Three Positions the New York Jets Could Target In 1st Round

The New York Jets have the 11th pick in the draft. It’s a solid spot to grab a blue-chip prospect. There are three spots the Jets desperately need to improve in the draft. With the opportunity to grab a cornerstone piece at 11, the Jets will target one of these three spots.

Left Tackle

The premier offensive line prospects are a great group. Tristan Wirfs is a spectacular athlete. He’s a great offensive lineman and very agile. Mekhi Becton is a FREAK athlete and very agile as well. Andrew Thomas has the highest ceiling and could be the best of the group. Jedrick Wills is an elite pass protector with incredible potential but would have to transition to left tackle. As long as one of the top 4 guys are there, Joe Douglas seems inclined to add an offensive lineman. There have been rumblings about another position, but, with two weeks to go, I’d say this pick will be a big man. If the Jets trade back, look to Josh Jones of Houston and Austin Jackson of USC to be targeted.

Wide Receiver

The receiver class is more loaded than any in recent memory. There are three key guys who could be targeted at 11 if the Jets target receiver. Henry Ruggs is the dynamic speed demon who lit up the combine. Jerry Jeudy is your prototypical receiver 1 and a crisp route runner. CeeDee Lamb is a little bit of both. Lamb has been the most connected to the Jets and wouldn’t be a surprise per Bleacher Report’s Matt Miller. Lamb and Jeudy are both can’t miss talents. Lamb can be the Hopkins to Darnold’s Watson and potentially be his key playmaker. With that said, I’d love a receiver here, but with the depth in this class at the position, Darnold could use someone at 11 who can protect Sam and give him time to throw. If the Jets trade back, the Jets could grab Justin Jefferson or Jalen Reagor, two-speed demons who could fit well in the Jets offense.

Edge Rusher

This came down to two spots for me. Edge rusher or corner. Pierre Desir and Bless Austin have a lot of potential as a corner duo for next season. I am a big Desir guy, I think he’s incredibly underrated. If they can add another corner in the later rounds then they’d be in a decent spot for the time being at corner. Edge rusher is rough. Jordan Jenkins and Tarell Basham are the projected duo heading into next season. Jenkins and Basham are not the long term duo. Jenkins is on a prove-it deal and Basham isn’t proven. The Jets could use their next star edge rusher. Chase Young will be gone at 11, but K’Lavon Chaisson is a phenomenal talent. He’s dynamic and quick, but with so many other needs, he may not be worth the pick this high or at all with the other needs. If the Jets trade down, AJ Epsensa, Zack Baun and Yetur Gross Matos would all be great targets at the edge spot.

New York Jets: Fake Sports Center account fools media over Colin Kaepernick signing

New York Jets

The world of misinformation strikes again. Today the New York Jets were tied to a situation that ended up trending nationwide. A Twitter account called SportsCenter with the real username being @SuperToughScene posted a tweet today stating, “JUST IN: The New York Jets have signed free agent QB Colin Kaepernick to a 1 year / $9 million contract.”

They even credited Adam Schefter on the story and used the old NFL graphic for new signings that featured the old Jets logo. The story then got picked up by a few local media outlets nationwide and ended up gaining significant traction. I then received multiple texts of people asking, “Woah, the Jets signed Kaepernick”. I then had to fact check this and within seconds I had my answer. So, to set the record straight, Colin Kaepernick is NOT a New York Jet and is still a free agent.

Where Is Kaepernick?

Colin Kaepernick was at a low point in his career following the 2014 & 2015 seasons. The 49ers went through a drastic change in their front office and coaching staff and Kaepernick was coming off 3 surgeries. They were beginning a season with their third coach in three seasons. Kaepernick became blacklisted after kneeling for the Star-Spangled Banner.

Since that moment Kaepernick has been one of the most controversial football players in the modern era. Kaepernick lost his job after Kyle Shanahan took over the team following the 2016 season. Kaepernick then ended up being released and he has remained a free agent since then.

His controversial actions, legal battles with the NFL, and tryout went wrong have made him an unattractive QB for most teams. Although some people think he’s still the Kaepernick they saw play in the Super Bowl in 2012, he’s now 32 and was heading downhill when released.

