The New York Jets made this blogger very happy by selecting Ohio State WR Devin Smith with the 37th overall pick in the NFL Draft. I discussed Smith in depth recently on The Jets Blog as a target for the Jets but here are some additional thoughts…
1. Smith wins on vertical routes as well as any wide receiver that has come out of the draft in the past few years. He is a natural, prototypical deep threat, who can immediately contribute on nine routes, deep posts and open up space in the short/intermediate passing game for the Jets other targets. With Brandon Marshall, Eric Decker and Jeremy Kerley also on the depth chart, Smith will have time to develop the rest of his game and more importantly, the rest of his route tree.
2. Smith will need that time to refine his routes, improve his overall physicality and work on being more fluid catching the football. He was a borderline first round prospect because of his reputation as a one trick pony but he is damn good at that one trick. Smith doesn’t need to be a complete receiver in year one but you would hope as a second round pick, he is moving towards that by year two.
3. Outside of offense, Smith has a reputation not as an electric returner but as a terrific punt gunner. It will be interesting to see if the Jets use him in this role as a rookie, while he is likely only a situational receiver.
4. The pre-draft comparisons for Smith to DeSean Jackson are not off base. He can develop into that level of player on offense with the proper coaching and refinement to his game.
5. This move does not mean Jeremy Kerley is on the trade block. The Jets base offense is likely to have three receivers on the field, making it important to have 4-5 capable players on the outside.
6. At #70, it will be interesting to see if the Jets consider a running back like Duke Johnson or Ameer Abdullah or potentially an offensive lineman like Ali Marpet.