New York Jets land CB Brandin Echols out of Kentucky

brandin echols, jets

The New York Jets continue to spend the back half of their draft providing weapons for Robert Saleh. Brandin Echols, a 5 foot 11, 178-pound corner from Kentucky, is the latest addition. Echols played alongside day two selection Kelvin Joseph and had success in his two seasons down south. The receiver converted to corner and began his career on the JUCO route. After being named a JUCO All American, Echols transferred to Kentucky and quickly earned a starting role.

Echols debuted in his Junior season playing 13 games and racking up 54 tackles, 2.5 TFLs, 1.0 sack, 9 PDs and 2 FFs. Echols caught some eyes and expectations rose going into his senior season. Up against some of the top receivers in the country, Echols held his own, and finished his season with 54 tackles, 2.0 TFLs and an INT.

Echols progressed as a corner and given he is still relatively new to the position he still can grow. He has great fluidity and excellent speedrunning a blazing 4.30 forty. He is a superb athlete who can hang with some of the burners in the league. The expectation is he and Carter Jr. will likely compete for playing time in the slot and in various packages. Echols has shown more in coverage to this point but both players are exceptional athletes.

One thing to note with Echols is that he does have the size to play outside if need be. His game may not fit there as well as Jason Pinnock, but if he can utilize his speed on the outside he could earn playing time there as well, and relatively quickly. This is another high upside swing on a defensive back as the Jets look to round out their secondary.

New York Jets select shifty UNC running back Michael Carter, what to know

jets, michael carter

The New York Jets have selected RB Michael Carter from the University of North Carolina with the 107th pick in the 2021 NFL Draft. After drafting QB Zach Wilson from Bringham Young University, IOL Alijah Vera Tucker, and certified weapon from Ole Miss Elijah Moore. Now, the plan to put Zach Wilson in the best position possible continues. The Jets drafted a talented back in Carter.

In High School, Carter ran for over 2,500 yards in his senior season. The explosiveness carried over to Chapel Hill as he had 3,404 yards in his time with the Tarheels. That number puts him in the record books with the fourth best total in the school’s history. His burst and athleticism is evident in all facets of his game.

Last season on the ground, he rushed for a whopping 8.0 yards per carry, which was fifth in the NCAA last season. He also had 684 yards before contact, which was fourth best in the college ranks last year. On top of that, he had 267 yards receiving and 11 total scores last season. Oh yeah, and he did this alongside fellow draft pick and now Bronco running back Javonte Williams.

His talent is apparent, and he’s an even better guy off the field. He was voted team captain, and despite the fact he and Williams could’ve been at odds competing for reps, he was happy taking whatever role possible to benefit the team. Carter projects as a top-tier change of pace back at the next level, and he will slot in with Tevin Coleman, La’Mical Perine, and Ty Johnson as the backfield committee looks set heading into the 2021-22 season. This should allow the pressure on Zach Wilson to continue to ease while providing Mike LaFleur even more weapons in his first season as Offensive Coordinator.

New York Jets ink versatile offensive lineman Corey Levin

The New York Jets have added more depth to the offensive line in the form of 26-year-old Corey Levin. Levin, a former sixth-rounder from Chattanooga, was a competent lineman for the Chattanooga squad before staying in Tennessee with the Titans. Levin now joins the Jets as a depth piece for next season.

How Does Levin Fit?

Levin has become somewhat of a journeyman in his brief career. After being waved by Tennessee, he’s found homes in Chicago, New England, and Denver all briefly. Now he finds a home in New York as a versatile depth piece moving forward.

Levin has yet to register a substantial amount of playing time in any of his last three spots, but he did dress for all 16 games his rookie year, playing snaps on special teams and rotating in at center and guard for one game.

Although there is not a lot to go off with Levin, one preseason evaluation from 2019 was encouraging as the Titan-sized site on SB Nation reported, “Offensive lineman Corey Levin was also a standout player. Levin could get some run at center this season, and he has the versatility to play elsewhere on the offensive line.” For a team that needs more bodies in the room, the addition of the young lineman is intriguing as the team fills out the roster before the draft.

