Jets 2014 Draft Class: How will it impact the defense?

Brian Bassett, TheJetsBlog.com

Last weekend, the Jets drafted six players on offense and six on defense.  Will they all make the team?  What might their role for the Jets be in 2014?  What about in future years? Here’s our thoughts on the Jets 2014 class on defense.

Calvin Pryor, S, Louisville, 5-11, 207 (1st Round No. 18 overall)

Calvin PryorHis 2014 Role: Pryor will step in as an immediate starter and will likely be the signal caller for the secondary to boot.  Through the draft process, Pryor was cast as an “in the box” safety, but he is athletic enough to step in as the Jets best coverage safety … something they badly needed in 2013 as they broke training camp.  The intimidating presence and athleticism in coverage will only help the Jets wherever they deploy Pryor.  Expect Pryor to see significant time as the team’s one-high safety setting traps for unwary offenses … if Dee Milliner can continue his improvement.

… And Beyond: We fully expect Calvin Pryor to be a part of this defense for a long time.  The next unit that will need a major overhaul over the next two or three years will be the linebacking corps, but adding a player like Pryor now will help smooth the transition in the back seven of this defense.

Dexter McDougle, CB, Maryland, 5-10, 195 (3rd Round No. 80 overall)

His 2014 Role: With a secondary loaded with depth, it is hard to say what will be required of McDougle in his first year on defense.  Rex Ryan loves physical corners who play tough press coverage at the line of scrimmage.  McDougle is known as one of the draft class’s best tackling corners so seeing him play a nickel or dime role is a real possibility.  The problem with that is between Dmitri Patterson, Kyle Wilson, Darrin Walls, Ellis Lankster there’s a lot of other players for McDougle to jump past on the depth chart.

… And Beyond: While McDougle was considered a reach in the third round by many draft analysts, there’s a reason that the team rushed to get him.  With that in mind, the Jets were considering their long-term options with Kyle Wilson’s contract expiring at the end of this season.  Wilson turned into a solid slot player in 2013 and the Jets have to be eyeing McDougle as a big contributor on their 2015 roster.

Jeremiah George, ILB, Iowa St, 5-11, 234 (5th Round No. 154)

His 2014 Role: George is currently suited for a special-teams role. While the inside linebacker role is changing, his size might limit the amount of time he could see with the defense.

… And Beyond: George has the skills and is set up well to become a special teams ace for this team for years to come.  The Jets have needed more talent on their special teams unit and George should be able to provide that to the Jets.

Brandon Dixon, CB, Northwest Missouri St, 5-11, 203 (6th Round No. 195 overall)

His 2014 Role: Expect Dixon to see a very limited amount of time on the field since the Jets have so much competition at corner  Dixon might be a practice squad candidate if the Jets feel like they won’t have a place on the active roster for him.  Dixon has the potential to be a solid press coverage cornerback if given time and the right coaching.

… And Beyond: The Jets can never have enough press cornerbacks for Rex Ryan.  Dixon is big and athletic and whose size, length and physicality will give the Jets another chance at a developmental press corner.  While he might see limited use early on in his career the Jets will get the chance to determine if he can be coached up.

IK Enemkpali, DE, Louisiana Tech, 6-1, 261 (6th Round No. 210 overall)

Jets Rookie Camp Football

Pryor with Jeremiah George (53), IK Enempali (51)and Brandon Dixon (42)

His 2014 Role: If Enemkpali makes the active roster in 2014 it will likely be as a special teamer due to his explosive tackling and the right mindset.  While Enemkpali has the power and size, he needs to become more fluid in his hip movement when asked to drop in coverage.  Jermaine Cunningham is taking nickel package reps, so if IK is looking to see work he’ll have to work past Barnes (injured) and Cunningham.

… And Beyond: Calvin Pace can’t play forever and there’s potential for Enemkpali to become a 3-4 outside linebacker if given time with the team.  Enemkpali is a leverage and power rusher who could play the 3-4 outside linebacker role but who need time and coaching to develop.

