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This is the fifth installment of our position-by-position breakdown for theNew York Jets as we head to the April 28-30 draft:

Position: Offensive line

Current personnel: Ryan Clady, James Carpenter, Nick Mangold, Brian Winters, Breno Giacomini, Brent Qvale, Ben Ijalana, Wesley Johnson,Dakota Dozier, Jarvis Harrison, Craig Watts, Lawrence Okoye, Luke Marquardt.

Key newcomers: Clady.

Departures: D'Brickashaw Ferguson (retired), Willie Colon (free agent).

Projected starters:Clady, Carpenter, Mangold, Winters, Giacomini.

Overview: A once-formidable offensive line (circa 2008-2010) has eroded because of neglect and poor drafting. The Jets are one of only three teams that haven't drafted a lineman in the first round since 2006, when they picked Ferguson and Mangold. It's time to start replenishing the pipeline. Only one starter -- Carpenter at left guard -- factors into the long-term plan. Assuming he's healthy, Clady is a nice stop-gap at left tackle, replacing Ferguson. Clady will be 30 by opening day and has a recent history of major injuries, so you can't count on him beyond this year. Mangold's window is closing. On the right side, Winters and Giacomini are marginal starters. The Jets need to come out of this draft with at least two linemen who can take over starting jobs in 2017. They could take a lineman with the 20th pick, which wouldn't bode well for Winters or Giacomini.

The last offensive lineman drafted: A year ago, the Jets picked Harrison in the fifth round, and he spent most of the season on the practice squad. In 2013 and 2014, they drafted four linemen in the mid to late rounds, none of whom have panned out -- an indictment of the old scouting department.

Potential targets (projected round)

 

  • Taylor Decker, Ohio State (first round): He's generally regarded as the fourth-best tackle in the draft. There's a chance the Big Ten offensive lineman of the year could fall to the Jets at 20. Decker (6-foot-7, 310 pounds) played left tackle in college, but many believe he projects to right tackle in the NFL. He's a nasty run blocker; the Buckeyes averaged a conference-best 7.4 yards per carry on runs outside the left tackle last season, according to Pro Football Focus. Decker was a solid pass protector on the college level (two sacks allowed), but he may not have the athleticism to handle the left side in the league. He wouldn't be a sexy pick for the Jets, but he'd upgrade the talent level on the line.

  •  

  • Germain Ifedi, Texas A&M (first round): Suddenly, Ifedi is a hot name. It's amazing how that happens, isn't it? He intrigued talent evaluators because of his massive body (6-foot-6 324 pounds) and long arms (36 inches). He's also an excellent athlete, but he needs a lot of technique work. He allowed five sacks and was charged with 12 penalties as a right tackle last season, per PFF, but he can slide inside to guard. He has a high ceiling, but he'd be a reach at 20 because he'll need time.

  •  

  • Jason Spriggs, Indiana (first/second round): Spriggs recently visited the Jets. He's one of the better athletes among the tackles, ideal in a zone-blocking scheme (the Jets are mainly a man-blocking team). He had only two penalties and three sacks allowed in 1,100 snaps last season, per PFF. He could play right tackle for a year and switch to the left side. He'd be a great pick in the second round (51), but he'll probably be off the board by then.

Need factor (based on a scale of 1 to 10): 8.

>     http://espn.go.com/blog/new-york-jets/post/_/id/59885/jets-aging-offensive-line-needs-infusion-of-young-talent

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There’s been an asterisk commonly associated with Ryan Clady‘s name whenever it’s been mentioned in relation to his profession.

  • Ryan Clady is a Top 10 left tackle*
  • Ryan Clady can absolutely replace the Jets recently-retired left tackle D’Brickashaw Ferguson*
  • Ryan Clady makes the Jets offensive line better than a year ago*

You name it, list it, say it, and that little six-pointed star always follows. . .

* When healthy

And at least right now, he is, according to the man who traded for him earlier this month.“He’s good to go,” Jets GM Mike Maccagnan said.

Originally a first-round pick by the Broncos in the 2008 NFL draft, it didn’t take long for Clady to become a force on Denver’s offensive line. During his seven years with the team, Clady was voted to four Pro Bowls, two first-team All-Pro teams and was a staple protecting Denver’s quarterback’s blind sides for years.

Until most recently, when injuries derailed a career that seemed destined for Canton.

In 2013, Clady suffered a Lisfranc injury and was subsequently placed on the season-ending injured reserve. In 2015, Clady tore his ACL, and was subsequently placed on the season-ending injured reserve. Since 2013, Clady has appeared in just 18 of a potential 48 games.The Jets believe those injuries are behind him. That’s a big reason New York acquired him via trade earlier this month.“Obviously, with Ryan, I think what we’re doing is bringing him along,” Maccagnan said at his pre-draft press conference. “Like we would with any player coming off an injury. We’re just taking our time with him.

“He’s still, even though he’s coming off the injury, you still want to make sure he’s (good) in terms of the rehab process and building everything back up.”Needing a replacement for Ferguson, Clady, even with his injury history, was the best option out there for New York. Ferguson officially stepped away from the game more than a month into free agency, thus, the best names on the open market had already signedwith new teams.So the Jets were left with a choice– gamble on an injured Clady who, when healthy, is one of the game’s best. . . or gamble on a healthy alternative that wouldn’t come close to Clady’s on-field production.

New York chose the former, and is optimistic it made the right call. Now, though, the Jets are just trying to take their time to ensure there are no setbacks.“He’s on schedule and fine with all of that stuff,” Maccagnan said. “It’s probably more us going slow with him as opposed to him not necessarily being cleared to go.”And by doing that, the Jets hope they remove any doubt, and asterisks, surrounding Clady’s name.

>       http://jetswire.usatoday.com/2016/04/24/jets-say-ryan-clady-is-good-to-go-fully-cleared-for-football-activity/

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Over the Past Two Drafts, the Jets Have Used a First-Round Selection & A Pair of Third-Rounders on ‘Backers

 

While the Jets have been stockpiling quarterbacks, they have quietly used the draft to dramatically alter their landscape at linebacker.“In the long-term, the draft is how we have to build the team and in a perfect world re-sign our own and then augment what we need by pro free agency,” said GM Mike Maccagnan following his second draft with New York’s AFC representative.

It started last year in the third round when the Jets selected Louisville product Lorenzo Mauldinicon-article-link.gif, an explosive rusher with a non-stop motor. While he racked up four sacks last season playing mostly in sub situations, the Jets expect Mauldin to take a leap in Year 2.“He got better as the year went on. As he got comfortable, he started to show his personality and (was) letting his game speak a little bit more,” said head coach Todd Bowles at the NFL’s owners meetings in March. “In Year 2, we expect him to make a big jump as far as being a full-time player at outside ‘backer. If he comes in shape that way, we’ll sit down and have that talk. But I expect Mauldin to be a major player this year.”

A year after adding Mauldin, the Jets again addressed the OLB position in the third round with the selection of Georgia product Jordan Jenkinsicon-article-link.gif. A three-year starter for the Bulldogs, the 6’3”, 259-pound Jenkins is considered an excellent edge-setter, and he uses his long arms and strong hands to fend off blockers to get upfield.

