New York Jets: Post NFL Combine, Free Agency Notes


Feb 18, 2015; Indianapolis, IN, USA; New York Jets general manager Mike Maccagnan speaks to the media during the 2015 NFL Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

The 2015 version of the NFL Combine is in the books. New GM Mike Maccagnan and his entire scouting department were in attendance at this year’s event. Their job at hand is a monumental one; scout, evaluate and interview all the potential prospects for the New York Jets leading up to the NFL Draft this spring.

Over the past week, the Jets scouts have been busy gathering stats, taking notes, and watching film at every opportunity. They will now take all their work home with them and start the long grind heading into the draft. Scouting is a year round job for NFL scouts, and the combine is only one event in the process.

The next several months will bring plenty of rearrangements to the Jets “Big Board”, as meetings and evaluations chisel away at the number of candidates that will fit the Jets roster going ahead. The needs have already been determined, now the hard work begins.  Finding the proper players, with the proper skill set, to fill those needs isn’t an exact science, but the Jets team will be hard at work trying to do exactly that.

Today, with the Combine behind us, and Free Agency looming just around the corner, I thought we’d take a look at some of what we may have learned from the Combine, and what we may expect from Free Agency.

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Next: NFL Combine Wide Receivers

Feb 21, 2015; Indianapolis, IN, USA; West Virginia Mountaineers wide receiver

Kevin White

catches a pass during the 2015 NFL Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

I like the Combine, though I’ll be the first to admit it can be a yawner to watch in its entirety. This year, I spent most of my time watching the WR’s, OL, LB’s, QB’s and finally the CB’s. Here are my observations about the various groups.

Wide Receivers: No surprises here really. Kevin White and Amari Cooper went out and proved they are worthy of top five selections in this year’s draft. What may have come as a surprise to many though, is behind them is a large group of talented receivers. I’ve been saying it for a while now, but in my opinion, this draft rivals last year’s WR draft class. There is talent galore to be had at the position once again, possibly negating the need for the Jets to use the #6 overall pick to grab a WR.

Next: Pass Rushers

Dec 27, 2014; San Diego, CA, USA; Nebraska Cornhuskers defensive end

Randy Gregory

(4) looks on before the game against the USC Trojans in the 2014 Holiday Bowl at Qualcomm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

Pass Rushers: This group stole the show this year in my opinion. While the Wide Receivers were impressive, the Pass Rushers were phenomenal! Randy Gregory proved he is a top five pick and he was joined by a cast of others that set out to prove they were forces to be taken seriously going ahead. Personally, I was most impressed with Vic Beasley and Dante Fowler, who in my opinion had monstrous workouts. If the Jets are looking to go defense with their first round pick, these kids made a strong case for themselves.

Next: Offensive Linemen

Feb 20, 2015; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Iowa Hawkeyes

Brandon Scherff

walks on the sidelines as he walks to another station to participate in drills during the 2015 NFL Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

Offensive Lineman: This group did nothing to impress me at the combine. I’ve been saying right a long, there is no real OL in this draft that “wows” me.  I’d even go so far as saying that is no offensive lineman in this year’s draft that has earned a #6 overall pick. Brandon Scherff is likely the highest rated candidate, but he had to withdraw early due to a hamstring injury. There is talent among this year’s offensive lineman class, but it’s likely going to be taken in the latter part of the first round and into the second round. If the Jets set a high value of the OL in the draft, I don’t think it will be at #6 overall.

Next: Quarterback

Feb 21, 2015; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Florida State quarterback

Jameis Winston

(right) and Oregon Ducks quarterback

Marcus Mariota

do an interview on the NFL Network after finishing their workout during the 2015 NFL Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

Quarterback: The great debate concerning the Jets QB position will rage on, as I saw no definitive answer for the Jets at the combine. Both Marcus Mariota and Jameis Winston did what everyone expected, they displayed their individual strengths off well enough to maintain their top of the class status. Neither did anything in my opinion, to “wow” anyone either.

The race for the #3 QB in this year’s draft is also still open for debate. Bryce Petty looked fairly good, as did Sean Mannion. Garrett Grayson did not throw at the combine, saying it was more about “excelling at the interviews” for him. With Mariota and Winston likely being off the board before the Jets choose, I’m leaning at taking a flier at Grayson, as he comes from a Pro style offense. It may seem strange, but come draft day, the Jets may not even be looking to draft a QB. Only time will tell on the QB position.

Next: Cornerback

Feb 21, 2015; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Louisiana State defensive back

Jalen Collins

talks to the media at the 2015 NFL Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

Cornerback The potion is a key one for the Jets this year. There were no huge surprises here. If anything, I think this group proved there wasn’t any one player to be considered in the top ten of the draft. Leaving the combine I rank them like this; Marcus Peters, Jalen Collins, Ronald Darby and Tre Waynes. If the Jets choose to go CB in the first round however, I don’t think any of the above rate the #6 overall pick, if they want a corner, they will be looking to trade back a bit.

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Next: Free Agency And Some Dates

Dec 14, 2014; Nashville, TN, USA; New York Jets logo prior to the game against the Tennessee Titans at LP Field. Mandatory Credit: Jim Brown-USA TODAY Sports

Free Agency is just around the corner for Jets fans. As Mike Maccagnan has stated several times now, the Jets are expected to be active. They will be active in the premier market as well as the secondary markets, according to team officials. Make no mistake, the Jets will be players in the free agency market, and they will need to spend to significantly upgrade the roster.

As I said earlier,  I enjoy the combine every year. This year it held just a little less enthusiasm for me though. To be honest, my mind has been set in free agency mode for a month now. With a historically high amount of cap space, and relatively talented group of players available, this is promising to shape up into an exciting time to be a Jets fan.

The Jets will mostly likely be looking for veteran upgrades for the OL, LB, WR, and DB groups. There is also the possibility that they may be looking to sign one of the free agent QBs as well. Free agency will hold significant opportunities to improve the team, and they have the money to spend to acquire it.

Some Dates To Keep In Mind:

February 16 is the first day for teams to designate players with the “Franchise” or “Transitional” tags. *No tags have been used to date.

March 2 By 4:00 p.m. New York time, all teams must designate players they will use the franchise/transitional tag on.

March 7 – 10 Teams are allowed to begin contacting players who will become unrestricted free agents. Teams may enter into negotiations with the players and their agents at this time, but no contracts will be able to be executed until after free agency begins.

March 10/4:00 p.m. Teams will be allowed to begin signing free agents. All unrestricted free agents become eligible to sign with other clubs.

There has been some excitement surrounding the combine, more will be realized as we approach free agency and it will all culminate on draft day. The off season holds promises of things to come. It’s an exciting time of the year to be a fan.

Here at the JetPress, our staff of writers will continue to cover all the Jets moves. We’ll continue to offer you coverage, and hope to bring you the very best in Jets discussions. Join us. Let’s talk Jets football!

Next: NFL Combine: DB Day