Category Archives: New York Jets Jerseys Cheap

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The Jets are losing a key contributor to a divison rival.

Brandon Copeland is signing with the New England Patriots, as The Boston Globe’s Jim McBride first reported. The Patriots showed interest in Copeland last offseason as well, but he opted to re-sign with the Jets.

Copeland’s departure creates a hole at outside linebacker. He started 13 games on the outside over the last two seasons with Gang Green. With fellow OLB Authentic Jordan Jenkins Jersey unlikely to return, the Jets are left with Tarrell Basham, Authentic Ahmad Gooden Jersey, Authentic Harvey Langi Jersey, Authentic Frankie Luvu Jersey and Authentic Wyatt Ray Jersey on the outside.

Copeland’s 2019 season got off to a tumultuous start. He was suspended for the first four games of the season for violating the NFL’s performance-enhancing drug policy. Once he returned, Copeland proved to be a relatively impactful rotational linebacker, recording 28 tackles in his first five games.

He wound up starting three of 12 games he played last season with New York, registering 42 tackles, 1.5 sacks, two pass breakups and a forced fumble.

Copeland also provided the Jets with positional versatility last season. Once Neville Hewitt was hampered with a knee injury and the Jets already lost C.J. Mosley, Avery Williamson, Albert McClellan and Blake Cashman on the inside, Copeland stepped up. Not only did he line up in the middle and make plays in the run game in an unnatural position, but he also set the edge and contributed on special teams.

In 2018, during his first season in New York, Coplenad played in 16 games with 10 starts, recording 35 combined tackles and five sacks. Before that, the undrafted free agent out of Penn made stops in Detroit, Tennesee and Baltimore.

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SALT LAKE CITY — Being multifaceted runs in the Kaufusi blood.

Authentic Corbin Kaufusi Jersey played three years each as a center on the BYU basketball team as well as a defensive end for the Cougar football team.

His older brother, Bronson Kaufusi, played both football and basketball during his Cougar days as well.

Now, Corbin Kaufusi is making another transition. The 6-foot-9, 275-pounder signed last week to the New York Jets’ practice squad — Bronson is also on the team’s practice squad — and moved from his customary defensive end position to the offensive line.

Corbin Kaufusi, who signed as an undrafted free agent with the New Orleans Saints this offseason before being waived prior to the regular season, told the New York Daily News he played on BYU’s offensive line in spring ball prior to leaving on a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Upon his return, having grown three inches, he moved to defensive end. Kaufusi is optimistic about the move to offense with the Jets.

“They always say offensive linemen are the smartest guys on the field,” Kaufusi told the Daily News’ Manish Mehta. “I think it’s being smart and patient whereas defensive linemen are all aggression. You’re coming off and you’re just hitting someone. So, it’s finding the balance of that as an offensive lineman. Yeah, you want to still hit people but you don’t want to overdo it. You don’t want to overplay the position.”

If things don’t work out in the NFL, Kaufusi was also selected in the XFL draft by the St. Louis BattleHawks the same day he signed with New York.

“I literally got a text from someone else saying congrats on getting drafted by the XFL,” Kaufusi told the Daily News. “And they didn’t know that I had just signed here. So, it’s been a whirlwind. But it’s kind of fun.”

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Through the first wave of free agency, Joe Douglas and the Jets have taken time to improve the team’s offensive line — their No. 1 offseason priority — while also bringing back a number of their own players who had hit the open market.

With moving pieces now falling into place, here’s a look at how the Jets’ depth chart may be looking right now (or at least our best guess), though there’s still work to be done …

QUARTERBACK: Sam Darnold, Mike White
This offseason, much has been made about the Giants’ backup quarterback situation, but the Jets could also use a veteran signal-caller behind Darnold. Trevor Siemian and David Fales, both of whom saw playing time with Darnold dealing with mono last season, are both free agents, and the Jets must add to the QB depth chart.

White is a former fifth-round pick by the Dallas Cowboys, but he doesn’t have the experience many teams look for at the backup spot.

RUNNING BACK: Le’Veon Bell, Josh Adams, Kenneth Dixon, Trenton Cannon, Jalin Moore
Despite the almost constant trade chatter, Bell looks to be the Jets bell cow once again in the backfield. Even in a down season last year, Bell still had nearly 800 rushing yards. As Adam Gase and the coaching staff continue to find the best ways to get Bell the ball, the depth behind him is currently not what it was. Both Ty Montgomery and Bilal Powel are on the open market, as Montgomery was not every effective in his first season in New York.

Josh Adams is an interesting piece, as he was the Eagles’ leading rusher in 2018. He’s had time on the Jets’ practice squad, and he could be a prime candidate to see a big uptick in playing time next season.

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There is obviously one huge piece to the Jets’ reciever puzzle, and that’s Robby Anderson. The wide receiver market has moved at a glacial pace this offseason, with most teams looking ahead to the draft to fill their voids at wide receiver. With that being the case, Anderson could very well end up back with the Jets, but if not, they have a lot of work to do.

Crowder will be back, but he’s more suited to the slot than on the outside. Enunwa’s playing career is in question after another neck injury, and after that, there’s not much on the depth chart. Doctson is a former first-rounder, but he hasn’t lived up to his billing in the NFL.

TIGHT END: Ryan Griffin, Chris Herndon, Trevon Wesco, Ross Travis
Griffin, the UConn product, had a productive first season with the Jets, catching 34 passes with five receiving touchdowns. The question is, can the Jets count on him as a No. 1 tight end? And what about Herndon? Suspensions and injuries limited him to just one game in 2019, but he is a former fourth-round pick who put up 502 receiving yards in his rookie season. Wesco, meanwhile, is more of a blocker and special teams option at this point, as he had just two catches in 16 games last season.

OFFENSIVE LINE
LT: George Fant, Chuma Edoga, Corbin Kaufusi
Fant is a huge gamble for the Jets, but it was likely a necessary one. Yes, he’s mainly been a backup in Seattle, but the Jets were in desperate need for a tackle in free agency, and Fant has the frame to be a solid tackle. He could be a bit of a project, but it’s a high-risk, high-reward move for New York. Plus, there’s always that 11th pick in the draft, which the Jets are very likely to use on another tackle.

LG: Alex Lewis, Connor McGovern, Jonotthan Harrison, Josh Andrews
Trading for Lewis was the first big move that Douglas made last season after taking over as the team’s general manager, and Lewis, while not spectacular, was the team’s most consistent player on the O-line. The Jets recently rewarded him with a new three-year contract, hoping he can pick up where he left off. Behind him, the Jets have both McGovern and Harrison, both with starting experience.

C: Connor McGovern, Jonotthan Harrison, Jimmy Murray, Brad Lundblade, Leo Koloamatangi
McGovern was considered the best center available on the free agent market, and the Jets made sure to grab him early into the league’s new year. The former Bronco should solidify the center spot, where Ryan Kalil struggled after coming out of retirement to sign with Gang Green. McGovern should be a huge upgrade, anchoring the line in front of Darnold. And again, Harrison provides some decent depth as a backup.

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With the offseason underway, we’ve been taking an in-depth look at each of the Jets’ new signings. We continue with a look at wide receiver Breshad Perriman.

