Jalen Saunders

Jets select WR Jalen Saunders

With the No. 104 pick in the NFL Draft, the Jets selected wide receiver Jalen Saunders out of Oklahoma. The Jets acquired this pick because of the Darrelle Revis trade.

Saunders is listed at 5-foot-9 and 165 pounds. Saunders began his career at Fresno State, where he had 80 receptions for 1,527 yards and 15 touchdowns in 26 games. Saunders transferred to Oklahoma after spring practice in 2012 because he did not like the way the program’s new coach, Tim DeRuyter, was using him for his offense.

While with Oklahoma, he had 113 receptions for 1,558 yards and 11 touchdowns. In 2013, he was named a third-team All-American as a punt returner by Athlon Sports and earned first-team All-Big 12 honors as a punt returner and kickoff returner from ESPN.com and Phil Steele. He was named to the All-Big 12 second team as a wide receiver by coaches and Phil Steele.

Scouts have said that Saunder’s strength is his speed and his soft hands, but they also point out he does have marginal size.

NFL’s draft profile projected him to be a fifth or sixth round selection.

During the NFL Network broadcast, Mike Mayock said of the Jets pick of Saunders that “when I first put on tape I fell in love. At 165 pounds he’s one of the most physical receivers in football.”

Bent, TheJetsBlog.com

Saunders is really small, but he is physical for his size and has outstanding speed. His forty time doesn’t necessarily do that justice. Many Jets fans were hoping for a future number one receiver from this draft, but this is more of a depth move. Saunders will probably challenge for the punt returner role initially, but the Jets will be hoping he can bring some of his playmaking ability to the offense as he develops.

As you’ll recall, we reported on the Jets’ interest in Andrew Hawkins earlier on in the offseason, but the Jets opted not to bid for the restricted free agent once there were other teams pushing the price up. Saunders strikes me as the same type of player and obviously the Jets have some kind of role earmarked for a player with this kind of skill-set, so hopefully Saunders is the man for the job.

Brian Bassett, TheJetsBlog.com

At 165 pounds, Saunders is something of an enigma. He was productive in replacement of Kenny Stills in the Oklahoma offense and he will add an explosive element to the Jets return game, whether on kicks or most likely on punts.

Saunders is obiously small, but he’s got good straight line speed (4.4 40 yard dashes) and he isn’t afraid of contact. One knock on Saunders is that he had some rather troubling tested speeds in agility drills in the lead up to the draft and that might have spiked his chances at being a Day Two pick. CBS Sports Rob Rang went as far as to call his timed speeds “shockingly slow” saying  that the results raised “questions about how much Oklahoma’s spread attack exaggerated his overall athleticism.”

While playing in Oklahoma’s spread offense Saunders was a “joystick” type receiver in the open field; assuming he has enough agility that element of his game should pair well with Marty Mornhinweg’s demonstrated ability to get receivers open. The Jets were looking for their Tavon Austin type since last draft and now they get a player in that mold — though likely with less explosion.




87 comments
Rob Bilodeau
Rob Bilodeau

His size and attributes remind me of a Dexter McCluster type guy.  Dexter was a poor man's Percy Harvin from Ole Miss, worked out well for KC.  Hopefully works out well for Jets

nesboogie
nesboogie

Gotta get Pierre if he's there, and we still need an OLB

inezsains
inezsains

Like Saunders. He will contribute.

Hoz
Hoz

New thread is up

marcus81
marcus81

Saunders size is a concern, should bulk up

Paul Samuels
Paul Samuels

Evans is a 6th round prospect... Why not take Bryant here? 

jvsvn
jvsvn

This is a Marty Ball pick. Think route combinations and match ups. We now have some big targets (Decker, Hill, Amaro) and some smurf guys (Kerley, Ford, Saunders) with Johnson catching balls out of the backfield. If Marty calls a good game and we get decent QB play, that will definitely be an upgrade. Probably not what everyone was expecting or hoping for but could be a very big improvement. One definitely gets the impression that Hill is being given one last year to prove his worth.

