Rookie Expectations For The Jets

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First a few updates:

1. For everybody who gets on the Jets for bringing in players with troubled pasts and talking their share of trash, read here about an organization that actually is heavily lacking in the class department (http://sports.yahoo.com/nfl/news?slug=ms-trippintuesday042710).

2. There have been contradictory reports from the local papers about the Jets interest level in Adalius Thomas. Mike Tannenbaum was on WFAN this morning and said “nothing was imminent” but something could happen down the road. You have to think the Jets will let Thomas sit on the market for a little bit and see if there is any type of interest in him from other teams around the league and then potentially make a low price offer to him if he remains on the market in a month or so. In the end, I still have a feeling Thomas will end up in green and white, Tannenbaum and Rex Ryan can’t help themselves.

3. Also in that interview, Tannenbaum commented that he called Mark Sanchez before pulling the trigger on drafting Joe McKnight. Apparently Sanchez signed off immediately and said he was the type of player he wanted in the huddle. I hope Sanchez’s faith in his former and now current teammate pays off.

4. Follow Turn On The Jets on Facebook and twitter (TurnOnTheJets)…When you follow on Facebook you get access to sweet pictures like this made by TOJ fan John Morales:

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5. I know I have long been talking about getting a Podcast going and trust me it is on the way, I’d rather take the time and make sure it gets done right instead of rushing it out. Also our staff (myself and maybe my friend Corbett) are working on a new design for the site. Finally, don’t forget there are other links across the top of the home page: Depth Chart, 2009 highlights, 2010 schedule, About the Author, Turn On The Jets TV (new episode coming within the next few weeks), 2009 Stats, 2010 Draft Picks.

Rookie Expectations For The Jets

What do the Jets need out of their four draft picks in the 2010 season? What is fair expectations for them considering their likely roles on the team?

Kyle Wilson – Rex Ryan made it abundantly clear in his post draft press conference that Wilson would be the team’s nickel back and punt returner in his rookie season. The Jets need him to be an upgrade over Donald Strickland (who couldn’t stay healthy), Dwight Lowery (who was wildly  inconsistent), and Drew Coleman (who just isn’t that good) at the nickel position. Wilson will be in position to blitz the quarterback often in Ryan’s scheme, which frequently overloads one side with corners and sends them at the QB. He will also obviously be asked to play plenty of man to man, both in the slot and on the outside. Ideally, Wilson will be consistent enough and make enough big plays to make the Jets seriously consider letting Antonio Cromartie walk after 2010. I am not saying they should or will (it depends on his production) but you want Wilson to show enough to make you believe he can easily step into a starting role. On special teams, the most important thing is that he is reliable with catching the ball. Hopefully he can also add more of a big play element to the Jets punt return unit, which has been lacking the past few years. Finally, expect to see Wilson on all of the Jets special teams coverage units.

Vladimir Ducasse – Regardless of his competition with last year’s sixth round pick, Matt Slauson, the Jets clearly want Ducasse to step into the starting role left by Alan Faneca. Nobody expects him to instantly duplicate Faneca’s level of play but if Ducasse can hold his own, especially in pass protection and show promise of being a quality starter on the line for the long term, the Jets will be thrilled with their decision to draft him and let Faneca walk. Nick Mangold, D’Brickashaw Ferguson, and Ducasse (if he can develop into a quality player) would be a nice trio for Mark Sanchez to play behind for the next decade.

PhotobucketJoe McKnight It will be very interesting to see what McKnight’s role will be in his rookie season. He will likely be a candidate for the kick return job and play on many of the coverage units on special teams. On offense, I am assuming he will be the team’s third down back in most situations and be used as a pass catching weapon out of the backfield. Ideally, you want him improving as the season goes on and slowly taking carries away from LaDainian Tomlinson so he is ready to take over as the team’s number two back, sooner rather than later. In order to make fans forget about Leon Washington, McKnight will also have to rip off his share of big plays.

John Connor – Connor’s job will be to learn behind Tony Richardson this year. I am interested to see if he is even active on most weeks, despite his supposed value on special teams. It would be unlike the Jets to carry five running backs on the active roster each Sunday, so don’t expect to see a ton of Connor this year. The goal is to have him ready to be the starting fullback for opening day of the 2011 season.

UDFAs – Keep an eye on Michigan DB Donovan Warren. This guy was initially projected to be a mid-round pick but ran a poor 40 time at the combine so he fell drastically down the board. He was a corner in college but the Jets have him listed at safety. The guy was a productive player at a big time school, who could grab a spot on the Jets roster.