The 26-year old is listed at 6’2” and 215 pounds and was a first round pick out of UCF in 2015. He was widely regarded as a bust after catching just 43 passes in his first three seasons with the Ravens, but – after a stint with the Browns – he broke out at the end of last season with the Bucs, racking up over 500 yards and five touchdowns in the last five games.

Background

Perriman, who is the son of 10-year NFL veteran Brett Perriman, was a two-star recruit who began his college career at Central Florida in 2012.

As a true freshman, Perriman caught 26 passes for 388 yards and three touchdowns, however he made a jump over the next two seasons, increasing his production and averaging over 20 yards per catch.

After catching 50 passes for over a thousand yards and nine touchdowns in his junior year, Perriman announced he was going to forego his senior year and enter the 2015 NFL draft.

Having put up some spectacular numbers at his pro day, Perriman started to get some first round buzz and ended up getting drafted by the Ravens with the 26th overall pick. However, he missed his entire rookie season due to injury.

In 2016, Perriman had some good moments as he ended up with 33 catches for 499 yards and three touchdowns. However, his 2017 season was a disaster as injuries and inconsistent play limited him to just 10 catches and saw him end up the season as a healthy scratch. The Ravens opted not to exercise his fifth year option and then released him in final cuts in 2018 anyway.

Having been released, Perriman worked out for a number of teams, including the Jets, but couldn’t immediately find a role. He signed for Washington in mid-September but only lasted a week before being released. However, he eventually found a job with the Browns in mid-October.

Perriman resurrected his career somewhat with the Browns. Although he only caught 16 passes in 10 games, he established himself as a big play threat by averaging 21 yards per catch and scoring twice. This led to him signing a one-year, $4 million deal with the Bucs.

He made a slow start in Tampa Bay but made some contributions after midseason and then saw his role increase when Mike Evans was injured down the stretch. Over the last five games, he was just one yard behind the league leader in receiving yards and scored five touchdowns. He ended the season with 36 catches, 25 of which were in those last five games.

Reports indicate that the Jets agreed to terms with Perriman on a one-year contract with a $6 million base salary and $2 million in potential incentives just hours after Robby Anderson agreed to join the Panthers.

Let’s move onto some more in-depth analysis of what Perriman brings to the table, based on in-depth research and film study.

Measurables/Athleticism

Perriman started to get first round buzz after his 40-yard dash was unofficially clocked at 4.19 at his pro day. The officially released time was 4.24.

He also posted excellent explosiveness numbers with a vertical of 36.5 inches and a broad jump of 127 inches.

Perriman has decent size and managed 18 bench press reps in his pro day workout. He did not run agility drills there though, but scouting reports praise the fact that he is “sudden” for a player of his size.

Usage

Perriman has primarily played on the outside, as he only had four catches from the slot during his time with the Ravens. However, he had some big plays from the slot last year, including three of his six touchdowns.

He will occasionally carry the ball on jet sweeps or end arounds but has just 20 yards on seven carries in his career so far.

Deep threat

Perriman has been a constant downfield threat throughout his career, apart from during that 2017 season where all nine of his downfield targets were incomplete.

With his 4.2 speed Perriman has always had the ability to get behind the defense for deep catches.

He tracks the ball well and locates it early so he can adjust to inaccurate throws and can go up over defenders or in a crowd to come down with the ball on downfield throws.

Routes

Perriman entered the league as a raw route runner who sometimes lacked precision in his routes and didn’t round them off or sell changes of direction. He has shown some improvement since entering the league though, as he exploits the fact that the defender has to play off him due to his deep speed by running a smooth out-breaking route on this play.

In college, Perriman tended to rely on his speed and using his size to get open. Obviously that hasn’t been as successful at the NFL level, but it can still be an asset for him at times.

One thing Perriman does well is release off the line. If the cornerback is playing press coverage, he uses his hands well to get a clean release off the attempted jam and he sells the initial release well with head fakes or jab steps.

Hands

Perriman’s biggest issue has been his inconsistent hands. He dropped eight passes in his final season at UCF and nine in his first two seasons with the Ravens.

Ravens fans became frustrated with Perriman after he made some costly drops in key situations on plays like this.

At the time, Perriman attributed most of these drops to poor concentration and focus on his part and claimed they weren’t anything to do with his catching technique. However, it’s apparent that he doesn’t always look natural when catching the ball, or catch it cleanly.

However, the good news is that he has made encouraging progress in this area with just one dropped pass in 80 targets since leaving the Ravens. He still bobbled or body-caught a lot of these though.

On his highlight reel, Perriman has had plenty of spectacular grabs, diving for the ball, leaping over defenders or making juggling, off-balance grabs. He seems to have a really good knack for knowing where he is near the sideline and getting his feet inbounds. He shows off a slick one-handed grab here:

Perriman has never fumbled at the NFL level.

Red zone

Only three of Perriman’s 11 NFL touchdowns have come from inside the red zone, but his skill set would seem to lend itself to being an option near the goal line. For example, one of his touchdowns for the Ravens in 2016 saw Joe Flacco throw a fade to the back of the end zone and Perriman got a clean release and went up to get it.

This play was actually from just outside the red zone but gives a good sense of what Perriman can do in these situations.

Yards after the catch

Statistically, Perriman hasn’t fared too well in terms of yards after the catch, although he does have the speed to turn a short catch into a big gain. He had a 53-yard touchdown in 2016 where he caught a short pass and was basically untouched as he weaved through the defense.

Perriman doesn’t break many tackles, but he manages to do so to get some extra yardage on this play:

Blocking

Scouting reports indicate that Perriman gives a good effort as a blocker and that seems to be the case at the NFL level based on his film. However, his grades have generally been slightly below average and he’s had a couple of penalties while blocking.

He makes an excellent cut block here to allow the Bucs to convert on a 3rd-and-long screen pass.

Physicality

Perriman has been criticized in the past for a lack of aggressiveness when going after or coming back to the ball the ball. He further drew the ire of Ravens fans in 2017 on this play where he didn’t make much of an effort to contest the catch, leading to an interception:

Last season, especially as he played well down the stretch, it seemed like Perriman was being stronger and more competitive at the catch point and that may have been one of the main reasons his numbers took off. Hopefully he can carry that into next year too.

Special Teams

Perriman hasn’t contributed on special teams in college or the pros. He has only had a limited amount of snaps on special teams, mainly blocking on the kick return unit or on the hands team for onside kicks.

Instincts and Intelligence

One pattern with Perriman is that it often seems to take him a while to settle into his role when joining a new team or moving into a different system. He has shown hesitancy at times, presumably due to a lack of confidence in what he was doing.

While he doesn’t make many mental errors, Perriman has been flagged for one pre-snap penalty and did have this blown assignment that caused a fumble:

As a receiver, he shows an ability to adjust his route down the field to find an open spot or come back to the ball when plays get extended. He also showcased some natural instincts with his reaction on this play:

Perriman earned all-AAC academic honors during his sophomore year.

Attitude

Perriman hasn’t had issues with on or off-field discipline, but there have been some minor concerns about his approach to the game over his first few seasons.

