Just How Good Is Darrelle Revis?

In case you haven’t been following, the NFL Network has been ranking the top 100 players in the league through a 10 part series. D’Brickashaw Ferguson was ranked 79th, Santonio Holmes 76th, and Nick Mangold 47th. They are down to the final 10 players and Pro Football Talk has likely correctly assumed they will be: Tom Brady, Peyton Manning, Drew Brees, Andre Johnson, Ray Lewis, Julius Peppers, Adrian Peterson, Ed Reed, Troy Polamalu, and Darrelle Revis. How high will Revis end up in the top ten? Personally, I’d rank those ten in the following order —

  1. Brady
  2. Polamalu
  3. Manning
  4. Brees
  5. Reed
  6. Revis
  7. Peterson
  8. Lewis
  9. Johnson
  10. Peppers

Revis was good enough in 2009 and the second half of 2010 to seriously be in the discussion as the best defensive player in football. Considering their body of work, I’d still put both Reed and Polamalu in front of him I am not sure a cornerback will ever get ahead of the elite quarterbacks on a list like this, but then again Revis did still manage to end up ahead of Aaron Rodgers (the fact that he wasn’t a top ten player is a bit of a joke).

Overall, I don’t think anybody would debate Ferguson, Mangold, Holmes, and Revis ending up in the Top 100. I also wouldn’t hesitate to argue that David Harris and Brandon Moore deserved consideration as well. The Jets certainly aren’t short on talent, it will just be a matter of keeping as much of it as possible this off-season and then getting that talent over the hump and into the Super Bowl.

Potential Replacements For Antonio Cromartie

Despite writing nearly a million words this off-season in argument to keep Antonio Cromartie. There is a chance Mike Tannenbaum will ignore TOJ and allow him to leave via free agency. If this does occur, the Jets could look like to sign an available veteran to compete with Kyle Wilson and provide better depth in their secondary. Here is a look at a few names (and no I am not including Nnamdi Asomugha because that just isn’t happening)…

Jonathan Joseph, Cincinnati Bengals – He has been in the league for six years and has developed into a quality starter, good enough that there was actually some talk about him and Leon Hall being the league’s best duo of corners in 2009. Joseph is 5-11, 190 pounds and is coming 0ff a 42 tackle, 3 INT season and did pull in 6 interceptions back in 2009.

Carlos Rogers, Washington Redskins – A 7 year veteran, coming off a 54 tackle, 2 interception season. Rogers is 6-0, 189 pounds and a notch or two below Joseph talent-wise but should be a cheaper alternative.

Richard Marshall, Carolina Panthers – The Jets had some rumored interest in Marshall last off-season before trading for Cromartie. He is a 6 year veteran is coming off a few pretty good seasons in Carolina. Marshall had 3 interceptions and 88 tackles last year, and is 5-11 189 pounds. He should cost around the same as the Rogers.

Chris Carr, Baltimore Ravens – A 7 year veteran who was a solid, consistent starter for Baltimore last year. He finished with 61 tackles and 2 interceptions and is 5-10 182 pound. Carr also has value as a returner. He should be in the same price range as both Rogers and Marshall.

Fabian Washington, Baltimore Ravens – A 7 year veteran who would be a cheaper option and projects to more of a nickelback. He is 5’11 175 pounds and finished with 31 tackles and 8 passes defensed last year.

New York Jets Move Training Camp To Florham Park

As expected, the New York Jets have announced they will move this year’s training camp to the team facility in Florham Park, New Jersey instead of traveling to Cortland, New York for the third straight year. The decision makes sense considering how chaotic everything is expected to be in the coming weeks as the lockout ends. Unfortunately, Cortland will not receive the normal economic boom they do from the Jets coming to town, however the commute will now be easier for many local fans to see their team practice.

Rex Ryan has always been a big advocate of getting his team away from the local distractions, yet this is a necessary sacrifice that comes with such a long lockout. Many teams around the league will likely be making a similar decision.

The Jets are planning to resume their partnership with Cortland in 2012, which means a Florham Park training camp should be a one time thing.

Start looking for your hotels in Morristown and Hanover…

NBA Draft Reaction: Knicks Surprise, Nets Get Steal, Kemba Hungry

TOJ at SB Nation NY with an interview with Kemba Walker on his thoughts on going to Charlotte and being passed over by 8 teams.

