Wes Welker, Victor Cruz, Cameron Wake…the list goes on and on. You’ve heard the list of undrafted free agents (UDFAs), who end up becoming legitimate stars in the NFL, before. The New York Jets could definitely use help and there are some talented prospects that every team passed on in this year’s draft.
So now, after the 2012 NFL Draft, the New York Jets are signing a number of prospects that were neglected by all 32 teams in the NFL Draft. Here is a list of the reported signings, according to Jake Steinberg of The Jets Blog, with added analysis provided by me:
- Ryan Steed, CB (Furman): Based on Mock Four, the ultimate mock draft competition of 2012, he should have been a fourth round pick. Steed is a willing tackler, has long arms, and demonstrates good ball skills. He could become a legitimate number four cornerback/backup free safety for the Jets right away. I fully expect him to be able to have a job with the Jets in 2012.
- Donnie Fletcher, CB/FS (Boston College): Another quality cornerback pickup for the Jets. Fletcher had a sixth round grade in my notes, which means he’s clearly a good value as a free agent signing. He has excellent size, 6’1″, and is good in zone coverage. This former Boston College Eagle will compete at cornerback. I expect him to be on the roster in 2012.
- Damon Harrison, DT (William Penn): He’s definitely being brought in to compete as a backup nose tackle and at 340 pounds he has the weight of one. Harrison has been a productive player in college but I have a feeling he will struggle to make the active roster. Most likely he will be competing for a shot at the practice squad. I think due to the fact he shows above average awareness he has a shot to become a part of the roster in a year or two with hard work and he will most likely end up on the practice squad in 2012.
- D’ Anton Lynn, CB/FS (Penn State): Nepotism played a major factor in this signing, since his father is the running backs coach for the Jets. Virtually everyone I have spoken to said that Lynn would not be drafted. He’s far too stiff to ever become a legitimate starter at cornerback or free safety, but he has the size, strength, and awareness to have a chance to make the practice squad.
- Brett Roy, DE/DT/OLB (Nevada): I was surprised the Jets signed Roy but he’s a good pickup. My notes indicate he should have been a fifth round pick and displays a lot of versatility. Roy offers the physical capability to play the five technique defensive end, 4-3 defensive tackle, and 3-4 outside linebacker positions. He needs to improve his base strength and technique at whatever position/positions in which the Jets will utilize him. This rookie should make it on the roster due to the previously mentioned factors in addition to a great work ethic and quick first step.
- G.J. Kinne, QB (Tulsa): I really see him as kind of a backup to the backup, meaning he was brought in to compete for a chance to be the backup wildcat quarterback. He’s going to struggle to make the roster, but if the Jets are committed to this hypothetical two quarterback system he has a chance to be the number four quarterback/practice squad quarterback.
- John W. Cullen, OT (Utah): I had a seventh round grade for him in my notes. He’s athletic and mobile for an offensive tackle but he needs to get stronger and add bulk to his frame. It is definitely possible that Cullen will be able to become a backup for the Jets this year.
- Stephfon Green, RB (Penn State): He’s purely a third down scat back. Green is more of a straight line runner and plays with ordinary quickness. The running back is going to have quite a struggle to make the roster with four more talented tailbacks already on the roster, in addition to quality fullback John Conner.
- Brian Linthicum, TE (Michigan State): As the Jets general manager I drafted this prospect in the seventh round of Mock Four and had a fifth round grade for him. He can do everything that is expected of a tight end at a solid level. Linthicum is still learning the position and has been inconsistent at times as a receiver; he’ll often make the big catch but drop an easy catch. I fully expect him to be able to make the roster and he could be the number two tight end for the Jets by the end of training camp.
- Donovan Robinson, DE/OLB (Jackson State): Robinson is the type of prospect who is too light to play 4-3 defensive end but doesn’t have good speed for a linebacker. This is clearly an experiment, one which will likely result with Robinson on the street.
- Brody McKnight, K (Montana): I haven’t heard his name before but he’s clearly being brought in to compete with Nick Folk. This is a signing that could be a big win or just another signing that results in a release.