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The absolute brilliance of Mike Maccagnan

By Jack Monaghan
EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - AUGUST 31: New York Jets general manager Mike Maccagnan stands on the sidelines during their preseason game against the Philadelphia Eagles at MetLife Stadium on August 31, 2017 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)
EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - AUGUST 31: New York Jets general manager Mike Maccagnan stands on the sidelines during their preseason game against the Philadelphia Eagles at MetLife Stadium on August 31, 2017 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images) /
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It’s not easy being a general manager in the city that never sleeps, but Mike Maccagnan has done a great job with his decisions on players and draft picks for the New York Jets.

New York Jets general manager Mike Maccagnan has been under the microscope coming off a dissapointing 5-11 season that was followed by him cutting every big name veteran player that was on the roster. 2017 was believed to complete wash and a total rebuild that featured a lot of young players getting their feet wet and trying to make their mark as quality NFL Players.

As it turns out, many of the young players Maccagnan gambled on are turning out to be worth the risk. First and second round picks Jamal Adams and Marcus Maye have both turned in tremendous rookie campaigns and second year players such as wide receiver Robby Anderson, offensive lineman Brandon Shell, and cornerback Juston Burris are proving to be building blocks for the future.

What is perhaps even more impressive about the job Maccagnan has done, is the late August moves he made just before the start of the season that have been paying dividends week in and week out.

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The trade that sent Sheldon Richardson to Seattle for Jermaine Kearse gave the Jets a quality veteran that they needed and a reliable target for veteran Josh McCown to lean on.

Kearse has cashed in on the new opportunity with 31 catches for 380 yards and four touchdowns. Defensive end Kony Ealy was a last minute addition to the roster after he was one of the Patriots final cuts, and has been all over the field on a consistent basis with eight passes defended.

As mentioned above, Maccagnan’s 2016 draft class has proven to be filled with plenty of under the radar gems. Anderson for example, was an undrafted free agent out of Temple who used a monster preseason to barely squeak onto the roster, and just a year later is the team’s leading receiver in yards, and is starting to gain attention on the national level as well. After a rather slow start to his season, Anderson has picked up steam the last three weeks catching 13 passes for 187 yards and notching a touchdown in each contest.

Fifth round pick Shell has emerged as a quality right tackle and fourth round pick. Burris is still a little wet behind the ears but has shown plenty of growth in his second season with the extended playing time that he’s been given. After dreadful starts to their seasons, linebacker’s Darron Lee (first round pick) and Jordan Jenkins (third round pick) have figured things out as the season gone on and were both absolute enforcers in Thursday’s beat down of the Buffalo Bills.

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Jenkins has provided consistent pressure off the edge and Lee has now racked up a total of 63 tackles, seemingly fixing the glaring hole that was keeping him from performing well early in the season. This young Jets core is exciting to watch, and is giving fans a ton of reason for optimism going forward, even if they do miss out on the playoffs this season. Sunday will be a huge test for the Jets and an opportunity for them to get back to .500 and keep pace in the AFC wild card hunt.

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