Donovan Warren Highlights

A Defense Of The Jets Off-Season

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First a few updates:

1. The Patriots have finally cut ties with outside linebacker Adalius Thomas. Will the Jets still puruse Thomas, who excelled in Rex Ryan’s system during his time in Baltimore? Initially you would think not, considering they just signed Jason Taylor and still have Calvin Pace and  Bryan Thoams in place as starters. However, you could never have enough pass rushers, especially in this defensive system. The Jets may be able to get Thomas at a low price depending on the amount of interest he generates around the league and his desire to reunite with Ryan and stick it to the Patriots for cutting him. I say if they can get him at a reasonable price, then why not? Also keep in mind Thomas is versatile enough to play multiple positions in Rex Ryan’s defense. Overall, don’t be shocked to see the Jets add yet another big name in the next few days.

2. The Jets have restructured Vernon Gholston’s contract to make it primarily incentive based. Apparently, Gholston approached the team about redoing the deal in an attempt to actually earn his contract money. If that is true, than it is a very admirable move by Gholston who will hopefully begin to turn his career around somewhat at the defensive end position.

3. Follow Turn On The Jets on Facebook…Good links today on the Jets/Giants business relationship and Peter King’s inside information of what went down before the Leon Washington deal.

A Defense Of The Jets Off-Season

I have been caught off guard by the amount of negativity expressed by many Jets fans after their draft weekend decisions. On the whole most people who follow and write about the NFL initially praised the Jets pro-active approach this off-season, however there is starting to be some questions asked about adding too many big name players, destroying team chemistry, and an overall skepticism about the direction Mike Tannenbaum/Rex Ryan have taken this team. You can poke holes in any team’s roster and any personnel decision they make, yet I have this to say to people who haven’t liked the Jets off-season: are you kidding me?

Let’s start with the defense. The consensus weakest part of the Jets defense last year was their secondary outside of Darrelle Revis. Everybody agreed they needed a major upgrade at corner after Revis and that Kerry Rhodes was a disappointment in Rex Ryan’s system who wasn’t a good fit in the locker room with his “Hollywood” personality and selfish anger over Jim Leonhard calling the shots in the defensive backfield. What did the Jets do? They replaced Lito Sheppard with Antonio Cromartie as the other starter at corner. They replaced Dwight Lowery with Kyle Wilson as the nickel back and they shipped Rhodes to Arizona for two draft picks.

Photobucket Cromartie and Wilson should be substantial upgrades over the players they replaced. Cromartie is out to prove he can return to his all-pro level in Ryan’s man to man scheme and validate the Jets decision to give him a chance, along with a nice advance on his contract to help pay his child support. Wilson was a steal at #29 in the first round and should immediately be one of the most talented nickel backs in the NFL. Everybody wants to criticize the Jets chemistry for this upcoming year but didn’t they improve it by shipping out the disgruntled Rhodes? Brodney Pool has been tabbed as his replacement and had more sacks and interceptions than Rhodes last year, despite only playing in 11 games. Yes, Pool has injury concerns but if he gets hurt, wasn’t Eric Smith just as productive as Rhodes last season. Beyond that the Jets didn’t break the bank for Cromartie, Pool, or Wilson considering where he was selected.

The other big problem on the Jets defense last year was their lack of a pass rush. In order to improve this they added Jason Taylor, who notched seven sacks last year despite not being put in the best position to rush the passer in Miami’s defense. Rex Ryan should be able to put together enough schemes and blitz packages to get somebody with Taylor’s talent 9-12 sacks. Also don’t forget Kris Jenkins is coming back from injury and while he won’t ever rack up monster sack numbers his presence on the line will open up things for everybody else. Beyond that, there is a decent chance Adalius Thomas will also be thrown in the mix as a pass rusher at outside linebacker, inside linebacker, and defensive end.

So on defense the Jets replaced three starters: Kerry Rhodes, Lito Sheppard, and Marques Douglas with three younger players in Brodney Pool, Antonio Cromartie, and Mike DeVito. They removed the biggest personality/chemistry problem by getting rid of Rhodes. Yes, Douglas was a quality player and it remains to be seen if DeVito can be a full time starter but the Jets defense isn’t dropping from the number one spot in the league because they removed the 60 tackles and 1.5 sacks from Douglas. On top of that, they now have Jason Taylor as their top reserve at linebacker instead of Vernnon Gholston and Kyle Wilson at nickel back instead of Dwight Lowery. So tell me what the problem is again? It sounds to me like there is a good chance the Jets will be repeating as the league’s #1 defense.

