Williams, a defensive tackle out of Alabama, did not report to training camp with his fellow Jets rookies because of issues related to his signing bonus payout structure. Ultimately, it was a difference of $100K that prevented the Jets from signing Williams sooner.
The Jets and Williams reached a compromise on that matter, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (Twitter link) hears. The defensive lineman will have a 25% signing bonus deferment to Year Two, but he’ll get the other 75% at signing. With that out of the way, Williams should be on the field with the Jets on Friday.
Jets No. 3 overall pick Quinnen Williams is one of the few remaining stragglers left in this year’s draft class, and now we know why. The Jets are pushing for a particular bonus payout structure that would cost the defensive lineman approximately $100K, according to Tom Pelissero of NFL.com (on Twitter).
It’s not ideal for negotiations to drag, but this is a minor dispute, all things considered. A difference of $100K ultimately shouldn’t mean much to the Jets, considering that Williams’ slot calls for $32.5MM across four years.
Williams, an Alabama product, registered 71 total tackles, including 19.5 tackles for a loss and eight sacks in his final year on campus. The Jets, arguably, have placed too much emphasis on their interior defensive line in recent years, but they could not pass up the opportunity to land Williams, who holds tremendous potential.
The NFL Draft is just barely in the rear view mirror, which means that teams are full of hope for their young rookies. But, of course, the NFL Draft is largely a crapshoot, and not every player will realize their full potential.
This year’s draft had talent, but lacked a true consensus on the top player. Many evaluators pegged defensive end Nick Bosa as the player with the highest ceiling in the 2019 class, but other saw Alabama’s Quinnen Williams as the “safest bet.” The 49ers pounced on Bosa with the No. 2 pick while the Jets (and former GM Mike Maccagnan) were delighted to land Williams at No. 3 overall.
Leading up to the draft, much of the attention was on Oklahoma quarterback (and one-time MLB hopeful) Kyler Murray. When Murray announced that he would ditch the Oakland A’s, his stock exploded – Murray was considered a borderline first-round prospect in the winter, but wound up as the Cardinals’ choice at No. 1 overall. Murray has the speed that teams crave at the QB position, but questions persist about his size and overall lack of experience as a full-time starter.
The Cardinals’ long flirtation with Murray brought us the expected result, but the Raiders gave us the real first shock of the draft when they tapped Clemson defensive end Clelin Ferrell at No. 4 overall. Not to be outdone, the Giants snagged Duke’s Daniel Jones at No. 6 overall. Heading into the draft, neither player was thought to be anywhere near Top 10 consideration, but Mike Mayock and Dave Gettleman were unwilling to trade down and risk losing out on their guys.
The domino effect created by those picks allowed the Bucs to grab inside linebacker Devin White (No. 5 overall), the Jaguars to land outside linebacker Josh Allen (No. 6), the Lions to snag top tight end T.J. Hockenson, the Bills to draft defensive tackle Ed Oliver (No. 9 overall), and the Steelers to finish out the Top 10 with linebacker Devin Bush. Most of those picks were warmly received, but nothing is certain in the draft.
Which Top 10 pick do you think has the highest bust potential? Click below to cast your vote (link for app users) and back up your choice in the comment section.
While it is not known when the Jets will make their GM decision, they do appear to be done interviewing candidates. The four executives the Jets spoke to — Joe Douglas (Eagles), Scott Fitterer (Seahawks), Champ Kelly (Bears) and Terry Fontenot (Saints) — remain in contention, and Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets (video link) the team has since discussed salary expectations with the candidates. These follow-up talks occurred Tuesday night, per ESPN.com’s Adam Schefter (on Twitter). The favorite since this process started, Douglas has not done anything to remove himself from that perch, but Fitterer has gained steam after a strong interview, Rapoport adds.
These meetings may have also been for the benefit of the candidates, with Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News tweeting multiple interviewees are concerned about the Jets’ atypical ownership situation. CEO Christopher Johnson is working in brother Woody Johnson‘s place, with the latter having accepted an ambassador position with the Trump administration. Woody Johnson will sign off on this GM pick, Mehta adds.