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VIEW GALLERY | 21 Photos

 

“Jenkins is a solid linebacker,” Bowles said. “He’s gritty, tough, has heavy hands, a great work ethic and we just look forward to him coming in and competing.”Seemingly a perfect candidate to play the Sam ‘backer over the tight end, Jenkins can also line up and play the Will as well. The Bulldogs defensive MVP in 2015 was a co-captain who finished with 59 total tackles while adding 10.5 tackles for loss.“He’ll make a slight transition to what we do in the NFL and that’s as a 3-4 outside linebacker. But we really liked him as a person, character from an intangible standpoint and as a player on the field,” added GM Mike Maccagnan. “And I think he will be a good addition to us on the outside.”

Jenkins won’t be handed a starting job. The Jets have built depth on the outside as Trevor Reillyicon-article-link.gif andMike Catapanoicon-article-link.gif are set to return and Freddie Bishopicon-article-link.gif, a CFL transplant who racked up 11 sacks last season with the Calgary Stampeders, is an intriguing prospect as well.“We have Bishop, we have Reilly, we have Catapano,” Bowles said. “We have a bunch of guys at that position as well, so we increased the competition and the best guy is going to play.”

After re-signing Erin Hendersonicon-article-link.gif and adding versatile veteran Bruce Cater in pro free agency, the Jets stuck to their best player available mantra in the first round and landed perhaps the most versatile linebacker in the entire draft class. Darron Leeicon-article-link.gif, a second-team AP All-American in 2015, collected 27.5 tackles for loss along with 12 sacks in 28 starts at Ohio State.“He’s going to start as an inside linebacker, probably the ‘Mo’ position that Demario (Davis) held,” Bowles said. “Probably behind Erin and he’ll play some packages and work his way in. And as it gets going and as he learns the system, he’ll probably end up being a three-down 'backer.”

In the Jets’ defense, David Harrisicon-article-link.gif will continue to patrol the middle of the field at the Mike position and take on the play at the line of scrimmage. The “Mo” backer will be allowed room to roam, make plays sideline—to—sideline and be asked to cover more.

 

“We felt very fortunate that Lee fell to us in the first round. He was a player we liked quite a bit, he fits what we’re trying to do,” Maccagnan said.  “I know there was some talk about that initially, but we are a very big and strong and powerful defense. We’re trying to become a little bit more athletic and to complement that aspect of it. And Lee will be a good addition in that role, at the ‘Mo’ linebacker.”

Lee, who said he weighed around 237 pounds last weekend, is a prototypical linebacker in today’s NFL. With teams favoring spread looks while increasing the tempo, Lee is a counter that will give the Jets more flexibility. And on the outside, don’t expect the Jets to keep adding depth when opportunities arise.“Generally those positions transition from different positons in college like Mauldin for example really was a defensive end until his last year in college. And Jenkins plays both in a two and a three-point stance, so he plays a little bit of both depending on what front they’re in,” Maccagnan said. “But both those guys are guys we liked and were quite happy to get. And again going forward, we’ll probably try to stockpile that position through the draft.”

 

>     http://www.newyorkjets.com/news/article-7/Transformation-Underway-at-Linebacker/abe120e0-8d69-468b-9f17-b9a854c2bf72

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Some have called Darron Lee cocky during his football career, although the Jets' first-round draft pick out of Ohio State hardly seems that while talking with reporters at this weekend's rookie minicamp. Confident? Yes. Smooth in front of the cameras ? Unquestionably. Cocky ? Not exactly.But there is another name that stuck to him during his two playing seasons with the Buckeyes and that has accompanied him here

 

Manimal.

 

It's a nickname bestowed on special talents in the sports world, and Lee told us how he got his version of the name at OSU: from fellow first-round selection Taylor Decker, the tackle who went to the Lions."Taylor heard my mom call me 'manchild.' That's what she called me in high school. I was just always bigger, I was just huge growing up," Lee explained. "Then Taylor gave me 'Manimal,' and I felt it was an honor. Taylor is someone I had a high amount of respect for and he's always been about his business. And for him to give me that nickname, it's just like I'll take that and run with it."It wasn't just his 6'1", 232-pound size but also his speed and what he did with the package while with the Buckeyes that earned him that name. He's gone from being a quarterback/cornerback in high school to safety to outside linebacker at OSU and now to the "Mo" or inside 'backer spot behind Erin Henderson and next to the "Mike," David Harris.

 

Jenkins Makes It a Tandem

It's interesting that Lee is at "Mo" while Jordan Jenkins, the third-round 'backer from Georgia who was picked 25 years after Jets icon Mo Lewis was selected from UGA in Round 3 in 1991, is in the competition for the "Sam" or strongside LB."It's not well-defined yet," Jenkins said today of his role in the defense. "I think I'll be more so the Sam, I think, as of right now. Coach [Mark] Collins may change his mind later. Nothing's set in stone."

 

We didn't hear of an individual nickname for Jenkins as a Bulldog, although he was part of a three-man linebacker group last year that fashioned itself "the Wolfpack."As for now he and Lee can share yet one more nickname for each other: roomie. They're staying together during this camp at the Atlantic Health Jets Training Center."That's cool," Lee said. "I always heard about him and what he was doing down at Georgia.""So far me and Darron get along pretty well," Jenkins confirmed. "He fell asleep with his phone in hand yesterday and I was messing with him about that."

 

Coach Weighs In

Both 'backers said they've talked a bit about making an impact on the Jets defense together for the proverbial next 10 years. Todd Bowles wasn't ready to send them together to Canton on rollerskates, but the head coach has liked what he's seen."I like the fact that teammates are getting along. I know they have a lot of work to do, but if they're willing to put in the work, which I think they are, they'll be fine," Bowles said after today's practice, adding that of the Jets' picks at LB, "We're younger, which says a lot. They have a lot of experience they have to replace, and they've got to learn a lot of things. But we're happy with the guys we got."

 

Mutual Admiration Society

Lee was asked about second-round QB Christian Hackenberg from Penn State, who led off Friday's Notes & Quotes. "Regardless of the naysayers, he was a heck of a quarterback, an exceptional quarterback. He was the leader of that team," Lee said. "It was fun playing him — although he probably didn't think it was fun because we were always beating up on him."

True enough.

The Buckeyes beat the Nittany Lions, 31-24 in overtime and 38-10, the past two seasons, and Hackenberg was sacked 10 times in the two games combined, including 1.5 sacks by Lee in 2014.Hackenberg started the compliments when he said yesterday, "I love playing against D.Lee. He presented some challenges for us. I'm happy he's on my team now."

 

Practice Glimpses

Hackenberg again hit on the long ball, dropping a gorgeous pass to Temple product Robby Anderson. ... S Alex Wells (UDFA, Temple) got a pick-six after a short Hackenberg toss went off the hands of RB Romar Morris (tryout, North Carolina). ... CB Kevin Short (1st-year player, Fort Scott CC) couldn't snare a pass from QB Liam Nadler (tryout, Gannon), but S Peni Vea (tryout, UNLV) did intercept Nadler. ... Fifth-round pickBrandon Shell (above photo) worked at LT through the first two practices.

