Episode 567 – Wrapping Up Senior Bowl Week w/Clayton Smarslok

Scott Mason talks to TOJ’s Clayton Smarslok who is on location in Mobile, Alabama to get a wrap up of Senior Bowl week!

Episode 567 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 to get a wrap up of Senior Bowl week!

Clayton discusses what he saw throughout the week in Mobile including:

-Winners and Losers on Offense and Defense

-Prospects That May Be a Good Fit for the Jets

-Mailbag Questions

-Draft Stock Chatter

-The Latest Gossip Among NFL Decision Makers & Draft Insiders

-Predictions for the actual Senior Bowl game

& More!

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


Episode 565 – Live from Mobile: Senior Bowl Practice and Media Day w/Clayton Smarslok

Scott Mason talks to TOJ’s Clayton Smarslok who is on location in Mobile, Alabama at the Senior Bowl to get a recap of practice and media day!

Episode 565 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 to get a recap of practice and media day!

Clayton discusses what he saw at practice from the top prospects at every position including:

-Winners and Losers on Offense and Defense

-Prospects That May Be a Good Fit for the Jets

-Mailbag Questions

-Draft Stock Chatter

-The Latest Gossip Among NFL Decision Makers & Draft Insiders

-A Full Media Day Day Recap

& More!

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


Episode 560 – Off the Edge w/Jamaal Westerman: Jamaal’s Journey from the Combine to the NFL

Scott Mason talks to former New York Jets pass rusher Jamaal Westerman of the CFL’s Hamilton Tiger-Cats for a look at his personal journey from the Scouting Combine to the NFL and the New York Jets!

Episode 560 of “Play Like A Jet” is here! Subscribe on iTunes or check out the audio below. Scott Mason talks to former New York Jets pass rusher Jamaal Westerman of the CFL’s Hamilton Tiger-Cats for a look at his personal journey from the Scouting Combine to the NFL and the New York Jets! 

First, we discuss what to expect in this weekend’s AFC and NFC championship games. Then, as we approach this year’s Senior Bowl, Jamaal takes us back in time through his personal journey to the NFL including:

-What kept him from being invited to the postseason All-Star games 

-What it was like working out at the combine

– Teams he had private visits with an what occurred during them

-An unexpected turn of events during a visit with the Jets

-What coaches look for from players throughout the process

-The best way for players to prepare

-What fans should watch for during the Senior Bowl

-The level of importance postseason games have in terms of a player’s draft stock

and more!

This is a rare opportunity to get a first-hand, moment by moment account of what a potential NFL player goes through during the draft process, so be sure to check it out!

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


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.


2019 Senior Bowl Recap: Offense

Clayton Smarslok with a Senior Bowl practice recap for offensive players…

Three days in Alabama, one practice. That’s all that was available with both practices on Wednesday being restricted to media after getting moved to an indoor facility due to a nasty rainstorm. Regardless, being able to watch the one practice plus the information by just being in Mobile, it’s safe to say the trip was still a success.

With this being a site that covers the Jets and all, my time down there was really focused on their positions of need on both sides of the ball. Here’s what I came away with during my time in Mobile for the offense.


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.


Inside The Green Room – Recapping Senior Bowl Week

Connor Rogers recaps everything you need to know about Senior Bowl week

Our lead NFL Draft analyst Connor Rogers was on site in Mobile, Alabama for Senior Bowl week. With head coach Todd Bowles and general manager Mike Maccagnan on hand as well, it is safe to assume the Jets may add some talent from the biggest college all-star game. 

Who stood out in practice? What players might fit the Jets? Let’s take a look… Continue reading “Inside The Green Room – Recapping Senior Bowl Week”

The Film Don’t Lie: Chance Warmack vs. Jonathan Cooper

With experts starting to reexamine who the best OG is in the NFL Draft, Mike Nolan takes a look at the film to break down Chance Warmack and Jonathan Cooper

In this post combine lull, a few draft prognosticators have gone on record to say that Jonathan Cooper is a better OG prospect than Chance Warmack. This is most likely due to Cooper’s excellent combine performance. Sometimes the combine can generate hype in the media that really isn’t prevalent in NFL War Rooms. Considering the Jets’ 2012 starting guards are currently unrestricted free agents and the team could be eyeing up a replacement as high as the 9th pick, let’s look at the tape to see who is really the better prospect. Continue reading “The Film Don’t Lie: Chance Warmack vs. Jonathan Cooper”

