Since I started writing for TJB, I’ve taken an intense interest into who exactly the Jets are looking at as they approach the draft. Thus, for the past month or so, I’ve been working endlessly to try and find out what players the Jets have planned visits with, are interviewing (whether that means at the Senior Bowl or at the NFL Combine), and what guys the Jets looked at while attending their Pro Days. Many of these guys you will see below haven’t been linked to the Jets anywhere else online..meaning this is the first time you will have heard their names being mentioned in relation to Gang Green. But, I need you to take me at my word..the Jets like these guys. So, without further ado, I present to you the first official Jets 2012 Player Interest List.
CB Janoris Jenkins (North Alabama) 5-10, 191, 4.46 40yd dash
Projection: 1-2 Description: The Jets interviewed Jenkins at the Senior Bowl. Easily one of the most interesting prospects in the draft, Jenkins has all the talent in the world. However, he has major character flaws. In 2009 while a member of the Florida Gators, Jenkins got into a fight and was arrested. A year later, he was arrested twice in a three-month span on drug-related offenses. Then coach Urban Meyer finally had enough and kicked him off the team. Jenkins is a fantastic cover corner. He possesses elite quickness and above average speed. He is very aggressive when the ball is in the air, so much so, that he sometimes gets beat for big plays. Due to his size, Jenkins won’t have much success in press coverage, but can run with receivers on shorts routes. If Jenkins didn’t have any character issues he would likely be the first corner taken in the draft. However that is obviously not the case, so it is going to be interesting to see what team takes a chance on this talented but troubled kid.
CB D’Anton Lynn (Penn State) 6-0, 205, 4.77 40yd dash (son of coach Anthony Lynn)
Projection: 7-UDFA Description: The Jets met with Lynn at the Senior Bowl. Lynn had a disastrous combine. His 40time was the slowest time recorded by any defensive back this year. But there is an excuse for his bad performance. Lynn suffered a torn calf in Penn State’s TicketCity Bowl loss to Houston. He attempted to play through the injury, and he never fully recovered. At the Senior Bowl, Lynn’s coverage ability was suspect. He often got beat by wide receivers. However when healthy, Lynn can can play in press or zone coverage. He is a smart player, and stays within his boundaries. Lynn would likely be a special teams contributor if drafted, and work his way into the defense over time.
DB Trumaine Johnson (The University Of Montana) 6-2, 204, 4.61 40yd dash
Projection: 2-3 Description: The Jets have worked out Johnson. He has great size for a corner which in turn causes problems for possession receivers. He looks comfortable in zone coverage and has great footwork. He can play both cornerback and free safety. Johnson does have some question marks though. He was arrested for obstructing police officers in October, 2011. In 2009, he was suspended for his role in a fight at a fraternity party. He missed time in 2009 and 2008 with various injuries. On the field, his tackling technique is sloppy and he does not consistently wrap-up the ball carrier. He is raw in his recognition skills, but has all the physical tools necessary to develop into a starter down the line.
DB Jeremiah Brown (Wagner College) 6-1 205
Projection: UDFA Description: An all around athlete, Brown will be apart of the local visits. A hard worker and a natural born leader, Brown was named one of Wagner’s four captains. Very raw and level of competition is a concern. However, Brown has experience playing on special teams and defense. He saw action at both cornerback and strong safety in college. He was also a wide receiver in high school. Has nice size for a corner and could prove to make an impact in camp.
DB Brandon Taylor (Louisiana State University) 5-11, 209, 4.58, 40yd dash
Projection: 3-4 Description: Taylor is scheduled to meet with the Jets before the draft. Rex Ryan flew to Louisiana to attend his pro day. Taylor sometimes struggles in run support. He takes poor angles and is over aggressive at times, meaning he often gets beat by cutbacks. Scouts suggest that he should play in a zone scheme at the next level, as he has difficulty in man to man coverage. Taylor also has poor tackling technique, leaving his feet too easily and throwing his body at the ball carrier instead of wrapping. On the bright side, Taylor is very athletic and loves to make the big hit. He’s tries to separate the receiver from the ball. He has nice speed for the free safety position, and has good ball skills. He can play center field, but also come up and play a physical game.
DB Jerron McMillian (University of Maine) 5-11, 203, 4.35 40yd dash
Projection: 6-7 Description: The Jets have a workout with McMillian. A very instinctive football player, McMillian is one of the best run stoppers from the safety position in the draft. He goes the extra mile to prepare himself every week to play well. He rarely plays out of position. He takes coaching very well. Has some off field issues, as he was arrested for on charges of disorderly conduct, assault and failure to submit to arrest. He can struggle in his transitional movements when playing the pass. He always feels comfortable against the run, so he looks to support the run first. Thus, this causing him to get beat in the passing game. Level of competition is a concern, but McMillian should be a special teams player right away and work his way to become a role player in the defense.
