Scouting The AFC East: Miami Dolphins

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First a few updates:

1. Manish Mehta is now also corroborating Rich Cimini’s report about the Jets likely signing defensive end Marques Douglas by the end of the week. Don’t sleep on the importance of this move. It provides a big boost to their overall depth in an area that was lacking it.

2. The Jets have announced six individuals will be added to their Ring of Honor in the New Meadowlands: Weeb Ewbank, Winston Hill, Joe Klecko, Curtis Martin, Don Maynard, and Joe Namath.

3. The Jets have signed undrafted defensive tackle Martin Tevaseu from UNLV.

4. Follow Turn On The Jets on Facebook and Twitter (TurnOnTheJets).

Scouting The AFC East: Miami Dolphins

Our second look at the teams who share the division with the Jets and how they match up with them heading into 2010:

7/19 – http://turnonthejets.com/2010/07/19/scouting-the-afc-east-new-england-patriots-2/

Today – Miami Dolphins

Offense – I always expect Chad Henne’s statistics to look better when referencing them after hearing the things so many football analysts have to say about him. Yet, Henne had 12 touchdowns to 14 interceptions with a 75.2 QB rating en route to a 7-9 Dolphins season. I won’t argue that Henne has a big arm and showed flashes of potential last season, but can we relax a little bit before we crown this guy the next Dan Marino? Just like there is valid questions about Mark Sanchez heading into 2010, there is questions about Henne heading into this season. The Dolphins finally got themselves a receiver by trading for Brandon Marshall, who immediately takes the spot as the best overall receiver in the division. It remains to be seen how the reps will be divided up between Davone Bess, Greg Camarillo, and Brian Hartline alongside Marshall. Anthony Fasano returns as the team’s starting tight end and they added walking personal foul Richie Incognito to compete for the starting guard position. Starting running back Ronnie Brown is returning from a foot injury that caused him to miss the final seven games last season, continuing his career trend of being injury prone. Do you know Brown has one 1,000 yard season in his 5 year career, and it came way back in 2006 when he ran for 1,008 yards?

Ricky Williams stepped up and had a big season in Brown’s absence last year, finishing with 1,121 rushing yards and 13 total touchdowns. I am not sure how reliable he will be in 2010 to duplicate that type of performance, especially considering he is now 33 years old. The real question is how will the Dolphins score points on the Jets without Ted Ginn Jr. on their roster? The first round bust of Vernon Gholston proportions always killed the Jets for some reason. The Dolphins scored 8 touchdowns against the Jets last year and Ginn had 3 of them, along with another from Jason Taylor who is of course now on the Jets. I would be more worried about Brandon Marshall if the Jets didn’t have Darrelle Revis to cover him. Beyond that, I like the Jets matching up Antonio Cromartie and Kyle Wilson against Hartline, Bess, or Camarillo. The Dolphins Wildcatted all over the Jets in their first match-up last year but when Rex Ryan got a second crack at it, the Jets held Brown and Williams to 27 yards rushing each.

PhotobucketDefense The Dolphins signed former Arizona Cardinals linebacker Karlos Dansby to a monster deal, who is coming off a 109 tackle and 1 sack season in 2009. Miami parted ways with Jason Taylor and Joey Porter, the team’s two leaders in sacks last season. They are hopeful that Dansby along with second year player Cameron Wake will adequately fill the 16 sacks left behind by Taylor and Porter. They drafted Jared Odrick from Penn State in the first round of the NFL Draft, who should provide a nice boost an already talented collection of defensive lineman. In the secondary, the Dolphins have two young corners in Sean Smith and Vontae Davis, although they have a pro-bowler at safety in Yeremiah Bell. Mark Sanchez had his best statistical game of the 2009 season against the Dolphins defense and as unit they struggled to cover Braylon Edwards, who had a big game in both of the team’s match-ups.

The Dolphins were only 24th in the NFL last year in pass defense, as they had a propensity to give up big plays down the field. They should improve if Smith and Davis make strides in the right direction. Their rushing defense was ranked 18th in the NFL in 2009, yet Dansby and Odrick should help that ranking.

Special Teams – Ginn Jr. won’t be back to torment the Jets on kick returns in 2010. Dan Carpenter is the Dolphins kicker and is coming off a very good season. The Jets did pull off two fake punts on Miami in one game last season.