 

>      http://www.newyorkjets.com/news/article-randylangefb/Meet-the-Backers-Darron-Lee--Jordan-Jenkins/22298fa2-6024-4dd3-b9d7-7264eb1ab4cb

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JENKINS SHOULD HELP IMMEDIATELY

The path to Jordan Jenkins starting seems fairly unobstructed at this time. While 2015 third-rounder Lorenzo Mauldin will hold down one outside linebacker job, Jenkins seemingly has the inside track to the other. Ten NFL position battles (Insider)

 

>     http://espn.go.com/nfl/team/_/name/nyj/new-york-jets

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A look at what's happening around the New York Jets :

~ ~  3. Saluting one flag : One of the most interesting draft-related statistics I've come across -- and believe me, there are tons of stats out there -- concerns linebacker Jordan Jenkins, the Jets' third-round pick. Over his final two seasons at Georgia, a total of 1,343 defensive snaps, Jenkins committed only one penalty, according to Pro Football Focus. That, to me, is impressive.

rest of above article  : 

>      http://espn.go.com/blog/new-york-jets/post/_/id/60375/slow-playing-the-ryan-fitzpatrick-situation-could-backfire-on-jets

 

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Rich CiminiESPN Staff Writer 

Jets LB David Harris, a proud Michigan alum, said he will have no problem mentoring former Ohio State star Darron Lee, their first-round pick. Harris, speaking at his charity golf outing in NJ, said college rivalries are put aside in an NFL locker room.

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 -- David Harris' value to the New York Jets' defense goes beyond the stat sheet. He's the man in the middle, the quarterback of the front seven -- the glue, as coach Todd Bowles likes to call him.

This season, the defense will require industrial-strength glue from Harris, the leader of a linebacking corps filled with youth.

"Oh, yeah, I know I have to step up even more with so much inexperience," Harris said Monday at the Green Brook Country Club, where he hosted his annual golf outing to benefit the Give the Kids Hope Foundation. "We're young. We have to make sure everybody is on the same page. We have to make sure they're on top of their playbook. ... The training wheels are coming off. For Darron [Lee], they might come off a little faster because he's a first-round pick."

Lee and third-round pick Jordan Jenkins, an outside linebacker, are two rookies who will compete for playing time. Lee is expected to play immediately as a nickel linebacker, with Jenkins likely to start out as a situational pass-rusher. He also could challenge for the wide-open starting job on the strong side. Lorenzo Mauldin, entering his second season, is the leading candidate to start at the weak-outside spot. Erin Henderson, a backup last season, is slated to start alongside Harris in the middle of the 3-4.

Gone are veterans Demario Davis (Cleveland Browns) and Calvin Pace (free agent), whom Harris called "probably one of the most underappreciated players ever in Jets history."

The 32-year-old Harris isn't a vocal leader, so don't look for him in his 10th season to be That Guy. He will do it his way, trying to galvanize a unit in the midst of a major, but not unexpected reconstruction."We've been such a veteran team that a lot of guys already knew how to approach things," Harris said. "Now we have a lot of new guys and I have to show them the way.

"It's not about yelling or trying to point fingers or anything like that," he continued. "We're all in this together."Harris commands a lot of respect in the locker room, which was evident at his golf outing. About 30 players and several coaches, including Bowles, showed up for the event. Proceeds from the fundraiser will be used, in large part, for repairs and renovations of the Spray Park Pavilion at Camp Hope in West Milford, New Jersey, where 2,700 underprivileged kids attend camp at no cost every summer.

"When I was 11 years old, I went to summer camp for a week and I had a blast," said Harris, who grew up in Grand Rapids, Michigan. "I think every kid should be able to experience that."

>     http://espn.go.com/blog/new-york-jets/post/_/id/60398/david-harris-on-jets-young-lb-corps-i-have-to-show-them-the-way

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 — The Jets' linebacking corps will have a decidedly different look this year, with one notable exception.

When the season begins Sept. 11 against the Bengals, three of the Jets' four starting linebackers won't be the same as they were for the 2015 opener. Gone are Quinton Coples (cut), Demario Davis (signed with Browns), and Calvin Pace (not re-signed). In their place will be Lorenzo Mauldin, Erin Henderson, and Jordan Jenkins.

The one holdover? Longtime MIKE linebacker David Harris, who is 32 and entering his 10th season as the defense's steadiest presence.

Harris acknowledged he will be taking on more of a leadership role than usual, what with Mauldin only going into his second season and Jenkins having just been drafted. And then there's first-round pick Darron Lee, who will back up Henderson at the other inside (MO) linebacker spot."We've been such a veteran team," Harris said Monday at his annual charity golf outing at Green Brook Country Club, an even that benefits the Give The Kids Hope Foundation. "A lot of guys already knew how to approach things. Now we have a lot of new guys, and we've got to show them the way."

Having Henderson, who turns 30 in July, will help. Though Henderson has played just one season with the Jets—and as a backup to Davis, to boot—he had established himself as a solid presence with the Vikings before his career was cut short by substance-abuse issues.Henderson sat out the 2014 season, and after signing on last year with the Jetsfor the league minimum, he put his head down and grinded things out on special teams. Eventually, Henderson began platooning with Davis, who had been a three-year starter. And by the end of last season, Henderson was even playing more snaps than Davis.

The Jets rewarded Henderson by re-signing him in March. And Harris is glad about that."I'm excited about Erin playing next to me," Harris said. "He's very proven in this league, and he played extremely well for us last year. ... For sitting out a whole year, he felt his way as the season went on, and played better and better."If you go back and watch the last game of the season, he played phenomenal. It all came together for him, and we're all looking forward to great things for him [continuing] this year."

Head coach Todd Bowles also liked what Henderson did as last season wore on. "Erin was a tough player before he got put out of the league," Bowles said on May 7, during the Jets' rookie minicamp. "He missed a year, and when he came back he did everything the right way. He was a good [special] teams player for us, he knows how to play the position inside, and he was just one of those players—not so much a knock on Demario's play—but Erin was getting better and we wanted to put him on the field."

Harris said Henderson would also be valuable for what he can teach Lee, even though Lee will be challenging Henderson for playing time."He's going to be there to help mentor Darron as well," Harris said. "There's no cliques or nothing on our team, on our defense. The more that we all can do, the better for the defense. I'm looking forward to it."

>    http://www.nj.com/jets/index.ssf/2016/05/jets_david_harris_eager_to_have_erin_henderson_sta.html#incart_river_index

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Every year, Bob McGinn of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinal speaks with various scouts in the leadup to the Draft. He then publishes what they had to say. I thought it might be interesting to take a look at what they had to say about Jets first round pick Darron Lee. It is important to remember that things said here are not necessarily the consensus view. They surely do not guarantee anything either positive or negative. It still is interesting to hear what real evaluators think.

Third-year sophomore from New Albany, Ohio. "Solid, athletic," one scout said. "He can run. He's smart (Wonderlic of 31). Not the most physical guy. But the way you use him nowadays he'll have a role and stay on the field all the time." Finished with 147 tackles (27 ½ for loss), 12 sacks and 7 big plays. Started all 28 games. "He's not as good as (Ryan) Shazier," another scout said. "He can go out and play in the slot. As long as he's covered up where he doesn't have to take on a lot he's (good). He's not Ragland, Smith or Jack playing the run inside. He can play it outside, though. More of a grab (tackler). Will he hit? Yeah. Is he tough? Yes, he's tough." Led all ILBs in the broad jump (11-1). "He's a walk-out linebacker," a third scout said. "A tweener, a safety and a 'will' linebacker. I don't have him as a first-rounder. He's not that big. He can cover backs. I worry about his size against tight ends. He's above the acceptance level as a tackler."

