Jets Radar: Player Interest List v1.0

marcus_easley.jpgClassic “upside” WR Marcus Easley from UConn

Thanks to the fine work of you readers, we’re starting to collect quite a little menagerie of players who have been noted as making visits or spending time with the Jets. Most notably, I honestly could not have done this work without the help of longtime commenter Steiny. Please give him a polite golf clap in the comments for his efforts.

DEFENSIVE BACKS

CB Ray Fisher (Indiana) 5-10, 185,
Projection: 5-7 Description: Former WR with just one year of CB skills. Also can KR/PR. Raw talent, but talented.

CB Brandon Ghee (Wake Forest) 5-11, 191, 4.37 40yd dash
Projection: 2-3 Description: Has a meeting set up with the Jets, had an impressive 3.98 short shuttle on his pro day. Good in coverage whether man or zone, excellent athlete who plays larger than his size. Can be too aggressive at times, needs to improve his footwork and isn’t projected as an NFL “playmaker” according to some scouts.

CB Devin McCourty (Rutgers) 5-11, 193, 4.48 40yd dash
Projection: Rd 1-2-Description: Identical twin already plays CB for Titans, very smart, better with WRs ahead than behind, excellent special teamer.

CB Robert “Reggie” McClain (Connecticut) 5-9, 194, 4.42 40yd dash
Projection: Rd 7 / UDFA Description: Pulled up with a bad hamstring during his pro day, will spend time with a few teams (Jags, 49ers, Patriots) and the Jets. McClain also showed impressive athletics with a 38″ vert and 23 reps at 225. Can play nickel and posted an impressive 12.6 YPR on punts (6th among seniors) in 2009.

CB Patrick Robinson (Florida State) 5-11, 190, 4.46 40yd dash
Projection: Rd 1-2 Description: Press cover corner, needs growth in zone & run support.

FS Anthony Levine (Tennessee State) 5-11, 193 4.43 40yd dash
Projection: Rd 4 Description: Jets asked for ‘more film’ at Levine’s Pro Day. Levine plays bigger than his size, but needs to improve his finnesse and coverage skills.

Analysis: The Jets are looking for a corner who can play nickel/slot and might project to a larger role down the road. Man coverage and agility are traits they are clearly looking for in a corner. If the player can also be a punt returner, that might be a bonus for the Jets.

DEFENSIVE FRONT SEVEN

OLB Ricky Sapp (Clemson) 6-4, 245, 4.66 40yd dash
Projection: Rd 2 Description: Had an ACL tear in 2008 that limited his 2009 production, scouts concerned that he can only play 4-3 end (going forward not backwards).

OLB Jason Worilds (Virginia Tech) 6-1, 254, 4.49 40yd dash
Projection: Rd 3 Description: Visits scheduled with Jets and is being looked at by mostly 3-4 teams.

DE Chris McCoy (Middle Tennessee State) 6-3, 298, 4.85 40yd dash
Projection: Undrafted Description: Likely an undrafted player, the Jets and a number of other AFC teams did attend his pro day.

DE Sean Lissemore (William & Mary) 6-3, 298, 4.85 40yd dash
Projection: Undrafted? Description: Workout scheduled with the Jets, had metrics of 30″ vert and 9’8″ broad jump, along with 36 reps at 225. Known for his speed and obvious upper body strength, Lissemore can penetrate backfields, but would be a raw project.

DE/DT Jared Odrick (Penn State) 6-5, 304, 4.93 40yd dash
Projection: 1-2 Description: Scheduled to visit with the Jets on 4/5. Odrick is a plus penetrator, who needs refinement on his pass rush and run stopping skills, but looks to be an impressive player at the NFL level.

DE/DT Corey Peters (Kentucky) 6-3, 301, 4.90 40yd dash
Projection: Rd 3 Description: Visits scheduled with Jets and is being worked out by the Patriots too. Peters needs some coaching to play with a lower center, but has all the athletic skills to be an NFL tackle.

NT Terrence Cody (Alabama) 6-4, 348 5.62 40yd dash
Projection: Late 1st Description: Saban brought Cody in, namely to be the tackle in the 3-4 system. While there’s been conditioning concerns about Cody (there always are for guys this big), Cody is the protypical 3-4 DT, which is a rare find for any 3-4 team, and with more and more teams going to this front, it’s getting increastingly hard to select them early in a draft. Rex Ryan himself attended this Pro Day.

DT Kade Weston (Georgia) 6-5, 315, 5.0 40yd dash
Projection: Rd 6-7 Description: Is garnering interest from 3-4 teams, had a good 40 time and and has long arms and showed well during his Pro Day DL drills.