NFL Draft 2013: Senior Bowl Standouts

Chris Gross breaks down the Senior Bowl as he further previews the 2013 NFL Draft

With one of the most important events in the pre-draft process officially in the books, future NFL hopefuls will now return to their respective regions of training with intentions to get themselves in the best physical shape possible for the upcoming NFL Combine. While prospects are sure to see their stocks rise and fall in the coming weeks, mostly for a variety of factors that will be taken into account in the months leading to April, the 2013 Senior Bowl in Mobile, Alabama told us a lot about the names to keep an eye on in the coming weeks. Some players solidified notions that were already established, while others went above and beyond the expectations many had for them entering last week’s practices, and ultimately through the game on Saturday. Others, unfortunately, may have hurt their stock by either not participating or by disappearing on the stage.

Let’s take a look at some names that were undoubtedly the top performers from Saturday’s Senior Bowl, followed by a brief overview of some other names we are likely to discuss in the coming weeks.

Stock Up

Ezekiel Ansah – DE, BYU – There has been a good amount of buzz surrounding Ansah in recent weeks. A very intriguing prospect due to his superior athleticism and physical prowess, Ansah certainly has his question marks as an inexperienced player, having played the sport for the first time just two years ago. However, there is no denying that Ansah was the best player on the field on Saturday.

While he showed some signs of struggle during the week of practice, Ansah put a lot of questions to bed by showing that he may not be as raw as the popular perception seems to be. The presumption that Ansah is a physically gifted, but extremely raw player, has stemmed primarily from his lack of experience. While he is by no means fundamentally and technically perfect, Ansah showed much more football skill, beyond his superior athleticism, than people have given him credit for.

Aside from using his speed and brute strength to win his battles against opposing offensive lineman, Ansah displayed a consistent ability to maintain leverage against his blocker, while showing excellent reaction time and an ability to shed blocks. During the week of practice, it seemed as though Ansah was trying to get by solely on physicality, as he was repeatedly beaten on technique and fundamentals. However, during the game, Ansah showed that, not only is he as physically gifted as many have thought, but he is a much closer to becoming a complete football player than what is perceived.

Ansah repeatedly reacted to blocks as if he had been playing the game to a time-span closer to a decade, rather than two years. When the opposing tackle would block down, Ansah would play it perfectly by striking the outside shoulder and reacting to what was coming next. If it was a pulling offensive lineman coming down hill to kick him out, Ansah did not waste a second to spill the play by attacking the inside shoulder of the blocker. If it was boot or sprint out to his side, Ansah would settle in after striking the offensive lineman, remain patient, rather than getting lured upfield, and pounce on the passer.

Ansah should a tremendous ability to set the edge against outside runs and fantastic strength and leverage against inside runs, often times driving the opposing offensive lineman into the backfield, while rarely giving up any ground. In short, he is much more NFL ready than we thought a week ago.

Being such a physical freak will now only benefit Ansah in the coming weeks. He will likely have a tremendous combine, and after he posts what is expected to be head turning numbers for his position, scouts will take a closer look at the tape and realize he is very close to being the total package. A top ten selection is certainly not out of the realm of possibilities for Ansah.

Eric Fisher – OT, Central Michigan – We knew a lot about Fisher’s ability going into last week, but he did even more to surpass the high expectations. All week in practice, Fisher displayed excellent technique in his footwork, hand placement, and ability to play low and get underneath defenders. He is extremely quick, has excellent balance, possesses a tremendous combination of both upper and lower body strength, and has the tenacity necessary for the position. He showed he can effectively pull with above average speed and ability to locate and block defenders in space. Fisher is undoubtedly going to challenge Texas A & M’s Luke Joeckel for the top offensive tackle in this year’s class. Barring some drastic unforeseen disaster at the combine, he is a sure top ten selection.

Kawann Short – DT, Purdue – A lot of people will talk about North Carolina’s Sylvester Williams as being the player to rise up draft boards and challenge Star Lotulelei and Sheldon Richardson as the top defensive tackle in this year’s class, but Short joined that conversation with a tremendous effort on Saturday. Short has immense size at 6’3″ 315 lbs which contributes to his fantastic strength, but where he really stood out on Saturday was in his quickness and hand speed. Short showed an excellent ability to constantly keep the opposing offensive lineman’s hands off of him, something that can become insanely frustrating to anyone attempting to block him. He can rush the passer from the interior with his brute strength, and just when the guard or center thinks they have his arsenal of moves figured out, he throws in a quick hand strike and club, using their aggressiveness against them, often leaving them falling face first on the ground while Short is wreaking havoc in the backfield. As it stands now, he is on the fringe of the first and second rounds, but it wouldn’t be a shock to see him sneak into the bottom half of the first. Still, don’t expect him to fall far if he makes it past the super bowl winner at 32.