One college teammate described Perriman as a team-first player, humble, positive and someone who loves the game, so he obviously has strong character.

However, he’s been described as an introvert and it’s been said that he will lose confidence quickly when facing adversity. He himself admitted he was “in a dark hole” as he battled injuries early on in his career.

It appears that John Harbaugh had lost some patience with him and was questioning his toughness during his rookie year as he aired his frustration over how long it was taking for Perriman to get healthy.

Injuries

The injury in his rookie year was a partial PCL tear which happened in training camp. He looked set to come back during the season but it kept getting delayed and eventually he was placed on injured reserve with the suggestion being that he had aggravated it and made it into a full tear.

Perriman missed most preseason in 2016 due to a partially-torn ACL during the offseason program and then missed the entire preseason in 2017 with a hamstring injury. However, the only game he missed due to injury during either season was due to a concussion. He missed four others due to being a healthy scratch in 2017 though.

Perriman also had a concussion in college, although that was suffered back in 2012.

Scheme Fit

Perriman has some close links to the Jets organization with Joe Douglas and Chad Alexander both having been on the Ravens’ front office staff when he was drafted. Also, Gregg Williams was his head coach for part of the 2018 season.

He’s also been a teammate of several players, including Authentic C.J. Mosley Jersey, Patrick Onwuasor, Authentic Ahmad Gooden Jersey, Authentic Alex Lewis Jersey, Authentic Kenneth Dixon Jersey, Authentic Bronson Kaufusi Jersey and Authentic Bennett Jackson Jersey. He was also very briefly a teammate of Authentic Jehu Chesson Jersey, Authentic Jamison Crowder Jersey and Authentic Josh Doctson Jersey, albeit that Chesson was actually just on the practice squad after initially being cut for Perriman.

His role with the Jets is obvious. He’s going to be the downfield threat to replace Anderson and the Jets will get a bargain if Perriman can produce at anything like the rate he did down the stretch.

Conclusions

Inevitably, this signing means that Perriman is destined to draw comparisons with Anderson. They’re actually pretty similar players with their ability to make plays down the field.

While Anderson is widely viewed as a one-trick pony who only runs go routes, anyone who has watched him develop over the past few years can see that this description sells him short. In fact, Perriman is arguably even more of a limited player than Anderson in terms of the routes he’ll run and where he can produce.

His ability to adjust and come down with the ball on downfield throws may be Perriman’s most impressive attribute and somewhere he could be better than Anderson, not that Anderson has been bad at this. Perriman also has a bigger frame, not that it’s helped him avoid any durability issues.

The overriding question is whether Perriman’s insane production over those last five games is at all sustainable. It’s understandable to be skeptical of these numbers because the Bucs were generally finding themselves in shootouts and Jameis Winston was throwing the ball all over the field to pad his stats heading into free agency. Sam Darnold is unlikely to approach next season so recklessly, even though Perriman’s ability to make contested catches is something the Jets needed to bring on board.

Jets fans have seen several players finish the season strong in recent years only to be unable to carry it over to the next season. Dee Milliner, Geno Smith and Mark Sanchez were all examples of this. Even Anderson himself had a slow start in 2019 after a strong finish to 2018 and, as noted above, Perriman often takes a while to hit the ground running in a new home.

Perriman’s 2019 season is a good example of this. He really struggled in the first half of the season, catching just three of 14 targets for 16 yards. Over the next four games, he started contributing more with eight catches on 13 targets for 129 yards and a touchdown. While hardly a sign of what was to come, at least there was some evidence he was gradually growing into his role and just needed more opportunities rather than those five games literally coming from nowhere.

He should get opportunities with the Jets too and, if his confidence is bad when things go against him, the converse should be true coming off last season, so he should be able to head into it with a positive and optimistic approach.

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After starting eight games at center for the Jets last season, Jonotthan Harrison is looking to turn pencil into pen.

“For now, my goal is to enter the season as the starter, take it one step at a time from there,” Harrison said. “I have my other personal goals, but that’s my large one right now. I’m going on Year 6. I’ve had my years starting and I’ve had my years where I didn’t start as much. My goal is to definitely enter this season as a starter and earn my credibility as a lineman.”

In order to cement his spot, the 6’4”, 300-pounder is striving for consistency both on the field and in the classroom to make the sure the line is always on the same page. Even though Harrison has never played in a system like head coach Adam Gase’s attack, he believes the up-tempo style suits him well.

“It’s perfect,” he said with a smile. “When I was first looking at this offense, I was intimidated. I was like, ‘Man, this is so different. I have to get used to this.’ Then after going on the field and putting it together, everything clicked. This could be my bread and butter for sure. I’m really excited to see how this pans out.”

Top Images of the Jets Offensive Line
See the Best Photos of the Jets Offensive Line

Gase said the Florida product did a “great” job leading the offensive line in the spring and believes quarterback Sam Darnold trusts Harrison up front. The duo gained playing experience down the stretch in 2018, starting the final four games together.

“He’ll trust me to take care of certain things that he doesn’t need to stress about,” said Harrison about his relationship with the second-year signal-caller. “He’ll tell me, ‘You do this, you do this, you get the line on the right page.’ He trusts me with that and it’s a good sign. It shows the connection that we have and that chemistry can go a long way.”

Not only do Gase and Darnold both like what Harrison brings to the offensive line, but OL coach Frank Pollack also praised Harrison for his work ethic.

“He’s a very smart player, he’s working his butt off,” Pollack said. “This guy is a grinder. I like the way he works. He is a pro in that regard. The biggest compliment I can give anyone in the room is he’s a pro’s pro, the way he prepares himself and carries himself. Talent level really has nothing to do with that. For me, it’s about how they work and how they prepare every day, and he’s right at the top of the list in that.”

 

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. – If there was one thing Quinnen Williams learned during his three years at Alabama, it was discovering the importance of patience.

He didn’t find the need to exercise that newfound virtue on Thursday night.

Quinnen Williams New York Jets
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After two seasons of toiling in relative obscurity among the Crimson Tide’s star-laden defensive front, Williams evolved into one of the nation’s top defensive disrupters last season during his breakout redshirt sophomore campaign.

More: NFL Draft position previews: Alabama’s Quinnen Williams could be among top 3 picks

More: Alabama’s Quinnen Williams reflects on rapid rise while sitting out Pro Day

Williams was widely considered to be a top-five pick and the first interior lineman off the board when the 84th National Football League draft unfolded its three-day spectacle.

Apr 25, 2019; Nashville, TN, USA; Quinnen Williams (Alabama) and guests on the red carpet prior to the first round of the 2019 NFL Draft in Downtown Nashville. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 25, 2019; Nashville, TN, USA; Quinnen Williams (Alabama) and guests on the red carpet prior to the first round of the 2019 NFL Draft in Downtown Nashville. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports (Photo: Kirby Lee, Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports)

Williams was selected third overall by the New York Jets after Arizona selected Oklahoma quarterback Kyler Murray with the first pick and San Francisco followed with Ohio State defensive end Nick Bosa with the second pick.

