2015 NFL Draft: New York Jets Prospects Stock Watch, Post-Senior Bowl, Pre-Combine


Jan 24, 2015; Mobile, AL, USA; North squad quarterback Shane Carden of East Carolina (5) audibles at the line of scrimmage against the South squad in the third quarter of the Senior Bowl at Ladd-Peebles Stadium. The North won, 34-13. Mandatory Credit: Glenn Andrews-USA TODAY Sports

The Senior Bowl out of the way – the 2014 College football season is officially over, but the real fun begins with the off-season, pre-draft workouts and activities.  The smoke is starting to clear somewhat as certain prospects begin separating themselves from others as the combine and draft approaches.  This draft appears to be deep at certain positions and the Jets find themselves in a position to add some quality talent this April in a few key positions like WR, CB and OL.

Like every season at this point, I have my eye on a few prospects that the Jets should be looking at from rounds two and on, prospects who I believe can immediately contribute to this Jets team.  We’ll follow said prospects as the pre-draft process moves along, but I narrowed the list down to 11 prospects that I’d like to see the Jets become more interested in as the draft nears.  The list consists of a few risers and not many prospects “falling” although there are some that really didn’t HURT themselves, but remain stable in my eyes.

Next: Phillip Dorsett

Nov 29, 2014; Miami Gardens, FL, USA; Miami Hurricanes wide receiver Phillip Dorsett (4) attempts to make a catch as Pittsburgh Panthers defensive back Lafayette Pitts (6) defends during the first half at Sun Life Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Phillip Dorsett, WR, MiamiRiser

I’ve said it numerous times thus far, but he’s probably my favorite “underrated” WR – has been all season.  He’s likely going to shake that “underrated” tag off as we near the draft.  He’s both quick and fast with legitimate acceleration and YAC ability.  He’s a bit small at 5’10’, 183 but he plays big and can take a hit.  He catches the ball, which is what he’s suppose to do, but he’s more reliable than most give him credit for.

He stretches the defense and can take the top off a secondary in a blink of an eye.  I think he’s gonna be a steal from round 2 and on.  He’ll like run nothing worse than low 4.4 at the combine and workouts and I’ll suspect he’ll shoot up draft boards by the time it’s all said and done.  Hopefully the Jets interest in him is legitimate.

Next: Justin Hardy

Jan 22, 2015; Mobile, AL, USA; North squad wide receiver Justin Hardy of East Carolina (82) catches a pass against defensive corner Quinten Rollins of Miami (Ohio) (22) during Senior Bowl North squad practice at Ladd-Peebles Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Glenn Andrews-USA TODAY Sports

– Justin Hardy, WR, East Carolina – Riser 

During the Senior Bowl one on one drills, Hardy was impressive.  He was clean in and out of his breaks and caught anything and everything that was tossed his way.  This of course, was in spite of the inconsistent QB play during Senior Bowl week.  We know he was insanely productive at East Carolina, but because of how deep the WR class is this year, he’ll likely be a valid option for WR needy teams in the 2nd round and on.  Workouts and the Combine will only provide us with official 40 times as we already know he’s a great route running WR and should be able to excel in this area on the pro level.

Next: Josh Shaw

Dec 27, 2014; San Diego, CA, USA; USC Trojans safety Leon McQuay (22) and USC Trojans cornerback Josh Shaw (6) celebrate a defensive stop against the Nebraska Cornhuskers during the fourth quarter in the 2014 Holiday Bowl at Qualcomm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

 – Josh Shaw, DB, USC – Riser 

It is not THAT hard for USC DB Josh Shaw to rise considering where he’s been this past season, but rising he is.  He is not necessarily going to go in the 1st round or even the 2nd (never know considering it only takes one GM to see what I see) because of his off the field issues, but man would he be a steal from round two and on in my opinion, especially for this Jets team that could use more athleticism, play-making and range in the struggling secondary.  Shaw had a solid Senior Bowl and is a great athlete so it’s likely he’s going to ace his pre-draft workouts/combine causing his stock to rise a bit.  He can play either Safety or CB.  Jets could use the help everywhere so he would be perfect to come in a compete across this Jets secondary.

Next: Hau'oli Kikaha

Jan 22, 2015; Mobile, AL, USA; North squad defensive end Hau

 Hau’oli Kikaha, DE, Washington – Riser

Kikaha had a solid Senior Bowl week but looked very active in the actual game itself.  His initial step, burst off the edge and body control were impressive.  He was very assertive and cognizant of the ball snap seemingly whenever I had a chance to see him.  He utilized various pass rush moves with the lower body bend and flex to get around the corner. His motor, effort and pursuit were all excellent.

It’s no secret the Jets are lacking that edge rusher.  Coples seems to be the only “rusher” the Jets have and he’s still coming into his own thanks to being shuffled around the past two seasons.  Jets need a young, edge rusher that can consistently cause disruptions and get to the QB on a consistent basis.  It’s still a mystery if they go that route in the first, but if they don’t, players like Kikaha are legit options from round two and on.