The fact is, political beliefs aside, the Jets would not make this move from a football standpoint. Nor would any team. Kaepernick would want A LOT of money when at best, he’d be a camp body competing for a backup job. His asking price won’t come down and teams around the league don’t want to pay him an immense amount of money to sit on the bench and draw boatloads of media coverage that could divide their fan base.

NFL plans to host ‘Draft-a-Thon’ for COVID-19 relief

The NFL announced yesterday that this year’s draft will also be functioning as a three-day fundraiser to assist those helping to slow down the spread of the coronavirus. The league’s foundation selected six charities that the benefits will go towards. The six charities are:

All of the charities are nonprofits and have been assisting during this time in many ways. Their services range from the American Red Cross making sure that there is a sufficient blood supply to the United Way’s foundation helping first responders get any resources they may need.

“As we face this global health crisis together, we are filled with gratitude for the extraordinary work of first responders, healthcare workers and many others who are helping those in need,” said NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, as reported on NFL.com. “The Draft-a-Thon will deliver much-need funding to many who are suffering as well as those on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic.”

The league has already donated roughly $40 million to assist national relief efforts. Fans can help add to this number by donating throughout the three days of the draft. The draft is scheduled for April 23-25 and will be televised on ESPN, ABC, ESPN Deportes and NFL Network.

More news regarding the Draft specifics should come out in the coming days.

 

The New York Jets Need to Avoid Drafting a Quarterback

The New York Jets have re-signed David Fales and are reportedly looking at draft options to back up Sam Darnold. But that’s not the way to go.

The New York Jets face quite the conundrum at the quarterback spot as the NFL Draft approaches. It’s one they’re not used to, and one they’re somewhat blessed to encounter. But if they don’t handle it carefully, their new hope Sam Darnold could be the next name added to the list of false saviors under center.

Per Ian Rapoport, the Jets interviewed quarterback James Morgan (virtually, of course) in their preparation for this month’s NFL Draft. The high school star from Green Bay threw for 8,654 yards and 65 touchdowns over four seasons at Bowling Green and Florida International. A strong showing at East-West Shrine Bowl in St. Petersburg thrust Morgan up the board in a talented quarterback class. Jalen Hurts, Cole McDonald, and Shea Patterson are among the other notable names that can go in the latter stages.

The Jets have, or better have, no interest in the top of the class headlined by LSU’s national champion Joe Burrow. They already have apparently found their long-term name, one that’s eluded them for decades.

Darnold has everything one’s looking for in a franchise face: talent, college heroics, respect for the game and his new city. The ability to throw the deep ball certainly helps, as does the way he can move around and extend the play.

Yet, Darnold isn’t there quite yet. For every flash of brilliance, there’s a head-scratching play. For every masterpiece like the one we saw against Dallas, there are ghost sightings like the Monday night disaster against New England. 

Simply put, Darnold needs to learn a few more lessons before he can enter the NFL’s upper echelon of throwers. Thus, he is not in a position where he can be the oldest quarterback in the room. Media availability during his rookie campaign constantly featured tributes to his veteran mentor and synchronized hair-swiping specialist Josh McCown.

The Jets also should continue to contemplate the backup quarterback spot for practical purposes. Darnold has missed six games over his first two seasons due to injury and illness, games that have become Jets losses with no exception. Neither should be held against Darnold…football is an unpredictable, violent game…but that doesn’t mean the Jets shouldn’t be prepared.

New York Jets, Sam Darnold
Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports

Right now, the emergency plans come in the form of David Fales and Mike White. The recent re-signee Fales has thrown 48 passes over a six-year career. That’s 48 more than White, a former Dallas Cowboys draft-pick who was dumped for the undrafted Cooper Rush as the number two man behind Dak Prescott.

That contingency plan isn’t on the Jets’ roster right now. Nor should they look for it in the draft.

This is the most hopeful the Jets have felt in their never-ending rebuild in a long, long time. But with that hope comes a sense of delicacy. Unforced errors and avoidable distractions must be kept to a minimum. Drafting a quarterback is one of the ways to buck that concept.