BREAKING: Jets sign DE Carl Lawson to 3 year deal

For the first time in years, the Jets have signed a legitimate edge rusher. Per Ian Rapoport of NFL Network, the New York Jets have signed Carl Lawson to a three-year deal worth 45 million. Lawson, a fourth-round pick in 2017, has spent the past four seasons with the Cincinnati Bengals, earning 20 sacks in that time span.

What it means for the Jets:

Carl Lawson ranked amongst the top pass rushers in the league over the past few seasons. With a pass rush productivity rank of 8.5 by Pro Football Focus, Lawson ranked as the ninth-best. Lawson also had 32 QB Hits in 2020, which was second-best in all of the NFL. He has 83 in his career, which ranks in the top 15 in all of football. Lawson had his best year in 2017 with 8.5 sacks.

The 25-year-old is viewed around the league as one of the best-untapped edge rushers in the game. Reports have come out that the Bengals did not let Lawson use all the moves in his arsenal either. If Lawson is let loose under Robert Saleh, then the opposing quarterback better hope it isn’t all gas and no brakes, or he is going to the turf. Lawson has the potential to be the Jets’ first legitimate pass rusher in over a decade, and the young player will likely be a massive piece of the defense over the next three years.  The Jets now have added a talented receiver and proven disruptor to the fold, and it looks like they are not slowing down soon.

BREAKING: Jets Sign WR Corey Davis to 3-year deal

New York Giants, Corey Davis

The Jets have made their first big move! The team has reached a deal with WR Corey Davis for 3 years and 37.5 million, with 27 million guaranteed. The Jets lacked a true number one wideout, and with Davis, they have one. Davis, at 26 years old, is coming off a career year with the Tennessee Titans. Now, the Jets will hope the former fifth overall pick can repeat that success in the green and white.

What This Means

Corey Davis had a quiet start in his first year in the league with only 34 receptions for 375 yards. However, in his sophomore year, he put up 891 yards and four scores. Then, the receiver had a down third year eclipsing 600 yards with two scores. This past season though, Davis lit it up. Davis finished the season with 65 receptions for 984 yards and 5 TDs. He also hit career highs in yards per reception and receptions per game. Davis is a big-bodied receiver at 6 foot 3, 209 pounds, and his big frame should compliment Denzel Mims and Jamison Crowder very nicely.

The Jets finally have a legitimate target for whoever their quarterback is at the start of next season. This opens things up for the entire offense and gives the Jets a sense of comfort heading into next season. The work should not stop here, though. With more money to spend, the team will likely look to make an upgrade at the edge position. Look for Trey Hendrickson as a potential target at the spot.

What a perfect New York Jets free agency haul would look like

New York Jets, Joe Thuney

The New York Jets approach a free agency period with the second-most cap space in the NFL. Last offseason, the Jets played it relatively safe with short-term low money deals and a load of stopgaps. Mike Garafolo of NFL Network recently went on the Moose & Maggie show on WFAN, where he said adamantly he expects the Jets to be active players in this go-around. The Jets are rumored to be gunning for a massive offensive line upgrade, an addition at receiver, and a boost at the edge. So, how will Gang Green handle free agency? Well, here are my predictions.

Three players the New York Jets should be in on:

CB K’Waun Williams

The Jets will likely let Brian Poole walk this offseason. Instead, they can opt to go after someone who has familiarity with the defense in nickelback K’Waun Williams. Williams has played for Saleh in San Francisco and produced at a very high level. As a consistent piece of the 49ers defense, he put up 73 tackles, 7 TFLs, 3.0 sacks, 5 Forced Fumbles, and 2 INTs over the last two seasons in a span of 23 games. Williams has the obviously Saleh connection, but the New Jersey native could opt to come back to his roots with gang green. Williams would immediately bolster their secondary and provide a sense of stability at the nickelback role heading into next season. 