Next: Nate Orchard

Nov 22, 2014; Salt Lake City, UT, USA; Utah Utes defensive end Nate Orchard (8) sacks Arizona Wildcats quarterback Jesse Scroggins (15) during the second half at Rice-Eccles Stadium. Arizona won 42-10. Mandatory Credit: Russ Isabella-USA TODAY Sports

– Nate Orchard, DE, Utah –  Riser

Nobody benefited more from the Senior Bowl than this kid.  Pass rushing abilities on display, Orchard administered 18.5 sacks this past season proving he has what it takes to get to the QB.  He burst off the edges was on full display during the Senior Bowl week and I expect his stock to rise between now and the draft.  Are the Jets a potential landing spot for him? Without question.  Jets are missing that edge rusher and like Kikaha, Orchard is one that will likely be avail from rounds two and on and could find himself benefiting from playing behind that talented Jets D-line.

Next: Kevin White

Jan 24, 2015; Mobile, AL, USA; South squad defensive corner Kevin White of TCU (20) returns an interception against the North squad in the first quarter of the Senior Bowl at Ladd-Peebles Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Glenn Andrews-USA TODAY Sports

– Kevin White, CB, TCU -Riser

The “other” Kevin White was such a head turner at the Senior Bowl, people now know him as Kevin White “The CB from TCU.”  Didn’t take long for him to separate himself from WV’s WR Kevin White and that was just with one week down in Mobile.  He’s small, but makes up for it with his speed, awareness and techniques.  I’m thinking he makes a solid nickel CB in the pros, but like Shaw, White could be used anywhere in this Jets secondary considering how bad it was last year.  Jets need serious competition in the secondary and they need to garner talent in the mid rounds, White would be perfect talent to throw in the mix.

Next: Sammie Coates

Jan 24, 2015; Mobile, AL, USA; South squad wide receiver Sammie Coates of Auburn (18) looks to the sidelines against the North squad in the second quarter of the Senior Bowl at Ladd-Peebles Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Glenn Andrews-USA TODAY Sports

Sammie Coates, WR, Auburn – Stable

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I’m already high on Sammie Coates and he didn’t really do much in mobile to move that needle in any particular direction.  He looked smooth catching passes from Blake Sims and almost made an amazing catch, but other than that it was more of the same from Coates.  His route tree will be questioned and the combine and workouts will be pivotal in seeing just how much he struggles running Pro routes.  I like him and would love to see more from him in the upcoming workouts.

Next: Cameron Artis-Payne

Jan 24, 2015; Mobile, AL, USA; South squad running back Cameron Artis-Payne of Auburn (44) carries the ball as North squad inside linebacker Jeff Luc of Cincinnati (1) pursues him in the first quarter of the Senior Bowl at Ladd-Peebles Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Glenn Andrews-USA TODAY Sports

– Cameron Artis-Payne, RB, Auburn – Riser

CAP is a riser in my opinion.  It was a solid Senior Bowl week as he displayed his pass catching ability and shifty running style.  I think he would add a dimension to the Jets backfield that is needed, especially in the spread is coming like we are all assuming.  I’ll be paying close attention to him from here on out.

Next: Laken Tomlinson

Oct 11, 2014; Atlanta, GA, USA; Duke Blue Devils guard Laken Tomlinson (77) blocks against the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets in the second quarter at Bobby Dodd Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

– Laken Tomlinson, Guard, Duke – Riser

Duke guard Laken Tomlinson is definitely rising after the Senior Bowl.  While in Mobile he showed solid athleticism, great movement in his feet in both the run and pass, not to mention he held his own up top as he displayed great strength.  Jets need a guard.  They need to do a better job across the board on the line.  Like in the secondary, competition in this area is vital and grabbing a guard like Tomlinson would definitely aid in this.

Next: Steven Nelson

Jan 20, 2015; Mobile, AL, USA; North squad wide receiver Ty Montgomery of Stanford (7) looks for running room following a pass reception against defensive corner Steven Nelson of Oregon State (2) during North squad practice at Ladd-Peebles Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Glenn Andrews-USA TODAY Sports

Steven Nelson, CB, Oregon State – Riser

Another talented CB with a solid Senior Bowl and that will garner solid attention from this point on.  Have I told you how much the Jets need competition in the secondary? Do you want to read more about that? NO? Good….

Next: Devin Smith

Jan 12, 2015; Arlington, TX, USA; Oregon Ducks defensive back Troy Hill (13) breaks up a pass intended for Ohio State Buckeyes wide receiver Devin Smith (9) during the first quarter in the 2015 CFP National Championship Game at AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

– Devin Smith, WR, Ohio State – Stable

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Besides proving that he’d be a solid addition on special teams, Smith didn’t do much to move the needle in any certain direction in my eyes.  I love the kid.  I think he’s as good a deep threat as any WR in this draft.  Like Dorsett, he takes the top of defenses and like Dorsett, he catches and doesn’t drop.  Jets should find a way to come out of this draft with either one of the two WRs.  Both could use a bit more coaching in route running, but I love the talent.

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