Five New York Jets Targets With Most to Prove at NFL Combine

Clayton Smarslok with five NFL Draft prospects the New York Jets could target who had the most to prove at the scouting combine…

There is still quite a bit of time until the draft is here but the NFL Combine will suffice, for now. As big as the event has become, people have been prone to move prospects too high and too low based off of one workout, myself included (i.e. Orlando Brown in 2018). What this event really does is confirm some of the questions some of these prospects have on tape or make you go back to see if the tape can confirm what you see in Indianapolis. Staying with Orlando Brown, when he performed poorly in the athletic drills last year, it should not have been a surprise.

He wasn’t successful at Oklahoma because he was an athletic freak, he was successful because of his smarts, good technique and length just to name a few reasons. So when people like myself moved him down the board, the one weekend got in our heads, which you cannot do. So don’t use these next few days to move your board around like crazy, let them answer questions. Here are some potential Jets targets that have those questions that need to be answered, whether it be in the first round or the middle rounds.

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New York Jets Offseason: Build the Offensive Line (For real this time)

Dan Essien examines how the Jets can build their offensive line and take a big step to becoming a contender.

As we wrap up this season of the NFL, it’s a good time to recap the lessons the Jets have to take into next season in order to be successful. One of those lessons is that they have to make a concerted effort to build their offensive line. It’s not a position group that excites the casual fan. But a strong, disciplined offensive line might be the key to the Jets future. Let’s take a look at some of the teams that found success this season and where some team’s broke down to examine how the Jets can move forward.

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Mock Draft Monday: Post Super Bowl

Clayton Smarslok with a full two round mock for the 2019 NFL Draft

As a Jets fan, the season could have ended in a better way than it did. It wasn’t ideal but after seeing the Patriots win five previous titles, I have learned to live with it and move on from it and that’s exactly what I am doing here. It is officially draft season with the 2018-19 football season completely behind us. With the season coming to an end, it seems like the perfect time to come out with my first two round mock draft of the year.

In this edition it was a mixture of what should happen and predictions of what will happen on the last weekend of April. For instance, because of Jeffery Simmons’ issues in the past, he will not be submitted into this mock draft or any others in the future, even though he will likely find his way into the first round. This one’s for you Jets fans, hope you like it!

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2019 Senior Bowl Recap: Defense

Clayton Smarslok with his Senior Bowl recap for defensive players…

Senior Bowl week is officially done with. The game was played Saturday afternoon in what capped off a fantastic week in all. The first part of the recap on the offensive side of the ball, came out on Friday, before the game was played. But with the game now in the past, here are some thoughts on what went down with the defensive side during and after my trip in Mobile.

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Episode 225 – Senior Bowl Day 1 from Mobile, Alabama with Clayton Smarslok

Scott Mason talks to TOJ’s Clayton Smarslok who is on location in Mobile, Alabama at the Senior Bowl!

Episode 225 of “Play Like A Jet” is here! Subscribe on iTunes or check out the audio below. Scott Mason talks to TOJ’s Clayton Smarslok who is on location in Mobile, Alabama at the Senior Bowl!

Clayton discusses what he saw at day 1 of practice from the top prospects at every position – including the rapidly rising Andy Isabella of UMASS – plus all the latest gossip surrounding the players’ performances, draft stock rumblings, and how some of these players might fit with the Jets!

Then, a little bonus content talking to NFL Draft hopeful and Kliff Kingsbury protege, WR Ja’Deion High of Texas Tech including an in-depth look at what Ja’Deion could bring to the offense and what life with Kliff Kingsbury might have been like for Jets fans! 

Play Like A Jet is part of the Turn On The Jets Digital Podcast network…… 

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Senior Bowl Preview: Defense

Clayton Smarslok with his Senior Bowl preview for defensive players…

With the Senior Bowl coming up in just a few days, this is the first time in the draft process where you get a group of players like this together until the combine in just over a month. The teams get to meet with some of the players and see them compete against some of the best in their class.

On Monday, we previewed three offensive players that would be potential targets for the Jets. Below, we go over three players on the defensive side that will be looked at to be fits in the new system they bring in with Gregg Williams becoming the new defensive coordinator.

 

EDGE Montez Sweat, Mississippi State

At the moment, the Jets still have a huge need off the edge. It’s been well documented that they haven’t had one after they traded John Abraham prior to the 2006 draft. This allows me to believe they will be spending a good amount of their cap space on players to fill that void. If they refuse to do so for some reason, Montez Sweat will be one name to watch in the first round. But rather than being in the running for the third pick, he could be someone they look at if they trade down. After the transferring to Mississippi State for his last two seasons, the fifth year senior played in all 26 games recording 22.5 sacks and eight tackles for loss in the process, making him one of the top edge rushers in the 2019 class.

Montez Sweat would be a much better fit as a defensive end in this new 4-3 defense the Jets will run rather than be an outside linebacker in a 3-4. On film, Sweat shows an explosive first step and a variety of rush moves, best of which is the long arm. However, one area it would be nice to see improvement this week is his flexibility and bend. Very rarely will you see him win by dipping the shoulder to beat a tackle, which is part of the reason why he won’t be near the top of the first round.

By switching to a 4-3 base defense, the Jets are lacking edge rushers like never before. Their defensive ends before will now move to defensive tackle and the outside linebackers are either free agents or not the prototypical end in this defense (i.e. Jordan Jenkins). This pairing is likely a long shot but if Sweat blows up the Senior Bowl next week and the Jets actually trade down to the mid to late teens, this match becomes slightly more realistic.