Brian Schwenke – C/G, California – Schwenke was one of the most pleasant surprises of the afternoon. Not only was his versatility as both a guard and center on display – he took significant reps at each position – but he displayed some of the best footwork out of every interior lineman in the contest. Schwenke has a very good initial first step, very good short yardage quickness, and a fantastic ability to get off of double teams and get to the second level. When matched up against North Carolina’s Sylvester Williams, a projected first round pick, Schwenke held him in check the majority of the time, particularly against the pass. Schwenke did drop his head a couple of times, once that resulted in a quarterback sack, but he played an overall outstanding game. His ability to play both center and guard will only help his stock moving forward.

Larry Warford – G, Kentucky – Warford was certainly one of the biggest bodies at the Senior Bowl all week (6’3″ 343 lbs), but he is deceptively quick for that immense size. He showed the ability to pull a few times, but also displayed excellent footwork in the five yard box in the trenches. He is more of a power player, but his ability to get to the second level should not be discounted one bit.

Vince WilliamsVince Williams – ILB, Florida State – Williams was a late invitee to the game, but certainly took advantage of the opportunity to showcase himself. He was arguably the toughest player on the field for the majority of the time, something obviously crucial to the position he plays, and brought a level of intensity to his defense that seemed to inspire the play of those around him. Williams lacks the elite top end speed of an inside linebacker, but makes up for it with tremendous instincts, quickness, and ability to shed blocks. His drive and tenacity are among what makes him stand out as well. The combine will tell more about where Williams will likely be drafted, but as a mid-round prospect, he could end up being a steal.

Jonathan Cyprien – S, Florida International – In the absence of Texas S Kenny Vaccaro, Cyprien made his case as one of the top safeties in this year’s class. Cyprien showed very good awareness, ball skills, and an ability to get in and out of his breaks at a level need for success at the next level. Coaches raved about his work ethic and football IQ all week, something that will help his stock as scouts do their research on him. While he may not come from a top NCAA program, Cyprien could surprise many at the next level. Like so many others, the combine will be big for him.

Marquise Goodwin – WR, Texas – While Goodwin does not have the size of a primary receiver in the NFL, he made his case as someone who could become a very good slot receiver/utility man in the NFL. Goodwin was constantly finding ways to make plays with the ball in his hands, something that speaks volumes when considering the abysmal quarterbacking that was on display. With many NFL teams looking for players to put in versatile roles, like Green Bay’s Randall Cobb or Minnesota’s Percy Harvin, Goodwin is sure to peak the interest of many as we head into April.

The Rest

OL – While they did not play to the level of the offensive lineman aforementioned, Alabama’s DJ Fluker, Oklahoma’s Lane Johnson, and Kent State’s Brian Winters played very solid games. These guys have the tools and experience that will make them each quality players at the next level.

Players who still have a fair amount of question marks surrounding them moving forward include Justin Pugh of Syracuse, Oday Aboushi of Virginia, and Notre Dame’s Braxston Cave. Pugh is seemingly struggling to find his niche on the line against top level talent, while Aboushi, although tremendously built, seems to lack the overall strength and aggressiveness needed at the position. Cave has continued to struggle when competing against elite level defenders.

Datone-JonesDL – Datone Jones of UCLA made a very strong case to sneak into the top performers. He has a very good combination of short area agility and overall body strength, something that can make him a very effective 3-4 outside linebacker in the NFL. He is versatile enough to play standing up or with his hand on the ground, and has experience in such a scheme from his career as a Bruin. He will almost certainly begin to shoot up draft boards, presumably a late first or early to mid second rounder.

Jordan Hill of Penn State was another very impressive defensive lineman. Although he does not have great height (6’1″), he makes up for it by using very good leverage, hand speed, footwork, and overall technique. He is a gritty player who seems to play with a bit of a chip on his shoulder, the kind of mindset that can separate good defensive linemen from the average ones.

