Shark Bites

The New York Daily News' Manish Mehta believes it'd be an "upset" if QB Sam Darnold isn't the Jets' Week 1 starter. "Darnold flashed some of the skills in the preseason opener that have the Jets privately giddy about him," Mehta writes. "The brain trust is happier with this kid with each passing day." Darnold completed 13 of 18 passes for 96 yards and a TD in last week's exhibition and is expected to start tonight's preseason game against the Redskins. This could change if he bombs tonight or in the 3rd preseason game. But, for now, he's the favorite to be under center against the Lions on Monday Night Football Week 1. We just moved Darnold up the rankings -- although he's still only an option in 2-QB leagues.

According to ESPN's Rich Cimini, Jets QB Sam Darnold saw the majority of QB reps in Sunday's practice for the 1st time since joining the team for training camp. That change came in a joint practice with Washington, and Cimini called it "an indication he might start Thursday night" in the 2nd exhibition game. HC Todd Bowles said he hadn't made a final at QB for the game yet, but Cimini reports that the Jets have planned all along to let Darnold start at least once in the preseason. This change in practice reps also follows a debut performance that earned Darnold a fair amount of praise. We'll see what it means for his quest to start the regular-season opener.

Jets RB Isaiah Crowell left Friday’s preseason game to be evaluated for a concussion. He took a hard shot to the head right at the goal line. We’ll pass along updates when they’re available, but Crowell has been a top RB value since the spring. He’s currently coming off the board around RB34.

Update: Crowell did sustain a concussion

Jets WR Quincy Enunwa is expected to be sidelined 1-2 weeks with a thumb injury suffered earlier this week, according to the New York Daily News' Manish Mehta. This shouldn't impact his availability for the start of the season, but Enunwa needs all the reps he can get after missing all of last year with a neck injury. He remains just a late-round flier for now.

Jets RB Elijah McGuire will undergo surgery on his broken foot and is expected to miss 3-6 weeks, ESPN's Adam Schefter reports. The short end of that timetable would have him back in late August; the long end would keep him out through the season opener. Foot injuries are notoriously tricky to return from, so we're considering McGuire questionable at best for Week 1. He's not worth rostering in most redraft leagues. Look for Bilal Powell to open the season in a pass-catching role behind Isaiah Crowell.

Jets RB Elijah McGuire sustained a fractured foot on Friday. Per NFL insider Ian Rapoport, the 2nd-year RB will undergo surgery and miss an “extended period.” That knocks him off the radar as a late-round flier. Now, New York’s down to Isaiah Crowell and Bilal Powell in the backfield, although they’re hosting Alfred Morris and Orleans Darkwa on free agent visits.

Jets WR ArDarius Stewart has been suspended 2 games for violating the league's performance-enhancing drug policy. Stewart is coming off a disappointing 6-catch rookie campaign for a Jets squad that could have used some pass-catching help. Fellow 2nd-year WR Chad Hansen has drawn more buzz this offseason. Stewart is well off the redraft radar -- and his dynasty stock has taken a significant hit over the past 12 months.

The New York Post's Brian Costello expects WR Quincy Enunwa to be a "major weapon" for the Jets this season -- assuming good health. Enunwa missed the entire 2017 campaign with a bulging disc in his neck that required surgery and was limited in spring workouts. If he's back to 100%, Enunwa is the favorite to handle slot duties for New York between Robby Anderson and Jermaine Kearse, according to Costello. He's just a couple of years removed from a 58-857-4 line and 44th-place PPR finish. Enunwa has a shot to return to that level of production in 2018 and is worth a look at the end of fantasy drafts.

When asked about 2nd-year RB Elijah McGuire on Thursday, Jets RBs coach Stump Mitchell compared the former 6th-round pick to a hall of famer. “He has the skill set to be a LaDainian Tomlinson, if he was given that opportunity,” Mitchell said, per the New York Post. Frankly, that's a laughable comparison. It would be for just about any RB, given that Tomlinson ranks among the best ever. But Mitchell's opinion could put McGuire more in the mix for touches this season than we might have expected. Mitchell added that he "told David Johnson the same thing" about his skill set, when Mitchell coached Arizona RBs. Mitchell added that McGuire doesn't face such an opportunity with the Jets, but Isaiah Crowell might be the only RB locked into a big role. We're far from excited about McGuire, but we'll be curious to see if he generates any training camp buzz.

Jets TE Chris Herndon was arrested and charged with DWI in New Jersey on early Saturday morning. The 4th-round rookie crashed into another car and a railroad motorcar at 4:45 am. The accident figures to earn him a suspension from the league. Herndon has a shot to carve out a role in the Jets' wide-open TE corps, but this obviously won't help his cause.

Jets HC Todd Bowles said WR Terrelle Pryor is out of OTAs with an ankle injury, according to Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News. We'll see how serious the issue is, but it's worrisome given recent history. Pryor's 2017 ended in November with ankle surgery after the Week 2 injury hobbled him for weeks. If this holds Pryor back into summer, he could quickly fall in behind Robby Anderson, Jermaine Kearse, Quincy Enunwa and perhaps others on the WR depth chart.

