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Jets Voice of Reason

Takeaways from Douglas’s first offseason

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I’m making a fuss in the Morgan thread because I don’t agree with the pick but Douglas created those 4th rounders out of thin air and deserves credit 

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2 hours ago, Jets Voice of Reason said:

Now that we have seen a full offseason from Douglas and company In terms of player acquisition, we’ve now gotten a glimpse into how they want to build this team and there is a whole lot to be excited about. 

1. They are disciplined and methodical. Free agency gave us a glimpse into this as they negotiated favorable short term contracts for the OL rebuild. Given the pandemic and lack of physicals, the market dictated short term money, but even so, the Jets showed they were willing to stick to their guns on contracts, walked away when the bidding got too high, and didn’t overpay on mediocre talent. This will serve them well in the future as the economic uncertainty may make this golden age of cap expansion slow down, especially since contracts, especially for qbs, are adjusting. 

This was further reinforced by not overreaching in the draft for players even though the need for many positions was great, which leads to the next point:

2. They matched value and need In the draft and have done a thorough self-assessment of the deficiencies of the roster

The two biggest problems Mac had were that he had no coherent vision for how the team was to be constructed and that he had no consistent way of evaluating prospects. It would take a monkey ten minutes of watching the team to know that this team needed O-line, edge, wide receiver, and corner help for his entire tenure and yet these positions were largely ignored and worse the players he did pick were athletic stiffs who washed out of the league at unprecedented levels. 

In contrast our oline has been rebuilt and actually has depth now. They took Mims, signed Perriman, and took Zuniga to address edge. Whether you agree or not, they also addressed backup qb, corner, and safety insurance with the uncertainty of Mayes and Adams’s long-term situations. Whether the players pan out are not remains to be seen but they addressed needs without reaching on subpar players and that makes a world of difference. 

3. They have a clear identity for what they want to establish and are using analytics to help get them there. 

The clear takeaways are that they highly value quick twitch athleticism, increasing team speed, and were focused on building a strong culture with team captains and character guys. They are actually following modern NFL trends and were actually caring about things like pressure rates and percentage of disruptive plays instead of looking at just traditional statistics. 

For instance, we now know that they value straightline and agility numbers in their receivers. They want their OLine to finish out blocks and be able to move other guys in run blocking with power. They took a one cut running back who runs with power but still has some ability to break a big run. They want big plays and are not just trying to ground and pound and manage a game with great defense. 

Whether this offseason works out with certain players aside, the most important thing to know is that they have a valid plan that they are working towards executing. They are clearly embracing analytics, stayed disciplined to their draft board, but were flexible enough to accrue draft assets, which are the most valuable resource to a team. It’s giving me the impression for the first time in a long time that the team is being competently run and that is beyond refreshing. 

Geez, I wish I had written that.  :)

Great post.  Agree 100%

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Overall He crushed the draft, Got high talent FAs on 1 year prove it deals at cheap costs, and is now stashing high character UDFAs... and has traded on occasion for under-performing players for pennies. 

He has been as good if not better then advertised. 

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3 hours ago, Jets Voice of Reason said:

Now that we have seen a full offseason from Douglas and company In terms of player acquisition, we’ve now gotten a glimpse into how they want to build this team and there is a whole lot to be excited about. 

1. They are disciplined and methodical. Free agency gave us a glimpse into this as they negotiated favorable short term contracts for the OL rebuild. Given the pandemic and lack of physicals, the market dictated short term money, but even so, the Jets showed they were willing to stick to their guns on contracts, walked away when the bidding got too high, and didn’t overpay on mediocre talent. This will serve them well in the future as the economic uncertainty may make this golden age of cap expansion slow down, especially since contracts, especially for qbs, are adjusting. 

This was further reinforced by not overreaching in the draft for players even though the need for many positions was great, which leads to the next point:

2. They matched value and need In the draft and have done a thorough self-assessment of the deficiencies of the roster

The two biggest problems Mac had were that he had no coherent vision for how the team was to be constructed and that he had no consistent way of evaluating prospects. It would take a monkey ten minutes of watching the team to know that this team needed O-line, edge, wide receiver, and corner help for his entire tenure and yet these positions were largely ignored and worse the players he did pick were athletic stiffs who washed out of the league at unprecedented levels. 

In contrast our oline has been rebuilt and actually has depth now. They took Mims, signed Perriman, and took Zuniga to address edge. Whether you agree or not, they also addressed backup qb, corner, and safety insurance with the uncertainty of Mayes and Adams’s long-term situations. Whether the players pan out are not remains to be seen but they addressed needs without reaching on subpar players and that makes a world of difference. 

