Turn On The Jets 12 Pack – Post NFL Draft Edition

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The Turn On The Jets 12 pack is back! Make sure to follow us on Twitter and Facebook for further analysis. Today, we will be talking the New York Jets rookie class, offensive formations, roster building philosophy and more…

1. Quick transaction update right off the top. The Jets have claimed RB Daryl Richardson off waivers from the St. Louis Rams. Over the past 2 seasons, he has accumulated 690 rushing yards, 287 receiving yards and a 4.1 yards per carry. I quickly spoke with our friend Will Horton of Rams Herd, who had this to say:

Here is the full article link he referred to. Richardson is relatively comparable to Bilal Powell in terms of style of play and talent. Powell is a more complete and better overall player but Richardson is more of a home run threat. It is going to be interesting to see the running backs battle it out this summer and what type of role Richardson can carve out for himself, if any.

2. A few snapshots from the Jets offense last season to emphasize positional versatility and their potential improvement in 2014.

The 3-3 Jets are in position to close out the New England Patriots at home for an upset victory with a first down. Obviously a critical play. Tommy Bohanon is the single back. They put tight Jeff Cumberland at X receiver (alone at the bottom of the screen). David Nelson as a flexed tight end, Stephen Hill as the Z receiver (at the top of screen) and Jeremy Kerley in the slot. The play is designed for Cumberland, who juggles and drops the pass after a good throw from Geno Smith.

A few observations: first off, it speaks to the Jets personnel issues in 2013 that they are going to Jeff Cumberland in this spot. Marty Morninhweg tried and tried to feature Cumberland last season but he never quite rose to the challenge. Second, notice how it is silly to get overly wrapped up in pigeonholing different players into rigid positions. Cumberland is playing wide receiver on this play, while Nelson is basically playing tight end. If you are a skill position player in this offense (and in many offenses), you need to be able to be able to line up all over the formation. This year, you’d have to image Jace Amaro, Chris Johnson and Eric Decker replacing Hill, Bohanon and Cumberland on this play which should be a substantial upgrade across the board.

3. Here is another example of positional versatility. Kellen Winslow is lined up as the Z receiver. Jeff Cumberland is the in-line tight end. Stephen Hill is in a three point stance as the team’s H-Back. Somehow Hill doesn’t manage to get the first down here. Next season, a Decker or Amaro in this position, is more than likely to find a way to prevent the Jets from punting.

…And now Winslow and Cumberland as slot receivers with Kerley and Nelson out wide. I would expect to see plenty of Amaro as the Z, X and slot receiver and a relatively limited amount of him as the in-line tight end. The Jets still have a need for a strong in-line blocking tight end on their roster, as it is not something Cumberland excels at…at all.

4. The point I want to re-emphasize from this piece during the week is this: The 2014 Jets offense is likely to be relatively run heavy. How many targets/catches do you think there is behind Eric Decker, Jace Amaro, Jeremy Kerley and Chris Johnson? It isn’t a big number. It is a number small that enough that it is more than adequate to have Jeff Cumberland, David Nelson, Stephen Hill, Jalen Saunders, Shaq Evans , Quincy Enunwa and Jacoby Ford battling it out for that number. Nelson and Cumberland would be perfectly adequate as those 5th and 6th options, nevermind if Hill finally puts it together or one of the Saunders/Evans/Enunwa trio has an impact rookie year.

5. Speaking of Saunders, my initial reaction to the pick was limited excitement. I saw him as the team’s returner in 2014, a speciality player on offense and Jeremy Kerley insurance. I was more of the of thinking that Evans could be a bigger factor on offense in 2014. While I do think Evans has potential to be in the mix this year and potentially be the team’s starting split end in 2015, it is Saunders who has really popped off the tape more. He has tremendous quickness, polished routes and a natural, smooth ability to catch the football. His size will always be questioned but he plays bigger than his height. It is hard to see him not being some type of regular contributor to the 2014 offense. There is too much playmaking ability there to keep him on the bench.

6. At first glance the draft picks who are going to have the toughest time making the final 53 are IK Enemkpali, Brandon Dixon and Quincy Enunwa. I think Tahj Boyd beats out Matt Simms for the 3rd quarterback job and Trevor Reilly is going to be an overachieving 7th round pick.