Overall – The Dolphins swept the Jets last year, thanks to a bizarre no show from the Jets defense in the first meeting, which included one of the league’s worst receivers beating the league’s best corner deep and that same receiver taking two kicks back for a touchdown in the team’s second meeting. A loss is a loss, however and Rex Ryan is still yet to beat the Dolphins as a head coach. The games between these teams are always going to be high intensity, slug fests. Part of me thinks the Dolphins were two fluke wins away from being a 5-11 team in 2009 and they aren’t a serious competitor to the Jets for an AFC East title. Yet a bigger part of me, recognizes the Dolphins have a good amount of talent spread across their roster and they went toe to toe with the best teams in the NFL last season. I have a feeling the December 12th match-up in East Rutherford will go a long way to determining who wins the AFC East in 2010.

2009 Jets vs Dolphins Highlights

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

With The 29 Selection In The 2nd Edition Of The Fanball Mock Draft, The Jets Select…

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First a few updates:

1. Follow Turn On The Jets on Facebook…we have been on a nice run of adding fans the past week and we need to keep that momentum going because Santonio Holmes promised me he’d still be a 1,000 yard receiver in 12 games if we could get 300 fans by May 1st.

2. A reminder that the first edition of “TOJ: The Podcast” will be premiering early next week, with draft coverage and opinions on the Jets off-season thus far. I will also be updating the TOJ Facebook page throughout the first round of the draft with my witty thoughts and opinions.

3. Kellen Clemens signed his RFA tender today. Depending on what happens with the Jets signing Mark Brunell (which depends on what happens with Jason Taylor) the Jets could shop Clemens around for a 6th or 7th round draft pick if they don’t want him to remain their #2 quarterback. Personally, I’d like to see them upgrade their backup position but they can likely survive with Clemens as their #2 for another year, as long as Sanchez only misses games against teams like the ’09 Bucs.

4. The Dolphins are reportedly shopping Ted Ginn Jr. The frustrating thing about Ginn is that he is terrible 14 games a year but then finds a way to kill the Jets…the guy had 3 touchdowns in 2 games against them last year…and 0 in his other 14 games…are you kidding me? Get this guy out of the division or trade him to the Jets for a Rex Ryan old pizza stained Jets sweatshirt so he can be our #5 receiver and return kicks for us.

5. Updates on the Jason Taylor situation: His agent (who apparently is pushing for him to come to New York) is playing it off like Taylor has always really liked the Jets fans because of their passion and was just teasing them…c’mon now, we aren’t stupid. We understand he hated us and we hated him right back, if he gets 10 sacks for the Jets this year and helps us win a Super Bowl then all is forgiven or he could go back to Miami, go 7-9 and have 4 sacks.

6. Look out for the NFL schedule this Thursday or Friday.

7. NBA Playoffs start this weekend and as of right now the only match-up that is locked in Thunder vs. Lakers…whooo, that is going to be a great match-up with Durant going against Kobe.

With The 29 Selection In The 2nd Edition Of The Fanball Mock Draft, The Jets Select…

If you have been following the site, you know us Fanball bloggers did a mock draft earlier in the year, in that edition I selected corner Kyle Wilson…but since that was on March 1st and things have changed since then (see trading for Antonio Cromartie), here is what I am thinking this time around:

Here is the current big board:

1. Rams – Sam Bradford, QB, Oklahoma
2. Lions – Ndamukong Suh, DT, Nebraska
3. Bucs – Gerald McCoy, DT, Oklahoma
4. Skins – Eric Berry, S, Tennessee
5. Chiefs – Dan Williams, DT, Tennessee
6. Seahawks – Russell Okung, OT, Oklahoma State
7. Browns – Joe Haden, CB, Florida
8. Raiders – Rolando McClain, LB, Alabama
9. Bills – Brian Bulaga, OT, Iowa
10. Jags – Dez Bryant, WR, Oklahoma State
11. Broncos (from Chicago) – Earl Thomas, S, Texas
12. Dolphins – Brandon Graham, DE, Michigan
13. San Francisco 49ers – Trent Williams, OT, Oklahoma
14. Seattle Seahawks (from Denver) – Derrick Morgan, DE, Georgia Tech
15. New York Giants – Bruce Campbell, OT, Maryland
16. Tennessee Titans – Jason Pierre-Paul, DE, South Florida
17. San Francisco 49ers (from Carolina) – C.J. Spiller, RB, Clemson
18. Pittsburgh Steelers – Mike Iupati, OG, Idaho
19. Atanta Falcons – Sean Weatherspoon, LB, Missouri
20. Houston Texans – Kyle Wilson, CB, Boise State
21. Cincinnati Bengals – Jermaine Gresham, TE, Oklahoma
22. New England Patriots – Sergio Kindle, LB, Texas
23. Green Bay Packers – Taylor Mays, S, USC
24. Philadelphia Eagles – Marukice Pouncey, C, Florida
25. Baltimore Ravens – Devin McCourty, CB, Rutgers
26. Arizona Cardinals – Ricky Sapp, LB, Clemson
27. Dallas Cowboys – Anthony Davis, OT, Rutgers

