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Sunday, May 12, 2019

Jets Are Adding Speed!

Besides the six players the Jets drafted, they also signed 16 undrafted free agents. As you read this all 22 players are just finishing up their rookie “orientation.” Adam Gase thinks taking the field for three days is a waste of time and it will only invite injuries to players who have not been practicing with teammates for 5 or 6 months. Gase did the same thing while coaching the Dolphins. Tough to judge if it is a positive or not. Here is the official list of the Jets un-drafted free agents:

LB Jeff Allison, Fresno State (5’11”, 228)
Allison started all 28 games the past two years for the Bulldogs, collecting 258 tackles, 11.5 for loss, 2.5 sacks, and was named first team All-Mountain West both years. He also earned MWC Defensive Player of the Year honors in 2018 and finished 10th in school history with 279 career tackles.

S John Battle, LSU (6’0”, 201)
A three-year starter in the Bayou, Battle recorded 139 tackles, 2.5 stops for loss, two forced fumbles, 14 pass defenses and four picks in 2016-18. The redshirt senior led the Tigers with three interceptions last season despite battling an ankle injury. Battle played in 47 games throughout his collegiate career (28 starts) and sometimes lined up in the slot.

CB Kyron Brown, Akron (6’1”, 195)
The redshirt senior tied a school record with 51 games played in his career, starting 26 games over the last two seasons. In that timespan, he accumulated 90 tackles, four for loss, 19 pass defenses and two interceptions. Brown earned second-team All-MAC honors and was voted a team captain in 2018. The Boynton Beach, FL native also won the Iron ZIP Award for his work in the weight room.

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WR Greg Dortch, Wake Forest (5’7”, 173)
Dortch was extremely productive for the Demon Deacons despite playing just two seasons. The redshirt sophomore started all 12 games in 2018 and caught 89 passes for 1,078 yards and eight touchdowns. For his career, he registered 142 receptions, 1,800 yards and 17 touchdowns in 20 games (18 starts). The Richmond, VA native averaged a school-record 152 all-purpose yards per game for his career as he also returned punts and kicks. Dortch averaged 21.5 yards per kick return on 36 attempts and scored two touchdowns as a punt returner.

DL Fred Jones, Florida State (6’2”, 304)
A four-year player for the Seminoles, Jones is the nephew of former Jets linebacker Marvin Jones, who also attended Florida State along with Fred’s father, Fred Sr. Jones, a redshirt senior, played in 35 games and amassed 67 tackles, eight stops for loss, 2.5 sacks and three pass defenses. The Miami native was also a member of the Florida State track team, participating in the shot put and discus.

G Tyler Jones, NC State (6’3”, 306)
A four-year starter for the Wolfpack, Jones played six games his freshman year — four at right tackle and two at left guard — before starting 39 consecutive games at left tackle from 2016-18. In that timespan, he played 98% of the team’s offensive snaps and earned first-team All-ACC honors.

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  • OL Toa Lobendahn, USC (6’3”, 295)
    The only line position Lobendahn did not line up at during his USC career was right tackle. In 34 starts, the redshirt senior started 18 games at left tackle, eight at left guard, five at right guard and three at center. In 2017, he earned All-Pac 12 second-team honors and USC’s Chris Carlisle Courage and Co-Lifter of the Year Awards. Lobendahn started 13 games as a true freshman and earned Freshman All-American first-team honors before hurting his knee in 2015 and 2016 (redshirt year).

    OL Wyatt Miller, Central Florida (6’5”, 306)
    Miller started in all 39 games the past three seasons for the Knights. He was initially at right tackle before moving to left tackle for his senior season and earning second-team All-AAC honors. The Douglas, GA native grew up on his family’s blueberry farm and committed to UCF after not receiving any Power Five offers. Miller redshirted his freshman year in 2014 before playing in 49 games, 47 of which he started.

    RB Jalin Moore, Appalachian State (5’10”, 212)
    Moore, a Shelby, NC native who was the Sun Belt Offensive Player of the Year in 2016, missed most of his senior campaign with an ankle injury. He led the Sun Belt in rushing in both 2016 and ’17, earning first-team All-Sun Belt both seasons as well with a total of 2,439 yards and 22 touchdowns on 420 carries.