7. Remember about a year ago today how we all heard how much Tim Tebow was going to make the Jets PAY in New England?

8. Considering Tommy Bohanon wasn’t much of a blocker anyway, I wonder if the Jets would consider just carrying four halfbacks and no true fullbacks.

9. I would expect a handful of more roster tweaks from the Jets before training camp opens. Today’s Richardson move won’t be the last notable thing they do until the end of July.

10. It was somewhat surprising to hear Rex Ryan say outright that he expected Dimitri Patterson to start at corner. He mentioned Dexter McDougle as potential competition but what about Darrin Walls? I’d like to see all three of those guys battling for reps on the outside, along with getting a chance to push Kyle Wilson in the slot.

11. There has been some rumblings about the Jets potentially moving on from Dawan Landry. I don’t think there is a need to hurt your depth. It is good to have three capable starting safeties, even if Landry is an average starter at best. Hopefully, it will be Calvin Pryor and Antonio Allen playing the lion’s share of the reps in the back end, with Landry as a depth and rotational player. It bears watching if the Jets will keep four or five safeties. If they decide on keeping four, it will be between Josh Bush, Jaiquawn Jarrett and Rontez Miles for the final spot.

12. It is very exciting that the Jets have their top five rotational defensive lineman back (Wilkerson, Richardson, Harrison, Douzable, Ellis). IF Quinton Coples can play to his potential and IF Antwan Barnes can stay healthy…that front seven is going to be something else. David Harris and Demario Davis are adequate enough to handle another year with the major reps at inside linebacker.

  • John Hunter

    Excellent work Joe. Weapons Weapons Weapons, the difference legit weapons will do for a developing QB is damn near priceless. An offense that can put up 20 plus ppg + a Rex Ryan D should = 10 wins minimum.

  • KAsh

    I do not think that the Jets will go without a fullback. They brought in competition for Bohanon in an UDFA fullback called Young. And they would be better with any fullback if they are going to try to run the ball as much as we think. Two- and three-halfback sets are just that more dangerous with a fullback than with two running backs (where the pattern quickly becomes one splits out into the flat, the other takes a handoff down the middle or the other way, with a potential for play action).

  • Simon Gribben

    I like FB Young’s tape. He plants people, decleats them, while catching and running with style.

  • Frank Antonelli

    What really impresses me about the Jets draft and free agent signing from the last two years is that the players that they selected will allow them to play multiple sets on offense and defense.

    On defense the Jets can now defend formations such as 2 TE sets and the Spread in a more efficient and effective manner.

    And on offense, the Jets can now run two TE sets, including the spread or a two slot WR spread. The two TE sets can be extremely effective because they can flex Amaro out and pose matchup problems for defenses that are trying to stop the run. They also have a much more effective running game based on the level of talent they acquired over the past 2 years.

    These drafts and free agency have allowed them the ability to play with plenty of different looks on offense and have several different answers to offenses, on defense. For example:

    (1) Their 3-3-5 and 4-3 cover two got much better through the draft. Pryor can play a rover safety in the 3-3-5 better than anyone who was in the draft.
    (2) They also picked up a 4-3 type OLB to rotate with Ballore in the 4-3 and 3-3-5 defenses that use 3 LB’s.

    These two years Idzik has really made the Jets an incredibly difficult team to game plan against. I believe that between Ryan and MM they have the correct coaches to take advantage of this new flexibility and translate it into wins. After all despite giving up over 100 more points than they scored last year they still managed an 8 and 8 season. That is called coaching.

  • John Hunter

    Powerful analogy & observation Frank. I can’t wait to see both Sanders & Kerley in the slots, Decker and 3rd yr pro Hill (on my knees asking God please let him blossom :-) spread wide, with options to have CJ or Jace come from out the backfield in motion (for example)…….I can’t wait.

    If the assumption Geno has progressed his awareness become fact, this unit will be special. MM might be set to break more offensive franchise records real soon.

