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New York Jets Hire Nathaniel Hackett as OC: Zach Wilson Hardest Hit



Lots of luck, Zach Wilson. The New York Jets‘ decision to hire Nathaniel Hackett as their new offensive coordinator has no conceivably good outcome for Wilson, the former No. 2 overall pick.

Either Hackett is a carrot to lure Aaron Rodgers from Green Bay, or the Jets truly believe he’s the guy to fix a broken offense and a broken quarterback.

Did they talk to Russell Wilson? Or at least throw on the Denver Broncos game tape from 2022?

New York Jets Hire Nathaniel Hackett

Jets coach Robert Saleh said the following Thursday about the Hackett hire:

“We casted a wide net, like we said we were going to. We got well over 15 different candidates for this position. Went to colleges, went to different schemes, talked to different people. A lot of really, really good football coaches out there. But when it came back to a certain checklist I was trying to go through, checking boxes on what we were looking for with regards to this next offensive coordinator, just kept circling back to him. He checks every box we’re looking for. Really, really excited about this.”

Hackett lasted all of 15 games as an NFL head coach — and to be frank, those were 15 games too many.

He was overmatched from an X’s and O’s standpoint. He was overmatched from a game-management standpoint. And he was seemingly overmatched from a player management standpoint.

Up next for Hackett: Inheriting a dreadful offense and even worse quarterback on a team with playoff expectations in the nation’s No. 1 TV market.

What could go wrong?

Hackett, 43, is now an NFL offensive coordinator for the fourth time — a total that doesn’t include his time in Denver, where he called plays.

Hopes were high just six months ago after an offseason in which the Broncos paired a perceived rising coaching star with a likely future Hall of Fame quarterback.

The Broncos were a chic Super Bowl pick. They finished 14th in the standings out of the 16-team AFC. And the offense was the reason why.

Denver finished last in scoring (16.9 points per game) and third-down conversion rate (29.1%). Russell Wilson had by far his worst season as a pro, setting career lows in touchdown rate (3.3%), adjusted yards per attempt (6.9), passer rating (84.4), and QBR (37).

In other words, Hackett took a Pro Bowl player and turned him into a bottom-five quarterback.

What’s he going to do with an actual bottom-five quarterback?

Does Zach Wilson Have a Prayer?

Many in New York believe the Jets are done with Wilson, even if he’s on their roster in 2023.

Wilson has been a disaster. He completed 54.5% of his passes in 2022, throwing a touchdown just once every 40 attempts.

Wilson had zero feel for the game, and it should surprise no one that he ranked last out of 34 qualifying quarterbacks in passer rating (72.8) and was near the bottom in QBR (36.4) as well.

In other words, Wilson is untradeable. But he’d cost $11 million more against the cap to cut him than keep him. So Wilson will get every opportunity to prove he’s an actual NFL quarterback this spring and summer.

But the Jets would be foolish to simply cross their fingers and hope Wilson makes a Year 3 jump. And they won’t.

The belief throughout all levels of football is that the Jets will look to upgrade at quarterback this offseason. And the Hackett hire might hint at their intentions.

Aaron Rodgers to Jets?

Hackett might be a pariah in Denver, but he’s got a big advocate in Rodgers, who has made not-so-subtle suggestions since the season’s end that he’d entertain a trade out of Green Bay.

Hackett was the Packers’ OC (although not the play-caller) from 2019 through 2021, and Rodgers has been on record about his respect and fondness for him.

The Packers from 2019 through 2021 hummed offensively, particularly in 2020, when they ranked second in yards per play and first in offensive touchdowns per game.

MORE: Offensive Tackle Prospects for the New York Jets in the 2023 NFL Draft

Put another way: What we think of Nate Hackett as a coach is meaningless compared to what Rodgers thinks of Nate Hackett as a coach.

Perhaps the hire will be enough to convince Rodgers to strong-arm the Packers into trading him to New York. That would be a huge coup for the Jets, who would be a trendy Super Bowl pick.

But it would also be a career-altering development for Wilson — assuming he still has much of a career left at all.