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    LB Jamey Mosley, Alabama (6’5”, 239)
    Younger brother of Jets linebacker C.J. Mosley, Jamey was a walk-on at Alabama before earning a scholarship as a redshirt sophomore. The Mobile, AL native played in 31 games for the Crimson Tide and recorded 21 tackles (4.5 for loss), two sacks and two pass defenses.

    DL Kyle Phillips, Tennessee (6’4”, 277)
    The Volunteers’ team captain in 2018, Phillips won the Bill Majors Award, given to the player who best exemplifies dedication toward football, as well as Defensive Player of the Year honors. Phillips played in 40 games (21 starts) at UT but didn’t become a starter until his senior year. The 22-year-old finished with 114 tackles, 16 for loss, eight sacks and nine pass defenses in four seasons.

    S Santos Ramirez, Arkansas (6’2”, 204)
    A two-year team captain, Ramirez played in 45 games in four seasons with the Razorbacks and recorded 214 tackles, three interceptions and four forced fumbles. The redshirt senior was one of only three FBS players in 2017 to record at least 60 tackles, one interception, eight pass defenses and three forced fumbles.                       

    DL Trevon Sanders, Troy (6’2”, 327)
    Sanders played in 40 games over four years for the Trojans and recorded 108 tackles, 16.5 for loss and six sacks. The Charleston, SC native was named to the All-Sun Belt first team in 2018 after earning second-team All-Sun Belt honors in 2017. Sanders’ cousin, Jarriel King, played for the Seahawks for two seasons before joining the CFL.

    WR Jeff Smith, Boston College (6’1”, 195)
    A former quarterback, Smith transitioned to wideout after his freshman year and recorded 72 catches for 1,078 yards and nine touchdowns over the next three seasons. He also had 902 rushing yards and nine ground scores for the Golden Eagles.

    DL MyQuon Stout, Appalachian State (6’1”, 280)
    Stout started three seasons at nose tackle for the Mountaineers and finished his career with 88 tackles, 8.5 for loss and 3.5 sacks. A two-time team captain, the Salisbury, NC native earned first-team All-Sun Belt honors in 2018 after he started 13 games on a defense that ranked No. 4 nationally in scoring and allowed a Sun Belt-record-low 20 touchdowns.
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    My Take
    It’s nice to see 3 offensive linemen on the list. But the two players I am really excited about are Greg Dortch from Wake Forest and Jeff “I’m not Brad” Smith from Boston College. Jeff Smith is an interesting player. This 6’1” St. Petersburg, Fla. native was a first-team Class 3A All-State pick as a high school quarterback. Smith struggled as a passer in his freshman season at BC (27-82-32.9, 253 yards, two TDs, three INT) but excelled as a runner (71-450-6.3, six TDs) in nine games (three starts). He moved to receiver the following season and Smith started 6 games and led BC with 14.6 yards per reception with 3 TDs. Jumping to his senior year Smith became a full time starter and again led the team in yards per reception (20-387-19.4) with 6 TDs. Interestingly he had 142 yards rushing on 19 attempts (7.5 yds./att) with 1 TD. The issue with Smith is he has the “dropsies” with 14 over the past 2 seasons. He has blazing speed running the 40 in 4.34. Whether he can continue to work on his new wide receiver position is questionable considering his bad hands. But the risk reward and potential upside merits the Jets to take a long look at this superior athlete. Can a player develop better hands? On the surface I would say no but if you ever saw Jerry Rice’s rookie year (not to compare him to Rice) he had the dropsies also. I would say he has a 50/50 chance to make the roster and if he does, he will be an excellent special teams players for coach Brent Boyer. If Gase trusts him, you may also see him line up at quarterback a la Brad Smith with short pass options but mostly to run the ball.

