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DRAFT TALK: Jets At The Senior Bowl

By Tony Pauline
Special To Jets Insider.com
January 23rd, 2008
The Jets brass had all eyes on USC Defensive Tackle Sedrick Ellis at the Senior Bowl practices.
The Jets brass had all eyes on USC Defensive Tackle Sedrick Ellis at the Senior Bowl practices.
The Jets were very active at the Senior Bowl this week and there’s been a lot of talk about them down here in Mobile, Alabama. Draft expert Tony Pauline files this complete report for Jets Insider.com:

Most of the Jets brain trust were in attendance at weigh-ins on Monday morning including Mike Tannebaum, Terry Bradway, Dick Haley and Joey Clinkscales.

The team obviously had some favorite players they were targeting.

One player was Gosder Cherilus, the big offensive tackle from Boston College whom they closely examined at weigh in. Cherilus has had a tough go of it during practice yet a Jets scout promptly interviewed him at length once practice ended Tuesday morning.

Another player they watched closely was Penn State linebacker Dan Connor.

The third was USC tackle Sedrick Ellis. In fact the team seemed to jump from their seats when Ellis walked off the podium after weighing in. At one point Tannenbaum patted Terry Bradway on the shoulder as to almost say, “There’s our guy.”

There are a lot of opinions at the Senior Bowl whether or not Ellis will hold up at nose tackle in the NFL. The majority opinion is he lacks the size to start off at the spot, something I agree with.

The team also seems to like defensive tackle Dre’ Moore of Maryland. After Tuesday’s practice, Bradway had a long discussion with Moore on the field.

The buzz in Mobile is the Jets will be big players in the free agent market. Yet the question is will free agents want to sign with the Jets?

Speaking with a number of player reps, several mentioned the Pete Kendall situation last August and that Mangini’s poor communication skills has turned off a number of current players and potential future free agents. Word has spread like wildfire that Mangini does not communicate effectively with his players and a number of agents will not want to put their clients in a bad situation.

One player headed for free agency the Jets will be interested in is 321 Lb. Noseguard Isaac Sopoaga of the 49ers. Contract renegotiations between Sopoaga and the team have gone nowhere and he is expected to receive a hefty contract during the free agency period. He could be the solution the Jets have been looking for in Mangini’s 3-4 set.

Finally, after speculation over the past few weeks, Offensive Line Coach Tony Wise has left the team and accepted the same position with Dave Wannstedt and the University of Pittsburgh. Newly hired assistant coach Bill Callahan will take over Wise’s duties on the line.

Tony Pauline is the NFL Draft analyst at SI.com. His year round work on the NFL draft can be found at www.TFYDRAFT.com.

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