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Denzel Mims' X-factor, plus 13 more thought on the Jets going into the bye week


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By Connor Hudges

A few thoughts on the Jets as the team breaks for their bye week …

Trevor Lawrence or bust?

The Jets sure look destined for the No. 1 pick, a position they strengthened with Monday night’s loss to the Patriots. While there are a few more potentially-winnable games on their schedule (Chargers, Raiders, Patriots), New York won’t be favored in any of them. And if the Jets lose out, Lawrence is theirs. They’ll take him, too. No doubt about it. They can’t pass on a generational prospect like that.

There isn’t much wiggle room for the Jets, though. Right behind them are the equally awful Jaguars (1-7) and their equally brutal schedule. Say the Jets steal one of those three games, finish the year 1-15, and fall to No. 2 in the draft because Jacksonville loses out and has a strength of schedule advantage. What do the Jets do then?

If you asked me a couple of months ago, I would have told you they trade back. They ride Sam Darnold in Year 4, recoup additional draft capital, continue to round out the roster. I felt pretty confident in that, too.

I don’t feel nearly as strong anymore.

Ohio State quarterback Justin Fields is putting up statistics inconceivable on rookie mode in Madden. He’s completed 72 of 83 passes (86.7 percent) for 908 yards with 11 touchdowns and zero interceptions in victories over Rutgers, Penn State and Nebraska (granted, not the cream of the crop in Big Ten opponents). He has another 57 yards and two touchdowns on the ground. Here’s what our Dane Brugler had to say about him in his most recent draft big board, which ranks Fields as the nation’s No. 2 prospect.

Instead of opting out, Fields did everything in his power to push for a Big Ten fall schedule because he wanted to show the world, including NFL scouts, the improvements to his game. And through three games, he has done exactly that. We knew about his dual-threat skills and locked-in demeanor, but Fields is showing improved vision and willingness to work his progressions, which is the development evaluators were hoping to see from him.

You don’t need to read again about how the Jets have failed in cultivating an environment where Darnold can have success.  That excuses some of his struggles this year, but not all of them. He’s completing 58.6 percent of his passes in six games with 1,045 passing yards, three touchdowns and six interceptions. That’s a quarterback rating of 65.9. Joe Flacco, in three starts, already surpassed Darnold in passing touchdowns (4) and quarterback rating (80.6). Darnold’s decision-making isn’t good, his mechanics are bad, and there are many other areas where he has noticeably regressed. Not to mention: He’s again sidelined with a shoulder injury. He’s missed time and dealt with injuries each of his first three years. That’s troubling.

Head coach Adam Gase, general manager Joe Douglas and CEO Christopher Johnson still believe in Darnold. They think he can be a franchise quarterback. But if Darnold returns from this latest ailment and plays no different than he did in his previous six starts? I find it very hard to see the Jets passing on Fields.

Trade compensation

ESPN’s Adam Schefter speculated a second- and fifth-round pick might come back to the Jets if they moved Darnold during the draft. That’s probably the best-case scenario. They should get at least a third-rounder, though. Some contending team who had a high grade on Darnold will try their hand with a talented player they’d have control over for three more years (Year 4, fifth-year option, franchise tag). The two most-linked teams are the Colts and Steelers with Philip Rivers and Ben Roethlisberger aging. Either situation would be perfect for Darnold.

One other team I’d keep an eye on: The Broncos.

Denver did draft Drew Lock in the second round last year. He’s had his moments since, but been mostly so-so in 2020. In his six starts, Lock has 1,240 passing yards, six touchdowns and six interceptions. He’s completing 56.5 percent of his passes with a quarterback rating of 65.9.

I remember talking to ex-Jets GM Mike Maccagnan a few years ago about the 2017 NFL Draft. Remember: He traded up from No. 6 to No. 3 to position the Jets for a quarterback. That move always seemed risky. The Browns, picking No. 1, weren’t interested in moving back. They needed a quarterback. The Giants, at No. 2, did not. They weren’t ready to give up on Eli Manning yet. Some team, knowing the Jets needed a quarterback, could offer a massive bounty of picks to Gettleman to jump Maccagnan. That would leave the Jets with the third quarterbacking option.

