In his third year with the New York Jets, the pressure is on cornerback Dexter McDougle to perform or his roster spot will be in jeopardy come final cuts in August.
Not too long ago, cornerback Dexter McDougle of the New York Jets was a promising third round pick in the 2014 NFL Draft from the University of Maryland. McDougle was primed for a major role in his rookie season as the Jets’ secondary lacked depth with the departures of Darrelle Revis and Antonio Cromartie that offseason.
McDougle then had his own rookie season cut short after tearing his ACL in a training camp practice. McDougle lost an opportunity to prove he was worth a third round selection and had a grand six tackles and one pass deflection last season.
McDougle is not tied to the current regime of the Jets as he was a draft pick of former general manager John Idzik. McDougle is deep on the Jets’ depth chart behind Revis, Buster Skrine, Marcus Williams, Dee Milliner and the newest rookie cornerback in 2016 fourth round pick Juston Burris.
McDougle went from a promising young cornerback to a player now simply trying to find a role with the Jets and is on the roster bubble. McDougle may have an uphill battle, but it is time to produce and prove to the Jets he is worthy of a roster spot.
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McDougle must find a way this training camp to stand out to the Jets’ coaching staff outside of his cover skills.
McDougle’s best chance to prove his value will be through special teams.
The Jets currently have plenty of players competing for the wide open kick and punt return jobs.
McDougle only had five kick returns total in college, all of which were in his freshman year.
The kick and punt return jobs are an opportunity for McDougle to showcase to the coaching staff and management that he is an asset outside of his corner skills and is worthy of a roster spot.
The Jets currently do not have McDougle working with the kick and punt return specialists. This is a thought McDougle himself needs to realize as it is going to be difficult this summer for him to jump major spots on the Jets’ cornerback depth chart.
The time is now for McDougle to step up and work hard until and when training camp begins at the end of July. Training camp and preseason will be vital for McDougle to produce and prove to general manager Mike Maccagnan and head coach Todd Bowles he should stick with the Jets or McDougle will be looking for a new team come August when final cuts are made.