Brian Costello of the New York Post has been reporting on who the Jets have been interviewing during the week leading up to the Senior Bowl in Mobile, Alabama. So far it has leaked out that the Jets have interviewed Vanderbilt WR Jordan Matthews, Clemson QB Tajh Boyd and Eastern Illinois QB Jimmy Garoppolo. Interviewing a prospect does not indicate, in itself, that the Jets are highly interested in that player, merely that they are exploring all of their options. Still it is always interesting to take a look at the players the Jets are linked to and see how they might fit in to the Jets plans.
Jordan Matthews WR Vanderbilt – Matthews is a big, physical receiver at 6’3″ 202 lbs and is willing and able to both give and receive punishment. In every article I’ve read about him his work ethic has been highlighted and rotoworld.com called him “a coach’s dream”. He stayed after a Senior Bowl practice to work on red zone drills. The concern with Matthews is his speed and it is said his 40 yard dash time will determine how high he is drafted. That’s how good players slip, don’t overanalyze just look at the game film, do your background and interview then make a decision. Looking at speed only is why good players like Alshon Jeffrey slip in the draft. I actually hope Matthews runs a slow 40 so he will be there for the Jets in the 2nd round. Every team needs players that are good route runners, who have good hands, and consistently got open against SEC corners, especially ones with a great work ethic. Matthews would make a good number two receiver.
Tajh Boyd QB Clemson - The Clemson product is a mobile player who is a threat both running and passing. Boyd is a player who can extend plays with his scrambling ability and throws a good deep ball. He also has the benefit of playing in a major conference against some good defenses. He is not very accurate with his passes as his wide receivers have to jump and contort themselves to reach some of his throws also he makes some mind-numbingly bad decisions that have resulted in key turnovers including one with less than two minutes remaining in the Orange Bowl that almost cost the Tigers the game. This is a player who was considered a 1st round player last year and a second rounder as the season ended but as he is getting scrutinized further it seems his draft stock is falling. If it falls into the 4th-5th round area he’s definitely worth a pick as a developmental quarterback that can either challenge Geno Smith in the coming years or be traded for quality assets.
Jimmy Garoppolo QB Eastern Illinois – Garoppolo is a prospect I have not seen play but he has been described as having a lightning quick release and good accuracy to all areas of the field. From all reports he was poised and in control all week for the East West Shrine Game and ended up being the MVP of that game. So far at the Senior Bowl practices he has struggled according to Tony Pauline of DraftInsider.net with his deep ball accuracy and with his timing. How he plays in the Senior Bowl will determine if he is drafted in the 2nd round or dips to the 4th because it is important for a small school player to show that he can play versus some of the best players. I really can’t assess this prospect without seeing him play but he does not seem like a finished product who could step right in and start. I am not a fan of drafting a quarterback to develop for a whole year or more in the second round somewhere in the 4th-5th round area makes sense.
These are just the first of many, many, many, many interviews for John Idzik & Company as they prepare for an extremely important draft. Trying to guess what direction they are going to go in May is the fun of draft season. Buckle up it’s going to be one crazy ride.