Jets WR Quincy Enunwa (neck) was on the field for Tuesday's OTA session but was held out of team drills, according to insider Brian Costello. Enunwa missed the entire 2017 campaign with a bulging disc in his neck but is expected to be cleared for the start of this season. He led the Jets with 857 receiving yards on 58 catches back in 2016 and finds opportunity in a crowded but mostly unproven 2018 WR corps.

Jets QB Teddy Bridgewater (knee) appears to be a full-go at OTAs, according to insider Manish Mehta. "Rolling out in 11-on-11 team drills. Looks really good," Mehta tweeted. It's not a major surprise considering Bridgewater was cleared to practice with the Vikings last October. The final step in his return from August 2016 knee injury is returning to game action. Unfortunately, he probably won't get that chance in New York with Josh McCown and Sam Darnold ahead of him on the depth chart. Bridgewater will hit free agency again next offseason.

The Jets used a 4th-round pick on Miami TE Chris Herndon. He tore his MCL in last year's regular-season finale and wasn't able to workout pre-draft, but Herndon looks plenty athletic on tape. He was a 3-year starter for the 'Canes and left school with a 12.2 yards-per-catch average. This landing spot is as good as it gets. Herndon's competition for 2018 snaps and targets consists of Clive Walford, Jordan Leggett and Eric Tomlinson.

The Jets selected USC QB Sam Darnold with the 3rd pick of the 2018 NFL Draft. Turning 21 in June, Darnold is the youngest QB ever drafted. After redshirting in 2015 and serving as backup for the first 3 games of 2016, Darnold completed a sterling 67.4% of his passes with 29 TDs vs. 8 INTs over the final 10 contests. His numbers took a step back this past year, due in part to the loss of WR JuJu Smith-Schuster and a lingering ankle injury. But a 63.1% completion rate, 8.6 yards per attempt, 26 TDs and 13 INTs ain’t shabby. (Just ask Josh Allen.) Ball-security is the biggest knock against Darnold. On top of his 22 INTs over the past 2 years, he also lost 14 fumbles. Darnold has plenty of arm talent, though. And, while he won’t do a ton of damage on the ground, he’s mobile enough. In New York, he joins a QB room with Josh McCown and Teddy Bridgewater. Consider Darnold the favorite to be under center come Week 1.

The Jets have signed TE Clive Walford. The 2015 third-round was a major bust in Oakland, totaling just 70 catches and 6 TDs across the past 3 seasons. He's still just 26, though, and looked like a promising prospect coming out of Miami. Most importantly, Walford is joining a Jets TE depth chart that includes only Jordan Leggett, Neal Sterling and Eric Tomlinson. Walford might just be the favorite to lead the group in targets this year. He's not someone to aggressively pursue in early best-ball drafts, but he'll be worth monitoring this summer.

The Jets signed RB Thomas Rawls. The 24-year-old has mustered just 3.0 yards per carry across 21 appearances over the past 2 seasons since a promising rookie campaign. He joins a Jets backfield that added Isaiah Crowell and returns Bilal Powell and Elijah McGuire. Perhaps Rawls' arrival puts Powell's roster spot in danger. But even in that case, Rawls wouldn't be more than a late-round flier in fantasy drafts.

Multiple outlets report that WR Terrelle Pryor has reached a deal with the Jets. Pryor, of course, spent last season in Washington, catching only 20 balls over 9 games before landing on IR with a left ankle injury. Before that, he managed a surprising 2016 breakout in a Cleveland offense with crappy QB play. The Jets currently sport Josh McCown and Teddy Bridgewater as potential 2018 starters and appear likely to add another QB in the upcoming NFL Draft. The WR corps returns 2017's top 2, Robby Anderson and Jermaine Kearse. Off-field issues threaten Anderson's outlook, though, and Kearse's targets and catches last season stood well ahead of his numbers in Seattle. The Jets also tendered restricted free agent Quincy Enunwa at the 2nd-round level after he missed 2017 with a neck injury. We'll see how this offense shakes out, but there's at least room for Pryor to carve out a significant role. We'd still target Anderson 1st among Jets WRs in current best-ball drafting.

The Jets and RB Isaiah Crowell have agreed to a 3-year contract, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter. We're waiting for monetary details, but Crowell should be the favorite to lead New York's 2018 backfield in touches. The team has never seemed to want Bilal Powell in a lead role. Crowell saw his carry total climb all 4 years in Cleveland, although he topped out at a relatively modest 206 last year. He also averaged just 4.1 yards per carry in 2017, while ranking 39th among 51 qualifying RBs in Pro Football Focus' rushing grades. Football Outsiders, however, rated him 25th out of 47 in both main efficiency metrics. At this point, Crowell is tough to like as more than a lower-end RB2 in his new digs.

The Jets on Tuesday agreed to a 1-year, $10 million deal to keep QB Josh McCown as their starter, ESPN's Adam Schefter reports. On the same day, though, the team also reached a 1-year deal with QB Teddy Bridgewater. Although McCown's getting starter money, it's a good situation for Bridgewater to get a starting shot at some point. Through 15 seasons, McCown has never played a full 16 games. His 13 starts in 2017 matched his career high and marked just the 3rd time he has reached 10 starts. We'll be interested to see what Bridgewater has when/if he hits the field. But this is not too intriguing a fantasy situation.

 
 
 

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