 

The selection of Lee led to people here having opinions all over the map. The same might be true of the scouting community.

>     http://www.ganggreennation.com/2016/5/18/11699864/what-were-scouts-saying-about-darron-lee-before-the-draft

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Erin Henderson turned a second chance into a second year with the New York Jets, and he intends to show them they made a good decision. He already sounds the part.The veteran linebacker, elevated to a starting position in the offseason, has emerged as one of the vocal leaders on the Jets' defense. At practice, he does more yapping than a presidential candidate, firing up teammates, trash-talking the offense (yes, you, Christian Hackenberg) and keeping it light with non-stop chatter on the field. It's a departure from last season, when Henderson -- snubbed by the NFL in 2014 -- was in "Just-happy-to-be-here" mode.

He's back, ready to make all kinds of noise.

"I've got a long way to go, but I think I can still play at a high level, a Pro-Bowl level," he said last week. "That's my goal. That's what I'm shooting for."

That would be an amazing story.

A year ago, the Jets took a one-year flyer on Henderson, who made the team as a backup and special-teams contributor. That was a victory, considering his off-the-field troubles. After two alcohol-related arrests and a stint in rehab, he was cut by the Minnesota Vikings, served a four-game league suspension and remained unemployed for the entire 2014 season. He played well enough last year to land Demario Davis' old starting job and a two-year, $4 million contract."It meant the world," Henderson said of the team's belief in him. "Coming off the street, these guys didn't know me from a can of paint. I don't think they really expected me to do what I did last year. I really didn't know what to expect from myself."

Henderson made the team despite missing three preseason games due to a knee injury. Obviously, the Jets saw something in him. He got off to a slow start, but by December, he was sharing time with Davis at inside linebacker. He played his best game in the season finale, recording 11 tackles while playing 45 defensive snaps.People forget he was a solid starter for the Vikings before his drinking issues surfaced. Near the end of the 2013 season, he was arrested twice in a six-week span, spending a night in jail for the latter transgression -- on New Year's Eve, 2014. Upon his release, he immediately checked himself into rehab.Last season was a transition, learning a new city, new teammates and a new environment. Henderson said he was "figuring myself out, figuring out what it was like to play football again." He kept to himself, understanding his role on the team.

Now  ? You can't keep him quiet.

During last Wednesday's practice, Henderson gave an earful to Hackenberg, exposing the rookie quarterback to the kind of verbal taunting he'll receive when he's playing for real some day."I think he’s feeling more comfortable and he likes to get everybody going," coach Todd Bowles said of the 29-year-old linebacker. "Erin’s always been a talker behind the scenes, but lately he’s become more of a -- shall I say -- vocal leader in that regard. It's all in fun with him. If you know him, it’s all in fun. He gets the guys going and he likes to cause little stir ups out there every now and then. But it was good camaraderie."

The Jets could use a spark plug on defense because they don't have many talkative players."I don't think people will really appreciate my story until it's over, until it's said and done and I'm not playing football anymore," Henderson said. "Then they'll kind of look at it and be like, 'Wow!'

>   http://espn.go.com/blog/new-york-jets/post/_/id/60771/look-whos-talking-jets-lb-erin-henderson-ready-for-pro-bowl-season

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 "It's been a long road back," Erin Henderson said. And indeed it has.

Henderson was once a full-time starter—and a darn good player—for the Vikings. But alcohol abuse ended all that and put him out of a job. He spent a year away from the NFL before the Jets gave him a second chance last year. He was guaranteed nothing except a chance to compete for a roster spot.

Henderson put his head down and worked, mostly as a special teamer. But be season's end, he was also getting onto the field at MO linebacker by rotating series with Demario Davis, a three-year starter.And this offseason, Davis left for the Browns, and the Jets rewarded Henderson with a new contract that has a max length of two years and a max value of $5 million. He'll be the starter inside next to David Harris—and it's right where he wants to be.

"I'm excited," Henderson told NJ Advance Media. "I've been known to make the best of my opportunities. I'll do the same thing with this one."

Henderson's enthusiasm was on full display on Wednesday during the second week of the Jets' organized team activities. Throughout practice, he could be heard hooting and hollering—a display of outward intensity that hadn't been noticeable before, at least whenever the media has been able to observe practices.Henderson even aimed quite a bit of his barking at rookie quarterback Christian Hackenberg, whom he was clearly trying to zone out at times.

"I think he's feeling more comfortable and he likes to get everybody going," head coach Todd Bowles said. "Erin's always been a talker behind the scenes. But lately he's become more of a, shall I say, vocal leader in that regard, and it's all in fun with him. If you know him, it's all in fun. He gets the guys going and he likes to cause little stir ups out there every now and then. But it was good camaraderie."

Harris, the Jets' defensive veteran leader, is already on record as being eager to have Henderson starting next to him."I'm excited about Erin playing next to me," Harris had said last month at his charity golf tournament. "He's very proven in this league, and he played extremely well for us last year. ... For sitting out a whole year, he felt his way as the season went on, and played better and better.

"If you go back and watch the last game of the season, he played phenomenal. It all came together for him, and we're all looking forward to great things for him [continuing] this year."

>     http://www.nj.com/jets/index.ssf/2016/06/jets_erin_henderson_ive_been_known_to_make_the_bes.html#incart_river_index

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~ ~   4. Leading candidates at outside linebacker : It seems that anybody with a pulse is getting a run at outside linebacker -- Lorenzo Mauldin, rookie Jordan Jenkins, former CFL standout Freddie Bishop, Josh Martin, Deion Barnes, you name it. Mauldin probably will secure one starting job, but it's wide open on the other side. Where's graybeard Calvin Pace when you need him? He's home resting, probably waiting until the first or second week of training camp before signing somewhere.

rest of above article  :

>    http://espn.go.com/blog/new-york-jets/post/_/id/60801/jets-need-to-see-more-from-young-backup-quarterbacks

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~ ~  6. Heir Jordan: Third-round pick Jordan Jenkins is getting a real chance to win one of the outside-linebacker jobs -- presumably, Calvin Pace's old spot on the strong side. In last Wednesday's practice, Jenkins took most of the first-team reps. The position is wide open, so don't be surprised if he emerges from a pack of mostly inexperienced players. It's not an easy position to master, but he's a smart kid. In fact, he scored a 33 on the Wonderlic intelligence test, the second highest among linebackers in the draft and tops among the Jets' draft choices.

The Jets have an excellent, if not extensive, history with former Georgia linebackers. In 1991, they picked Mo Lewis in the third round, and he started from Day 1. He's arguably the best linebacker in team history.

rest of above article  :  

>    http://espn.go.com/blog/new-york-jets/post/_/id/60869/history-says-jets-are-pretty-much-doomed-to-a-step-back-in-16

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-- New York Jets fans have reason to be concerned about the Muhammad Wilkerson situation.But they also have reason to be excited about the Leonard "Big Cat" Williams situation.

The second-year defensive lineman, Mel Kiper Jr.'s choice as NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year last season, is expecting bigger things from himself in 2016."I got to the quarterback a lot last year, but they were just hits, those aren't the stats I'm looking for," Williams said Wednesday, the second day of the Jets' mandatory three-day minicamp. "I want to get sacks. Those little seconds matter, getting to the quarterback."So I've been doing a lot of work during the offseason on my pass rushing and stuff like that, and I just feel more comfortable being a pro, playing in the NFL now with that year under my belt. So I'm just looking forward to my second year."

