New York Jets rookie linebacker Blake Cashman has been straight cash money early on. Here’s why that’s a sneak peek of what he’ll do in 2019.
The New York Jets haven’t drafted an inside linebacker in five years, but in the middle of the fifth round this past April, the squad decided to end the drought.
With the 157th overall pick, the green and white made Blake Cashman their guy out of Minnesota.
It seemed like a strange pick at the time. The Jets were coming off of an extremely active free agency session that saw them dole out over $85 million to CJ Mosley resetting the linebacker market in the process.
That’s on top of what the Jets spent on inside linebacker Avery Williamson the offseason before ($22.5 million).
Despite all that green being thrown around, it seems like Cashman has more than earned his keep throughout training camp and the preseason.
That was highlighted on Thursday night in the preseason finale vs the Philadelphia Eagles.
Blake led the Jets in tackles (six), had five solos, one tackle for loss, and he delivered a punishing hit to Wendell Smallwood that forced a fumble here.
Throughout camp, Cashman has even earned first-team reps in certain packages.
Now considering everything that has transpired with the Jets over the last several weeks, two things are becoming very clear:
- The CJ Mosley signing is looking better and better every single day. Not only does he bring a veteran presence to this team, but he’s a proven leader and a 4-time pro bowler.
- In a similar vein, Cashman not only provides depth to this unit but has even proven he can help in spot starts.
It’s about time the New York Jets have found a diamond in the rough in the mid to late rounds of the NFL Draft.
Finding players outside of the first three rounds that can be contributors is what separates the average teams from the great ones.
In the last 10 years, the Jets have found only a handful of players outside of the top three rounds that have developed into anything:
- Matt Slauson, sixth round, 2009
- Bilal Powell, fourth round, 2011
- Jeremy Kerley, fifth round, 2011
- Quincy Enunwa, sixth round, 2014
- Chris Herndon, fourth round, 2018
It’s only Cashman’s first offseason of his career and we don’t want to overreact, but he’ll get his fair share of opportunities in 2019 at worst in sub-packages in Gregg Williams defensive schemes.