New York Jets – Ranking The Picks – Part One

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After a long wait, the 2014 NFL Draft has finally come and gone. The Jets used all twelve of their selections and came away with an intriguing haul. I will not “grade” the draft, as none of these players have stepped on an NFL field yet.

What I will do is rank the picks based on my opinion of potential skill, value, and need. Lets take a look.

1) Jace Amaro – 6’5, 265 lbs. TE

I actually would have been happy to land Amaro at 18. Having him fall to the Jets second round pick was incredible value and covers all three aspects of my system I’m using in this arcticle.

1) He fits a primary need. The Jets needed a big, underneath target that a quarterback can rely on. His blocking ability is often overlooked as well. With some refinement on the LOS, he will be a serviceable in-line tight end while seeing much of his success split out wide.

2) I had Amaro as the second best tight end in this draft behind Eric Ebron. He was selected after Ebron and Austin Seferian-Jenkins, who I did not have in my top five.

I was really surprised Amaro made it past New England in the first and that Tampa Bay opted to take ASJ in the second. Either way, he was one of the more talented “big” pass catchers in this draft.

The Jets struggled in the red zone and Amaro upgrades that aspect of the Jets offense from day one. He is also extremely effective on short-intermediate routes in between the 20′s.

Dustin Keller gave Mark Sanchez a much needed security blanket and I expect Amaro to have a similar but magnified impact on Geno Smith’s development in the same manner.

2) Dakota Dozier – 6’4, 313 lbs. OT/OG

Dozier played tackle at Furman but he will most likely convert to guard in the NFL due to his length. He was a fantastic value grab at the very end of the fourth round. He is extremely athletic for his size and displays impressive power as a run blocker.

If Dozier can sit behind Willie Colon for a year and refine his pass blocking, specifically his footwork, he can turn into a very solid starting guard in the NFL.

3) Calvin Pryor – 5’11, 207 lbs. FS

I thought Pryor was the best safety in this class, with Jimmie Ward and Deone Bucannon right behind him. He offers an intriguing skill set for the Jets as he is a turnover machine.

His game is very similar to former Jet LaRon Landry, but he displays much better free roaming range from sideline to sideline. He is a vicious hitter as well, often popping the ball out from unaware wide receivers and running backs.

The Jets were last in the league in turnover differential last season and needed to upgrade this aspect in the most desperate way. Calvin Pryor can step in and help from day one. Landing the best safety in the draft with the 18th pick is a big time score for the Jets if Pryor pans out like I expect him to.

4) Jalen Saunders – 5’9, 165 lbs. WR

Saunders was a fourth round talent (mostly due to size), but he plugs into a vital need for the Jets. They need a punt returner that makes plays and Saunders averaged 15.4 yards per return last year while bringing two to the house.

Besides being an explosive punt returner, Saunders is Jeremy Kerley’s back up from day one. Kerley missed four games last year and the Jets offense struggled immensely without him. Saunders is a smooth route runner with good hands that can also beat a defense over the top with his 4.4 speed.

Adding an explosive punt returner that can also contribute as a back up slot receiver was a great grab in round four.

5) Quincy Enunwa – 6’2, 225 lbs. WR

Many will probably be shocked at how high I have Enunwa on this list, but remember the key here is value and also need. The Jets had two glaring issues last year that needed to be assessed in this draft: turnover differential and red zone efficiency.

The Pryor pick aimed at solving the turnover differential problem. While many do not realize it, the Enunwa pick aims at aiding the red zone efficiency problem.

The Jets were 27th in the NFL in red zone touchdown conversions last season, with only a rate of 50%. Think about that, the Jets only scored a touchdown half the time they made it inside an opponent’s twenty yard line.

Now here is where Enunwa comes into play. In his career he  converted 11 of 23 red zone targets into touchdowns, which is regarded as an elite rate according to Rotoviz.com. The Nebraska team captain had 12 touchdowns his senior season, setting a single season school record.

If Enunwa can find a way to make the 53 man roster, his red zone ability as both a pass catcher and powerful blocker may enable him to get on the field as a rookie. Excellent value pick for the Jets in the sixth round.

6) Dexter McDougle – 5’10, 196 lbs. CB

I have McDougle right in the middle of this list because he is the wild card of this draft. As our very own Mike O’Connor pointed out, he has displayed impressive ability in limited action.

