The New York Jets have been searching for a dominant pass rush from their outside linebackers in their 3-4 defense under defensive guru and head coach, Rex Ryan. The team currently has OLBers Antwan Barnes, Quinton Coples, Garrett McIntyre, Jermaine Cunningham, and Calvin Pace all under contract and vying for the starting roles, but the team also spent a seventh-round pick on Trevor Reilly of Utah, who was thought to be a mid-round pick but fell due to a knee injury.
Reilly, a 6-foot-5, 245-pound specimen, reminds me a bit of former Baltimore Raven outside backers Jarrett Johnson and Paul Kruger when I watched him on tape. He’s more of a run stuffing outside backer, who uses his strength to power through blockers to get to oncoming ball carriers. He plays with great leverage and has a very tough mentality that will add a nice spice to New York’s already-stout defensive front.
Reilly, however, is a 26-year-old rookie, and is limited athletically. He does not possess the sideline-to-sideline agility that some of his fellow outside backers in New York offer. He also has had some durability issues in the past, more specifically dealing with his right knee in which he had arthroscopic knee surgery after the 2013 season. That being said, his toughness did shine through yet again as he played the entire season with the injury while wearing a brace.
Reilly is a mature rookie and can play both outside backer and inside backer for New York in their 3-4 scheme, which adds a bit of value to the former Utah backer. He will compete with Barnes, Coples, Cole, Cunningham, McIntyre, and Pace this season for playing time, and while he may not see much action, he does possess upside as a special teams player, which is where his impact will likely be felt during his rookie season.