When it comes to the New York Jets and the potential of safety Calvin Pryor, he had a much improved sophomore season in 2015, finishing as one of the league’s top young safeties. Will he continue to impress in his third season?
While safety Calvin Pryor was a first-round selection by the New York Jets back in 2014, last season was the first year the ‘Louisville Slugger’ made his presence known in the NFL. The Jets were in dire need of defensive secondary help a few seasons back, particularly the safety position. With former Jets’ safety Dawan Landry the only penciled in starter, they found themselves in a position to address the need in the 2014 NFL Draft.
Unfortunately for Pryor, he was forced to take upon the role of free safety during his rookie campaign. However, with the addition of safety
last year, Pryor was then moved to his more natural position of strong safety, in which he flourished in.
Pryor earned the nickname ‘Louisville Slugger’ because of his physicality on the field. Who can forget his vicious hit on Miami’s Rishard Matthew‘s last year? It reminded Jets Nation exactly what he brings to the table.
He also become much more comfortable on the field, being able to read plays came to him naturally. He also improved not only his football IQ, but his field vision and awareness as well. The Jets seemed almost lost without him on the field during that three -game stretch that Pryor sat due to an injury. Oakland, Jacksonville and Buffalo were the three teams the Jets played without Pryor starting, in which Gang Green went 1-2. We also saw the young safety successfully shadow tight ends, stuff the run and even cover J.J. Watt to a tee.
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Pryor finished his sophomore season with 69 tackles, one forced fumble, two interceptions and six passes defended.
He played three games less in 2015 than he did his first season yet he still improved in the tackles, interceptions and the passes defended categories.
With his sophomore leap in the NFL, can he continue that momentum heading into his third season?
An exceptional season should very much be expected for the slugger in 2016. As mentioned before, Pryor improved greatly last season boosting his solo tackles up to 50, defending six passes and recording two interceptions. Pryor had a lackluster rookie season but could very much become a well-known player this year.
He made memorable plays last season such as his vicious hit on Matthew’s and a game changing play in which Pryor broke up a potential touchdown pass out of the hands of Odell Beckham Jr., which kept the Jets in line for a overtime victory. The young safety will only continue to improve as he has since converting to strong safety.
Pryor improved greatly on all aspects on defense for the Jets. There’s no doubt about it, Pryor will become a household name for Gotham in 2016 not only for his bone shattering hits but for his ability to make plays when the team needs them the most. The season hasn’t started, but if Pryor can play a full 16 games, expect his tackles, interceptions, passes defended and sack numbers to increase, which could potentially result in a Pro Bowl season.