He's not the only one. Pepper Johnson, the Jets' defensive line coach, spoke highly of Williams on Wednesday.

"He's physically capable of being one of the better defensive linemen in the league," Johnson said.Williams had only three sacks last season, which may seem paltry given he was the sixth overall pick in the draft. But he made a much bigger impact than that number would indicate.Here are a couple more numbers for you, courtesy of ESPN Stats & Information: Williams played the third-most snaps among defensive tackles in the league, behind only Ndamukong Suh (917) and Aaron Donald (862). Plus the Jets' defense performed significantly better when he was on the field, allowing 4.8 yards per play when he was out there versus 5.9 yards when he was not.

And he has learned from his rookie season. "One thing that I've been working on is just getting off the ball and working on the edge," Williams said. "I got away in college with just going down the middle of a guy a lot of times cause I out-physicaled them and I tried to do that last year and I realized you can't do that in this league."Williams spent some time back at USC this offseason, working out with former college teammates and assistant defensive line coach Pete Jenkins.

Johnson likes what he's seen so far.

"He actually matured a lot," Johnson said. "I'm not saying he was a kid when he came in ... but he has taken it to another level. I'm not going to handcuff him and I'm sure [head coach] Todd [Bowles] and [defensive coordinator] Kacy [Rodgers] aren't going to handcuff him. Hopefully, the world is his."The Jets would certainly miss Wilkerson if they don't have him on the field come September. The Pro Bowl defensive end hasn't signed his franchise-tag tender and might not report for the start of training camp, unhappy he doesn't have a long-term contract.But Williams is a player to watch, a potential star in the making, who's aiming for more sacks this season, and that's not all.

"I never really set myself to a certain number, cause I can always exceed that number, so I wouldn't want to limit myself," Williams said. "I just want to pick up my numbers overall -- more [tackles for loss], more sacks, more tackles, everything."

>   http://espn.go.com/blog/new-york-jets/post/_/id/60942/big-expectations-for-big-cat-leonard-williams-in-2016

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It was his Michael Jordan moment.

Jordan Jenkins, the Jets’ third-round pick out of Georgia, was cut from his middle school football team in the fall of seventh grade.“It definitely hit me,” he recalled on Wednesday during the Jets’ three-day minicamp. “It wasn’t one of the funnest years of my life, not having any practice or anything like that.”It him so hard, in fact, he didn’t want to go back out for the team in the spring. His father Ronald, a 22-year Army veteran, his harshest critic and biggest fan, wouldn’t allow his son to stay home and playvideo games. He was going back out for the team at Harris County Carver Middle School in Hamilton, Ga., only this time he made it, impressing the team’s coaches who couldn’t believe they had cut such a talent in the fall.

“That’s when I sort of started realizing I wasn’t just an average player in football,” Jenkins recalled.

Clearly, he wasn’t average, developing into four-star recruit in high school who hadscholarship offers from virtually the entire SEC. After a standout career at Georgia, the Jets took the 6-foot-3, 259-pound linebacker in the third round (83rd overall). Coach Todd Bowles thought so much of Jenkins he told him after a workout they would see him again. The team thinks so highly of him, this spring he is being given first-team reps at outside linebacker, a sign of the promise the Jets see in him. Bowles has raved about his work ethic and intelligence, and Jenkins didn’t hesitate when asked if he believes he can make a contribution at the position vacated by veteran Calvin Pace.

You have to be confident. I’m confident in myself and what I can do,” Jenkins said. “I’m just not going to stand by and get beat. If I get beat, I’m going to learn and applythat so I don’t get beat the next time. In order to make it here, I have to constantly keep getting better and better and not worry about negative reps. Keep fighting.”Learning by playing is the only way he knows how to get better. It happened that way at Georgia, too, Jenkins starting immediately as a true freshman. He went on to have a solid career, a team captain as a senior, and four-year starter, producing 19 sacks, 39 tackles for loss and forced six fumbles.

“You can recite the plays and know what to do on paper. [But] when you’re out onto the field in the heat of the moment, that’s when you figure out what you’re really going to do,” Jenkins said. “That’s what I’m liking about what some of the rookies are going through. We’re going through the fire. You either learn by the burn — or keep burning.”

Despite his high-school and college achievements, playing on Sundays was merely a pipe dream, one Jenkins didn’t think would become reality until recently.“I never, ever imagined that ,” he said. “I always said I wanted to make it to the pros, but I never actually believed it.”Jenkins not only got drafted, it looks like he will be given the opportunity to play right away.

“It’s still sort of surreal now,” he said.

When reminded Michael Jordan got cut from his high-school basketball team, Jenkins laughed.“He’s on the top of the pedestal,” he said. “I’m still working my way up.”

>  http://nypost.com/2016/06/15/how-a-middle-school-slight-still-drives-jets-third-round-pick/

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Darryl Slater caught up with Sheldon Richardson. The fourth year defensive lineman has some very flattering things to say about a rookie.

"Jordan Jenkins is a monster from what we've seen of him," Sheldon Richardson told NJ Advance Media on Thursday, as the Jets concluded minicamp. "He's a monster. I'm not sleeping on him at all. Can't wait to see him in shoulder pads.

"What he came out here and brought every day, there's a difference, [because] some guys will go a week strong, two weeks strong, and then you'll see a decline in their effort and get-off the ball. The guy has been hell on wheels since Day 1."

 

Outside linebacker is a land of opportunity for the Jets this year. They do not have much in the way of proven players at the position. With a third round pedigree, Jenkins might have an inside track. He will have to earn the spot, though. Transitions are not always easy at this position. For their part, the Jets broke Lorenzo Mauldin in easy at the position last year.

If Jenkins is ready from day one, it surely would help the Jets, though.

>      http://www.ganggreennation.com/2016/6/17/11960216/jordan-jenkins-has-a-fan-in-sheldon-richardson

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Rich CiminiESPN Staff Writer 

Jets DL coach Pepper Johnson speaks highly of Leonard Williams, saying the former No. 1 pick has the physical talent to be one of the best defensive linemen in the NFL. There's something else Pepper likes about his game.

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When the Jets signed inside linebacker Erin Henderson last offseason, he was rebounding from rock bottom. 

After establishing himself with the Vikings from 2008-13, Henderson was out of the NFL in 2014, following two arrests for driving drunk. During his time away from the league, Henderson sought treatment for his substance abuse issues. So when he arrived at One Jets Drive, on a one-year contract, it was no sure thing that he'd work out. But he did. He wound up being a productive passing downs replacement for Demario Davis last season. 

Henderson, who turns 30 next month, is now starting for the Jets, because they let Davis leave for the Browns in free agency. The Jets re-signed Henderson to a two-year contract this offseason. The Jets hope Henderson can help with their pass coverage at the linebacker level — a weakness last season. And they are optimistic about Henderson (who last started in 2013), if only because of how he looked last year, when he put rock bottom behind him. "I think when you talk to Erin, he wanted a second chance, and he got it," said inside linebackers coach Mike Caldwell. "And he took full advantage of it. So his motivation, he's a competitive guy. He wants to be the best. 