Today’s era of fantasy football and jersey sales dictates that not only must you rack up the wins, but you have to put on a show while doing it. It’s the football equivalent of a Michael Bay movie sweeping the Oscars. Vince Lombardi famously declared “winning isn’t everything…it’s the only thing”. That bit of wisdom has appeared to have gone the way of the incidental facemask, the 20-yard extra point, and the Houston Oilers.

Sometimes, winning can’t save you. Alex Smith found that out the hard way in Kansas City. The veteran made his bread and butter mostly through routine checkdown throws, but nonetheless went 50-26 as the Chiefs’ starter. That didn’t stop Kansas City from trading up in the draft to take the electrifying Patrick Mahomes out of Texas Tech. Such misfortune came four years after Smith was not granted his starting job back after guiding San Francisco to a 6-2-1 mark before an injury. He lost the role to dual-threat sensation Colin Kaepernick back then.

Tyrod Taylor was another victim in 2017. He had guided the Buffalo Bills to their chance at the postseason in nearly two decades, but pedestrian numbers caused Buffalo brass to insert rookie Nathan Peterman midway through the season. Taylor won his job back temporarily, but, like Smith before him, lost out in the long-term to an exciting younger dual-threat in Josh Allen.

This fickle NFL world is not one for patience. The Mahomes process in Kansas City, for example, is one of the rare occasions where the practice of resting the rookie behind a veteran still went on. If a young backup quarterback steps in and completes a ten-yard pass nowadays, innumerable columns are launched expounding on why that understudy should get an expanded role.

That’s not the kind of pressure Darnold needs right now. If Darnold is already being told that a contingency franchise option is already in the cards, it could wreck his confidence. Such a phenomenon is not unprecedented, even from a day three option. Robert Griffin III was supposed to be the guy in Washington, but their long-term option wound being fourth-round man Kirk Cousins after injuries took over Griffin’s short-lived brilliance. It nonetheless created uncomfortable conversations about who would be the top man if and when Griffin was healthy that could’ve been avoidable.

What makes the Jets’ apparent quest for a quarterback all the more puzzling is that there are options available on the free agent market. If the Jets wanted the upgraded version of Fales…an experienced quarterback who has played in an Adam Gase offense and has proven very reliable as a fill-in starter…Matt Moore is literally right there. Another Super Bowl champion, the 47th edition’s MVP Joe Flacco, is also there for the taking. His brief time with the Broncos proved his days as a franchise starter are over. But the peace of mind of providing invaluable mentorship to Darnold and being just passable enough in case of an emergency (85.1 passer rating in eight Denver starts) could be one of the biggest additions to the Jets’ roster.

The value of an accomplished veteran backup was on display during the Mark Sanchez era. Mark Brunell, he of the Jacksonville Jaguars’ earliest glory days, threw only 15 garbage time passes in a Jets uniform. But the effect he had on a young Sanchez was apparent.

(Photo by Anthony J. Causi/Icon SMI/Corbis/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

“He has a calming presence when everything is spinning out of control,” Sanchez said of Brunell to Rich Cimini of ESPN during the summer of 2011. “When you’re not having a good game or practice is going too fast and you’re just not right, he’s got this way about him.”

Brunell was around for the Jets’ last playoff appearance. Over two seasons with Brunell backing him up (2010-11), Sanchez threw for 6,765 yards and 43 touchdowns. Those numbers dropped to 5,327 yards and 25 touchdowns in two New York years sans Brunell. Sanchez’s 2009 rookie backup (Kellen Clemens) was no issue, but his 2012 understudies were in a constant spotlight. Nothing more needs to be written about the disastrous Tim Tebow experiment, while national champion and draft pick Greg McElroy wound up briefly taking over for Sanchez in the season’s dying stages.

The fact that the Jets have plenty of other holes to fill in the 2020 draft should scare them further away from the quarterbacks. Even with an extra pick, needs on every side of the ball need to take precedent. The receiving group is very weak without Robby Anderson. General manager Joe Douglas hinted that the offensive line renovations might not be over. A spell option for Le’Veon Bell must be considered if both Bilal Powell and Ty Montgomery find new homes.

Defensively, a weak pass rush and shallow secondary must be addressed. Even a kicker should be considered with the on-again/off-again inconsistency of Brett Maher being the only option of the roster.