Here is the latest from the AFC East:
A Patriots contingency plan for if presumptive left tackle Isaiah Wynn is not ready: perhaps Joe Thuney sliding over one spot. The Patriots’ fourth-year left guard worked with their first-string offense at left tackle Wednesday, according to The Athletic’s Jeff Howe (subscription required). Brian Schwenke and Ted Karras have been rotating at left guard during Pats minicamp. A 2016 third-round pick, Thuney has started every game at left guard since entering the league. Wynn, a 2018 first-rounder who tore his Achilles’ tendon during camp last year, is not yet ready for team drills.
Bill Belichick is expected to call Patriots defensive plays this season, but the team is using minicamp to try out some other possibilities. First-year full-time assistant Jerod Mayo was calling Pats plays for a second straight day at minicamp, according to Howe. The Patriots hired their former linebacker as assistant inside ‘backers coach this offseason, and Howe adds the 33-year-old calling plays during the season is now a “serious possibility.”
Quinnen Williams sustained a calf injury recently and will be limited for the rest of Jets minicamp, Adam Gase said (via Mehta), calling it a scare. However, the No. 3 overall pick is expected to resume full work when the team, interestingly, holds another OTA session next week.
Former Buccaneers seventh-round pick Stevie Tu’ikolovatu worked out for the Bills on Wednesday, Mike Rodak of ESPN.com tweets. The former USC defensive tackle has not played since being drafted, with injuries keeping him off the field.
Are the Jets and Bills preparing to work together tonight? For weeks, reports have steadily emerged indicating the Jets would not be averse to trading down from No. 3 overall. That prospect has gained steam Thursday, with GMs expecting Gang Green to have buyers for their pick. The Bills might be one of them. The Jets are a decent bet to trade down tonight, Rich Cimini of ESPN.com tweets, adding one team is under the impression New York already has a deal in place. Teams don’t make a habit of intra-division first-round trade agreements, but Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports notes (on Twitter) the Bills may be considering moving up to acquire Quinnen Williams. Cimini mentions Williams as a key part in the Jets’ potential trade-down scenario, so if the Cardinals and 49ers choose Kyler Murray and Nick Bosa — as they are expected to — we could have a trade shortly after.
Here is the latest calm-before-the-storm draft buzz:
Linked to just about every other key player atop this draft, the Raiders are now connected to Bosa. They may be interested in moving up to select the Ohio State-honed pass rusher, Dan Graziano of ESPN.com notes (via Rotoworld’s Evan Silva, on Twitter). With the 49ers expected to take Bosa at No. 2 overall, the Raiders would seemingly have to trade into the Cards’ No. 1 spot to pull this off.
Vic Fangio‘s previous team used the No. 8 overall pick to nab Roquan Smith. He may have a similar wish this year. The Broncos‘ first-year coach “very badly” wants Devin Bush to spearhead his new linebacking corps, La Canfora notes. Denver cut its top coverage linebacker, Brandon Marshall, earlier this year and has a need for a three-down inside ‘backer.
The Steelers made calls about possibly trading up for a defender, but they may be resigned to the fact they will not be able to add one of their targets. They do not view Bush as an attainable player, per JLC (on Twitter). With the Broncos linked to Bush at 10, the Steelers would have to likely jump at least 11 draft slots to be in strong position to land the Michigan linebacker prospect.
Vanderbilt-produced cornerback Joejuan Williams has risen into first-round consideration, and the Chargers are intrigued, per La Canfora. The Bolts do not boast a plethora of dire needs, putting them in position for a best-player-available pick at No. 28.
Although the Eagles brought back Timmy Jernigan, they are still going to be in the market for a possible first-round defensive tackle, Jeff McLane of Philly.com tweets. The Eagles are fairly stacked on their defensive front, especially having added Malik Jackson this offseason, but they have been mentioned as a candidate to add another lineman in Round 1.
If the Giants address their pass rusher and quarterback needs tonight, they may be hoping to help their secondary on Friday. They should be expected to consider a safety either in Round 2 or Round 3, per ESPN.com’s Jordan Raanan (on Twitter). Big Blue acquired Jabrill Peppers this offseason but has needs everywhere else in its secondary.
