Just Kwon More
Jets bring in former 49'er Kwon Alexander for a visit.
☀️ Good Morning,
Happy hump day to one and all. I have to admit that the USFL kicking off has got me ready for football season, the problem is we’re only in April.
News is sparse at this time of the year, but there are some little nuggets of information that we can dive into today.
🌉 The Jets brought in former Tampa Bay and San Francisco linebacker Kwon Alexander for a visit according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter. We’ll have more on that below.
🤨 AJ Brown liked a tweet last week that basically said he didn’t want to go to the Jets. Since then he’s sent out a couple of disgruntled tweets and scrubbed Tennessee from his social media profiles and he’s not expected to take part in any off-season workouts while he seeks an extension. Oh, the fun and games of an NFL off-season.
🙌 NFL.com’s Peter Schrager released his latest mock draft yesterday and he had the Jets going Kayvon Thibodeaux at #4 and Jameson Williams at #10. Both are ideal fits for the Jets and that’s a dream scenario right there.
💪 Aaron Wilson of PFN reports that there is “considerable interest” in Georgia defensive tackle Jordan Davis from the Jets during their “steady interactions”. Davis’s teammate Devonte Wyatt has been invited for a private visit, but Davis is yet to visit Florham Park.
✋Aaron Wilson also confirmed that the Jets have been showing steady interest in Northwestern State wide receiver Kendrick Price. Price ran a 4.52 forty and is coming off a 2021 season where he caught 28 receptions for 430 yards and 5 touchdowns.
🔥 Wilson was on fire yesterday. He also mentioned that the Jets had shown “heavy interest” in Kent State wide receiver Keshunn Abram. Abram finished with 47 receptions for 699 yards and 3 touchdowns in 2021.
🔙 Deebo Samuel’s brother is backtracking faster than Ben McAdoo after first saying that the 49’ers WR would be requesting a trade and wasn’t going to be in San Fran, and then later clarifying that he has no idea what his brother is doing
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Any new additions are bolded, I missed Will Allen off yesterday’s list but the Jets worked out the Columbia cornerback. Allen has an outstanding YouTube channel where he vlogs about the life of an Ivy League football player and it’s well worth checking out.
⚜️ Kwon More?
The Jets have been a little quiet in the free agency market recently, but Joe Douglas did say recently that there was still work to do.
We had our first bit of movement yesterday with the report that the Jets were hosting former Saint Kwon Alexander for a visit. The linebacker also played for Robert Saleh in San Fransisco between 2019-2020 before being traded away in the Kiko Alonso deal.
Alexander isn’t the player he was when he first came into the league with Tampa Bay, of players who appeared in at least 500 snaps Kwon was rated as the 34th best linebacker in the league, not great, but higher than both Quincy Williams (52nd) and C.J. Mosley (54th).
He’s never been great against the run and his 17.8% career missed tackle rate indicates why, but he has tended to be one of the better coverage linebackers in the league. In 2021 he was rated as the 12th best coverage linebacker according to PFF (minimum 500 snaps).
He had one of his best years in coverage with the 49’ers in 2019, with a top-10 rating of 81.3, although that did come on only 201 coverage snaps. That came a couple of years after his pro bowl season of 2017, a year in which he recorded 3 interceptions and 97 tackles.
Alexander is no longer an every-down linebacker, especially for a team who struggled mightily in stopping the run last year. But he’s still a good coverage player and that was the weakest area of the Jets unit in 2021.
I don’t think signing Kwon would push the needle for the Jets, but it would give them some good depth and added experience in a young room outside of C.J. Mosley. Depending on the cost, I’m all for it.
One thing to keep in mind is that Alexander has only ever played a full season once, and that was back in 2016. He landed on IR in 2021 with an elbow injury after appearing in 12 games, and also has a torn ACL (2018), a torn pectoral muscle (2019), bicep surgery (2020) and a 2nd Achilles tear (2020) to his name. 🤕🤒
I’m jumping on that hypothetical train today with a question about trading up. Over this entire process, I haven’t given it much thought, but over the weekend I started to think about it more and more.
The news that came out of Kayvon Thibodeaux’s visit to New York on Friday was overwhelmingly positive, he liked them and they liked him. That was the 3rd time they’d met with the Oregon product and not only does he fill a need, but his skill set perfectly complements the system the Jets want to operate in.
The only problem? I just don’t see him lasting until the 4th overall pick. I’d be surprised if Detroit bypass him for another defensive player, and I also can’t see them going offensive line considering their roster. So that to me poses the question, do you consider trading up to #2 with Detroit to take Kayvon?
A lot of people have got caught up in the media narrative around Kayvon, pointing to his branding as evidence he cares more about his profile than his football…but people don’t mind the fact that Aidan Hutchinson signed on to do a podcast series with PFF ahead of the draft, which is all about branding…whether people like it or not.
All of Kayvon’s metrics stand up to the test, his RAS score of 9.63 is a good number and his production was far better than most people give him credit for. His 44 pressures, 8 sacks, and 23.6% pass rush win rate were good numbers on their own, but considering he was doubled or even tripled on a good proportion of his snaps, it becomes even clearer that Thibodeaux is an elite athlete and an elite football player.
The problem is the price. I don’t think anyone has used the trade value chart in an official capacity for around 15 years, but according to that, the Jets would need to send a 2nd and 3rd round pick to Detroit to move from the 4th overall pick to the 2nd overall pick, which is a lot when you have a fair few needs.
But if you truly believe he’s a 10+ sack a season type player for the next 5-10 years then that price looks reasonable. Just how high the Jets are on Kayvon remains to be seen and I don’t expect them to move up, I’m not even suggesting they should move up, but it’s a hypothetical worth thinking about.
🔗 Former Jets GM Mike Tannenbaum put out a piece yesterday around the draft day trades that we’d like to see. In that piece he has the Jets trading the 10th overall pick in the draft to Seattle for DK Metcalf. “These two teams (Jets and Seahawks) connect again after the Jamal Adams trade. The Seahawks get their 10th overall pick back in this exchange. For the Jets and Seahawks, this should be a perfect storm. The Jets are in need of a front-line WR and the Seahawks are in the middle of a rebuild”.
🔗 Jeremy Fowler had an outstanding piece for ESPN on the NFL salary cap and the changes we’re seeing in how people view roster construction. “The wild offseason has led to a broader discussion surrounding the merits of the NFL salary cap, which must confuse the average fan by now. Some teams swear by the cap rules, while others bend or manipulate them in the name of contention. It's well documented that the Rams absorbed high-salary players via trade, worrying about tomorrow's outlook, well, tomorrow. And every year teams like the New Orleans Saints shed dozens of millions in cap space over a few weeks with a series of contract restructures. Yet the Kansas City Chiefs and Green Bay Packers, two teams strapped for cap space to start free agency, were just forced to trade away elite receivers in Tyreek Hill and Davante Adams because they couldn't pay them -- or didn't want to pay them.”
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