  • John Hunter

    Pardon me “Saunders”

  • KAsh

    Also, Landry’s worth will be determined in training camp. Allen seemed like a future star last year before seceding his starting spot to Reed, but in training camp he won the competitiin with Jarrett by a nose. With another year under their belts, you hope Allen gets a stranglehold on that starting spot this year and Jarrett develops into at least a solid backup who can also assist in three-safety sets. So, you have Allen at SS, Pryor at FS, Jarrett backing up Allen, and Landry backing up Pryor (it would be curious to see how Pryor splits reps with his backup, as I do not expect close to 100% of the snaps, as Richardson took last year). Of course, Landry is much more natural at SS. Bush or Miles might be much more versatile backing up Pryor (and they will also play on STs).

    It would take three-four young safeties stepping up their play to a starting level, but there is a scenario where it would be best to let Landry go. I doubt we would keep five safeties on the roster as we did last year, as that fifth spot was free because we had only one backup MLB.

  • Freddie Mac

    Not surprised to hear about Landry who didn’t play well last year. The young guys will have to step up.
    Nice pickup with Daryl Richardson. I’d guess he’s still ailing with the turf toe if the Rams gave up on him. Has he passed a physical yet? He could be insurance should Goodson’s court case on Monday falls apart which is very possible.

  • Joe Caporoso

    Thanks for reading all!

    KAsh – Agree it will be interesting to see how safety battle shakes out. Seems more likely than not that Landry stays, if for nothing else than to have a veteran, well-versed in Rex’s D around. Also agree that the Jets probably do keep a FB. Curious if a UDFA can knock T-Bo off roster.

    Simon – Young’s tape has been fun to start watching, no doubt.

    Frank – Good point about the set versatility. The Jets run a high variety of formations and personnel groups on offense and defense.

    John Hunter – I am pumped about seeing the O’s development in 2014 but as always it will come down to steady quarterback play to put them over the top.

  • Dan in RI

    Nice write-up. I expect both the offense and defense to be better this year than last. Part of that improvement should come from improved offensive weapons (stronger at WR, TE, and RB), part from improved secondary personnel (I never thought I’d say Dmitri Patterson and some unproven rookies represent a step up from Cromartie–but Cro was simply awful last year–and Pryor should give us a big upgrade at S), and part from young players with a year of experience under their belts. It is hard to overstate the difference in play for the three rookies–Smith, Milliner and Winters–in the last 25% of the season vs the other 75%. If they carry that forward, and with the upgraded personnel, then this should be a 10 win team, barring major injuries. If not…well, the “experts” are already calling for a 6-10 season (those same experts who thought we’d win 2 games last year).

  • joeydefiant

    Everyone is so down on Bohanon. I didnt think he was that bad for a 7th round pick playing out his rookie year. Marty asks his fullback to do a lot of complicated stuff and it seemed to me the kid was just having to think too much instead of just playing. He should be much improved in his second year. He was also playing with a rookie QB who was also a little overwhelmed with the change to a much more complicated NFL offense. How many rookie FBs step in and start every game? FB always seems like a position where seasoned vets play much better than younger players.

  • David

    A couple of things:

    1) Why is everyone talk so much about the Bohanon vs., Young at fullback? That position is not going to make or break the NY Jets. Let’s talk about the “real” positions like QB, WR, CB that are going to make or break the NY Jets season.

    2) I like the discussion about the TE position. I may be wrong, but I could see the Jets have a lot of situations this year with Decker on one side, Amaro on the other, Kerley in the slot and Cumberland at a “WR” position to take advantage of some speed.

  • John Hunter

    David,

    If Jace is the real deal, and shows he can block as well, we’ll probably see less Cumby, and more 3 Wides, TE, and RB sets (Decker, Kerley, 3rdWR, Amaro, & CJ/CI).

    If Stephen Hill blossoms, the offense will extremely difficult to stop.

  • Steve Windeler

    I’ve been suggesting we do away with the FB position for a long time now. Colleges just aren’t putting out good FBs anymore. It’s been a long time since I’ve seen a FB make a positive contribution lead blocking. Going with the whole versatility concept, we need to find a player(Enunwa?) that can do the things a WCO FB needs to do, but to specifically target a player that can’t run seems counterintuitive. Shelly can block, or run in short yardage. Cumberland, Amaro, Richardson. or CJ would cause more confusion in there on a regular basis.

  • Big Al

    is possible hill will be cut