Even if the Jets aren’t taking every interview that comes their way, they are staying busy as the draft approaches. According to ChicagoBreakingSports.com, Rex Ryan was on hand in Champaign-Urbana to see the workouts for Illinois players, but it’s clear that Ryan might have made the trip for one player in particular, the upwardly draft-board moving DT Cory Liuget.
Representatives from 30 of the league’s 32 teams were on hand Wednesday at the Illin pro day, including New York Jets coach Rex Ryan and six representatives from the Bears.
Illinois’ three potential first-round picks — defensive tackle Corey Liuget, running back Mikel Leshoure and linebacker Martez Wilson — did not participate in every work out, preferring to all stand on their numbers from workouts at last month’s NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis. They did do positional drills and Bears defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli put Liuget and defensive end Clay Nurse through drills.
"Seeing him out there coaching me was like, ‘Wow, this is insane,’" Liuget said. "For one of the best defensive line coaches in the NFL to be here showing me drills and telling me what to do, it was great."
Liuget seemed starstruck by seeing Ryan, though.
"I love coach Rex," Liuget said. "He asked me if my last name was Ryan. He definitely is a comedian. He is a funny guy."
Liuget (6-2, 298) has shot up some draft boards since his bowl game performance, but he was a highly recruited player out of South Florida as a high schooler. Liuget plays the interior lineman role well and can both defend the run and gap rush on pass plays, but he would lack some ideal size right now for a standard zero technique.
He’s an intriguing player and we’re seeing him in mock drafts go from as high as the middle of the first round, to well into the second. This was a chance for Ryan to learn more about Liuget, keep an eye on him for the next month,