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A look at what’s happening around the New York Jets:

We’ve been hyping this draft class for 12 months, especially the quarterbacks — and now we’re only four days away from the most anticipated draft in recent memory. So here you go, mini-mock 2.0.

1. Browns: Sam Darnold, QB, USC. I have to admit, I’m less confident than last week because the drumbeat for Josh Allen is getting louder, but Darnold is the safer choice. Safe should appeal to the Browns, considering how many quarterback picks they’ve screwed up.

2. Giants: Saquon Barkley, RB, Penn State. New general manager Dave Gettleman said Barkley “is one of those guys my mother could’ve scouted. She could’ve figured that one out.” (Side note: In 1990, Jets GM Dick Steinberg made a similar comment about another Penn State runner, Blair Thomas, who never lived up to expectations.) If Darnold is available, the Giants could go quarterback.

3. Jets (via Colts): Baker Mayfield, QB, Oklahoma. With a choice between Mayfield, Allen and Josh Rosen, the Jets opt for the short guy with the big game and big personality. Risky? Yes, but there are flaws in each of the top quarterbacks. The Jets appear to prefer Mayfield and Rosen over Allen, whose accuracy is a concern. It’s a tough call between Mayfield and Rosen. Each has support within the organization.

2018 NFL DRAFT
When: April 26-28
Where: Arlington, Texas
NFL draft coverage » | Full order: 1-256 »

•Insider Kiper vs. McShay three-round mock »
•Insider Kiper’s ‘Grade: A’ mock » Favorite guys »
•Insider McShay’s ‘Grade: A’ mock » Tier rankings»
•Insider McShay’s top five needs for every team »
•Insider Prospects every team should target »
•Insider Football Outsiders’ draft guides »
•Insider Dueling two-round mock drafts »
• Barnwell’s 2018 All-Trades Mock Draft »
• How ’18 QBs grade vs. first-rounders »
• How Barkley grades vs. elite running backs »
•Insider Pos. projections: QBs » WRs » RBs » DEs »

4. Browns (via Texans): Bradley Chubb, DE, NC State. You can bet the Browns will get some tempting trade offers for this pick, but Chubb is the best defensive player in the class and the idea of him and Myles Garrett as bookend pass-rushers is too good to pass up.

5. Bills (via Broncos): Josh Allen, QB, Wyoming. Trade! Desperate for quarterback help, the Bills jump up seven spots to grab the strongest arm in the draft — and maybe the last 10 drafts.

6. Colts (via Jets): Quenton Nelson, G, Notre Dame. The Colts need help everywhere, but protecting Andrew Luck — he of the surgically repaired shoulder — is priority No. 1.

7. Dolphins (via Bucs): Josh Rosen, QB, UCLA. Trade! The Dolphins could sit at No. 11 and hope Rosen falls to them, but VP Mike Tannenbaum isn’t one to sit around and wait. The Dolphins, looking for an heir apparent to Ryan Tannehill, have done a lot of work on the top quarterbacks.

8. Bears: Roquan Smith, LB, Georgia. The Chicago defense allowed only 17 touchdowns last season, tied for second-fewest in the league. (Bet you didn’t know that.) Smith will make them even better.

9. 49ers: Denzel Ward, CB, Ohio State. Ward is the top corner in the class and the Niners, who should be a fun team to watch in 2018, need someone to play opposite Richard Sherman.

10. Raiders: Vita Vea, DT, Washington. Jon Gruden invokes the “Planet” theory for his first draft pick. As former Giants GM George Young declared many years ago, there are only so many people walking the planet with the size and athleticism to play on the offensive and defensive line. The 347-pound Vea is one of those guys.

So there you have it. On Monday, general manager Mike Maccagnan will hold his pre-draft sitdown with reporters. There is no chance — zero — he will tip his hand. The buzz around the league points to Mayfield. In four days, we’ll see if it was just an elaborate smokescreen.

2. Mixed opinions on QBs: This group probably won’t match the celebrated Class of ’83 in terms of overall impact, but it could be the most polarizing class in history. Opinions on the top four vary widely. This is truly a “beauty-is-in-the-eye-of-the-beholder” decision for the quarterback-needy teams.

Some insiders believe the Jets have narrowed their choices to Mayfield and Rosen, assuming Darnold is off the board. That, according to NFL Network draft analyst Mike Mayock, isn’t a great decision to have.

“My two top quarterbacks are Darnold and Allen,” he said. “If I’m the Jets, I’m struggling telling you I would take Mayfield or Rosen, in all honesty. I don’t have either of them rated that highly.”

Elaborating, Mayock said, “From a Jets perspective, will they embrace the swagger of Mayfield, which is pretty significant? And he might play really well if he’s successful on Broadway. Rosen, for me, it’s more the durability issue than anything else.”

Other talent evaluators prefer Mayfield and Rosen over Allen, who could be the No. 1 pick. That’s what makes this draft so fascinating.

3. Leo’s contract: As expected, the Jets have exercised Leonard Williams’ fifth-year option for 2019, but it’s not clear yet if he will be designated a defensive end or defensive tackle because he moved around the line. There’s a fairly significant difference. By rule, his 2019 salary will be the average of the 10 highest-paid players at his position — $14.2 million for an end, $11.4 million as a tackle.

In situations like this, the league reviews every snap from last season and makes a determination. The expectation is that Williams will be considered a defensive end. The Jets list him as “DL,” although they typically nominate him as an end for the Pro Bowl. Per ESPN Stats & Information, he lined up mainly as an interior lineman, but there’s some subjectivity involved because of different fronts.

The whole thing could be moot if they sign him to an extension before 2019, which is a possibility. Williams is due to make $2.975 million this season.

