FLORHAM PARK, NJ — Continuing to refine their host skills, the Jets have invited a bevy of potential draft picks to their Atlantic Health Jets Training Facility center as they attempt to figure out who will be apart of their 2011 rookie class.
On Tuesday, the Jets welcomed Randall Cobb, WR (Kentucky), Kenrick Ellis, NT (Hampton), Martell Webb, TE (Michigan) and Abilene Christian, WR (Edmond Gates).
The big name, no pun intended, on the list is certainly Ellis. At 6-foot-5 and 346 pounds, he is one of the biggest defensive players in the draft. His size is absolutely prototypical for a nose tackle in a 3-4 scheme and his power and potential have never been in question. After starting out his collegiate career with South Carolina he was suspended the first three games of the season for violating team policy. The ensuing Spring he was dismissed from the team for further off-the-field issues. Rex Ryan and the Jets have been able to harbor problematic players without any issues in the past (see Cromartie, Antonio; Edwards, Braylon; Holmes, Santonio), and his potential may be enough to take a risk on Ellis with their 94th pick in the third round. Kenrick Ellis HS Highlights
With a need for both a nose tackle and an edge rusher, Ellis may be a better fit for the Jets in the third round as they should devote their 30th pick to an edge rusher (Hello Justin Houston?).
If the Jets decide not to devote big numbers to the versatile Brad Smith, Cobb may be a younger, cheaper substitute. At 5-foot-10 and 191 pounds, he posted complete numbers from the Wildcats. Last season, he caught 84 passes for 1,017 yards, rushed 55 times for 424 yards and completed five of 10 passes for 58 yards, three touchdowns and no interceptions. And yes, he can even return kicks too. Randall Cobb UK 2010 Highlights
On Wednesday, they welcomed a pair of potential first round picks in Akeem Ayers, OLB, UCLA and Gabe Carimi, OT, Wisconsin. Ayers, as mentioned in the JetsInsider’s Meet the Prospects segment, is high on the Jets wish list and could still be available in the late first round. Carimi, due to a lack of standout offensive lineman (outside of Nate Solder and Anthony Castonzo), figures to be off the board by the 30th pick.
However Carimi, at 6-foot-7 and 327 pounds, is a massive man to anchor the right side of an offensive line. Playing with a tenacious mean streak, he attacks defenders with his hands and gets off the line very well. Run blocking is his specialty (something that Bill Callahan and Ryan love) and may only need to work on his footwork in pass protection. Gabe Carimi vs. Iowa 2010 (Left Tackle)
In addition to Ayers and Carimi, the Jets also invited out Chykie Brown, CB (Texas) Josh Thomas, CB (Buffalo), Sione Fua, DT (Stanford) and Bilal Powell, RB (Louisville). Just the possibility of a defensive line featuring Sione Fua and Sione Pouha is too titillating to pass up for me. I don’t care if it’s a wasted pick, take this guy!
Despite spending their first round pick in 2010 on cornerback Kyle Wilson, they still seem to be taking interest in that position. This is something to keep an eye on throughout the draft and free agency as Wilson had a tough time making the transition from college to the NFL in his first year. And the breakout year by Patriots’ cornerback Devin McCourty, whom the Jets were very high on as well, has placed a sense of urgency for Wilson to produce. While Ryan has no means of giving up on the soon-to-be second-year player, he may only be looking to keep his options open.