The New York Jets are going into minicamp with a lot of new faces and positions to fill. The 2012 draft was a gamble for the Jets, but that has been a reoccurring theme for the organization.
Drafting Quinton Coples with their first pick and Stephen Hill with their second pick were what many would consider to be risky selections. Both players are considered to be extremely raw talents with the potential to be star players.
Hill, who is 6’5” and 205 pounds, ran a sub 4.4 forty yard dash, but has never caught more than 38 passes in a season during his college career.
The rookie out of Georgia Tech is confident in his abilities and said, “I’m not nervous at all. I’m just making sure I got everything correct and just going hard, as much as I can…I want to take whatever I did in college and put way more emphasis on it now.”
The Jets also drafted Jordan White, from Western Michigan University, who was one of the best wide receivers in the sub division. He has great hands, caught 140 passes his senior season, and runs routes like a veteran, but he does not have the breakaway speed that many GMs are looking for. The Jets could really use a solid number two receiver after losing Plaxico Burress to free agency and hope one of these two receivers can be that guy.
Along with Coples, the Jets drafted outside linebacker Demario Davis, from Arkansas State University, to help with the pass rush. Davis is a talented pass rusher who does not have the best instincts, but is a gifted athlete with a high motor. According to Davis the strongest part of his game is his “speed and ability to run”.
Davis also stated, “The system the Jets run is pretty similar if not the exact same defense we ran in college, so that’s extremely beneficial.”
Rex Ryan will be moving Davis to the inside linebacker position, so understanding the defense gives Davis a great advantage. Davis was projected to go late in the second round, so he was a steal in the third round.
Running back was a big need for the Jets going into the draft and they hope they addressed it with their sixth round pick, Terrance Ganaway, out of Baylor University. Ganaway started for the first time as a senior and ran the ball 250 times for a total of 1547 yards. He also ran for 21 touchdowns and is a physical runner with his 6’1”, 240lb build. The Jets want to return to their “ground and pound game” and Ganaway looks to fit that role.
“I think Rex [Ryan] or Mike [Tannenbaum] used the term ‘A-back’ in one of their press conferences, and that’s really what we wanted to find,” said offensive coordinator Tony Sparano.
Ganaway has expressed great joy in playing for the Jets and hopes to help the team’s run game return to one of the best in the league.
Another issue for the Jets going into the draft was the safety position. Even with the signing of LaRon Landry they still needed to find another safety. The team took Josh Bush, from Wake Forest University, and Antonio Allen, from the University of South Carolina in the sixth and seventh round. Neither is expected to be a superstar at the next level, but Allen has the potential to take the starting job. He was a great player for South Carolina and was a crucial reason they had one of the best defenses in the country last season. He is considered slow and does not have great recovery speed, but he has superb instincts and is a hard hitter.
With their last sixth round pick the Jets select Robert Griffen from Baylor University…unfortunately he is the guard and not the quarterback. Although this Robert Griffen did not receive all the hype as his former teammate, he is expected to give Wayne Hunter competition for the starting job.
Notable rookie free agents brought into camp:1) G.J Kinne- QB out of Tulsa 2) Dexter Jackson- WR out of App. State 3) Hayden Smith- TE former London Rugby star