 

"He's been in this league for a while, so he knows how to do it. The thing I saw about him [last year] is he was tough. He accepted his role. Whatever we asked him to do, he did it — special teams, certain packages. He went out there and performed and he made plays for us." 

Henderson entered the NFL as an  undrafted rookie  with the Vikings in 2008. He proved himself, and then became a starter from 2011-13. Then he slipped, with his substance abuse problems, and had to work his way back into the league. In addition to starting at one inside linebacker spot, it seems Henderson could be the Jets' top backup at middle linebacker, in case something happens to David Harris. But Caldwell said the Jets haven't formally established their depth chart at inside linebacker just yet. One thing is for sure: Henderson stood out during spring practices not only because he played well (particularly in coverage), but because he was a consistent, vocal presence on the field. One day, he barked at rookie quarterbackChristian Hackenberg before the snap, trying to throw off Hackenberg. 

"That's his personality," Caldwell said. "If you see him and you know him, he's that guy that has a bunch of energy. And he's going to bring it, and guys feed off of that. When he's out there [during practice], he's going to bring the best out of the guys beside him and the guys he's going against." 

>      http://www.nj.com/jets/index.ssf/2016/06/how_jets_erin_henderson_took_full_advantage_of_his.html#incart_river_index

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The Jets coaching staff made one thing abundantly clear during minicamp two weeks ago: They do not have a depth chart right now.Ask anyone from head coach Todd Bowles, to one of his many assistants, and that same message will be echoed time and time again. No player is a starter; no one is getting “first-team reps.”With that being said, whenever the first depth chart does come out. . .Jordan Jenkins is sure to be atop it.

A third-round pick in this year’s draft, Jenkins has done just about everything a linebacker in a padless practice can to impress New York’s coaching staff. He’s made leaps and bounds each and every day. He’s grabbed a hold of the defensive scheme faster than many others.  He’s made plays. He’s asked the right questions. He’s given the right answers when called upon.

To put it bluntly, the rookie doesn’t look like a, well, rookie.

“I think he’s a very consciousness guy,” linebackers coach Mark Collins said after one of New York’s minicamp practices. “He’s tough. I think he has a pretty good command of the content. He also loves football, which is a big part of it. Not everyone loves football.”

At 6-3 and 260 pounds, Jenkins is considered a bigger-bodied outside linebacker. He’s not as fast as he is strong. He’s more physical than he is agile. All of those traits were on display during his collegiate career at Georgia.With so many big-name players on the defensive side of the ball — namely Leonard Floyd — it was a rare situation when Jenkins actually got to rush the passer. When the team brought on those who specialized in getting to the quarterback, Jenkins says he often got bumped down to a three-technique. His job wasn’t getting the QB, but rather eating up blocks and setting picks so others on the defense could reap the rewards.

“Someone had to go down, and naturally, I was the bigger guy,” Jenkins told Jets Wire by his locker. “I did a lot of the dirty work, and that was all right with me. I’m just a guy trying to get work done and be physical.”In four years, Jenkins recorded 107 tackles, 39 tackles for a loss and 19 sacks. Entering the draft, many scouts looked past what Jenkins did on the field, and instead focused on what he didn’t. The small sack number had him labeled “not a dynamic pass rusher” by some. . . the Jets weren’t among them.

“To me, it comes down to turns,” Collins said. “I’ll give you an example: Lorenzo Mauldin had four sacks for us last year, but he played 250 turns. You may have another rookie that had four sacks, but had 750 turns. It all comes down to turns.“I didn’t watch all 12 of [Jenkins] games, but I watched enough of him. Sometimes you’re not in a position to rush the QB and pin your ears back. It comes down to turns. Jordan has rush ability.”And improving that rush ability is something Jenkins is working on over the course of these next six weeks. He’s soaked up all he can from the Jets coaching staff. Now, along with some personal workouts, his focus is fine-tuning his rushing craft. No, he doesn’t have a problem being the do-the-dirty-work backer, but Jenkins wants to be able to do it all.

Before camp, Jenkins is hoping to improve his hips, striking and eliminate wasted movement to be a, as he describes it, more “efficient” pass rusher.Because when the Jets do report for training camp July 27, and the coaches do put together that first depth chart. . . Jenkins hopes he’s at the top.“I know I’m a rookie, but I’m gonna go as hard as I can and hit someone in the face,” Jenkins said. “My mindset is if I’m working, and you’re working, I’m just gonna try to do my best.”

>    http://jetswire.usatoday.com/2016/06/28/jordan-jenkins-impressing-jets-heading-into-training-camp/

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Among the reasons cited for the lack of a serious push from the Jets to sign defensive endMuhammad Wilkerson to a long-term contract this offseason is the presence of Sheldon Richardson and 2015 first-round pick Leonard Williams.With Williams and Richardson filling out the defensive line, the argument is that the Jets don’t feel they need to commit to Wilkerson beyond the franchise tag they gave him for the coming season. Williams backed up that feeling as a rookie by leading the team in quarterback hits while recording 63 tackles and three sacks.

Williams says he’d like to do even more as a pass rusher this season and feels prepared to take a step up now that he’s had more time in the team’s defensive scheme.“It is different because last year I just kept thinking, ‘rookie, rookie, rookie,’ but now … I know that I’m a pro now,” Williams said, via the New York Post. “I know the playbook now, so I don’t have to think as much when I’m out there, I can just play. It’s less pressure now that I’m not a rookie anymore, and I don’t have to have that tag or label on me. It’s just been more comfortable overall this year.”

Defensive line coach Pepper Johnson said Williams has taken his maturity “to another level” this offseason, which supports the notion that he’ll be doing more on the field for the Jets this season. If things play out that way, the Jets will likely feel comfortable about the future of their defensive line wherever Wilkerson winds up in 2017 and beyond.

>    http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2016/06/26/leonard-williams-more-comfortable-overall-in-second-year/

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Over the course of the next several weeks, Jets Wire will be taking a look at many of the positional battles leading up to training camp. From backup spots, to starting positions, we’ll break them all down. On tap today? Outside linebacker

POSITION:

Outside Linebacker

SPOT ON DEPTH CHART:

Starter

PLAYERS COMPETING

Trevor Reilly, Jordan Jenkins, Deion Barnes, Freddie Bishop

FAVORITE:

Jordan Jenkins

ANALYSIS:

With Lorenzo Mauldin locked in on one side, the starting spot opposite him is up for grabs with a handful of players competing to become No. 1 on the depth chart. Among them all, well, there isn’t much experience.Jordan Jenkins is a rookie, Trevor Reilly has played mostly special teams throughout his two-year career, Deion Barnes spent last season on the practice squad and Freddie Bishop signed with New York after playing the last three years in Canada.

Again. Not much experience.

When camp opens July 27, it’ll likely be a mix of Reilly and Jenkins with the first team while Barnes and Bishop work in on passing situations. By the end of camp, though, expect Jenkins to be the every-down starter.The backer looked quite good during OTAs and minicamp, and is hoping to keep the momentum rolling come the end of July.

 

>     http://jetswire.usatoday.com/2016/06/29/jets-training-camp-position-battles-outside-linebacker/

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As the Jets get close to training camp, I am going to examine the roster and give you my top 25 players. Each weekday, we will reveal another person on the list, leading right into camp. I am not including rookies on this list because I do not feel it is possible to fully evaluate them before they play a game. I also am not including Ryan Fitzpatrick on the list because he is not technically a Jet at this time.