28. San Diego Chargers – Terrence Cody, DT, Alabama

That leaves me very happy to select…Penn State Defensive Tackle, Jared Odrick.

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If there is one spot the Jets currently need help and youth it is on the defensive line. Currently, they have Kris Jenkins (30 years old) at nose tackle, with Shaun Ellis (32 years old) at defensive end, along with Mike DeVito currently penciled in as the other defensive end since the Jets haven’t resigned last year’s starter Marques Douglas yet. DeVito is miscast as a starter and should be nothing more than a rotational player. Beyond that, the Jets currently have no depth behind Ellis and DeVito at end. Their top backup on the line is Sione Pouha (31 years old), who will see most of his time spelling Jenkins at nose tackle. Odrick is a versatile guy who will bring the needed youth and depth to the Jets front and likely have a good chance of starting at end opposite Ellis. He could also be the long term replacement for Jenkins at nose tackle. Odrick is 6’5, 304 lbs and last year at Penn State had 43 tackles and 7 sacks. Odrick has been rapidly moving the draft board and the Jets would be lucky to get him at 29. He has visited the team but I don’t know if the Jets interest is strong enough to trade up for him.

Odrick Highlights

Five Saturday Thoughts On Who The Jets Could Draft

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First a few updates:

1. Follow Turn On The Jets on Facebook because you need me to sort out all the top Jets links on a daily basis and throw in my witty commentary on them.

2. I know we haven’t been too crazy with the draft coverage here at TOJ. Honestly, the draft loses a little interest when your team is picking at #29 and isn’t linked to rumors about trading up for a big name. However, here are a few things we have on the horizon. First off, the second edition of the Fanball Mock Draft is currently going on and the Jets pick is coming up soon. Second, S Gato and myself will be recording the first ever TOJ Podcast edition next week, which will include plenty of draft coverage. Third, during round one of the NFL Draft next Thursday night, I will be live blogging (actually just twittering/updating the facebook page) throughout the entire first round with my thoughts, culminating with my reaction on the Jets pick at #29. Also on April 26th, I will be writing a AFC East Draft Wrap Up for Fanball, which I will link up here.

3. Apparently Mark Brunell is all about signing with the Jets…who isn’t these days? While on the other hand, Kellen Clemens has been brooding a little bit about likely spending the rest of his career as a backup. Unfortunately, any fatih anybody had left in Clemens as a competent starter in the NFL was erased last year when he looked erratic as hell against the Bills and Bucs. If the Jets want Brunell they will have to wait until July 23rd to sign him if Jason Taylor ends up joining the team because of the Final Eight rules. It isn’t until that date the restrictions are lifted off them in their pursuit of free agents.

Five Saturday Thoughts On The Jets Defense

1. Rich Cimini recently threw around the names of some pass rushers the Jets could add to their defense via the draft if the Jason Taylor deal doesn’t end up getting done. He mentions Brandon Graham (Michigan), Sergio Kindle (Texas), and Jerry Hughes (TCU). Here is a little more information on the three of them (Courtesy of www.nfldraftscout.com):

  • Graham – Ranked #1 Outside Linebacker…6’2, 268 pounds…26 TFLs and 10.5 sacks in 2009…Senior Bowl MVP (2 sacks, 1 forced fumble)…Projected Mid 1st round to early second round.
  • Kindle – Ranked #2 Outside Linebacker…6’3, 250 pounds…17 TFLs, 3 sacks in 2009 (2.5 sacks in national championship game)…Projected Mid 1st round to early second round.
  • Hughes – Ranked as #4 Outside Linebacker…6’2, 255 pounds…11.5 sacks in 2009…Projected Mid 1st round to early second round…Ran 4.65 40 yard dash.

