Clemson Ricky Sapp could be an option for Jets in NFL Draft
I love just reading how guys get excited just thinking about playing on the Jets defense.
Rex Ryan was talking shop inside the Jets’ film room, showing off some of the nuances of the league’s elite defense, when Clemson outside linebacker Ricky Sapp came to this realization: How cool would it be to play for this guy?
The 6-5, 252-pound Sapp, a projected late first-round/early second-round pick in the upcoming NFL Draft, could be an ideal fit for a team looking for an edge pass rusher.
The Jets, of course, rolled out the red-carpet for 13-year veteran Jason Taylor this week in their search to boost their pedestrian sack totals (32) last season.
“Are you kidding me? I would love to be a part of that defense,” Sapp said today. “Just seeing what they do scheme wise -- and seeing the talented players that they have -- is exciting. ... Talking to (Ryan) and watching film with him, I could tell he’s one of those guys that puts you in the right position to make plays. I definitely want to be a part of that.”
Sapp bounced back from a torn right ACL injury during his junior year to record career highs in tackles (60), tackles for loss (5) and sacks (5) last season. His blend of athleticism and smarts makes him an attractive option for the Jets at the 29th overall pick.
Sapp, who met with Ryan, general manager Mike Tannenbaum and a few players this week at the team’s practice facility in Florham Park, has aleardy worked out for the Patriots and Eagles.
After playing on his surgically repaired knee at “60 percent” last season, Sapp skipped the Senior Bowl to make sure he could prove to NFL scouts and evaluators that his injury is a thing of the past.
“Right now my knee feels great,” Sapp said. “I feel like I’m back to my old self. When I’m running and working out, I don’t even remember getting hurt or even thinking about it.”
Sapp made a seamless transition from defensive end to stand-up outside linebacker in Clemson’s 3-4 alignments last season.
“It was natural,” Sapp said. “I played a little bit (at outside linebacker) over the past four years. Last year, I stood up a whole lot more. I had no problem with dropping back and covering running backs and receivers. I enjoyed it. It was very natural for me.”
“Playing in a 3-4 scheme is a challenge … and I love a challenge,” he added. “I just love competition.”