Friday, April 17, 2009

Jets' News and Notes: April 19

*Woody Johnson listened to fans who clamored for a 1:00 start time week three against Tennessee, and the NFL complied to Woody's request, moving gametime to 4:15 to 1:00. This appeases Jewish Jets fans who cannot be active after sundown. The Giants-Buccaneers game will remain at 1:00 as well, putting the two teams head-to-head on television that week. You can bet CBS and FOX aren't very happy about that, but it was the best solution.

*Two days of mini-camp are in the books, and the quarterback competition has an early leader as Kellen Clemens has outperformed Brett Ratliff so far. Let me stress just how early it is, but Clemens has looked the part of a starting quarterback in the early going. Ratliff has flashed his physical skills at times, but Clemens has been more starterly, to use a word I just made up.

What I mean by that is, he's acted more like a starting quarterback. He knows this is his chance to be an NFL QB, and he's looked more confident and comfortable during the practices, according to reports.

Just ask Rex Ryan.

“I thought he looked outstanding,” Ryan said yesterday after the morning practice in Florham Park, N.J. “He did decent the first day, but I really like how he took charge of the offense and really brought that unit out. They had a lot of spark. He made good decisions and showed poise.”

Does this mean the Jets won't draft a quarterback in round one? No, two practices in April don't prove much of anything. But unless Mark Sanchez falls in the Jets lap at 17, I don't expect the Jets to take a quarterback (Josh Freeman) round one. Trading up to get Sanchez is an outside possibility, but trading out of the 17th pick is a very likely scenario in this draft. I could see the team moving up a few spots if Jeremy Maclin or Sanchez starts to slip. Trading down is probably a more likely possibility.

I really don't know what direction the Jets will go with this pick. Typically when this happens, a trade is brewing. If the Jets stay put, I could definitely see Knowshon Moreno being the selection. Gun to my head, I say the Jets move down in round one, grab Kenny Britt, Hakeem Nicks, or Jarron Gilbert. If there's one thing Mike Tannenbaum has proven, it's that he is willing to use draft picks as trade bait, whether it's to move up in the draft (Darrelle Revis, Dustin Keller) or for veterans (Kris Jenkins, Brett Favre, Lito Sheppard). The well is starting to run a little dry, though, with just six picks in this year's draft and a 2nd or 3rd round pick likely gone for Sheppard next year. Accumulating more ammunition in the form of draft picks makes a lot of sense.

*While it appears the Jets have a gaping hole at receiver across Jerricho Cotchery, David Clowney looks ready to step up into that role. Ryan called his work "very impressive" so far. He's as fast if not faster than any receiver available in the draft, and at 6'0", 188, he has good, not great size. More importantly, he, Cotchery, and Chansi Stuckey would compliment each other well as a trio. Clowney has a lot to prove in game situations, but the opportunity is there, and Clowney might be the best option. In my opinion, he'd be more equipped to produce in 2009 than any rookie.

*Defensive lineman Kareem Brown is in the middle of a transition to tight end, and he hasn't looked half-bad. Dustin Keller is the only true tight end on the roster, and while someone else is surely to be brought in, if Brown can block, he might play.

*Vernon Gholston had a good 2nd day of practice, and he still expects to produce.

*The pre-draft press conference was completed Friday. You can read the full transcript (although it's mostly fluff) here.

No comments: