Jordan Jenkins

Spring Practice Notes: Jets, Darby, Ebron

Now that mandatory minicamps have wrapped up around the league and players have returned home for a few weeks, the NFL will experience something of a lull until we get closer to the start of training camp in July. In the past couple of days, however, beat writers have shared some lessons learned during spring practices, offered some insight as to what OTAs and minicamp revealed about the upcoming season, and discussed some questions that remain unanswered. So let’s dive right in:

  • Terrelle Pryor‘s injury concerns have been well-documented, but as Darryl Slater of observes, the Jets are also dealing with injuries to CB Morris Claiborne and OLB Jordan Jenkins. Both Claiborne and Jenkins are expected to be ready for the start of training camp, while the status of Pryor and starting free safety Marcus Maye is still up in the air. Slater also wonders who will start at OLB alongside Jenkins. David Bass and Josh Martin are candidates, as is Lorenzo Mauldin, though Slater suggests Mauldin is on the roster bubble.
  • Slater also indicates that Henry Anderson may have the leg up in the battle for the Jets‘ starting defensive end position opposite Leonard Williams — New York desperately needs someone to take double teams away from Williams — and that Andre Roberts appears to be leading the competition for Gang Green’s punt returner job. He adds that wideout Chad Hansen has impressed this spring after being a non-factor in his rookie campaign last year.
  • Rich Cimini of also likes what he sees from Hansen, and he says TE Neal Sterling and RB Elijah McGuire are other under-the-radar players to impress for the Jets this spring. Sam Darnold, meanwhile, is very much on the radar, and Cimini says Darnold has done nothing to suggest he cannot be a quality starter in the NFL.
  • The most important lesson learned during the Eagles‘ spring practices, per Zach Berman of the Philadelphia Inquirer, is that Carson Wentz is progressing in his recovery from an ACL tear and could be ready to go in Week 1. However, as Berman points out, the defending champs have plenty of injury concerns outside of Wentz, though no key players appear at risk of missing any regular season time at this point.
  • Berman also writes that Jay Ajayi is the Eagles’ unquestioned No. 1 running back — in stark contrast to the summer of 2017, when the team was emphasizing a committee approach to the offensive backfield — and he names De’vante Bausby, Nate Gerry, and Dallas Goedert as young talents who have stood out in the spring. Gerry, a 2017 fifth-rounder who converted from collegiate safety to professional linebacker, could compete for a starting LB job this year, Berman says.
  • Speaking of Bausby, Eliot Shorr-Parks of is also impressed with the 25-year-old’s work this spring, which may be enough to allow the Eagles to trade Ronald Darby.
  • Seahawks‘ 2018 seventh-round pick Alex McGough stood out this spring and has a legitimate chance to be Russell Wilson‘s backup this year, per Bob Condotta of the Seattle Times. Condotta also notes that Seattle’s first-round choice, Rashaad Penny, has looked the part and has also shown improvement in his pass-blocking technique, which will help him see more of the field this year.
  • TE Eric Ebron has been perhaps the most impressive newcomer for the Colts this spring, per Stephen Holder of the Indianapolis Star, who also says 2018 fourth-rounder Nyheim Hines was the most exciting rookie to watch. Hines, a running back from NC State, has the explosiveness and versatility to thrive in new head coach Frank Reich‘s scheme.
  • Jim Wyatt of says Harold Landry, the Titans‘ second-round draft choice this year, is living up to his draft pedigree and that, while he may have a hard time unseating veterans Derrick Morgan and Brian Orakpo as a starting OLB, he should see plenty of action as a situational pass rusher to begin his career. Wyatt also says Tennessee’s cornerbacks have been the most impressive position group of the spring.

Impact Rookies: New York Jets

The old adage that defense wins championships may or may not be true, but you’ll be hard-pressed to find a title-winning team that didn’t build heavily through the draft. Rookie classes, naturally, are evaluated on the perceived upside of the NFL newcomers, but which rookies are ready to contribute right out of the gate? And, how do they fit in with their new team schematically?

To help us forecast the immediate future of these NFL neophytes, we enlisted the help of draft guru Dave-Te Thomas who has served as a scouting personnel consultant to NFL teams for multiple decades.

