New York Jets – Ranking The Picks – Part Two

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A week ago I began to rank the Jets 2014 draft picks based on potential, need, and value. After going over the top six, it is time to wrap the series up and take a look at the bottom six. Let’s dig in.

7) Brandon Dixon – 5’11, 205 lbs. CB

The Jets landed Dixon in the 6th round with the 195th overall pick. He was a Division II First-team All-American at cornerback for Northwest Missouri State.

Coming out of Northwest Missouri State, the knock’s on Dixon were never in regards to raw talent. He had division one talent but poor grades forced him to attend Joliet Junior College, eventually leading to his transfer to Northwest Missouri State.

Dixon received an invitation to the NFL Combine and thrived. Scouts had concerns about his speed and whether he can handle the next level of competition. He ran a 4.41 forty yard dash, which was the fifth best out of all the cornerbacks who ran.

Although he is inconsistent in coverage, he is a heart and soul player who has experience on special teams. He is also very adept against the run and press coverage. If he can make the team as a gunner on kick offs, he will have plenty of time to sit and learn the cornerback position due to his raw ability, size and speed.

8) Shaq Evans – 6’1, 213 lbs. WR

Eighth might seem a little low for a pick many people were thrilled with, but I am not fully confident in Evans yet. I feel he has the potential to be a very capable number two wideout in the NFL, but potential has been a key word tied to him throughout his career.

The Jets landed him in the fourth round which is right where I had him pegged in terms of grading. He struggles catching the “easy” pass at times and also offers very little as a blocker. He did not produce much after the catch either.

Besides those flaws, Evans is a piece that makes sense for the Jets. His game has a lot of Jerricho Cotchery to it. He is not explosive and does not “wow” you in any area, but he knows how to catch the ball underneath and fight for a contested pass.

If he can fix his concentration issues and become an adequate blocker, he might see significant snaps for the Jets this year. The only issue I have with that is all of his production at UCLA (he transferred from Notre Dame after an uninspiring freshman season) came from the “Z” position, where Eric Decker will most likely play.

If he can adjust to playing from the “X” area, Evans will see the field as a rookie in the starting offense. Mind you, these are very big “ifs” and I hope he is not forced into a role that he is not ready for.

9) Trevor Reilly – 6’5, 245 lbs. OLB

Reilly is already 26 years old due to serving a two-year Latter-day Saints mission in Sweden before joining Utah in 2009. He was a team captain and a versatile player, often lining up as an edge rusher in a 3-4 front.

Reilly will not bring much to the table as a coverage linebacker, but he sheds blocks well and is consistent against the run. He was highly productive at Utah, especially his senior season where he notched 100 tackles, 16 TFL’s, and 8.5 sacks.

Although he was a seventh round pick, there was plenty of chatter that Reilly could go between rounds four and five before the draft. He is great depth as he can help on special teams right away while competing as a depth outside linebacker against Garrett McIntyre.

10) Tajh Boyd – 6’1, 222 lbs. QB

I am a fan of the “take a quarterback every year” theory. The Jets had twelve picks and used them all, so why not try for a diamond in the rough?

With that being said, Boyd’s skill set does not really translate well to the NFL. He tends to struggle reading safeties in deep coverage, leading to easy interceptions. His stats are also extremely inflated due to home run hitting screen passes to college superstar Sammy Watkins.

As for the good, Boyd was a terrific leader at Clemson as their team captain. His mobility reminds me of Mark Sanchez’s (relax Jets fans, I mean it in a good way), as he finds tons of success off of the rollout and play action.

Although he is “short” for the quarterback position, he has a solid build and can take a hit. Boyd will compete against Matt Simms for the third string quarterback position, which I expect him to win.

11) Jeremiah George – 5’11, 235 lbs. ILB

I actually like George, but did not understand taking him in the fifth round. His skill set screams career special teamer, although he can be a very good one.

He is built like a boulder and extremely powerful (28 reps on the bench at the combine). He possesses a few similarities of current Jets inside linebacker David Harris. At Iowa State he was a tackling machine but needs to show he can run through blocks in the NFL, not around them.

As I previously mentioned, it’s not George that I dislike. The problem is taking him in the fifth round where there was talent on the board that has a higher ceiling than “career special teamer.”

12) IK Enemkpali – 6’1, 260 lbs. DE/OLB

The one pick from this draft that did not make much sense to me. Enemkpali is a tad stiff as an edge rusher and has a limited set of moves to beat blockers.

One high point is that he did give former second round pick Luke Joeckel problems when facing Texas A&M in 2012. He was also one of two defensive linemen in the country to have two interceptions this past season.

