These past few months have been quite an interesting time foe the New York Jets. Between signing Tim Tebow, extending Mark Sanchez and drafting Quinton Coples, the Jets are a very different team than they were in early spring.
While it's impossible to tell exactly how each acquisition will pan out, it sure is fun to speculate. Here's a power ranking of the top player acquisitions of the Jets this season.
Note: These rankings are based on how much of importance and impact they will have on the season, not by the quality of player or contract.
Also, head nod to AFC East blogger Erik Frenz for compiling all of the Jets' UDFAs. For a full list of them, go here.
To be frank, the only reason Lynn is on the Jets is because his father, Anthony Lynn, is the team's running backs coach (and a very good one at that).
Lynn is strictly a zone cornerback that lacks man coverage skills, making him an awful fit in Rex Ryan's defense. I would not be surprised, however, to see him make the practice squad because of his dad's influence, just like Scotty McKnight made the practice squad last year largely because he is Mark Sanchez's best friend.
One of the disappointments that has gone a bit under-the-radar is the performance of fullback John Conner, who is better known for his devastating hits on Hard Knocks than his timely and intelligent blocking.
The Jets, however, did notice Conner's inconsistencies and responded by bringing in some competition for Conner.
"The Terminator" will probably get the benefit of the doubt, but if he struggles in camp, I don't see it to be out of the realm of possibility for Fui to take his job both as a fullback and as the offensive player with a funny name.
Kinne lacks the ideal size you want in a quarterback, but he's a gritty player with some tools to make an NFL roster.
Kinne put up gaudy numbers in 25 starts at Tulsa (over 6,000 yards and 53 touchdowns), but he was not exactly going against SEC-caliber defenses in Conference USA.
It would be an upset if the Jets carried four quarterbacks this year, but if he's impressive enough in camp, he has at least a fighting chance to challenge Greg McElroy for the third quarterback spot.
T.J. Conley had anything but a consistent season last year as the team's starting punter. It looks like there will be an open competition for the starting job.
If Baltz does not impress, look for Mike Tannenbaum to bring in more competition for Conley right up until the end of training camp.
Parker was a first-team All-SEC player last season at guard; the only problem is, he's not suited to play anywhere else but on the interior of the line.
With Matt Slauson and Brandon Moore cemented as the starters at guard, Howard is going to have a tough time convincing coaches that keeping an extra offensive lineman around that can only play guard is worth using a roster spot.
Even after adding several new defensive lineman over the past two years, the Jets need more bodies that can play nose tackle.
Harrison is a small-school prospect out of William-Penn with a lot of upside. His versatility will give a good chance of making the final roster and could possibly push Martin Tevaseu out of a job.
Just like his teammate Janoris Jenkins, Dowtin transferred to Northern Alabama from an SEC program due to off-the-field issues.
Dowtin is still a very talented player that can play as a nickel linebacker in either a 3-4 or a 4-3.
Dowtin, had an impressive minicamp, and Rex Ryan took notice. If he could stay out of trouble, he could provide tremendous value to the Jets as a special teams ace and add linebacker depth.
Outside of Dustin Keller, the Jets do not have many proven options at tight end.
Jeff Cumberland began to show promise as a pass-catcher before a season-ending injury early in the season, but he will have to show a brand new offensive coaching staff what he can do.
Linthicum, on the other hand, is also a reliable target with limitations in the blocking aspect of his game. If he can prove to be useful on special teams, he has at least a decent chance of making the roster.
It was apparent from the start of the offseason that the Jets were going to bring in some kind of competition for Josh Brown, who most recently played for the Rams.
So far, Brown is doing well in OTAs and will likely make it as difficult as possible for Folk to retain his starting job.
Now, Folk is still the favorite to keep his job but keep an eye on this camp battle in August.
Before the Jets signed two free agents at the offensive tackle position on Tuesday, Cullen was penciled in to be at least a secondary backup. Now, he will face a lot more competition with two more bodies thrown into the ring.
Cullen is an athletic guy who's at his best in the run game, making him a ideal candidate to be a swing tackle.
The Jets paid a dear price for lacking offensive line depth last offseason, so they may be more willing to carry a few extra lineman just in case, increasing Cullen's chances of making the team.
The Jets continued their quest to find competition at right tackle with the addition of Ray Willis.
Willis, a former fourth-round pick by the Seattle Seahawks, has some experience at right tackle after starting at the position for the Seahawks for all of 2009. After being out of football in 2010, Willis failed to make the Dolphins' roster in training camp last year.
While it will be a long-shot for Willis to even make the team, the fact that Sparano probably had something to do with him signing with the Jets and how he knows at least part of Sparano's system works in his favor.
Steed is a very talented corner and was expected to be drafted, but concerns about his speed caused him to go undrafted.
While he lacks the speed to run with top-end receivers, he has the ideal skill set to be a slot corner and replace Donald Strickland, who did not re-sign with the team.
To find their replacement for the walking penalty machine, Matt Mulligan, the Jets went outside the box and signed former rugby star Hayden Smith to play tight end.
It remains to be seen how long it will take for Smith to learn how to play the game, but the coaches are going to give him every chance possible to show what he can do.
As long as he shows raw ability in training camp, there's a good chance that the Jets will give him another year to learn the game and eventually get on the field. If he can make it in the NFL, it could break ground for more rugby players to convert into NFL players.
The Boston College product has all of the skills to be a zone cornerback, but he has some upside as a man coverage player as well. Fletcher also has good ball skills, making him a prospect very reminiscent of Dwight Lowery.
Once viewed as a mid-round selection, Fletcher wound up going undrafted, and the Jets scooped him up.
