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Jets draft Iowa State LB Jeremiah George in 5th round

Saturday, May 10th, 2014

With their only fifth round pick the Jets drafted inside linebacker, Jeremiah George, from Iowa State.

George is 5′11 1/4″, 234 lbs, and ran an average (for linebackers) 40 of 4.91. He has 33 1/4″ arm length, put up an impressive 28 reps in the bench (worst for linebackers was 18, 30 was the most), has an average vertical jump 33″ and an above average broad jump at 116″. (Worst was 108″ and best 120″.)

Jets 5th round pick LB Jeremiah George had 133 tackles for Iowa State last fall.

Yes, I’m listing all of his measure-ables because I don’t know much about him. According to reports George is an undersized backer, but has excellent instincts and plus range. He has some versatility and will be able to contribute on special teams immediately.

George was a team captain in 2013 and is said to be a vocal leader who will work hard and challenge teammates.

Draftinsider.net’s Tony Pauline (http://www.draftinsider.net/reports/2014/ILB/Jeremiah-George) says George, “will be a terrific fit in Rex Ryan’s defense.”

According to Pauline George’s strengths are, “Two-year starter who lead Iowa State with 133 tackles last season. Also registered 12 tackles for loss and 3.5 sacks. Junior totals included 87 tackles in nine starts. Small pursuit linebacker who chases hard to make plays. Instinctive, quickly finds the ball, and scrapes well laterally. Plays sideline to sideline, quick getting outside the box in pursuit, and fires though gaps in run defense. Plays faster than his 40-time, fearless, and plays with reckless abandon. Sells out on the blitz, covers a good amount of area, and cuts off the corners from runners.”

Pauline lists George’s weaknesses as, “Not a stout tackler as runners pick up yardage off initial contact. Overmatched by tight ends.”
Pauline adds that, “George took off at an incredible rate the past two seasons and has enough skill to line up on the inside of a 3-4 alignment in the NFL. He plays with a special teams mentality, which is added value.”
Over the next few days I will dig into all the tape on George, Dozier and whoever else the Jets draft that I haven’t watched enough of and report back my findings in detail.
The draft is currently in the sixth round, the Jets have four more picks in the sixth (19th, 33rd, 34th and 37th) and one left in the seventh (18th) to close out the draft.

Jets add two WRs and a guard in fourth round

Saturday, May 10th, 2014

The Jets have a busy day today with nine total picks on the day. They started off with three fourth round picks where they finally drafted a receiver and chased that pick down with a second receiver and a guard to close out the round for them.

The first receiver they took was Jalen Saunders from Oklahoma. Saunders is short (5′8 7/8″ 165 lbs), but is a very strong, physical and aggressive receiver with excellent speed (4.44 40). Saunders could occasionally line up on the outside and win, but he’s mostly a slot receiver with great burst/acceleration.

The Jets first 4th round pick, Oklahoma WR Jalen Saunders, can catch the ball and return punts.

Has the toughness, speed and quickness to win underneath, has excellent range for his height and will get after the ball and snatch it out of the air with quick hands. Very dangerous in space and has great stop-and-start speed. As a receiver he is very similar to Jeremy Kerley, but don’t mistake that as a bad thing.

Kerley was the Jets only reliable receiving option when healthy last year, now they have two Kerley’s to line up with new additions Eric Decker, Jace Amaro and the other rookie, Shaq Evans, and that’s only troubling for opposing secondaries.

Saunders can also step in and contribute in the return game on day one, he has excellent vision and return skills. If you want to fall in love with the kid before training camp, find his tape from this year’s bowl game against Alabama.

Saunders told Jets beat-writers he sees himself as a cross, “between a gorilla and a terrier. They’re real small and people don’t expect too much.” Saunders also referred to himself as a, “savage” on the field.

With their second fourth round pick the Jets added another receiver who is a nice compliment to Saunders and the rest of the receiving core, Shaq Evans from UCLA.

Evans is 6′1 1/4″ 213 lbs and ran a 4.51 40. Has very strong hands and the toughness to go over the middle and hang on to the ball in traffic, the straight-line speed to be a deep threat, but needs to clean up his route running underneath.

Evans uses his body well to shield defenders, very competitive and according to reports is a quiet, hard-working kid. Doesn’t have the quickness or burst to kill defenses with yards-after-the-catch, but has the ability to develop into a solid possession receiver.