3. They have a clear identity for what they want to establish and are using analytics to help get them there. 

The clear takeaways are that they highly value quick twitch athleticism, increasing team speed, and were focused on building a strong culture with team captains and character guys. They are actually following modern NFL trends and were actually caring about things like pressure rates and percentage of disruptive plays instead of looking at just traditional statistics. 

For instance, we now know that they value straightline and agility numbers in their receivers. They want their OLine to finish out blocks and be able to move other guys in run blocking with power. They took a one cut running back who runs with power but still has some ability to break a big run. They want big plays and are not just trying to ground and pound and manage a game with great defense. 

Whether this offseason works out with certain players aside, the most important thing to know is that they have a valid plan that they are working towards executing. They are clearly embracing analytics, stayed disciplined to their draft board, but were flexible enough to accrue draft assets, which are the most valuable resource to a team. It’s giving me the impression for the first time in a long time that the team is being competently run and that is beyond refreshing. 

One thing to add is that Oline in FA/Draft taken were evaluated for amount of penalties and are extremely low between them all. This team would constantly have drives killed with either pre-snap Oline penalties or Oline holding penalties. That is a main reason for being last in the league for the last few seasons on O.

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I did not agree with every single pick he made but it is totally clear from FA and the draft that he has a viable plan and dis looking ahead. 

I think they evaluated and identified not just positions but players that wanted to upgrade.

At 1st I was aghast and not at all happy with the FS pick but this is going to put pressure on Maye whom I do not think they are sold on.  At the very least Maye is going to have to fight for his job next year.

The GM also showed he is light on his feet on draft day, ready and willing to move up and down if necessary.

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51 minutes ago, Jetsfan80 said:

It can't be overstated how big of a deal it is to see a 1st-year GM trade down like JD did and still land quality talent.  

He's already significantly better than Macc and Idzik.  He'll pass Tannenbaum by 2021, if he hasn't already.  

Difference was Tannenbaum would trade up for players like Revis, Harris, etc. and every time that happened we wound up with 4 draft picks that occurred multiple times to where we never could draft home grown talent like WR Mims and RB Perine on O that JD got by trading down with. Then Tannenbaum gad to spend much more than these rookies will cost on players like WRs Edwards, and Holmes, as well as RB LT. That caused longer term cap issues and shorter term success since you don't keep those vets as long as you do drafted players. I already feel JD is a better GM than Tannenbaum for this contrasting strategy alone.

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4 hours ago, Grandy said:

I like how instead of focusing on big, expensive names he decided to pursue scheme fits, and patch holes in the roster.

That's how winners are built, not by throwing 20 million at high profile free agents.

NO WE WANT CONKLIN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  AND CLOWNEY !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

J\K.

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Good post. There are a lot of takeaways to go over, but I think you hit the nail on the head when it comes to how Macc operated vs. Douglas. Douglas has a true sense for what this team needs; he looks at the roster as a puzzle and finds players who fit. I don't think Maccagnan was a "bad" talent evaluator, I just think he focused too much on the traditional things to dictate his selections - arm length, player age, perceived potential - and while he preached wanting to build a culture, he never did. 

All these guys are the same "type". They have strong athletic profiles, they were all loved by their teammates, all leaders, heck they all sound the same in their interviews. It was certainly a singles-doubles draft for Douglas and he didn't take any risks in Day 3, but he used it as an opportunity to improve in key areas that often go neglected: backup RB/Powell replacement, backup QB (we've seen how disastrous it can be not having a capable backup first hand), and special teams. The only real "risk" was Bryce Hall given his injury, but man... the Jets could be getting really lucky back-to-back years if he and Bless can reach their potential and avoid injury. 

 

Overall, it was a good draft and a breath of fresh air to know there is a vision and a goal. There were certain things I would've done differently, but no egregious complaints. I think we'll look back 3 years from now and will be so grateful for 3 players in particular: Becton, Clark, and Hall. I've spoken a lot about how great I think Becton can be, but I think Clark is going to a starter sooner rather than later as well. I think Hall will be a steal; this is a player that was directly impacted by COVID-19 as teams couldn't have the medical rechecks/testing results, but he was a good player on tape who I expect to rise to the top. I'm not sure what to make a Mims because he's a little bit boom/bust and I'm still semi-scarred from Stephen Hill, but I'm cautiously optimistic that he'll be more like Bryan Edwards with the potential to have a much better career if he's 100% committed. His profile is remarkably similar to TO's, and I'm fascinated to see how good he ends up being. Davis is probably going to get his crack as our FS in 2021, and Zuniga has boom-bust written all over him yet could become one of those players who breaks out in his 3rd/4th year. Reminds me of Nick Perry. Perine, Mann, and Morgan were all "safe" picks: 3rd down RB who can block and catch, a high-upside punter, and a developmental backup QB (whom we won't be "judged" for another 2-3 years anyway). 