2. Other names that have been frequently linked to the Jets on the defensive side of the ball are Jared Odrick of Penn State and Ricky Sapp of Clemson. Odrick is a defensive lineman whose stock has been rising. He is listed as a defensive tackle but you would think the Jets would look to use him at defensive end in their system with Jenkins and Pouha rotating at NT. Sapp is an outside linebacker who is considered a solid second round prospect and could be somebody the Jets trade back for if they don’t like what they see at #29. Mel Kiper Jr. also recently had the Jets taking USC defensive end Everson Griffen in his mock draft, so he could be another guy to keep an eye on. He is 6’3, 280 pounds, and recorded 7 sacks last season.

Photobucket3. On offense, it remains a pipe dream of mine that somehow Dez Bryant will slip within to reach of the Jets. Don’t you think Mike Tannenbaum would get a little anxious if Bryant was available at say #20, with the Patriots picking at #22? I would hate to see that guy opposite Randy Moss with Wes Welker eventually back in the slot. There hasn’t been a ton of talk recently about the Jets and other receivers but if the defensive player they want isn’t available at #29 and somebody like Golden Tate or Demaryius Thomas is around, it might be hard for the Jets to pass on that kind of talent.

4. Outside of spending a 1st or 2nd round pick on a receiver, I expect this to be a defensive dominated draft by the Jets. Rex Ryan watched the front office take three offensive players last year and you know he is anxious to add some new, young pieces on his side of the ball. The Jets still need another defensive lineman, pass rusher, and corner to improve their depth and I expect all three positions to be targeted during draft weekend.

5. I would expect to see the Jets grab a corner with a mid-round pick. How could you feel good with being one injury away from having Dwight Lowery starting and Drew Coleman at nickel back?

A Little Rewind To Last Year

Pre-Draft Thoughts On The AFC

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First a few updates:

1. I will be catching up on the “2010” Draft Section today, www.thejetsblog.com has been ripping through those potential prospects the past few days. Speaking of the draft, Clemson OLB Ricky Sapp is visiting today. As I said yesterday, he could be a target for the Jets at #29 or they could trade back a few spots and look to grab him. Here is a look at his highlight tape:

2. Tim Graham had a few interesting pieces up on his AFC East Blog today, one of which discussed the teams that passed up Rex Ryan as a potential head coach…I must say I am happy that Buffalo decided to stay with Dick Jauron these past few years instead of hiring Rex and now they are stuck with Chan Gailey. He also discusses the potential of Syracuse receiver Mike Williams, who I am familiar with because I covered Syracuse football for Fan University during my undergraduate years. I absolutely agree with the assessment given by the scout in Graham’s article, Williams is a first round talent and he is going to be available in the mid-rounds because of questions about his character. He could be a guy the Jets take a risk on if they don’t end up adding a receiver in round one or two, who turns into an absolute steal.

3. Follow Turn On The Jets on facebook…because we are only 2 fans from 250 and you want the honor of being #250.

4. Eric Allen of www.newyorkjets.com compiled this list of players visiting Florham Park this week as the Jets prepare for the draft:

  • OT Anthony Davis – Rutgers
  • RB Montario Hardesty – Tennessee
  • CB Kareem Jackson – Alabama
  • RB Ryan Matthews – Fresno State
  • CB Devin McCourty – Rutgers
  • DL Jared Odrick – Penn State
  • DT Cory Peters – Kentucky
  • OL Maurkice Pouncey – Florida
  • CB Patrick Robinson – Florida State
  • OLB Ricky Sapp – Clemson
  • TE Micky Shuler Jr. – Penn State
  • S Major Wright  – Florida

Pre-Draft Thoughts On The AFC

A quick look at where all the teams in the AFC currently stand heading into the draft:

Division Title Contenders

New England Patriots – As I covered in my team to beat in the AFC East article, the Patriots haven’t had a very active off-season but are overloaded with draft picks and remain the primary competition to the Jets for a division title. They still need help at running back, in the secondary and need somebody to step up to fill the void of Wes Welker until he returns from injury but with Brady and Belichick they remain a playoff caliber team.

Baltimore Ravens – Regardless of the season the Bengals put together last year, I see the Ravens as the team to beat in the AFC North. The only thing holding them back last year was the struggles of their passing game. However, I think Joe Flacco will play better this season than he did at the end of last year, especially with the addition of Anquan Boldin. Beyond that, if they get something out of Donte Stallworth they could have a real strong three wide set with Boldin, Stallworth, and Derrick Mason. On defense they added Cory Redding to their line rotation but still could use some help at corner.

