After taking Southern California quarterback Sam Darnold at No. 3 overall on Thursday night and Fort Hays State defensive lineman Nathan Shepherd in the third round Friday night Tre'Davious White Jersey , general manager Mike Maccagnan went to work on the draft’s final day to fill some sizable roster holes.
The Jets made three trades Saturday, including two swaps of draft picks with the Minnesota Vikings, and another with the Indianapolis Colts for defensive end Henry Anderson.
New York took Miami tight end Christopher Herndon in the fourth round at No. 107 overall. After all the wheeling and dealing, the Jets capped the draft with three sixth-rounders: Tulane cornerback Parry Nickerson, UConn defensive tackle Foley Fatukasi and Virginia State running back Trenton Cannon.
”We feel we have some good young players,” Maccagnan said. ”There are some guys we felt good (about) in our process. We like them both from an ability standpoint and we feel like we have some good character guys, too.”
But this draft will be remembered – and ultimately, judged – on what Darnold does.
No quarterback has ever been selected higher by the Jets in an NFL draft, and New York felt fortunate Darnold was still there when it went on the clock. After all, Darnold had long been considered a likely No. 1 overall pick by Cleveland, which ended up taking Oklahoma’s Baker Mayfield instead. When the Giants went with Penn State running back Saquon Barkley at No. 2, the Jets had their guy.
”Sam … man, oh Sean Monahan Jersey , man … I did not think we would have a shot at you,” acting CEO Christopher Johnson said during his phone call with Darnold after the team drafted the quarterback. ”I’m so happy. Dude, you’re gonna love New York.”
And New Jersey too, of course. Heck, Jets fans everywhere couldn’t help but feel giddy about Darnold holding up his green-and-white jersey.
Darnold was formally introduced at the team’s facility Friday after spending Thursday night in Dallas at the draft site. On Saturday, the new Jets quarterback surprised some young fans by visiting a pediatric hospital in New Jersey and posing for photos and signing autographs.
While Josh McCown, last year’s starter, is still here, it might not be long before Darnold – the cool and poised kid from California – takes center stage in the Big Apple.
”I’m very confident,” Darnold said. ”It’s more of a quiet confidence. I am who I am and however people want to define that, that’s not really up to me. I’m just going to be myself. The best way to describe it is confident, but also knowing what needs to get done and being very, very serious when it comes to that.”
CROWDED QB ROOM
Along with Darnold and McCown Josh Jackson Color Rush Jersey , the Jets also have Teddy Bridgewater, Bryce Petty and Christian Hackenberg on the roster. That’s a few too many quarterbacks.
Bridgewater is still recovering from a career-threatening knee injury nearly two years ago. Meanwhile, Petty – a fourth-rounder in 2015 – and Hackenberg – a second-rounder in 2016 – would seem to have their spots in serious jeopardy.
”There’s always conversations had with teams,” Maccagnan said, ”and we’ll see how that unfolds here in the next little bit of time.”
BIG BOYS UP FRONT
The Jets went into the draft needing some depth on the defensive line, and they got some with the picks of Shepherd and Fatukasi. Both will help replace the departed Muhammad Wilkerson, who was cut in the offseason and signed with Green Bay.
Anderson is also a nice addition, if he’s healthy. He was a third-round pick of the Colts in 2015, but has finished all three of his NFL seasons on injured reserve. The most recent injury was a fractured larynx that required surgery late last season.
The trade is contingent on Anderson passing his physical with the Jets. If he doesn’t, they would get back the seventh-round pick they sent to Indianapolis, but in next year’s draft.
TIGHT END COMPETITION
Maccagnan likes what he saw from Herndon at Miami, saying he might be a little bit more athletic and more of a pass catcher than some of the other five tight ends New York has on its roster.
That list includes Eric Tomlinson, Neal Sterling Authentic Cameron Jordan Jersey , Jordan Leggett, Bucky Hodges and Clive Walford. Maccagnan said Herndon, whose senior season was shortened by a knee injury, is about a month away from being 100 percent so he’ll be limited in offseason workouts.
Nickerson will serve as the backup to Buster Skrine as the Jets’ nickel corner and could be the veteran’s eventual replacement. Bowles said Nickerson will also get work on the outside, where the cornerback said he played almost exclusively at Tulane.
Cannon fills a major need as a fast, athletic return specialist, something the Jets have lacked over the last two seasons. The Jets could look to add a few more speedy playmakers for the offense among undrafted free agents. Pass rusher has also been an issue for New York, and it could try to find a sack-happy UDFA to help fill that void.
ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — The Dallas Cowboys waived Dan Bailey, the second-most accurate kicker in NFL history, in a surprise move Saturday to get their roster to 53 players for the regular season.
Bailey was the Dallas kicker for seven seasons and made at least 93 percent of his kicks in three of his first five years. The former Oklahoma State player tailed off badly last season after injuring his groin against San Francisco in the sixth game of the season.
By waiving Bailey, the Cowboys are going with Brett Maher. The sixth-year player from Nebraska hasn’t kicked in a regular-season game. He made a 57-yarder in the Cowboys’ 14-6 loss to Houston in the preseason finale.
Before the injury, Bailey was the most accurate in NFL history among kickers with at least 100 attempts. He was 8 of 13 after the injury to finish 2017 at a career-low 75 percent. The 30-year-old Bailey’s accuracy dropped nearly 20 percentage points over his final two seasons.
Bailey is at 88.2 percent for his career (186 of 211) Trent Taylor Jersey , second to Justin Tucker’s 90.2 percent. Bailey is Dallas’ career leader in field goals.
The move on Bailey could have been a financial one since it saves $3.4 million against the salary cap. Maher, who is signed through 2019, will make $480,000 this season.
Tight end Rico Gathers made the 53-man roster a day after he was arrested on a charge of possession of marijuana. The former Baylor basketball player hasn’t played in the regular season going into his third year.
Dallas made the unusual move of keeping four tight ends in its first season without Jason Witten, who retired after 15 years to take the role as lead analyst for “Monday Night Football.”
Geoff Swaim is the only tight end on the roster with a catch in the regular season. Blake Jarwin is listed as the backup, and the Cowboys drafted Dalton Schultz in the fourth round this year.
The Cowboys made room for Gathers by keeping just two running backs in Ezekiel Elliott and Rod Smith. Former Alabama running back Bo Scarbrough was among the cuts, with Dallas likely hoping to add the seventh-round pick to the practice squad.
Dallas waived two of its free agent signings in defensive end Kony Ealy and receiver Deonte Thompson, who was slowed by an Achilles tendon injury in training camp.
Defensive tackle Jihad Ward, acquired in a trade that sent 2017 fourth-round pick Ryan Switzer to Oakland, was waived. Switzer, a receiver and kick returner, has since been traded to Pittsburgh.
The Cowboys waived a pair of recent third-round picks in offensive lineman Chaz Green (2015) and defensive end Charles Tapper (2016). Both were slowed by injuries early in their careers.
Green was benched during a poor showing while starting in place of left tackle Tyron Smith against Atlanta last season. Dak Prescott was sacked a career-high eight times in that game.