DB Omar Bolden (Arizona State University) 5-10, 202, 4.49 40yd dash
Projection: 6-7 Description: Bolden is visiting the Jets today, Friday, April 6. He missed eight games in 2009 with a knee injury, and the entire 2011 season with a ACL injury. When healthy, Bolden has a lot of talent. He is excellent in man to man coverage. He’s not very good in zone coverage, but he has enough speed to makes plays on the ball. He changes directions very well and has a strong upper half. Bolden never covered the slot receiver in college. If he is going to succeed at the next level, he is going to learn to do that. He has a very high football IQ, so learning a system and understanding that he needs to stop peeking into the backfield when is is off in coverage shouldn’t be a problem. A third round talent, Bolden could slip due to his medical past.
Analysis: We all know Rex loves corners. However, I just can’t see them taking a cornerback early this year. It is not an area of need. With Darrelle Revis, Antonio Cromartie and Kyle Wilson the Jets are pretty much set at the cornerback position. However, if they draft a corner in the later rounds, I can see that player possibly coming in during dime and nickel packages, much like Marquice Cole did the past few seasons. They also need to replace Cole on special teams. While Ellis Lanskter will likely take that role, competition always brings out the best in people. In regards to the safety position, obviously LaRon Landry is going to be the starter at strong safety, and as it stands right now Eric Smith will be the starter at free safety. The Jets are using the excuse that Eric Smith played the last month and a half of the season with a through torn meniscus. While I respect that, it doesn’t make up for the fact that he struggled from the beginning of the season. Thus, I can definitely see the Jets trying to replace him in the draft. While we didn’t include Mark Barron in this post, because the Jets haven’t shown a lot of interest in him, that doesn’t mean the will necessarily pass up on the Alabama safety when the pick at number 16. The Jets will likely look to add Jim Leonhard back in June, but he will be a backup. Moral of the story, Eric Smith should be very nervous come draft day, as it appears his job will be in jeopardy.
DEFENSIVE FRONT SEVEN
DT Michael Brockers (LSU) 6-6, 306, 5.36 40yd dash
Projection: 1 Description: The Jets are bringing Brockers in for a visit. Rex Ryan attended his pro day. A likely first round draft pick, there is a lot to like about Brockers. He has elite size, and scouts love the fact that he’s versatile. He can play both the three and five techniques. Brockers exhibits overwhelming power at the point of attack. He’s a smart player. He anticipates plays and makes good reads on screens. Brockers could have benefited from returning to school for one more year. He only started one season at LSU and is not yet polished as a pass rusher. When rushing the passer, his pad level rises especially outside. Brockers is a talented player, who has all the upside in the world.
DE Jack Crawford (Penn State) 6-5, 268, 4.79 40yd dash
Projection: 6-7 Description: The Jets interviewed Crawford at the Senior Bowl. He is the definition of a raw prospect. He has only been playing football for 5 years, and has only played left defensive end. He was never asked to step back in coverage at Penn State. Thus, he lacks positional versatility. Crawford does have great form and has a long body type. He is also great at knocking down passes. Because he doesn’t have a ton of strength in his lower half he generates very little push. He will likely never be a starter in the NFL, but he can be part of a rotation for years to come.
DT Mike Martin (Michigan) 6-1, 307, 4.98 40yd dash
Projection: 2-3 Description: Martin met with the Jets at the Senior Bowl. He is a relentless player, who is not known for his pass rushing abilities. He only knows who to bull-rush, and he doesn’t have variety of moves while struggling to get off blocks. Where Martin has major success though, is in the run game. He’s great at dragging runners to the ground by using his strength. He isn’t afraid to chase plays down from the backside. He’s a versatile guy, having played in both 4 and 3 man fronts in college.
DT Kendall Reyes (University of Connecticut) 6-4, 299, 4.95 40yd dash
Projection: 1-2 Description: Jets defensive line coach Karl Dunbar worked Reyes out at his Pro Day. Reyes is known by scouts as more of a run stopper than a pass rusher. Due to the fact that he lacks closing speed and is inconsistent quickness off the snap, Reyes won’t be getting a ton of sacks at the next level. However, in the run game, Reyes has the strength to stack and shed, and chase running backs in either direction from inside. Thus, he will likely be a late first early second round pick due to his ability to shed one-on-one blocks and double-teams with powerful leg action and violent hands.