PhotobucketNow let’s look at the offense where there is a popular misconception that the Jets signed LaDainian Tomlinson to replace Thomas Jones. Actually it will be Shonn Greene replacing Thomas Jones, with LaDainian Tomlinson taking over the #2 role and stepping in as the goal-line/short yardage back. The Jets also replaced Leon Washington, who may have begun the season on the PUP list with a player who has the skill set to be a young, healthier version of him in Joe McKnight. Washington also would have been leaving the Jets after this season anyway because of his contract situation, while the Jets now have McKnight for the next 4-6 years at a minimum.

Most people agreed the Jets needed to upgrade their receiving core. They responded by adding Santonio Holmes for a fifth round pick. Holmes has the talent to be a #1 receiver on many teams in this league, yet will basically be the Jets #3 receiver when he begins playing in week five. They will also be benefitted by having Braylon Edwards spend a full off-season with the team and having both Edwards and Holmes looking to prove they deserve long term contracts from the Jets or another team.

Yes the Jets had to make the tough choice of parting ways with Alan Faneca. However, considering they just gave Brandon Moore a long term deal and will have to give Nick Mangold and D’Brickashaw Ferguson ones after this season, did they really have a choice? Let’s have a little faith in Bill Callahan, widely considered one of the best offensive line coaches in the game, to develop Vladimir Ducasse or Matt Slauson into capable starters this year and long term quality players for the team.

PhotobucketSo on offense the Jets replaced two starters: Thomas Jones and Alan Faneca. Two guys who were productive last year and well-respected in the locker room, yet two guys who are 31 and 33 years old, respectively. Shonn Greene certainly looked the part of a a number one back in the playoffs last year and if he struggles the Jets have quality depth behind him in LaDainian Tomlinson and Joe McKnight. Ducasse and Slauson are unproven but will be surrounded by four high quality players and a great offensive line coach. Beyond that, they moved from having their number three receiver either being Brad Smith or David Clowney to being Santonio Holmes. Mark Sanchez should also be better in his second year but hey the Jets went to the AFC Championship game with him throwing 20 INTs to 12 TDs, along with a 53 completion percentage, so imagine what they could do if he makes strides this season.

I am sure players hated to see people like Faneca, Jones, and Washington leave the team. Yet, let’s not go crazy with the chemistry or leadership concerns. Last time I checked on offense the Jets will still have Tony Richardson, Jerricho Cotchery, and Damien Woody in the huddle, along with the same quarterback, three other returning starters on the offensive line, the same top two tight ends, and a new strong veteran presence in LaDainian Tomlinson. On defense Bart Scott, Jim Leonhard, Darrelle Revis, David Harris, and Shaun Ellis will still be out there along with Kris Jenkins returning to the huddle.

You want to criticize the Jets for something? Fine, they downgraded at kicker by replacing Jay Feely with Nick Folk, yet somehow I think Tannenbaum will find a way to add another kicker at some point this summer.

Like I said before, you can poke holes in any roster or personnel decision. Yet, sometimes you just have to call things as you see them. The Jets are loaded right now, on both sides of the football. This team is built to be a legit Super Bowl contender and in my mind are the second best team in the AFC right now and a top five overall team in the NFL.

Let’s Go

Jets Trade Leon Washington, Draft John Connor

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The writing was on the wall when the Jets traded up to draft USC running back Joe McKnight. Clearly the organization wasn’t comfortable with Leon Washington returning off his injury and they didn’t take long to act, trading him and their seventh round pick to Seattle for the 139th overall pick in the draft, where they took Kentucky fullback John Connor.

It is a sad day for TOJ and Jets fans everywhere. Leon was a fan favorite and an electric playmaker during his career with the Jets. Unfortunately, he sustained a brutal injury last year and had ongoing contract problems with the team. After the Jets decided to draft McKnight, a player with a comparable skill set, there wasn’t any room left for Leon on the roster. I wish him the best of luck on a speedy recovery in Seattle and hope the rumors of him starting the season on the PUP list aren’t true.

It was a very surprising decision that the Jets went with a fullback with their newly acquired 5th round pick. Tony Richardson was re-signed on a one year deal so Connor will spend the year learning behind one of the best in the business before taking over as the Jets long term fullback. Connor is known for his blocking skills, inside running, and special teams ability on coverage units.

Who would have ever thought the Jets would use three of their four picks on offensive players this year? Rex Ryan must be pulling his hair out.