Trevor Reilly, OLB, Utah, 6-5, 245, (7th Round No. 233 overall)

His 2014 Role: The Jets are always in need of more hybrid defenders.  Trevor Reilly has impressive agility and balance for a player of his size and he plays fast due to good instincts.  It is likely that Reilly was available as late as he was due to his age.  Reilly performed a Mormon mission between high school and college and that extended his eligibility.  If Reilly is able to carve out a role in 2014, it will be as a situational pass-rusher or in replacement of Calvin Pace should Pace be unable to play.  Just like IK, Reilly will still have Jermaine Cunningham and potentially Barnes with which to contend.

… And Beyond: Between the receivers, cornerbacks and DE/OLBs the Jets hedged their bets by drafting a number of players at the same position.  Reilly looks like a promising player, but he might have a shorter career.  Even so, Reilly seems primed to take over Calvin Pace’s role as the team’s edge-setter and run stuffer down the road.




136 comments
privatejet
privatejet

Everything I've been hearing about the training camp's been bad news so far. Let's hope they can turn it around soon!!


williamg1
williamg1

I just want a QB that doesn't impact the defense (in a bad way). 


Gotta be demoralizing for a defensive player to fight their as/ses off to get the ball back for the offense, only to have the QB turn the ball over in a boneheaded way. Is asking for average QB play too much to ask for?

bradysucks
bradysucks

The only question mark about the 2014 Jets for me is the offense. The QB has sucked every year and the defense has been good/great every year. I see the defense improving from where it was at the end of last year.

We overanalyze every year in pre-season but the story is always the same. Play good defense and limit the turnovers and Rex Ryan wins games. If the turnovers are as bad as they have been we keep losing....and this is on the QB & WR's.....interesting that Vick has been impressed with Clyde Gates (who is better than Stephen Hill)

jvsvn
jvsvn

To me, this draft class looks like year 2 of a 3 year plan. Year One: Get the cap under control, cut ties with the mainstays of the previous regime, change the culture. Year Two: Bring in quality but reasonably priced free agents and draft 12 guys, 6 on offense, 6 on defense. Put in place the core depth of the roster for the next several years. Year Three: Use cap space and draft assets to focus on bringing in 2 or 3 guys that can put the team over the top whether it's a franchise QB (if Geno Doesn't develop), a legit #1 WR, or a truly dynamic edge rusher.

BDarc23
BDarc23

@williamg1 Constant 3 and outs is a killer on the defense too

williamg1
williamg1

@bradysucks Brady, there is a contradiction here:


"We overanalyze every year in pre-season" 


"interesting that Vick has been impressed with Clyde Gates (who is better than Stephen Hill)"

BDarc23
BDarc23

@bradysucks Interesting because Clyde Gates sucks? 


EDIT: Or just your way of getting a Stephen Hill should be released immediately reference?

Pablo Bruno
Pablo Bruno

@jvsvn Sounds right, I hope we don't need to draft a QB, but you do what is right and is needed.

Kyle Ely
Kyle Ely

@jvsvn When you look at next years fa they can defintely get a legit #1 WR AND a truly dynamic edge rusher.

Bent
Bent moderator

@Disgruntled Jets Fan @privatejet To be fair, even if you were to predict that everything that will be reported during training camp will be bad news, you'd probably be right, given the negativity of the Jets beat.

tsjc68
tsjc68

@BDarc23


EDIT: Or just your way of getting a Stephen Hill should be released immediately reference?


It's that one, and we all know it.

Pablo Bruno
Pablo Bruno

@BDarc23 Man I wish they would let us see for ourselves how these guys are doing, tired of reading 3rd hand opinions of how ota's are going.