Today, we continue PFR’s Impact Rookie series with his insight on the New York Jets’ draft class:

It has been a strange off-season for the Jets, as they seem to be taking a disregard to their recent past, holding the contract line firmly on 2015 starting quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick and one of the best defensive linemen in the game in Muhammad Wilkerson. They failed to impress with their “temporary” solution to the Fitzpatrick stand-off by using their second-round draft pick to snatch Penn State erratic signal-caller, Christian Hackenberg.

Even if Fitzpatrick had signed, the Jets were going to look at addressing their future at quarterback anyway, as their starter in 2015 has had a journeyman’s like career to date. Still, they fail to impress Jets fans with the addition of Hackenberg, if it means that Fitzpatrick will turn into a training camp stalemate. They can’t be serious about turning the reins over to Geno Smith, could they?

Offensive coordinator Chan Gailey has been talking up Smith, citing his maturity, but his obvious lack of leadership skills (see last season’s locker room debacle) and marginal performances to date makes Jets faithful hope that Gailey can create magic in the huddle this season. One option not talked about often is the development of 2015 third round pick, Bryce Petty. Still, like Hackenberg, he is still unproven at the professional level, leaving the Jets to ponder if they want to risk a season as a playoff observer or come to some kind of solution with the Fitzpatrick situation.

While the Jets did not address their quarterback situation in the way that many fans would have liked, they did pick up some interesting talents at other positions in this year’s draft.

First Round – Darron Lee, LB (Ohio State, No. 20 overall)

It is not etched in stone where Lee will line up for the Jets, but hailed by The NFL Draft Report the “best defensive playmaker in the 2016 draft,” the Jets are certain to find a role quickly for their first round pick. For now, he’s listed behind Erin Henderson at right inside linebacker. Beyond that, veteran and inside starter David Harris might be looking for employment elsewhere in 2017, if Lee progresses as quickly as expected. Darron Lee (vertical)

Henderson moves into the lineup, at least temporarily, after the Jets let Demario Davis leave in free agency despite finishing second on the team with 90 tackles last year. Still, it will not be long before he cedes playing time to Lee. Another player greatly affected by Lee’s arrival is San Francisco cast-off, Bruce Carter, who was brought in to play the nickel package. With Lee’s cornerback-like speed, Carter will have to sit while Lee performs in that alignment.

Some draft analysts stated that Lee was a “work in progress” and “did not excite” in 2015 like he did in 2014 during the Buckeyes’ national championship march. Unknown to many scouts, at the time, but Lee was playing with a lower leg injury during the first half of his sophomore campaign. With several Buckeyes suspended earlier in the year, the strong-side linebacker felt that even on one leg, he needed to be out on the field.

Lee recovered just in time – for the late season tough part of the schedule. He recorded at least seven tackles with one stop behind the line of scrimmage and one quarterback pressure in each of his final four appearances. While he delivered 66 tackles (36 solos) for his final season at Ohio State, it is how he compiled those statistics that were even more impressive.

On 53 plays he made vs. the running game, Lee limited his opponents to an average gain of a minuscule 0.68 yards per attempt. The longest gain vs. the linebacker was a 9-yard scamper. He delivered eleven crunching third-down stops and another on a fourth-down play vs. those ball carriers, posting fourteen of those tackles inside the red zone, including four on goal-line stands. In addition to taking down thirteen runners for losses, ten more were tackled at the line of scrimmage for no gain. He also made five touchdown-saving tackles after runners broke free from other Ohio State defenders in 2015.

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Draft Pick Signings: Jags, Texans, Jets, Bills

The 2016 NFL draft wrapped up less than two weeks ago, and already nearly 70% of the players selected in the draft have signed their rookie contracts. We have a few more draftees to add to that list, so let’s dive in and round up the latest updates on draft pick signings…