Some John Connor Action

New Day On Offensive Line: Thoughts On Ducasse & Faneca

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Most of the time in the NFL rumor mill, when there is smoke, there is fire. After missing out on Mike Iupati and Maurkice Pouncey in round one, most people assumed (including myself) that Alan Faneca would remain a Jet for another year as the Jets targeted a player for their front seven on defense in round two. Well, think again…the Jets selected UMass OT/OG Vladimir Ducasse with the 61st overall pick and reports have surfaced that Alan Faneca has either already been released or will be released on Monday.

Despite Mike Tannenbaum saying Ducasse will work at right tackle and left guard, you have to think the Jets view him as the number one potential replacement for Faneca this season and moving forward. Unless Matt Slauson or Robert Turner blow everybody away in camp this summer and they move Ducasse to being Damien Woody’s future replacement. However, if I had to bet today, I would bet on Ducasse being the Jets opening day starter at guard.

What about cutting Faneca? Most people agree that Faneca’s play declined a little bit last season, especially in pass protection. As a matter of fact many sites like Football Outsiders had him ranked as one of the worst performing guards in the league. Yet, the bottom line is that the Jets offensive line had chemistry. Faneca was still a top notch run blocker and a an important veteran in the locker room. The Jets offensive line won’t be any better next year with Ducasse or Slauson at left guard instead of Faneca. However, in the long term the Jets needed to find replacements for Faneca and Damien Woody and now they have one in Ducasse.

Keep in mind the Jets have some major contracts to pay in the next couple of years. If you want to sign Darrelle Revis, Nick Mangold, D’Brickashaw Ferguson, and Braylon Edwards or Santonio Holmes for the long term, the money has to be cut somewhere else.

In the end Faneca gave us two quality years and helped immensely in the development of Nick Mangold and D’Brickashaw Ferguson.

Ducasse is 6 foot 4, 332 pounds. Apparently the Jets had him graded high enough that they considered taking him in round one. Hopefully, Bill Callahan can work his magic with the big fella.

Some Video Action Of Ducasse

Five Players Jets Could Target In Round Two

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The draft continues tonight with the 2nd and 3rd rounds. Unfortunately, the Jets only possess a second round pick, however there is still plenty of talent available for them to add with the 61st overall pick. Here are five players the Jets could target at #61 or move up to acquire:

1. Sergio Kindle – OLB – Texas – Just because the Jets added Jason Taylor doesn’t mean they can’t add a pass rusher for the long term. It was a mild surprise Kindle fell out of the first round and the Jets would likely have to trade up to get him.

2. Everson Griffen – DE – USC – The Jets still need to improve the depth on their defensive line. Griffen was frequently associated with the Jets at #29 in mock drafts but maybe now they could snatch him round two.

3. Terrence Cody – DT – Alabama – Another player who was frequently talked about for the Jets at #29. Cody would be a welcome addition to the Jets defensive line and a long term replacement for Kris Jenkins.

4, Nate Allen – S – USF – The Jets could still use another safety to compete with Brodney Pool and Eric Smith. Allen is a talented guy who could end up starting in his rookie year opposite Jim Leonhard.

5. Ricky Sapp – OLB – Clemson – A pass rushing prospect the Jets are apparently high on. They should be able to stay put at #61 and get him.

Jets Select Kyle Wilson In First Round

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Jets Select Kyle Wilson In First Round

The first prospect The Jets Blog covered as the off-season started was Kyle Wilson. On March 1st, when we did a mock draft for Fanball I selected Kyle Wilson. In the end, even after trading for Antonio Cromartie the Jets ended up with Wilson, the cornerback from Boise State. After an active off-season the Jets were afforded the luxury of taking the best player available at #29 and that is exactly what they did. Wilson was expected to go anywhere from 15-23 but managed to slide to the Jets when New England decided to go with Devin McCourty at #27.

PhotobucketOne thing other Jets writers and I wrote about over the past week is how not to discount the Jets taking a corner in round one. Rex Ryan loves corners and in the Jets system the nickel back plays over 50 percent of the snaps and is a crucial part of the defense. There was no way the Jets could be comfortable with Dwight Lowery as their nickel and being one injury away from being a full time starter, along with Drew Coleman being one injury away from being the nickel back.

Wilson is an excellent value pick at #29. Yes it would have been nice to get Jared Odrick but the Dolphins snapped him up one pick before the Jets. You could make an argument for Jerry Hughes or Sergio Kindle but it is hard to be disappointed with getting a player as talented as Wilson.