A closer look at Knicks picks Iman Shumpert and Josh Harrellson

Thoughts on the Nets trading for Marshon Brooks

Shumpert wasn’t initially a popular pick because he isn’t a big name guy and it seemed like a reach considering where he was being projected to be drafted. However, considering he won’t have the pressure to come in and immediately start, there is no reason he can’t develop properly behind Chauncey Billups while competing with Toney Douglas and Landry Fields for minutes. Shumpert has plenty of potential, especially to develop into a quality defender at 6-6 and with a 42 inch vertical.

Harrellson provides some much needed size at 6-10, 275 pounds. He doesn’t exactly have the strongest competition to make the roster, as the Knicks are thin on big men, so he may have a chance to stick.

Personally, I loved the Nets trade to get Brooks. They needed to provide a scorer in the backcourt with DeRon Williams and Brooks has a high ceiling, with the potential to develop in a star as the Nets move to Brooklyn.

New York Jets Need Breakout Season From Keller & Greene

For the past two years the New York Jets have been known for and for a large part, been carried by their defense…these are the type of things that happen when Rex Ryan is your head coach. However, the offense made substantial strides in last year behind quarterback Mark Sanchez, who was supported by one of the best offensive lines in football, a playmaking group of wide receivers and a better than expected season from running back LaDainian Tomlinson.

In year three of Sanchez’s career, with likely changes coming to his group of receivers and Tomlinson now a year older and ready to embrace a third-down role, he will need more production from tight end Dustin Keller and running back Shonn Greene.

In 2010, Greene was a mild disappointment only finishing with 766 rushing yards and 2 touchdowns. However, he never really received the chance to be a lead back on a week to week basis. This will be his year to prove he can carry the load as a number one back and considering his talent, the team’s willingness to run the ball, and the Jets offensive line, there is no reason he can’t run for 1200+ yards. With Tomlinson in a reduced role, Joe McKnight a question mark, and Bilal Powell only a rookie, the Jets need Greene to lead the way on the running game that has been their trademark the past two years.

When they throw ball, Dustin Keller should have the opportunity to become the number two option behind either Santonio Holmes or Braylon Edwards. When he had this chance in weeks 1-4 last year, Keller racked up 19 receptions, 254 yards, and 5 touchdowns. If he could produce at that level for an entire season, he will be the Pro-Bowl tight end, he has the talent to be. Keller struggled to get opportunities once Holmes returned from suspension last season and after week 4 didn’t score a single touchdown the rest of the year.

For the Jets offense to continue to move in the right direction, it is crucial young players like Keller and Greene reach their potential this season when provided with bigger roles.

NBA Draft: Where Will Kemba Walker End Up? Other Draft Rumors

TOJ at SB Nation NY on where local product Kemba Walker could end up in tonight’s draft.

The draft rumor mill is in full swing —

  • Walker could go anywhere from the Raptors at number 5 all the way to the Pacers at 15.
  • Despite Cleveland having the 1 and 4 pick, they are expected to be active for a third lottery pick. Good for them attempting to expedite their rebuilding process.
  • Tony Parker, Steve Nash, George Hill, Jonny Flynn, Monta Ellis, Andre Iguodala, and Eric Maynor are all names being thrown in around in trade rumors. However, I don’t expect the Knicks to make a move for a veteran.
  • There is such a wide range of players the Knicks could end up with at #17, it is hard to project. I wouldn’t be shocked if somebody like Jimmer Fredette or Walker fell to around 14 or 15, if they made a splash by moving up. However, I’d personally rather see them trade up to get Chris Singleton, who will probably be off the board by number 9.
  • It sounds like Cleveland is just about locked into Kyrie Irving with the first pick but Minnesota with the 2nd pick? Well, that is anybody’s guess…could be Derrick Williams, could be Enes Kanter, or they could trade out.

New York Jets Free Agency: The Other Guys

There has been no shortage of talk about the appropriate fates in free agency for Santonio Holmes, Braylon Edwards, Antonio Cromartie, and Brad Smith…but what about the other unrestricted free agents the New York Jets have to make decisions on?

Shaun Ellis – Personally, I think it is a smart investment to bring Ellis back on a one or two year deal to help him mentor rookie Muhammad Wilkerson. He is also a leader in the locker room who clearly has plenty left in tank, as evidenced by his performance against New England in the playoffs last year. Unfortunately, I could see the Jets not matching his contract demands, especially after his request for a restructured deal last season didn’t happen.