  • No. 36 overall pick Myles Jack has formally signed his rookie contract with the Jaguars, the team announced today. Jack, who was initially viewed as a potential top-10 pick, will be in line for a rookie deal worth $6.334MM, with a $2.807MM signing bonus, according to Over the Cap.
  • The Texans have wrapped up their deal with second-round center Nick Martin, tweets John McClain of the Houston Chronicle. Martin figures to step in for former center Ben Jones, who departed Houston for the division-rival Titans in free agency.
  • The Jets announced today that they’ve officially signed third-round outside linebacker Jordan Jenkins, as Randy Lange of details. That leaves first-round linebacker Darron Lee as the only Gang Green draft pick who remains unsigned.
  • The Bills continue to work backwards through their draftees — after signing their two sixth-round picks, the Bills have now locked up fifth-round running back Jonathan Williams, according to the team’s website.
  • The Broncos now have two more draft picks under contract, signing third-round safety Justin Simmons and fourth-round running back Devontae Booker to their four-year rookie deals, per Troy Renck of the Denver Post (Twitter link).

AFC Draft Notes: Broncos, Jaguars, Patriots, Jets

The Broncos have pitched a bid to host the 2019 NFL draft. Nicki Jhabvala of The Denver Post writes that team president and CEO Joe Ellis met with commissioner Roger Goodell and league officials to discuss the proposal.

“The NFL sent out some requests to a lot of cities and we expressed our interest. They reciprocated in saying that they, of course, like Denver as a city,” said Matthew Payne, the executive director of Denver Sports Commission. “And now it’s just really a chance for us to invite them to our city within the year to kind of do a site inspection and talk further about how we can make it work.”

The organization would be open to hosting the draft in 2017 or 2018, although Jhabvala writes that 2019 “fits better.” The draft would presumably be held at Bellco Theatre inside the Colorado Convention Center.

Let’s check out some more draft notes from around the AFC…

  • Jaguars general manager Dave Caldwell and coach Gus Bradley traveled to Los Angeles today to meet with UCLA linebacker Myles Jack, tweets Jeff Darlington of the NFL Network. Ian Rapoport later tweeted that Jack is “under consideration” for the fifth overall pick.
  • Considering the defensive tackle depth in this year’s draft,’s Mike Reiss believes it’d be best if the Patriots improved their defensive line depth with rookies. After having selected Malcom Brown last year, the writer wonders if they could pursue his former teammate, Texas defensive tackle Hassan Ridgeway.
  • Jets coach Todd Bowles and defensive coordinator Kacy Rodgers flew to Georgia to work out Bulldogs linebackers Leonard Floyd and Jordan Jenkins, according to Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News (via Twitter).

Extra Points: Broncos, Kaepernick, P. Lynch, Bears

The blockbuster trade between the Rams and Titans that saw Los Angeles acquire the first pick in the draft, with which it will presumably select a quarterback, could have a notable ripple effect on the Broncos’ pursuit of Colin Kaepernick, writes Troy Renck of the Denver Post. If the Rams take Cal signal-caller Jared Goff and the Browns, who hold the second choice, prefer Goff to North Dakota State’s Carson Wentz, it might lead Cleveland to trade down with a team that wants Wentz. If that team isn’t San Francisco, which is scheduled to pick seventh, it could result in the 49ers closing the door on trading Kaepernick. Renck doesn’t expect the 49ers to deal him without a legitimate solution at quarterback in place, and their best non-Kaepernick option right now is the less-than-stellar Blaine Gabbert.

More from around the NFL:

  • Memphis quarterback Paxton Lynch is still making pre-draft visits, and the Bears are one of the teams hosting him next week, per Rand Getlin of the NFL Network (Twitter link). PFR’s Rob DiRe had Chicago picking Lynch in our first mock draft last week.
  • Before releasing him, the Steelers asked cornerback Cortez Allen to take a pay cut, tweets Jeremy Fowler of However, it seems the two sides couldn’t find common ground on a reworked contract.
  • Georgia edge defender Jordan Jenkins, who projects as a probable day two pick, recently worked out for the Jets, tweets Darren Wolfson of 5 Eyewitness News.
  • Eastern Michigan running back Darius Jackson visited the Jets on Monday, Tony Pauline of tweets. Jackson also has visits with the Ravens, Dolphins, and Lions on his schedule.
  • The one-year contract cornerback Greg Toler inked with Washington earlier this week is worth $840K, including an $80K bonus, according to Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle (Twitter link).
  • Linebacker Lorenzo Alexanders one-year deal with the Bills is worth $885K – $75K of which is guaranteed – with a $428K split, Wilson reports (Twitter link).
  • Scott Smith of provides the full list of the 23 prospects with ties to the Tampa area who participated in the Buccaneers‘ local workout day on Friday.

