After a day in which the Jets selected Ohio State defensive end Vernon Gholston and Purdue tight end Dustin Keller; two players which the team hopes to provide an instant impact, the Jets found themselves looking to add depth to their roster.
As the day began, the Jets were scheduled to pick in the fourth round (102nd overall), but they waited a bit longer to make their newest addition, as they swapped fourth round picks with the Green Bay Packers. The Jets acquired the 113th overall pick, and in addition, acquired the Packers’ fifth round pick (162nd overall).
With the new pick, the Jets added some youthful talent to their secondary, selecting San Jose State cornerback Dwight Lowery. Lowery arrived at San Jose State in 2006, after an outstanding career at Cabrillo College, where he started at free safety and intercepted 13 passes in just 15 games. After excelling at the junior college, Lowery made an impact at San Jose State, as he shifted to the cornerback position and recorded 13 interceptions over the past two years. Those 13 interceptions rank him fourth in school history. Lowery was also a first-team all-Western Athletic Conference selection for the 2006 and 2007 seasons.
“In the end, they’re going to make the best pick for the team, and that’s what I hope to bring," Lowery told reporters today.
Lowery adds versatility to the defensive side of the ball with his college experience at both free safety and cornerback. He told reporters that it is "hard to say,” whether he considers himself more of a safety or a corner in the NFL.
“I’m just coming into this situation trying to put my best out there for the New York Jets and see where they want to put me. It’s really out of my hands,” he said. He added, “I trust the coaching staff and the whole organization that they’ll put me in the best situation for them.”
Lowery knows he will play hard wherever the team positions him.
“As a rookie, you really have to establish yourself and establish some type of role on the team. Whatever that role will be, I’ll embrace it and I’ll go at it 100 percent,” he said.
Lowery not only gives the team multiple options in the secondary, but also on special teams. Lowery’s special teams duties were mostly relegated to punt returner in his college days, as he averaged 13.3 yards per-return. At the same time, he also served as a kick returner and a gunner. Already equipped with 2006 Pro Bowl kick returner Justin Miller and kick/punt return specialist Leon Washington, the Jets now have even greater depth at one of football’s most important positions.
Lowery told reporters that it is "hard to say,” how smooth his transition to the professional level will be, but he knows that he has to “come in and play hard and fulfill whatever goal that the team wants me to fulfill.”
Standing at 5-foot-11, 188 pounds, the knock on Lowery is that he struggles to make tackles, which could serve as a potential problem when playing in a conference that features some of the NFL’s strongest and fastest receivers. Blessed with speed (4.55 seconds in 40-yard dash) and a 34-inch vertical leap, Lowery knows where his strongest asset lies.
“My whole college career I’ve had good ball-skills," Lowery said. “I’m going to try to bring that ability to the Jets.”
The Jets next pick is in the 5th round (#162).