New York Jets 2014 NFL Draft – Day 3 Review

Joe Caporoso reviews all of the New York Jets day 3 selections in the NFL Draft

The New York Jets stayed put yesterday and added nine players in the 2014 NFL Draft. A big thanks to Cole Patterson and MIke O’Connor for ripping through initial pick breakdowns yesterday. Here are my brief thoughts on each player, with more overview and in-depth analysis on the way throughout the week…

Please note that “players who should be most worried” is just the phrase I am using to identify the players who will be pushed most by each specific pick in training camp. Also the NFL player comparisons don’t necessarily mean I think this pick is going to turn into that guy in terms of production, etc…it is just meant to paint a clearer picture of his game. 

WR/PR – JALEN SAUNDERS, OKLAHOMA – ROUND 4, PICK 104 

This pick was initially surprising. However, in retrospect it set the tone for a few recurring themes for the rest of the day. Watching Saunders’ playmaking ability in college on both offense and special teams, I have no problem using a 4th round pick on him. The Jets have an offense and special teams that has been devoid of depth and playmakers the past few years and they are clearly determined to remedy that in 2014 and moving forward. Saunders is an immediate challenge to Jacoby Ford as the team’s primary returner and can develop behind Jeremy Kerley as predominantly a slot receiver. I don’t anticipate him being a major factor on offense in 2014, unless injuries hit (which they have in recent seasons) but I do think Marty Mornhinweg will carve out a few personnel packages and sets of plays for him. If for some reason Kerley leaves in free agency next offseason (don’t let this happen, John), Saunders is a logical long term replacement.

The days of the Jets being forced to play people like Ben Obomanu, Greg Salas or Jason Hill major reps are coming to an end…

Current Jets players who should be most worried: Jacoby Ford, Greg Salas

Current NFL Player Comparison: Andrew Hawkins

WR – SHAQ EVANS, UCLA – ROUND 4, PICK 115

One of my favorite picks from yesterday. Evans has the build and game of a prototypical “X” receiver (split end). He is a smart, physical receiver who has a good understanding of how to run routes. The Jets need another player on the outside to pair with Eric Decker and Evans is going to have a chance to immediately push David Nelson and Stephen Hill for playing time. He isn’t the flashiest player and needs to refine a few elements of his game but it would not shock me if Evans is a future starter/full time player for this team. The Jerricho Cotchery comparisons you heard yesterday are not unfounded at all.

Current Jets players who should be most worried: Stephen Hill, David Nelson

Current NFL Player Comparison: Jerricho Cotchery

OG – DAKOTA DOZIER, FURMAN – ROUND 4, PICK 137

I always defer to our man Tiny Nolan when it comes to offensive lineman and here is what he said about Dozier before the draft (who he had ranked 6th overall out of all interior lineman).

This small school prospect is very intriguing. He shows fantastic athleticism and could be a developmental project as he moves to guard in the NFL and refines his technique. He probably needs a year or two but has a very high ceiling.

Nolan had mentioned Dozier to me as a potential target for the Jets on day two of the draft and thought he was talented enough to merit a third round selection. Comparatively, he is a stronger prospect than Oday Aboushi or William Campbell, along with arguably a better one than Brian Winters. Dozier plays with a nastiness and attitude that will likely remind many of current Jet Willie Colon, who he could very well be replacing in 2015.

Current Jets players who should be most worried: William Campbell, Caleb Schlauderaff

Current NFL Player Comparison: Willie Colon, a poor man’s Larry Warford (well said by our Mike OC).

LB – JEREMIAH GEORGE, IOWA STATE – ROUND 5, PICK 154

An undersized inside linebacker who many felt was a reach in the fifth round. Considering his measurables and projected struggles to be a true three down linebacker, that seems like a fair characterization. George has the attitude and style of reckless play that immediately lends him to being a core specials player while he learns linebacker behind David Harris and Demario Davis. The Jets badly need to improve their core of special teams players and George should be a big piece there this season and hopefully develop into a contributor on defense down the road.

