The NY Jets signed nine undrafted free agents following the conclusion of the 2020 NFL Draft. We take a look at the three most likely to make the Week 1 roster.
The NY Jets have just completed what most have considered to be a very successful 2020 NFL Draft. From their first-round selection of the colossal Mekhi Becton to some late-round value in Bryce Hall, general manager Joe Douglas seems to have knocked it out of the park on his first try.
But Douglas’ work was far from done as immediately following the conclusion of the draft began the undrafted free agent signing period.
Organizations from all around the NFL began making calls to the top available players who managed to go undrafted. Every year we see a few of these players not only make roster, but hold key roles on the teams that pick them up.
The Jets will likely be no different this year.
In total, the Jets added nine undrafted free agents in the first wave of signings and a few of those players are pretty notable. Some were projected to be drafted as early as the middle of Day 3, but went undrafted for one reason or another.
But on a rebuilding Jets roster, they should be given every opportunity to earn a roster spot in training camp.
With that, let’s take a look at three undrafted free agents most likely to make the Jets’ Week 1 roster.
Next: 3. Lamar Jackson
3. Lamar Jackson, CB, Nebraska
The Jets did a good job of bolstering their secondary in the draft adding Cal safety Ashtyn Davis and Virginia cornerback Bryce Hall, but that didn’t stop them from continuing the overhaul after the draft.
Of the three, Jackson likely has the best chance of sticking around.
Considered to be a fifth or sixth-round prospect going into the draft, it was a bit of a surprise to see him go undrafted. But the Jets could wind up benefiting from other teams’ oversights.
Jackson is a long, tall cornerback who possesses excellent size at 6-foot-2, 208 pounds. The newly-turned 22-year-old specializing in press-man coverage where he could use his size to physically overpower opposing wide receivers.
Want your voice heard? Join the The Jet Press team!
If that sounds familiar it’s because that’s exactly the type of cornerback that the Jets have been targeting in recent weeks.
The additions of both the aforementioned Hall and Quincy Wilson are continuing a trend of the Jets targeting long, physical cornerbacks. Defensive coordinator Gregg Williams has always had a preference for bigger cornerbacks who play press-man and Jackson certainly fits the bill.
There are concerns about his long speed and consistency in run support, but it’s easy to see Jackson excelling in the Jets’ defensive system. He’s not a scheme-universal prospect which might be why he went undrafted, but he could see plenty of action playing with the Jets.
There’s potential to work with and don’t be surprised to see Lamar Jackson on the 53-man roster this fall.
Next: 2. Lawrence Cager
2. Lawrence Cager, WR, Georgia
The Jets seemingly made it a priority to add to their wide receiver depth chart heading into the 2020 NFL Draft. And while they did draft Baylor’s Denzel Mims in the second round, they didn’t double-up on the position as many people thought they would.
But Georgia’s Lawrence Cager has a chance to be the team’s second rookie addition that they didn’t find in the draft.
Cager was one of two wide receivers the Jets signed after the draft concluded along with West Virginia’s George Campbell. But Cager was a player the Jets focused on extensively in the pre-draft process which could help his chances of sticking around.
The 22-year-old spent the first four years of his college career at Miami before transferring to Georgia for his redshirt senior season. He would go on to haul in 33 catches for 476 yards and four touchdowns putting together his best collegiate campaign.
Nothing noteworthy, but there’s reason to believe that Cager will be more productive outside of Georgia’s conservative offensive scheme.
At 6-foot-5, 220 pounds, Cager has excellent size for the position and works effectively as a big-bodied possession threat. He’s not the most versatile receiver, but his elite length and excellent hands make him a very appealing outside option.
Injuries in college combined with his subpar athleticism forced him to slide in the draft, but the Jets are in need of a large, physical player to serve as a possession receiver, and Cager could fill that role for the team.
The Jets need receiver depth and Cager could be the ideal player to provide that depth.
Next: 1. Bryce Huff
1. Bryce Huff, EDGE, Memphis
If there was ever a prototype for an undrafted free agent it would be Bryce Huff — and I mean that in the most complimentary way possible.
Huff lacks the ideal size or athleticism required of an NFL edge rusher. At just 6-foot-1 and 254 pounds, Huff isn’t going to win with his bend around the edge and he doesn’t have the speed to beat opposing tackles regularly.
More from The Jet Press
- NY Jets: Jonnu Smith would be a smart free-agent target
- NY Jets: 3 non-quarterback trade targets on offense
- NY Jets expected to be ‘much more aggressive’ in free agency this year
- NY Jets: Patriots will not use the franchise tag on Joe Thuney
- NY Jets officially place the franchise tag on safety Marcus Maye
But whatever he lacks in size and speed, he more than makes up for with his high energy and incredible work ethic.
Huff was named second-team All-AAC in both his junior and senior seasons in which he racked up a combined 16.0 sacks and 34.5 tackles for loss — leading the team in both categories in 2018 and 2019.
The newly-turned 22-year-old is underwhelming as a run defender often getting blown backward by stronger, more athletic linemen. And for that reason, it’s hard to see him ever being a starter at the NFL level.
But Huff is a ball of energy making splash plays on both special teams and on defense due to his worth ethic. He also has enough twitch at edge rusher that could project him as a pass-rush specialist at the next level.
He may not be the most physically gifted or talented, but if you’re banking on any player earning a roster spot due to sheer determination alone it should be Bryce Huff.