With their third, fourth round pick the Jets selected Dakota Dozier, offensive tackle from Furman. The Jets will likely move Dozier inside to guard. I didn’t watch any Furman games or do any tape study on the offensive line this year so I’ll just give you the scouting report from NFL.com on him. Link found here, http://www.nfl.com/combine/profiles/dakota-dozier?id=2543805.

STRENGTHS

Outstanding overall body mass and thickness, especially in the lower body. Strong power base with a very stout anchor. Locks down and dominates lesser competition in pass protection (pancake machine). Plays with vinegar and finishes blocks. Rose to the occasion vs. better competition (see LSU). Plays with good knee bend and generates movement off the ball. Experienced, four-year starter.

WEAKNESSES

Raw technician. Footwork is not clean. Shuffles instead of kicksliding and can get overextended attacking defenders. Carries his hands low and does not replace them. Oversets and gives up inside counters. Rolls slowly to the second level under control and can be beaten to the block point by speed. Can get complacent and play down to the competition level.

BOTTOM LINE

Small-school college left tackle best suited to kick inside in the pros. Has the girth and enough athletic ability to compete as a guard or center and ornery football disposition desired in the trenches. A tough, gritty, road grader capable of paving the way in the run game, Dozier will require some technique refinement in pass protection, yet possesses clear starter potential with continued development. Draft status could ascend if he proves he can play center.”

Jets take Maryland CB Dexter McDougle in round 3

Friday, May 9th, 2014

With their third round pick the Jets selected cornerback Dexter McDougle from Maryland. McDougle is a fast, (4.49 40), potential play-making/ballhawking corner, but missed a large chunk of playing time in college due to a variety of injuries.

McDougle suffered a season-ending shoulder injury last year and broke his collarbone in a scooter accident in 2011. Because of the injuries there isn’t a lot of tape available on McDougle but he has long arms (30 1/2″), a thick frame (196) and that 4.49 speed.

Jets added the fast yet often injured CB Dexter McDougle from Maryland as their third round pick

McDougle has good route awareness, sticks to receivers with good positioning and does a good job of getting his head turned around to make a play on the ball. He can play press man-coverage, but will likely have trouble mixing it up with the bigger/more physical receivers.

He’s an aggressive corner, with good eye discipline and tracks the ball well. Is a willing and able tackler, hard hitter for his size, but needs to clean up his tackling technique and improve shedding blockers. Excellent at identifying routes, will sniff out runs and screens and jump routes.

The Jets obviously believe he can become a play-maker in their secondary, but with his limited playing experience his skill-set is fairly raw and will have to be smoothed out. Luckily for him and the Jets Rex Ryan knows a thing or two about coaching up corners.

Unless they make a last minute trade the Jets are done for the night, going three rounds without selecting a wide receiver in the deepest receiver class ever. With three picks to kick off the day, in round four, tomorrow one would think the Jets will be eyeing a receiver or two, of course we said that for rounds one through three as well.

We’ll have more from Rex Ryan and Idzik, including quotes from McDougle soon.

Jets select Texas Tech TE Jace Amaro in round 2

Friday, May 9th, 2014

After going defense in the first round, again, the Jets finally decided it was time to draft a weapon for their quarterback(s) and that’s exactly what they got with Jace Amaro.

Amaro is much more of a wide receiver than a tight end, he spent the heavy majority of his time lined up as a slot receiver with Texas Tech last season. Amaro demolished smaller corners as a blocker in the running game, but won’t offer much as a blocking tight end in the NFL. He’s a receiver in a tight end’s body.

Jets second round pick, Texas Tech's Jace Amaro can both catch and block.

Amaro was the third tight end drafted, which makes sense because Eric Ebron and Austin Seferian-Jenkins both have higher ceilings. But Amaro was the best/most productive tight end in college last season, and the safest tight end prospect, and he can come in and contribute to the Jets offense immediately.

Amaro is 6′5″ 265 with 4.74 speed and he uses that big frame and good speed to his advantage. Smooth route runner, with good initial burst off the line and quickness coming in-and-out of his breaks. A threat down the seam forcing defenders to respect his ability to get vertical and stretch defenses. Does a good job of finding soft spots in the defense and uses his body to shield defenders and create leverage and separation. Very effective after the catch, good vision and elusiveness for his size, runs with an authority that makes it hard for defenders to tackle him.

Amaro has good range and soft hands, but needs to improve at winning jump balls and completing catches in traffic. Has plenty of room to improve, but is ready to contribute as soon as he walks in the building.