Hoz
Hoz

He's 6-1 213 decent size

bradysucks
bradysucks

Hopefully these 2 WR's win roster spots and we can finally send Hill & Gates to Canada where they can be back up WR's

jenkins
jenkins

Always been an underachiever. Will need GREAT coaching. D we have that?

bradysucks
bradysucks

I will take Evans...

I will take any WR's at this point

harold
harold

I really liked Evans more than most.  He actually is a pretty good WR.  Really highly regarded coming out of H.S.  And the light seemed to come on during his Sr. yr. 

Could be a Cotchery type player ,imo.

Cordell C
Cordell C

There's your guy on the outside

jenkins
jenkins

don't like Evans. Should be great, and isn't

Monty
Monty

were going to draft 3 wide outs and hope one hits :) 

Hoz
Hoz

Jets going WR crazy now...

Mike Milea
Mike Milea

De Anthony Thomas right MEOW!!!!

D
D

Bills just traded for Bryce Brown

thwacker
thwacker

Passes to him better be perfect or taller CB's will just knock the ball away.

jenkins
jenkins

The guy is Jackson-lite. Jet fans will love him.

Hoz
Hoz

I notice in this draft the Jets are looking at football players not sexy names.

Pat d
Pat d

Very disappointing first WR taken. The kid is okay but to think of all the WRs in this draft and this is what we settled for with 12 picks, not good enough,

harold
harold

@Paul Samuels

Bryant is a project.  I am not a huge fan.

I think Shaq is good for our offense.

1969JAN12th
1969JAN12th

@jvsvn  on Hill: probably not " one last year"; more like 1 last training camp & pre-season. 

Unless he comes up big time, I expect him to be cut (and I'm rooting for him...just don't see it happening).

marcus81
marcus81

@bradysucks Hill hasn't even played a full season and is still young, probably still best raw talent on the roster, if he doesn't come around this year then let him try starting over somewhere else

harold
harold

@bradysucks

Evans really improved his concentration his Sr. yr.  Played very well, imo.  I watched all the game tapes for him and liked him.  Could get off press and could still get down the field.

Roger Fortune
Roger Fortune

@Hoz  They heard all the complaints and theyre like you want receivers YOU GOT IT

Mike Milea
Mike Milea

These are the receivers I wanted...


Kevin Norwood  
Brandon Coleman   
Jared Abbrederis


Are the receivers we just got any better than these three??


Cordell C
Cordell C

Bills are going all in this year like there one piece away lol there giving away there future

lausenberg
lausenberg

@thwacker  I'm in no way saying he is Percy Harvin, but we could use Saunders in a similar capacity. Use him in screens and reverses, get him in open space and see what he can do. Idk how elusive he is, but it's an option we have.

D
D

@Cordell C Remember we had several picks last year that just sat and learned last year. They should improve as well as Winters. So who knows really.  Would you?

jenkins
jenkins

@JETS_ @jenkins  doesn't  play to his measurables. I liked him out of HS, but no development

bradysucks
bradysucks

As long as he can catch the ball better than Hill & Gates I will take him gladly

The Jets passed on a ton of good WR talent in this draft .....I really hope it was worth it

Landry, Robinson, Moncrief were no brainer picks and Idzik had a shot at them all if he had the WILL to make it happen

Cordell C
Cordell C

Faster they guys we got both can run

Bytor
Bytor

Too bad they don't have a qb.

Cordell C
Cordell C

Yea most deff I don't like winters at least I say bring in competition

psi1
psi1

On tape his hands really stand out as a good quality.

jenkins
jenkins

@harold  He needs coaching. If he gets it, maybe his talent will finally come out. Not big on our WR coach.

harold
harold

@jenkins

He really improved this past season.  He may take a year but he can be a quailty player for us if given time.

D
D

@jenkins @JETS_I live in LA and have seen enough UCLA games to say i think he can be a good pick up.  UCLA doesnt get as much coverage as most so you have to be a west coaster to really appreciate this pick, imo. 


I like it. Decent size, speed, he has hands too!

j_spikett
j_spikett

@bradysucks  you can't worry about all the players that were available in past rounds. you worry about what is available when you draft next

D
D

@Cordell C Well hopefully Winters takes a jump with a year under his belt. Tough coming in as a rookie..Hopefully he makes a good jump