BDarc23
BDarc23

@Kyle Ely @jvsvn They could have made that kind of splash this year though. This isn't a big spending FA type of GM.

williamg1
williamg1

@Kyle Ely @jvsvn Provided those players don't resign with their teams or get franchised. With the expanded cap, teams are going to have better ability to keep their own. 

Ron Alexander
Ron Alexander

@Bent @Disgruntled Jets Fan @privatejet negativity positivity, who care's what any of those knuckleheads says or thinks? The bottom line is who will be able to help this team this year? Personally I think its way too early to draw any conclusions from a couple of practices with shorts and helmets full of a bunch of kids who have no clue what the heck they are doing? From what I've read here and elsewhere and seen on tape Pryor seems like the only guy likely to see much action this season. The other guys are probably not ready for prime time just yet but a few will likely prove useful at some point this year. I'm not sure about the depth at the corner position as Bass apparently is as while there may be strength in numbers, I'm not so sure about the quality of that depth. It's nice to have a bunch of bodies to throw out there but if those guys can't actually cover anybody I don't really see that as any kind if plus. In actuality there are zero sure bets as proven starters on this roster as the Miliner projections as an improved ,rising talent are just projection at this time.He has proven nothing other than he has potential at this time.Patterson at 31 with in injury history to long to count is another big question? After that we have a couple of rookies,a couple of vets that have thus far been ineffective at this point in their careers and not much else worth talking about.So next to the O-line which i believe will be a major point of emphasis next off season as we have two ageing vets and a bunch of hold the fort guys at this point.

a57se
a57se

@Bent

I've seen just as many positive things on twitter about the Jets OTA's.......Jets fans just seem to focus on the negative.

a57se
a57se

@privatejet 

Not really.

For the rookies, they are learning what it means to be a pro as well as a playbook the likes most of them have never seen.

For the new veterans, they are learning a new playbook as well and getting acclimated with the Jets way of doing things.

We are so early in the process of building a team and evaluating what we have that it is effectively light years from where the team will be in the middle of August.

bradysucks
bradysucks

@tsjc68 @BDarc23


Vick was praising Clyde Gates......so if Gates makes the team it doesn't bode well for Hill......Gates can also play special teams......(Hill can't)


I am not hiding the fact that I think Hill is the worst WR on the team.....so hopefully we cut him....so there is no need for you to imply otherwise

BDarc23
BDarc23

@Pablo Bruno @BDarc23 I guess there will be plenty of opportunity in training camp but you would think that there is some market for that type of thing to be televised.   

Kyle Ely
Kyle Ely

@Pablo Bruno @Kyle Ely @jvsvn WR: Dez, DT, Wes, Tory Smith, Jacob Jones, White, and Nicks

Pass rusher: Houston, Abraham, Cliff, and Orakpo

jvsvn
jvsvn

@BDarc23 @Kyle Ely @jvsvn This was a very mediocre free agent class this year. Better to keep your powder dry for other opportunities.

Pablo Bruno
Pablo Bruno

@Ron Alexander @Bent @Disgruntled Jets Fan @privatejet Amaro by default will likely see alot of action, who's better at tight end in the depth chart? Best case he'll be the #1 tight end, worst case we'll go with the more experience Cumby at 1, but definately see Amaro as 2.  I can see Reilly being that guy, Rex puts in to go after the QB, I wouldn't be surprised if he beats Pace for the Job, other then that your'e right, the other guys will help out on special teams. Maybe Saunders will get limited action, split snaps with Kerley out of the slot and a returner.

Bent
Bent moderator

@a57se @Bent I half-agree but see it slightly differently.


We see plenty of positive things on twitter, but when they write their stories, it's those that focus on the negative.  So Jets fans focus on the headlines, but the headlines are negative even though the information used to write the article had both good and bad points.


Bytor
Bytor

Gates isn't making the team over Hill.

Bent
Bent moderator

@BDarc23 @Pablo Bruno Teams probably wouldn't want that, given that they advise the media not to tweet out certain details (like formations, playcalls or position groupings).