4. Three’s a charm? With the No. 3 pick, the Jets are guaranteed to get an absolute stud, right? Well, there’s no such thing as a guarantee in the draft, but they’re in a potential sweet spot. Since 2000, the No. 3 pick has produced three future Hall of Famers — Andre Johnson, Larry Fitzgerald and Joe Thomas.

As far as the Jets are concerned, it’s all about the quarterbacks. In that case, the picks have been all over the map: Very good (Matt Ryan), average (Blake Bortles) and poor (Vince Young and Joey Harrington). Akili Smith, drafted in 1999, was a total bust.

5. Closer look at schedule: One of the hidden aspects to the regular-season schedule is the number rest days between games. This is especially important to coaches and players. In the Jets’ case, it’s a split — three games in which they will have more rest than the opponent and three games in which they will have less rest.

The Jets will have the advantage against the Jacksonville Jaguars, Denver Broncos and Tennessee Titans. They face the Jaguars after a mini bye (Thursday night game), which should help against a tough opponent.

On the flip side, the Jets will be at a disadvantage against the Indianapolis Colts and Miami Dolphins (both games). That it happens twice against a divisional opponent can’t thrill the Jets. In Week 2, they will be coming off a Monday night road game. In Week 9, the Jets will have regular rest, but the Dolphins will be playing after a mini bye.

The Jets’ Week 12 meeting against the New England Patriots should be interesting, as both teams will be playing after full bye weeks. It’s worth noting that Bill Belichick is 13-5 in games after the bye. So there’s that.
6. Centers of attention: Nick Mangold’s expected retirement served as another reminder that the Jets have been blessed with a tremendous run at the center position. They’ve had some cracks here and there, but they’ve basically had only five centers since Super Bowl III — John Schmitt (1969-1973), Joe Fields (1976-1987), Jim Sweeney (1988-1994), Kevin Mawae (1998-2005) and Mangold (2006-2016).

Now if they could only pick quarterbacks like that.

7. Broadway Joe gives back: They get overshadowed by his athletic achievements and celebrity, but Joe Namath’s philanthropic efforts deserve attention. In 2017, he started the Joe Namath Foundation, which raises money for children’s charities, neurological research and educational opportunities.

“Through the years I’ve grown to understand how important it is for all of us to try to lend some time to the folks who are less fortunate,” Namath told me during an interview the other day.

Kudos to old No. 12.

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TORONTO — If the Toronto Maple Leafs are going to have success against the Boston Bruins in the Eastern Conference First Round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs, they will have to keep Boston’s top line of Brad Marchand, Patrice Bergeron and David Pastrnak under control.

Game 1 is at TD Garden on Thursday (7 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, TVAS, NESN).

“Heck of a unit, one of the top ones,” Maple Leafs defenseman Ron Hainsey said. “What I struggle with about them is they know where each other are without looking for each other. They have these automatic plays. You think they might do one thing and it’s a no-look pass instead of a one-timer, and it can end up in your net in a hurry. They’re really, really dangerous with that when you can’t predict.”
[RELATED: Complete Bruins vs. Maple Leafs series coverage]
Hainsey, defense partner Morgan Rielly, and forwards Patrick Marleau, Nazem Kadri and Mitchell Marner, are likely to draw the assignment on most occasions. Hainsey knows that shutting them down will require defensive awareness from everyone.

“Best-case scenario is to keep them out of our zone as much as possible,” Hainsey said. “That’s easier said than done. They’re going to get in our zone sometimes and get some time to make plays but the better we are at using all five guys on the ice to limit the time in our zone, the better we’ll be. If they get time and space, they have the ability to make plays against whoever it is. They’ve proven that over the last couple of years.”

Kadri said Bergeron, Marchand and Pastrnak each bring a different skill set to the line. Though each player excels in one area, they can all play different roles and that makes them harder to defend.
NHL Tonight: Bruins-Leafs Preview
03:14 • April 9th, 2018

“They have components at all three positions, they all work, their work ethic is great,” Kadri said. “Bergeron does some dirty work and plays with skill. Marchand is a bit of the playmaker with shiftiness and elusiveness, and Pastrnak is the shooter and goal scorer. The thing is though, they all can do each thing, which makes them more dangerous.”

Bergeron and Pasternak each had four points (two goals, two assists) in four games, and Marchand three points (two goals, one assist) in three games, against the Maple Leafs during the regular season. To make his point about their unpredictability, Hainsey referenced a goal Bergeron scored during Toronto’s 3-2 overtime win Nov. 10

Marchand got the puck in the corner at the goal line and carried it along the boards to the hash marks, finding Bergeron with a short pass to the top of the circle for a one-timer. Hainsey said he thought he was close enough to Bergeron to prevent the pass.
Bergeron’s blast opens scoring
00:59 • November 11th, 2017

“I just didn’t think Marchand would put the puck there, but he did and it was in,” Hainsey said.

Hainsey was also victimized on a goal during the Maple Leafs’ 4-2 win against the Montreal Canadiens on April 7. Unlike Bergeron’s goal that caught Hainsey by surprise, he read the play properly and knew what was coming.
Petry’s fortuitous PPG
01:00 • April 8th, 2018

“I saw [Canadiens defenseman] Jeff Petry look for the guy at the back door, so I moved my stick there to break up the pass,” Hainsey said. “I ended up knocking it in the net. It was a pretty nice tip for them but that’s beside the point. The (Bergeron line) doesn’t do that. I don’t know where they’re going a lot of the time and it makes it very challenging.”

Kadri did not hesitate to share his strategy to try and contain the Bruins’ top line.

“Aggressive every time,” Kadri said. “Those guys are too good to give them space. There are times where you are going to be a little more passive because you don’t want to get beat one on one, or you don’t want them to spin off you, but there are certain areas of the ice where you can have some forgiveness of that. But usually, it’s about being as aggressive as possible.”