The question is, when would have McDougle come off the board if the Jets did not take him in round three? To be quite honest, I hate when people say “he could have been taken in the fifth round or later.” How does anyone know that? Besides NFL franchise executives, no one has any idea what team’s big boards look like.

With that being said, I personally did not have a day two grade on McDougle. There are a few problems here. One, I only watched some of his tape because I knew he visited the Jets and the interest level was high. At the same time, I focused more on other CB’s who were higher rated and did not miss most of the 2013 seasons.

Going back and looking at McDougle again, the skill level is present. He has excellent anticipation skills and is electric with the ball in his hands. If he can stay healthy, the Jets might have gotten a steal in the 3rd. The problem is, he is the biggest mystery of this draft class at the moment.

 

Stay tuned for Ranking The Picks – Part Two

Follow Connor Rogers: @Real_CR3

 

  • Big Al

    we drafted a receiver out of Nebraska???

  • Jeremiah Johnson

    I’ve read some speculation that Enunwa has potential as an H-back. I’m curious if anyone here who has watched him play thinks that such a move is feasible &/or a good idea.

  • Freddie Mac

    Thanks for article. I liked Dozier a lot too. I think too many teams passed on him for his poor combine. He was dominant in play and stood out in the Senior Bowl. I thank the other teams for passing on him. He’ll catch on for the Jets.

    I’d place our 7th rounder next – Trevor Reilly. After that, I can’t argue with Pryor or Amaro. I’m glad we have them.

    I’m still a little puzzled as to why 3 WR’s were taken. Hopefully they provide solid depth and can contribute but I believe another starter will be added next season. Idzik couldn’t fill all the holes this offseason.

    It’s fair to label McDougle as a mystery to this point. Rex had glowing compliments of his game. I’d love to have Kareem Martin on this team while taking a chance on Dexter reaching the top of the 4th. I’ll get over this pick someday. Not today though as I see rave reviews from Martin’s teammates already. Damn! We could’ve had that position (OLB) filled.

  • Joe Caporoso

    JJ – Enunwa has the type of size and type of game where it isn’t out of the question, especially with the different ways Marty Mornhinweg uses his receivers. He is a really interesting project player. I have limited expectations for 2014 but long term there could be something there.

  • KAsh

    @Freddie

    Martin was drafted by the Cardinals to play DE, which is all he played in college. We already have a rush OLB in Coples. In Rex’s system, Pace is responsible for many duties that do not come up on the stat sheet, such as jamming tight ends, playing contain on mobile QBs, and cutting off potential screens and dump offs, all before he rushes the passer. Martin would not only be a useless addition to the Jets, as he offers a poor man’s version of Coples’s pass rush and is not as fast as Barnes, but his effectiveness at a position he has never played would be questionable, he has no experience and maybe little ability in dropping back into coverage, and he would not even have awareness of what Pace does or how to execute it.

    In fact, the next prospect to come off the board after McDougle that will play OLB in a 3-4 was Carl Bradford, taken six picks after the Jets drafted Shaq Evans with their second pick of the fourth round. Carl Bradford might have been a bigger name, but apparently the league thinks that he would have been a big reach.

  • Freddie Mac

    Really, Kash? I would never had known.

    In case you hadn’t noticed, the Jets have been using larger than prototypical sized 3-4 OLB’s than most of the league. Their coverage is performed primarily by the ILB’s.
    I don’t believe Bradford was on their radar but who knows. I’m not sure of the relevance of his name coming up but I digress.

    As for Martin, he could’ve been groomed behind Pace. He wouldn’t be “useless”. But we’ll never know for sure, will we?

    The Jets have been linked to a lot of pass rushers at that position. In free agency this offseason, they were interested in Ware and Allen. Have you seen anyone outside the failed Maybin experiment that flashed coverage skills at that position since Rex has been here? I haven’t. Rex wants size there and the benefit is realized through run-stuffing capability. He doesn’t want undersized OLB’s getting mauled against the run. That’s the way I see it.

  • Nikolas

    Here is my list and I predict that the top 9 will make the team; the rest go to practice squad.