Enemkpali needs a lot of work and I am not quite sure he can contribute on special teams. That will most likely dictate if he makes the team, which is highly questionable right now.

 

  • Dan in RI

    Nice run-down.

    I disagree on Jeremiah George. He fell to the fifth round because he was considered too short and too slow. I’ve never been a fan of judging players on height–it’s heart that matters, as we’ve seen with lots of players–London Fletcher being the greatest example. As for being too slow–he ran a poor 40 at the combine, but that was due to injury. He was later timed at 4.6 at his pro day, which is very respectable for an ILB. He is known for great instincts and a full-press motor, and I think he will develop into a solid addition to the depth chart–maybe even competing for a starting position in the future.

    Tajh Boyd was definitely worth a 6th round flyer (heck, we had 4 6th round picks). You never know what these guys are really capable of until you see them on the field. He’ll have plenty of time to develop, barring catastrophe, and I think he’ll eventually be a good player.

  • JetOrange

    Boyd has a style that is consistent with Geno and Vick, but I like Matt Simms arm, IMHO he showed progress and has a better upside than Boyd. i agree with Dan on George, David Harriis is now on the wrong side of 30, and is in the last year of his contract. Look for Demario Davis to take over for Harris in 2015 and George to take Davis’s role. I think you are harsh with Evans but I have not enough film. Finally, IK will be a special teams demon and represents Rex’s commitment to hitting and toughness.. A statement player,the Bart Scott of 2014. Coples is a ” linebacker” in the mold of Terrell Suggs. Coples backup is Jermaine Cunningham, the third yerar second round pick from Floriida, who is a Patriot Fail, Although Cunningham has superior measurables and. More expierance, I expect IK to beat him out and take a small role in the defensive rotation.

  • KAsh

    I agree with Dan on George. I would also add that he might have become the best coverage linebacker we have as soon as the team picked him. He needs to gain at least 10 lbs., assuming his Pro day weight was closer to his real weight, and keep his athleticism, but the comparison to Zach Thomas is striking.

    As for IK, I think he is Coples’s backup and insurance. While I still think he is a longshot to make the team, the roster does not have another player like Coples: an edge rusher that can operate in both three- and four-man fronts, as well as rush from either a two-point or a three-point stance, and still anchor against the run. Coples is often accused of not giving enough effort and IK is a wrecking ball of energy. Finally, the changeup between the tall, lanky Coples (who said he lost 15 lbs. this offseason) and the short, stout Enemkpali would throw blockers off their rhythm.

  • JetOrange

    Kash, well said….

  • Dan in RI

    Kash, I hadn’t heard that Coples shed 15 pounds. You’d have to think that will help him in coverage situations, and maybe give him a little more speed to get to the passer. I am very interested in seeing how Coples does in his second year at OLB. The results last year were not overly impressive–but I think he was badly affected by the broken ankle in training camp–it took him much longer to get up to speed than most people expected (but about as long as I thought–those kind of injuries take at least 6 weeks to really heal). Add the injury to trying to learn a new position, and it’s not surprising that he was underwhelming up until the last few games. (Of course, the same could be said of our rookies last year–Milliner, Winters, Smith all looked like different players the last month of the season). If IK shows anything at all as an edge rusher, I think he will at the very least be a practice squad player, with a strong shot at joining the squad at some point in the season for added depth (especially if there’s an injury to either Coples or Barnes).

    Jeremiah George is almost a lock to make the roster–he’ll have immediate impact on ST, and will give very badly needed depth at ILB. We were awfully lucky that there weren’t any serious injuries to either Davis or Harris last year, because I wouldn’t trust McIntyre to fill in for any extended period of time.

  • http://gravatar.com/theelidman Lidman

    Would love to know how much Coples actually dropped into coverage last year. I hope this move doesn’t ultimately screw him up. People forget, had he come out in 2011, he was being mentioned as a possibility for top overall pick, and would not have lasted past the top 3. He had a great season with 11 sacks, and played DT. I certainly think the ankle injury had to hamper him early. But, he’s clearly capable of explosive type plays. If he’s indeed dropped weight, it may make him more effective off the edge, but it also may take away from his ablity to make an impact inside.

  • Justin C.

    I would love to see all three wide receivers drafted this year to make the final 53 man roster. We could see a much improved team this year in our beloved Jets. They will certainly need it with the teams they are playing this year.

  • JetOrange

    I think Saunders and Evans are a lock to make the 53. Quincy Enunwa needs a year on the Practice Squad, but Idzik kept Campbell and Aboushi last year. The Jets have quietly built there special teams. Quincy, like most rookies, will make this team because of his special teams contributions, he could be a dominant (6’2 225 4.4) flyer.