Beyond Wilson’s value on defense, he was also an electric punt returner in college. The Jets no longer have to worry about having full time starters deep on punts like Jerricho Cotchery and Jim Leonhard because they can put Wilson back there. Beyond that, he is talented and athletic enough to play on all the Jets special teams coverage units. Between being a nickel back, punt returner, and special teams coverage guy Wilson will be a valuable addition to the Jets roster.

Wilson’s career stats –

  • 11 Interceptions
  • 27 Passes Broken Up
  • 2 Sacks
  • 10 TFL’s
  • 160 Tackles
  • 3 Punt Return Touchdowns

Other thoughts on the draft

– Dez Bryant is going to be rookie of the year hands down. He is going to be a repeat performance of Randy Moss in his rookie year. I hate the Cowboys but he is going to be a beast for them.

– I love how New England thinks they are still good enough to keep trading down and not take a player at their original pick. Thank you for not taking Dez Bryant Pats. I guess you did need Devin McCourty though considering we have Santonio Holmes, Braylon Edwards, and Jerricho Cotchery.

– Tebow to Denver? Interesting. I am sure they have already crafted an entire package of plays for him. You have to think Cleveland will be targeting Jimmy Clausen in round two. I am still surprised he fell out of the first round. C.J. Spilleer was a good pick for Buffalo. He will be a playmaker for them but they still lack a quarterback.

– Congratulations New York Giants, you just drafted the biggest bust of the 2010 draft.

Kyle Wilson Highlights

It Is Finally Here: Last Thoughts On The Draft

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First a few updates:

1. When I say last thoughts on the draft, I mean that if you are only silly enough to not be following Turn On The Jets on twitter (TurnOnTheJets) or on facebook (just search Turn On The Jets and become a fan of the page)…because I will be all over both them all day and night with thoughts/updates. I got my resident draft expert (my good friend Mike “Tiny” Nolan) heading up to my apartment, I got massive amounts of unhealthy food, I got some cheap beer, and I am ready to sit on my couch from about 6 PM to 1 AM.

Photobucket2. You thought I was going to forget my weekly LOST review, right? wrong. Thoughts On Lost Final Season, Episode 13 “The Last Recruit” – Most people weren’t crazy about this episode because it was a transitional one. I can understand those criticisms but overall I thought the writers did a good job of getting everybody in to place for the final arc of action this season (and overall for the show). The Jack/Locke discussion scene was up to it’s usual high standard and it is hard to picture the end of show not being based around some type of showdown between the two of them. In the sideways world, we are well on the way to everybody meeting up at the hospital and Jack curing Locke’s paralysis. The Jin/Sun reunion was…meh. It was nice to get confirmation that Christian Shephard was the smoke monster all along, which most of us suspected. Next week it looks like Jack/Locke’s camp will be finding a way to break out the rest of the main characters from Widmore and his team.

3. Nothing too ground-breaking from Jason Taylor’s press  conference yesterday…just sack the quarterback and we’ll try to forget the past.

4. Flipping around during the draft? Look for the Bulls and Thunder to steal a game tonight from the Cavs and Lakers and for Portland to take a 2-1 lead over the Suns. What can I say? I like the home teams tonight.

It Is Finally Here: Last Thoughts On The Draft

– Despite his agent re-tweeting from some non verifiable fan information, I am still not sure if Terrence Cody to the Jets at #29 makes sense or if it is going to happen. Obviously he would provide some help on the defensive line but you have to worry about the guy staying in shape and he isn’t really versatile enough to slide out to defensive end.

– Final mock drafts in, as compiled by Tim Graham on ESPN.com here (http://espn.go.com/blog/afceast/post?id=12936)

  • Mel Kiper Jr. – Linval Joseph – East Carolina – Defensive Tackle
  • Scouts Inc – Jared Odrick – Penn State – Defensive Tackle
  • ESPN Blog – Taylor Mays – USC – Safety
  • Bucky Brooks – Jared Odrick – Penn State – Defensive Tackle
  • Charles Davis – Everson Griffen – USC – Defensive End
  • Pat Kirwan – Carlos Dunlap – Florida – Defensive End
  • Rick Gosselin – Patrick Robinson – FSU – Florida State
  • Wes Bunting – Nate Allen – USF – Safety
  • Clark Judge – Taylor Mays – USC – Safety
  • Pete Prisco – Tyson Alualu – California – Defensive End
  • Rob Rang – Everson Griffen – USC – Defensive End
  • Chad Reuter – Demaryius Thomas – Georgia Tech – Wide Receiver

– Let me say right now that I would be furious if the Jets drafted Taylor Mays. This is guy is Vernon Gholston at the safety position. Stay away Mike Tannenbaum…stay away. If you want a safety trade up for Earl Thomas or trade back a few spots and take Nate Allen.

