Bowl Game Prospect Viewing Guide: Boca Raton Bowl

Joe Malfa with a prospect viewing guide for the Boca Raton Bowl.

‘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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All About Scotty McKnight

A closer look at the Jets seventh round pick, Scotty McKnight 

Background – As we all know by now he is a childhood best friend of Jets starting quarterback Mark Sanchez. The two of them used to be ball boys together for Mission Viejo high school.

College – McKnight decided to walk on at Colorado University, where he left as the school’s all-time leading reception and receiving touchdown leader. He led the team in receptions all four of his seasons in Colorado, a pretty amazing stat for anybody, never-mind a walk on. Last season he had 50 receptions for 621 yards and 7 touchdowns.

Vitals – 5’11, 182 pounds, 4.5 40 yard dash at his Pro Day.

Position – His skill set projects to a slot receiver, that could use his quickness and intelligence to his advantage to get open.

NFL Comparison – Not really sure…maybe a Greg Camarillo type?


“Are you kidding me? Teaming up with a great organization and a great team and then being together with my childhood buddy who I grew up with.”

Where He Fits – McKnight will compete for the 4th or 5th receiver spot with a number of players, including Patrick Turner depending on how the Jets handle free agency.

Best Case Scenario – McKnight makes the roster and contributes as a slot receiver in some packages, while carving out a role for himself on special teams. He becomes E to Sanchez’s Vinny Chase in the streets of New York City and North Jersey (good Entourage references by Brian Bassett in his coverage of McKnight).

Worst Case Scenario – McKnight doesn’t make the team and Mark Sanchez forces the Jets to draft his other best friend next year.

New York Jets: Who Is On Thin Ice After Draft?

After seeing how the Jets spent their six draft picks over the weekend, which players from the 2010 team could be on thin ice heading into this upcoming year?

  • Shaun Ellis – Personally, I think it is still a smart move to bring Ellis back as a mentor for Muhammad Wilkerson and because the guy should finish his career where he started it. He is the longest tenured Jet and a respected leader on the team. However, the Jets aren’t going to overpay for him now after spending their first round pick on a defensive end. They could also bring Trevor Pryce back as a cheaper mentoring alternative for Wilkerson.
  • Kris Jenkins – Not that he was likely to be back anyway, but the Kenrick Ellis selection seals his fate.
  • Kellen Clemens – Good as gone.
  • Kevin O’Connell – Will probably be given a chance to compete in training camp with Greg McElroy but unless he blows him away (not likely considering his past few summers) he will join Clemens.
  • LaDainian Tomlinson – Everything we have heard since the draft indicates that he will still be back and it would be the smart move to have him return. The Jets need his leadership, receiving ability, and pass protection. Yet, you have to wonder if Bilal Powell looks good in the pre-season, if the Jets would consider letting him go.
  • Joe McKnight – If he replicates his 2010 summer and Powell is productive, the Jets could part ways with their 4th round draft from last year to make room for their 4th round pick this year.
  • Brad Smith – If Smith is commanding too much money, the Jets have drafted a player with a skill set to be his replacement in Jeremy Kerley. Even if Smith’s contract demands aren’t outrageous, they will have a tough time bringing him back with Santonio Holmes and Braylon Edwards both looking for new deals.
  • Patrick Turner – Will Sanchez’s old buddy from USC get bumped from the roster by his new buddy on the team, Scotty McKnight?

All About Greg McElroy

A closer look at the Jets seventh round pick, Greg McElroy 

Background– McElroy played his high school football in Texas, where he won a 5A championship as a senior. He actually didn’t start his sophomore or junior year, as he sat behind Chase Daniel. In his one year as a starter, he threw 56 touchdowns to 9 interceptions.

College– McElroy started as a junior at Alabama and helped lead his team to a BCS National Championship, throwing for 2,508 yards and 17 touchdowns, along with a 60.6 completion percentage. In his senior year, he improved to 19 touchdowns and upped his completion percentage to 70.6 percent.

Vitals – 6’2, 222 pounds, scored a 43 out of 50 on the Wonderlic Test.

Position – Most likely he will be the Jets number three quarterback in 2011 and projects as their long term backup for Mark Sanchez.

NFL Comparison – How about a poor man’s Chad Pennington, considering his intelligence and intangibles but lack of ideal physical skills?


