Many of the draft gurus have stated that the JETS 2014 draft may have ben one of the best in the team’s history rivaling the 2000 draft when they took Chad Pennington, Shaun Ellis, John Abraham and Laveranues Coles.
This year the team had several holes they needed to fill. They also had a few other other positions where they needed to create competition. It appears to me that they were extremely successful in both areas
Let’s take a look at what they did with the 12 picks they had this year.
The number one selection was an outstanding defensive player…Calvin Pryor…the hard hitting safety from Louisville. Dan Leberfeld of JETS CONFIDENTIAL describes Pryor as a “heat seeking missile” with “off the charts toughness”. But it is obvious to anyone who watched the film of this young man that physicality is only part of the story. He has great hands for the interception and excellent coverage skills. He covers a whole lot of ground in the defensive backfield. He’s a true stud safety…something the JETS have not had too much of. LaRon Landy was only around for a short time and Jim Leonard, though a fine player, was never an enforcer at the position. Pryor is an exceptional player and I think a great pick for the JETS. They needed to upgrade the toughness and leadership on the back end of a pretty good defense.
Their second round pick actually solved two problems. They got a large athletic tough guy tight end with swagger who catches EVERYTHING. 6’5″…265 pounds with 4.7 speed. Not a fun day at th eoffice for defensive backs. Can you say Gronk? People have been talking a lot about the JETS’ lack of production at the wide out position. This pick addresses the need for another big body…the need for a great pair of hands, a safety valve for Geno Smith and a guy who brings a lot of swagger to an offense in desperate need of some production. Jace Amaro I believe have the chance and ability to be the best tight end the JETS have EVER had bar none.
In the third round the JETS tapped Dexter McDougle and tough speedy corner from Maryland. His numbers are also impressive in an area the JETS were looking to fortify. He ran a 4.42 40, showed off a 37 inche vertical leap, a 10-2 broad jump and a 4.18 20. He’s got the tools. Can Rex mold the young man in his defensive image? We all know about Rex defensive skills and he loves his corners. I’m sure there will be a steep learning curve for the McDougle as there is for all corner and wide outs coming into the NFL. How long and how steep? Only time will tell but the player looks like a good addition to the team. Rex wants guys who are aggressive and this guy fits the bill
In the first of three fourth round picks the JETS took a speedy elusive wide out in Jalen Saunders from Oklahoma. He’s only 5-9 165 but he can flat out fly. His moves are fluid and FAST. He can be productive on quick screens, out of the backfield, reverse plays and he also returns kicks. According to Terry Bradway, one the JETS draft brain trust,” He’s a dynamic playmaker with the ball in his hands”. The operative word here is “dynamic”. The JETS have not had a dynamic player on offense since Santonio Holmes had a great year a few seasons ago for the JETS. Another name that comes to mind is Leon Washington who lit up the Meadowlands with his running ability.
With their second pick of the fourth round the JETS went wide receiver again but this time they decided on the opposite of Saunders and took a huge guy in Shaq Evans from UCLA. He’s 6-1, 213 and plays more like a tight end than a classic wideout.
With their last pick of the fourth round the JETS took an offensive lineman in Dakota Dozier, a small college player that impressed scouts with hi splay against LSU. His 313 pounds and 6-4 size didn’t hurt either. Mel Kiper the draft expert said, “Dozier is a player who is really aggressive and is able to generate a ton of power as a run blocker”. Aggressive seems to be one of th ekey words for the JETS these days. GM John Idzik is looking for people with athletic ability and aggressive playing styles.
We’ll pick up with the later rounds in part two of the JETS 2014 draft review.