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C.J. Stroud, Jaxon Smith-Njigba, and Marvin Harrison Jr. Headline Loaded Ohio State Pro Day




The Ohio State Pro Day kicks off Wednesday in one of the most anticipated workouts on the NFL Pro Day schedule. The Buckeyes boast three potential first-round picks, including a pair of top-10 choices and another trio of players expected to be selected on Day 2. There expects to be 118 representatives from 30 NFL teams on hand for OSU’s Pro Day, including 10 general managers and seven head coaches.

The Pittsburgh Steelers were always expected to have a large contingent in Columbus, but Dan Quinn, John Schneider, and Scott Fitterer were also all seen out and about Tuesday evening.

Here’s the early word from on the ground, including updates on Ohio State quarterback C.J. Stroud and wide receivers Jaxon Smith-Njigba and Marvin Harrison Jr.

Pro Day News and Rumors | Ohio State Pro Day Takes Center Stage

C.J. Stroud, Jaxon Smith-Njigba, and Marvin Harrison Jr. Set To Headline

As posted on Twitter yesterday, Harrison is expected to participate in today’s workout and will be one of the targets Stroud throws passes to. This will give teams the ability to do some advanced scouting on Harrison, who is expected to be a top-10 selection in 2024. NFL Network’s James Palmer confirmed there “will be plenty of eyes” on Harrison already.

Stroud will, of course, be the center of the show, and the Carolina Panthers already “met” with Stroud, per NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero.

MORE: 2024 NFL Draft Prospect Watchlist

I’m told the Buckeyes draft-eligible receiver, Smith-Njigba, is preparing to run the 40 today. Smith-Njigba ran the shuttles and three-cone at the Combine, posting sensational marks of and 3.93s and 6.57 seconds, respectively.

Don’t expect blazing times from Smith-Njigba when he runs today — something possibly in the range of the high 4.4-second area. He’s football fast, not 40 fast. And for those keeping track, Smith-Njigba dined with the New York Giants on Tuesday evening.

Pittsburgh Steelers

The Steelers’ brain trust took a private jet to Columbus, Ohio, from yesterday’s Iowa State workout. When they arrived, they cornered the market on the Buckeye linemen. The Steelers had dinner with offensive tackles Dawand Jones and Paris Johnson Jr., as well as center Luke Wypler.  Also at the meal was pass rusher Zach Harrison.
One note on Wypler. The Combine results at incorrectly listed his 10-yard split as 1.83 seconds. The official report sent to NFL teams has a time of 1.73 and 1.74 seconds as the 10-yard splits on his 40 attempts. This is a significant difference for a center that most project as a zone-blocking lineman.

Cade Stover is Also Set to Participate on Wednesday

Junior tight end Cade Stover will also participate in pro day and catch passes from Stroud. Stover initially had designs on entering this year’s draft, but a late-season injury, which I was told he suffered during the semi-final playoff contest against Georgia, made him reverse course.

Paris Johnson Stars in Offensive Line Drills

Offensive line drills are over. Dawand Jones did not participate.

Paris Johnson was nothing less than spectacular. He showed great bend, athleticism, and agility. During pulling drills he moved like a very athletic defensive end. His footwork in pass protection drills was outstanding. Johnson looked every bit like the top offensive lineman in this draft and a top-10 pick.

The New York Jets ran both Johnson and center Luke Wypler through additional offensive line drills. Tennessee Titans head coach Mike Vrabel kept close watch while this was going on.

Wypler also had a fine day. He wasn’t as athletic or quick compared to his teammate yet very much looked like he has starting potential on Sunday for a team that needs a center.

Zach Harrison Shows Athleticism

Zach Harrison looked smooth and athletic. He easily moved through the bags and had a quick, fluid change of direction. He did wear down a bit and didn’t show much punch. Harrison has a long, thin frame that he has to add bulk to.

I thought Tarron Vincent, a Shrine Bowl participant, looked really good. He’s not as athletic as Harrison nor as long but is super quick and moved with balance. Vincent told PFN during an interview at Shrine practice, the rotational style used by the Buckeyes on the defensive line made it difficult for him to get into a rhythm during games.

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Fantasy Outlook, Value, Projections, and Rankings




As we inch toward the new season, the ever-changing NFL landscape has player fantasy values constantly on the move. Whether you’re used to the dynasty platform or are still learning the dynasty rules, let’s dive into the latest dynasty fantasy football value of Deon Jackson.

