The 2013 Senior Bowl is upon us and like always the Senior Bowl can be a Gold Mine in locating underrated talent…..The Jets are certainly looking to turn the roster upside down in hopes of becoming competitive again and Mobile this Saturday would be a great place to start. Here are a few players I believe the Jets should be looking at to add to their roster….
Stephan Taylor – RB, Stanford –
Stanford’s All-time leading rusher has a lot of doubters and nay-sayers. They’ve seen tape of him getting bottled up occasionally this past year at Stanford and suddenly forget how talented he is. He averaged 110 yards per game and rushed for 1,442 yards this past season, was second on the team in receptions with 38 catches and is a great pass blocker which some offensive coordinators are now coveting more than anything now since the league has now transition to more of a passing league. At 5’11 208 pounds, Taylor is a big, quick running back who has a good combination of speed, quickness, and power, but his greatest asset could be his vision and ability to pick up yards after contact. When I see him I think of Tampa’s RB Doug Martin who had a lot of doubters himself going into the draft last April. Jets will certainly be looking for a RB to add to the mix and Taylor should certainly be on their radar.
Eric Fisher – OT, Central Michigan –
The 6’8 305 Tackle out of Central Michigan excels as a pass blocker with an excellent frame. One thing that stands out about Fisher is his long arms which can be used to extend defenders away from his body and push them away from the quarterback. As a run blocker, he shows great discipline with consistently active feet and hands. Fisher is actively looking to move guys off the line and push them around. His athletic feet helps him drive and not lose ground into the backfield and he seems to show fantastic awareness in blitz pickup on stunts, twists and with guys coming off the edge. With the Jets, everything should start with the line this offseason considering they have questions about OG and OT so it’s no surprise that the Jets will be looking to add or upgrade the Right Tackle position and Fisher is someone that should be on the Jets radar this weekend at the Senior Bowl. Fisher will have to protect QBs that will be mentioned later on this list and must protect them from Pass Rushers that will ALSO be on this list.
Arkansas QB Tyler Wilson had an inconsistent season in 2012 but will need to show scouts that 2011 was more of who he is as a QB.
Tyler Wilson – QB, Arkansas
The 6’2 218 pound Arkansas QB will have a lot to prove between now and April and the Senior Bowl is as good a time to start as any. Wilson is a QB that can make all the throws at the next level and possesses above average arm strength but had an inconsistent season at Arkansas in 2012 which undoubtedly caused his draft stock to plummet. Wilson’s mechanics from the waist to the arm are great. He has a tight, quick delivery and gets good elbow extension allowing for a tight, catchable ball. Wilson played from the shotgun for most of his time at Arkansas but has the foot skills to excel under center in an NFL system. 2011 game tape is probably something Wilson wished he use primarily on his resume as he took a step back in 2012 but what he did show in 2011 was the fact that he has all the tools necessary to succeed in the NFL but still has his doubters. A solid outing this Saturday at the Senior Bowl will go a long way in silencing the doubters and improving his draft stock. Look for the Jets to be interested in his play this week as I see no reason for them to NOT go after a QB in the draft.
Markus Wheaton – WR, Oregon State
A WR that can run the ball out of the backfield and one that excels after the catch is something the Jets are lacking right now and Oregon State’s 6’1 185 pound speedy WR would be just the player to fill that void. Oregon State benefited greatly from Wheaton’s YAC abilities as the loved to get him the ball in space where he can make plays with his quickness, speed, and field vision. He has good, reliable hands and is a solid route runner. I think in the NFL, he could be a really valuable slot receiver type, with the ability to also make plays on the outside. He reminds me a little bit of DeSean Jackson and Mike Wallace, the fast shifty WR that CBs has problems sticking with down the field.
Jack Doyle TE – Western Kentucky
The 6’6 255 TE led his team in receptions with 47 and 530 yards and excelled in the Hilltopper’s West Coast Offensive system of play action and multiple TE sets. What stands out about Doyle is his awesome size but he’s insanely athletic for a big guy. Has very soft and reliable hands and utilizes them very well as he’s very good at making tough catches in traffic. He’s simply an outstanding receiving TE with great awareness. Has great football IQ in that he’s for the most part cognizant of blitzes when blocking. Does a nice effort of getting to the 2nd level when blocking. Shows good lower body strength when driving opponents. He is a solid prospect but he must prove that he can become a better more consistent blocker on the next level and no better place to start than this Saturday when he has to block for RBs that will be running in the NFL next season and D-linemen/Linebackers that will be playing in the NFL next season as well. I love Doyle’s upside and considering Dustin Keller’s uncertainty this off-season, I’d say Doyle would make a great replacement for Keller and considering the Jets have hired an Offensive Coordinator that specializes in the West Coast offense, Doyle’s experience in that offense should at least have him on the Jets radar.
Ezekiel Ansah DE – BYU
The 6’6 270 pound out of BYU has drawn comparisons to Giants DE Jason Pierre-Paul but with less production on the collegiate level. He’s an extremely raw prospect who is fairly new to the game of football but one that has insane ability. He will need someone with patience and a high defensive football IQ to coach and lead him and Rex Ryan might just be the guy to turn his raw ability into something QBs will consistently fear off the edges. Ansah can certainly help himself with a great outing on Saturday by showing scouts his game is more complete than off of luck and raw ability.
Alabama LB Nico Johnson can come in and start at ILB on the NFL level right now.
Nico Johnson – LB, Alabama
The National Champions didn’t have many dominate players on defense this season outside of CB Dee Milliner but LB Nico Johnson wasn’t that far behind. The 6’3 245 pound linebacker wasn’t really a stand out LB, he just epitomizes what it means to be disciplined and hardworking. He has GREAT sideline to sideline speed and doesn’t miss tackles. He has experience in dropping back in coverage and has an insanely high motor. The Jets are facing their own issues at ILB this off-season and Nico Johnson is a guaranteed FIRST day starting ILB in the NFL no doubts about it. He should certainly be on the Jets radar this weekend.
Robert Lester – SS, Alabama
Alabama Safety Robert Lester roamed the ‘Bama defensive secondary and made it look easy. He utilizes quickness and awareness to make plays on the ball. He finished his career with 15 INTs and is known to be somewhat of a ball hawk. He has his issues with taking inconsistent angles and needs to show scouts that he can be a complete Safety. Coming out of Nick Saban’s defense, Lester is immensely disciplined, would have no problems being coached up and has tremendous upside. Lester’s draft slide this past season is due solely to big plays that the Bama secondary has given up and he needs to show scouts that he’s more than capable of handling full time safety responsibilities on the next level. Jets have questions in the safety department with Laron Landry likely leaving and most have suggested that Yeremiah Bell be moved to Laron’s spot and a more athletic player that is tapped to player the FS position would compliment him and the secondary just fine. Something that isn’t a bad idea at all and Lester certainly fits the mold of a prototypical FS.