Impact players: New blood

Brian Bassett, TheJetsBlog.com

Over the next few days, we’re going to take a look at some key Jets players this season centered around a themes.  Next up, we’ll look at six rookies who who could help this Jets team to fly high in 2014…

Calvin Pryor (S) — Public consensus was that if the Jets were going to choose a defensive player in the first round, it would be corner. But the Jets were thrilled to see Pryor slide from the early teens down to the No. 18 spot. According to GM John Idzik, the war room ‘erupted’ on hearing that the big-hitting Pryor was available to them when the Ravens picked CJ Mosley. While Pryor might be best equipped to play a role closer to the line of scrimmage long-term, he’s athletic enough to play the deep safety role that Ryan has been fond of in past years. In fact, much of Pryor’s time at Louisville had him deployed in deep coverage and moving to the ball, explaining the explosive nature of his hits on receivers. Pryor will start from day one and provide an athletic defensive enforcer to the middle of the field for Rex Ryan.

Jace AmaroJace Amaro (TE) — It is no secret that the Jets have wanted to add more talent to their tight end position since Idzik’s first year with the team. Amaro comes from a simple spread offense at Texas Tech that saw the tight end used wide from the line running basic routes. Due to questions about his blocking, expect Amaro to be used in the “F” receiver role, split from the offensive line and in a wide ranging array of motions, roles and routes … depending on the defense. Now picking up a pro offense in which Amaro might be the pivot point based on defensive alignments, Amaro will take some time to adjust but expect his presence to be felt in third down and red zone situations.

Jalen Saunders (WR) — Time will tell what role Saunders will have on this team this year, but he is a fierce competitor and seems to not know that at 5’9″ 165 pounds he is one of the smallest players on the field. That sort of bowling ball mentality could bode well for him on special teams. The blend of Saunders physicality and his quickness and speed (4.44 timed 40) might be reminiscent of DeSean Jackson, or even this year’s first-rounder Brandin Cooks. Of the receivers the Jets brought in, Saunders was the first receiver they picked and the most different from the rest of the group … expect to see him a few times a game deep on go routes this fall.

Jeremiah George (ILB) — The Jets depth at inside linebacker was particularly troubling last season. The only player they had there was Nick Bellore, who was instrumental on a sagging special teams, making exposing him to injury a concern. The Jets added George to help back up the linebacking group and round out the team when the Jets might be faced with some hard decisions around David Harris next offseason.

NCAA Football: Senior BowlTajh Boyd (QB) — If Boyd sees time this fall, then something will have gone very wrong for the Jets. Boyd is likely to battle Matt Simms in training camp for the third roster spot at quarterback and seems like a viable long-term backup though it will take him time to learn the system. There was some talk this spring about using Boyd in gimmick packages, but that seems extremely unlikely.

Trevor Reilly (OLB) — Reilly might have been the last player the Jets picked in the draft, but he could be a contributor to this defense in the foreseeable future. Doug Farrar wrote about Reilly, saying he was shocked Reilly fell as far as he did in the draft and that Reilly’s speed, size and college production bode well for him. Reilly’s field speed is exceptional and he can be used in space or aligned on either side of the line. See if the Jets don’t find a way to use him in package plays.




59 comments
Simon Gribben
Simon Gribben

What about FB Chad Young?  He can run, catch and block (terrifically from his tape), something we haven't had since ...

dgdg
dgdg

What happened to Dex McDougle?

BDarc23
BDarc23

When I read the above and look at some of the early roster predictions, I realize that the 12 draft picks this year plus the guys that didn't play last year like Aboushi/Campbell are going to cause some surprise cuts this year. 


The Linebackers, WRs, DBs and Oline are filled with a lot young players right now. Are drafted players from the last 2 years almost a lock to make this team? I am thinking that they are.

Ceifus Hornswoggle
Ceifus Hornswoggle

I'm glad Marty is getting the pieces he desires to make his offense successful.  Should be an exciting season, considering how poorly our offense has performed over that last few years.

BDarc23
BDarc23

I'm starting to get excited about Jalen Saunders. His combine measurables were nearly identical to Desean Jackson's who had a great rookie year in Marty's offense.

a57se
a57se

@Simon Gribben 

I'm with you though we have to see what happens in training camp but Bohanon did not impress me at all last year.

jsadolph
jsadolph

@dgdg 

I'm with you.  I would say that they didn't expect him to be an impact player this season, but then Taj makes the list and confuses me.

Bent
Bent moderator

@BDarc23 No, I don't think so.  I think they doubled up on receivers, corners and OLBs with a view to keeping one of each off the roster.


As for last year's guys, I can't imagine that their place is secure unless they can show they've improved a lot.  That might be the case for Winters and Aboushi, but less so for Campbell and Bohanon.

jenkins
jenkins

@BDarc23 I think he's a lock. Before the draft, I called him Desean Lite. Brings a new dimension to the Jets. More explosive than Kerley, who I love.