 

CB Rock Ya-Sin, Temple

There may be no more important position for this new defense than cornerback. Gregg Williams absolutely needs players to fit his scheme if he wants to be aggressive the way he always has. The big reason they took Denzel Ward instead of Bradley Chubb last year was because of how important the cornerback position is for him to be successful. Rock Ya-Sin could possibly be one of those guys for the Jets.

When watching Ya-Sin, his size stands out at 6’1 and around 190 pounds. The length is coveted in today’s game and he uses his to his advantage being physical at the line of scrimmage, something Gregg Williams will want. Ya-Sin has good athleticism and shows good ball skills, just not the greatest of hands. He’ll need some work technically starting with the feet, but nothing that can’t be fixed. One interesting tidbit about Ya-Sin is that he was given a single digit number in his first season with Temple. That means his teammates thought enough of him to consider him one of the leaders before taking a snap.

The Jets not only need cornerbacks for Williams, but they need cornerbacks on the roster in general. This off-season the Jets are possibly losing Morris Claiborne, Buster Skrine and Daryl Roberts to free agency; making this a big position of need heading into the off-season. Ya-Sin would be a developmental selection that could possibly fall to them in day three, but should qualify as some depth with some future upside.

 

S/NB Mike Edwards, Kentucky

Edwards was originally supposed to be the second Kentucky Wildcat on the list but with Josh Allen dropping out, Edwards is the now only Wildcat but the second defensive back. While he isn’t as big of a name as Allen, he did play just as big of a role for the Wildcat defense over the last four seasons. But before we go any further what should be mentioned is that Edwards may be listed as a safety, but he is being looked at here purely as a nickel back more than anything else. That was the main slot he filled at Kentucky showing good production over his 45+ game career, recording 10 interceptions and 23 pass deflections during his time there.

As was mentioned, Edwards spent a lot of his time in the slot. He does a great job here in man coverage regardless of the matchup and does a solid job in zone following the eyes of the quarterback and knowing his surroundings. He has quick feet to mirror receivers but also good patience to not bite on a route too early. It’s hard to not love how he plays, he has a non-stop motor and is not afraid to get physical, even as a smaller guy. He was utilized well as a blitzer from the slot, shows tremendous ball skills and should be able to make an impact early on.

The Jets will need secondary help with all of the guys above leaving in free agency. Even though Edwards will fill a need at the nickel spot, it doesn’t hurt that he can provide help as a third safety as well. Marcus Maye has proven he can’t be relied on to play all 16 games, so getting a player who has the versatility to play in a couple different areas like Edwards later o in day two or early day three of the draft would be a great get for the defense.

Senior Bowl Preview: Offense

Clayton Smarslok with a Senior Bowl preview for the offensive players…

The Senior Bowl week is one of the best weeks of the entire year for anyone in the scouting community. Everyone will be there! You obviously the best seniors in all of college, top executives, Head Coaches from NFL and college, and media members covering every aspect of the NFL Draft, including yours truly.

Getting credentials for the first time at the Senior Bowl will be fun because it’s a chance to get to see players you wouldn’t typically watch on television and get the possibility to know some of them and what they’re going through. To get an interview is a free-for-all after the practices, which means I’ll have to showcase some of the old moves to get to players like Josh Allen and other big names. Here are just some of the names on offense that will get the attention of me and likely the Jets as well.

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Bowl Game Prospect Viewing Guide: New Year’s Day Bowls

Joe Malfa with his prospect viewing guide for the New Year’s Day Bowl Games…

‘Tis the season for over 40 college bowl games sponsored by some very obscure companies to celebrate the mediocrity of 6-6 teams. Surely there is an angry old man somewhere waving his fist screaming about how “everyone gets a trophy” and “the Millennials are ruining everything.” At TOJ, we love bowl season. Maybe not for the games because watching two small schools battle for an irrelevant trophy is not very appealing, but it gives us a chance to watch some teams that we did not get a chance to watch this season and evaluate some prospects who may not have been regularly exposed to us.

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Bowl Game Prospect Viewing Guide: New Year’s Eve Bowls

Joe Malfa With His Bowl Game Prospect Viewing Guide: New Year’s Eve Bowls.

‘Tis the season for over 40 college bowl games sponsored by some very obscure companies to celebrate the mediocrity of 6-6 teams. Surely there is an angry old man somewhere waving his fist screaming about how “everyone gets a trophy” and “the Millennials are ruining everything.” At TOJ, we love bowl season. Maybe not for the games because watching two small schools battle for an irrelevant trophy is not very appealing, but it gives us a chance to watch some teams that we did not get a chance to watch this season and evaluate some prospects who may not have been regularly exposed to us.

Continue reading “Bowl Game Prospect Viewing Guide: New Year’s Eve Bowls”

Clay’s NFL Draft Cheat Sheet – New Year’s Six Edition

Clayton Smarslok With His Draft Cheat Sheet For The New Years Six Bowls.

As the final days of 2018 wind down, people are making their plans for their New Year’s celebrations, thinking of what resolutions they partake in for a few days and just enjoying the holidays. What you all need to be doing is watching the New Year’s Six bowl games, starting today. From each of those six games, we’ll look into one prospect that could possibly don green and white or whatever color scheme the Jets use next season.

Continue reading “Clay’s NFL Draft Cheat Sheet – New Year’s Six Edition”