Monday morning was busy after the annual Green & White Scrimmage this weekend, so we delayed our usual New York Jets mailbag column until late afternoon.
As always our expert writers Paul ‘Boy Green’ Edden Jr. and Michel Obermuller will answer the burning questions of the week. Today we’ll be focusing on the aforementioned Green & White Scrimmage, the first unofficial depth chart of 2022, Denzel Mims’ uncertain future with the franchise, and the latest on Duane Brown and Mekhi Becton.
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Green and white reactions
1. Give me a Green & White Scrimmage player who stole your eyes and impressed you ahead of the first pre-season game.
It must be Tyler Conklin. I had the opportunity to speak with him earlier this offseason on my YouTube channel and it looks like he has a big chip on his shoulder.
The tight end would have caught seven catches on Saturday night, plus he was the receiver on Zach Wilson’s only touchdown pass.
CJ Uzomah is louder and makes more money so it makes sense that he made headlines, however, Conklin will be a guy they give the ball to in this offense throughout the 2022 season. J can’t wait to get a real taste of it during pre-season.
For me, it was first-round pick Ahmad “Sauce” Gardner. The rookie cornerback wasn’t my favorite selection at No. 4 overall — I’ll be the first to admit that — but he impressed me early this spring and summer.
For the most part, Sauce locked receivers like Elijah Moore, Corey Davis and Garrett Wilson on his first “play” at MetLife Stadium. A fan video of Gardner vs. Moore ended up going viral – that’s a ton of talent on a jump ball.
More importantly, the moment wasn’t too big for Gardner, it just was. This is what you expect from a rookie who should start.
2. Give me a player you were sure you made the roster for, but are more worried about now after the Green & White Scrimmage.
It’s weird because he didn’t really play, but Vinny Curry. The sage of this top unit was sidelined with a hamstring issue.
The Jets’ depth on the defensive line is incredible and the more time he misses, the more it looks like a lock he’ll play elsewhere in 2022.
Curry has an inspiring story and is a savvy veteran, but they just have too many guys and it’s a numbers game.
Mine is security Ashtyn Davis. It’s not that the 2020 third-round pick did anything wrong in the scrimmage, it’s that his biggest competition is still doing it right.
Will Parks had another highlight interception in the Green & White game – making it two back-to-back drives. This is not a camp body scrub. Parks is an experienced veteran who has contributed to virtually every franchise he has played for.
He also knows how to play with special teams, which should also increase his chances. With Jason Pinnock already slipping into Davis’ role as a potential long-term starter, Joe Douglas could cut the bait with draft disappointment while he still has some value in trading him ahead of Week 1.
3. How much do you think it would cost to sign Duane Brown after his visit to MetLife? Should the Jets pull the trigger?
Yes, they should. I beat the table for this move for months.
I would do the same Agreement with Morgan Moses from last year – a one-year deal for around $3 or $4 million guaranteed, with incentives that can pay more. I just don’t think a proven product like it will sign for less, but Douglas has already surprised us with its magic, so you never know.
I would have pulled the trigger yesterday. You must obtain this signature as soon as possible. Again, this is not an indictment against Becton or George Fant, you just need to have a good backup plan. Brown would give you an elite option off the bench.
Paul sent in his answers just before Becton’s camp injury today, but I have the benefit of that knowledge before commenting. Honestly, that wouldn’t have changed my answer besides increasing the level of enthusiasm.
I had hoped they wouldn’t let Brown leave the building Saturday night. Now I would be on the phone promising him more guarantees.
People worry about the money, but the The jets have plenty. On a one-year contract, there are no long-term ramifications here. Whether or not Becton’s knee injury today was a false alarm, we just got a huge reality check. It’s likely either Becton or Fant will run out of time in 2022. They’re both prone to it and each has a knee that just came out of surgery.
I don’t care if we’re spending over budget on this one. I would give him $5 million in guaranteed money and a few more million in incentives. Luckily I’m not the general manager and it won’t cost that much. Riley Reiff just signed with a base salary of $3 million and even less in guarantees. Of course, his incentives could increase that number by more than $10 million, but with Brown, that’s less likely to happen.
I think it would cost something similar to the Reiff deal. Pay the man!
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Places on the 2022 list are hard to find
4. With all the rookie wide receivers impressing in camp (Calvin Jackson Jr, Irvin Charles, Keshunn Abram), would you trade Denzel Mims in order to keep an extra youngster during the cuts?
I wouldn’t do it for that reason alone, but that’s another benefit of moving Mims.
The former Baylor product wants to be a starter, but there’s a snowball chance in hell happening with the Jets. If he wants it that badly, it will have to happen somewhere else.
I would love to raise one of these young guys (Charles is my favorite of the bunch) but the main reason is that Mims is buried on the depth board and it’s time to hit the eject button for that it still has value.
I feel like I’ve gained quite a reputation as a Mims hater on Twitter, but honestly, I have nothing against the guy. I would love to see him succeed here, but his best opportunity may have come and gone in 2021.
Corey Davis and Moore were injured and Mims did nothing. It was dominated by Tarik Black and DJ Montgomery! If you want to blame his fight with food poisoning or COVID, fine, I’ll allow it. My counter is this – why is he running with Mike White and the third most training team this summer? Behind guys like Charles, Calvin Jackson Jr. or USFL pickup Rashard Davis.
There is no other explanation than the fact that he does not fit here. Whether he fits into the offensive system in general or the plans of Mike LaFleur and Robert Saleh is up for debate. Anyway, it was written by Adam Gase staff and something doesn’t seem to work under the new regime.
Mims looks and looks frustrated, he’s not playing special teams and he’s heading towards the end of his rookie contract after the 2023 campaign. I would trade him for a player swap and keep one of the promising rookies in his place, either Jackson or Charles.
5. What surprised you most about the Jets’ premiere? unofficial depth chart?
Surprised? Nothing too crazy, no.
I had two major observations – linebacker Marcell Harris on Kwon Alexander is interesting, but I think it’s a current issue that will be resolved sooner or later with Alexander taking over as the season rolls around.
The other very interesting nugget was that Bryce Hall and Ahmad Gardner were listed as co-starters. Gang Green has impressive depth but Sauce will need to earn his nickname and the starting gig at cornerback.
These initial depth maps should always be taken with a grain of salt. Rookies are often placed very low – so credit goes to Gardner for being so high – and recent signings also tend to be out of whack. At this point, one decision intrigued and shocked me.
Solomon Thomas was listed as the starting defensive tackle next to Quinnen Williams. Now, it’s been widely reported that John Franklin-Myers will start at defensive position in the base lineup, so this part didn’t surprise me, but Thomas on Sheldon Rankins did – especially considering his newcomer status.
I think most people have always viewed the former failed first-round pick as a rotation guy in New York. Someone who could potentially be on the list bubble, even, but that doesn’t seem to be the case after the first show of support.
PS In the hotly contested edge rusher battle, Jacob Martin and Vinny Curry were listed as the replacements behind “JFM” and Carl Lawson, for what it’s worth. Bryce Huff and Jermaine Johnson II were the third strings with players like Jabari Zuniga, Tim Ward, Micheal Clemons and more regulated in the fourth string column.