– Isn’t it hard to picture the Jets not making a trade tonight? I don’t know if it will be up or back or if they will move Alan Faneca or Kellen Clemens, but something has to go down.

– Speaking of trades, I got a feeling that Albert Haynesworth and Ben Rothlisberger will be moved. The Steelers have already been calling teams and listening to offers so it almost feels like there is no turning back. Can’t you see Oakland offering their first round pick and the Steelers jumping on that offer?

Most Exciting Thing That Could Happen Tonight – The Jets trade up for Earl Thomas…can you imagine their defense with him roaming around at safety? Wow. What would be the cost though?

You Have To Be Thrilled If The Jets Leave With – Jared Odrick. He would be a steal at #29 and provide instant depth and versatility to their defensive line.

It Would Be A Successful Night If – The Jets found a way to trade Alan Faneca and got their hands on Mike Iupati. I know the Jets line has had good chemistry but Faneca is getting old, his play is starting to decline and the Jets owe him alot of money. For the long term, Iupati alongside D’Brick and Mangold gives the Jets offensive line security for a long time.

You Have To Be Satisfied With – Everson Griffen, Jerry Hughes, Devin McCourty, or Carlos Dunlap at #29.

And with that, I have to prepare for 10 hours on my couch.

TOJ TV Throwback Week Continues With The Holiday Edition (Skit Starts At 1:45)

And From The Producer of TOJ TV – “Post Grad Purgatory”

Two Days Can Change Plenty: Wednesday Jets Draft Predictions

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First a few updates:

1. If you didn’t read Rex Ryan’s transcript from his conference call with reporters yesterday, go check it out at (http://www.newyorkjets.com/news/articles/show/3662-rex-s-tuesday-conference-call) …always an entertaining read to hear from Rex, who speaks about the schedule, Jason Taylor, and trade rumors.

2. Peter King has the Jets taking Jahvid Best in his mock draft. Really? There is no way that is happening.

3. Rich Cimini has moved on from running his popular blog The Jets Stream and being the Daily News beat writer to work for ESPN New York. First off, I am pissed at ESPN New York is hiring every other writer in the area but me, second off Daily News, come find me.

4. Follow Turn On The Jets on Facebook…I don’t have some clever reason today, but just do it.

5. It is being reported that Vernon Gholston will be moving to defensive end next year to back up Shaun Ellis. This move makes sense because Gholston was going to be getting no playing time at outside linebacker with Calvin Pace, Bryan Thomas, and Jason Taylor rolling through. The Jets are thin on the defensive line so hopefully Gholston can bulk up and become an adequate backup…great expectations for the number 6 pick in the draft, right?

6. The Jets are shopping Kellen Clemens…good luck getting a draft pick for him.

Two Days Can Change Plenty: Wednesday Jets Draft Predictions

On Monday I wrote about potential prospects the Jets could be taking in round one at #29, including the likelihood of certain popular players associated with the team to end up in green and white. Yet in a matter of two days things have already shifted, changing the complexion of round one for the Jets. Jason Taylor has been officially signed to play outside linebacker and rumors are swirling that the Jets are looking to trade veteran guard Alan Faneca. With the draft a little over 24 hours away, here are a few things to consider when looking at the Jets in round one:

The Jets interest level in Idaho guard Mike Iupati and Florida center Maurkice Pouncey (who the Jets would slide to guard) obviously increases if they are planning to make a move on Faneca. The only problem is that both players are shooting up the draft board and could be long gone by number 29. Would the Jets trade up for either player? It depends how serious they are about moving Faneca and whether they consider Matt Slauson, Robert Turner, or Wayne Hunter to be adequate in-house replacements. Regardless, Iupati and Pouncey are two names to keep an eye on, especially if either starts sliding into the 20s.

With Jason Taylor on board, I wouldn’t expect the Jets to make any type of move up in the draft to grab Brandon Graham or Sergio Kindle. Both players would be great value at #29 so it isn’t out of the realm of possibility for the Jets to still take either of them or TCU’s Jerry Hughes at that spot. Yet, the likelihood of seeing any other these three players in green and white has decreased from the beginning of the week. Ricky Sapp could still remain a viable option in round two.

