Throughout April, I’ll be looking at some of the players the Jets have added to the active roster since the end of the regular season. Jets fans might not know too much about these players, so I’ll be looking at NFL game footage to try and assess what they might be able to bring to the table.
Today we’re going to look at defensive lineman TJ Barnes, who the Jets signed to a futures deal at the end of the season. The 23-year old Barnes is listed at an enormous 6’7″ and 364 pounds. He was undrafted last year out of Georgia Tech and spent time with Jacksonville in preseason before signing with the Jets in October and spending the remainder of the season on the practice squad. His cousin is former Jets tight end Fred Baxter.
After the jump, a brief look at footage from his time with Jacksonville to try and assess some of his strengths and weaknesses.
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Fox Sports profiles projected first round cornerback Darqueze Dennard from Michigan State.
Brian Bassett, TheJetsBlog.com
True, the Jets just drafted their third first round cornerback last year dating back to 2007, but the team does need help in the secondary and Dennard has a reputation of just the sort of physical cornerback that Rex Ryan loves coming out of school. Dennard is known for excellent technique, hand placement and uses the boundary to his advantage. While the Jets might have their eyes on other prizes should some of them have gotten snapped up prior to the 18th pick in the first round, it would be hard to pass on Dennard who could give the Jets one of the best young corner tandems in the league.
The Daily News Live panel interviews Jets WR Eric Decker and his wife Jessie James-Decker on the state of the Jets, Michael Vick, Chris Johnson, and being in New York.
Brian Bassett, TheJetsBlog.comWith a lot of focus outside the walls of Florham Park on the Jets skill positions our friends over at TOTJ did an awesome job of breaking down the team’s current starters at the team’s skill positions that you should definitely read. Here’s our boiled down version with an eye on the upcoming draft.
Eric Decker was signed in March to invigorate the Jets offense
Relevant Depth Chart: Eric Decker, Jeremy Kerley, David Nelson, Stephen Hill
Analysis: By simply adding Decker, this group is much improved. Decker provides a big target who is physical and can get behind a defense from time to time. Jeremy Kerley is typecast as a slot player, but in truth he could be a competent #2 when pressed into service … he’s played better than Santonio Holmes going on three years now. David Nelson was found money last season and provided the team a big target for Geno Smith in the middle and in the red zone.
Areas of Improvement: With three big targets (Decker, Nelson, Hill) in-house along with the shifty Jeremy Kerley, the team could consider adding any number of receivers, but their greatest need is for a “speed with hands” type. Since bringing on Marty Mornhinweg last year as the team’s offensive coordinator, there’s been a lot of activity around small and speedy deep threats. Tavon Austin last year along with interest in DeSean Jackson, Emmanuel Sanders and Andrew Hawkins. In the first round this year that player is Brandin Cooks. He’s athletic and bigger than Austin was, but maybe with slightly less speed. Either way, he would be able to grab a few deep passes a game and soften the defense for the running and shorter passing game. To read more of this story, click here
“I’m excited. Everyone knows he’s very explosive. He’s had 1,000-yard seasons over the last I think six years, or however long it has been. Just reading his comments in the press — he’s hungry. He’s got a chip on his shoulder. I think he adds a dynamic piece to our offense.”
– Jets WR Eric Decker on the addition of Chris Johnson
Fox Sports profiles LSU running back prospect Jeremy Hill. Hill is a projected second day draft pick.
Mel Kiper updated his mock draft this week, and in his first two rounds he picked
First round? Oregon State WR Brandin Cooks.
Analysis: No player was a tougher cover in college football last year, and we learned why once we got to see Cooks run at the combine. This is a player who is every bit the athlete last year’s top wide receiver selection Tavon Austin is, and Cooks is also a little bit bigger. He’s just the type of player the Jets need, a tough cover both underneath and running intermediate routes. The Jets need more than one pass-catcher out of this draft, but I also said that last year and they went defense with the first two picks
Second round? Washington TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins.
The Jets get the wide receiver they need in Round 1, and double down with pass-catchers in Round 2 in adding ASJ. He’s something of an unrealized talent (at least for me) and could allow the Jets to utilize some new looks. He’s a big target.
Brian Bassett, TheJetsBlog.com
I’m no draft expert, but it does seem amusing to me that Kiper’s first two picks were the same as the ones that I gave to the Daily News this week
in their blogger panel.
I might be a little biased based on my results, but I 100% agree with Kiper’s reasoning here. The Jets really liked Tavon Austin coming out of college and they’ve made it plain that they like Cooks. Offensive Coordinator Marty Mornhinweg was the one to attend Cooks’ Pro Day and the team has invited him to visit the facility.
By the time the Jets pick in the second round the more polished tight end talent will be off the board, but I do think that they have a hole on their roster at the position and adding an athlete like ASJ will allow them to ease into the use of the penciled in starter at the position Jeff Cumberland but provide the personnel group upside in a talened but raw player who could be a good two-way tight end like ASJ projects to be.
For me, as we stand three weeks out from the draft, grabbing these two players would be an ideal situation. While the draft might play out very differently than this ideal, the good news is that this draft is very talented and so even though the Jets will draft in the middle of the first and second rounds, they are primed to have someone fall in their lap at both spots.
Corey Griffin and Brian Bassett welcome Chris Johnson – then talk about possibilities for the offense, the draft, and some new wide receivers. Later, a breakdown of the bloggers in the Daily News.
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For the show rundown, click here...
- Welcome Chris Johnson
- How the offense will work
- Draft options
- Still talking wide receivers
- Covering the Coverage (28:10)
- Breaking down the NYDN Blogger Roundtable
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