DL/OLB Justin Francis (Rutgers University) 6-2, 268, 4.80, 40yd dash
Projection: 7-UDFA Description: Francis is meeting with the Jets before the draft. Scouts have been questioning him regarding his past. In 2008, Francis pulled out a fake gun so he can steal a cell-phone from a man. He was arrested, charged robbery, possession of a weapon for unlawful purposes and possession of a weapon on university property. He was consequently suspended for the entire 2008 season. However, a grand jury dropped the charges due to insufficient evidence. On the field, Francis has a very high motor. He is very explosive and has long arms and a good first step off the line. He’s not a great edge rusher and is limited against the run. While he played defensive tackle in college, he is projected as an outside linebacker at the next level.
DL Josue Ortiz (Harvard University) 6-4, 257, 4.73 40yd dash
Projection: 7 Description: Ortiz is meeting with the Jets on April 13th. He was easily the best defensive tackle in the Ivy League for the past few seasons, causing havoc for the other teams that played him. He has a impressive first step and is advanced in using his hands to shed blocks and split gaps. Level of competition is always a concern, but he will be eager and willing to work and learn a defense.
DT Ronnie Cameron (Old Dominion University) 6-2, 304, 5.38 40yd dash
Projection: 6-7 Description: The Jets have shown interest in Cameron per Kristian Dyer. While very raw, Cameron is a relentless player, who has a very quick first step. Scouts praise his ability to maintain his balance when asked to shed blocks. Likely a late round draft pick, Cameron has the ability to add quality depth for years to come. Cameron would be the first ever player to be drafted from Old Dominion.
DE Quinton Coples (University of North Carolina) 6-6, 284, 4.78 40yd dash
Projection: 1 Description: Rex Ryan flew to North Carolina’s Pro Day to personally work out Coples. Coples has very long arms and is very athletic and strong at the point of attack. He can get around the edge and is amazing against the run. Coples does have some off field issues, as he was apart of the UNC Agent scandal. Scouts also knock his motor, saying he sometimes becomes lazy during games, especially when facing double teams. He will disappear for a while during games, which makes scouts nervous. He is a very rare athlete. For his size, he has great speed and strength which allows him to get his way in to he backfield and destroy offensive lineman. If he is willing to put in the effort, he has all the tools to be one of the best players in the game.
DE Jake Bequette (University of Arkansas) 6-5, 274, 4.82 40yd dash
Projection: 5 Description: The Jets have a visit lined up with Bequette. A quick defensive end, he is fundamentally sound at finishing the job when he sacks the quarterback. Not an amazing athlete, Bequette struggles to overpower offensive lineman. One of the most experienced players in this draft, he has been a starter at the University of Arkansas for four seasons. He is solid against the run and does a great job at anticipating the snap count. While he lacks ideal straight line speed, he takes full advantage of his upper body strength. Expect him to be selected in the 5th round.
DE/OLB Andre Branch (Clemson University) 6-4, 259, 4.70 40yd dash
Projection: 1 Description: Mike Tannenbaum and Rex Ryan both personally attended Branch’s pro day. A great all around athlete, Branch is a very good two-way defender and has a solid array of pass rushing moves. He has great hands and gets to the corner well. He is disciplined and has experience both playing with his hand in the dirt and standing up. While he is constantly improving in run support, he can be blown off the ball. At times he can play high, which in turn causes him to lose leverage. He is somewhat raw as a passrusher and will need to add some weight. The good news is, all of that is coachable and fixable, so Branch is a very intriguing prospect to say the least.
DE/OLB Ronnell Lewis (University of Oklahoma) 6-2, 253, 4.65 40yd dash
Projection: 2-3 Description: The Jets have a visit lined up with Lewis.One of the hardest hitting linebackers in the draft, he plays with an intensity that is unmatched. He has good speed and is extremely instinctive in open space. Meaning, he is great a tracking a ball carrier or adjusting to the quarterback in the pocket. He is great at causing turnovers as well. The downside on Lewis is that sometimes his intensity can get the best of him. He needs to learn to play better with the system. He’s never been a great pass rusher, and he isn’t great at getting away from blockers. Furthermore his bull-rush can use some work. The good news is, all of that is coachable, so Lewis has sky-high potential.
