Ex-Raven Thompson headlines players trying out at rookie camp

Bent, TheJetsBlog.com

The Jets’ rookie mini-camp will take place over the weekend (reportedly from Friday to Sunday). Greg Gabriel has a good breakdown of what happens during a rookie camp here.

The Jets will typically have between 50 and 60 players on their rookie mini-camp roster. Approximately half of this roster will be made up of players currently on the team’s current 90-man roster, including the players selected in last week’s draft, the eight undrafted free agent signings and most of the undrafted players on the roster that are entering their second season. Although the draft picks have obviously not signed yet, they are automatically placed on a temporary minimum-level tender and allowed to participate in team activities.

The other half of the rookie mini-camp roster will comprise players who have been invited to try out for the team. At the moment, there are no roster spots available, but tryout players don’t count towards the roster limit, which is a loophole that enables the team to get a look at some extra guys. If any of these impress enough to earn a contract, then someone will have to be released to make room for them on the 90-man roster. There will usually be two or three guys who earn that right. In fact, in recent years, the Jets have had two players enter rookie mini-camp on a tryout basis and eventually end up on the active roster during regular season play; Quarterback Matt Simms and Safety James Ihedigbo.

As Gabriel’s article suggests, the activities conducted at rookie camp are very basic, with no contact allowed and mostly one-on-one or individual drills with some 7-on-7 thrown in. By rule, rookies are not supposed to join the offseason program until May 15th at the earliest, which usually means they get a break between rookie mini-camp and having to join the rest of the team for workouts and conditioning. However, the later draft this year means that everyone can join up with the rest of the team after Sunday (as long as they’ve finished with school for the semester).

By far the highest profile name on the tryout list is former Ravens safety Christian Thompson, a 2012 fourth round draft pick. Thompson had 10 tackles and a forced fumble in preseason as a rookie and went on to play for the team on special teams in seven regular season games before landing on injured reserve with a knee injury. He had no tackles and one penalty. In 2013, he had four tackles in preseason, but was released in October after serving a four game suspension for violating the substance abuse policy. The 6’0″, 210-pound 23-year old is a center fielder who ran a 4.46 forty yard dash at the 2012 scouting combine.

We should hopefully get a peek at the full rookie mini-camp roster within the next day or two, probably via Randy Lange on the Jets Official Site. However, we’ve been compiling a list of players reported to have been invited on a tryout basis, which is included after the jump.

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BGA: Scouting Brandon Hardin

Bent, TheJetsBlog.com

Over the last month, I’ve been looking at some of the players the Jets have added to the active roster since the end of last season. Jets fans might not know too much about some of these players, so I’ve been looking in detail at preseason and regular season footage to get an insight into their strengths and weaknesses. This series concludes today with a look at former Bears safety Brandon Hardin.

The 24-year old Hardin is listed at 6’3″ and 217 pounds and was a third round pick in the 2012 draft. He has never played in an NFL regular season game, following some injury issues. However, he did play in six preseason games before the Bears released him in August. The Jets picked him up in January.

After the jump, I look in detail at footage from the last two preseasons to evaluate some what Hardin brings to the table.

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BGA: Scouting Ras-I Dowling

Bent, TheJetsBlog.com

Throughout this month, I’ve been 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 look at cornerback Ras-I Dowling. The 25-year old is 6’1″ and 210 pounds and was a second round pick for the New England Patriots in 2011. However, he was released before the 2013 season after a series of injuries limited him over his first few years. The Jets signed him to their practice squad in October and signed him to a futures contract at the end of the season.

After the jump, I look in detail at footage from Dowling’s career so far to evaluate some of his strengths and weaknesses.

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Critiquing the B/R NFL 1000 Project: Special Teams

Bloggers, media and sport fans used to heap scorn on Bleacher Report, mainly due to some questionable user-generated content that damaged the site’s reputation in its infancy. However, since their big money deal with Turner 18 months ago, they’ve added some talented and respected names as featured writers and a great deal of their content is now well worth checking out.

One of the featured writers they added to their roster was draft scouting guru and former TJB Podcast guest Matt Miller, who — along with several other film junkies — has been spearheading the B/R NFL 1000 project, where they attempt to rank the NFL’s top 1,000 players. The project is now into its third year and they’ve now completed this year’s results. For more on how the project works go here.

In our final installment, we look at their rankings for punters and kickers. To look back at the previous updates go here.

In their top 32 punters list, Miller and his colleagues rank Ryan Quigley 22nd and Robert Malone (who was cut after week two) 28th. In the top 32 kickers list, Nick Folk was ranked 4th.

Here’s what they said about Folk:

The Jets got it right when they brought in Folk, and he rewarded them with top-notch kicking. Given the windy, unpredictable conditions in MetLife Stadium, he has to be applauded.