Indiannapolis Colts – Peyton Manning = double digit victories and most likely another AFC South title. They will be also be getting Anthony Gonzalez back at receiver to add to Reggie Wayne, Austin Collie, and Pierre Garcon.

San Diego Chargers – They remain the best team in their division. However, they need to find more balance on offense and improve their running defense.

PhotobucketNew York Jets – I do think the Jets defense will be even better in year two under Rex Ryan and with the addition of Antonio Cromartie. On offense, Mark Sanchez should keep improving and allow them to have a very good chance to overtake the Patriots for the division title.

Pittsburgh Steelers – If Ben Rothlisberger’s legal situation is under control, it is hard not to expect to see the Steelers battling for that AFC North title again. They made some smaller moves like adding Antwaan Randle El, Arnaz Battle, Larry Foote, and Will Allen which will improve their overall depth and special teams.

Cincinnati Bengals – I know the Bengals won the AFC North last year but for some reason I have tough time seeing them repeat as champs. They faded down the stretch last season and aren’t going to sneak up on anybody this year. However, Antonio Bryant was a nice addition on offense and they can run the ball and play defense so I could be wrong.

Playoff Contenders

Miami Dolphins – Miami hasn’t done much this off-season outside of adding Karlos Dansby to their defense. They are still weak at receiver and have Ronnie Brown coming off a serious injury. Regardless if they keep running the football the way they did last year and the defense continues to improve they could be back over .500.

Denver Broncos – They haven’t done much this off-season except add a potential quarterback controversy by bringing in Brady Quinn. Also when they trade Brandon Marshall they will be getting rid of a headache but losing their top playmaker on offense.

Houston Texans – Every single year everybody says this is the year the Texans will make the jump to being a playoff team and every year they fall just a little short. Yes, they have plenty of talent but when are they going to win a big game? Every time they have a chance to make a move towards being a playoff team, they lose. They also have questions at running back since Steve Slaton can’t hold on to the football.

Tennessee Titans – If Vince Young plays the way he did after he took over for Kerry Collins for a full season, the Titans could be back in the mix as a threat to the Colts for the division title.

Jacksonville Jaguars – A young team who overachieved a little bit last year. They are stuck in a tough division but will be a difficult match-up on a weekly basis. Aaron Kampman should improve their pass rush.

Likely Basement Dwellers

Cleveland Browns – They have actually had a pretty good off-season thus far by bringing in some quality veterans like Sheldon Brown, Ben Watson, Scott Fujita, Chris Gocong and getting rid of their two ineffective quarterbacks. They also have a high amount of draft picks this year. Yet, how many games can they win with Jake Delhomme or Seneca Wallace behind center?

Buffalo Bills – No quarterback. A weak offensive line. Questions in the front seven of their defense. They are looking like the worst team in the AFC East by a few games.

Kansas City Chiefs – I feel bad that Thomas Jones is likely going to be stuck on a 5-11 team next year.

Oakland Raiders – It is always entertaining to watch what the Raiders do in the draft. They are assembling a nice All-Bust team on offense led by JaMarcus Russell, Darius Heyward-Bey, and Darren McFadden.

Mike Williams Highlights

Jets Have Plenty Of Work To Do In April

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First a few updates:

1. How about me getting off from both class and work today to enjoy this weather? I have moved my office (my laptop and myself) outside and just might have to double up on posts today since I didn’t post on Saturday or Sunday. I can save looking for a job and catching up on schoolwork for another day.

2. What was with the Yankees pitching last night? Let’s not get all crazy about one game but nobody ever likes losing to the Red Sox, especially with that sorry excuse for a line-up they assembled this year. 9 runs? Go buy yourself and the bullpen some Subway sandwiches and get it together CC.

3. NBA Playoffs is starting up soon and I couldn’t be more pumped about it. I am still deciding which teams to adopt this year, considering the Knicks never make the playoffs. I am probably going with the Thunder in the West (Durant and Westbrook are a dirty combination) and anybody who is playing the Celtics in the East. I am torn about the Cavs because I love watching LeBron rip it up but I am kind of pulling for a first round exit for them so he is more inclined to head over to New York next year.

4. Follow Turn On The Jets on Facebook, because I promised Rex Ryan we’d have 300 fans by the end of April and we are still 54 away.