The Jets are still scheduled to make one more pick tonight, in the third, they could very well trade up to make sure they get their favorite receiver left on board or sit back and wait to see who falls to them. Of course, they could go in a number of different ways so, we’ll have to wait and see.

We’ll have more from Rex Ryan and John Idzik on the decision to draft Amaro and quotes from Amaro shortly.

Round two targets: Receivers galore

Friday, May 9th, 2014

The Jets hold the 17th pick in round two and they will certainly have an interesting assortment of players to choose from, including plenty of receivers and tight ends for you fans starving for offensive players.

Of course there will undoubtedly be a few really good defensive players available that could tempt the Jets, but it’s time for the Jets to shift their focus on getting Geno Smith some more weapons.

If the Jets were to go defense, (calm down, hear me out I’m just talking hypotheticals here) I would think it would come from this list of players, (OLBs) Jeremiah Attaochu (Georgia Tech), Demarcus Lawrence (Boise State) or Kyle Van Noy (BYU). One possible inside linebacker, Chris Borland from Wisconsin and to really stoke the ire of Jets fans, defensive ends Kony Ealy (Missouri), Scott Crichton (Oregon State) and Stephon Tuitt (Notre Dame). (more…)

Jets select safety Calvin Pryor as top pick

Thursday, May 8th, 2014

Florham Park, NJ – For most of the draft process everyone had the Jets drafting a wide receiver or tight end in the first round, but over the past couple of weeks that trend turned to cornerbacks.

After months of speculation the Jets finally made their selection and took a safety, Calvin Pryor, from Louisville.

The board seemed to be falling exactly the way the Jets were hoping and still the Jets surprised us by taking Pryor. Pryor is a great player and will be an outstanding in-the-box strong safety, but the fact that they passed on cornerback Darqueze Dennard, free safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix and to a lesser extent receiver Brandin Cooks is rather surprising.

When many thought the Jets would focus on offense in the first round, they again went defense by drafting Louisville safety Calvin Pryor.

Pryor is a devastating tackler that will blow up running backs, run through blockers and crush receivers that dare come across the middle. He was not asked to play much man-coverage as a free safety in college, as he played much more of a strong safety role, and he works best in tight spaces, but John Idzik and Rex Ryan both said they were impressed with his coverage ability multiple times.

Pryor earned a starting role in Louisville’s secondary with six games left in his freshman season and was an unquestioned starter at safety for the following two-and-a-half seasons before entering the draft after his junior season.

“We did a lot of homework on Calvin.” Idzik said, “He fits us, he fits our profile. He’s a physical presence on the field, has range, makes plays, creates turnovers and just plays like a Jet. So, we’re very happy to have Calvin on board.”

Before everyone starts guessing that this was a Ryan pick or an Idzik pick, Idzik said he went to watch Louisville play the University of Central Florida during last season and came back telling Ryan that he was going to fall in love with this kid.

“John had told me, during the year, ‘hey, I just saw a guy that you’re going to absolutely love.’” Ryan said, “The first series of the game he chased a guy down for a hit for a loss, then he gets the knockout hit and knocks a guy cold. Then he has the one-handed interception against Central Florida, all in one series. I was like, “I think that was a pretty good start.’

“But what I’m excited about is, John hits it on the head, this young man plays like a Jet. We pride ourselves on being a physical football team and he fits that profile. I mean this young man is an enforcer and I think that’s, you see some of those plays and hits and see how that can affect a game, just look at the Super Bowl and the play of (Kam) Chancellor back there and Earl Thomas. It’s how we want to play defense and I think this young man is going to step in and fit right in with the guys we already have.”

Pryor was considered more of strong safety, with some scouts questioning his range and coverage ability, but if the Jets had those concerns they didn’t show it and probably wouldn’t have drafted him at 18.

“As far as the coverage, and man stuff and all of that, I don’t think he played as much man, but this young man has plenty of cover skills.” Ryan said, “He’s got range, he’s got hands for the interceptions. So, he can play deep, he can play up. All those types of things, when we all looked at him and evaluated him we knew he had plenty of coverage skills.”

Idzik said it simply came down to taking the best player available, they made inquiries to trade up and listened to offers to trade down, but ultimately decided to jump on Pryor. But Idzik did admit this was one of those good cases of need marrying value.

“I guess you could say that.” Idzik said, “I think the overriding factor is he was the best player on our board.”