DE/OLB Bruce Irvin (West Virginia University) 6-3, 245, 4.50 40yd dash
Projection: 2 Description: The Jets are flying Irvin in for a private workout. Irvin is one of the most interesting stories in the draft. A very talented but extremely raw player, Irvin did not graduate from high school. However, after spending some time at a juvenile detention center, he earned his GED, walked on at a JUCO and eventually enrolled at WVU. Scouts don’t see him as an every down player to start his career. They envision him as a situational pass rusher. A physcial player, Irvin has great explosion off the snap, and is a dangerous edge rusher. While he was a defensive end in college, he doesn’t have the size to stay there in the NFL. Irvin has difficulty playing against the run. In fact, West Virginia often took him off the field in obvious rushing situations. He’s very aggressive and has a tendency to jump offsides. Only played two years at West Virginia so his level of competition is a question, but if he adds some weight, with time and coaching Irvin can blossom into a very nice pass rusher.
DE/OLB Melvin Ingram (University of South Carolina) 6-2, 264, 4.79 40yd dash
Projection: 1 Description: Rex Ryan personally flew to South Carolina to attend Ingram’s Pro Day. An all-around great athlete, Ingram is quick and agile. He has a relentless motor and is versatile. He can line up at defensive end, outside linebacker, or defensive tackle. Ingram has great leverage and good upper and lower body strength. However, he is undersized and inconsistent in run support. He has very short arms. Injuries are also a concern. Ingram missed the entire 2008 season with a broken foot.
DE/OLB Courtney Upshaw (The University of Alabama) 6-2, 272, 4.76 40yd dash
Projection: 1 Description: The Jets haven’t met with Upshaw, but I included him on this list because Rex Ryan publicly came out and said “Everybody knows we like Courtney Upshaw.” Upshaw struggles to shed blocks when playing against the run. When he is going up against a more physically imposing offensive tackle, he gets tossed around easily. There is a ton to love about him though. He’s a disciplined player. He stays in his zone and is always aware. He is great a changing directions and is very active with his hands. He has the speed to succeed when rushing off the edge. He has some off the field issues however, as he was arrested for domestic assault in 2009. Charges were later dropped, however.
DE/OLB Delano Johnson (Bowie State University) 6-4, 270, 5.04 40yd dash
Projection: 7-UDFA Description: The Jets have shown a ton of interest in Johnson. A tremendous athlete, Johnson can play both outside linebacker and defensive end at the next level. Johnson has impressed scouts with his explosive upper-body strength. While he is extremely raw and scouts are questioning his level of competition, Johnson has a chance to catch on as a special teams player. In fact, Johnson is an esteemed special teams player. In 2009, he tied the Bulldogs all-time record for blocks in a season and became BSU’s all-time career blocked punts/kicks leader in 2010.
DE Whitney Mercilus (University of Illinois) 6-4, 265, 4.63 40yd dash
Projection: 1-2 Description: Rex Ryan attended Mercilus’ pro day. He is extremely athletic and is constantly looking to force fumbles. He is active with his hands and has raw speed to turn the edge. He is very strong and is great at shedding blocks when rushing the passer. On the flip side, Mercilus is a one-year wonder and his pad level after contact gets high. He will likely need to add weight if he wants to be successful at the next level. He doesn’t have the fluid hips or the footwork necessary to play in coverage. He needs to learn to be more explosive off the line and stay in his lane.
OLB Julian Stanford (Wagner College) 6-2, 225, 4.51 40yd dash
Projection: UDFA Description: The Jets worked out Stanford at his Pro Day and are bringing him in for a visit during the local players group. An premier pass rusher with an explosive first step, Stanford is one of the most underrated pass rushers in the draft. Usually blitzing off the edge, he goes 110% every play. Stanford has great speed and technique. As I said with his teammate Jeremiah Brown above, level of competition is a concern, but Stanford is an intriguing prospect to say the least.
OLB Cameron Collins (Oregon State University) 6-2, 230, 4.69, 40yd dash
Projection: UDFA Description: Collins is meeting with the Jets on April 13th. A former safety, Collins is an athletic player who will likely be a key special teams player at the next level. He has a quick first step and gets up the field fast. Unfortunately, Collins is a reactive player and struggles to feel routes develop around him. He doesn’t read and react quickly to the quarterback. He has a tendency to overrun the play, and takes a lot of false steps. However, he goes 110% every play, and effort is certainly not the problem.
LB Lavonte David (Nebraska) 6-1, 225, 4.62 40yd dash
Projection: 2 Description: The Jets interviewed David at the Senior Bowl. An impressive athlete, David is great in coverage and has quick footwork. He has experience lining up against slot receivers and does a nice job tracking the quarterback’s eyes. David has the speed to stay with tight ends and receivers. On the flip side, David is undersized and doesn’t have ideal height. He struggles to shed blocks and rarely ever blitzed in college. He is easily one of the best coverage linebackers in the draft, but his inability to blitz and stop the run is a cause for concern. In a 3-4 scheme, scouts see David as an inside linebacker.