Connor Byrne and Zach Links contributed to this post.

Draft Rumors: Elliott, Titans, Cook, Butler

Ohio State running back Ezekiel Elliott is expected to be the first player off the board at his position, and is receiving attention from several teams picking in the first half of the first round. As Albert Breer of the NFL Network tweets, Elliott said during an appearance on NFL Total Access that he has visits lined up with the Eagles (No. 8), Bears (No. 11), and Dolphins (No. 13). He has also previously met with Dallas.

With NFL teams focused on working out and meeting with players who may end up on their rosters about three weeks from now, let’s round up a few more draft updates….

  • Deadlines typically spur action in the NFL, which means the best trade offer for the No. 1 pick may not be on the table for the Titans until draft night. Still, as Paul Kuharsky of details, GM Jon Robinson isn’t opposed to the idea of making a deal in advance, suggesting it would give his team the opportunity to make plans accordingly. In the meantime, Tennessee continues to take a close look at top prospects, and will bring in Oregon defensive end DeForest Buckner on Monday, per Ian Rapoport of (Twitter link).
  • ESPN’s Jon Gruden believes that Michigan State’s Connor Cook “is gonna be perhaps the best quarterback in this draft” (Twitter link from Adam Schefter of
  • Gil Brandt of (Twitter link) adds the Lions and Patriots to the list of clubs that have worked out Louisiana Tech defensive tackle Vernon Butler. The Lions have also met with Jordan Jenkins, as the Georgia linebacker confirmed on SiriusXM NFL Radio (Twitter link via Alex Marvez of FOX Sports).
  • Marvez also passes along an update from a SiriusXM NFL Radio appearance by Arkansas quarterback Brandon Allen, who said he has had workouts or meetings with the Buccaneers, Panthers, Falcons, and Cowboys (Twitter link).
  • In addition to attending local workouts for the Jets and Giants, Rutgers wideout Leonte Carroo is paying visits to the Dolphins and Patriots, a source tells Aaron Wilson of the National Football Post. Carroo had an explosive college career, averaging 19.5 yards per reception and racking up 29 touchdowns over the last three seasons.

Draft Updates: Treadwell, Nkemdiche, Goff

The pro day for Ole Miss players took place on Monday, meaning all eyes were on prospects like wide receiver Laquon Treadwell and defensive end Robert Nkemdiche. Treadwell said today that he has private workouts lined up with the Bengals and Dolphins, according to Jim Wyatt of (Twitter link). The young wideout met with the 49ers last night, per Tony Pauline at

Nkemdiche had dinner with the Cowboys last night and will officially visit the team’s facility prior to the draft, but Dallas is just one of 14 teams he’s scheduled to visit, according to Pauline. The Niners, Chargers, Raiders, Buccaneers, and Bears are also on the docket for Nkemdiche.

Here are several more draft updates from around the league:

  • The Eagles invested significant money in a pair of quarterbacks this month, signing Sam Bradford and Chase Daniel to new contracts, but that doesn’t mean the team has entirely ruled out the possibility of drafting one early. Per John Middlekauff of 95.7 The Game (Twitter link), Philadelphia is doing its homework on Jared Goff, working out the Cal QB in Berkeley today.
  • Writing for, Tony Pauline reports that he has spoken to insiders who believe the Titans are considering Ohio State defensive end Joey Bosa with the No. 1 overall pick. The general consensus is that Ole Miss offensive tackle Laremy Tunsil will come off the board first overall, but some of Pauline’s sources believe it’s a “coin flip between Tunsil and Bosa” at this point.
  • During an appearance on SiriusXM NFL Radio (Twitter link), Ohio State quarterback Cardale Jones revealed that, while he hasn’t made any trips yet, he has private workouts scheduled with the Bills and Cardinals.
  • Rand Getlin of the NFL Network (via Twitter) adds the Dolphins to the list of teams looking at Georgia outside linebacker Jordan Jenkins, who has been linked to at least five other teams.
  • Defensive tackle Vernon Butler, a Louisiana Tech product, said on SiriusXM NFL Radio (Twitter link) that he has a visit with the Bengals lined up for Thursday.

