The Jets are in an interesting position heading into the 2014 offseason. The team finished 8-8, and decided to retain head coach Rex Ryan for at least one more season. The Jets hold the 18th overall pick in the draft, and could go many different ways with the pick. Do they add a true number one receiver? Maybe John Idzik wants a pass catching tight end to help young Geno Smith and the offense. Or do the Jets add an outside linebacker, or a safety? Time will tell, but if the Jets are looking for some explosive playmakers, they should probably watch some tape on the Oregon Ducks.
1. WR/RB De’Anthony Thomas- To put it in simple terms, Thomas can fly. When he gets the ball in his hands, he has the chance to take it to the house for 6 at any moment. Thomas was a game changer at Oregon, lining up at WR, RB, and KR, and PR. Thomas has the ability to lineup in the slot, or take a carry out of the backfield. Thomas has incredible acceleration and burst. While his routes need some work, he still would be a phenomenal mid round pick for the Jets. While people have questions about his height (5’10″) and build (176 pounds), both Giovani Bernard and Tavon Austin proved that guys with that type of built can succeed.
2 WR Josh Huff- While Thomas was more of the ” flashy” player, Josh Huff is more of your prototypical wide receiver. Together though, they made a great combination. Huff is undersized at just 5’11″, Huff makes up for his lack of height in other areas in his game. Huff is a very physical receiver and is a very strong route runner. While Huff would not be a number one receiver, or maybe not even a number two, he would be a reliable slot man for the Jets opposite former fifth round pick Jeremy Kerley.
3 TE Colt Lyerla- In talking terms of talent, Lyerla is arguably one of the most talented tight ends in the 2014 NFL Draft. While talent is not an issue, off the field incidents make Lyerla a very tricky prospect to judge. Lyerla left the Oregon football this season, and wound up being arrested just a few weeks after. If the off field incidents had not occurred, Lyerla may have been a second round pick. While he has his issues, I would not completely ignore him if I am the Jets. Remember when Vontaze Burfict was coming out of school? He was considered a first round talent, but wound up going undrafted. Now, Burfict is one of the best MLB in the game, and is an anchor on the Bengals defense. Ina few years, Lyerla may turn out to be another example of a troubled college star who turns it around and is successful. While the risk is high, using a 6th-7th round pick on Lyerla may turn into a steal for the Jets.
I decided to focus on all offensive weapons from Oregon in talking about future Jets. Check back next week for a draft preview for the Georgia Bulldogs.