New York Jets Solidify Secondary With This Year's Draft

By Stephen Conway
Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports
Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Jets owned 12 picks in this years NFL Draft, and used all of them. Six of the newcomers play on the defensive side of the ball, and six play on the offensive side of the ball, that way everybody in the building is happy. Three of those defensive players play in the secondary, and New York hopes that after this draft, they won’t have to go the secondary route much longer.

In the first round, New York drafted Calvin Pryor, the hard-hitting safety out of Louisville, who they hope can be their franchise player for the future. They also drafted Dexter McDougle with their third-round pick, a cornerback out of Maryland who only played three games this past season due to a shoulder injury. And in the fourth round, they drafted Bradon Dixon, a Division II corner stand out from NW Missouri State.

If New York is right on their assumptions, McDougle should start opposite of Dee Milliner, allowing newly acquired Dimitri Patterson to play the slot. New York likes McDougle’s cover skills and ball skills, as in those three games played he had three picks. An aggressive, yet smart player, Coach Rex Ryan expects big things from the Terpins corner. If this all works out, and McDougle is healthy and wins the starting job, it would not bode for Kyle Wilson, who has been nothing but a disappointment since being drafted in the first round in 2009.

Dixon is a guy who the New York coaching staff has labeled as a project, but someone who could develop into a solid football player. From what has been said, New York likes his blazing speed, his cover skills, and his strength. Dixon is pure muscle, standing 5-foot-11, weighing about 203 pounds. With his aggressiveness, physicality, and athleticism, in a year or two, Dixon could potentially take over the slot role of Patterson.

And finally Pryor. If you watch Pryor’s tape, you instantly become excited. The licks that he takes on wide receivers, tight ends, and running backs makes you cringe. Pryor plays at an elite level of physicality, and has excellent cover and ball skills. His smash mouth style of play is exactly what Ryan loves in his players, and will be an excellent fit in this already-smash-mouth, physical defense.

All three, in a year or two, if it all works out to plan, will be starters, if not very good role players for this New York defense. By drafting these three players, it makes a statement that they are trying to solidify their secondary, so they can begin to focus on solidifying other areas in offense. In other words, hopefully this will be the last draft in a while picking secondary in the first few rounds.

Stephen Conway is a New York Jets writer for Follow him on Twitter, like him on Facebook, or add him on Google.

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