Draft Rumors: Treadwell, Bengals, Lawson

Mississippi receiver Laquon Treadwell says the Bengals, Browns, Bears, and Cowboys have shown interest in him, Mike Florio of PFT writes. The first-round prospect also identified “New York” as a team with interest, but it’s not clear if that’s in reference to the Jets or Giants. San Francisco, which owns the No. 7 pick in the draft, has been said to have interest in Treadwell.

Here’s the latest news on the 2016 NFL Draft:

  • Clemson DE Shaq Lawson has (or has had) visits/workouts with the Cowboys and 49ers, per Rand Getlin of (Twitter links). The Jets, Titans, Saints, Panthers, and Browns have also linked up with Lawson, per previous reports. Matt Miller of Bleacher Report (on Twitter) opines that Lawson is a top 10 talent.
  • Tony Pauline of was on hand for Carson Wentz‘s pro day and he felt that it was “a very good workout, but not a great workout.” Pauline feels that Wentz is usually high off the mark when he misses, forcing receivers to get airborne in order to make a reception. However, Wentz is getting “sensational” marks when it comes to his personal character.
  • Wentz’s teammate at North Dakota State, offensive lineman Joseph Haeg, is being viewed as a top 100 pick, per Pauline. Haeg is seen mostly as a right tackle or guard, but some feel that he can play any offensive line position that isn’t center.
  • Georgia outside linebacker Jordan Jenkins has (or has had) workouts and/or visits with the Vikings and Colts, according to Rand Getlin of (on Twitter). It was previously reported that Oakland, New England, and New Orleans have all checked out Jenkins.
  • Florida safety Keanu Neal has been invited to Chicago for the NFL Draft, according to Rand Getlin of (on Twitter). Neal had a 38-inch vertical leap and an 11-foot broad jump at the NFL Draft Combine and has intrigued teams with his athleticism. Some evaluators see Neal sneaking into the first round. Atlanta has interest in Neal, who was recruited to Florida by coach Dan Quinn when he was the Gators’ defensive coordinator.
  • Baylor wide receiver Corey Coleman has workouts and/or visits set with the 49ers, Bengals, Lions, Bears, Panthers, and Browns, Getlin tweets.
  • USC linebacker/safety Su’a Cravens will visit/work out for the Falcons, Panthers, Colts, Bills, Patriots, Saints, and Chargers, according to Aaron Wilson of the National Football Post (on Twitter).
  • UMass QB Blake Frohnapfel spent time with the Lions and Chargers on Thursday, according to Pauline.
  • Alabama offensive lineman Dominick Jackson, who Pauline opines is one of the more versatile and underrated guard/tackle prospects in the draft, worked out for the Buccaneers this week.
  • Campbell defensive tackle Greg Milhouse has official visits set up with the Giants and Lions, per Pauline.
  • Nebraska offensive lineman Zach Sterup has an official visit set up with the Giants, Pauline writes.

Draft Rumors: Cowboys, Ramsey, Bosa

The Cowboys want Jalen Ramsey, but they fear that he’ll be gone by No. 4, Tony Pauline of writes (via With that in mind, Dallas is eyeing Ohio State standouts Joey Bosa and Ezekiel Elliott. Bosa would help bolster the team at defensive end while DeMarcus Lawrence recovers from surgery and Randy Gregory serves his first month suspension. Elliott, meanwhile, would give the team help at running back.