Other names that did things well include UConn’s Sio Jones, who has a motor that ranks among the best in the draft, Milliciah Goodman of Clemson, and Cornelius Washington from Georgia. LSU’s Lavar Edwards proved to be a very tough player, but lacks the overall quickness and physical strength that would be needed to make up for the amount of flaws in his technique. John Jenkins of Georgia is a massive body that can certainly clog holes and occupy blockers in the NFL, but has a very inconsistent motor. Everett Dawkins of Florida State also did some good things, but nothing significant enough to turn heads.

Possibly the most interesting defensive lineman was North Carolina’s Sylvester Williams. Williams flashed brilliance at times, but completely disappeared at others. He has all the physical tools to be great, but showed a tendency to get locked up with his blockers, rather than shedding and finding the ball. The talent is certainly there, but the consistency needs to be improved.

LBs – Outside of Williams, Zaviar Gooden of Missouri showed some tremendous speed, sideline to sideline ability, and very good range in coverage. He will likely need to go to a 4-3 scheme where his speed can be utilized as a SAM linebacker.

Khaseem Greene from Rutgers certainly was not bad by any means, but its tough to declare that his performance lived up to the production he achieved in college. He is unquestionably talented, but an average performance in this game could be a red flag to teams who may look to him having played the majority of his games against marginal competition.

Kevin Riddick (UNC) and Nico Johnson (Alabama) weren’t bad by any means, but were anything but extraordinary. Riddick made some nice plays, as did Johnson, but both of them struggled to get off of blockers at times, often finding themselves sealed to create run lanes.

RBs – It’s difficult to declare who the best running back in the game on Saturday was. Johnathan Franklin of UCLA was probably the most consistent of the contest, and showed that he can do a little bit of everything. Florida’s Mike Gillislee showed off his great speed and burst, and an overall good performance should have him climbing up some boards.

Stepfan Taylor was also very effective in limited reps. He showed arguably the best patience of all of his counterparts, including solid pass protection, and ability to be useful in the short passing game. Taylor, however, does not seem to have that top end speed to be a game breaker at the next level.

Kenjon Barner of Oregon surely has the speed and elusiveness to be a weapon, but he struggled mightily between the tackles. To his credit, it was a very unfamiliar offense to him. It will be interesting to see how team’s view Barner going forward. Based on the offense he came from at Oregon, and his play from Saturday, he will likely be looked at as a developmental back who can contribute immediately in certain packages. Barner could be very effective if placed in a stable of backs with a bruiser or two ahead of him.

RouseOne name that got some serious attention this week was Robbie Rouse out of Fresno State. While he is rather short for the position (listed at 5’7″), he is put together very well and runs with a low center of gravity. Rouse showed very good vision and patience, as well as a very solid burst through the hole. He has a very good motor and keeps his feet going until the whistle, or when brought to the ground on every play. It will be interesting to see where Rouse ends up.

WR – Somewhat difficult position to gauge based on how mediocre the quarterback play was, but the names that stood out most, other than Goodwin, were Markus Wheaton of Oregon State and Terrance Williams of Baylor.

DB – Overall impressive collective performance, but again, tough to gauge based on the quarterbacking. Overall, Desmond Trufant was the most impressive CB of the game. He put together a very strong week of practice which translated over to Saturday’s game. His has very fluid hips, comes in and out of his breaks well, has very good top end speed (see opening kickoff), and is deceptively physical.

Other defensive backs that did some good things include Duke Williams, Jordan Poyer, Jamar Taylor, Bacarri Rambo, and Robert Alford, who looked very good on Special Teams and in the return game as well. TJ McDonald flashed some quality play and is certainly a name to keep an eye on moving forward. Looks the part of a smaller Taylor Mays, but with much better overall coverage skills.

QB – Not much to say here. All were underwhelming, aside from EJ Manuel who was really the only one to show some type of consistency. Manuel can make plays with his feet as well as his arm, and has excellent size for the position.

Ryan Nassib of Syracuse continued to exhibit an inability to throw on the run, something that may hurt him in the NFL considering his height. North Carolina State’s Mike Glennon made some excellent throws, but more often than not was off target and wildly inconsistent. Like Glennon, Tyler Wilson, Landry Jones, and Zac Dysert were also inconsistent, but none of them made some of the throws that Glennon was able to. If it were any other year, it is highly likely that not one of these players would be selected in the first round, but with such a depleted class, in a quarterback needy league, some of them are sure to be over drafted. The lackluster performances will likely help solidify West Virginia’s Geno Smith as the first quarterback off the board, while USC’s Matt Barkley, who is recovering from a shoulder injury, will begin to sneak back up draft boards as well.