    Greg Dortch from Wake Forest is the most interesting rookie free agent signing. He is one of those players that you would usually see on the opposition and say  “Why can’t the Jets ever get a player like this.” Well now they have one! Comically he started out measuring 5’9” when he first arrived at Wake Forest. By the time he was done, he was 5’7”. And now I’m told he is more like 5’ 6 1/2”. Whatever his height measures, he is not big. But what this Richmond Virginia native is, is a very exciting dynamic player. As a high school senior he was the Virginia 5-A player of the year. After he was redshirted his freshman year at Wake Forest, Dortch played only 2 years before declaring for the draft. The Jets may have really lucked out. In his first year he had 1,290 all purpose yard and this past season those yards increased to 1,750. He is a tremendous punt and kick off returner. And he plays wide receiver and can play in the slot. He is also one of the most exciting players you’ll see after he makes a catch with his elusive moves. He is tough but as with many college receivers who come out early, the knock on him is his route running. I always loved carrying one smallish receiver/running back (see Bruce Harper). The bigger the blockers become in the NFL,  a small quick player in space can create a lot of havoc with the ball. It is hard for the opposition to locate him behind the big bodies on the field. Greg Dortch should make the 53-man roster. Please Jets, don’t put him on the practice squad. Other teams will swipe him right up!

                                   Greg Dortch Highlights

                                   Jeff Smith Highlights

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    What The Jet Scribes Are Saying
    Rich Cimini, ESPN
    Addressing reports of internal discord, New York Jets coach Adam Gase didn't deny he's had disagreements with general manager Mike Maccagnan, but did say he's upset by the perception their relationship is strained.
    "Unless I say it, it's really irrelevant to me. I don't know who decides to put that stuff out there," Gase said Friday at the start of rookie orientation. "It kind of pisses me off a little bit, because we have discussions on everything. That's our job. We have to work through so much stuff. That's what we have to do. That's all we've done since we've been here.
    "Since we started, we're constantly in communication," he continued. "Whether he's coming down to my office or I'm going to his office, that's all we're trying to do, just trying to make sure we're on the same page all the time. We're trying to put this thing together as well as we can in a short period of time." Reports surfaced during the draft that Gase and Maccagnan, working together for the first time, had developed a rift. One report suggested Maccagnan was in danger of being fired after the draft, but that wasn't the case, sources said…..Gase and Maccagnan reportedly clashed over personnel decisions in free agency. Asked if he was frustrated by anything in free agency, Gase said they simply executed their plan, trying to sign players on their wish list. He described free agency as a "nightmare procedure.”…..The Jets, coming off three straight losing seasons, retained Maccagnan and hired Gase to replace Todd Bowles. Maccagnan and Gase had no previous working relationship, although Maccagnan had input into the hiring process. Contractually, Maccagnan has control of the 53-man roster. Gase had that power in his previous job with the Miami Dolphins.

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    Brian Costello, NY Post
    Bless Austin joins the Jets with a lofty goal in mind.The Queens native and former Rutgers cornerback has played just five games in the past two seasons thanks to knee injuries that ended both years with surgeries. The Jets took him in the sixth round of last month’s draft. Some would call it a flier on a player who has been unable to stay on the field.But Austin is not just looking to get back on the field.
    “I want to be the best to every play this game at my position,” Austin said. “Regardless of if I was healthy or not, I was always going to come to this level and have that chip [on my shoulder].” Some might scoff at Austin aiming that high without even playing a down, but spend a few minutes with him and you can feel his intensity. He has needed that as he recovered from the ACL injuries that cut short his collegiate career. Before the injuries, he was viewed as a potential second- or third-round pick. But the obvious durability concerns pushed him down the draft board, and the Jets grabbed him on Day 3. He was asked if he believes he was a second-round talent before the injuries. “I feel like I’m better than that, to be honest with you,” Austin said. “That’s just me and the expectations I set for myself.” Austin is still in the rehabilitation process for his knee, and it is unclear when he will actually be able to practice and play for the Jets. General manager Mike Maccagnan said it is possible Austin will begin the season on the physically unable to perform list…..Austin said he never doubted he would make it to the NFL, even after the injuries. Now, he has to have the patience to wait for his chance to get on the field. “It’s been tough, but nothing I can’t handle,” Austin said of not being able to play. “I persevered through this. For me to get this far and then start to stress over what if I don’t get on the field and things like that, it wouldn’t make sense. I’m just taking it day by day.”