Fletcher will be one of many players competing for one of the few remaining cornerback spots.
Clearly not satisfied with their running back depth, the Jets drafted the Baylor product in the sixth round of the draft.
Ganaway is a big, bruising-type of back who complements the physical style of football the Jets want to ply. He has deceptive speed and could perhaps even make a move to fullback if necessary.
The knock on Ganaway is that his college production was assisted by the presence of RGIII, which is probably true; otherwise, he would have been a earlier pick. But Ganaway has all of the traits the Jets are looking for in a running back and did not invest a lot in taking him in the sixth round.
Frankly, I don't think the Jets had much intention of walking away from the draft with Antonio Allen on their roster. Once viewed as a consensus mid-round selection, the South Carolina product fell all the way to the seventh round, where the Jets had no choice but to capitalize on the value he presented.
Just like almost every other safety on the team, Allen is an in-the-box type of player, which is probably the biggest reason why he fell so far in the draft. But Allen is a talented player that could turn out to be a huge steal for the Jets and eventually take over Yeremiah Bell's starting spot.
Finally, the Jets have admitted that Wayne Hunter is a problem.
The team brought in Stephon Heyer, the team announced Tuesday.
While it's no necessarily encouraging to know that he was not good enough to make the Dolphins, who had their own issues at right tackle last year, I'm all for bringing in experienced players to compete at right tackle.
In one of the first moves the Jets made in free agency, the Jets signed Schilens away from Oakland and was set up to be the Jets' No. 2 receiver before they drafted Stephen HIll.
At 6'4, 225 pounds, Schilens can be Plaxico Burress' replacement as a red-zone target. While his numbers are not overly impressive, he's still just 26 years old and figures to continue to improve with his old receivers coach from Oakland—Sanjay Lal.
Again, this move is not going to take up as much room on the back pages as the Tebow trade did, but at some point, one of these low-risk, high-reward signings is going to pay off.
The Jets' linebackers, particularly Bart Scott, struggled mightily in coverage last year and were torched by slot receivers and tight ends as a result.
Davis is an underrated prospect who should be a big-time special teams player and contribute in special teams packages. In time, he should take over for Bart Scott at inside linebacker next to David Harris.
The athletic linebacker's best trait is his leadership. Rex Ryan compared Davis' instincts as a leader to that of Ray Lewis. Such comparisons are not thrown around easily, especially from a guy who coached Lewis for the better part of a decade.
After adding a plethora of in-the-box type safeties, the Jets needed to add someone who could help in coverage.
Bush has great range and coverage skills; he played both cornerback and free safety during his time at Wake Forest. He has less than ideal size, but that has not stopped Rex Ryan from playing smaller guys like Jim Leonhard at safety in the past.
It would not surprise me in the least if Bush played an active role in "Big Nickel" packages, which includes three safeties.
It's not often that you can nab a new starter this late into free agency who fills an area of need.
Even though Bell is well into his 30s and may only have a few years left, the Jets are apparently thrilled to have landed him. Defensive coordinator Mike Petting expects him to be a starter.
Although Bell may not have the kind of coverage skills the Jets are looking for, they definitely feel more comfortable having a proven veteran as the last line of defense than handing the job over to a late-round rookie.
Plus, the fact that they signed him away from a division rival makes the move even more gratifying.
A lot of Jets fans, including myself, were left scratching their heads after Mike Tannenbaum passed up a chance to draft Melvin Ingram and took Quinton Coples instead.
However, the more I think about the pick and where Coples fits, the more it makes sense.
It's no secret that the Jets need and edge rusher, but even more so, they needed an interior rusher to apply pressure on "run downs" as well. Coples, a former defensive tackle, can be moved around all across the front seven and is big and strong enough to play on all three downs.
Also, as we saw in the most recent Super Bowl, Tom Brady is not Tom Brady when there's pressure in his face. He can step and escape from edge rushers, but immobile quarterbacks cannot deal with interior pressure, which is what Coples brings to the table.
The Jets traded up in the second round for the speedy receiver out of Georgia Tech in hopes that he would be the immediate deep threat that the Jets have been lacking.
So far, Hill has been impressive in OTAs and appears to be the favorite to be the starter opposite Santonio Holmes.
Hill is just what the Jets need at receiver; not only is Hill a talented player, but as a rookie, he will not always be barking at Sanchez for targets like veterans do. Rookies take whatever they can get, as they are more concerned with fitting in than putting up gaudy stats.
If the Jets can get first-round value out of a second-round draft pick, the move is easily one of the top acquisitions of the offseason.
There are too many layers to this trade to discuss in this slide alone, but this was easily the most shocking move of the entire Jets offseason.
So far, Tim has said all of the right things, and Sanchez has outperformed him in OTAs (as he should), but no one can predict how the next seven months will play out.
The bottom line is that this trade could either give the Jets an extra weapon to use or it could divide their locker room and ruin their season once again. There will undoubtedly be more coverage about Tebow's role than just about anything else, so you might as well get used to reading your daily dose of Tebow news every day.
How did Landry beat out Mr. Tebow, you ask?
When healthy, LaRon Landry is one of the top safeties in the league. While he has been pegged as a "in-the-box" type of player, he has experience at free safety and is better in coverage than people give him credit for.
He's also known as a very hard hitter and will set the tone for the rest of the defense.
However, the best part about the Landry signing is the contract Tannenbaum was able to get done. Landry signed a one-year, $4 million contract that also protects themselves in case Landry's injury never recovers properly.
The Jets' doctors obviously think Landry will be ready for the season (or they never would have signed him), but some extra insurance never hurts.
This is the perfect low-risk, high-reward signing that has a great chance of paying off for the Jets this fall.