Brendan
Brendan

@BDarc23 He's also apparently put on weight since then, which would be great. His size was a little concerning, but if he packed on some muscle to better take the punishment that comes with playing at his size, I'd be thrilled. 

BDarc23
BDarc23

@jsadolph @dgdg Good point...I'd definitely guess Dex over Boyd to have a chance to make an impact.

BDarc23
BDarc23

@Bent  It is rare for multiple draft picks to be cut from one team though right?  As far as last years guys, my thought was that the team will feel like they invested in those players last year.

greggreen
greggreen

@Brendan @BDarc23 my main concern is his ability to add on weight. weighed in at 165 at the combine and apparently already added weight. i think he was playing in the mid 150s. People compare him to kerley, but kerley is 188lbs and the same height.  

Bent
Bent moderator

@BDarc23 Not really.  You only need look back as far as 2012.  The Jets cut four of their eight picks, albeit that two of those ended up back on the roster (and one is still there).

Brendan
Brendan

@greggreen Yeah, that's why it was a big concern of mine. But apparently by the time he showed up to rookie camp he was around 175, so if he can add weight that quickly the trick with him will be keeping it on. For guys with his body type, that can be a big challenge, though. 

BDarc23
BDarc23

@greggreen @Brendan @BDarc23 Desean Jackson was 169 and didn't have an issue. He hasn't gained lots of weight either...listed at 178 now

a57se
a57se

@Bent @BDarc23 

You are comparing Idzik to Tanny...I don't think 2012 has any bearing on this season.

greggreen
greggreen

@Brendan @greggreen i feel its one of the more underestimated things from football fans. Sure you can gain 10-15 pounds in an offseason but to be able to gain the weight and keep your same abilities. I remember an MTV episode of i want the perfect body from years ago. This guy worked his a$$ off for an entire summer just to gain 7lbs without losing speed.

BDarc23
BDarc23

@Brendan @greggreen There definitely  is a concern about size and that is why he was a 4th round pick.  I'm just excited because we have seen players at his size excel right away too. Was Kerley 188 at the combine...I'll look for that.


Edit: Kerley was 5 094 and 189 so not really a compare

greggreen
greggreen

@BDarc23 @Bent it was very entertaining. everyone was freaking out because we lost our 6th round draft pick to the rams on waivers. 

Ceifus Hornswoggle
Ceifus Hornswoggle

@greggreen @Brendan 

I randomly talked to a guy who had tried to make it to the NFL.  He was a big dude, just from genetics.  He said that his biggest problem was keeping weight during the season.  He'd get up to 300 pounds in the summer, working out and eating right.  But by November, he'd be back down to 250.  Couldn't keep it on.

levi
levi

@greggreen  I was reading about this a while back. Putting on pure muscle is really hard to do in a short period of time. I know there are supplements to help nowadays but many of those are banned by the NFL I assume.

jsadolph
jsadolph

@BDarc23 

Intresting to see that they said in his combine overview that he is a very raw route runner.  And now he is one of the better route runners.

a57se
a57se

@BDarc23 @a57se @Bent 

I think you have a valid point about surprise cuts this year...if we are truly trying to build a sustainable roster of talent, you do that with young guys who can play, not old guys with only a couple years left.

Ceifus Hornswoggle
Ceifus Hornswoggle

@levi @greggreen 

Most of the NFL uses HGH.  For it to show up, the test has to be administered within 6 hours of the injection.  There's no way you can naturally be as big as these dudes and still have the cardiovascular endurance to play and practice.

BDarc23
BDarc23

@levi @greggreen I totally agree but I think it is a lot easier when you are 20 and first starting and NFL strength program.

levi
levi

@jsadolph  I always find it hard to believe how a guy cant learn to be a good route runner. I mean its what you do every day how can you not learn them.

Brendan
Brendan

@a57se You probably do it with both, not one of the other. 

levi
levi

@Ceifus Hornswoggle   The testing is getting more and more difficult to hide from or mask. They have made some big strides in detecting it just recently. Many MMA fighters are finding this out.

levi
levi

@BDarc23  Well I agree a bit with that because he probably hasnt done the work that he will be doing in the NFL but trust me putting on weight gets easier the older you get :)

a57se
a57se

@levi @jsadolph 

A lot of it is physical....it is not easy to break down at near full speed and change direction and pull away from a DB.

The stem of the route is where most guys have their issues.

BDarc23
BDarc23

@Brendan @a57se I guess it comes down to how many of the last 2 years draft picks are going to be on the 53.  My sense is that Idzik would prefer to keep his picks... Rex is clearly will to cut picks based on 2012.

levi
levi

@Ceifus Hornswoggle  Make sure  he only washes it down with low fat milk though. Gotta keep it healthy.