Analysis: If I were a betting man, I would put my money on the Jets drafting either Upshaw, Ingram or Coples with the 16th pick in the first round of the 2012 NFL Draft. Don’t discount them possibly trading down to select a guy like Branch in the late first/early second. It is no secret that the Jets need a pass rusher. Aaron Maybin was great for the team last year, but it would be nice to select a guy who can be a great pass rusher for three downs, not just a guy like Maybin who is a situational pass rusher. A legit pass rusher who can stop the run would be ideal. At linebacker, aside from David Harris, the guys are getting old. Bart Scott and Calvin Pace likely won’t be back next season, and who knows what’s going on with Bryan Thomas. The Jets can use some nice, young, fresh blood. The Jets defensive line doesn’t have any openings right now. If a guy above, like Jack Crawford, were to be drafted, he would be apart of the defensive line depth, along with guys like Marcus Dixon, Kenrick Ellis, Martin Tevaseu and Ropati Pitoitua. It is obvious that the Jets are looking for a versatile player..one who can play defensive end but also step back and be an outside linebacker.
OG Cordy Glenn (University of Georgia) 6-2, 345, 31 reps at 225
Projection: 1 Description: The Jets brought in Glenn for a private workout. Glenn has left scouts impressed with his versatility. While starting most of his college career at left guard, Glenn has also seen time at right guard and left tackle. Extremely athletic and agile for his size, Glenn is great at getting down the field. He gets to the second level quickly and can adjust to the moving target. Glenn can get a bit lazy, which in turn causes him to play either too high and/or get beat late off the snap. A potential first round pick, Glenn can step in right away at either tackle or guard.
OG Andrew Tiller (Syracuse University) 6-4, 324, 16 reps at 225
Projection: 5-6 Description: Tiller has a workout coming up with the Jets. A kid with excellent body length, Tiller is hard working who is very good in the run game. A functional short-area pass protector, Tiller works hard to finish blocks. Tiller has a tendency to play too upright and has pretty poor footwork. His weight is also something to keep an eye on. When he first arrived at Syracuse, Tiller weighed almost 400 pounds. If he can keep his weight down and learn proper technique, Tiller has the has all the tools necessary to be a nice player at the next level.
OG/OT Ronald Leary (University of Memphis) 6-3, 315, 30 reps at 225
Projection: 5-6 Description: Leary worked out for the Jets. While most teams see him as a guard, scouts love his versatility. He started the last three seasons at Memphis, playing as a left tackle in 2009 and 2010 before moving to the interior in 2011. Scouts praise his ability to change directions well. But, Leary does struggles in pass blocking situations. He also does not have very good footwork, which is scary to some teams. They question his ability to move from side to side. With time, Leary has the chance to be a serviceable player in this league.
OT Jeff Adams (Columbia University) 6-6, 306, 19 reps at 225
Projection: 7-UDFA Description: To say the Jets love Adams is an understatement. They worked him out at his Pro Day. But as if that wasn’t enough, they are bringing him in for a private workout. Adams has long arms and big hands, while impressing scouts with his footwork. Furthermore, Adams is intelligent and hardworking. On the other hand, Adams needs to bulk up and learn to play with more leverage. Due to the fact that Adams hasn’t played against top competition and that he has a lot to work on, he will likely be a 7th round pick.
C Ben Jones (University of Georgia) 6-2, 303 5.44, 29 reps at 225
Projection: 2-3 Description: The Jets brought Jones in for a private workout. A natural born leader, he makes great line calls before the play. He gets good leverage, is a solid cut blocker and moves well on pull blocks. On the contrast, Jones doesn’t always hit his defender straight on while pulling and he really doesn’t overpower defenders. Jones also loses technique when he gets to the second level. Scouts praise his toughness and work ethic.
OT/OG James Brown (Troy) 6-4, 307, 19 reps at 225
Projection: 3 Description: The Jets showed interest in Brown at the Senior Bowl. While Brown mostly played left tackle during his college career, most scouts project him as a guard in the NFL. A better run blocker than pass blocker, Brown isn’t very athletic and scouts are not impressed by his footwork. With proper coaching and hard work, Brown can be a serviceable player down the line. However, he’s not ready to be a starter just yet.