At the end of the day, the interview with Morgan (and perhaps others) could well be simply the Jets doing their due diligence. Any advantage one can gain during this most unusual draft process is there for the taking. But the Jets can’t afford to make this a priority.

Time will tell if Darnold is the savior under center the franchise has long sought. Drafting a quarterback, inadvertent as it would probably be, would provide a premature “no” to that question, or at least hasten the path to that answer.

Geoff Magliocchetti is on Twitter @GeoffJMags

The New York Jets and Giants are embarking on a virtual NFL Draft experience in 2020

New York Jets

The NFL is preparing to embark on a virtual representation of the Draft, and it’s going to be a wild experience. Especially for the New York Jets and Giants!

The 2020 NFL draft will be different than any other draft for the New York Jets and Giants and the NFL. Roger Goodell won’t be shaking Joe Burrow’s hand and taking a picture as he holds up the Bengals jersey. There won’t be a war room filled with GMs, scouts, and coaches; instead, Joe Douglas and Dave Gettleman will likely be on Zoom with their staff. This is a drastic change, but with the current state of the world, it’s not the least bit surprising.

The NFL Trudges On

League personnel and many NFL analysts believe the decision to go forward with the draft is a heavily controversial one. Adam Schefter even said on ESPN that, “They are determined to put this on while there is carnage in the streets.” The league is determined to move forward and adapt to the continually changing conditions of our world and put on the draft. Now this year’s draft is less spectacle and more Fantasy Football. Let’s just hope nobody auto picks their draft.

In all seriousness, the NFL is providing a distraction for the country in these wild times, but at what cost? The players don’t get to celebrate with the commissioner and enjoy the recognition they’ve fought for so long to earn. The players can’t even enjoy the moment with extended family without disobeying CDC guidelines. The players are being deprived of the joy associated with achieving their childhood dreams of being drafted. It leads many to wonder if there would be more joy associated with the draft had it been postponed.

In the end, there’s going to be a draft. There’s going to be trades and the usual wall to wall coverage. The social aspect of the draft and the festival-like atmosphere that was prominent in Nashville last year is gone. Instead, the world will watch from home as Joe Burrow gets the call to achieve his NFL dreams from home, along with every other prospect as they celebrate while following CDC guidelines. 

Darrelle Revis represents Jets in NFL All-Decade Team

Former New York Jets cornerback Darrelle Revis was selected to the 2010s All-Decade Team by the NFL and Pro Football Hall of Fame. Revis, the only Jets player selected, is one of only three cornerbacks selected to the team, alongside Patrick Peterson and Richard Sherman. The true lockdown corner had an incredible tenure with New York and his career statistics speak for themselves.

Career stats

Revis was never a huge interception threat. However, that was partly because opposing quarterbacks were so reluctant to throw to his side of the field. In his prime, he was arguably the most difficult corner to throw against. Here are some of his career numbers:

  • 29 interceptions
  • 3 touchdowns
  • 139 passes defended
  • 494 tackles
  • 6 forced fumbles
  • 2 sacks
  • 4 All-Pro selections
  • 7 Pro Bowl selections
  • 1 Super Bowl (with Patriots)

Being a true lockdown corner in today’s NFL is so rare, with only a few that could maybe fit that title. Revis was unarguably a lockdown corner and was even given the nickname “Revis Island.” He helped bring the Jets to back-to-back AFC Championship games in 2009 and 2010. Revis did eventually win a Superbowl with the Patriots before returning to New York for a second stint.

What’s next

Canton. The Hall of Fame. Having a spot amongst the greatest of all-time seems like a certainty for Darrelle Revis. The hopeful first-ballot selection would be added to the great New York Jets players enshrined for eternity.

Happy Birthday Neville Hewitt; Five Big Plays from the New York Jets LB

New York Jets LB Neville Hewitt has worked mostly as a reserve, but the defender has come up big at certain points of his football career.

Neville Hewitt is used to his football jersey carrying shades of green. It began with the Thundering Herd of Marshall, where he earned Conference USA Defensive Player of the Year honors in 2014. Such an honor failed to lead to a phone call during the NFL Draft. But Hewitt has since been carving a solid career for himself in the NFL.

