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Yesterday the pads went on and the players got to hit each other for the first time. It’s always a key date in the camp calendar.
We’ve got plenty of practice notes to get to, so let’s start right there.
Zach Wilson had his best throw of the summer when he rolled out and connected with Elijah Moore on a huge 70-yard TD that traveled 50+ yards in the air, he also had a beautiful sidearm throw that showed off his natural talent, but he then finished practice by bouncing a simple pass to Breece Hall, as always it’s the consistency that’s missing.
Kwon Alexander made a number of impressive plays in his first practice including a tackle on Ty Johnson in goal-line drills. Saleh later said that he didn’t expect him to be in the shape he’s in and that he could feel his energy on the field. Alexander said that he spoke with the Saints and Giants before signing with the Jets, but NY felt like the right spot.
Jets rookie tackle Max Mitchell limped off the field. We’ll have to wait and see how severe that is, but with McDermott getting beat consistently the Jet’s tackle depth doesn’t look great right now.
Jordan Whitehead is already impressing with both his play and his communication, Robert Saleh had this to say after yesterday’s session: “I thought the defense was on fire, go the other way with it, I've spoken about Jordan Whitehead, first play of that [period] he does a great job with pre-snap communication and shoots his gap. Two-yard loss. It's pretty much a dead drive from there.”
It sounds as though Jason Pinnock had a bit of a tough practice, he got beat a couple of times and dropped an interception that apparently he should have come down with. We have to remember he’s still learning the safety position and there will be bumps along the way.
Talking of McDermott, Carl Lawson got his first real mention of camp with a sack against the Jets’ backup tackle. Apparently, he breezed past him and was at the QB in around a second. Not a great look for Connor, but good to hear Lawson’s name being mentioned.
UDFA Wide Receiver Irvin Charles put in another good practice and showcased his strength with a stiff-arm on Pinnock after catching a pass from Flacco. He’s certainly making a name for himself in camp.
There weren’t any scuffles on day one of padded practice, but the intensity and trash talk was taken to another level. There will be a fight sooner rather than later because it happens every single year…but for now, the players stuck to good old-fashioned chirping.
Mike LaFleur said after practice that he was “super pleased” with Mekhi Becton reiterating that him being on the field every day and taking consistent reps will only help his development. The sky is the limit for Becton and it’s obvious the team is happy with how he came back in shape and ready to work. Love to see that.
Time for a kicking competition update. Greg Zuerlein stayed perfect going 4-4 today, that performance jolted him into the lead against Eddy Pineiro who went 2-4 missing his first two kicks.
QUOTE - "I can see just how much faster he's going through his progressions, how much faster he's going through, taking off when something's not there, just how much more comfortable he is in this system," LaFleur said Monday. "It really shows in the meeting room, which obviously you guys don't see every single day, not just because he's answering all the right questions, his demeanor, and calmness when we're talking about the offense and a specific play. I see it, but I don't think we'll all really know until we get out there for that first Sunday." - LaFleur on Zach Wilson
Could Irvin Charles actually make the roster?
One name continues to flash up on my timeline through the first week+ of training camo and that’s UDFA Irvin Charles, the former Penn State and Indiana University of Pennsylvania Crimson Hawk has continued to make plays…but with a packed receiving core does he have any shot of making the roster?
Back in May, I wrote an article about Charles after speaking to his college coach, if you haven’t checked it out yet…now would be a good time. Here’s a snippet of what his coach told me:
“Irvin has a great skill in making the 50/50 catch down the field when being covered by a Def back closely and is a tremendous receiver in the Red Zone and on the Goal - line because of his size and length”
Through the first week of camp he hasn’t had to showcase that contested catch ability because his route-running has enabled him to get wide open, but as well as he’s performed early in the process, does he actually have a shot at making the final roster?
The Jets are in a fortunate position in relation to their wide receiver room. You have four players who are already guaranteed to make the roster based on talent, performance, contract, and potential. Corey Davis, Elijah Moore, Garrett Wilson, and Braxton Berrios are all making the team.
Last year the Jets carried 7 receivers, if they do the same again that would mean that there are 3 spots up for grabs. Here’s a quick reminder about who the Jets broke camp with last season:
Jamison Crowder, Braxton Berrios, Denzel Mims, Jeff Smith, Keelan Cole, Corey Davis, and Elijah Moore. You instantly replace someone like Crowder with Garrett Wilson and chances are Jeff Smith will return as well, the Jets love his special team’s ability, and he was named as the star of OTA’s by LaFleur which bodes well for his chances.
Denzel Mims has come back in great shape and continues to make plays when the ball comes his way, he had another impressive catch today and the coaches have spoken about how his confidence has noticeably improved in team meetings, with him being more vocal.
Which leaves just one spot available, or as we’ll call it from now on…the Keenan spot. Irvin Charles has the inside lane on that at the moment due to his early camp performance, but Rashard Davis isn’t too far behind. Chances are it’ll come down to those two players.
It took Charles some time to find his feet in college having left Penn State, but in 2021 he finished the season with 39 catches for 792 yards and 12 touchdowns, dominating the PSAC in division 2 football. It would be ironic if he found his feet quicker at the NFL level than he did at the college level.
As a 6’4 228lb receiver, he has plenty of size for the position, which is what makes him such a good contested catcher, there’s always a spot on an NFL roster for a big receiver who can come down with 50/50 balls.
Back in May, I said that I backed Irvin to make the 53-man roster, he then was named the most impressive performer at rookie camp and one of the better players through the first week of practice. Unsurprisingly, I still back him to make the 53-man roster.
Chiefs Offensive Tackle Orlando Brown is to report to camp on Monday and play the 2022 season under the franchise tag.
Judge Sue L. Robinson has recommended Deshaun Watson should be suspended for six games. The league doesn’t need to follow that if they choose not to.
The 49ers and wide receiver Deebo Samuel agreed to a new 3-year-deal worth up to $73.5 million, these wide receivers are getting paid.
Punter Jake Bailey, a 2020 first-team All-Pro, agreed to a four-year contract with the New England Patriots worth $13.5 million.
Cowboys wide receiver James Washington suffered a broken foot during practice recently and is expected to miss 6-10 weeks.
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