  • TOJ Votes – Bring him back.
  • TOJ Predicts – Jets let him walk.

Brodney Pool – He came on strong at the end of last year and finally began to look like the playmaker the Jets signed him to be. Pool should command a good amount of interest in the open market, so it will be up to the Jets to determine how much of an upgrade he is over Eric Smith.

  • TOJ Votes – Bring him back.
  • TOJ Predicts – Jets bring him back.

Trevor Pryce – Rex Ryan compared Muhammad Wilkerson to a young Trevor Pryce and he would be a cheaper, although less productive, mentor to the rookie than Shaun Ellis. I could very easily see the Jets choosing to bring him back over Ellis in order to save money.

  • TOJ Votes – Let him walk.
  • TOJ Predicts – Jets bring him back.

Tony Richardson – Likely to retire and if he decides not to, the Jets aren’t going to bring him back considering they have John Conner ready to step into the starting role.

  • TOJ Votes – Retire T-Rich, you had a great career.
  • TOJ Predicts – T-Rich retires.

Steve Weatherford – Despite an inconsistent performance in the playoffs, Weatherford was still pretty good overall last year, especially at pinning teams deep. Considering the musical chairs they played at punter before Weatherford, I think the Jets will bring him back…besides, who else is bringing the shake weights to camp?

  • TOJ Votes – Bring him back.
  • TOJ Predicts – Jets bring him back.

Wayne Hunter – Originally it looked like he could compete with Vladimir Ducasse for the starting right tackle spot. I now think because of the lockout, the Jets will opt to bring Damien Woody back and have Ducasse spend a year learning behind him at the position, which likely means good-bye to Hunter.

  • TOJ Votes – Let him walk, spend the money on Woody instead.
  • TOJ Predicts – Jets let him walk.

Lance Laury – A special teamer, who was fairly quiet on special teams for the Jets last season. However, they are very thin at linebacker.

  • TOJ Votes – Bring him back.
  • TOJ Predicts – Jets let him walk to give more of a chance to players like Josh Mauga.

Eric Smith – A versatile safety, who is also very good at special teams. The Jets will ultimately have to choose between him and Brodney Pool and I think Pool projects better as a starter opposite Jim Leonhard.

  • TOJ Votes – Let him walk.
  • TOJ Predicts – Jets let him walk.

Drew Coleman – Struggles in coverage, but he is a playmaker at the nickel back position. The decision on Antonio Cromartie could go a long way to determining his fate. He isn’t helped by the fact that the coaching staff likely wants to give more reps to Kyle Wilson, who was a first round pick last year.

  • TOJ Votes – Bring him back.
  • TOJ Predicts – Jets let him walk to give Kyle Wilson and Marquice Cole more playing time.

James Ihedigbo – An effective blitzer in many of the Jets packages and a good special teams player, who seems to be a Rex Ryan guy.

  • TOJ Votes – Bring him back.
  • TOJ Predicts – Jets bring him back.

Nick Folk – Inconsistent at times last year but I don’t see the Jets just handing the job off to Nick Novak.

  • TOJ Votes – Bring him back.
  • TOJ Predicts – Jets bring him back.

As for Kellen Clemens, I think we all know he is gone. Perhaps if Justin McCariens didn’t have a bad day back in 2007, things would have went differently…

NBA Draft Preview: Will Knicks Make A Major Move?

A whole mess of NBA Draft Coverage

TOJ at SB Nation NY on why the lack of elite talent should make for an eventful night tomorrow

The Knicks plans for the 17 pick remain up in the air

Could the Knicks deal for a veteran point guard?

Personally, I don’t think the Knicks will make a move for a veteran point guard. I am not crazy about the thought of trading Toney Douglas for Jonny Flynn, as I think Douglas is already comfortable with the system and can the hold the fort better for another year as Chauncey Billups’ backup. Flynn has injury concerns and hasn’t been anywhere near as productive the past two years as Douglas.

Even though his scoring would be exciting, the Knicks can’t be giving up assets to move up to obtain Jimmer Fredette. They can’t afford another major defensive liability. If they are adamant about going with a scorer, I’d rather see them go with Marshon Brooks who has more potential to develop into a somewhat decent defender.