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    Manish Mehta, NY Daily News
    The tears didn’t fall until weeks later when he was alone in his room. He had stayed strong until that point, his mother’s words replaying on a loop in his mind: Make sure you finish school. (Jet Linebacker) Neville Hewitt was 14, a high school sophomore figuring out his own path when his mother, Debbie Jones, was derailed by a 25-year drug-trafficking prison sentence. His younger brother, Horace, had already cried. Now, Neville was overcome by a deep sadness, unaware of the sacrifice and strength required to make it through a surreal decade-long journey without the woman he cared about most…..Hewitt would lean on friends and strangers to carve an improbable path to the NFL, never losing sight of reuniting with his mother one day. Jailhouse visits, court hearings and a near-release dotted their lives before increasingly tough immigration policies led to Jones’ deportation to her native Jamaica two years ago. A recent victory in the circuit court of appeals has given the family hope that she’ll be able to permanently return to the United States again…..Hewitt, 26, spent three years with the Dolphins before finding his niche with the Jets last season. He was a core special teamer, who did a solid job as a starting linebacker during Darron Lee’s four-game suspension in December. His football I.Q. coupled with great instincts prompted the Jets to re-sign him to a one-year, $1.5 million deal this offseason. “He’s the kind of guy you want on your team,” says Adam Gase, who coached Hewitt for two seasons in Miami. “We thought he was awesome on special teams. He was full speed all the time. He always made plays. He was relentless.” Personal trainer Brian Martin at BMartin Sports Academy in Fairfield, New Jersey, has provided comprehensive on-field work, body management and film study every offseason to help cultivate Hewitt’s talent. “Neville is a student of the game,” Martin says. “He works at his craft every day. His attention to detail in training and recovery is truly unique.”…..Mother and son have a shared understanding now. They have learned to live with what is… not what might have been. The life they could have had together is gone, but the life that awaits can be just as special. They aren’t anchored by the past. So, they believe in the promise of tomorrow. They believe in that sweet day when Debbie will come home for good and bring the family together again. They believe everything happens for a reason. They’ve both come too far to believe anything else.

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    AFC East News 
    …..Derek Anderson announced his retirement this week after spending less than a full year with the Buffalo Bills……Former New England Patriots player Greg Spires will be brought to a New Hampshire courtroom Monday morning where he will face a stalking charge…..The Dolphins are giving Mark Walton a tryout. Walton had 14 carries for 34 yards and five receptions for another 41 yards as a rookie for the Cincinnati Bengals in 2018. Cincinnati cut the former Miami Hurricanes running back after three arrests in three months. Walton left the Miami Hurricanes football team after he missed over half of his junior season in 2017…..The Patriots will receive 4 compensatory draft picks in 2020 as the rich get richer…..Bless Austin joins the Jets with a lofty goal in mind. The Queens native and former Rutgers cornerback has played just five games in the past two seasons thanks to knee injuries that ended both years with surgeries. But the 6th round pick’s goal is to be the best ever at his position….Julian Edelman received his degree from Kent State on Saturday…..Dolphin coach Brian Flores said let the best man win. The Dolphins begin organized team activities Monday, giving Flores his first look at his quarterbacks: Ryan Fitzpatrick, who is entering his 14th season and playing for his eighth team, and second-year player Josh Rosen, recently acquired in a trade with the Arizona Cardinals. “As far as the quarterback position, like every other position, there’ll be competition there,” Flores told reporters…..New York Jets head coach Adam Gase is only interested in what third-round pick Jachai Polite does from here on out, not what happened during the pre-draft process…..While the Jets were welcoming their draft class during the start of Rookie Orientation on Friday, they also made a couple roster moves cutting CB Rashard Robinson, WR Stacy Coley and DL Charles Tapper….Miami un-drafted free agents is loaded with ex-hurricanes. First-year defensive tackle Kendrick Norton spent some time on the Dolphins active roster last season, and first year head coach Brian Flores likes his potential. Norton is one of four former University of Miami players at the rookie minicamp along with QB Malik Rosier, RB Mark Walton and TE Darrell Langham….

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