Running back Trent Richardson was the last Alabama player taken as high as No. 3 pick in 2012, and Williams’ selection gives the Crimson Tide three straight years with a defensive lineman taken in the first round.
“It feels amazing being a New York Jet, going to a franchise that already has a great defense already in place and I’m adding another tool to their assets,” Williams said. “I’ve got (former Alabama linebacker) C.J. Moseley there, a person I always looked up to, somebody that I always asked for advice and grew up watching. So that’s amazing.”

Williams said he would miss his time at Alabama, but was ready to take on the next chapter of his career.
“The thing I’ll miss the most is the guys and the locker room conversations,” Williams said. “Playing for Alabama that brotherhood will always be there and I know we’ll always have each other’s back. Coach (Nick) Saban has been amazing and gave me advice every day since I declared, giving me a blueprint on how to be a pro.”

When asked by a New York reporter if he already had plans to sack New England quarterback Tom Brady, Williams’ eyes lit up.

“Tom Brady is the G.O.A.T. Anytime you can get to somebody like Tom Brady it would be amazing,” Williams said. “I want to sack every quarterback, though, not just him. I want them to know my name.”

Williams’ lofty selection proved that last season, when he went from a backup role to claiming the Outland Trophy as college football’s best interior lineman along with consensus All-America honors, wasn’t an anomaly.

“I look back almost every day almost and look where I came from in a year,” Williams said. “A year ago, I was getting ready for spring practice — not even knowing if I was going to start or what position I was going to start at.”

Quinnen WIlliams poses with his new Jets jersey and NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell during the first round of the NFL Draft Thursday, April 25, 2019, in Nashville, Tenn.
79 Photos
Quinnen Williams: A look at the New York Jets’ 2019 NFL Draft first-roun…
Quinnen WIlliams poses with his new Jets jersey and NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell during the first round of the NFL Draft Thursday, April 25, 2019, in Nashville, Tenn.1 of 79
Quinnen WIlliams holds his new New York Jets jersey after being picked during the first round of the NFL Draft Thursday, April 25, 2019, in Nashville, Tenn.
Quinnen WIlliams mingles with New York Jets fans after being picked during the first round of the NFL Draft Thursday, April 25, 2019, in Nashville, Tenn.
Quinnen Williams waves to the crowd after being selected by the New York Jets during the first round of the NFL Draft Thursday, April 25, 2019, in Nashville, Tenn.
Apr 25, 2019; Nashville, TN, USA; Quinnen Williams (Alabama) stands with NFL commissioner Roger Goodell after he was selected as the number three overall pick to the New York Jets in the first round of the 2019 NFL Draft in Downtown Nashville. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 25, 2019; Nashville, TN, USA; Quinnen Williams (Alabama) is selected as the number three overall pick to the New York Jets in the first round of the 2019 NFL Draft in Downtown Nashville. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 25, 2019; Nashville, TN, USA; Quinnen Williams (Alabama) stands with NFL commissioner Roger Goodell after he was selected as the number three overall pick to the New York Jets in the first round of the 2019 NFL Draft in Downtown Nashville. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 25, 2019; Nashville, TN, USA; Quinnen Williams (Alabama) is selected as the number three overall pick to the New York Jets in the first round of the 2019 NFL Draft in Downtown Nashville. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 25, 2019; Nashville, TN, USA; Quinnen Williams (Alabama) is selected as the number three overall pick to the New York Jets in the first round of the 2019 NFL Draft in Downtown Nashville. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 25, 2019; Nashville, TN, USA; Quinnen Williams (Alabama) stands with NFL commissioner Roger Goodell after he was selected as the number three overall pick to the New York Jets in the first round of the 2019 NFL Draft in Downtown Nashville. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 25, 2019; Nashville, TN, USA; Quinnen Williams (Alabama) is selected as the number three overall pick to the New York Jets in the first round of the 2019 NFL Draft in Downtown Nashville. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 25, 2019; Nashville, TN, USA; Quinnen Williams (Alabama) stands with NFL commissioner Roger Goodell after he was selected as the number three overall pick to the New York Jets in the first round of the 2019 NFL Draft in Downtown Nashville. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports
Quinnen Williams of Alabama waves to the crowd as he comes on stage for the first round of the NFL Draft Thursday, April 25, 2019, in Nashville, Tenn.
Apr 25, 2019; Nashville, TN, USA; Quinnen Williams (Alabama) and guests on the red carpet prior to the first round of the 2019 NFL Draft in Downtown Nashville. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 25, 2019; Nashville, TN, USA; Quinnen Williams (Alabama) on the red carpet prior to the first round of the 2019 NFL Draft in Downtown Nashville. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 25, 2019; Nashville, TN, USA; Quinnen Williams (Alabama) on the red carpet prior to the first round of the 2019 NFL Draft in Downtown Nashville. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Alabama defensive lineman Quinnen Williams during Pro Day on the University of Alabama campus in Tuscaloosa, Ala., on Tuesday March 19, 2019.
Alabama defensive lineman Quinnen Williams and Alabama offensive lineman Ross Pierschbacher chat during Pro Day on the University of Alabama campus in Tuscaloosa, Ala., on Tuesday March 19, 2019.
Alabama defensive lineman Quinnen Williams during Pro Day on the University of Alabama campus in Tuscaloosa, Ala., on Tuesday March 19, 2019.
DT Quinnen Williams, Alabama: Williams is one of the consensus three best players in the draft along with Josh Allen and Nick Bosa. It’s unlikely he makes it to eight, but every once in a while an interior lineman slips a few spots. If he does, the Lions will be ready to pounce.
Alabama defensive lineman Quinnen Williams runs a drill during the NFL football scouting combine, Sunday, March 3, 2019, in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)
3. Jets — Quinnen Williams, DT, Alabama
Alabama defensive lineman Quinnen Williams runs a drill at the NFL football scouting combine in Indianapolis, Sunday, March 3, 2019.
Alabama defensive lineman Quinnen Williams prepares to run the 40-yard dash at the NFL football scouting combine in Indianapolis, Sunday, March 3, 2019. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)
Mar 3, 2019; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Alabama defensive lineman Quinnen Williams (DL19) runs the 40 yard dash during the 2019 NFL Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports
Clemson’s Adam Choice is stopped by Alabama’s Quinnen Williams during the first half of the NCAA college football playoff championship game Monday, Jan. 7, 2019, in Santa Clara, Calif. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)
Jan 7, 2019; Santa Clara, CA, USA; Alabama Crimson Tide defensive lineman Quinnen Williams (92) celebrates after a play during the first half against the Clemson Tigers during the 2019 College Football Playoff Championship game at Levi’s Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports
1. Arizona Cardinals — Quinnen Williams, DT, Alabama
Alabama defensive lineman Quinnen Williams laughs while answering questions during the Tide’s National Championship media day in Santa Jose, CA Saturday, January 5, 2019.
Alabama defensive lineman Quinnen Williams (92) during the Alabama Media Day at the SAP Center in San Jose, Ca., on Saturday January 5, 2019.
Alabama defensive lineman Quinnen Williams (92) during the Alabama Media Day at the SAP Center in San Jose, Ca., on Saturday January 5, 2019.
Alabama quarterback Jalen Hurts (2), right, interviews Alabama defensive lineman Quinnen Williams (92) during the Alabama Media Day at the SAP Center in San Jose, Ca., on Saturday January 5, 2019.
ATLANTA, GA – DECEMBER 01: Quinnen Williams #92 of the Alabama Crimson Tide reacts after sacking Jake Fromm #11 of the Georgia Bulldogs (not pictured) in the first half during the 2018 SEC Championship Game at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on December 1, 2018 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Oklahoma quarterback Kyler Murray (1) is pressured by Alabama defensive linemen Isaiah Buggs (49) and Quinnen Williams (92)in second half action of the Orange Bowl at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, Fla., on Saturday December 29, 2018.