“I can’t think of a better place to go.  It’s an incredible opportunity to learn from one of the greatest young quarterbacks in the game right now and to also play for one of the greatest coaching staffs.  It’s an incredible tradition and legacy.  I’m proud to be able to continue it and try my best to make the Jets a better organization.

Where He Fits – McElroy will compete with Kevin O’Connell, Drew Willy, and maybe Erik Ainge for the Jets number three quarterback job behind Mark Sanchez and Mark Brunell. I am assuming Kellen Clemens won’t return next year.

Best Case Scenario– He shows promise in the pre-season and easily wins the number three job. McElroy gives the coaching staff enough confidence to make him the number two quarterback heading into 2012.

Worst Case Scenario– McElroy struggles in training camp and is relegated to the practice squad during his rookie year, with O’Connell or somebody else ending up as the number three quarterback.

All About Jeremy Kerley

A closer look at the Jets fifth round pick, Jeremy Kerley

Background – Kerley was a four sport athlete in high school in Hutto, Texas. As a junior, he led his football team to the state championship game as a quarterback. He was recruited to play both baseball and football in college but ultimately decided to stick with football at TCU.

College – Kerley began making his primary impact as a return man during his sophomore year. During his junior and senior year, he became a bigger part of the offense while remaining the team’s primary punt returner. Last season, he finished with 56 receptions for 575 yards, with 10 receiving touchdowns. He also added 97 rushing yards, two rushing touchdowns, a touchdown pass and 388 punt return yards.

Vitals – 5’10, 189 pounds, ran a 4.56 40 yard dash at the combine.

Position – He will work as a slot receiver in the Jets offense and immediately compete for the primary punt return job, which is wide open this year. The Jets will also likely experiment with him in the Wildcat formation, especially if Brad Smith doesn’t return.

NFL Comparison – Everybody is penciling him in as Brad Smith’s replacement already, although they are very different body types and Smith was a quarterback in college. Kerley should be able to be a more fluid receiver than Smith.


“I had a great workout for the Jets when they came down and worked me out,” he said. “Ever since then I’ve thought in the back of my mind, ‘Maybe, somewhere down that line, it could be.’ I’m just glad it was today.”

Where He Fits – Kerley should compete for reps as the Jets number three receiver, especially if either Braylon Edwards or  Santonio Holmes don’t come back, along with Brad Smith likely leaving in free agency. He should also get a shot to be their punt returner and maybe get a few looks on kick return, beyond contributing on the coverage units for Mike Westhoff.

Best Case Scenario – Kerley finds a way to fill the role left by Brad Smith if he isn’t back next year. He becomes a versatile weapon on offense, contributing both as a receiver and a runner. Kerley also works into the rotation of punt returners.

Worst Case Scenario – He struggles to adjust into becoming a slot receiver in the Jets offense and doesn’t get meaningful reps on offense this season. Kerley also loses out on the punt return job.

All About Kenrick Ellis

A closer look at the Jets third round pick, Kenrick Ellis —

Background – Ellis was born in Jamaica and lived there until he was 11 years old. He played his high school football in Florida, where he was a four star recruit who ended up going to the University of South Carolina.

College – Before the 2008 season, Ellis was dismissed from South Carolina because of repeated team violations. He decided to transfer to Hampton University, of the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference. Last season he had 51 tackles with 15 of them being for a loss. Ellis received first team All-MEAC honors for his work. He also had another run in with the law at Hampton, as he has a pending trial this summer for an assault charge.

Vitals – 6 foot 5, 346 pounds.

Position – He is a natural nose tackle, who can be a two gapper for the Jets in their 3-4.

NFL Comparison – In terms of pure size and the role the Jets will put him in, they hope to see him develop into a Kris Jenkins type player. Obviously, that could be a reach considering how dominant Jenkins was but Ellis isn’t short on raw talent and could develop into a special player.

Quotable –

“I am human.  I have made mistakes. I feel like from me making these mistakes I have learned from them and have grown as a person. I have moved on from the mistakes I have made in the past that I will never do them again. I am a different person from who I was then.”

I feel really excited to be a Jet. It is unbelievable. I feel that I fit in real well with the defense. I’ll play whatever position, nose (tackle) or defensive end.  I feel that I will work as hard as possible to try to make the team better. The goal is to win and I want to win.”

Where He Fits – Ellis will start out as Sione Pouha’s primary backup and a rotational player on the defensive line. He will be battling players like Marcus Dixon and Ropati Pitoitua for reps and looking to increase his role as the season goes on.

