Report Card: Jets 2014 NFL Draft Grades

  • Calvin Pryor: Round 1
    Jets went defense in round one? Is anyone really surprised
    Jets went defense in round one? Is anyone really surprised

    And with the 18th pick in the 2014 NFL Draft the New York Jets select…. Calvin Pryor, Safety, University of Louisville. While people may not like this pick because it did not fit the biggest needs on the team, the Jets still needed help in their depleted secondary. Ha Ha Clinton-Dix maybe the more polished prospect at this point, but Pryor’s upside and ability to be a thumper in the run game makes him a perfect fit for Rex’s defense. With the best wideouts and corners off the board, it’s better that the Jets took one of the better players available rather than reaching. Also, this pick helps the cornerback issue because Pryor’s range will help the corners with his coverage over the top. Plus, receivers may think twice coming over the middle knowing the Louisville slugger is patrolling center field. Hey, we’ve seen the Seattle blueprint for big hitting safeties and that’s worked out pretty well for them.  Grade: A

  • Jace Amaro: Round 2
    Big target for Geno or Michael
    Big target for Geno or Michael

    Looks like Geno Smith will finally have a security blanket in 2014. A potential first round prospect picked up in round two, Amaro is a versatile weapon who can lineup all over the field. What he lacks in run blocking, Amaro makes up for with great hands and the ability to get open in space. With tight ends becoming more utilized in passing games anyways, this pick gives the Jets another legitimate weapon on offense and a big target in the middle of the field. Whenever a player is compared to Gronkowski, that usually is a good indication that he makes plays on offense. This could be a steal for the Jets based on Amaro’s versatility. Grade A+

  • Dexter McDougle: Round 3
    Guess third time is not the charm
    Guess third time is not the charm

    With two great picks, the Jets stumbled with their third selection. McDougle is the biggest stretch for the Jets in this draft and the big question is why they picked him so early? With a good receiver in Donte Moncrief on the board and a possible starting guard in Gabe Jackson, McDougle looked like a player who would be available later where the Jets had a plethora of late round picks. There were also some other great corner prospects like Pierre Desir that they could have gotten down the line. While he did run a 4.4 40 at his pro day, the problem I have with this pick is the fit. True, he has the speed to play slot corner, but McDougle is better in a zone defensive scheme. His struggles in man coverage in college make it a head scratcher why the Jets wanted him in a defense where corners need to play great man coverage. While I hope to be proven wrong, this pick seems like a mistake. Grade: D+

  • Jalen Sanders: Round 4
    Another head scratcher
    Another head scratcher

    Finally, the Jets took a receiver! Problem is it didn’t make a lot of sense. At 5’9 with very good speed, Sanders seems to be destined for special teams and a slot receiver. Problem? Jeremy Kerley has already established himself as a very good slot receiver. With Kerley ahead on the depth chart the only reason this pick makes some sense is because Kerley is an upcoming free agent and the Jets wanted a backup plan. While that’s all well and good, Sanders still figures to be at best a fourth receiver this season. He has upside, but this seemed like a stretch where the Jets could have addressed other needs. Grade: C –

  • Shaq Evans: Round 4  
    Loading up at receiver
    Loading up at receiver

    This may be my favorite receiver pick in the draft. Evans is just a solid football player. While he doesn’t have a particular attribute that sets him apart, he is just a consistent receiver who makes catches. He reminds me of another very good Jets wide out, Jerricho Cotchery. He might not be a game changer, but has the upside to be a great number 2 possession receiver who moves the chains and makes critical catches. Evans could be a dark horse to be the Jets #2 receiver for opening day. Grade: A- 

  • Dakota Dozier: Round 4 
    Small school, big potential
    Small school, big potential

    It’s almost appropriate that an offensive linemen has the name Dozier. While he was a very good left tackle at Furman Southern, Dozier has the potential to be a very good guard in the NFL. There’s no question, this guy is a road grater. While he still is a raw player, with the right coaching Dozier could be a starter on the line this season or be groomed into a full-time starter within three years. Worst case scenario for 2014, is that Dozier provides the interior line with depth. With tremendous upside and great run blocking ability, this looks like a match made in heaven for the Jets ground and pound philosophy. At least this means that Vlad Ducasse era is officially over. Jets fans rejoice! Grade:B+

 