Oct 20, 2018; Knoxville, TN, USA; Alabama Crimson Tide defensive lineman Quinnen Williams (92) on the sidelines in a game against the Tennessee Volunteers at Neyland Stadium. Alabama defeated the Vols 58-21. Mandatory Credit: Bryan Lynn-USA TODAY Sports
Alabama defensive lineman Quinnen Williams (92) during the Alabama Media Day at the Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, Fla., on Wednesday December 26, 2018.
Alabama defensive lineman Quinnen Williams (92) during Alabama’s practice on the Barry University campus in Miami Shores, Fla., on Wednesday December 26, 2018. Alabama plays Oklahoma in the Orange Bowl on Saturday.
Alabama defensive lineman Quinnen Williams talks with reporters during an Orange Bowl press conference in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., on Wednesday December 26, 2018.
Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa rubs the head of defensive lineman Quinnen Williams as they leave an Orange Bowl press conference in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., on Wednesday morning December 26, 2018.
Alabama defensive lineman Quinnen Williams (92) speaks during an Orange Bowl press conference in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., on Wednesday December 26, 2018.
Alabama’s Quinnen Williams poses with the trophy after winning the Outland Trophy as the nation’s best interior lineman in college football, Thursday, Dec. 6, 2018, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)
Alabama defensive lineman Quinnen Williams (92) celebrates a sack against Georgia during first half action of the SEC Championship Game at Mercedes Benz Stadium in Atlanta, Ga., on Saturday December 1, 2018.
Alabama defensive lineman Quinnen Williams (92) pressures Georgia quarterback Jake Fromm (11) during first half action of the SEC Championship Game at Mercedes Benz Stadium in Atlanta, Ga., on Saturday December 1, 2018.
Alabama defensive lineman Quinnen Williams (92) celebrates an Alabama sack during first half action of the SEC Championship Game at Mercedes Benz Stadium in Atlanta, Ga., on Saturday December 1, 2018.
Alabama defensive lineman Quinnen Williams (92) stops Georgia running back Elijah Holyfield (13) in the backfield in the SEC Championship Game at Mercedes Benz Stadium in Atlanta, Ga., on Saturday December 1, 2018.
Alabama defensive lineman Quinnen Williams (92) sacks Georgia quarterback Jake Fromm (11) during first half action of the SEC Championship Game at Mercedes Benz Stadium in Atlanta, Ga., on Saturday December 1, 2018.
Alabama defensive lineman Quinnen Williams (92) celebrates a sack against Mississippi State University in first half action at Bryant Denny Stadium in Tuscaloosa, Ala., on Saturday November 9, 2018.
Alabama defensive lineman Quinnen Williams (92) celebrates a sack against Louisiana State University in first half action at Tiger Stadium in Baton Rouge, La., on Saturday November 3, 2018.
Alabama linebacker Christian Miller (47) and defensive lineman Quinnen Williams (92) wrap up Auburn running back JaTarvious Whitlow (28) in first half action during the Iron Bowl at Bryant-Denny Stadium in Tuscaloosa, Ala., on Saturday November 24, 2018.
Alabama defensive lineman Quinnen Williams (92) after sacking Citadel quarterback Brandon Rainey (16) in second half action at Bryant-Denny Stadium in Tuscaloosa, Ala., on Saturday November 17, 2018.
Alabama defensive lineman Quinnen Williams (92) and defensive lineman Isaiah Buggs (49) stop Citadel quarterback Brandon Rainey (16) in second half action at Bryant-Denny Stadium in Tuscaloosa, Ala., on Saturday November 17, 2018.
Alabama defensive lineman Quinnen Williams (92) and defensive lineman Isaiah Buggs (49) stop Citadel quarterback Brandon Rainey (16) in second half action at Bryant-Denny Stadium in Tuscaloosa, Ala., on Saturday November 17, 2018.
Alabama defensive lineman Quinnen Williams (92) tackles Mississippi State quarterback Nick Fitzgerald (7) in first half action at Bryant Denny Stadium in Tuscaloosa, Ala., on Saturday November 9, 2018.
Jan 9, 2017; Tampa, FL, USA; Alabama Crimson Tide defensive lineman Quinnen Williams (92) in the 2017 College Football Playoff National Championship Game at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
Nov 10, 2018; Tuscaloosa, AL, USA; Alabama Crimson Tide defensive lineman Quinnen Williams (92) reacts after a play against Mississippi State Bulldogs during first half at Bryant-Denny Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Marvin Gentry-USA TODAY Sports
Alabama defensive lineman Quinnen Williams (92) after sacking Louisiana State University quarterback Joe Burrow (9) in second half action at Tiger Stadium in Baton Rouge, La., on Saturday November 3, 2018.
Alabama defensive lineman Quinnen Williams (92) after sacking Louisiana State University quarterback Joe Burrow (9) in second half action at Tiger Stadium in Baton Rouge, La., on Saturday November 3, 2018.
Alabama defensive lineman Quinnen Williams (92) celebrates a sack against Tennessee in first half action at Neyland Stadium in Knoxville, Tn., on Saturday October 20, 2018.
Jan 9, 2017; Tampa, FL, USA; Alabama Crimson Tide defensive lineman Quinnen Williams (92) in the 2017 College Football Playoff National Championship Game at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
Alabama defensive lineman Quinnen Williams (92) sacks Tennessee quarterback Jarrett Guarantano (2) in first half action at Neyland Stadium in Knoxville, Tn., on Saturday October 20, 2018.
Alabama defensive lineman Quinnen Williams (92) pushes down Tennessee quarterback Jarrett Guarantano (2) during a game between Tennessee and Alabama at Neyland Stadium in Knoxville, Tennessee on Saturday, October 20, 2018.
Alabama defensive lineman Quinnen Williams (92) stops Missouri running back Larry Rountree, III, (34) in second half action at Bryant Denny Stadium in Tuscaloosa, Ala., on Saturday October 13, 2018.
Alabama defensive lineman Quinnen Williams (92) wraps up Missouri running back Tyler Badie (1) in second half action at Bryant Denny Stadium in Tuscaloosa, Ala., on Saturday October 13, 2018.
Alabama defensive lineman Quinnen Williams (92) wraps up Missouri running back Larry Rountree, III, (34) in second half action at Bryant Denny Stadium in Tuscaloosa, Ala., on Saturday October 13, 2018.
Alabama defensive lineman Quinnen Williams (92) lifts Alabama defensive back Shyheim Carter (5) after Carters interception return for touchdown against Arkansas during second half action in Fayetteville, Ark., on Saturday October 6, 2018.
Alabama defensive lineman Quinnen Williams (92) wraps up Louisiana running back Trey Ragas (9) in first half action at Bryant-Denny Stadium in Tuscaloosa, Ala., on Saturday September 29, 2018.
Texas A&M quarterback Kellen Mond (11) is pressured by the Alabama defense, including defensive lineman Quinnen Williams (92), as he passes out of his end zone in first half action in Tuscaloosa, Ala., on Saturday September 22, 2018.
Alabama defensive lineman Quinnen Williams (92) stops Ole Miss running back Isaiah Woullard (26) In first half action in Oxford, Ms., on Saturday September 15, 2018.
Alabama defensive lineman Quinnen Williams (92) against Louisville in second half action of the Camping World Kickoff at Camping World Stadium in Orlando, Fla., on Saturday September 1, 2018.
Alabama defensive lineman Quinnen Williams (92) stops Louisville running back Dae Williams (25) In second half action of the Camping World Kickoff at Camping World Stadium in Orlando, Fla., on Saturday September 1, 2018.
Alabama defensive linemen Raekwon Davis (99), Johnny Dwight (95) and Quinnen Williams (92) wait for turn in drills during Monday’s practice.
Alabama defensive lineman Quinnen Williams (92) during
Alabama defensive lineman Quinnen Williams celebrates after sacking LSU quarterback Myles Brennan during the second half of an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Nov. 4, 2017, in Tuscaloosa, Ala. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)
Alabama defensive lineman Quinnen Williams (92) against
Alabama defensive lineman Quinnen Williams (92) stops
Alabama wide receiver Calvin Ridley (3) and defensive
Mississippi’s Brad Wall (88) gets off a punt as Alabama’s
Quinnen Williams committed to Alabama after previously being an Auburn commit
Next Slide
But Williams’ ascent wasn’t a complete surprise to those inside the Alabama football program. After initially committing to Auburn, he arrived in Tuscaloosa from Birmingham’s Wenonah High School as a 6-foot-3, 265-pound four-star signee overshadowed by more heralded imports such as five-star talents Ben Davis, Lyndell “Mack” Wilson and Jonah Williams in the 2016 recruiting class.