G Joe Thuney

Last offseason, the Jets were ready to back up the brinks truck for Joe Thuney, with the 28-year-old set to hit the open market, it’s reasonable to expect they make a run at him. I firmly expect the Jets to ink Thuney. Thuney is a consistent and productive lineman who also provides versatility. The incredibly intelligent former state champion has had success everywhere he has gone, both on the field and off. He graduated early with prestige from NC State, got selected by the Patriots, and went on to win two rings with the team. Thuney would provide a veteran presence, high caliber play, and stability to a rebuilding unit. Thuney is the player the Jets NEED to come away with this offseason in order to truly commit to the offensive line rebuild. 

WR JuJu Smith Schuster  

The New York Jets can go two routes with addressing the receiver position. They can target a young WR2 type player and pair him with Denzel Mims and rely on Crowder in the slot. Or, they can swing big and go for a legit WR1. JuJu Smith Schuster can be that WR1. He will command big money and a high level of attention. Last season JuJu received a lot of scrutiny for the way he handled himself and his off-the-field Tik Tok endeavors. Despite all the negative attention, JuJu remained relatively unfazed. I think JuJu can handle himself well in New York on and off the field. Schuster would be a good complementary receiver one, and he could do massive things in the LaFleur offense, so I see the Jets taking a shot on the receiver.

Edge Yannick Ngakoue 

This is a move I’ve gone back and forth on heavily. The Jets desperately need to upgrade the edge, and I believe they will try to in free agency. How the Jets upgrade the position will depend on how the market falls. The edge group is deep, and Ngakoue is arguably one of the best of the bunch. The Jets reportedly coveted him last offseason when he was traded, and at 25 years old, he still holds immense value. With 45.5 career sacks, 18 forced fumbles, 49 TFLs, and 96 QB Hits, Ngakoue is an absolute force off the edge. I expect Ngakoue to look for a long-term deal and find a permanent home. I think the Jets with Robert Saleh would be a great fit for the former Pro Bowler. The Jets have not had a legitimate presence off the edge in decades, and by taking a shot at Ngakoue, they can finally establish a presence.

The only players the New York Jets should not trade at the deadline

New York Jets, Quinnen Williams

The New York Jets have already been an active player in the trade deadline and the rumors surrounding it. Sitting at 0-7, the organization is not expected to be in contention any time soon, so with the opportunity to accumulate some draft capital before the end of the season, it is expected the Jets will continue to jump on those opportunities.

As for the guys the Jets should not answer calls on, well, there are not many. Still, the Jets should not answer calls on some of these key pieces for the future because not only are they building blocks, but they are guys who can draw in a new head coach.

LT Mekhi Becton

Becton has been a wild success to this point. He has been a mauler in the run game and been a reliable piece of the pass blocking attack as well. Joe Douglas said he would build this team through the trenches and this pick has become a key part of the offense already.

Whoever becomes the new head coach should take solace in knowing that the left tackle spot would be solidified with Becton. You can make the case that Becton still has a small sample size, but a quick look at the film shows that this monster of a man has been everything the Jets bargained for. A franchise left tackle could fetch serious draft capital, but it makes no sense to trade Becton or even entertain the idea.

DL Quinnen Williams

Quinnen may not be everything the Jets thought he would be when they picked him with the third selection, but he has stepped up mightily this year. This season in seven games and seven starts, Williams has 28 tackles, 5 TFLs, 3.0 sacks, and 1 FF. Those numbers have already exceeded his numbers from his rookie campaign, but that hasn’t been the impressive part.

Williams has shown a capability of dominance in bull rush scenarios as evidenced against guys like Trent Williams in San Francisco among others. Williams is still very young and he is only going to get better with time and a new coach. This is another guy who can be a building block in the trenches like Joe Douglas wants.

