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DRAFT TALK: Due Diligence

By Tony Pauline
Special To Jets Insider.com
April 1st, 2009
QB Mike Teel of closeby Rutgers is one of several prospective draft picks that the Jets have worked out.
QB Mike Teel of closeby Rutgers is one of several prospective draft picks that the Jets have worked out.
The NFL draft is less than one month away...so what are the Jets up to? Who are the players they are working out and what positions can fans expect them to look at during draft weekend? SI.com draft analyst and JetInsider.com contributor Tony Pauline is on top of it and files this report.

All signs point to the Jets addressing the offensive line in the middle and late rounds in Aprilís draft and possibly sooner via free agency.

Bill Callahan was in Maryland last week working out a bunch of Terrapins offensive linesman. Maryland has four next level prospects on the offensive line and one reserve worth looking at. They include Edwin Williams (C/G), Jaimie Thomas (G), John Griffin (G), Dane Randolph (T) and Scott Burley (T).

Thomas and Williams were combine invitees. Randolph was highly rated but struggled with an ankle injury last season. Sources told me the Jets will consider using a mid round pick on Thomas and will try and sign Randolph if he is available after the draft. The team is also bringing in Edwin Williams for an official visit.

Another player on his way to Florham Park is Eastern Michiganís T.J. Lange.

The college tackle has been working at both guard and center in the off-season for NFL coaches and is the hottest non-combine player in the draft. Lange could be selected as early as the second round. If heís available in round three the Jets may look to grab him.

Eric Young is a name familiar to draft fans. He is a player Jets fans should quickly get to know.

Young was a highly rated offensive lineman entering the 2007 season and graded out as a top 100 choice for the 2008 draft. But the offensive tackle saw his senior season with the Tennessee Volunteers cut short after suffering a torn quadriceps muscle. It was an injury which required surgery to repair and kept Young on the sidelines for the final month of the í07 campaign.

As a result Young went undrafted one year ago and was eventually signed, then put on injured reserve by the Cleveland Browns.

The Browns under Phil Savage put Young on injured reserve to give his surgically repaired thigh time to heel. The organization believed Young offered starting potential at guard and agreed to give him a chance to compete for a spot with the first team. Shortly after the new regime headed by Eric Manigini came to town, Young was released.

On Tuesday Young worked out for the Jets and the team could sign him in the next few days. Young could be a steal for the Jets as at the top of his game he offers the team the power blocking lineman needed at guard.

Rutgers quarterback Mike Teel is a signal caller moving up draft boards and a passer the New York Jets like. The organization has already worked Teel out and has given him high grades.

The Jets are also taking a very close look at Arkansas tight end Andrew Davie. The over-aged junior will offer the Jets the blocker they need at the position and has also displayed himself to be a solid long snapper in pre-daft workouts. James Dearth is the Jets third tight end and presently the teams long snapper yet is never put on the field as blocker or pass catcher.

Reports that the Jets were bringing in Boston College defensive tackle BJ Raji to Florham Park on an official visit were slightly misguided.

Raji will visit with the Jets but as part of the local contingency of players that hail within 100 miles of the teamís headquarters. Wisconsin linebacker Jonathan Casillas will also be part of this group, which is not counted as one of the thirty pre-draft visits allowed by the NFL.

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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