The New York Jets have officially signed all but one draft pick, first-round linebacker Darron Lee out of Ohio State.
The New York Jets entered the 2016 NFL Draft with a plethora of gaps to fill on both offense and defense. With Gang Green looking to add more youth to their already aging team, Gotham drafted linebackers Darron Lee and Jordan Jenkins, cornerback Juston Burris, quarterback Christian Hackenberg, offensive lineman Brandon Shell, punter Lachlan Edwards and wide receiver Charone Peake.
Currently to date, the Jets have signed six of their seven draft picks. Burris, Shell and Edwards were the first of six picks the Jets signed prior to their rookie mini camp. Burris was a three-year starter at North Carolina state, and recorded six interceptions and 31 break ups during his college career.
Shell is the nephew of Pro Football Hall of Famer Art Shell, the 6’5″, 324 pound offensive lineman was a starting right tackle for South Carolina for three seasons. Shell played in 52 games, started 48, and has the second longest consecutive start streak in Game Cock history.
Moving on to Edwards, he spent three seasons punting for Sam Houston State, where he posted averages of 42.3, 44.1, and 41.5 yards per punt.
More from The Jet Press
- NY Jets should target TE Hunter Henry in free agency
- NY Jets: Why the team should target cornerback Shaquill Griffin
- NY Jets reportedly non-tendering linebacker Harvey Langi
- NY Jets: Why the team should not cut Jamison Crowder
- NY Jets should try to sign Kenny Golladay in free agency
The Jets then went on to sign two more of their draft picks in Hackenberg and Peake.
It’s a no-brainer the Jets were able to lock in Hackenberg and Peake right away, it’s out of the norm for a second and seventh round selection to hold out for big time deals.
Hackenbergs and Peakes contract are both four-year deals along with the contracts of Shell, Burris and Edwards.
Hackenberg was a four-year starter for Penn State in which he flourished under the system of former head coach Bill O’Brien, once O’Brien left for the Houston Texans, his production regressed. The Jets selected him in the second round which drew mixed emotions from fans across the globe.
He comes with big question marks towards his ability to make a successful transition from college to the pros. Peake entered the college realm as a top recruit out of high school, however, injuries plagued his performance as he tore his ACL in September of 2013. Peake’s best season came last year in 2015 where he recorded 50 receptions for 716 yards and five touchdowns.
The Jets then shifted their attention towards third-rounder Jenkins out of Georgia. Jenkins, along with the other five signed picks, received a four-year contract from the team. The young co-captain from Georgia recorded 59 tackles in 2015, with eight tackles for loss and five sacks. Jenkins is a very consistent linebacker as he recorded back-to-back five sack seasons for Georgia and recorded a college career total of 205 tackles, 19 sacks and 40 tackles for loss.
Nov 21, 2015; Athens, GA, USA; Georgia Southern Eagles running back Markeis Hallback (38) runs against Georgia Bulldogs linebacker Jordan Jenkins (59) during the second half at Sanford Stadium. Georgie defeated Georgia Southern 23-17 in overtime. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports
That leaves all but one draft pick left to be signed in Lee. He entered the Buckeye’s defense as a former 195-pound quarterback and cornerback out of high school. Taking over for linebacker Ryan Shazier in Ohio’s 4-3 defense, Lee made the successful transition to linebacker, bulking up to 232-pounds, and recording 81 tackles, 16.5 for a loss and 7.5 sacks in his freshmen season.
He then recorded 66 tackles, 11 tackles for a loss and 4.5 sacks the very next season. Lee brings tremendous speed and agility to the Jets’ thin linebacker corps that includes Lorenzo Mauldin, Bruce Carter, Erin Henderson, David Harris, and now Jenkins plus Lee. The Jets have announced that they view him as their slot inside linebacker on their 3-4 defense for this upcoming season. Lee may very well sit behind Harris and Henderson on the depth chart.
According to GangGreenNation.com, Lee is seeking a contract in the area of $10.2M with $5.6M of that to hopefully be a signing bonus, and he wants to earn a yearly annual $2.5M per season. Expect the team to sign Lee sooner rather than later as their attention is focused mostly on him since they have already signed every other pick from their draft class.