Don't see what harm one day at each team's camp would do though.  The team could even focus on vanilla installations that day if it was a major concern.

Joseph Koll
Joseph Koll

Correct me if I'm wrong but I think Randall Cobb and Jordy Nelson's contracts expire post '14, as well. Either would help this offense tremendously.

jroc
jroc

@Kyle Ely Minus Orakpo & Dez, who's def staying in Dallas, your references are all players entering the twilight of their careers, and won't offer much upside. Jon Abraham? Come on man, he'll be like 38. This is exactly the opposite of how this regime is operating. 

a57se
a57se

@Bent @a57se 

Fair enough.

I've been looking at the Giants blogs (ESPN and SNY) occasionally just to see how things are being reported over there and the thing that stands out the most to me is that the Giants beat says very little about the young players. The Giants Coaches say very little about the young players as well. If I didn't know better, I would think the Giants didn't draft anyone with what I've seen over there the past couple weeks meanwhile the Jets Blogs are all about the young guys.....

bradysucks
bradysucks

Unless he outplays Hill

Hill has zero production so assuming he makes the team is hysterical

a57se
a57se

@Joseph Koll 

This is too frickin' funny! We haven't even played a game in 2014 and you guys are planning on who you want in Free Agency for 2015?????

Bent
Bent moderator

@jroc @Kyle Ely Next year might represent a different phase though.  Yeah, right now they are making smaller deals and building for the future with young guys but if they're on the brink of contention, you move into a consolidation phase where you look to bolster what you have any way you can.  That's where a short term move for an older vet can pay dividends.

Pablo Bruno
Pablo Bruno

@jroc @Kyle Ely And we drafted him and let him go..lol, yeah we're going to sign him now in his old age so he can retire with the team that drafted him..haha,

jvsvn
jvsvn

@BDarc23 @Kyle Ely @Pablo Bruno @jvsvn My guess is that they didn't want to sign both Decker and Jackson and tie up that much money in the WR position until they know whether or not they've got a QB. If Geno can establish himself as the franchise guy, then they can always spend on another WR next year. If not, then finding a QB will be priority #1.

tsjc68
tsjc68

I'd say Demariyus Thomas and Dez Bryant are miles better than D-Jax. Bigger, younger, healthier.

Having said that, I don't expect either Bryant nor Thomas actually make it to unfettered free agency, so it's academic.

Bent
Bent moderator

@a57se


That's interesting.


I know our readers love to hear about the rookies so I wonder if that's just a case of our focus on what people want helping to steer the coverage in that direction.  I wonder if Giants fans in the comments are saying "why can't we hear more about the young players".


I guess it's also a factor that the Jets are so reliant on their rookies to contribute whereas maybe the Giants have had a more established veteran core recently.  (Do they now though?)


I expect the Giants have more of a philosophy of not talking someone up until they've paid some dues.

Bent
Bent moderator

@bradysucks If Stephen Hill (44-592-4TDs) has zero production, then Gates (25-329-0TDs in one more season) has what?  Negative production?

Bent
Bent moderator

@Pablo Bruno @Bent @BDarc23 Sure, but if the intel is that good, then it's not going to cost them too much to send a guy to a public practice to make notes and film some video is it?

a57se
a57se

@Bent 

Oh you mean like signing a Chris Johnson or a Michael Vick or a Willie Colon or even an Ed Reed?

jroc
jroc

@Bent @jroc @Kyle Ely Absolutely agree with you Bent. I just believe Andre Johnson is more of a possibility for us than the receivers mentioned. it would be shocking if Dez & DT get away from their teams.

jroc
jroc

@Pablo Bruno @jroc @Kyle Ely We let him go because he had some knee injuries and didn't want to pay him. He then went on to find some success in ATL. I believe he led the league in sacks one of those years. But I wouldn't count on a Jets farewell tour.