Considering their need and who will likely be available, Chris Singleton out of Florida State probably makes the most sense for the Knicks. If he is gone, I don’t have a problem with them looking to Alec Burks or Josh Selby, who Carmelo Anthony is apparently pushing very hard for as fall-backs.

An Inside Look At Jets Camp Lockout

Enjoy the third episode of Sione Pouha’s “Life of a Lockout” series with an inside look at Jets Camp Lockout:

  • Good to hear that Mark Sanchez thinks Kyle Wilson was the most impressive player on the field.
  • Mike DeVito has some serious moves in touch football.
  • How good is your Bart Scott impression? Check out the his new contest…

Also check out some footage from Jerricho Cotchery’s recent surprise birthday party

NFL Free Agent Primer

A quick look around the league at a few intriguing unrestricted free agents at each position, if the 4th year players will be UFAs as expected in the new labor deal —

Quarterback

  • Alex Smith – It sounds like the 49ers will bring him back for another year but the former number one pick should attract some interest.
  • Bruce Gradkowski – Good backup, even though they won’t pursue him, I’d feel much better if he was the Jets number two quarterback than Mark Brunell.
  • Matt Moore – There are rumors the Dolphins could sign him to compete with Chad Henne…yikes.

Running Back

  • Ahmad Bradshaw – It will be interesting to see how much money the Giants will be willing to throw at him. He is an explosive player but has a tough time staying healthy.
  • Ricky Williams/Ronnie Brown – What will the Dolphins backfield look like in 2011?
  • Cedric Benson – Hard to see the Bengals letting him go anywhere, especially since they will likely be starting a rookie quarterback.
  • DeAngelo Williams – A proven big play back who should command a hefty contract on the open market.

Wide Receiver

  • Santonio Holmes/Braylon Edwards/Brad Smith – Mike Tannenbaum just shakes his head.
  • James Jones – Very talented player who could really thrive with a bigger role.
  • Lance Moore – Productive slot receiver with a knack for making big plays.
  • Steve Smith (NYG) – Hard to see the Giants letting him go anywhere.
  • Plaxico Burress – I would guess the Eagles, Rams, or Jets.
  • Randy Moss – Somebody will give him a shot.
  • Sidney Rice – The Vikings will probably give him the money necessary to keep him.
  • Terrell Owens – Still TO…but coming off a very productive season.
  • Steve Breaston – Under the radar a little bit on this FA market but has potential to be a very good number two receiver somewhere.

Tight End

  • Kevin Boss – He had injury issues last year but has been consistently good since becoming a starter.
  • Bo Scaife – Should be able to catch on somewhere outside of Tennessee where he will get more opportunities.
  • Daniel Graham – Good blocking option.

Offensive Line

  • Doug Free – Hard to see Dallas letting him walk after a better than expected year.
  • Jared Gaither – Should be one of the most sought after offensive lineman on the market, as he isn’t expected to re-sign with Baltimore.
  • Jermon Bushrod – He has stated he wants to return to New Orleans but it remains to be seen if the Saints will pay to keep him.

Defensive Line

  • Cullen Jenkins – Brother of Kris…most people don’t expect him back in Green Bay next year.
  • Mathias Kiwanuka – Good pass rushers are always hard to find.
  • Ray Edwards – He isn’t expected back in Minnesota and could provide a solid pass rush to many teams. Cleveland is reportedly very interested in him.

Linebacker

  • Paul Posluszny – He has struggled with injuries but has the potential to be a key part of a young and improving Bills defense.
  • Matt Roth – Don’t be surprised to see the Jets make a run at him.
  • Stephen Tulloch – Had a good year in Tennessee and should be heavily pursued by multiple teams including Detroit and Buffalo.

Secondary

  • Nnamdi Asomugha – He will command a monster contract. Expect the Texans, Redskins, and Eagles all to be in the mix.
  • Antonio Cromartie – Considering how much Rex Ryan loves corners and their defensive system, there is a pretty good chance he will be back despite the high cost.
  • Jonathan Joseph – A quality starter who should get decent money in this market.
  • Carlos Rogers – He could be a good fallback option for the teams who can’t sign Asomugha or Cromartie.

Specials

  • David Akers – The long time Eagle could be testing the market.
  • Ryan Longwell – Another veteran who should find a home somewhere, if not immediately than when training camp starts.