 

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I don't think his work is done.

I think it somewhat slides into what Mccagnan lacked as well. Douglas has set up deals on short terms, that if you play well, you can be extended.

I heard him mention it somewhere in regards to the short term deals, that extensions can be signed before they become free agents.

This was a huge pet peeve of mine, as the Jets seemed to wait until they lost all leverage to negotiate (not that there were many worthy of retaining). The Wilkerson/Fitz contracts were prime examples of not understanding leverage. I think the Jamal situation is a good example of Douglas staying calm because he knows Jamal doesn't have as much leverage as he thinks now.


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Douglas made the offense his own.  No more excuses for Gase.  5 new starters on OL since opening day day last season.  All starters other than Bell/Herndon will be Gase/Douglas guys, brought in for their system.  (And they like Herndon too so Bell is really the only guy not a "Gase/Douglas" guy left.)

Defensively, it's not so much as "their" guys as it is Gregg WIlliams guys, and I think Ashton Davis will be embraced by GW and he'll find ways to take advantage of his athleticism.  Pierre Desir also works well for the cover 2 things the Jets liked for Bless Austin.  I expect a lot of cover 2 this year with Maye/Davis over the top and Jamal lurking in the box.  The key is CJ Mosley, if he's 100% this defense can be top 7.  If they sign Clowney, it can be top 5.

I give Douglas an A- so far.  He's cleared the stench of the Maccagnan era and restored accountability for the roster.  He also addressed the main positional groups we wanted to address in the draft, and he's gotten great value overall.  But I'd LOVE to see him bring it home by signing Clowney.

 

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Best draft in a few years for the Jets. Solidifying the O line was priority number 1 and he got it done without overreaching and panicking. Everything just seems right about this draft including the signing of undrafted players. This is of course a work in progress and will not be evaluated for a couple of years yet, still it just feels more or less safe and thats a first in several years now. Its like when your wife prepares the first dinner for your parents and you worry how it will turn out, will they approve of her or not. Well when it was over your Pops leans back from the table loosens his belt and just smiles. This is how I felt after this draft, satisfied and ready for a nap.

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I like how the Jets have improved while also keeping themselves flexible for 2021. While I'm not crazy about our wide receiver group, I also don't think it's as important of a position as it is sensationalized to be. What Joe did show us: he has a type. In PHI he took part in drafting JJ Arcega-Whiteside (6'2", 225) and Mack Hollins (6'4, 221) and was a catalyst in acquiring Alshon Jeffery (6'3", 218).

Below are all of Joe Douglas's WR acquisitions over his first year with the Jets: 

  • 2019: signed/waived WR Quincy Adeboyejo (6'3", 200) 
  • 2019: claimed WR Braxton Berrios (5'9", 190) 
  • 2019: signed/practice squad WR Josh Malone (6'3", 208) 
  • 2019: traded for WR Demaryius Thomas (6'3", 225)
  • 2019: signed WR Vyncint Smith (6'3", 202) 
  • 2019: signed/practice squad WR Keon Hatcher (6'1", 211) 
  • 2020: signed/futures WR Jehu Chesson (6'3", 204) 
  • 2020: signed WR Josh Doctson (6'2", 202) 
  • 2020: signed WR Breshad Perriman (6'2", 212) 
  • 2020: drafted 2nd round WR Denzel Mims (6'3", 207) 
  • 2020: signed UDFA WR Lawrence Cager (6'5", 220) 
  • 2020: signed UDFA WR George Campbell (6'4", 183) 

A lot of long, lean, "above-the-rim" type WRs on that list, many of which who ran sub-4.5 40s. If they don't see the progression they want out of guys like Perriman and Mims in 2020, I wouldn't be surprised if they made a big pushto sign/trade for guys like Allen Robinson or Kenny Golladay. 

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You get the sense that JD hyper-analyzed every player and every position and was obsessed with improving the team across the board with spending as little money as possible.   In the first two rounds, JD had a plan to add a T and WR, which were gaping holes not adequately filled in FA.  But I also think he deliberately did not draft players where they made a significant FA investment-e.g., IOL.  

I did not like the Perine and Morgan picks, but you can see where he comes from there.  JD sees players like Fales and Powell as not deserving roster spots over drafted players.  He is probably right.  

I don't know where we are heading with Jamal Adams.  It is tough to see him fitting in here, culturally.  Jamal should start playing nice.  

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On 4/25/2020 at 10:40 PM, docdhc said:

That trade down was a thing of beauty. That says the Jets know what they are doing for a change and I think was a signature moment of the offseason. 

Even if it was nothing but luck, still something that NEVER happens to the Jets and a good omen imo

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