Hewitt turns 27 on Monday, and he’ll have extra cash to spend courtesy of the New York Jets. The reserve linebacker was signed to a one-year, $2 million dollar earlier this offseason, welcoming him back for a third Jets season.

While Hewitt has mostly come off the bench, he has proven himself valuable on several occasions. In honor of Hewitt’s big day, we look back on the best moments of his NFL career to date…

12/17/16: Miami Nice

One of Hewitt’s first big NFL moments came at a Jets game at MetLife Stadium under the supervision of Adam Gase. But Hewitt wasn’t a member of the Jets just yet…he, Gase, and the Miami Dolphins were wrapping up the team’s first winning season since 2008 in a Saturday night showdown in East Rutherford.

In the final stages of the third quarter, Hewitt earned his first NFL sack, part of a five-tackle evening. Short-lived Jets starter Bryce Petty was the victim, and Miami took the game by a 34-13 final. They would earn a wild-card playoff berth with an overtime win over Buffalo the week after.

12/9/18: Hew Era Field

After three years in Miami, Hewitt joined the Jets in March 2018. Reps as a reserve and as a special teamer awaited him, but Hewitt was pressed into starting when calamities hit the linebacking group (i.e. a season-ending suspension to Darron Lee). Hewitt’s first Jets start came in a visit to Buffalo.

Bills quarterback Josh Allen tried to pick on Hewitt, throwing to his assignments nine times. Only three made it to their target, and Hewitt also tied for the team lead with eight tackles. He and Henry Anderson also united for a sack on Allen, one that helped stall a Buffalo drive in Jets territory. The Jets wound up winning the game 27-23.

12/23/18: Invading Mr. Rodgers’ Neighborhood

Hewitt had no problem working overtime for Christmas…or, at least, for Festivus. He wound up partaking in every single snap in the Jets’ 44-38 overtime defeat at the hands of the Green Bay Packers.

Despite the loss, Hewitt created a solid showcase. He tied a career-best with nine tackles and earned the first solo sack of his Jets career with a takedown of Aaron Rodgers. The star quarterback was forced into several other throwaways thanks to Hewitt pressure, but nonetheless got knocked down three separate times.

9/8/19: Just Joshin’

When will Josh Allen learn? Perhaps Hewitt heroics too often come in Jets losses, but the linebacker certainly played a role in the effort to prevent a 17-16 loss to the Bills on opening weekend last year by victimizing the Bills’ franchise man again.

Allen only targeted Hewitt assignments on four occasions this time around, but the defender made him pay on one such chance. His interception of Allen in the late stages of the second quarter gave the Jets a chance to build a two-possession lead just before halftime. Alas, Kaare Vedvik let Hewitt’s gift go to waste by missing a 44-yard attempt, one of the biggest differences in the narrow defeat.

Hewitt’s robbery was the second interception of his career. As a rookie Dolphin, he earned his first turnover with an interception of Tony Romo during a November 2015 tilt against Dallas.

LANDOVER, MD – NOVEMBER 17: Neville Hewitt #46 of the New York Jets celebrates with teammates after intercepting a pass against the Washington Redskins during the second half at FedExField on November 17, 2019 in Landover, Maryland. (Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images)

11/17/19: Rude Washington Welcome 

Interconference play seems to bring out the best in Hewitt. He set a new career-best with 11 tackles against Philadelphia in October, but he had a deadlier surprise in store for the Washington Redskins when the Jets hit up FedExField just over a month later.

A dire matchup between teams with a combined three wins was at least partly anticipated for one occasion. First-round pick Dwayne Haskins, the latest in an endless line of Washington franchise saviors, was making his first Landover start. Hewitt was happy to issue the first interception-induced home groans, as it was he that was responsible for Haskins’ first turnover on his new stomping grounds. It was one of several fireworks the Jets enjoyed in a 34-17 win, one that helped spark a 6-2 streak to end the 2019 season.

Geoff Magliocchetti is on Twitter @GeoffJMags

 

New York Jets #MockDraftMonday: April 6, 2020

New York Jets

After Joe Douglas’ public comments, this week’s New York Jets mock draft from our experts gains position unanimity with the 11th overall pick.