Ceifus Hornswoggle
Ceifus Hornswoggle

@BDarc23 @Ceifus Hornswoggle @levi @greggreen 

That's what this dude told me.  I asked him if guys had to juice to make it in the NFL.  And he said, yes.  HGH was the most popular way to do it.  Your body naturally produces it and within six hours, the HGH levels go back down to acceptable levels.  Unlike roids, which are detectable long after.

metjetnet
metjetnet

@a57se @levi @jsadolph (miketaliaferro) Your point is well taken. However, that point alone is one of Saunders' chief appeals. He cuts at full speed like a jackrabbit. I've already seen a couple of clips in passing where he almost broke a couple of ankles… Almost like a very nasty point guard breaking down a defense.

Brendan
Brendan

@BDarc23 I think "picks" is too general. Last year, nearly every single player they took was at a position without a clear starter (or about to not have a clear starter), the only ones that weren't were Aboushi (now pushing for PT) and Campbell (project player/converted DL). So it stands to reason they had a plan last year designed around playing those young guys in what they determined to be a transition year. 


I don't think you can project 2014 based on 2013, though. While some guys were taken at positions of need (Pryor, Amaro), they also took guys that they have a lot of bodies at and can ease into roles (McDougle, the WR's, Dozier). 


Now, if the question is "keep Dozier or Schlauderaff," for example, you keep Dozier, and that's the smart football decision. Schlauderaff is a known, limited quantity. Dozier isn't, and he has potential to be something more than Schlauderaff, a guy who can be replaced with any number of veteran OL off the scrap heap. 


If the question is "keep Enunwa over Nelson" that becomes a bit trickier. In that situation, I suspect play of the veteran to be far more important, as the rookie can be stashed on the PS. If Nelson stinks, Hill shines and the team is left considering between a veteran who didn't do well in camp and a rookie who was a rookie in camp, They still may cut the rookie to sneak him onto the PS, but that's at least justifiable. 


I agree Idzik would prefer to keep his picks, but if we're talking a low-level veteran vs. keeping your pick to see what he turns into, I believe the wise decision to be to go with the youth. If it's close and you have options, it probably pays to explore them all before making a final decision. And if all other things are equal (meaning they've played to a "rookie/vet" stalemate - meaning the rookie shows they can handle the job, they're just not as polished as the vet), you should go with potential over age, imo. 

a57se
a57se

@BDarc23 @Brendan @a57se 

I agree with you on your sense that Idzik would rather keep his draft picks over other players.

a57se
a57se

@metjetnet @a57se 

You are preaching to the choir on Saunders...I loved him the first time I saw him on tape...I just didn't think the Jets would take him!

jsadolph
jsadolph

@Brendan @BDarc23 

They players that I am intrested in are Jeremiah George, Brandon Dixon, IK Enemkpali, Quincy Enunwa, Shaq Evans & Trevor Reilly.  Other than Reilly, I haven't heard much of them.  Is it realistic that all of them make the 53. Shaq wasn't at most of the camps, but the rest of them haven't even got a mention from Rex this offseason and he will talk up about anyone if they have done anything.

BDarc23
BDarc23

@Brendan I agree with your logic.  I also think it is fair to question whether the team will go even one step further to keep the draft pick over the veteran based on the fact that the team had 5 rookies starting and 2 guys stashed on the bench.  Not even one of them played well in training camp.


Edit: Forgot Richardson... but you get my point

Brendan
Brendan

@jsadolph That's more what I'm talking about. Out of those guys, we may only see 2 make the team, or we could see all of them make it. 


George, Dixon, Ik, Enunwa are all PS candidates, imo. Reilly is up there in age, so they might look to get a return on him before his knee gives out, but who knows. 

Brendan
Brendan

@BDarc23 But in response to your actual point, I think this year they'll be less willing to sacrifice overall team performance for the sake of learning-on-the-job for rookies. If they truly think this team can win and make the playoffs this year, that could very well change the way they look at some of these close situations. 


I think we're really looking at a situation where guys 5th round or later are up for the chopping block while 4th-or-earlier draftees would realllllly have to suck to warrant the cut. 

metjetnet
metjetnet

@Brendan @BDarc23 (miketaliaferro) Brendan, usually i'd agree with you on the   4< / 5> as a logical breakdown for picks making the roster. I'm holding off pulling the trigger on that for right now, though… 'Cause mainly, it strikes me that Itzik had every opportunity (& full fan base support) to swap those picks in packages for higher picks (heck, even pundits were screaming for them to do so). Itzik was the only person on the planet who thought he'd use all 12 picks himself.

So, there seems to be some plan afoot. This intrigues me.

From what I've seen, all of these guys can play. None of them seem the late round cripple pick type. Few even seem like a flyer. Itzik and/or Rex have a plan here. I'm curious to see what it is.

It could be they really want to give legit shots to a larger pool… or they may want to hang on to a bunch until the very end to light that fire fully under a resident vets's butt (looking at YOU, Mr. Hill…)

I think Itzik really likes these guys. So, yes, we may see a great many of The Twelve make the roster, or become PS stashees -- more than in a normal year or at another franchise.

bklyndude
bklyndude

@Brendan @BDarc23

Yeah those guys drafted in the fifth and later are going to have to show something during camp to stand out and beat somebody for a spot.  

I want to see if Trevor Reilly can earn a spot with his play.