Analysis: I’ve been told time and time again that the Jets won’t tackle an offensive lineman early. By checking out Glenn, the Jets are likely implementing their “leave no stone unturned” policy. Whether Jets fans want to hear it or not, Wayne Hunter and Vladimir Ducasse will likely compete for the starting right tackle job. The Jets love their backups: Austin Howard and Caleb Schlauderaff. If the Jets draft any of the players above, they wouldn’t start in 2012. Rather, they would stay on the roster, learn the playbook from new offensive line coach Dave DeGuglielmo and try to compete for a job next season. Speaking of offesnive lineman, keep an eye on two guys as camp approaches: Offensive guard Trevor Canfield and center Taylor Boggs. Canfield was with the Jets during camp last summer, and although was injured for most of camp, the Jets saw something they liked and kept him around for a while, even keeping him on the practice squad for a little bit. While they eventually released him on September 19, Canfield is back with the Jets and healthy. Boggs tore his ACL in camp last summer. The Jets could have easily got rid of him, but instead the placed him on IR. That obviously shows they like his potential.
QB Dan Di Lella (University at Albany) 6-5, 232, 4.80 40yd dash
Projection: 6-7 Description: The Jets are bringing DiLella in for a private workout. Currently training with former Jets quarterback Chad Pennington and former NY Giants quarterback Scott Brunner, Di Lella is known for his arm strength and great frame. Di Lella can make all the throws at the next level. His throwing technique has come into question, so much so, that he has made adjustments to it during the pre-draft process. He is working on learning to read NFL defenses. His level of competition is a question.
RB Robert Turbin (Utah State University) 5-10, 222, 4.50 40yd dash
Projection: 3 Description: The Jets are bringing Turbin in for a private workout April 9th. A power running back, Turbin is very athletic and has quick feet. He uses good balance and runs behind pads, often showing good leverage. On the flip side, there are some concerns regarding Turbin’s game. He missed the entire 2010 season with a knee injury. Turbin also has a tendency to fumble, especially when getting into open space. Scouts often mention that he doesn’t have great vision. While he has good hands out of the backfield, he doesn’t have very good burst after the catch to immediately get up the field.
RB Terrance Ganaway (Baylor) 6-0, 241, 4.62 40yd dash
Projection: 5 Description: Ganaway met with Jets officials during the Senior Bowl. A true power-back, Ganaway lacks elite speed. He likely won’t be a homerun threat in the NFL. Furthermore, Ganaway doesn’t have very good hands at all. In fact he only had six catches throughout the entire 2011 campaign. There’s a lot to like about him though. He is tremendous at holding onto the the ball. He has great technique, barley ever fumbling. He is also a very patient runner. He has the awareness to wait for holes to open up, and knows how to set up his blocks. It usually takes multiple defenders to take him down. While he might never be a starter in the NFL, he has the ability to become a prominent third down back, if he can learn how to catch.
RB Doug Martin (Boise State) 5-9, 219, 4.48 40yd dash
Projection: 1-2 Description: The Jets met with Martin in Mobile, Alabama during the Senior Bowl. A thick back that runs low to the ground, he accelerates into the line of scrimmage very well. He is able to move in crowded spaces very successfully and is agile and has great balance. Martin doesn’t have top-end speed that will allow him to become a big-play threat. He is not a very good pass protector and his ceiling is somewhat limited at the next level. That being said, he will likely be the second running back taken in this draft, either in the late first round or early second.
RB Isaiah Pead (Cincinnati) 5-10, 193, 4.42 40yd dash
Projection: 2 Description: An elusive back, the Jets met with Pead at the Senior Bowl. In addition to being a very good runner, Pead has also shown the ability to catch passes out of the backfield. He has great acceleration when getting into the open field, and has shown the ability to make the first man miss. Pead needs to learn how to drive his body with his hips and thighs. He needs to improve his vision and his footwork. Pead also has experience lining up in the slot, where he showed good hands and was impressive getting upfield fast.
RB/FB Cody Johnson (University of Texas) 5-11, 252, 4.72 40yd dash
Projection: 7-UDFA Description: Johnson has received interest from the Jets. While Johnson played running back in college, scouts project him to be a fullback at the next level. Johnson has the bulk to absorb an oncoming rusher and has great hands coming out of the backfield. Unfortunately, Johnson has never played on special teams, so that will take some time for him to learn. Secondly, Johnson is not very quick out of his stance. With time, he has the potential to be a solid player in the NFL, but it will take a lot of work from Johnson and the coaching staff.