“Believe me there is a huge thing with his hitting ability.” Ryan said about what impressed him the most, “Big hits will win games and they’ll flip the momentum of a game faster than anything in my opinion.”

One concern with a hard-hitting safety like Pryor is that with the enforcement on “illegal hits” by defensive backs would a player like Pryor be susceptible to drawing a lot of flags? But the Jets insist that is not a worry of theirs.

“In viewing his tape, when he makes the impact hits they aren’t illegal hits.” Idzik said. “They’re just hard hits. So, we like having that style of play on our side.”

Pryor said he didn’t talk to anyone from the Jets during his pro day, but got a good feeling from the Jets when he visited them in Florham Park.

“I came in for a visit and I felt I fit that team very well and Coach Rex, a defensive-minded coach, he wanted me to go deep and slide back there and help improve their secondary. He felt like I was a great fit.”

Pryor said he feels like they ran a similar defense at Louisville as the Jets run and he will fit right in with this unit. He compared himself to Kam Chancellor and Dashon Goldson and looks forward to coming in, competing and helping make this defense better and he’s already on a mission to learn and absorb as much information as possible to become a better player.

“It’ll be great because Coach Ryan is going to be able to coach me up and teach me some things that I wasn’t able learn to in college.” Pryor said. “He’ll look for me to make an impact right away and he’s going to everything in his power to.”

With the 18th pick the Jets select…

Thursday, May 8th, 2014

Assuming the Jets don’t trade up or trade down there are four players I think the Jets are targeting, hoping will fall to 18. Because I’m only guessing at what the Jets board will look like and how the board will fall I have a three-way tie for who I think the Jets covet the most if they stay at 18 and I have a fourth player who is just a notch below the top three, but expect the Jets would be plenty happen to draft.

The Jets aren’t likely to have their choice between the top three players, in fact there’s a good chance all three of them are gone by 18, but I have to think they are hoping for one of them to fall. I just have no idea how they would rank those three. (more…)

Will the Jets trade up?

Thursday, May 8th, 2014

Finally draft day is here, just under eight more hours of speculation and smokescreens left. Speaking of speculation and smokescreens, according to multiple reports the Jets are considering trading up in the first round with the assumption being the target is LSU wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr.

I know many of you are screaming ’smokescreen’ and thinking if the Jets actually wanted to do this then we wouldn’t be hearing about it considering the way John Idzik keeps everything so close to the vest, but the thing is there’s no way to keep this quiet. If a team starts making calls about trading up the teams they call will start talking to everyone else trying to drive up the price tag. Of course just because the Jets have made inquiring phone calls doesn’t mean they are determined to trade up, they could very well just be trying to get a feel for the cost of moving up certain spots just incase a scenario presents itself where trading up some makes sense. It’s called due diligence, doesn’t mean it will happen but it could. (more…)

Round one DB options

Wednesday, May 7th, 2014

This article got delayed for a few reasons, but only one reason as it relates to this article. Throughout the college season I had Michigan State’s Darqueze Dennard and Virginia Tech’s Kyle Fuller as my number one and two ranked corners and I gave Dennard the edge simply because of how physical he is. Fuller is a physical corner as well, but not quite as physical as Dennard and for that reason alone I gave Dennard the edge and I only watched a handful of cut-ups on them early in the draft-process as I didn’t feel the need to study them as much as the other corners because I knew what I was getting with those two. Then over the past week I decided to focus on all of Dennard and Fuller’s games I had access to, to see how close the battle for first and second was and it was much closer than I expected.

To be honest I still can’t really tell which one I’d prefer, I think you can’t lose with either one, but we’ll get into the reasons why I can’t seem to make up my mind on those two along with other defensive back options with the 18th pick. (more…)

Round one tight end options

Thursday, May 1st, 2014

For part two of this draft series we’ll focus on possible tight end options for the Jets in the first round. You can find part one of the series, on receivers, here.

Originally I planned to group the tight ends and receivers together, but the receiver class is too deep to not have it’s own article for each round. The tight end position certainly won’t cause the same problems for me as it’s simply not a deep class.

There’s a fairly strong, at least potential-wise, top five with this year’s tight end group, but after that there’s a fairly big drop off. Of the top five tight ends only one of them is guaranteed to go in the first round. I think overall at least two will probably be drafted in the first, but I’m not sure who will be the second as teams are likely to be split in their rankings of not only the second and third tight end but the fourth and fifth as well. (more…)