Cornerback Dexter McDougle has had an interesting college football career leading into his future in professional football. The Maryland standout is anxious to make the transition into the NFL and hopefully leave his mark on the league with hard work and determination to become the next big defensive superstar for the New York Jets.
At the current moment, McDougle will have to work his way up the depth chart to become a starting right cornerback. The Jets brought in Dimitri Patterson via free agency to be the veteran leadership needed to start alongside Dee Milliner. It’s expected McDougle will be in a positional battle with Darrin Walls to be Patterson’s main backup.
Walls is a four-year veteran and so far, he hasn’t been the true shutdown cornerback that the Jets need to put pressure on opposing passing attacks. There is some hope that if McDougle is strong enough in OTAs and has a stellar training camp, he might see some playing time as the season progresses in various defensive packages.
McDougle has excellent reaction time to footballs thrown his way, and also has a knack for tipped passes. While he might not get a whole bunch of interceptions, if he’s covering an elite receiver, he knows exactly what he needs to do in order to succeed and end the play.
He brings aggression to his position as well with smart tackling skills and very good defensive instincts that will enable him to stand out from the rest. So far in OTAs, he’s been impressing many, including head coach Rex Ryan.
Overall, while McDougle might not start immediately come Week 1, he has plenty of upside that his time will come sooner than later. Also keep in mind he’s coming off shoulder surgery, so there is a little setback in regards to how he eases back into full football activities. Regardless, keep an eye out for him throughout the season as once he gets to start alongside Milliner, they could become the next big defensive duo on the Jets.