Pablo Bruno
Pablo Bruno

@tsjc68 I think our receivers will be good enough, so that we wouldn't need to overspend on any of them, Hopefully Hill and Jacoby Ford and step up big time this year.

Bytor
Bytor

@tsjc68 Don't sell Jerry's madness short. A Dez/Decker/Kerley/Amaro receiving corps would simply be delicious.

*coaxes self back to reality*

Kyle Ely
Kyle Ely

@tsjc68 Both Dallas and Denvors cap situations aren't that good so they coul make it

a57se
a57se

@Bent @a57se 

Even on the ESPN Giants blog the rookies are hardly mentioned........

Then again Hosley and Hill have gotten plenty of attention though no one is accusing the Giants of being a circus.

The amount of comments on both the SNY and ESPN blog for the Giants is underwhelming, to put it nicely.

Not really much to go by......


I like the Giants philosophy of not talking guys up until they've actually done something.

I think it leads to much more realistic expectations........

bradysucks
bradysucks

@Bent @bradysucks


Bent....


Michael Vick was asked who looks impressive at WR......It is on the Jets website....You can watch the video...


His answer was Clyde Gates. He didn't answer Stephen Hill. Now I'm not saying either Hill or Gates is good or has been good.......


The fact that Gates can contribute on special teams and Hill can't makes me think Gates is more useful to have on the team......They both have the same speed.....if anything Gates is probably faster......and as a route runner I think Gates has much more upside.....I don't think either guy is particularly good at catching passes...

Pablo Bruno
Pablo Bruno

@Bent @Pablo Bruno @BDarc23 right, you would think that they allow people who work for the organization or who they trust enter their practice facilities and reporters, when reporters show up, coaches tell players to stop practicing.

Pablo Bruno
Pablo Bruno

@jroc @Pablo Bruno @Kyle Ely He was a beast when he played with us, I was upset when they let him go. Another end I like was Hugh Douglas, he had like 12 or 13 sacks his rookie season, and we let him go. I really hope we don't let wilk go, Perhaps it's different now, before we had people who couldn't handle the cap properly now we have someone who does, but DO NOT LET WILKERSON GO, EXTEND HIM ALREADY..lol

gbrownn
gbrownn

@Pablo Boy I hope Ford finds a nice little niche in the offense. VERY underrated right now

tsjc68
tsjc68

@Kyle Ely @tsjc68


New Orleans's cap situation was even worse, but they still released everyone necessary to keep Jimmy Graham.


I'd be really shocked if Dez Bryant or Demariyus Thomas switched teams anytime soon.

SackDance99
SackDance99

@a57se Hasn't Beckham had hamstring issues?  Not much to talk up...

Bent
Bent moderator

@bradysucks


Yes, but you still just implied that the assumption he would make the team is hysterical because of his lack of production and then posited that a guy with LESS production in MORE time should make the team instead.

Pablo Bruno
Pablo Bruno

@gbrownn Me too, what I would like to have is a complementary set of good/solid receivers then having a great receiver, a great receiver can win you a few games but when you face teams with Revis/Sherman or elite corners, then you are forced to go somewhere else and if you don't have a good blend of complementary receivers your stuck. If all of your receivers are solid, then all the Revis's of the world won't do didly.

Bent
Bent moderator

@tsjc68 @Kyle Ely I think Dallas is even worse off than the Saints, who got a real gift when the cap went up by more than was expected.  As the cap keeps rising though, it makes it a lot easier for teams to keep kicking that can down the road.  That's a dangerous game to play in case things slow down again, but I could see Dallas being confident enough about stringing things out until the CBA expires and then we'll worry about it.

jroc
jroc

@BDarc23 @jroc @Pablo Bruno @tsjc68 It could be. I'm just not sure an injury prone WR makes this roster with the youth infusion at the position and the Decker signing.  I think they would have to go with 6 receivers for Ford to make the team.

Decker, Kerley, Hill (breakout season coming), Nelson, Saunders. Evans or Ford?