No. 20: Erin Henderson

Last year’s ranking: Not ranked

Position: Inside linebacker

Age: 29

How acquired: Signed as a free agent on April 8, 2015

Years left on contract: 2

2016 Salary Cap figure: $1.25 million

Looking back at 2015: Henderson was one of the best stories on the Jets last season. The team picked him up off the scrap heap and his role grew and grew. He was out of football in 2014 after the Vikings released him following two DUI arrests.The Jets did not know what to expect from Henderson last year, but were pleasantly surprised. He came in willing to play special teams and showed he really wanted to be there. Eventually he played more and more at inside linebacker. For the final month of the season he rotated series with starter Demario Davis. He finished the year with 45 tackles and one forced fumble.

Outlook for 2016: The Jets were so happy with Henderson they signed him to a two-year contract this offseason and he replaced Davis, now in Cleveland, as the starter next to David Harris.The main question for Henderson this season is how long he can hold off first-round pick Darron Lee. The Jets’ plan is for Lee to play in sub packages to start, but you don’t draft someone in the first round just to play in sub packages. Eventually, Lee is going to cut into Henderson’s playing time, but that may not happen until 2017 if Henderson plays well enough.

Henderson looks noticeably more comfortable this spring. He was loud on the practice field, talking smack with wide receiver Brandon Marshall constantly.“I think he’s feeling more comfortable and he likes to get everybody going,” Jets coach Todd Bowles said. “Erin’s always been a talker behind the scenes. But lately he’s become more of a, shall I say, vocal leader in that regard and it’s all in fun with him. If you know him, it’s all in fun. He gets the guys going and he likes to cause little stir-ups out there every now and then. But it was good camaraderie.”

>      http://nypost.com/2016/06/30/jets-pleasant-surprise-now-faces-challenge-from-top-pick/

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@Connor_J_Hughes How would u rank the #NYJ LBs on potential?@jordanOLB, @DLeeMG8, @LozoIV have outstanding speed#NYJ have not had in years

 

 

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AFC East Q&A : How about Ronald Darby, Leonard Williams as rising stars ?

 

Today's question : The stars of the AFC East are well established, headlined by New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady. But who is the rising star in the division ?

One interesting case study is Patriots cornerback Malcolm Butler, who went from undrafted free agent out of West Alabama to Super Bowl hero to Pro Bowler. That’s the true definition of a rising star, and now that he has established his place, it’s time to look for who is next in line in the AFC East.

There are plenty of worthy choices, and ESPN.com's AFC East reporters offer their take.

~ ~   Rich Cimini, New York Jets reporter: Jets defensive end Leonard Williams, drafted sixth overall in 2015, is primed to take a big step in his second season. He was quietly efficient as a rookie, but his improved familiarity with blocking schemes will allow him to make more splash plays in 2016. Defensive line coach Pepper Johnson, a hard-to-please, old-school coach, said Williams has the physical ability to be one of the top defensive linemen in the league. I believe him.

 

rest of above article  :  

>   http://espn.go.com/blog/afceast/post/_/id/80602/afc-east-qa-how-about-ronald-darby-leonard-williams-as-rising-stars

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As the Jets get close to training camp, I am going to examine the roster and give you my top 25 players. Each weekday, we will reveal another person on the list, leading right into camp. I am not including rookies on this list because I do not feel it is possible to fully evaluate them before they play a game. I also am not including Ryan Fitzpatrick on the list because he is not technically a Jet at this time.

No. 10: Leonard Williams

Last year’s ranking: Not ranked (rookie)

Position: Defensive lineman

Age: 22

How acquired: Selected in the first round of the 2015 Draft

Years left on contract: 3 (plus a team option for a fourth)

2016 Salary Cap figure: $4.2 million

Looking back at 2015: The Jets were shocked when Williams fell into their laps in last year’s NFL Draft. Ranked by most draft experts as the best player in the draft, Williams fell to No. 6 and Mike Maccagnan grabbed him despite the Jets’ defensive line already being a strength of the team.The move paid immediate dividends after Sheldon Richardson was hit with a four-game suspension to start the season due to violating the league’s drug policy. Richardson’s absence opened a hole that Williams filled admirably for a rookie.

Williams finished the year with 63 tackles, three sacks, 30 quarterback hurries and 19 quarterback hits. He ended up playing more than 800 defensive snaps.The productivity dipped a little in the middle of the season, but Williams got better and better late in the year. He figured out how to use his hands more and started to understand NFL blocking schemes better.

Outlook for 2016: You saw flashes in 2015 of what made people rate Williams so highly coming out of USC. Now it is time to see that on a consistent basis. This is always the jump players have to make from their first to second years. There is no reason to think Williams can’t make it. Williams has stated his goal is to become a better pass rusher. He moved around the line a bunch last year and probably will again this year with Muhammad Wilkerson and Richardson also on the line. If he can get his sack total in the 6-to-8 range, the Jets would be thrilled.

The development of Williams is a key piece in the Jets’ strategy for the future. With their failure to sign Wilkerson to a long-term deal, many people believe the Jets are banking on Williams becoming an equally productive player who would be cheaper for the next four years. That is a high bar to reach: Wilkerson is a Pro Bowl player.

>    http://nypost.com/2016/07/14/leonard-williams-bust-out-would-re-shape-jets-in-2-obvious-ways/

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The New York Jets open training camp July 27 at their year-round facility in Florham Park, New Jersey. Here’s a closer look at the Jets' camp, which wraps up on Aug. 24 :

~ ~  That rookie should start : Jordan Jenkins has a terrific chance to claim the outside linebacker job on the strong side. The third-round pick is a physical player with "heavy hands," as the coaches like to say. In theory, he should be even better when the pads go on. If he can handle the mental aspect, he'll be an opening-day starter. There's no incumbent at Sam linebacker.

rest of above article : 

http://espn.go.com/blog/new-york-jets/post/_/id/61094/with-camp-approaching-jets-ryan-fitzpatrick-qb-drama-intensifies

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Breaking down the New York Jets' roster, unit by unit, in preparation for training camp :

Position: Offensive line

Projected starters: LT Ryan Clady, LG James Carpenter, C Nick Mangold, RG Brian Winters, RT Breno Giacomini.

Projected reserves: Brent Qvale, Ben Ijalana, Brandon Shell, Wesley Johnson.

Notables on the bubble: Jarvis Harrison, Dakota Dozier.

Top storyline: The Jets are hoping to squeeze another year out of this group, which needs an infusion of young talent. They haven't used a first- or second-round pick on an offensive lineman since Vlad Ducasse in 2010, and that didn't work out too well. They have intriguing young players waiting in the wings -- namely Shell, a right tackle taken in the fifth round -- but they might not be ready for another year. Pro Football Focus rates the Jets' line as 24th in the league, noting it doesn't have a high ceiling. Indeed, the only player on the ascent is Carpenter, who stabilized left guard after an underwhelming career in Seattle. Coming off a shaky season, Giacomini could be vulnerable if he continues to regress. The leader remains Mangold, 32, projected as the oldest starting center in the league. He galvanizes the unit with his smarts and savvy.