QB Sam Darnold

This is a controversial one. Darnold currently has a 58.4 completion percentage, 912 yards, 3 TDs, and 6 INTs. Darnold has also rushed for 117 yards and a TD this season. Those numbers are mediocre at best. Now, factors like Adam Gase, poor supporting cast, and injuries have really hurt his development. With Trevor Lawerence available and the team continues to lose, rumors have run rampant. Darnold deserves another shot, but maybe not in New York. Still, if Lawerence is on the board, the team must think long and hard about who gives them the best chance to win.

Honorable Mentions: Ashtyn Davis, Kyle Phillips, Bryce Huff, Cam Clark, LaMical Perine and Denzel Mims

All of these players provide examples of guys who hold a lot of long term value. The team is probably not going to field offers on these guys, but if they do, there is no reason to trade these guys when they have long term potential. The three guys above though are the ONLY guys the team should not trade unless they are wowed, and even then, Becton should still remain on the roster no matter the price.

3 moves the New York Jets should make right now

New York Jets, Adam Gase

The New York Jets are a floundering mess, and if you’ve watched the inept in every category this season, you know that. One look at their 0-7 record shows change is desperately needed for the organization. We all would love to take the reigns of this mess and try to put the team back on the right tracks, but in this scenario, I made three moves that would immediately benefit the team.

Trade Avery Willamson

This is a move I was very against prior to the season, but now the move makes a lot of sense. Well, the team won’t fetch a lot for Willamson, the team is not competitive right now, and they should give the opportunity to younger guys to step up in Willamson’s absence.

Not to mention, Willamson has been an avid critic of how poorly the team has been practicing, which was likely viewed as defiance from Adam Gase. Mix in the fact that Willamson himself deserves a shot to play with a competitive team, so this is a move that would not be a bad idea. Pittsburgh just lost Devin Bush for the year, so Williamson could fit there among other potential spots. I would expect the compensation to be in the later rounds, but those are the picks Joe Douglas loves.

Willamson is still a fan favorite, but if he ends up elsewhere, it would be best for both parties. The Jets could look to other players as trade assets as well, but Willamson is the first guy I would set to trade based on how much value he brings.

Fire Adam Gase

So, this is the obvious move we would all make if we could. I want to preface this by saying that Adam Gase may be utterly incompetent, stubborn, unimaginative, and undisciplined. Yet despite those flaws and the many others, Gase has somehow got himself this job and likely will keep it at least a few more weeks.

At 0-7, this team is not playing for anything, but at least if they fired Gase, they could audition a prospective head coach and not who you would think. I will get to that in a second, but this move would at least revitalize the team and finally allow Douglas to build the franchise the way he would like without the tight reigns of Gase.

Coaching Re-alignment

I would immediately make a few key coaching changes if given the shot. I would promote Dowell Loggains to the lead offensive play-caller for the remainder of the season, contingent on two more good games.

If the offense continues to look lifeless, then I would choose RB Coach Jim Bob Cooter to take over due to his coordinating past in Detroit. As for the defensive side of the ball, I would like to see Gregg Williams ousted with Gase, but if he were to remain, then the team needs to give Dennard Wilson a promotion. He should earn more responsibilities to see if he has potential as a coordinator in his own right.

If Williams were fired, then I would make Wilson the DC immediately. So, I have not named an interim head coach. Those honors would be placed upon the shoulders of Current Special Teams Coordinator Brant Boyer. Boyer is the only other fixture in the organization who has been here for more than three years. Boyer has resurrected special teams in New York, but more importantly, he has shown discipline. In brief glimpses of his character, he would fit the type of structure Douglas would seemingly want. Boyer may not be the guy, but for at least the last couple of games, I’d love for him to get a shot at what he can prove.

New York Jets: The rumored favorite to replace Adam Gase

New York Jets, Adam Gase

The New York Jets have had an awful start and will likely be looking for a new head coach this offseason (0-6). With a team in one of the biggest markets in the country, there were undoubtedly going to be rumors spread early. Now, the team already has it’s first rumored coaching candidate in Iowa State Head Coach Matt Campbell.