Read Bent’s thoughts after the jump.

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BGA: Scouting TJ Barnes

Bent, TheJetsBlog.com

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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BGA: Scouting Chris Johnson

Bent, TheJetsBlog.com

Yesterday, the Jets announced that they had signed running back Chris Johnson to a two-year deal. Johnson is a well-known player with whom most NFL fans will be familiar. However, it’s still worth looking at recent footage to try and get an insight into what Johnson has left in the tank and what he could bring to the table.

Johnson is a 28-year old former first round pick who has surpassed 1,000 yards in each of his six seasons in the NFL (all with the Tennessee Titans). He’s a three time pro-bowler and was an all-pro in 2009 when he became just the sixth player in NFL history to rush for over 2,000 yards in a season. Johnson has also caught 272 passes and scored a total of 58 touchdowns in his NFL career.

After the jump, I’ll be reviewing his career so far and looking at footage from last year to try and assess some of his strengths and weaknesses. To read more of this story, click here

Critiquing the B/R NFL 1000 Project: Outside Linebackers

Bloggers, media and sport fans used to heap scorn on Bleacher Report, mainly due to some questionable user-generated content that damaged the site’s reputation in its infancy. However, since their big money deal with Turner 18 months ago, they’ve added some talented and respected names as featured writers and a great deal of their content is now well worth checking out.

One of the featured writers they added to their roster was draft scouting guru and former TJB Podcast guest Matt Miller, who – along with several other film junkies – is spearheading the B/R NFL 1000 project, where they attempt to rank the NFL’s top 1,000 players. The project is now into its third year and they’ve just started releasing this year’s results. For more on how the project works go here.

In our penultimate installment, we look at their rankings for outside linebackers. To look back at the previous updates go here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here and here.

In their top 35 3-4 outside linebackers list, Miller and his colleagues rank Quinton Coples 29th. Calvin Pace was not ranked.

Here’s what they said about Coples:

One of our lowest-rated pass-rushing outside linebackers, Quinton Coples (6’6”, 290 lbs, two seasons) just didn’t provide the pass-rushing threat many were expecting would come in 2013. He looks to be moving in slow motion a lot of times, at least comparatively speaking to other outside linebackers.

Read Bent’s thoughts after the jump.

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BGA: Scouting Jacolby Ashworth

Bent, TheJetsBlog.com

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 offensive lineman Jacolby Ashworth, who the Jets signed to a futures deal on January 14th. The 23-year old Ashworth is listed at 6-3 and 300 pounds. He was undrafted last year out of Houston and spent time with Washington in preseason. His cousin is former NFL lineman Rex Hadnot who started 96 games in a nine year NFL career.

After the jump, a brief look at footage from his time with Washington to try and assess some of his strengths and weaknesses.

To read more of this story, click here

Critiquing the B/R 1000 Project: Inside Linebackers

Bloggers, media and sport fans used to heap scorn on Bleacher Report, mainly due to some questionable user-generated content that damaged the site’s reputation in its infancy. However, since their big money deal with Turner 18 months ago, they’ve added some talented and respected names as featured writers and a great deal of their content is now well worth checking out.

One of the featured writers they added to their roster was draft scouting guru and former TJB Podcast guest Matt Miller, who – along with several other film junkies – is spearheading the B/R NFL 1000 project, where they attempt to rank the NFL’s top 1,000 players. The project is now into its third year and they’ve just started releasing this year’s results. For more on how the project works go here.

In our ninth installment, we look at their rankings for inside linebackers. To look back at the previous updates go here, here, here, here, here, here, here and here.

In their top 60 inside linebackers list, Miller and his colleagues rank David Harris 23rd and Demario Davis 55th.

Here’s what they said about Harris:

Harris is one of those guys who will seem to always be around. He still provides the Jets just enough of everything that he’ll find his snaps, although his reputation still continues to exceed his play.

Read Bent’s thoughts after the jump.

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Can we project Eric Decker’s 2014 production?

Bent, TheJetsBlog.com

Once this year’s free agency signing period got underway, the Jets moved fast to secure their top target, wide receiver Eric Decker. The addition of Decker bolsters the Jets’ much-maligned receiving corps, as he was one of the most productive receivers in the NFL over the past two seasons. However, most experts agree that it’s going to be difficult for him to replicate that kind of production now that he won’t have future hall-of-famer Peyton Manning throwing him the ball.

So, we can probably expect some kind of drop-off in terms of his statistical production. However, can we use statistical data from previous seasons to try and quantify the scale of the drop-off?

The answer, of course, is no. There are far too many variables at play that any numerical data analysis can’t account for. Still, that doesn’t mean we can’t look at what these variables are and what will have the biggest influence upon how close he can get to the anticipated numbers. That’s what we’ll do after the jump.

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