Safety Calvin Pryor knows what it takes to be physical in a defensive backfield. Talented with many great defensive attributes, Pryor fits the mold of the kind of player that will thrive on the New York Jets. He’s fast, aggressive and knows how to blanket the hardest parts on the football field. Most of all, he’s a tackling machine who enjoys letting the opposition know he’s going to hit you and hit you hard if you attempt to pass the football anywhere near him.
With the 18th pick in the 2014 NFL Draft, the Jets made a very intelligent decision in selecting Pryor. With many predicting the Jets would address the wide receiver situation in the first round, the team knew since the draft is deep with receivers that patience is key. A player with the defensive prowess of Pryor definitely wouldn’t have been available in the later rounds, so it was best to grab him while he was available and gather offensive weapons later. General manager John Idzik always preached that patience is a wonderful virtue since if you stick to the plan, everything will eventually fall into place. The Jets knew that they could easily address the wide receiver and cornerback needs in the later rounds of the draft and rightfully so.
Pryor is definitely worth being the Jets’ first-round selection since he’ll immediately be able to contribute and help fill some voids in the secondary. The Jets have always been known to draft defensive players above anything else because it’s one of the strongest parts of the team. Last year, the Jets were exposed in the secondary due to aging veterans and rookies who needed more experience under their belt. Now with guys like Antonio Cromartie and Ed Reed gone, the Jets are able to now have an insurgence of youth and speed in the defensive backfield.
Overall, grading the Jets’ first-round selection of Pryor is easy when you look at the impact he is going to have upon arrival. He upgrades the Jets’ defense in tackling, instinct and coverage. In the eyes of many, the Jets earned themselves a strong A.