The New York Jets need playmakers. This is a fact that is not in dispute. We talk a lot about the offensive side of the football, and with good reason. The Jets don’t exactly have wide receivers that a defensive coordinator gets nervous about, and that doesn’t help Geno Smith. Jeremy Kerley is a good player, David Nelson is a nice complement, but they don’t have dominant playmakers on the outside, to make defenses nervous. So there is that.
What about the defense?
I know people don’t want to think about an early defensive pick, but think about it for a minute. The Jets got the pass rush going, but the back-end was terrible. The Jets were tied for 22nd in the league with 13 interceptions. A dominant defense needs to turn the offense over, and the Jets couldn’t do that last year.
Antonio Cromartie is set to make a lot of money in 2014, so much that there is the decent chance that he is released to save money against the cap. He could renegotiate, but is that ever really a guarantee? Let’s say he is cut, and doesn’t come back. Are you ready to trust the cornerback position to Dee Milliner and Kyle Wilson? I know I am not. So let’s see a defensive back that impressed everyone, including the Jets, at the Combine.
Enter Justin Gilbert, CB from Oklahoma State.
He measures in at 6’0″, and weighs 202 pounds.
Here are his stats from Oklahoma State:
Defense & Fumbles
|*2010||Oklahoma State||Big 12||SR||DB||12||16||2||18||0.0||0.0||0||0||0||1||0||0||0||1|
|*2011||Oklahoma State||Big 12||SR||DB||13||48||11||59||1.0||0.0||5||57||11.4||0||15||0||0||0||0|
|*2012||Oklahoma State||Big 12||SR||DB||13||53||10||63||2.5||0.0||0||0||0||9||0||0||0||1|
|2013||Oklahoma State||Big 12||SR||CB||11||37||5||42||0.0||0.0||7||123||17.6||2||7||0|
In addition to his play on defense, Justin was no stranger to the endzone on special teams as well, running back six kickoffs for touchdowns through his four years of college.
At the Combine, he topped the position with a 4.37 second forty yard dash, and led the way with 20 bench press reps as well.
Here is some video on Gilbert:
Clearly this is a player with a nose for the football. He can find it, and he can go and get it. He has great hands, evidenced by the plays where he can tap the ball back to himself. Gilbert can take it to the house, via the interception or the kick return. This is a trait that certainly won’t hurt when he turns pro. He can make plays.
His use of his hands in pass defense is excellent as well. He can play press coverage, which is hugely important on the next level. The only negative I noticed about Justin was the fact that he can be taken out of the run game when blocked. He needs to be able to come off of blocks a bit better.
But, as far as playmakers are concerned, Justin Gilbert is a top one. If he were to wear the Green and White, they could do a lot worse.