Aug 29, 2014; Syracuse, NY, USA; Villanova Wildcats running back Kevin Monangai (2) leaps over a tackle attempt by a Syracuse Orange defender during the fourth quarter at the Carrier Dome. Syracuse defeated Villanova 27-26 in double overtime. Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports
As we prepare for the NFL draft, we spend a lot of time talking about the big names. You know them by now, Mariota, Cooper, Beasley, Fowler, …etc. It’s understandable. The Jets have a top-ten pick in the draft, so we are going to pay a lot of attention to the players that are potential choices at that position.
But, what about the other guys? Sometimes, it’s fun to take a look at players that aren’t so well-known, and may come up late in the draft, or even as undrafted free agents. For example, a guy we are all familiar with is Damon Harrison, and he was a guy the Jets discovered and signed as an undrafted free agent.
Today, we are going to look at potentially this type of player. Our buddy, Jake Steinberg, made me aware of this guy just the other day. For anyone who doesn’t know who he is, follow him on Twitter at @Steiny31. He is a guy that is as in the know as anyone. He learned of Austin Howard prior to anyone else, and he became a starter, and he was aware of Harrison as well. If Jake knows about him, keep an eye out.
This player is one of our local visits, as a guy from Villanova and born in Roseland, NJ, and is visiting with the team today. Today’s spotlight is on running back Kevin Monangai.
Aug 29, 2014; Syracuse, NY, USA; Villanova Wildcats quarterback John Robertson (19) and running back Kevin Monangai (2) looks to the sidelines for a play against the Syracuse Orange during the fourth quarter at the Carrier Dome. Syracuse defeated Villanova 27-26 in double overtime. Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports
Monangai stands at 5’8″ and weighs 215 pounds. There aren’t a lot of noted measurables as he did not attend the Combine or any Pro day as of the writing of this post. So, here are Monangai’s stats from his years at Villanova:
Let’s get right to the video tape:
I like what I see here, a lot. The first thing you notice is Monangai’s speed. He has excellent straight line speed, and he can leave guys in his dust when he gets out into space. If Monangai hits the second level, and he is in the open field, he is tough to bring down. That being said, he is also tough to tackle for a guy only 5’8″ and 215 pounds. He doesn’t shy away from contact, and he can take a hit. Monangai can make people miss, and he can lower his shoulder to take a guy out too.
With 38 receptions last year, Monangai can obviously be a weapon in the passing game as well.
His size is a worry. 5’8″, 215 is doable in college, but in the pros he will see guys a lot bigger than that. It might serve Monangai well to add a bit more bulk to his small frame. His college competition is a concern. Coming from a small school, Monangai didn’t face the type of competition that Melvin Gordon and Todd Gurley did.
That being said, however, I like Kevin Monangai. As a late round pick or as a UDFA, Monangai has the potential to be a sleeper. This could be a guy to come out of nowhere to help our Jets. Stay tuned.