That’s not how the Jets saw it, though. Through their own league sources, they learned the Giants were going to draft running back Saquon Barkley, refusing to pass on a player they believed had Hall of Fame potential. That would leave the Jets with Baker Mayfield, because most around the league believed Cleveland would draft Darnold. Maccagnan wasn’t worried about Mayfield not being there because he knew the Giants would draft Barkley.

Maccagnan said he started to sweat a little when draft day came and it became clear the Browns were actually going to draft Mayfield. He knew John Elway and the Broncos loved Darnold. They were obsessed with him, but never thought he’d get past Cleveland. Now that he had, there was some concern the Broncos could make a massive offer to the Giants to move up. The Jets actually contemplated calling the Giants to prevent that from happening. Instead, though, Maccagnan trusted his sources. They insisted the Giants refused to risk losing Barkley.

It’s unclear if the Broncos actually called or not, but Gettleman said after the draft he refused to answer the phone and engage in any trade discussions. The Giants drafted their running back, then Maccagnan took Darnold.

The Broncos have each of their picks in this year’s draft. If the Jets make Darnold available, would Elway consider ending the Lock experience to go after the player he loved in 2017? It’s worth watching.

Other NFL Draft options

As mentioned above, our Dane Brugler, one of the best in the business at evaluating college players, came out with his updated top-50 big board. Lawrence and Fields are obviously No. 1 and 2. A few other notable guys on there the Jets could have some interest in include Oregon OT Penei Sewell (No. 3), LSU WR Ja’Marr Chase (No. 4), Alabama WR Jaylen Waddle (No. 10), Michigan edge Kwity Paye (No. 12), Georgia edge Azeez Ojulari (No. 13), Miami edge Gregory Rousseau (No. 14), Northwestern OT Rashawn Slater (No. 18), LSU WR Terrace Marshall (No. 22), Texas edge Joseph Ossai (No. 24), Minnesota WR Rashod Bateman (No. 26), Ohio State OG Wyatt Davis (No. 27), USC OT/OG Alijah Vera-Tucker (No. 30) and Wake Forrest edge Carlos Basham (No. 34).

Salary cap update

Let’s keep the forward thinking going, shall we? According to OTC, the Jets should have $80.85 million in salary cap space this coming offseason, assuming a league cap of $176 million per team. That’s second-most in the NFL behind the Jaguars ($83.9 million). The Jets can add another $8.2 and $3.25 million by releasing defensive end Henry Anderson and guard Greg Van Roten. That would give them $92.3 million.

OTC projects 12 teams will have less than $10 million in salary cap space, with nine teams projected in the negatives. The Falcons (-$25 million), Eagles (-$64) and Saints (-$94) highlight the bottom of the list. This is important. Teams will have to release solid players to get out from under the cap. This could be a historic free-agent class.

Here are a few players under contract for 2021 on teams set to be in the negatives who, if released, would create noticeable cap space: Vikings offensive tackle Riley Reiff, Texans defensive end J.J. Watt, Texans center Nick Martin, Chiefs tackle Eric Fisher, Chiefs safety Tyrann Mathieu, Eagles defensive end Derek Barnett, Eagles tight end Dallas Goedert, Saints guard Nick Easton, Saints tackle Ryan Ramczyk.

Taking care of their own

Darnold’s play isn’t the only thing worth monitoring the final half of the year. Douglas will need to decide on a slew of unrestricted free agents. He played hardball in 2020, refusing to come off his perceived market value for each player. It worked on guys like linebacker Jordan Jenkins and corner Brian Poole, but not receiver Robby Anderson. It will be fascinating to see how Douglas’ stance changes. When he met the media after the deadline, he admitted he made a mistake with Anderson, stressing the Jets cannot let good players walk out the door.