Analysis: Base pressure is an issue for the Jets. While Rex disguised his blitzes well in 2009, he has to want more of a push from the three “hands-down” players, along with his “front five.” The Jets are looking for players who can get penetration from that base package into opponents’ backfields. My guess is that the Jets are placing more of an emphasis on DL at the very top of the draft (Cody, Odrick) versus the hybrid linebackers (Worilds, Sapp) with Gholston still a ballooning question mark.

OFFENSIVE LINE

OG Mike Iupati (Idaho) 6-5, 331, 27 reps at 225
Projection: Rd 1 Description: Tremendous run-blocking guard who is very raw in pass protection. Iupati has a meeting set up with the Jets and numerous other teams.

OT/OG Marshall Newhouse (TCU) 6-4, 322, 25 reps at 225
Projection: Rd 3-4 Description: Ran a quick 40 at the Combine with a 5.09 … impressive for such a big man. Set to meet the Jets in April, played 39 consecutive games and played in the East-West Shrine where he also showed his ability to play Guard.

OT Rodger Saffold (Indiana) 6-4, 315, 7.42 three cone (3rd best)
Projection: Rd 2-3 Description: Was interviewed by Jets at Combine, started 41 consecutive games, including a 2008 with lower back injury. Saffold played LT for the Hoosiers for a 3.5 year stretch.

OT Anthony Davis (Rutgers) 6-5, 323,
Projection: Rd 1-2 Description: Projected by some as a top 25 player, Davis’s work ethic has been questioned and he’s often compared to Jason Peters and Andre Smith … guys who have all the talent in the world, but are questionable in terms of motivation.  As a local prospect, the Jets get extra allowances of visits, etc.  on a player like him.  I see this as more of the team doing their homework than being genuinely interested.

Analysis: The Jets are looking to find players to replace some of their aging pieces. The team might be trying to find value in those players that might be considered “tweeners” which might be harder to assign a pure value during the draft. The Jets do have the luxury to let such a player land wherever he works best with a solid starting line ahead of the draftee.

SKILL PLAYERS

RB Toby Gerhart (Stanford) 6-0, 231, 4.53 40yd dash
Projection: Rd 2-3 Description: Gerhart’s timed 40 was what cemented his status. Gerhart can run somewhat upright, which is a concern for his ability to be team’s top back. A good second/third option and red zone back, Gerhart has a visit set up with the Jets.

RB Ryan Matthews (Fresno State) 6-0, 218, 4.45 40yd dash
Projection: Rd 1 Description: The Jets scheduled a visit with the potential late first rounder. People see a lot of potential in Matthews and his college numbers are impressive, but teams will have to decide whether it was Matthews or his competition, his line, the offense, etc etc. Some scouts project Matthews initially as a two down back only.

TE Nate Byham (Pitt) 6-4, 264, 4.97yd dash
Projection: 5-6 Description: Byham is a solid pass protection and run blocking Tight End, who has worked out for the Jets.

WR Arrelious Benn (Illinois) 6-1, 218, 4.42 40yd dash
Projection: Rd 1-2 Description: Jets WR coach Henry Ellard attended Benn’s pro day in Champaign. Benn might have a lot of upside, but he had a bad 2009 campaign with a number of drops and low effort … presumably because of Illinois’ poor QB play. Benn might be an excellent red zone target with his physicality, athleticism, but lack of elite speed.

WR Marcus Easley (UConn) 6-3, 210, 4.45, 4.46 40yd dash
Projection: Rd 4-5 Description: Again, Ellard was in attendance at the UConn pro day to see Easley in action. Easley was a walk-on at UConn who became a scholarship athlete and eventually became a starter, dropping just one pass in his final season with the Huskies amidst a number of one-handed grabs. Easley has tons of upside as a middle round pick. Easley has the work ethic and physical talents that make him extremely desirable. Easley is clearly a project player for a team who has the luxury to work with him for a year or two.

Analysis: The Jets are filling in the knowledge gaps with skill players. I think they might draft a few, but the team is pretty set at this point with this group. Easley might be the perfect type of player for the Jets to nab on Day Three and who they could see just how much he could contribute for the team out of the slot. As far as backs, the team is looking at players that might go earlier in the draft, a sign to me that beyond doing their homework, they are considering adding another runner into the mix.

SPECIALISTS

P Zoltan Mesko (Michigan) 6-5, 236
Projection: Rd 6-7 Description: Mesko worked after his pro day for scouts from the Jets. Mesko’s eye-popping 44.5 YPP average in 2009, and increased his hangtime during each year in college, has gotten scouts attention. Combine that with his frame, and people think he can be even better with some refinement.

Analysis: Do you really want me to analyze one punter? Didn’t think so.

If you hear of any visits or notable contact between the Jets and draftable players, please send it on in!