It’s Tuesday so you know what that means: Time to combine the two things that take up most of my time and write a column! What are those two things you ask? Well, there’s sports of course, and specifically Jets football and then there’s boring financial work (Boo!). When put together we have the Stock Watch, where once again we’ll be buying and selling sports players, teams, ideas, and whatever else we see fit as if such things are able to be bought and sold. What’s that sound? It’s the Opening Bell! Let’s get started…
Mo Wilkerson – I put big Mo in the inaugural Stock Watch, but after seeing him up close at Jets Camp last week and reading the effusive praise rained on him by coaches, players, reporters, fans, analysts, and everybody in between, it’s time to double up and go in big on Big Mo. After coming out as a Junior from Temple, Wilkerson had a very strong rookie season (Had he stayed in school an extra year, he probably would have gone much higher in the draft this year).
By all accounts, he worked out extremely hard in the offseason to improve his strength, and he appears poised for big things. In fact, he, along with Quinton Coples, are going to be extremely important parts of the Jets new 46 defense. Mo’s athleticism and versatility will be the key to opening everything up up front. He can line up at any spot across the defensive line and that allows the Jets to shift in and out of different looks without having to change personnel. By the end of this year, Mo is going to be one of those guys that a few smart analysts and sites like ProFootballFocus.com will be raving about, while the uninformed general public will probably be late to the party and scoff when Rex Ryan raves about him. Thats fine by me. I’ll be watching, and I’ll be loving what I see — That’s why I’m doubling up this stock.
Robert Allen Dickey – More commonly known as R.A, Mr. Dickey has been absolutely dominating baseball lately. He’s riding a 42 and 2/3 inning wave where he hasn’t allowed an earned run. In his last 6 starts, he’s pitched 48 and 2/3 innings, allowed just a single earned run, gone 6-0, allowed just 21 hits and 5 walks, and struck out a ridiculous 63 batters. Ho. Ly. Crap. On the season he’s 11-1 with a 2.00 ERA and is hands-down the best pitcher in baseball. Not bad for a guy who wasn’t even able to make an awful Mets team out of spring training two years ago. R.A Dickey has been so awesome he makes me want to go outside and start practicing knuckleballs, and that’s enough to make me buy this stock.
Chaz Schilens – An under-the-radar type signing this offseason by the Jets, Schilens was pretty impressive at Jets mini-camp. In fact, he was so impressive that the Jets decided not to pursue Braylon Edwards any longer (more on that later). Schilens has always shown flashes of his great ability, but injuries have always popped up to derail any momentum he got going. The Jets brought in new receivers coach Sanjay Lal this year from Oakland where he happened to coach Chaz. Obviously Lal felt Schilens had talent and was worth bringing here, so now he’s a Jet. It’s hard to rely on a rookie like Stephen Hill from the get go, so look for Chaz to play a big role this year, especially early in the season. If he can stay healthy, this will be a nice stock to own.
My meeting with Manish Mehta being chronicled on Deadspin – Perhaps this is a stock that interests only me, but oh well. For those that missed it, I suggest giving it a read, if only for the part about Gary Myers’ hilarious fashion choices. As some of you know, I reported on my day at Jets Mini-Camp last week as well, but make sure you check back tomorrow for this week’s Jets Power Rankings, where there will be plenty more to discuss.
The Buffalo Bills Hype – I was all prepared to write up a paragraph about how this Bills hype is getting out of control and there’s no way they are better than the Jets, but Joe put that baby to rest yesterday. Make sure you give that a read, as he covered all the bases and totally derailed the Bills Hype Train.
Braylon Edwards – It’s hard to believe that two years ago, Braylon was entering the 2010 season as the Jets co-#1 receiver and the front office was rumored to be struggling with who to sign long-term: Edwards or Santonio Holmes. After a very good season in which he approached 1,000 yards and played an integral role in the Jets playoff run, the Jets decided to go with Holmes and let Edwards go. He then allegedly got involved in a bar brawl — which was not what teams wanted to hear after his early season DUI arrest –and signed a one-year contract with the 49ers, injured his knee, barely contributed, and then get released mid-season. Now he can’t find a job. Yikes. Braylon was one of my favorite players, so I hope things turn around for him, but it sure doesn’t look too good right now.
Jets #2 TE Spot – I touched on this in my Day at Jets Camp piece, but man oh man is this spot a black hole right now. Jeff Cumblerland, by all accounts including my own, was absolutely awful last week. He dropped a ton of passes and got chewed out by Tony Sparano often. Hayden Smith has potential, but doesn’t seem ready. Josh Baker is not a true tight end. They need to really look into picking up a veteran, preferably one who can block. Perhaps Daniel Graham? The only positive here is that Matt Mulligan was hilariously snatched up by Brian Schottenheimer and the Rams this offseason (that explains a lot) so he won’t be in that role, and that’s something we can all be grateful for.
Idea that the Jets need another RB – Joe wrote a great article about this last week which was very convincing, but I respectfully disagree. I just don’t see the point in bringing in someone like Cedric Benson, paying him, and giving him carries over Joe McKnight, Bilal Powell, and Terrance Ganaway. I know this idea has picked up steam amongst fans lately, but why not see what the young guys can do? Benson hasn’t averaged over 4 yards per carry since 2009, isn’t a good receiver, the Bengals couldn’t wait to dump him, and he doesn’t offer anything on special teams — and yet he’s actually the best option still available. I’ll pass on the veterans. The Jets have invested draft picks on these young guys, and it’s time to see what they can do.
James Harden – I tweeted about this during and after Game 3 of the NBA Finals, but when was the last time you saw a supposed “star player” not named LeBron James have such a bad NBA Finals performance? He was brutal and single-handedly cost the Thunder a 2-1 advantage. Hopefully someone got him a new bed in the past few days because he completely shit the bed all over his old one (By the way, is there a funnier term for failure than “shit the bed”?). If the Thunder are going to have a chance to win this series, Harden is going to have to do better than 2-10 shooting, but quite frankly, I’m not so sure he’s going to bounce back. I’d sell my Beard stock.