FB/HB Evan Rodriguez (Temple University) 6-1, 239, 4.58 40yd dash
Projection: 5 Description: Muhammad Wilkerson’s friend and former teammate, Rodriguez has a private workout coming up with the Jets. Scouts see him as an H-back at in the NFL. He doesn’t have great speed and isn’t a traditional fullback. Rodriguez can seal and block the edge, line up out wide or go in motion. He also has the ability to play special teams. He has proved to be an upright runner. If he learns to play with a better bend, Rodriguez has all the tools to succeed. A great kid with a high football IQ, look for him to be chosen on the in round 5 of the 2012 NFL Draft.
WR DeVier Posey (Ohio State) 6-2, 209, 4.54 40yd dash (brother of CB Julian Posey)
Projection: 5-6 Description: The Jets met with Posey at the Senior Bowl. However, all 32 NFL teams, except for the Chicago Bears and the Jets, attended Ohio State’s Pro Day on Friday, March 9th. Thus, it makes me question if the Jets were not very impressed with Posey when they first met with him. Posey leaves many scouts frustrated. A fast receiver that can easily stretch defenses, Posey possesses very nice body control while in the air. However, Posey is extremely inconsistent and doesn’t show enough fight or determination to fight through press coverages. He is not very disciplined and doesn’t show proper concentration needed to succeed in the NFL.
WR Joe Adams (Arkansas) 5-11, 174, 4.38 40yd dash
Projection: 4 Description: The Jets also met with Adams in Mobile, Alabama at the Senior Bowl. While not the biggest receiver in the draft, Adams is one of the fastest players available. A duel-threat talent, he can return punts as well. Scouts see him lining up in the slot at the next level. Adams does have a fumbling problem, and isn’t a great route runner. However, he catches the ball well in traffic, and despite his height, is surprisingly good at breaking tackles. Due to his speed, he gets good separation and can outrun almost any cornerback in the game. Adams is a very talented wide receiver, that has potential to be very successful in this league.
WR Marvin McNutt (Iowa) 6-3, 216, 4.52 40yd dash
Projection: 4-5 Description: The Jets brass met with also met with McNutt at the Senior Bowl. Scouts enjoy the fact that he has fantastic body control along the sidelines and going over the middle. He’s very strong after the catch and often drags defenders or runs away from them. McNutt does have a tendency to drops passes and he struggles to gain separation against physical corners. While he doesn’t have great acceleration, he is a willing blocker and is known for his ability to make the acrobatic catches.
WR T.J. Graham (N.C. State) 5-11, 182, 4.41 40yd dash
Projection: 6 Description: The Jets worked out Graham at the Senior Bowl. Graham, who also is on the NC State Wolfpack track and field team, is a duel-threat player. A kick returner and wide receiver, Graham is usually the fastest man on the field and is great at running vertical routes. But, that is also his weakness. Due to the fact that NC State often had him run vertical routes, Graham is not a very good route runner and he’s not physical and lacks ideal strength for a wide receiver. Graham also doesn’t change directions well.
WR Gerell Robinson (Arizona State) 6-4, 220, 4.58 40yd dash
Projection: 6-7 Description: The Jets showed a lot of interest in Robinson at the Senior Bowl. A big target, Robinson is a big play threat who has a strong upper body and destroys smaller cornerbacks. He is very difficult to get down after the catch, often dragging receivers with him as he runs. Unfortunately, he has stiff hips and has trouble getting separation in man coverage on short routes. He has pretty short arms for a big guy, so he isn’t able to high point the ball. Robinson isn’t the most athletic receiver in the draft, and it takes him some to to get to full speed. He will be a nice developmental prospect for some team.
WR Alshon Jeffery (University of South Carolina) 6-3, 216, 4.56 40yd dash
Projection: 2 Description: The Jets brought Jeffery in for an official visit on April 5th. Rex Ryan also attended his Pro day. A physical freak of nature, he has very strong hands and excellent body control. He tracks the wall well over both shoulder and is as tremendous red zone threat. Jeffery doesn’t have great footwork, and scouts are scared he is going to be a bust at the next level. He doesn’t have a great work ethic and drops a lot of passes. He didn’t run very complex routes in college and is not a very experienced blocker. Jeffery has insane potential and is very hard to tackle in the open field. With time, he can develop into a top receiver in this league.
TE Orson Charles (University of Georgia) 6-3, 251, 4.75 40yd dash
Projection: 3-4 Description: The Jets also had a private workout with Charles. He was projected be a possible late-first early second round pick. That was until he arrested on charges of DUI Alcohol and driving minimum speed in Mid-March. Now slated to be a third-fourth round pick, Charles will be a steal for whatever team selects his. Charles has soft natural hand and is versatile. He played both on the line and split out into the slot and is effective running crossing routes as well as running vertical routes. While known as more of a pass catching tight end, he’s working hard to become a better blocker. He does have a tendency to drops easy passes and has difficulty running curl routes. He also frustrated fans at Georgia by disappearing for long stretches of a game. Charles can be a very special player, he just needs to stay focused on and off the field.