With hours to go before the 2019 NFL Draft, the Cardinals’ plans for the No. 1 overall pick remain shrouded in secrecy. Just recently, Cardinals GM Steve Keim reached out to Alabama defensive tackle Quinnen Williams to let him know he’s still a possibility to go first overall, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (on Twitter) hears.
At this point, only GM Steve Keim and a few others know the identity of the top pick, Steve Wyche of NFL.com reports (on Twitter). It still sounds like Kyler Murray will be the pick, but no one knows for sure, especially since there have been no trade talks surrounding Josh Rosen at this time.
Further complicating matters is a split of opinions in the Arizona front office about whether Rosen and Murray could co-exist on the roster together. One team source tells Josina Anderson of ESPN.com (Twitter link) that the situation would not work after Rosen was selected to be Arizona’s QB of the future just one year ago. Another team source, however, feels that it could work.
On Saturday, Arizona State receiver and local product N’Keal Harry visited the Cardinals for a private visit, NFL Network’s Ian Rappoport tweets.
Possessing the size, strength and speed of a prototypical outside receiver, Harry could be an option for Arizona should he still be on the board when the team is on the clock at No. 33. Harry should fully be in play there, as the Cardinals reportedly like the value of going receiver with their second-round pick, Bleacher Report’s Matt Miller tweets.
Should the team go with Harry, it would pair him with another local standout in Christian Kirk, who impressed as a rookie before missing time with an injury down the stretch. The pair of young wideouts would join veteran and future Hall of Famer Larry Fitzgerald in a potentially loaded receiver corps for either Josh Rosen or Kyler Murray, should the team go with the Oklahoma product as expected a week before the draft.
Here’s more draft talk from around the league:
Sticking with the Cardinals, though the team has been heavily linked to Murray, Kent Somer of the Arizona Republic believes the team should pass on the reigning Heisman Trophy winner. He thinks the team should stick with Rosen, attempt to trade down to pick up more picks, and, if that option is not possible, take either Quinnen Williams or Nick Bosa.
Speaking of Williams, many NFL executives reportedly prefer the Alabama defensive lineman to Ohio State’s Bosa as the draft’s top overall prospect, Michael David Smith of Pro Football Talk writes. In a poll of 14 personnel members by Bob McGinn, six chose Williams as the top picks, twice as many as Bosa, who received the second most. Also receiving votes were Josh Allen, Kyler Murray, Dwayne Haskins and Jeffery Simmons.
The Broncos have been heavily tied to quarterback’s heading into this week’s draft. Helping pick that signal-caller, if they do indeed go that route, is new offensive coordinator Rich Scangarello, who learned how to pick the position from 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan, the Denver Post’s Ryan O’Halloran writes. “Kyle had a lot of success (evaluating quarterbacks) and (he) showed me some things that I use in the evaluation process,” Scangarello said. “It’s a tough position to evaluate. You just get them in (the meeting room) and you try and find out what you can about them.” Denver has been linked with Drew Lock, but Daniel Jones, Murray and Dwayne Haskins could all fit the bill at No. 10 if everything falls right.
The 49ers have been heavily tied to either Bosa or Williams with the No. 2 pick on Thursday, but the team is looking to the skill positions for their Round 2 pick, NBC Sports’ Matt Maiocco writes. At the top of the list is wide receiver, where they are looking to find a starter-level pass catcher to complement second-year wideout Dante Pettis and veteran Marquise Goodwin. Maiocco notes the receivers who have been in for a visit include Harry, A.J. Brown, Hakeem Butler, Jalen Hurd and Deebo Samuel.
Assuming the Cardinals select quarterback Kyler Murray with the first-overall pick, it’s expected that the 49ers would subsequently take Ohio State pass rusher Nick Bosa with the second-overall pick. However, Mike Florio of ProFootballTalk.com writes that this perception could be the 49ers’ way of throwing rival teams off their trail.
Florio says that “some in league circles believe that the extent to which the 49ers are allowing that perception to exist unchallenged could mean, in reality, that the 49ers are planning to do something else.” If this is truly the case, and the 49ers aren’t 100-percent focused on selecting Bosa with the second pick, then this could vicariously lead to a pair of draft scenarios.