With a healthy haul of veteran blockers, one would expect the New York Jets to use the 11th overall pick of the upcoming NFL Draft on a so-called “exciting” pick. Perhaps a receiver could be called to replace Robby Anderson. A depleted pass rush could use a sack threat. Even the secondary could use a bit more help, even with some big names lined up.

To paraphrase Jets general manager Joe Douglas…not so fast.

In his first public comments of the offseason, Douglas seemed to hint that the Jets’ offensive line renovation might not be completed just yet.

“I think there’s a real shortage of quality offensive linemen in the NFL,” Douglas said in a Wednesday afternoon conference call, per Ralph Vacchiano of SNY. “We’re going to do our best to get as many quality ones as we can because you can never have too many.”

Geoff Magliocchetti

1st Round (11th overall): OT Andrew Thomas, Georgia
2nd Round (48th overall): WR K.J. Hamler, Penn State
3rd Round (68th overall): EDGE Julian Okwara, Notre Dame
3rd Round (79th overall): CB Bryce Hall, Virginia
4th Round (120th overall): S Jeremy Chinn, Southern Illinois
5th Round (158th overall): RB AJ Dillon, Boston College
6th Round (191st overall): LB Mohamed Barry, Nebraska
6th Round (211th overall): K Rodrigo Blankenship, Georgia

The flexibility we thought the Jets would have at the 11th pick seems to have gone by the wayside with Douglas’ apparent commitment to a blocker. But that flexibility can present itself in new ways on draft weekend. With the depth and imperative transactions the Jets have gained and made via free agency, the Jets have plenty of freedom with their remaining seven picks. The wiggle room could be especially advantageous when it comes to their three picks in the Friday session.

Douglas is apparently intrigued by the deep blocking class available on the first day. Even if Thomas goes within the first ten picks, Mekhi Becton, Tristan Wirfs, and Thomas’ SEC compatriot Jedrick Wills should be readily available. Day two would allow the Jets to fill one of their biggest remaining needs: receiving and defensive depth. Hamler is a Friday gem that would immediately contribute to any offense, while Okwara would fill the necessary pass rush void in order to start giving Josh Allen nightmares. The trend of immediate depth contributors extends into day three. Chinn can work alongside the established strong duo of Jamal Adams and Marcus Maye, while Dillon becomes a much-needed spell option for Le’Veon Bell.

Brendan Carpenter

1st Round (11th overall): OT Andrew Thomas, Georgia
2nd Round (48th overall): WR Tee Higgins, Clemson
3rd Round (68th overall): EDGE Bradlee Anae, Utah
3rd Round (79th overall): WR Bryan Edwards, South Carolina
4th Round (120th overall): CB Troy Pride Jr., Notre Dame
5th Round (158th overall): DE Jonathan Greenard, Florida
6th Round (191st overall): LB Mohamed Barry, Nebraska
6th Round (211th overall): K Rodrigo Blankenship, Georgia

Taking a receiver with their first pick is tempting, but the Jets would opt to go the safe route to solidify the remaining spot on their offensive line. I originally had the Jets selecting Jalen Reagor out of TCU on day two, but at 6’4″ with a long frame, Higgins would be tough to pass on. He knows how to show up in big games as well. The receiving trend continues with the 6’3, 212-pound Edwards, but there would be some question marks. He missed his final two games with a knee injury and broke his foot while training for the combine. Despite these setbacks, Edwards is another addition that could have a decent upside. Appropriately, the Jets would use the pick earned from the Leonard Williams trade to Anae (13 sacks in 14 starts last season).

Cornerback is a position of need for Gang Green. With Jeff Okudah most likely going in the top-five in the draft, there is no need to reach for one after that. Getting Pride Jr. in the third round would satisfy a need the Jets desperately need to address. He would slide in to play alongside Pierre Desir and Brian Poole in the secondary. Greenard could immediately contribute on the defensive line, especially if Quinnen Williams is suspended.