Campbell spent a lot of time throughout in different spots through the college ranks despite his quick rise to a head coaching gig. Campbell was a Grad Assistant at Bowling Green before switching between Mount Union, Bowling Green again, and Toledo.

While at Toledo, he was the offensive coordinator before being named head coach at 32 years old. He then led Toledo to a 35-15 record with two Bowl wins. After getting offered the job at Iowa State, Campbell headed to Iowa State to resurrect their program.

After an 11-14 start over the first two seasons, Campbell has coached the team to an 18-12 record. One reason Campbell has drawn the eye of many NFL execs is because of his squad’s impressive development in the 2018 season. The team managed to pull off two massive upsets against #3 Oklahoma and #4 TCU, and wins of that level of magnitude do not go unrecognized. Those kinds of wins show a coach has built such a strong culture in a locker room that they fail to be bogged down by the weight of facing upper-echelon competition.

The Iowa State team has shown so much growth that Campbell is a 2-time Big 12 Coach of the Year recipient. Campbell was asked to interview for the Jets opening in 2018, but he declined.

Now, things could be different. With a well respected general manager in Joe Douglas and an Albert Breer report that he is going to actively pursue Campbell, the potential of the Iowa State coach heading to Florham Park. Campbell would do a number of things. He would bring a fresh, innovative offensive mind to the team while also instilling a respectable culture. Campbell has had immense success to this point, and at 40 years old, his future is very bright. The same cannot be said for the Jets, but with a coach who is respectable and shares the same fresh perspective that Douglas has, it could just have a flickering light.

3 storylines to watch in Denver Broncos Vs New York Jets matchup

The New York Jets (0-3) will take on the Denver Broncos (0-3) in tonight’s game. The game was one I was eager to see prior to the season. I hoped the headlines would be all about Drew Lock vs Sam Darnold or about how the Jets improved defense would handle the Broncos young and talented offense. Instead, we have Brett Rypien at the helm of a banged-up Broncos team and the Jets fighting for any shred of respect they could salvage this season. Here are the things I am watching for in the battle of two of the worst AFC teams to this point.

Adam Gase’s Funeral?

After the Jets got embarrassed this past Sunday in Indianapolis, the heat beneath Adam Gase’s seat became flames. Rumors have swirled all week from Colin Cowherd, Chris Mortensen, and many other top insiders that this could be the end of the road for Gase if the team is blown out. The consensus is, the team needs to implode for Gase to be ousted. The Broncos would need to perform similarly to the 49ers in Week 2 for Gase to go. The odds are in Gase’s favor to still be the coach of this team come Friday morning, but the Jets are wearing all black tomorrow night, so maybe this could be Gase’s New York Jet funeral.

Brett Rypien’s First Career Start

Rypien starting tonight brings me back to the game the Jets played when Luke Falk stepped in on Thursday night last year. Rypien was a practice squad fixture until just a week ago, but after going 8/9 for 53 yards and a pick in the end zone, he will get a shot to run the offense, at least to start, tonight. Broncos coach Vic Fangio has said he will see a role where Jeff Driskel gets work as well. Last year the Jets preyed on weak QBs like Dwayne Haskins Jr., Matt Barkley, and Devlin Hodges. Although this Jets defense is a shell of what it was last year, Gregg Williams is still here, and he knows how to make young QBs uncomfortable. The Broncos have also allowed 13 sacks, which stands as the second-most in the league. The Jets could look to make this a really rough debut for the nephew of former NFL vet Mark Rypien.

Sam Darnold Needs To Rebound

The Jets offense floundered last weekend, but particularly so did Sam Darnold. With three interceptions, Sam Played one of his worst pro games. Tonight though, he gets a returning Jamison Crowder along with a budding connection with Braxton Berrios. Darnold needs to come out swinging tonight; Gase needs to let him run around and sling it. He needs to get rid of the receiver screens and take some shots downfield. They need to open up the playbook because win or loss, the most paramount issue is getting Darnold some momentum back.