles Davis of, along with Dane Brugler and Will Bronson of, have predicted the Jets will take the Memphis quarterback with their first round pick.

Although Lynch is being projected by many to be Jets' first round selection, there are numerous NFL analysts that believe the Jets will go with a defensive player with their first round pick. Daniel Jeremiah of believes the Jets will pick Clemson DE Kevin Dodd, while Charles Casserly projects Ohio State CB Eli Apple to the Jets in the first round. Meanwhile at, Rob Rang thinks the Jets will select LB Leonard Floyd of Georgia, while Pete Prisco thinks New York will take DE Noah Spence of Eastern Kentucky. 

Two of the Jets' biggest stars of 2015 remain unsigned in Fitzpatrick and DE Muhammad Wilkerson. While no one knows the future of these two players, the question of whether or not they will return to the Jets in 2016 might get answered Thursday night, when GM Mike Maccagnan will have the opportunity to draft a replacement for either player.

Will they draft Paxton Lynch? Will they help the defensive side of the ball by taking a defensive end or a linebacker? Will they select a player no one is expecting? Only time will tell. But with numerous areas of uncertainty still surrounding the Jets, a little bit of clarity would definitely be welcomed by all parties involved.

Tags: Muhammad Wilkerson , Ryan Fitzpatrick

CB Eli Apple highlights 00:01:03 takes a look at the best plays of the season from Ohio State cornerback Eli Apple.

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In the run-up to the draft, we've been spotlighting some random individuals who may or may not be potential selections for the Jets. We wrap up the series today with Ohio State cornerback Eli Apple.

Position: Cornerback

Height: 6'1"

Weight: 199 lbs

Interesting Statistics: 33 tackles, seven passes defended and one interception in 2015. Fourth in the Big Ten in passes defended (10) and seventh in interceptions (three) in 2014.

Strengths: Explosive; Good size and speed; Stays with his man well in man-to-man coverage; Contributes in run support


Weaknesses: Better in man-to-man coverage than zone; Has a tendency to grab at times; Will occasionally miss tackles; Doesn't always look back for the ball

Notable Measurables: Ran a 4.40 40-yard dash at the combine but didn't complete a full workout due to cramps. Ran a good short shuttle (4.08) at his pro day, but his three cone drill was below average (7.00).

Projected: Rated as a late first rounder on PFF's big board; Rated as the No. 20 prospect per CBS Sports

Jets' Interest Level: The Jets were one of eight NFL teams that Apple met with and Todd McShay mocked him to the Jets at No. 20 in March

Read More….

DL Sheldon Rankins highlights 00:00:38 looks at the best plays of the season from Louisville defensive lineman Sheldon Rankins.

As we move towards the draft, we're going to be spotlighting some random individuals who may or may not be potential selections for the Jets.

Position: Defensive Tackle

Height: 6'1"

Weight: 299

Interesting Statistics: Career high 58 tackles in 2015. 5th in ACC with eight sacks and 14 tackles for loss in 2014.

Strengths: Explosive; Good against the run and as a pass rusher; Can handle two-gapping assignments; Strong at the point of attack


Weaknesses: Lacks ideal height and length; Production slipped down stretch in 2015; Coming off a knee injury in January

Notable Measurables: Ran a 5.03 40-yard dash at the combine. Other measurables were excellent, including a 34.5" vertical and a 118" broad jump.

Projected: Rated as the 8th best prospect on PFF's big board; Rated as 14th best per CBS.

Jets' Interest Level: There have been no specific reports of Jets' interest in Rankins and no high profile experts linking him to the Jets.



Next up: Eli Apple, CB, Ohio State

 (Mark J. Rebilas)
(Mark J. Rebilas)

Tom Brady's four-game suspension was restored by the U.S. Appeals court on Monday, according to multiple reports.

Monday's ruling reversed an earlier judge's decision from last September, when Brady's suspension was overturned.

While restoring the suspension on Monday, the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New York ruled that NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell "properly exercised his discretion under a collective bargaining agreement" while imposing the initial suspension, according to Reuters.

The Jets face the Patriots this season in Week 12 and Week 16.

Brian Bassett, Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | TJB Posts

This is an interesting development and seems like an unlikely (and yet not surprising, because of course) turn in this whole saga. This looked finished last summer, but it seems nothing shy of a Supreme Court ruling in this case will be the final say. So this might not be the end...again.

Regarding what this means for the Jets specifically? Since the Jets and Patriots don't face off until Week 12, this wouldn't make a difference in any actual matchups. So any "advantage" the Jets season might gain by seeing Brady suspended would have to be indirect. For instance: if Brady's suspension leads to more losses while the Patriots muddle through without their quarterback.

But here's an interesting although unlikely thought: Could the Patriots woo Ryan Fitzpatrick to come play for them as Brady's backup? It's possible but seems extremely improbable. I don't think Fitzpatrick would lower his monetary requests and New England seemed ready to go to the brink in 2015 with Jimmy Garappolo when Brady was under the shadow of suspension last season.

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