Archive for May, 2014

OTA’s: First impressions

Wednesday, May 28th, 2014

Florham Park, NJ – The Jets kicked off OTA’s yesterday, but today was the media’s first chance to get a look at the whole team together and as they say, ‘you never get a second chance at a first impression.’ Of course that puts too much pressure and/or emphasis on the first impression especially in a scenario such as this.

Yes, today was the media’s chance to get a first impression of the newly signed free agents, but what you see in OTA’s doesn’t necessarily translate to anything meaningful during the season. Still OTA’s are all we have for now and with no more media access until next Wednesday the first impressions are literally all we have to work with.

So, instead of getting ahead of ourselves and we start obsessing over quarterback competitions, who will be the number two receiver and cornerback, who will get cut and who could possibly be a breakout star let’s keep it simple and focus on today’s first impressions. (more…)

Is Calvin Pryor this year’s Sheldon Richardson?

Wednesday, May 21st, 2014

Last year Sheldon Richardson dominated the headlines in rookie camp, instantly earned the affection of the coaching staff and teammates and also became both a fan and media favorite. He continued that dominance throughout training camp and the regular season culminating with him winning the Defensive Rookie of the Year award.

Let’s travel back in time to just over a year ago.

The Jets had just drafted Dee Milliner and Richardson in the first round while also snagging Geno Smith with their second round pick. It was the first day of rookie camp and as soon as media observers glanced at the field their eyes lit up as if to say, ‘Damn, that dude is quick.’ Instantly onlookers were transfixed by his electric speed and quickness, an effortless burst and an overall giant ball of energy. It was just rookie camp though, so as impressive as his first impression was it was hard to put any stock into it, that is, until the locker room opened up. (more…)

Jets claim RB Daryl Richardson off waivers

Saturday, May 17th, 2014

Florham Park, NJ – It appears John Idzik has an affinity for running backs with dreadlocks. After Zac Stacy had a breakout year of sorts and the Rams drafted Tre Mason in the third round Daryl Richardson became expendable to the Rams and Idzik quickly pounced on the opportunity to add Richardson to this suddenly very deep running back group.

Richardson was a seventh-round draft, out of Abilene Christian University, in 2012 and served as backup to Steven Jackson during his rookie season. As Jackson’s backup Richardson had 98 carries for 475 yard (4.8 yards per carry) to go along with 24 catches for 163 yards (6.8 yards per reception). (more…)

Rookies start first day of work

Friday, May 16th, 2014

Let’s skip the standard generic joke about the players getting paid more to play in college than in the NFL, today marks the first day of work as actual employees for these rookies.

Some of these players are just here temporarily, trying out to make the mini-camp/training camp roster, others are locks to make the regular season roster and see playing time, but they’re all here to work and prove to the coaching staff and players that they belong.

All of these players are excited to get back to playing football, but for some their wait has been longer than others. Players like Trevor Reilly (ACL and torn meniscus) and Dexter McDougle missed significant chunks of last season and are itching to get back to playing the game that they love.

“It was a dislocated shoulder and a fractured scapula.” McDougle said of his injury. “Yeah so, it was pretty serious. Basically I hit a guy and it was a freak accident. I had to get plates and screws (put in), luckily bone heals fast and it’s healed up very well. I’m just working on strengthening it so, everything’s good right now. (more…)

Jets add CB, DE, WR and QB in 6th round, LB in 7th

Saturday, May 10th, 2014

With the Jets possessing 12 picks in this year’s draft everyone expected the Jets to package some of those picks to move up in the draft, after all it’s unlikely 12 rookies will stick with the team once the regular season starts, but using all 12 picks means sticking with Idzik’s mantra of building through competition. It also means they can completely whiff on a few of these picks and still come out of this draft in great shape.

Coming into the draft the biggest needs for the Jets were at receiver, tight end and defensive back. Safety Calvin Pryor and tight end Jace Amaro addressed two positions of need and the Jets went corner in the third with Dexter McDougle before adding two receivers in the fourth. In the sixth the Jets continued to add depth by adding another corner and receiver and also selecting a defensive end and a quarterback.

The Jets selection of Clemson QB Tajh Boyd in the 6th round puts Matt Simms' status in question.

I can’t offer up much information on the corner, Brandon Dixon, or the defensive end, Ik Enemkpali, but I am very familiar with the receiver, Quincy Enunwa from Nebraska and the quarterback Tajh Boyd from Clemson.

Enunwa is a big, strong, physical receiver with good speed but is very raw as a route runner and catcher. He is 6′2″ 256 lbs and ran a 4.5 40. Is physical and strong enough to get off jams from press corners, but wastes too much motion in his routes and doesn’t enter or exit his breaks cleanly. Good speed, but takes awhile to get up to top-speed. Ultra competitive, will fight for jump balls and has the hand strength and leaping ability to win, but uses his body to make catches too much and will need to improve his technique to create separation at the NFL. Excellent, physical blocker downfield and trucks through defenders once the ball is in his hands. Has good instincts and the open field. Has many of the tools needed to become a successful receiver in the NFL, but has a lot of kinks to iron out for that to happen.

Boyd is a player I’ve really enjoyed watching for the past couple of seasons. He started out last season mentioned as a contender for the Heisman but he seemed to become the forgotten quarterback as the season went on. Which was confusing to me because I didn’t see his play slip much and all the issues in his game, and there are plenty of issues, were all there the year before.

Boyd is a short quarterback, just over 6′, has slightly above-average arm strength and has trouble seeing the field and working through his progressions at times. He gets happy-feet and has a tendency to panic a little when pressured, but he has great mobility/escapability, excellent vision as a runner, will juke defenders or lower his shoulder and create a lane to run through. Needs to work on keeping his head up and eyes downfield when he gets moving in or out of the pocket. Because of his shortness he possesses the ability to throw the ball from multiple arm angles and has an above average touch on his throws.

Boyd is more accurate than many will lead you to believe, especially when on the run, but struggles with consistency due to sloppy footwork. Will sometimes take weird, unconventional steps but also has the ability to make impressive, “wow” throws when you least expect it. Boyd has an intriguing skill-set and the worst kept secret in the league was Rex Ryan’s affinity to the Clemson quarterback, but don’t listen to anyone with quarterback competition jokes. I’m as big a Boyd fan as anyone, but best case scenario is he’ll the number three quarterback/practice squad. This could very well mean the end to Matt Simms’ career as a Jet, but Boyd won’t be pushing Geno Smith or Michael Vick.

IK Enemkpali is the defensive end from Louisiana Tech and besides the fact that his name is extremely hard to spell I don’t know much about him. He’s clearly a developmental pick who, if he has a decent-to-strong training camp, will likely find himself on the practice squad as a best-case-scenario especially considering the talent already occupying spots on that line.

Brandon Dixon is the corner from Northwest Missouri State who is blazing fast 4.41 40. His speed is an obvious plus, but there are concerns about his ability to decipher routes and he gets turned around too easily in space. He is raw, needs to be coached up and work on his fundamentals, technique and becoming a student of the game, but that’s what sixth round picks are for.

With their 12th and final pick the Jets selected outside linebacker Trevor Reilly from Utah. Reilly is a lunch pal type of guy, hard worker and is keeps on fighting even after he gets locked up. He’s a good prospect but is 26 years old after serving a Mormon fellowship in Sweden. He also has had problems with his right knee which has had multiple surgeries.

Over the next couple of days I’ll do more research and homework for the players I’m not as familiar with and make sure to report my findings back to you.

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)┬ásays 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…)