Dylan Price

1st Round (11th overall): OT Jedrick Wills, Alabama
2nd Round (48th overall): WR KJ Hamler, Penn State
3rd Round (68th overall): EDGE Joshua Uche, Michigan
3rd Round (79th overall): CB Troy Pride Jr., Notre Dame
4th Round (120th overall): OT Ben Bartch, St. John’s (MN)
5th Round (158th overall): RB Darrynton Evans, Appalachian State
6th Round (191st overall): TE Colby Parkinson, Stanford
6th Round (211th overall): OL Calvin Throckmorton, Oregon

In our last mock, I projected Andrew Thomas would be the pick. This time he was off the board, so Wills becomes the key offensive lineman of the future. He, Bartch and Throckmorton are all incredibly versatile offensive linemen. Bartch and Wills can be starters quickly, while Throckmorton provides depth. Hamler has elite playmaking ability and immediately becomes an excellent weapon for Sam Darnold.

Parkinson also becomes a good weapon, with high potential, who could fight for some reps at tight end. Uche and Pride both can develop behind the starters this year and be groomed to take over in 2021. Evans was a pick in my last mock draft who could be the future back for this team.

Geoff Magliocchetti is on Twitter @GeoffJMags

President Trump Hopes To See Fans In Stadiums And Arenas “By August Or September”

empire sports media

Today, Adam Schefter (ESPN) reported that President Donald Trump was on a conference call with commissioners and top executives of major United States professional sports. The call included NFL commissioner Roger Goddell, MLB commissioner Rob Manfred, NBA commissioner Adam Silver, and others representing leagues such as the PGA Tour, NHL, WNBA, etc.

On the call, Trump said that he hopes that fans will be able to attend events again by August or September. He also said that he believes that the NFL will be ready to start on time with no restrictions.

While it wasn’t unexpected, this is a massive blow for major sports. The news pushes the start of the MLB and WNBA seasons way back, halts all PGA and LPGA Tour events for a long time, as well as racing events. For the NBA and the NHL, this makes it less likely that the season will be finished.

It will probably be safe enough for teams to start playing each other before then, but it may only be a few weeks before. If it is as late as July or August, I have a hard time seeing the NHL and NBA return. All the rest of the leagues, with exception to the NFL, will have to play significantly shortened schedules.

This is still a rapidly changing and fluid situation. Each league has new ideas on how to get play going sooner, but all end up being put aside in the end. We may not know more about the resumption of leagues until the amount of COVID-19 cases peak, and we start to see a downward trend.

But for now, continue to social distance and wash your hands. Do your part and hope others do theirs. That way, we can get back to a normal way of life soon.

Stay safe, ESM nation!

NFL to Broadcast Playoff Game on Nickelodeon for 2020

NFL, Football

With the NFL season facing challenges to all the other leagues face in the coronavirus world we now live in, we did get some positive news. The CBA was approved, the NFL draft will go ahead (modified of course), and modifications to the current NFL postseason expanding the number of teams participating to 14 teams. As a result of the new expanded format, news emerged that sounded so comical, you assumed it was an April Fool’s Day prank.

NFL to Broadcast on Children’s TV Network

The Jets, a fringe playoff team last season, had a chance to be the 7th team under this new format. So, IF the NFL season starts on time (a lot could still happen with this pandemic), the Jets could be playing their first playoff game since Mark Sanchez was QB on the Nickelodeon television network.

Yes. You read that right. Nickelodeon will carry an NFL playoff game for the 2020-2021 season. Complete with their own broadcast team.

The Possibilities are ENDLESS

If you’re like me, someone in their late 20’s to mid to late 30’s, you remember A LOT of Nickelodeon television. Bringing back someone like Summer Sanders (host of Figure It Out), or Mike O’Malley (host of the show Guts) would excite young parents my age into watching the broadcast on Nickelodeon for nostalgia sake.

But Nickelodeon is, first and foremost, known for its animation. Rugrats, Aah! Real Monsters, Hey Arnold, Rocket Power, and (most famously) Spongebob Squarepants. Could you imagine a Nickelodeon broadcast of an NFL game featuring Summer Sanders doing play by play, and Spongebob doing color commentary? If the Simpsons could animate Homer answering questions in real time, and South Park’s Eric Cartman could introduce Colorado University’s football team on live TV, Spongebob doing color for Jets V Ravens in the Wild Card game is VERY much a reality.