Wideout Breshad Perriman, corners Brian Poole and Pierre Desir, safeties Bradley McDougald and Marcus Maye, and linebackers Jordan Jenkins, Neville Hewitt and Tarell Basham are among the Jets’ more notable unrestricted free agents.

Receiver retention

Perriman, signed by Douglas to replace Anderson, had been a massive disappointment before Monday night’s near-victory against New England. It wasn’t that he struggled on the field as much as he wasn’t ever on it. A knee injury sidelined him most of training camp. Then he injured his ankle. Then he had a concussion. Perriman made the first truly healthy start of his season against the Patriots and caught five passes for 102 yards and two touchdowns.

Perriman isn’t a No. 1 wideout. He’s not reliable enough for the Jets to consider him a No. 2, either. But that shouldn’t stop Douglas from trying to re-sign him this offseason.

You can’t coach Perriman’s speed. You saw that on his first score against New England. He has an uncanny ability to take the top off a defense. The Jets will surely try to bolster their receiving corps in free agency and the draft — whether that’s for Lawrence, Fields or Darnold. Say the team can add Allen Robinson or JuJu Smith-Schuster. That player starts opposite Denzel Mims with Jamison Crowder in the slot. What exactly is the downside in having Perriman as your No. 4? That receiving quartet would actually be, dare I say, quite good.

The Jets signed Perriman to a 1-year, $5-million deal in March. He won’t cost that much more this offseason. I’d bring him back. Why not?

He’s going to be good

The Jets have something in Mims. You see glimpses of it every week. His catch against the Patriots, the one where he then threw the defender aside with a nasty stiff arm, is evidence of that. He’s big, physical and athletic. He’ll only get better as he learns the nuances of running routes against NFL defensive backs.

There’s an X-factor with Mims, though. It’s his personality. The guy believes he’s the best receiver on the field whenever he’s on the field. It’s not just his trash talking. That swagger shines through any time the ball is in his hands. His teammates love him for it. It’s a shame Mims missed as much time as he did this summer. Had he stayed healthy, he might be getting more praise than rookie left tackle Mekhi Becton.

Avoiding a scare

Speaking of Becton, the Jets dodged a bullet with the chest injury he suffered against the Patriots. His lungs, heart and pectoral muscle are all fine. Gase didn’t provide additional specifics on Tuesday, but did sound hopeful Becton could go against the Chargers in Week 11.

What to make of Chris Herndon

Monday night was undeniably the best the Jets offense has looked all season. They ran the ball with some effectiveness, stretched the field, and kept Joe Flacco upright. The group wasn’t just competent, but good—a serious step in the right direction. Surprisingly, the Jets were able to do it without the player they deemed their best offensive weapon in the offseason. Herndon wasn’t just catchless — Flacco never even threw his way.

I still can’t explain why Herndon has been this bad this season. He has 14 catches for 101 yards and zero touchdowns in nine games. He doesn’t get open. When he does, he doesn’t see targets. When he sees targets, he drops them. When he doesn’t drop them, he fumbles. It’s been brutal.

Still, I wouldn’t write off the big-bodied tight end yet. Maybe he needs an offseason to get his mind right? Maybe a new coach will help him? Maybe a year where no one is talking about him? Herndon has too much talent to be this bad.

Second-year jump

He’s out right now with a hamstring injury, but it’s hard not to be impressed with Quinnen Williams. He already has more tackles (31), sacks (3.0) and tackles for loss (7) in eight games than he had all of last year in 13 (28, 2.4, 4). His PFF grade of 71.8 is also significantly better (67.4).

The crazy thing about Williams is how young he is. He doesn’t turn 23 until December. He’s not only developing as a player, but coming into his body. The Jets have some legitimate talent up front with him, Foley Fatukasi, John Franklin-Myers and rookie Jabari Zuniga. All the Jets need to do is add a pure pass rusher to the mix. They have the picks to do that over the next two years.