  • Jeremiah George: Round 5 
    More depth in the middle
    More depth in the middle

    This pick adds some depth to the middle linebackers. If things go right George could be third on the depth chart by the end of camp. While he is undersized, George is a solid run defender. While at times he may get overwhelmed, Ryan is known for either coaching his players up or putting them in the right fit for the defense. It may not be an impact pick, but it still provides depth to a position where the Jets were thin. Grade: B

 

  • Brandon Dixon Round 6: 
    Another piece in the "Seattle Blueprint"
    Another piece in the “Seattle Blueprint”

    Seattle in New York anyone? This pick just screams Seattle blueprint for a defense. A small school prospect from Northwest Missouri St., Dixon has the size at 5’11 that teams are now looking for. A raw player with huge upside, he may see limited time this season but could eventually be a starter if coached properly down the road. If training camp goes well, Dixon may even push to be the third corner on the depth chart. A pick with a lot of potential, this could be a diamond in the rough that also addresses the woeful depth at corner. Grade B+

  • Quincy Enunwa: Round 6
    More targets more success?
    More targets more success?

    Another receiver? Must be the Jets. Though he may be a sixth round pick, Enunwa maybe pushing not only for a spot on the roster, but pushing Stephen Hill out-of-town. At 6’2 and 225, Enunwa is a great fit in the Jets west coast offense as a Z or X receiver. If he can work on his hands, Enunwa is a good route runner and can be another reliable target. While he lacks the elite speed as a wideout, like Evans he could be a solid possession receiver that at least provides depth. However, as a sixth round pick on a team now filled with receivers, Enunwa will have to have a strong camp to avoid the practice squad or worse the unemployment line. Grade: B

  • Round 6: Ik Enemkpali 
    Dark horse pass rusher?
    Dark horse pass rusher?

    It’s almost amazing that it took this long for Ryan to draft a defensive lineman. As a defensive end in college, Enemkpali figures to transition to a 3-4 outside linebacker in Ryan’s scheme. While he was a successful bull rusher in college it remains to be seen whether or not he can develop into a standup pass rusher. With Calvin Pace still on the team, it could give Enemkpali time to develop. However, I do not see him making the roster this year and he must perform well enough to make practice squad. With their scheme, Michael Sam would have been a better fit here. Grade: C

  • Tajh Boyd: Round 6 
    From son to father
    From son to father

    You just knew that the Jets would draft someone from Clemson. With Rex’s son on the team, you just knew that Ryan would find at least one or two players he liked. With the quarterback battle between Smith and Vick, the Jets will now have a battle for the third quarterback spot between Simms and Boyd. Boyd was a dynamic playmaking quarterback in college but the question was could he be consistent enough in the pros? Hopefully he can develop and become the backup after Michael Vick leaves. It will be interesting if the will use him as an offensive weapon and possible try him out as a receiver Good pick for depth, but think Daniel McCullers could have been a steal to beef up the interior D-line. Grade: B-

  • Trevor Reiley: Round 7 
    The Diamond in the rough for the Jets
    The Diamond in the rough for the Jets

    This maybe my favorite pick in the draft. I love this kid. The Jets stole Reiley in the seventh round and have a player who not only could make the opening day roster, but could become a very good starter in a short time. While he maybe 26, Reiley is a solid football player with a motor that does not quit. While he can be a pass rushing 3-4 outside linebacker, Reiley has the versatility to lineup all over the field. A competitive and hard as nails linebacker, he just screams Rex Ryan football player. He may not be the most athletic player on the field, but with his motor and football savvy Reiley could be a player teams will look back at and say why the heck did we not draft this kid? A player with versatility and who can impact special teams, this could be a great steal that the Jets have made. Grade A- 

  • Final grade: B+: While the Jets may not have come away with an elite corner or big time receiver in this draft, they did get solid football players and provided much-needed depth to a roster that was incredibly thin. While I would have liked to see the Jets move up a few times to get a receiver or corner, they had a solid draft and clearly have a plan going forward. Despite the McDougle reach and waiting to the fourth round to address the wide out position, the Jets had a great draft and grabbed players in the later rounds with tremendous upside. While Pryor and Amaro will make instant impacts, this could be a draft where the impact will not be fully realized until 2 or 3 years down the road. Some people may not agree, but the Jets made the most selections in 2014. More picks, more chances for diamonds in the rough.
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