Apr 25, 2019; Nashville, TN, USA; Quinnen Williams (Alabama) stands with NFL commissioner Roger Goodell after he was selected as the number three overall pick to the New York Jets in the first round of the 2019 NFL Draft in Downtown Nashville. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 25, 2019; Nashville, TN, USA; Quinnen Williams (Alabama) stands with NFL commissioner Roger Goodell after he was selected as the number three overall pick to the New York Jets in the first round of the 2019 NFL Draft in Downtown Nashville. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports (Photo: Christopher Hanewinckel, Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports)

Relegated to the scout team as he redshirted his first year, Williams patiently waited his turn while learning from All-America senior defensive end Jonathan Allen.

Allen was awarded both the Nagurski and Bednarik Awards in leading Alabama to the national title game before being drafted as the 17th overall pick in 2017 by the Washington Redskins.

More: Quinnen Williams: 4 things to know about the Alabama football defensive tackle

More: Alabama DL Quinnen Williams makes rapid ascension up NFL draft boards

Williams quickly earned the reputation as a scout team nemesis to the first-team offensive line, quietly establishing himself as the heir in the line of succession of dominant Alabama defensive linemen while coach Nick Saban wondered why no one could successfully block No. 92.

With Allen gone to the NFL, Williams found himself stuck behind another first-round pick his redshirt freshman season. Fellow Birmingham native Da’Ron Payne, who was also picked by Washington with the 13th selection in last year’s draft as a junior, created a logjam ahead of Williams along with seniors Da’Shawn Hand and Joshua Frazier.

Alabama defensive lineman Quinnen Williams during Pro Day on the University of Alabama campus in Tuscaloosa, Ala., on Tuesday March 19, 2019.Buy Photo
Alabama defensive lineman Quinnen Williams during Pro Day on the University of Alabama campus in Tuscaloosa, Ala., on Tuesday March 19, 2019. (Photo: Mickey Welsh / Advertiser)

Williams appeared in all 14 games as a defensive reserve in 2017 as Alabama won the national championship, playing 151 snaps while finishing with 11 solo tackles and nine assists with 6 1/2 tackles for loss and a pair of sacks.

Solid numbers for a first year, but hardly head-turning stats that would predict the trajectory of his career during his final season at Alabama.

After waiting his turn to climb to the top of the Crimson Tide’s defensive depth chart without complaint, Williams patience gave way to his conviction prior to 2018 spring camp.
USA TODAY Sports’ Michael Middlehurst- Schwartz breaks down the game of the newest New York Jet: Alabama defensive tackle Quinnen Williams. USA TODAY Sports

“I knew there would be a huge position open with Da’Ron Payne leaving and I was like, ‘I just want to play this year. I’m tired of sitting behind guys and watching guys play.’ I wanted to show the world that I was a great player too,” Williams said in an NFL Network interview. “So I went to Coach Saban and talked to him about moving inside.

“I was like 280 (pounds) at the time, and he was like ‘Q, if you want to move inside you’ve got to gain some weight and not just fat because you’ve got to keep your athleticism.’”

Williams was insistent in convincing Saban to give him a chance.

“I said, ‘Coach, I’ll do anything to get on that field,’ ” Williams said. “He knew I was a good player, but knew what it took to be a starter at Alabama and he just put it all on me when he said, ‘It’s up to you. I’m not just going to give you a position because you’re a third-year and you know everything.

Jan 7, 2019; Santa Clara, CA, USA; Clemson Tigers running back Adam Choice (26) is tackled by Alabama Crimson Tide defensive lineman Quinnen Williams (92) in the second quarter during the 2019 College Football Playoff Championship game at Levi’s Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Jan 7, 2019; Santa Clara, CA, USA; Clemson Tigers running back Adam Choice (26) is tackled by Alabama Crimson Tide defensive lineman Quinnen Williams (92) in the second quarter during the 2019 College Football Playoff Championship game at Levi’s Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports (Photo: Mark Rebilas, Mark Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports)

“You’re going to have to show me discipline and consistency of playing a high level at that position because playing nose tackle at Alabama runs everything.’ You’ve got to have a stud in the middle to anchor that defense at Alabama, and I worked hard to become that.’

Did he ever. Williams started all 15 games while recording 44 solo tackles and 26 assists. His dominance resulted in 18 1/2 tackles behind the line generating 84 yards lost, including seven sacks for minus-53 yards, 12 quarterback hurries and a safety in 623 snaps played.

In a dominating performance in a 29-0 win against LSU, Williams tallied 10 total hits — seven solo — with 2 1/2 sacks.

Alabama defensive lineman Quinnen Williams (92) during the Alabama Media Day at the SAP Center in San Jose, Ca., on Saturday January 5, 2019. Buy Photo
Alabama defensive lineman Quinnen Williams (92) during the Alabama Media Day at the SAP Center in San Jose, Ca., on Saturday January 5, 2019. (Photo: Mickey Welsh / Advertiser)

While Williams’ arrival on the national stage has left some wondering if he has cultivated an adequate body of work deserving of his lofty draft status, Saban feels the plaudits are well-deserved although only starting for one season.