Playing time for young guys

The one benefit to such an atrocious season: You can get a jumpstart in evaluating the younger players. Becton (No. 11, left tackle), Mims (No. 59, receiver), Ashtyn Davis (No. 68, safety) and Braden Mann (No. 191, punter) all started against the Patriots. Running back La’Mical Perine (No. 120) didn’t, but played 21 snaps to Frank Gore’s 23. Defensive end Jabari Zuniga (No. 79) and corner Bryce Hall (No. 158) rotated in with the starting defense. The only two players who didn’t play were quarterback James Morgan (No. 125) and guard Cameron Clark (No. 129). Expect that to continue moving forward.

Where is Clark?

Several have asked about Clark, the guard selected by the Jets in the fourth round. He’s improving each week, but just isn’t ready to play yet. He’s a guy really hurt by no organized team activities, mini camp and a condensed training camp. There’s a chance he works in there before the end of the year. More likely: This is a redshirt season. Look for him to compete more in 2021.

Early return

The Jets traded Jamal Adams and a 2022 fourth-round pick to the Seahawks for McDougald, a first- and third-round pick in 2021, and a first-r0und pick in 2022. Adams missed four games this season with a groin injury. He does have 3.5 sacks in the other four. One issue: The Seahawks haven’t been able to mask the safety’s struggles in coverage.

Quarterbacks have thrown at Adams 14 times this season. They’ve completed 11 for 178 yards and a touchdown. They have a quarterback rating of 142.6. Adams has a PFF grade this year of 60.8, easily the lowest of his career.

NFL Draft update

The Jets (0-9) would hold the No. 1 pick if the draft were held today. Here’s a look at the top-10, including each team’s strength of schedule. Remember: That’s the first tiebreaker.

  1. Jets (0-9) || .591
  2. Jaguars (1-7) || .554
  3. Cowboys (2-7) || .473
  4. Giants (2-7) ||  .508
  5. Washington (2-6) || .466
  6. Chargers (2-6) || .507
  7. Texans [pick belongs to Dolphins] (2-6) || .565
  8. Bengals (2-5-1) || .527
  9. Panthers (3-6) || .537
  10. Falcons (3-6) ||  .541

(Photo: Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

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Conor Hughes wants to spend more money on Perriman. That Perriman is talented/fast in not arguable. The dude cannot stay healthy. Gase has suggested in an interview over a month ago that Perriman's leg issues are a permanent thing that he has to deal with. Some days his legs are okay but other days he can't go.

The Jets are better off looking for another veteran being cut from a salary cap challenged team. Plus draft another damn wide receiver to develop along side Mims.

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No to Perriman! 
Once we sign Robinson or Juju, we’ll have Mims  & Crowder still, JD will draft another WR. That will give us 2 veterans, Mims in his 2nd year with hopefully a full camp, keep Berrios & a Smith whichever 1 plays best in these following 7 games. 
 

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1 hour ago, jgb said:

Takeaways: Gettlemen is a moron for not bluffing Macc into coughing up a 3rd or 4th rounder to swap picks in the Darnold draft and the fact that Flacco is outplaying Darnold is undeniable evidence that Darnold is a bust.

This is really funny. Flacco made the same mistake Darnold made by missing a wide open WR on the play he threw a pick yet he is outplaying him. 

Have we forgotten that Flacco didn't engineer a single point against the Fins?

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You know, if the Jets do get the 1st pick & Trevor Lawrence, plus add picks they get for Darnold it would not be out of the question that JD could land Etienne & Justyn Ross! 
That would be crazy! 
Nice group of WRs too in Allen Robinson or Juju, Mims, Crowder & Ross. 

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6 minutes ago, More Cowbell said:

Sorry, still not sold on Mims. He is playing ok. Nobody is confusing him with JJ. 

Of course no one here is crowning Mims as the next coming but that quick hands catch, turn & stiff arm the CB had me hoping he could turn into another Al Toon for us. It’s ok to hope! 

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1 hour ago, More Cowbell said:

This is really funny. Flacco made the same mistake Darnold made by missing a wide open WR on the play he threw a pick yet he is outplaying him. 

Have we forgotten that Flacco didn't engineer a single point against the Fins?