Current Jets player who should be most worried: Josh Mauga, Nick Bellore, Troy Davis

Current NFL Player Comparison: A smaller Demario Davis with less upside.

CB – BRANDON DIXON, NORTHWEST MISSOURI STATE – ROUND 6, PICK 195

At 5’11, 203 pounds with 4.4 speed, Dixon has the size/speed measurables that you hope for in a corner. He played against a lower level of competition but shined at the NFL Combine. Similar to George, he has the make-up to be an immediate core special teams player. He will have a tough time sticking on the roster if he cannot stand out there this summer. In a perfect world, he thrives as a gunner on specials this season while learning behind veterans and develops into a sub package player down the road.

Current Jets player who should be most worried: Johnny Patrick, Jeremy Reeves

Current NFL Player Comparison: Phillip Adams

WR – QUINCY ENUNWA, NEBRASKA – ROUND 6, PICK 209

The project wide receiver, who has tantalizing size and speed but is learning how to properly handle the finer points of the position. There is difference between taking a receiver like this in the sixth round and trading up to get him in the second round, as the Jets did a few years back with Stephen Hill. I’ve seen a little Enunwa and can’t wait to dig deeper into his film but our Mike OC, who has seen more of him, was doing cartwheels over this selection. An exciting thing about Enunwa’s game is that he has the versatility to play X, Z or even slide into a H-Back type role in certain formations.

Current Jets player who should be most worried: Stephen Hill

Current NFL Player Comparison: A lighter, smaller Jeff Cumberland (remember he was a wide receiver in college) who has way more upside and will stay at receiver.

DE/OLB – IK ENEMKPALI, LOUISANA TECH – ROUND 6, PICK 210

IK! I don’t know much, if anything about him but the consensus from everything I read about him is a high motor, tenacious pass rusher who needs to increase the fluidity of his game. He has the feel of a practice squad player in 2014 but considering the Jets outside linebacker situation, he may find his way on to the final 53 with a strong summer and a display of special teams value.

Current Jets player who should be most worried: Garrett McIntyre, Jermaine Cunningham

Current NFL Player Comparison: McIntyre.

QB – TAHJ BOYD, CLEMSON – ROUND 6, PICK 213 

We’ve been saying here for awhile the Jets would draft a quarterback and that Boyd was a very likely target. A quarterback who was considered a first round prospect into October of last season, Boyd struggled late in the year and didn’t wow in the pre-draft process, leading to his availability in the 6th round. Personally, I love Boyd as a late round quarterback selection and think he is a better NFL prospect than Tom Savage or Zach Mettenberger. Boyd should be able to knock Matt Simms off the roster this summer, spend a year learning behind Geno Smith and Mike Vick and then hopefully develop into the team’s long term backup quarterback.

Current Jets player who should be most worried: Matt Simms

Current NFL Player Comparison: A very poor man’s Russell Wilson

OLB – TREVOR REILLY, UTAH – ROUND 7, PICK 233 

Tremendous value in the 7th round for a player many thought would be snapped up a few rounds earlier. His age (26) and knee injury history are concerns that likely bumped him down so far but his production, strength and motor should stand out this summer. Despite being the Jets final section, I’d be mildly surprised if he didn’t find a way on to the 53 man roster. Along with Evans, Dozier and Boyd, this was my favorite pick of the day.

Current Jets player who should be most worried: Garrett McIntyre, Jermaine Cunningham

Current NFL Player Comparison: A much less athletic Quinton Coples.

Author: Joe Caporoso

Joe Caporoso is the Owner and EIC of Turn On The Jets. His writing has been featured in the New York Times, Huffington Post, MMQB and AdWeek. Caporoso played football his entire life, including four years at Muhlenberg as a wide receiver, where he was arguably the slowest receiver to ever start in school history. He is the VP of Social Media at Whistle Sports