“Did I ever think he’d be one of the guys that people view as, you know, one of the top picks in the draft?” Saban said prior to the Orange Bowl semifinal last December. “He probably exceeded our expectations from that standpoint.

“But I think Q is a great example of a guy that has really good work ethic and wants to be a good player, probably plays with as much intelligence as anyone in terms of understanding how people are trying to block him and creating every advantage for himself.”

Williams’ selection gives Alabama a third straight year with a defensive lineman chosen on the opening night, and it is the 10th year in a row the Crimson Tide has had at least one player picked in the first round.

Oklahoma quarterback Kyler Murray (1) is pressured by Alabama defensive linemen Isaiah Buggs (49) and Quinnen Williams (92)in second half action of the Orange Bowl at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, Fla., on Saturday December 29, 2018.
Oklahoma quarterback Kyler Murray (1) is pressured by Alabama defensive linemen Isaiah Buggs (49) and Quinnen Williams (92)in second half action of the Orange Bowl at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, Fla., on Saturday December 29, 2018. (Photo: Mickey Welsh)

“It’s not a one-hit wonder thing,” Williams said. “It’s just a one-hit, one-opportunity thing. I really think about the days I had to work hard, the days I had to sit behind Da’Ron Payne and Jonathan Allen and things like that.”

Williams tilted the scales at 303 pounds for the NFL combine, and his 4.83-second time in the 40-yard dash was the fourth fastest time by a defensive lineman north of 300 pounds in the past 16 years of the event. His combination of power and speed represents the new prototype of defensive tackles in the NFL to counter modern offensive schemes.

Alabama defensive lineman Quinnen Williams and Alabama offensive lineman Ross Pierschbacher chat during Pro Day on the University of Alabama campus in Tuscaloosa, Ala., on Tuesday March 19, 2019.Buy Photo
Alabama defensive lineman Quinnen Williams and Alabama offensive lineman Ross Pierschbacher chat during Pro Day on the University of Alabama campus in Tuscaloosa, Ala., on Tuesday March 19, 2019. (Photo: Mickey Welsh / Advertiser)

“Quinnen Williams is the new-school next generation of pass-rush D-linemen,” former Atlanta Falcons All-Pro defensive end and highly-respected pass rush training specialist Chuck Smith told ESPN. “He’s big enough to do everything that every tackle has done in history. But the difference is, he’s highly skilled. He is the new breed of hybrid that can do it all.”

Alabama’s Quinnen Williams poses with the trophy after winning the Outland Trophy as the nation’s best interior lineman in college football, Thursday, Dec. 6, 2018, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)
Alabama’s Quinnen Williams poses with the trophy after winning the Outland Trophy as the nation’s best interior lineman in college football, Thursday, Dec. 6, 2018, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/John Bazemore) (Photo: John Bazemore, AP)

Williams’ demeanor away from the field is contradictory to his fierceness on the gridiron. His cherubic face and warm smile which reveals braces on his teeth displays a certain innocence that belies his bad mood toward opposing offensive linemen. It also helps deflect some of the pain he experienced earlier in his life.

Nearly nine years ago, Williams and his three siblings were blindsided when their mother, Marquischa, died five weeks after a recurrence of breast cancer she had battled five years earlier. She was 38 years old at the time, and her death left a gaping hole in Williams’ life.

“My mom was my best friend. Everything was gone,” Williams said in story published by NFL.com. “I had always been a smiling, outgoing kid, but when she passed, I shut down. I went into a dark mode.”

Alabama defensive lineman Quinnen Williams (92) pressures Georgia quarterback Jake Fromm (11) during first half action of the SEC Championship Game at Mercedes Benz Stadium in Atlanta, Ga., on Saturday December 1, 2018.
Alabama defensive lineman Quinnen Williams (92) pressures Georgia quarterback Jake Fromm (11) during first half action of the SEC Championship Game at Mercedes Benz Stadium in Atlanta, Ga., on Saturday December 1, 2018. (Photo: Mickey Welsh)

While reluctant to discuss the impact his mother’s death had on him as a 12-year old, Williams has chosen to honor her memory in his own way.

He has two breast cancer ribbons tattooed on his arm and another body art of an angel with wings wearing a No. 92 jersey.

“She never got the chance to wear my jersey or come to my games,” Williams said. “I was the mama’s boy. Nobody knew what I went through. My brothers and sister didn’t know, my dad didn’t know, my grandmother didn’t know. Only I knew what I was going through, and this is a way to honor her memory.”

The trials of his last few years have helped Williams come to recognize how patience is a virtue. Now, with his late mother’s memory permanently etched onto his flesh, he can carry her legacy forward in a manner that would have made her proud.

But he first had to decide as he headed out in the Music City drizzle how he would celebrate the occasion.

“I probably won’t go to IHOP tonight,” Williams said. “I don’t do that too much anymore. I’ll probably go back to the hotel and get some rest.”

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FLORHAM PARK, N.J. — The New York Jets will have at least one of their starting cornerbacks in the lineup on Thursday night against the Buffalo Bills.

Buster Skrine, who sat out last week with a concussion, was cleared on Wednesday, practiced fully (a walk-through) and is scheduled to play in the game. His last game was a nightmare — three touchdowns allowed and three penalties.

His partner, Morris Claiborne, may not be available. The Jets’ top corner, who sprained his left foot last Sunday, missed practice for the third straight day and is listed as questionable. Considering the nature of the injury and the short week, it’s very possible he will be inactive. Darryl Roberts likely would start in his place, with Juston Burris (or perhaps newcomer Rashard Robinson) handling the No. 3 role.

As usual, defensive end Muhammad Wilkerson (foot/shoulder) is questionable after another week of not practicing. Because of the quick turnaround, it’s “going to be tough” for him to play, coach Todd Bowles said on Monday. Nevertheless, the Jets are hopeful he will give it a shot.

Right tackle Brent Qvale is expected to start for the second straight week, as Brandon Shell (neck) suffered a setback this week and is doubtful for the game. So is Terrence Brooks (hamstring), who plays on defense when they go to a four-safety package. Fullback Lawrence Thomas (concussion) has been ruled out.

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Why don’t the Seattle Seahawks put more resources into their offensive line?

“Great question,” general manager John Schneider said in August. “I get it all the time, from a lot of different areas.”

Understandably so. In terms of salary-cap percentage, the Seahawks fielded the NFL’s least expensive offensive line last season and are 31st in spending at that position in 2017, according to Spotrac.com.

Since back-to-back Super Bowl appearances following the 2013 and 2014 seasons, the Seahawks have replaced several veteran offensive line starters with younger, cheaper options. Predictably, they’ve been challenged up front. This season, poor pass protection has left Russell Wilson under pressure on nearly 32 percent of his dropbacks — the fifth-highest rate among qualified quarterbacks, according to ESPN Stats & Information — which has kept Seattle’s passing game from finding any consistent rhythm. Wilson was the most pressured QB last season at 36.5 percent.

So, why haven’t the Seahawks spent more there?