Read the article. I'm not talking about one individual play by either guy. They list the seasons stats for both. Sample size matters.

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9 minutes ago, More Cowbell said:

Flacco's stats are skewed by the Pats game. Flacco sucks

And if you take away that bullet to the brain, Abraham Lincoln had an awesome 1865.

I'd suggest you take away that excellent Darnold game to make the comparison even -- oh wait, he hasn't had one.

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2 hours ago, jgb said:

And if you take away that bullet to the brain, Abraham Lincoln had an awesome 1865.

I'd suggest you take away that excellent Darnold game to make the comparison even -- oh wait, he hasn't had one.

Flacco out right sucked against the Cardinals and then was even worse against the fins, then he played a Pats team that is possibly worse than we are and made his stats look a lot better the same Sam looked good against Denver. Bottom line, Flacco is horrible, same way Sam is. 

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7 minutes ago, More Cowbell said:

Flacco out right sucked against the Cardinals and then was even worse against the fins, then he played a Pats team that is possibly worse than we are and made his stats look a lot better the same Sam looked good against Denver. Bottom line, Flacco is horrible, same way Sam is. 

We ain't comparing him to Pat Mahomes here.

He's playing better than Darnold. It is an objective truth.

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2 minutes ago, More Cowbell said:

Based on what, Darnold playing most of his games with Barrios and Hogan as his #1 and 2 WR's. When Flacco did that he couldn't even put a point on the board

Based on performance, results, statistics. You know, facts things.

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4 hours ago, More Cowbell said:

Sorry, still not sold on Mims. He is playing ok. Nobody is confusing him with JJ. 

What would it take to sell you on him? He catches the ball when thrown to him, gets YAC by avoiding or pushing tacklers aside, blocks effectively on numerous long gains including one TD.  Plus his collegiate production was elite in addition to his combine being stout.  What is it that would get through for you? 

Serious question 

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7 hours ago, jetspenguin said:

Mims baby....been saying it since before the draft. The kids gonna be a beast once we have a qb that can get him the ball and an O-line that can block long enough for a play to develop. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

and fire Gase

Love Mims.  I still can't belive we got him like we did with all the movin and shakin in the draft.

We need to get these guys a legit offensive coach with a regime of development. If that happens he will be the best homegrown WR we've seen since Chrebet/Keyshawn imo. 

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21 hours ago, GREENBEAN said:

What would it take to sell you on him? He catches the ball when thrown to him, gets YAC by avoiding or pushing tacklers aside, blocks effectively on numerous long gains including one TD.  Plus his collegiate production was elite in addition to his combine being stout.  What is it that would get through for you? 

Serious question 

It's like Schrödinger's cat -- the QB stinks because the weaponz stink and at the same time the weaponz stink because the QB stinks

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I would be steering clear of Schuster. I'm not convinced that he's a bona fide WR1. Couldn't maintain that pace when Brown wasn't opposite him and he's had weeks so far this season where he's hardly had a catch. I will admit, though, that he has picked up the pace over the past couple of weeks. I'd be okay with Robinson but I'd also be targeting Godwin of the Buccaneers in free agency as well as seeing if Jerrah Jones is prepared to part with Gallup for a mid-round (or better yet late round) pick.

Can't see the point of paying any money to Perriman to see him in street clothes for multiple games because his body has failed on him. Best ability is availability and Perriman isn't available often enough.

Apart from taking Lawrence or Fields in the draft, Douglas needs to continue his work in fortifying the offensive line and bringing in weapons. Make our opponents scheme around us and I think that would also benefit the defence, even if Douglas doesn't spend too many resources on that side of the ball.

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1 hour ago, GREENBEAN said:

What would it take to sell you on him? He catches the ball when thrown to him, gets YAC by avoiding or pushing tacklers aside, blocks effectively on numerous long gains including one TD.  Plus his collegiate production was elite in addition to his combine being stout.  What is it that would get through for you? 