TE Michael Egnew (Missouri) 6-5, 251, 4.60 40yd dash
Projection: 3-4 Description: The Jets met with Egnew at the Senior Bowl. A big prospect, Egnew is athletic and works well in space. He can create after the catch and has great body control. He is not used to lining up in the three point stance, and he will need to likely add some weight. He’s purely a pass catching tight end. Very limited in his ability to block, Egnew will need to be coached up at the next level. Scouts also love his ability to box out defenders.
Analysis: The Jets taking a look at only one quarterback is not a big surprise. With Mark Sanchez, Tim Tebow and Greg McElroy all under contract, I can’t see the Jets going into the season with four quarterbacks on the 53-man roster. Thus, Di Lella will likely be an extra arm in camp (think Chris Pizzotti, Drew Willy) who can be stashed on the practice squad if they really like him. As far as running backs are concerned, the Jets have Shonn Greene, Joe McKnight, Bilal Powell and John Griffin under contract. Of that group Greene is the only proven back. We haven’t seen a lot of Bilal Powell to judge him, but it seems as if the Jets are interested in taking a running back again. I do see a trend in the Jets scouting power running backs. It is no secret that the Jets need a #2 wide receiver next to Santonio Holmes. Of the guys mentioned above, Alshon Jeffery has a shot to be a number two at the next level right away. The rest of the guys will need work and some time before they are starters. Thus, that makes me believe that Jets will go after a veteran receiver in free agency after the draft concludes. As far as tight ends go Dedrick Epps, Josh Baker and Jeff Cumberland, along with newly signed Hayden Smith and of course, Dustin Keller round out the Jets tight end crew. The Jets need a guy to replace Matt Mulligan as the blocking tight end. Could that be Hayden Smith? Possibly..but if not the Jets should draft a blocking tight end.
K Michael Barbour (East Carolina University) 5-10, 185
Projection: 7-UDFA Description: Barbour flew to New York to meet with Mike Westhoff and the Jets brass. After transferring from Maryland in 2009, he played two seasons at ECU: 2009 and 2010. Barbour was 28/35 in his two year career, while having a long of 58. While he didn’t handle the kickoff duties for East Carolina, he does have a big leg and his impressive season in 2010 left him on the official watch list for the prestigious Lou Groza Collegiate Place-Kicker Award in 2011.
P Brian Stahovich (San Diego State) 6-0, 211 4.78, 40yd dash
Projection: 7-UDFA Description: The Jets had a private workout with Stahovich. Stahovich, an All-Mountain West Conference selection, averaged 43.4 yards per punt last season. He had 61 punts in 2011, just 15 of which were returned. Over a quarter of his attempts were 50 yards or greater.
LS Travis Tripucka (University of Massachusetts) 6-2, 240
Projection: UDFA Description: The grandson of NFL player Frank Tripucka and the son of NBA standout Kelly Tripucka, Travis has a workout coming up with the Jets. An all around athlete, Tripucka originally came to UMass on a scholarship to play lacrosse, but ultimately made it as a long snapper on the football team, and the rest is history.
LS Ray Wegrzynek (Kean University) 6-2, 290
Projection: UDFA Description: The Jets have been in contact with Wegrzynek according to Kristian Dyer. Considered one of the best long snappers in the draft, Wegrzynek Started off at Rutgers, but transferred after the 2007 season. Played both defensive tackle and defensive end in college.
Analysis: Jets Special Teams coach Mike Westhoff announced that this is the best group of special teamers he has ever seen (he’s been in the league since 1981). While they gave Nick Folk a new contract at the start of free agency, that doesn’t mean he will 100% make the 53-man roster. Folk struggled on kickoffs last season. And regarding the punting situation, TJ Conley just was not good enough. With 10 drafts picks, I wouldn’t be surprised to see them take either a kicker or punter in the the 6th or 7th round to try and give Folk and Conley competition in camp. The two long snappers are interesting. Tanner Purdum is still under contract, but it’s possible they are looking for a replacement. Or, it could just be for an extra body in camp. Last year, the Jets signed Barbour’s college teammate, East Carolina LS Wilson Raynor as a extra guy in camp. Regardless, this is something we will keep an eye on as camp approaches.