Deon Jackson’s Dynasty Outlook and Value

My initial thought was to completely dismiss the notion of Deon Jackson ever mattering. The problem with that outlook is he did matter…a lot. Granted, it was a very short period of time, but during that time, Jackson was a must-start RB2.

In 2021, Jackson signed as a UDFA and exclusively played special teams as a rookie. Even earning a role on an NFL roster is a major accomplishment for a UDFA.

As a sophomore, his role was exactly the same. Jackson was technically the Indianapolis Colts‘ RB3 behind Jonathan Taylor and Nyheim Hines, but he only played special teams.

MORE: Dynasty Rankings 2023 — Top Fantasy Options at Running Back

Then, in Week 5, a very specific series of events forced Jackson into a featured role. Taylor was out with an ankle injury, and Hines was concussed on his first touch of the game. The Colts were down to two UDFAs, Jackson and Phillip Lindsay.

Jackson ran well, carrying the ball 13 times for 62 yards. He also caught all four of his targets for 29 yards. When Taylor and Hines were unable to return the following week, Jackson operated as the Colts’ RB1. In fact, he finished as the overall RB1 that week, scoring 28.1 fantasy points.

Indianapolis traded away Hines at the trade deadline, and Taylor never really got right after aggravating his ankle injury in Week 13 (and again in Week 15). But Jeff Saturday was more inclined to push the newly acquired Zack Moss as the team’s lead back ahead of Jackson.

Deon Jackson’s Fantasy Ranking

The thing with Jackson is we have no idea what the new coaching staff will do at running back behind Taylor. Fantasy managers should have no aspirations of Jackson potentially becoming the lead back if Taylor leaves in 2024. That’s not going to happen. But if Jackson is able to win the RB2 role, at the very least, he’ll have RB handcuff value. It would be enough to justify rostering him in deeper dynasty leagues.

Ultimately, Jackson is not a must-roster RB right now. There are likely several options available with more plausible upside. With that said, I’m not ready to completely write off a 24-year-old RB who has proven capable of producing at the NFL level when given volume. Still, I’m not exactly looking to select Jackson in dynasty startup drafts. He’s currently our RB81 (No. 240 overall) in our dynasty Superflex rankings.

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Fantasy Outlook, Value, Projections, and Rankings




As we inch toward the new season, the ever-changing NFL landscape has player fantasy values constantly on the move. Whether you’re used to the dynasty platform or are still learning the rules, let’s dive into the latest dynasty fantasy football value of Clyde Edwards-Helaire.

Clyde Edwards-Helaire’s Dynasty Outlook and Value

One of the biggest mistakes in the history of my fantasy career was underrating how much of 2017 Kareem Hunt stemmed from Hunt being good at football. Taking Edwards-Helaire in the first round of 2020 redraft leagues was the epitome of bad process.

By all accounts, CEH was not a particularly good prospect. He had one good collegiate season playing with Joe Burrow in arguably the most talented college offense of all time.

Edwards-Helaire is slow (4.6 40-time) and undersized at 5’7″, 207 pounds. He profiled as a satellite back, at best.

MORE: Dynasty Rankings 2023 — Top Fantasy Options at Running Back

The Chiefs tried the bell-cow thing with him in 2020, and he was fine. CEH totaled 1,110 yards from scrimmage and averaged 13.5 ppg in fantasy. That would end up being his best season.

CEH only played in 10 games in each of his past two seasons, but that’s not why he struggled to matter in fantasy. The Chiefs were already looking past him for superior options.

In 2022, Edwards-Helaire’s snap share was 6% and 8% in his final two games before getting hurt, and he was headed toward being inactive weekly, regardless of injury.

Clyde Edwards-Helaire’s Fantasy Ranking

The former LSU Tiger is still just 24 years old, and I’m not about to declare his career over. But he is in the final year of his rookie contract, and there’s no shot the Chiefs pick up his fifth-year option. Edwards-Helaire should get another opportunity somewhere, but unless they cut him, it won’t be on the Chiefs, and it won’t be until 2024.

It still feels a bit hasty for fantasy managers to outright cut CEH, but if someone dropped him in a league I was in, I wouldn’t pick him up.

We currently have CEH at RB46 (No. 143 overall) in our dynasty Superflex ratings. That feels a bit high. And by a bit, I mean a lot. There’s no realistic round in which I’d select him in dynasty startup drafts.

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