After drafting Tennessee quarterback Erik Ainge in the fifth round (162nd overall), the Jets set their sights on improving the offense even more in the sixth round. With plenty of players to choose from, the Jets selected Kansas wide receiver Marcus Henry with the 171st overall pick. Henry characterized Sunday as a day with “a lot of waiting around,” but in the end, he found himself in green and white.
Henry was a starter for three of his four years with the Jayhawks, totaling 104 catches for 1598 yards and 13 touchdowns. His 104 career receptions rank him ninth on the school’s all-time list, while he sits seventh on the school’s all-time receiving list. The 2007 season was Henry’s best, as he caught 54 passes for 1014 yards and 10 touchdowns.
Henry spoke with scouts prior to the draft, but he was unsure of any intentions the Jets had of selecting him.
“I got a couple calls from scouts but I couldn’t tell if they had interest in me,” he said.
The Jets surely did have interest in the former Jayhawk, as today’s selection helped the team add depth to a wide receiver position which already includes names such as Laveranues Coles, Jerricho Cotchery and Brad Smith.
The Jets’ newest wide receiver does not possess blazing speed, as was exemplified by his 4.56 40-yard dash time during Kansas’ pro day earlier this month, but he has a solid frame. At 6-foot-4, 207 pounds, Henry will provide Jets' quarterbacks with a large target to throw to. His talent was put on display on Nov. 10, 2007, as he torched Oklahoma State with eight catches for 199 yards and three touchdowns in 43-28 victory.
Although his role with the team is yet to be determined, many believe that his lack of speed will relegate him to being a possession receiver. Henry knows that regardless of what role he is expected to fill, his goal is simple.
“My motivation is to compete and try to get a position on the field,” he said.
Mark Mangino, Henry’s head coach at Kansas, had fond things to say about his former wide receiver, calling the selection a “steal for the New York Jets.” “They will like everything about him from his ability, work ethic and the way he conducts himself on and off the field," Mangino said.
Mangino suggested that “If Marcus had redshirted, he would have been one of the premier wide receivers in college football.”
The Jets can only hope that Henry possesses such talent for years to come.
The Jets next and final selection is in round 7 (Pick #211)