Despite Vernon Gholston moving to defensive end, it still remains a high priority for the Jets. Jared Odrick, Everson Griffen, and Terrence Cody all still remain high on the Jets radar. Devin McCourty is still a very real possibility at #29 also. Most people would question McCourty as an option for the Jets initially but remember Rex Ryan loves corners and the Jets nickel back plays about 50 percent of the defensive snaps. I doubt the Jets are comfortable with Dwight Lowery in the nickel role and Drew Coleman at dime back. McCourty could also contribute right away on all the Jets special teams units in coverage and as a returner.

PhotobucketIt is being reported Dallas in love with Texas safety Earl Thomas. The Cowboys are picking at #22 and there are rumors they could trade up to insure getting him. If the Jets really want Thomas, they are likely going to have to leap somewhere around 15 spots to get him, which is going to be costly. Taylor Mays’ name keeps getting thrown around for the Jets at #29. Please…Please…Please, stay away from this guy Mike Tannenbaum. He is Vernon Gholston 2.0 at safety. If you can’t get the safety you want in round one, look at Nate Allen from USF in round two.

 Here are my current thoughts on what could happen tomorrow:

Potential Trades:

  1. Jets Trade Up For Earl Thomas (Likely in 14-17 range) – 15%
  2. Jets Trade Up For Brandon Graham/Sergio Kindle (Likely in the 15-22 range) – 15%
  3. Jets Trade Up For Mike Iupati – (Likely in 14-17 range) – 25%
  4. Jets Trade Up For Maurkice Pouncey – (Likely in 21-25 range) – 30%
  5. Jets Trade Back Into Round Two, Target Ricky Sapp and Nate Allen With Their Two Picks – 30%

Staying Put At #29

  1. Jets get Jared Odrick – 35%
  2. Jets get Jerry Hughes – 35%
  3. Jets get Everson Griffen – 40%
  4. Jets get Terrence Cody – 40%
  5. Jets get Devin McCourty – 40%

TOJ TV Throwback Week Continues With A Mash-Up Video (starting at 1:26)  of Gloating To Jets Haters About Their Wild-Card Win

Monday Night Jets Draft Thoughts

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First a few updates:

1. Follow Turn On The Jets on Facebook…Because you want those updates on Facebook and Twitter Thursday night with my thoughts on the draft.

2. Somewhat quiet news day for the Jets…still waiting on a Jason Taylor decision which could be coming in the next two days…Beyond that, it looks like it is time to sit tight and wait for Mike Tannenbaum to make moves on draft weekend.

3. The NFL schedule is coming out tomorrow at 7 PM. I want Miami on opening night. Santonio or no Santonio, let’s get Brandon Marshall his new apartment on Revis Island bright and early this year.

4. I couldn’t agree more with Quentin Richardson about Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett putting on the acting clinic occasionally and I am glad to see Garnett was suspended for game 2, you can’t be throwing elbows around like that.

Monday Night Jets Draft Thoughts

A collection of scattered draft thoughts that could impact the Jets

– There has been more and more talk about the Jets considering a corner in the first round, with Devin McCourty’s name consistently being linked to the team. McCourty was a popular selection for the Jets in mock drafts prior to the Antonio Cromartie trade but he could still be a good fit for the Jets in a nickel role and on special teams (where they need help, as I documented yesterday). Mike Tannenbaum constantly talks about how much Rex Ryan loves his corners and there is no way he is satisfied with Dwight Lowery and Drew Coleman as his #3 and #4 guys so I wouldn’t be shocked if the Jets pulled the trigger on McCourty if the board breaks a certain way.

– When I say the board breaks a certain way, I mean that if there isn’t a defensive lineman or outside linebacker the Jets really like available at #29. In that scenario you could see McCourty at 29 and then the Jets look to make a move for somebody like Ricky Sapp in round two.

– You would have to think if Jared Odrick is there at #29 the Jets will absolutely take him. However, I am not sure if they like him enough to trade up for him if he begins to slide into the low 20s. Odrick isn’t a flashy player but he would be a solid, safe addition to the Jets defensive line and improve their overall depth. He would likely start opposite at Shaun Ellis at end but has the ability to slide inside down the road when Big Jenkins eventually moves on.

Photobucket Another player who I didn’t mention yesterday, who has often been associated with the Jets is USC defensive end Everson Griffen. I don’t think Griffen is as versatile as Odrick but he would be a good fit at end.