5. What the hell were the Eagles thinking with that trade? They traded their Pro-Bowl quarterback to a division rival, who is a quarterback away from being a good team and now has a coach who has a reputation for getting the most out of his quarterbacks…really smart move. I love how everybody in Philly is saying “bring on the Kevin Kolb era” like the guy didn’t only start 2 games last year and only win 1 of them…against the Chiefs, I could have started against the Chiefs last year and won a game. I am looking forward to Philly fans booing their faces off at Kolb when the Eagles start 2-5 and then pelting Andy Reid with snowballs in December as they finish up a 6-10 season.

Jets Have Plenty Of Work To Do In April

PhotobucketThe most encouraging news of the weekend was that the Jets are bringing in former Cardinals kicker Neil Rackers for a visit tomorrow.Most people around the organization seem to think it is a done deal that Rackers will be in a Jets uniform by the week’s end because let’s face Mike Tannenbaum always gets who he wants. Rich Cimini at The Jets Stream did a comparison of Jay Feely’s and Rackers numbers from the past few years and found some encouraging things

  • Over the last 2 years, Rackers was 41/45 on field goals (91%), while Feely was 54/64 (84%).
  • Rackers was 21/24 outdoors (88%), while Feely was 23/29 (79%)
  • In games where the margin was 0-7 points, Rackers was 10/10 and Feely was 17/20…they both had bad moments in the playoffs last year with Feely missing a pair of FGs in the AFC Championship Game and Rackers having an ugly shank when he had a chance to beat the Packers in regulation during the wild-card round.
  • They are both going to be 34 at the beginning of the year.

Doesn’t sound like a bad trade off, right? Fortunately, it looks like the NIck Folk era is only going to last a few weeks. Speaking of Cimini he wrote an article in today’s Daily News speculating about the Jets being active before the draft and during the draft to improve their roster. He doesn’t name any specific moves or players they could target but continues to insist the Jets aren’t interested in Brandon Marshall, which is a good thing as far as I’m concerned. What other work could the Jets do this month to improve their roster before OTAs start?

PhotobucketI think they should pull the trigger on bringing back Laveranues Coles. It doesn’t seem like he is generating much interest in the free agent market so the Jets should be able to grab him cheap. Bringing Coles in gives the Jets a little more flexibility on when they have to target a receiver in the draft because as it stands now they will likely draft one in either round one or two. Coles could be a productive slot receiver for a year or two and be a solid mentor to a late round pick.

Cimini mentions Tannenbaum could look over the RFA market and make a move on somebody but at this point I’m not sure who is really available for the Jets to target. There a few lower tier offensive lineman the Jets could look at add for depth. On the unrestricted market, the Jets could consider former Cowboys safety Ken Hamlin who was recently cut and could provide a little more competition/talent to the safety position. Darren Sharper remains a distant possibility because the Jets would have to get very creative financially to bring him in under the final four rules. The Jets may also look to add a veteran quarterback if they aren’t satisfied with Kellen Clemens (and how could you be) but the pickings are slim with people like Kyle Boller, Daunte Culpepper, Josh McCown, and Patrick Ramsey on the market.

One place I could definitely see Tannenbaum making move is the draft. The Jets are kind of stuck in no man’s land at #29, which could lead to either a trade up on trade down to acquire more picks. Jared Odrick has been a favorite of mock drafters for the Jets but there are rumors the Browns are interested in him at #7…yes, #7 so it may be hard to see Odrick fall anywhere near the Jets. However, if he does or Dez Bryant does for whatever reason, I could see Mike T making a big move to grab one of those two guys. Beyond that, unless there is a defensive lineman/outside linebacker or receiver the Jets really fall in love with available at #29, expect the Jets to trade back and look to improve their depth at multiple positions.

I would say most people agree the Jets needs list, currently looks something like:

  1. Defensive Line – Especially considering Marques Douglas hasn’t been brought back yet.
  2. Outside Linebacker – They need another pass rusher, if they don’t add a defensive lineman who could get to the quarterback.
  3. Wide Receiver – They still need a #3 guy behind Braylon and Cotchery.
  4. Secondary – They need better depth at corner and safety.
  5. Offensive Line – They need depth and players to develop behind Faneca and Woody.
  6. Veteran backup QB – It couldn’t hurt.

Neil Rackers: Fantasy File

Calm Down About Last Night, #28 Is On The Way