    1) Calvin Pryor
    2) Jace Amaro
    3) Dakota Dozier
    4) Dexter McDougle
    5) Trevor Reilly
    6) Jalen Saunders
    7) Shaq Evans
    8) Jeremiah George
    9) Zach Thomson UFA
    10) Tahj Boyd
    11) Brandon Dixon
    12) Brent Qvale UFA
    13) Steele Divitto UFA
    14) Quincy Enunwa
    15) IK Enemkpali
    16) Kerry Hyder UFA

  • KAsh

    @Freddie

    Rex does not want undersized OLBs, but then drafts a 245 lbs. guy to compete for the backup spot with a bunch of guys in the 250-255 lbs. range? Martin is over 270 lbs. There is more hope for Coples in coverage because Coples has the elite athleticism Martin lacks. Pace could be 45 and would still move better in coverage than Martin. A 3-4 defense can switch up which LBs rush the passer, but it has a major weakness if only the two MLBs can cover (and our MLBs are bad enough in coverage already). Coples’s main duty is to rush the passer, something he is great at, and meanwhile he can take the time to slowly develop his other skills. But your great idea is to draft another edge rusher that cannot cover and has never rushed from a standing position… to do what? Sit on the bench until Pace retires? Steal pass rush reps away from Barnes, who is much better than Martin and brings a speed element which our pass rush lacks and Martin will never develop?

    But why am I even bothering to think about this? This is not about Martin. You do not like the McDougle pick – probably because Kiper and McShay did not talk him up enough for your liking – and you have been commenting here for the past week, pointing out guys taken after him that you would have preferred – probably because Kiper and McShay would have then given the Jets a B+ instead of a B for the draft. Upon further analysis, your alternative picks make little sense, especially when you look at the larger picture of what the team was trying to do. The team could have picked a corner other than McDougle; it skipped all of those guys and picked McDougle. The team could have picked a big receiver like Moncrief, but was more interested in Saunders. The team could have drafted Pace’s replacement, but no one was available.

    Pace’s role is not something any college DE knows or is capable of mastering. Here is Bart Scott explaining Pace’s role: http://www.jetsinsider.com/blogs/christopher_nimbley/?p=3378 Once you read it, think how rare is the college prospect with both the skills and the patience to execute it. You are better off talking about how we should have drafted an OG at that spot.

  • Freddie Mac

    Kash,

    Apparently you don’t read but instead type away as quickly as possible to repeat what you had said. I’ve stated my case and if you want to know what I actually said, go back and read it this time. Sorry if that sounds mean.

    As for the McDougle pick, I can’t fairly judge it either way right now. All I said (since this is the 1st time you might be reading this) is that I thought they could land him in the top of the 4th. Once again, here’s a guy who’s under 5’10 coming off injury. I didn’t see the need to spend a mid-3rd on him at the time. I have no idea what the scouting buffoonery projects and couldn’t care less what they say. I actually watch these guys myself with all the resources out there.

    If you don’t see how the Jets could’ve used Martin or Moncrief, that’s your opinion. As for being more interested in Saunders, you can’t say that because in the 4th, Moncrief was gone. It seems like you have a crystal ball to wage arguments with. Strange post.
    You might want to continue your diatribe without including me – you don’t need anyone else really.

  • Joe Caporoso
  • Frank Antonelli

    “You might want to continue your diatribe without including me – you don’t need anyone else really.”

    Typical garbage from the idiot Freddie Mac!

    P.S. Even the idiot Cimini and the clown Manish wouldn’t be ignorant enough to state that ”But this is essentially the same team”! Even they know that adding Decker, Johnson, Vick and 12 draft picks in a loaded draft improves any team.

  • Freddie Mac

    Joe? Is this what you want here? Seriously. This guy represents the crap that brings down the entire site. Seems like you accept this.
    Could he be trolling any harder?

  • Steve Windeler

    How is Dougie an under 5’10″ CB, when he is exactly 5’10″?
    Why is that small when 5’11″ is big?

  • John Hunter

    Dexter McDougle is the steal of the draft. Judging from the limited amount of tape, I can see on the surface what the scouts found so attractive about Dex: he’s quick, tough, ball skills, looks back for the ball, reads the route of WR, recovers well, and not scared to tackle. He sounds mentally sound from the interviews I’ve heard. More important, the FO recognize something special enough to find value at pick 80……..IN IDZIK I TRUST.

  • John Hunter

    Wow…Thanks Joe for the link on Dexter. It’s spot on. Sums up exactly what the FO thinks of him IMO.

    I’m completely on board with this pick.

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