– If Jason Taylor can’t make up his mind before the draft, it obviously increases the likelihood the Jets would take a player like Jerry Hughes. Sergio Kindle and Brandon Graham probably aren’t falling within the Jets range but if either got down to 24-26, Tannenbaum could get itchy to move up a few spots.

– The only “big” move I could see the Jets make is trading up for Texas safety Earl Thomas, who in my mind would be a steal at any spot after #15. You know Rex Ryan wants his Ed Reed for the Jets defense and since Kerry Rhodes clearly didn’t fit the bill, maybe the big fella will be pushing for a move to get Thomas.

– When it comes to the Jets divisional opponents. I am hoping Dez Bryant is long gone before the Patriots pick. We don’t need that guy teaming up with Randy Moss and Wes Welker when he returns. I am hoping Buffalo takes Tim Tebow at some point (even they aren’t dumb enough to take him at #9 but they could move up to the bottom of round one or the top of round two) with the thought he is the answer at quarterback. Don’t get me wrong I think Tebow will be a valuable player on a NFL roster but I just don’t think he will develop into a franchise quarterback.

– Finally, as of today here is what I am thinking for the Jets in round one:

  • Most Exciting Potential Move – Trade up for Earl Thomas
  • Best Player They Could Get At #29 – Jared Odrick
  • Second Best Player They Could Get At #29 – Jerry Hughes
  • Sleeper Pick – Devin McCourty
  • Most Likely – Everson Griffen or Hughes

Welcome to TOJ TV Throwback Week: Starting With My Reaction To The Jets Loss To The Bills This Past Season

Jets Special Teams Concerns & Draft Talk

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First a few updates:

1. Just a short article today to preclude a furious onslaught of draft coverage Monday through Thursday.

2. When is this Jason Taylor decision coming?

3. There is a report out that the Jets offered Denver their first round pick for Brandon Marshall during the owner’s meetings but the deal didn’t get done because the Jets couldn’t work out a long term deal with him. In the end it is probably for the best, considering the lack of risk involved in the Santonio Holmes deal and how the Jets have been able to hang on to their first round pick to add a needed defensive player.

4. I was disappointed by the lack of upsets on day one of the NBA Playoffs…is there a bigger team of cry babies than the Celtics by the way? I am pulling for D-Wade to lead the Heat back for the round 1 upset.

5. Follow Turn On The Jets on Facebook…Not because you want to….because you need to.

Jets Special Teams Concerns & Draft Talk

The Jets didn’t have one of their best years when it came to special teams last season. Whether it was Ted Ginn Jr ripping off two kick returns in a single game or botching three field goal attempts against Atlanta…Mike Westhoff’s unit wasn’t up to their usual standards. Unfortunately it is hard to picture the special teams being any better this year considering the way the off-season has went so far.

First off, the Jets have substantially downgraded at the kicker position. Jay Feely played at a pro-bowl level for most of last season, connecting on 30/36 field goals, hitting a 55 yard yarder and putting up a respectable 11/14 on 40-49 yard kicks. He also contributed on covering his own kicks with 4 tackles and stepped upt a punter in the Jets wild-card game when Steve Weatherford was unable to go. To replace Feely, the Jets currently have Dallas castoff Nick Folk who melted down in 2009 after a pro-bowl season in 2008. Folk was only 6/13 on 40-49 yard field goals and 20/31 overall last year. How could you trust this guy in a big spot? Mike Tannenbaum better be keeping his eyes open for somebody to compete with him training camp.

In two moves that received substantially less press coverage. the Jets let special teams ace Wallace Wright walk and he has been picked up by the Carolina Panthers. Wright has been the Jets top coverage guy the past few years and had 23 tackles on specials last year. They also decided to replace long time long snapper James Dearth with the unproven Tanner Purdum, who to my knowledge has never long snapped in a regular season NFL game. Two quiet moves that could end up making a big difference in a negative way at some point in the season.

A few quick thoughts on the draft:

Photobucket The only way I could see the Jets trading up is if Earl Thomas slips into low to mid twenties. Thomas would be a big time addition to the Jets secondary and could immediately slide next to Jim Leonhard at safety. Beyond that, I wouldn’t be shocked to see the Jets trade back one or two times to add a few more picks later in the draft.

– The most common names you have been hearing associated with the Jets and the draft: Thomas, Brandon Graham, Jerry Hughes, Jared Odrick, Sergio Kindle, Ricky Sapp, Mike Iupati, Terrence Cody.

– Despite the addition of Antonio Cromartie, expect to see the Jets draft a corner by round 4 and don’t be shocked if they add a second one in round 6 or 7.

Earl Thomas Highlights