“What I would tell you is that we’re a team that has more of that chameleon type of philosophy when it comes to just keeping your best players,” Schneider said in an interview with 710 ESPN Seattle in August. “We’re not a team that says that we’re going to spend this percentage of our cap on this area and this percentage on the offense and this percentage on defense and this percentage on the defensive backs.

“I’ve been with organizations that have done that, and that’s where you get yourself in trouble. It’s almost like drafting for need, if you will, where you’re like, ‘Hey we’ve gotta have this player’ or in free agency, ‘We’re going to overpay for a specific player.'”
The Seahawks rank 31st in offensive line spending this year, with the $7.25 million cap charge of left guard Luke Joeckel (78) more than the other four starters combined. Jake Roth/USA TODAY Sports
Schneider told a story about a series of past personnel decisions that helped shape that approach. They came either before or during his second stint in the Green Bay Packers’ front office, where he worked before coming to Seattle in 2010 along with coach Pete Carroll.

“We went through it in Green Bay, and I learned a very, very valuable lesson because we went out in free agency and signed a defensive end that was in his early 30s and gave him a ton of money and had another guy develop behind him,” Schneider recalled. “They had drafted somebody in the top 10 the year before that didn’t work out, and then we got to that third guy, and we had a ton of dead cap money then and weren’t able to come up and sign the young player that was actually coming through for us.”

“So it was just really a lesson in trying to keep your best players,” Schneider said, “whether it’s on offense or defense.”

The Seahawks have abstained from spending big money on their offensive line not because they consider that position to be inherently less important, but because they believe their best players play elsewhere, and the money has gone to them instead.

Seahawks’ spending has shifted

It wasn’t always this way.

During the 2013 season, when the Seahawks won their first Super Bowl in franchise history, they had the NFL’s highest-paid offensive line. The starting five of left tackle Russell Okung ($9.54 million cap charge), left guard James Carpenter ($2.01 million), center Max Unger ($6 million), right guard J.R. Sweezy ($494,000) and right tackle Breno Giacomini ($4.75 million) helped Seattle’s offensive line account for 20.9 percent of the team’s salary-cap spending.

Lowest OL Spending, 2017
A look at the bottom five teams in the percentage of the salary cap spent on the offensive line in 2017, along with their ranking among the 32 NFL teams in yards per game and their record.
TEAM CAP % RANK RECORD
28. Texans 10.45% 12th 2-3
29. Titans 10.53% 24th 2-3
30. Bengals 10.48% 23rd 2-3
31. Seahawks 9.96% 15th 3-2
32. Ravens 7.81% 28th 3-2
Sources: Spotrac, ESPN.com
At the time, many of the team’s emerging star players were playing on cost-controlled rookie deals. As those bills came due, Seattle’s spending shifted. Wilson’s contract averages $21.9 million. Wide receiver Doug Baldwin ($11.5 million average) and tight end Jimmy Graham ($9 million), who was acquired in a 2015 trade, are also playing on lucrative deals.

But the majority of Seattle’s money is being spent on a defense that now includes eight players who have made at least one Pro Bowl and are compensated accordingly: defensive backs Richard Sherman ($14 million average), Kam Chancellor ($12 million) and Earl Thomas ($10 million), linebackers Bobby Wagner ($10.75 million) and K.J. Wright ($6.75 million), and defensive linemen Michael Bennett ($10.16 million), Sheldon Richardson ($8.07 million) and Cliff Avril ($7.12 million).

Highest OL Spending, 2017
A look at the top five teams in the percentage of the salary cap spent on the offensive line in 2017, along with their ranking among the 32 NFL teams in yards per game and their team record.
TEAM CAP % RANK RECORD
1. Raiders 26.12% 30th 2-3
2. Browns 25.94% 21st 0-5
3. Steelers 23.64% 17th 3-2
4. Bills 21.93% 31st 3-2
5. Eagles 20.34% 4th 5-1
Sources: Spotrac, ESPN.com
As a result, the Seahawks are spending 53.78 percent of their 2017 cap dollars on their defense, the highest percentage of any team, according to Spotrac. They were fifth in defensive spending percentage last season at 42.58 percent.

Meanwhile, Seattle is 31st (9.96 percent) in offensive line spending this year with a starting five of left tackle Rees Odhiambo ($714,000 cap charge), left guard Luke Joeckel ($7.25 million), center Justin Britt ($2.34 million), right guard Oday Aboushi ($975,000) and right tackle Germain Ifedi ($1.87 million).

The Seahawks were 32nd in offensive line spending last season (4.17 percent).

Continual turnover

The notion that the Seahawks have declined to spend resources on their offensive line is only partly true. Since Carroll and Schneider arrived seven years ago, Seattle has drafted 17 offensive linemen, more than any team in the NFL.

That includes several high draft picks. Okung was the regime’s first pick, chosen sixth overall in 2010. Carpenter (2011) and Ifedi (2016) were also first-rounders. Seattle spent second-round picks on Britt (2014) and Ethan Pocic (2017) and third-rounders on John Moffitt (2011) and Odhiambo (2016).

But Britt is the only offensive lineman drafted by Seattle since 2010 to get a second contract from the team.

The Seahawks haven’t kept some of those draft picks because they weren’t good enough to warrant keeping, which, in those cases, reflects an issue with either developing and/or identifying talent. Continually drafting late in the first round has not helped Seattle’s cause, given what’s widely believed to be a dearth of pro-ready offensive linemen being produced by the college game. But the Seahawks have also decided to let good starting offensive linemen such as Okung, Carpenter and Sweezy leave in free agency. They also parted with Unger in the Graham trade.

On their own, each of those moves was and still is understandable, given the market value of those players. But continually moving on from starters requires finding equally capable replacements either from within or via free agency, and the Seahawks have not been very successful with either. That helps explain why their offensive line has had three new starters in each of the past two seasons.

Where the current group goes from here

The Seahawks made a strong push in free agency this year for former Packers guard T.J. Lang, who instead signed with the Detroit Lions, his hometown team. Adding Lang along with Joeckel in the same free-agency period would have changed perceptions about Seattle’s commitment to its offensive line.

More importantly, it would have helped stabilize a group that is again young, particularly on the outside. Odhiambo, who took over at left tackle when George Fant tore his ACL in August, is in his second season. So is Ifedi, who is at right tackle after starting at right guard as a rookie.
The Seahawks worked out veteran tackle Branden Albert on Monday, so he’s a name to keep in mind. For now, though, the starting five is about to get even younger with Joeckel expected to miss Seattle’s next game, if not longer, following arthroscopic knee surgery. In an ideal scenario, Pocic would take over and show the potential that compelled the Seahawks to draft him in the second round. Mark Glowinski is another option, and he might be the more likely one, considering he started all of last season at left guard.

Whether it’s via Albert or their young players developing on the fly, the Seahawks need improved play from their offensive line to make another deep run in the postseason.

Looking further ahead, the Seahawks will have decisions to make after this season on Joeckel and Aboushi. They are among several free agents that Seattle added on one-year deals. Those contracts, as well as Graham’s, are scheduled to come off the books at season’s end, so the Seahawks could have holes to fill on their offensive line and money to spend.

But as history has shown, need hasn’t always dictated spending with the Seahawks and their offensive line.