Turn On The Jets will be breaking down all of the New York Jets undrafted free agents, first and second year roster players currently on the roster who you may not be that familiar with. New staff writer Cole Patterson kicks off this series with a look at Lehigh wide receiver Ryan Spadola. Give Cole a follow on Twitter and a welcome to TOJ!
Name: Ryan Spadola
Position: Wide Reciever
Size: 6’1″ – 204 lbs
40 Time: 4.48 seconds
Vertical Jump: 33.5″
College Career: Spadola, a Howell, NJ native, had great success in his time at Lehigh. He finished his college career as second in school history for both career receiving yards and receptions. As a junior, Spadola set the single season Patriot League record with 11 TDs and 1,614 yds on 96 receptions. Great expectations for his senior season were hampered by a bout of mononucleosis (the “Kissing Disease”). However, Spadola still managed 57 receptions for 851 yds and 4 TDs, impressive considering he accomplished this while playing sick for 3 games and missing 2. Spadola was named first team All-Patriot League 2 years in a row and is a two time All-American with first team honors from the AP, AFCA, and the Sports Network.
Scouting Report: Spadola is described by scouts as a prototypical possession receiver in both size, measurables and ability. He has strong hands and isn’t afraid of contact over the middle, with the frame to box out smaller slot corners and fight for the ball. Spadola’s 40 time is what separates him from the average possession receiver, who are slower than your typical flanker or split end. However, Spadola posses above average speed (4.48 seconds) and could be a match-up nightmare in the middle of the field.
Where He Fits: Spadola is in competition for a spot on a wide receiver depth chart that is considered by many to be the weakest in the NFL. Jeremy Kerley showed he is a legitimate NFL receiver last season and Santonio Holmes is coming off a devastating lisfranc injury. Outside of these two, the Jets receiving depth chart is made up entirely of question marks. Stephen Hill showed promise but needs a good deal of refining. These three are sure to make the final 53, so Spadola’s main competition are Jordan White (last year’s 7th round selection), Clyde Gates, and fellow UDFAs Zach Rogers, Marcus Davis, and KJ Stroud. White in particular presents a unique challenge because he also fits the bill as a prototypical possession receiver.
TEs Jeff Cumberland, Konrad Reuland, Hayden Smith, and Mike Shannahan (UDFA) also serve a similar purpose to Spadola’s presumed NFL use as a possession receiver. However, Spadola’s college production provides a good foundation for him to supplement the presumed lack of production from an incredibly weak TE group. Luckily for Spadola the competition for a roster spot is relatively weak and he stands a good chance to make the 53 man roster as the 4th or 5th receiver on the depth chart.