Best Case Scenario – He pushes Pouha for reps and begins to develop into the Jets long term answer at the nose tackle position by putting together a productive rookie year as a key part of their defensive line rotation.

Worst Case Scenario – His character concerns rear their ugly head and he never plays a meaningful rep for the team.

It’s Like Christmas Came Thrice…1st Round Of The NFL Draft

I would like to give extend my condolences to fans of the Saints, the Buccaneers and the Panthers. You will all be sorely missed. The Falcons traded up to get Julio Jones. Which means, you will have Julio Jones and Roddy White catching balls from Matt Ryan. AKA…prepare for 5,000 yards Mr Ryan. And Michael Turner at running back? Damn. Good luck contending with that Cam. I can now guarantee at least 2 losses by the Panthers this year, and probably one to the Buccaneers. The Saints will eek one out…but maybe not.

Rob Ryan is clearly taking a backseat to Romo’s shoulder. No corner in the first round? Weak. But now Tony has no excuses. Look for defense to dominate in ensuing rounds, they need it. Hell, this guy put a beat down on Tom Brady, with the BROWNS.

Why the hell is Washington not taking Nick Fairley? Laughter from Eagles fans ensues, Redskin fans hang the long rope.

Party boy Mallett beat out by Christian Ponder? WOW. People really don’t like weed in the NFL…Santonio.

SWEET JESUS, Nick Fairley and Ndamukong Suh? Looks like the Lions will have a shot this year. Healthy Stafford? maybe…Calvin Johnson…that pass rush will make Jay Cutler wish he didn’t have to go under center.


The Dolphins will regret not taking Mark Ingram, especially when you play the Jets and the Patriots. Please god do not let the Patriots take Ingram. Yes. Nate Solder. He’ll probably make the Pro Bowl in two years. But he’s not Mark Ingram.

The Giants will have a legit corner. Probably gonna cost them a few plays though. Look at some of those pass interference plays. But they too will regret not taking Mark Ingram. Sorry, everyone is going to get the “you are going to regret not taking Mark Ingram” speech from here on out.

The Buccaneers will have a great D line again. and a good quarterback, let’s see if they nab a running back and a wide receiver in the next few rounds. The Browns will have a good combo with Phil Taylor and Shaun Rogers.

Still no Mark Ingram…kind of thinking the Jets might grab him…no…someone will do it before 30…although only 5 more picks…4 more picks…

I swear to god those 943,968 mock drafts could only be like 35% correct at this point. Any of them.

Let the Jets take Mark Ingram. Somebody take Andy Dalton……4 more picks…..ah the Ravens

Weird trades…..deadlines……strange orders.

Now perhaps the Saints have a chance……….MARK INGRAM

Oh lord, Mel Kiper just said the Jets may have just had the best pick in the draft, what kind of sick cosmic torture will we succumb to this year?

Muhammad Wilkerson, welcome home.

New York Jets: Killing Two Birds With One Stone

Joe has already done a great job recapping last night but I want to give my thoughts as well.  The Jets picked up a scotch double by selecting a versatile player who is able to play the end and nose in the 3-4, which are two obvious needs for the Jets as we have gone over.  I really like Wilkerson, and we should expect to see him in the starting line up when the Jets open up against the Cowboys.  This could be a potentially bitter sweet pick as fan favorite Shaun Ellis’ future with the Jets is very much up in the air now.

Everyone is talking about how Wilkerson can be Haloti Ngata 2.0, and I agree, I am excited to see what Rex has in store for Wilkerson.  Muhammad is very athletic and is able to shed blocks and get to the QB, he will instantly improve our pass rush and now the Jets can look on to what they are going to do today.

The Jets were able to wait and get their guy in the first round but I am not so sure they will be able to do that again.  Look for the Jets to trade into the 2nd round and pick up a player like Akeem Ayers, Brooks Reed, Aaron Williams, Rahim Moore, Brandon Harris, or maybe even Marvin Austin or Stephen Paea.

Two miscellaneous thoughts about the draft: Da’Quan Bowers knee must be SCREWED UP.  I mean there is so much talent there, he was in serious contention for the number one pick; he might be the unhappiest man in America after not cracking the first round.  Can you imagine how much money he just lost? Also, the Patriots trading out of the first round was maybe the most unsurprising thing that has ever happened.  I mean I saw that from a mile away, and I really hope they don’t take Brooks Reed with the first pick of the second round like  idiot Mel Kiper has them doing.