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Schrager: Mariota to the Jets

FOX Sports’ Peter Schrager has the Jets drafting Marcus Mariota with the No. 6 pick in the 2015 NFL Draft (Feb. 24).

“He’s got all the physical tools, wants to be great, and has unlimited potential,” Schrager wrote. “New York, though a media pressure cooker, could be the right fit.”

Mel Kiper’s latest mock draft also has Mariota going to the Jets (ESPN, Feb. 12). Todd McShay recently released his second mock draft for the 2015 NFL Draft, and it has Mariota landing in New York, too (ESPN, Feb. 5).

In three seasons as the Ducks QB, Mariota has thrown for over 10,000 yards and 105 touchdowns. In 2014, he completed 69.3 percent of his passes, threw 42 touchdowns, four interceptions and rushed for another 15 TDs.

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Jets unsure of Dee Milliner’s return

The New York Jets are unsure when Dee Milliner will return to the starting line up, if at all, after his 2014 season was riddled with injuries (AL.com, Feb. 22).

Milliner played just three games after suffering an ankle injury in training camp and then tearing an Achilles tendon in October.

“I don’t think it’s a matter of relying or not relying on him,” coach Todd Bowles said at the combine. “It’s just a matter of getting the best players in the building. If he’s healthy and ready to go, we’ll see if he’s one of the best players. If not, we’ll have to do it elsewhere.”

The ankle and Achilles injuries are just the tip of the iceberg for Milliner who has seen shoulder surgery and a hamstring injury since the Jets selected him with the ninth pick in the 2013 NFL Draft.

Past injuries aside, Bowles is taking things day by day with the CB as they evaluate if he’ll be ready to take the field with the squad in the spring.

“It’s still early on in the process,” Bowles said. “You get weekly medical updates about how he’s doing and how he’s coming along, but we’ll evaluate that more as we go. It’s a little too early to see whether he’ll be ready for the spring or not.”

BGA: Scouting Curtis Brown

Bent, TheJetsBlog.com

In between now and the start of free agency, we’re taking a look at some of the players the Jets added to their roster since the end of the regular season. Last week, we took a look at cornerback Keith Lewis. Today, we’re looking at another cornerback, former Pittsburgh Steeler Curtis Brown.

The 26-year old Brown is a former 3rd round draft pick out of Texas who struggled to earn himself much playing time on defense with the Steelers, but was a solid contributor on special teams in his first three seasons. After suffering an ACL tear late in the 2013 season, he did not play last season. Brown is listed at 6’0″ and 185 pounds and ran a 4.51 forty at the 2011 scouting combine.

To read more of this story, click here

Junk Drawer: A Jets-centric look at the lead up to free agency

Brian Bassett, TheJetsBlog.com

Free agency doesn’t begin for a month, but everyone knows that the NFL Combine weekend is the unofficial kickoff as agents and teams whisper about potential pending free agents.  Rumors are flying … and here are some that are worth noting for Jets fans.

Money to burn … but wisely of course — The Jets have the money this year to spend and won’t be averse to doing so.  With the salary cap moving up to a whopping $143 million this year, the Jets are now projecting to have $51 million in team allotted space (including rollovers) with their recent opt out on Chris Johnson.  Of course, the Jets could soar to over $60 million should they cut Percy Harvin.  So what does this mean?  In order of importance, the Jets could 1) allocate lots of room for a new Muhammad Wilkerson deal 2) sign one starting and one slot corner 3) upgrade the interior offensive line 4) sign CJ Spiller and 5) try to work out a deal for pending free agent David Harris.  Harris looks to be an appealing free agent to at least three or four other teams.

Focus on the majors — The Jets might be taking the right approach as they get ready for free agency.  ESPN NY’s Rich Cimini wrote that he suspects the Jets “will attack the cornerback and guard positions in free agency” two of the teams most dire needs beyond quarterback, wide receiver and safety.  I believe that upgrading the guards could pay massive dividends for the Jets in the run and pass for 2015, but they will need to consider their options at right tackle further down the line.  As far as corner, getting Todd Bowles press man coverage corners will allow him to play the sort of defense that both he (and his predecessor) loves and the best players for 2015 will come through free agency.  It’s a good thing that Maccagnan would be happy to have a “surplus” at the position as he told reporters in Indianapolis this week. To read more of this story, click here

Daily Links: Redemption draft?

  • Another strong class of receivers will headline the 2015 NFL Draft. [NYDN]
  • Here’s why the Jets have to spend this offseason. [NJ]
  • Should the Jets take a swing with Mariota? [Newsday]
  • An ironic take, if ever I saw one. [NYDN]
  • The Rams will keep Sam Bradford … unless they don’t. [NJ]
  • The Falcons and Bears could also be interested in David Harris. [PFT]
  • Jameis Winston’s 10 best quotes. [NJ]
  • A rumor roundup from Indy. [NJ]