Jets 4 x 4: Richmond Joint Practices

After this week's joint practices, let's summarize some of the more interesting performances:

Four up:

Here are four players who helped themselves during a competitive week of practices and it will be interesting to see if they can sustain that into the game on Thursday night.

QB Sam Darnold

The rookie is seeing his workload accelerated as talk intensifies that his chances of being the opening day starter are improving. Darnold was sharp in red zone drills once again and punctuated the week with a slick drive against Washington's starters in an 11-on-11 scrimmage.


OL Jonotthan Harrison

Harrison, who most people had pegged as the third-string center heading into camp, didn't stand out much in the first preseason game but seems to be impressing the Jets, as he's been getting plenty of first team work at guard and could start on Thursday night. He also seems to be beating out Travis Swanson for the back-up center role.

TE Jordan Leggett

Leggett had lost ground over the last few weeks due to being unavailable but he's healthy now and made a few plays in each of the three practices, including back-to-back catches on Darnold's touchdown drive. He flashed a couple of times in preseason last year so it will be interesting to see what he can do over the next three games.

WR Chad Hansen

Hansen, who seemed to be one of the standouts during the spring, seems to be stuck on the third team at the moment, which meant that he entered Friday night's game at a point where the Jets had basically stopped trying to throw the ball. With the likes of Tre McBride and Charles Johnson getting reps ahead of him, he needed to try and make up some ground this week and, perhaps for the first time since the pads went on, he started making plays consistently and will hope to carry some of that momentum into the game.

Four down:

Now let's look at four guys who had some struggles or seem to be falling down the depth chart.

RB Thomas Rawls

Rawls is back in practice now, but doesn't seem to be making much headway. Even with Isaiah Crowell in concussion protocol and Trenton Cannon working with trainers on Tuesday, Rawls struggled to make much of an impression.

QB Josh McCown

McCown's workload has dropped off and he basically fell down the depth chart this week, albeit through no real fault of his own. Darnold getting the lion's share of the reps is all part of his development curve, which is an organizational priority, especially since he missed the first few days. McCown, who was rested for the second and third preseason games last year, did throw his first interception since camp opened though, as he tried to force a pass into a tight window.

WR Terrelle Pryor

Pryor was in the headlines all week because of trash talk, flinching and being too candid about his injuries. On the field, however, our on-site reporter Brian Bassett reported that Pryor had a "rough go" at joint practices and although he did make plays like the one below, there were apparently more drops and near misses. It might be prudent to sit him for tomorrow night's game, in which case, he won't get a chance to showcase his skills until the Giants' game.


T Brent Qvale

Like Harrison, Qvale has been working with the starters, having started the first preseason game at left tackle. He struggled in that game, but remains ahead of Ben Ijalana with Kelvin Beachum still out. However, the offense struggled to protect the quarterbacks all week and Washington defensive end Preston Smith shared this video on Snapchat of him absolutely destroying Qvale in a one-on-one drill:


Four missing:

Plenty of players have been missing practice and figure to be held out of tomorrow night's game. These are some of the most important absences.

G Brian Winters

Winters' durability issues have continued, as he has been in and out of the line-up throughout camp and missed the whole week as the Jets are reportedly shutting him down for the entire preseason. While he's expected to be ready to start the opener, the Jets seem to be looking at contingencies in case they can't rely on him again and, as noted, the line seems to be struggling in his absence.

TE Chris Herndon

Herndon seemed like he was a lock to be the starter after opening training camp on fire. However, he missed the first preseason game due to what Todd Bowles described as "some bruises" and hasn't practiced since. Ironically, the tight ends who had fallen behind due to their own injury issues are now making the most of their chances, especially with Neal Sterling also out.

OLB Lorenzo Mauldin

Mauldin didn't make the trip to Richmond as he is expected to miss another week with a hamstring injury. It's not been a great start to camp for a player who was desperate to re-establish himself. The only good news is that nobody else has played well enough that he's lost unassailable ground, but will he even still be on the roster to practice next week?

OLB David Bass

Bass is another player who has a great opportunity to earn a role with the Jets but is missing out because he's not healthy. Despite being arguably the Jets' most dynamic edge rusher last year, Bass is a bit of a forgotten man, who could have helped himself by flashing in preseason.

Four sleepers:

LB Anthony Wint

The undrafted rookie wasn't perfect in his first preseason game, but flashed a couple of times. He needs to keep doing that in camp and plays like the one he made on Tuesday - an interception of Kevin Hogan - will keep him in the coaches' plans.

TE Clive Walford

It seems bizarre to refer to Walford as a sleeper, since he's the most experienced tight end the Jets have and possesses better career stats than all of the others put together. However, the veteran is listed as the fifth-string tight end on the team's official depth chart and had missed time prior to the trip to Virginia. With Sterling and Herndon out, he made the most of his opportunities on Tuesday, catching a 20-yard scoring pass to punctuate Darnold's drive and looks to have pulled himself back into contention.

CB Jeremy Clark

Generally speaking, the cornerback group was said to have struggled in drills against the Washington receivers, but it's good to see Clark back out there and he flashed with a good pass break-up at one point. That gives him something to build on going into Thursday night as he still hasn't had any defensive reps for the Jets in a real game.

CB Rashard Robinson

Robinson hasn't had a good camp so far, and is going to begin the season on the suspended list. However, there's signs the former 49er might be turning his fortunes around as he intercepted a pass in one-on-one drills on Tuesday and then followed that up with an end zone pass break-up in a red zone drill.