Serious question 

Not getting tackled on first contact would go a long way, using his body to shield of defenders. Right now he is just a guy that makes a catch. I know that is impressive with the utter garbage we have on this team but he has to do more to be a #1

 

 

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3 minutes ago, maury77 said:

I'd love for the Jets to get a shot at Goeddert if he becomes availiable. Douglas was part of the scouting team that drafted Goeddert, so I think it bears monitoring. 

Spotrac has him under contract for one more year with the Eagles. He becomes an UFA in 2022. Eagles will likely look to re-sign him in the off-season and dump Ertz, Jeffery and Jackson.

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Just now, jgb said:

When you start removing data points to make a point, you’ve crossed over into the city limits of Feelsville.

And when you ignore he played 3 games where 2 of them he absolutely sucked, and one where he sucked to the point he was shut out by Miami of all teams and only focus on the one game played against a team that is arguably the least talented in the league where he played well because the competition was so bad, you crossed over into not objective. 

Oh, btw. In the game you are falling all over yourself to give him credit, he took a drive killing sack and a threw the ball into double coverage and got picked off  with his TE wide open in the flat with the game on the line. Just epic QB play. 

Got any more facts and figures you want to talk about?

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28 minutes ago, Aussie Jet said:

Spotrac has him under contract for one more year with the Eagles. He becomes an UFA in 2022. Eagles will likely look to re-sign him in the off-season and dump Ertz, Jeffery and Jackson.

As mentioned above the Eagles are $64,000,000 Over the cap next year.  No one is safe.  

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1 hour ago, More Cowbell said:

And when you ignore he played 3 games where 2 of them he absolutely sucked, and one where he sucked to the point he was shut out by Miami of all teams and only focus on the one game played against a team that is arguably the least talented in the league where he played well because the competition was so bad, you crossed over into not objective. 

Oh, btw. In the game you are falling all over yourself to give him credit, he took a drive killing sack and a threw the ball into double coverage and got picked off  with his TE wide open in the flat with the game on the line. Just epic QB play. 

Got any more facts and figures you want to talk about?

Who is ignoring anything here you are trying to compare him to Johnny Unitas I’m just comparing him to the worst starting QB in the NFL Samwell Darnit! I never said he was good just better than Sam and that’s VERIFIED by facts — namely every measure used to evaluate quarterbacking prowess. They both suck but your boy sucks worse!

If you had a shred of intellectual honesty you’d realize (1) you can’t eliminate a player’s good performances when you evaluate him or (2) you’d at least understand you’d have to eliminate Sam’s best and compare them on equal footing — but you can’t because all Sam’s performances are ghastly!

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9 hours ago, jgb said:

Who is ignoring anything here you are trying to compare him to Johnny Unitas I’m just comparing him to the worst starting QB in the NFL Samwell Darnit! I never said he was good just better than Sam and that’s VERIFIED by facts — namely every measure used to evaluate quarterbacking prowess. They both suck but your boy sucks worse!

If you had a shred of intellectual honesty you’d realize (1) you can’t eliminate a player’s good performances when you evaluate him or (2) you’d at least understand you’d have to eliminate Sam’s best and compare them on equal footing — but you can’t because all Sam’s performances are ghastly!

Perrimam, Crowder, Mims on the field at the same time. You want to compare the two, give them both the same recievers. We have seen what Flacco looks like when he played with Hogan and Barrios and it was worse than Sam. 

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13 hours ago, More Cowbell said:

Not getting tackled on first contact would go a long way, using his body to shield of defenders. Right now he is just a guy that makes a catch. I know that is impressive with the utter garbage we have on this team but he has to do more to be a #1

 

 

He hasn't gone down on first contact yet though.  It's a small sample size but man has the kid shown up.  The way he blocks downfield is something we haven[t seen since Braylon Edwards. 

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4 minutes ago, GREENBEAN said:

He hasn't gone down on first contact yet though.  It's a small sample size but man has the kid shown up.  The way he blocks downfield is something we haven[t seen since Braylon Edwards. 

Sorry. I must have missed him breaking tackles. Even the guy he stiff armed which imo was not much of an attempt brought h down. 

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