Player to watch: Clady has the task of replacing the retired D'Brickashaw Ferguson, one of the league's most durable players over the past decade. Durability isn't Clady's calling card; he has missed 30 of the past 48 games due to foot and knee injuries. When he plays, he's very good, having made the Pro Bowl in each of the past three years when he started every game. If healthy, he'll be an upgrade over Ferguson, whose play declined last season. It'll be an adjustment for Clady, who goes from the Denver Broncos' zone-blocking scheme to the Jets' man-blocking system. If his surgically repaired body parts don't hold up, the Jets are in trouble.

Training camp will be a success if ...: Let's put it this way: It won'tbe a success if people are ruing the day that Ferguson retired at the age of 30. There's a lot of pressure on Clady to live up to a standard of consistency set by Ferguson, who never missed a play due to injury in 10 years.

Wild card: With four starters returning, the line should have a strong sense of continuity, and that will be critical as they start the season. Why? Because five of the first seven opponents fielded top-11 defenses last season (yards allowed). You'd better buckle up those chin straps, men, because it's going to get tough early.

By the numbers: The Jets were a middle-of-the-pack rushing team (4.17 yards per carry), in part, because of Chris Ivory's ability to break tackles. In fact, the Jets ranked fourth in yards after contact (1.89 yards per rush), but they were only 23rd in yards before contact (2.28). Ivory is gone. His replacement, Matt Forte, isn't a big yards-after-contact runner, meaning the run blocking will have to be sharper than it was in 2015.

>     http://espn.go.com/blog/new-york-jets/post/_/id/61322/minus-brick-in-the-wall-jets-offensive-line-hopes-to-answer-critics

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With training camp less than a week away, the Jets and first-round draft pick Darron Lee still don't have a contract agreement. This is unusual: The league's collective bargaining agreement, which kicked in in 2011, mandates four-year contracts for all drafted players, with all salaries and bonuses slotted according to a pay scale. As such, there is little room for bargaining.

As Andrew Brandt explained last year in The MMQB :

There are very few negotiable items: offset language (the ability for the team to recover guaranteed money if the player is released and signs elsewhere), bonus payment terms, roster bonus allocations and other miscellaneous structural issues.

Still, Lee is one of just three 2016 draft picks without a contract. The issue? Pro Football Talk's Mike Florio noted last month that the Top 19 picks in this year's draft received fully guaranteed money for all four years of their deals. The Jets drafted Lee at No. 20. And at No. 22, Washington wideout Josh Doctson has roughly one-third of his fourth-year salary not guaranteed.It would stand to reason, then, that the hang up for Lee--who is slotted to get a deal with a max value of $10.2 million, including a signing bonus of approximately $5.6 million, per per overthecap.com--is related to how much of his fourth-year salary is guaranteed.

Chargers defensive end Joey Bosa (selected No. 3 overall) and 49ers guard Joshua Garnett (No. 28) are the only other unsigned picks. Like Lee, Bosa and Garnett are represented by agents from CAA.Lee participated in organized team activities and minicamp even though he didn't have a deal. Training camp holdouts rarely happen for NFL rookies, and Lee has given no indication that he might stay away if a deal can't be completed by the start of camp.

The Jets' rookies and veterans are scheduled to report for camp next Wednesday.

>  http://www.nj.com/jets/index.ssf/2016/07/jets_darron_lee_one_of_three_unsigned_2016_draft_p.html#incart_river_index

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Breaking down the New York Jets' roster, unit by unit, in preparation for training camp :

Position: Linebacker

Projected starters: David Harris and Erin Henderson (inside); Lorenzo Mauldin and Jordan Jenkins (outside).

Projected reserves: Darron Lee, Trevor Reilly, Bruce Carter, Deion Barnes.

Notables on the bubble: Mike Catapano, Freddie Bishop.

Top storyline: The Jets are taking a calculated gamble by going into camp with no starting experience at outside linebacker. That's right, none. The most experienced player is Mauldin, who played 244 defensive snaps last season as a situational rusher. He's expected to graduate to an every-down role, probably on the weak side. Mauldin impressed during offseason practices, demonstrating an improved understanding of the defense. On the strong side, Reilly was atop the off-season depth chart, but that position truly is wide open. Jenkins, a third-round pick from Georgia, will get a chance to win the job after a promising offseason. Teammates were blown away by how quickly he adapted.

Player to watch: With the post-draft focus on Christian Hackenbergand the ongoing quarterback drama, Lee became a footnote. That's unusual for a first-round pick, but it could be a good thing because there will be less scrutiny. He's not expected to start right away -- he's playing behind Henderson -- so he'll be able to concentrate on his specific role. He will be used in the nickel package, which should accentuate his blitz-and-cover skills. Lee brings a different dimension to the revamped linebacking corps -- speed. This dude can run. First, there's the matter of his contract. Lee is one of only three unsigned first-round picks.

Training camp will be a success if ...: A couple of the young players nail down prominent roles in the linebacker rotation. Mainly, we're talking about Mauldin, Jenkins and Lee, all of whom represent the future of the linebacking corps. Right now, the Jets have only three seasoned linebackers -- Harris, Henderson and Carter, a free-agent addition from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Harris, the defensive glue, will have to show the way. There will be growing pains, but the overall speed of the unit will be improved. The outside backers produced only eight sacks last season; it has to be better than that.

Wild card: Former starter Calvin Pace, 35, is only a phone call away. If Todd Bowles doesn't like what he sees from the kid linebackers, he could reach out to Pace, who reportedly wants to keep playing. That would be at least a month down the line.

By the numbers: When running backs were targeted in the passing game, the Jets ranked only 23rd in opposing QBR (60.8), according to ESPN Stats & Information. The linebacking corps had some hiccups. Lee will help in this area, but it will remain vulnerable when Harris and Henderson are on the field.

>    http://espn.go.com/blog/new-york-jets/post/_/id/61358/jets-linebacking-corps-the-young-and-the-relentless-david-harris

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Two rarities occurred for Jets rookie linebacker  Jordan Jenkins  on the same play during team drills at Thursday's first practice of training camp.He came down with an interception. And then he got up and ran with it.

"I was supposed to have somebody in the backfield, and I saw him block so I backed off to try and read the quarterback's eyes," Jenkins explained. Then he leaped and batted  Ryan Fitzpatrick 's toss into the air."Part of me said, 'Man, I wanted to get that pick,' " he said, thinking it was incomplete. "Next thing I know, I dived and I caught it. And I was about to stay there on the ground and I looked up and everybody started chasing and I said, 'I'm going to have to run.' "

Jenkins was accomplished enough as a four-year Georgia 'backer to be named the Bulldogs' defensive co-captain and Defensive MVP as a senior and then selected in Round 3, 83rd overall, by the Jets. But one thing he never did in a game was get a pick — rarely dropping into coverage, he had no interceptions in 52 career games.And of course because it was his first pro interception of any kind, his initial instinct came from college ball — he caught it on the ground so he was down.

But Jenkins is picking up the pro game just fine as he works at both outside LB positions."I thought I had a couple of good rushes today," he assessed. "Overall, I'm a big critic of myself. There's things I need to work on. I'm still a bit rusty. I've just got to improve my rush angle and be more efficient."

>     http://www.newyorkjets.com/news/article-randylangefb/Jordan-Jenkins-Reflects-on-a-Rarity-a-Pick/4bdc5b3e-ca03-4882-8af3-1cb1d257bd70

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