Here are the latest rumors on the 2016 NFL Draft (all of which come from Pauline, unless otherwise indicated):

  • Insiders believe that we could se three offensive tackles – Laremy Tunsil, Ronnie Stanley, and Jack Conklin – go in the first top 12 picks of the draft. That could start a run and Pauline writes that we could see six tackles taken in the first round.
  • The Cowboys would consider trading down, Pauline hears, but they want to stay ahead of the Giants at No. 10.
  • Observers at the UCLA pro day described Myles Jack as a “remarkable athlete.” One source told Pauline (in his running log for Walter Football) that “he looked like a defensive back doing linebacker drills.”
  • Aaron Wallace, the Bruins’ other notable linebacker, is gaining a lot of momentum in the scouting community, Pauline hears. Wallace currently has official visits set up with the Buccaneers, Browns, and Raiders with more likely on the way.
  • UCLA offensive lineman Caleb Benenoch has been graded as a top-75 selection, according to Pauline. Many believe that Benenoch can play tackle and guard in addition to center.
  • Georgia linebacker Jordan Jenkins says that he’ll have private workouts with the Raiders, Patriots, and Saints, Vaughn McClure of tweets.
  • Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press (on Twitter) reports that Michigan State quarterback Connor Cook has private workouts scheduled with the Cowboys and Dolphins.
  • All 32 NFL teams were in attendance at MSU’s pro day, Adam Schefter of tweets. At the event, Cook met with the 49ers and Rams before the workout and met with the Browns‘ staff after.
  • Michigan State defensive tackle Joel Heath says that he will have a private workout with the Patriots this week, Michael Rothstein of tweets. In addition to that, he’ll meet with the Titans later this month. Heath previously met with the Colts and Buccaneers.
  • Pittsburgh wide receiver Tyler Boyd looked great at his Pro Day and the slowest unofficial 40-year-dash time that has been reported was in the low 4.5s.
  • Pittsburgh corner Lafayette Pitts recorded 40-yard-dash times under 4.4 seconds, with some watches marking him at 4.35.
  • There’s no definitive word on whether Virginia Tech cornerback Kendall Fuller will work out before the draft.
  • Youngstown State linebacker Terrell Williams is drawing interest from clubs. The Jets and Eagles, in particular, see him as a quality backup linebacker/core special teams guy.
  • The Lions have a private workouts set up with Michigan State offensive linemen Jack Conklin, Jack Allen, and Donavon Clark later this month, Birkett tweets.

Extra Points: L.A., 49ers, Draft, Daniels

The Chargers recently confirmed that they’ll continue to play in San Diego for the 2015 season, and it sounds as if the Rams could be the next team to make a similar announcement. Kevin Acee of the San Diego Union-Tribune (Twitter link) and Albert Breer of the NFL Network both indicate that officials in Missouri are expected to present the franchise with a plan containing “substantial public funding” soon, which will make it difficult for the club to justify leaving for Los Angeles in the short term. While there have been plenty of whispers about the possibility of one or two teams making the move to L.A., the smart money says it probably won’t happen in 2015, according to Breer.

Let’s round up a handful of other items from around the NFL….

  • The 49ers have already begun the process of researching potential head coaching candidates from other organizations, writes Jason Cole of Bleacher Report (via Twitter). Cole writes that this is further proof that the organization will move on from Jim Harbaugh this offseason.
  • Georgia outside linebacker Jordan Jenkins announced (via Twitter) that he’ll return to school for another season. Meanwhile, Alabama safety Landon Collins is viewed as a lock to enter the draft, sources tell Rand Getlin of Yahoo! Sports (Twitter link).
  • As NFL executive Troy Vincent points out (via Twitter), the requests for early evaluation from NCAA underclassmen dipped from 214 last year to just 147 this year. Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk suggests that perhaps this means the number of early entrants will decline by a similar rate this year, but as Rand Getlin and Dan Wentzel of Yahoo! Sports write, the NFL instituted new limits this year on the information the league will provide potential early entrants. Only five underclassmen per college program can receive info, and the league will only tell those players if they’re first- or second-round picks.
  • Seahawks backup quarterback B.J. Daniels had his salary increased from the practice squad rate up to an active roster rate, reports Brian McIntyre of (via Twitter).
  • The Patriots had three defenders – defensive end Cam Henderson, defensive lineman Antonio Johnson, and edge defender Rufus Johnson – in for tryouts this week, tweets Mike Reiss of
  • Washington is staring at the possibility of a second consecutive three-win season, and the team hasn’t even shown signs of trending upward, according to John Keim in his mailbag for ESPN. With issues between the coach and quarterback, Washington is having a season to forget.

Luke Adams contributed to this post.