For starters, the 49ers could simply be eying Alabama defensive tackle Quinnen Williams. If the organization is looking for an AaronDonald-type player who they could easily throw in to the interior of their defensive line, then Williams would seemingly be the perfect choice. Of course, this wouldn’t necessarily explain why the 49ers aren’t doing anything to decrease the Bosa-to-San Francisco talk. If the team intends to take Williams with the second pick, they could just publicly refute the Bosa rumors. On the flip side, perhaps they’re keeping their mouths shut until they get clarity on Arizona’s pick.
The other scenario revolves around a trade. As Florio points out, it was only two years ago that the 49ers acquired an extra pair of third-rounders and an extra fourth-rounder for simply moving down one spot in the draft. If, say, the Jets are particularly enamored with Bosa, the 49ers could use their own “interest” in the Ohio State standout to get more out of a trade. Either way, if the 49ers are hoping to make a trade and draft Williams, they probably won’t be able to drop much further than fourth-overall; the majority of mock drafts have some combination of Murray, Bosa, Williams, and Kentucky edge defense Josh Allen in their top-four.
The Giants‘ meeting with Kyler Murray got all of the headlines, but the Oklahoma quarterback wasn’t the only big-name prospect to get face time with the club on Thursday. The Giants also hosted Michigan defensive lineman Rashan Gary and Kentucky pass-rusher Josh Allen, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (on Twitter) hears.
At this rate, it would be a surprise if Murray is available for either of the Giants’ first-round picks at No. 6 and No. 17. However, Gary and Allen could be in range for a team that is said to be prioritizing pass-rushing. Allen would represent the safer bet based on his college production, but that also means that he could be gone by the time the Giants take the podium. Gary, who boasts serious raw skills, should last a bit longer after tallying just 3.5 sacks last season.
Here’s the latest NFL Draft buzz:
Florida offensive tackle Jawaan Taylor will visit the Panthers on Friday, Adam Schefter of ESPN.com tweets. Taylor, a 6’5″ lineman, could project as either a right tackle or guard at the next level, which could be helpful for a team that has overhauled its O-Line this offseason.
The Bears will huddle up with Alabama running back Josh Jacobs, the team announced. Jacobs is widely rated as the best three-down back in this year’s class, but he does not offer the same kind of upside as last year’s top-drafted RB Saquon Barkley. Still, the Bears will have to get creative if they want to land Jacobs – Thanks to the Khalil Mack trade and last year’s move up for wide receiver Anthony Miller, the Bears won’t be on the board until the third round (No. 87 overall).
The Bills hosted an interesting mid-round prospect in Buffalo QB Tyree Jackson (Twitter link via NFL.com’s Tom Pelissero). Jackson could be a natural fit for the Bills as his size and athleticism mirrors that of QB Josh Allen.
This week’s combine re-checks produced very positive news for Oklahoma wide receiver Marquise “Hollywood” Brown, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (on Twitter). Brown, who has been out of a boot for weeks, was given the thumbs up on his surgically-repaired foot.
Despite the injury, the 5’9″ receiver is widely projected as a first round pick. Last year, Brown put himself on the NFL radar with 75 catches for 1,318 yards and ten touchdowns.
Here’s the latest NFL Draft buzz:
Arizona State wide receiver N’Keal Harry will work out for the Cardinals on April 20 at ASU, according to a source who spoke with ESPN.com’s Josh Weinfuss (on Twitter). Head coach Kliff Kingsbury, GM Steve Keim, and president Michael Bidwill will be among those on hand for Harry’s only private NFL workout. Harry isn’t a contender for the No. 1 overall pick, but he could be a candidate for the Cardinals’ first pick of the second round (No. 33 overall)
The Rams are meeting with Clemson defensive linemen Dexter Lawrence and Clelin Ferrell on campus, Rapoport tweets. Both players are expected to go in the first round, but the Rams may be out of range at No. 31 overall.
Alabama defensive tackle Quinnen Williams will visit the Jaguars on Thursday, a source tells ESPN.com’s Adam Schefter (Twitter link).
Houston cornerback Isaiah Johnson will work out for the Falcons on Thursday, Rapoport tweets. The converted wide receiver came away with two interceptions in each of the last two seasons and could go as high as the second round.