NY Jets: Ranking all 9 undrafted free agent signings

NY Jets (Photo by Joe Murphy/Getty Images)
NY Jets (Photo by Joe Murphy/Getty Images) /
NY Jets (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
NY Jets (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images) /

The NY Jets signed nine undrafted free agents following the 2020 NFL Draft.

The NY Jets announced their nine undrafted free agent signings shortly following the conclusion of the 2020 NFL Draft. And like every year, there were a few names who piqued the interest of Jets fans.

While they oftentimes get overlooked, undrafted free agents are an extensive part of the roster construction process. In fact, following roster cuts in 2019, 30 percent of NFL rosters were made up of former undrafted free agents.

And we’re not just talking bottom-of-the-barrel players here either.

Just one quick look at the Jets roster will prove otherwise. Players like Brian Poole and Steve McLendon each started their careers as overlooked draft prospects. And others like Jonotthan Harrison and Neville Hewitt followed the same path.

Even this past year, we saw undrafted rookie Kyle Phillips make quiet the impression after making the roster out of training camp. Once the draft process is concluded, it doesn’t matter where you were drafted or whether you were even drafted at all.

It matters how you perform.

With that, let’s take a look at all nine undrafted free agents the Jets signed this April and rank them in order of their likelihood to make the final 55-man roster.

Next: No. 9 - 7

NY Jets (Photo by Ed Zurga/Getty Images)
NY Jets (Photo by Ed Zurga/Getty Images) /

9. Domenique Davis, DL, NY Jets

The Jets already boast one of the deepest defensive line groups in the NFL, but that didn’t stop them from signing a pair of undrafted interior linemen following the draft. One of those is UNC-Pembroke’s Domenique Davis.

Davis is a big-bodied nose tackle who dominated at the Division-II level. At 6-foot-3, 315 pounds, Davis totaled 122 tackles, 15.0 tackles for loss, 6.0 sacks, 14 QB hurries, and two fumble recoveries over his three years with the Braves.

The North Carolina native will compete for one of the final roster spots, but the mere $650 investment that the Jets made in him — lowest among all Jets undrafted free agents — indicates that he’s the biggest longshot to make the team.

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8. Javelin Guidry, CB, NY Jets

If you’re looking for speed in the Jets’ undrafted free agent class, look no further than cornerback Javelin Guidry. Guidry ran a blazing 4.29 40-yard dash at the NFL Combine — only 0.02 seconds behind Henry Ruggs’ 4.27.

The Utah product is undersized at just 5-foot-9, 191 pounds which will likely limit him to a slot role in the NFL — a role he played while in college. Still, his track speed and toughness will be enough to get him looks despite his below-average coverage and ball skills.

The Jets could use a true slot cornerback to backup Brian Poole, but Guidry’s best chance of sticking around may just be on the practice squad.

7. George Campbell, WR, NY Jets

Perhaps the most highly-touted undrafted free agent the Jets signed, George Campbell was once a five-star recruit and the No. 1 athlete in the nation back in 2015. However, injuries decimated his college career.

Campbell hauled in just 13 catches in four years at Florida State before transferring to West Virginia as a graduate transfer. There, he finally found some moderate success leading the team with seven touchdowns on just 19 catches for a whopping 469 yards.

That’s a 24.7 yards/catch average that would have led the FBS if he had enough catches to qualify. Nonetheless, he still faces an uphill battle when it comes to making the roster.

The Jets gave Campbell just a $2,500 signing bonus which is the second-lowest only to the aforementioned Davis. The talent is evident, but he’ll likely be one of the last receivers on the depth chart heading into training camp.

Next: No. 6 and No. 5

NY Jets (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)
NY Jets (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images) /

6. Sterling Johnson, DL, NY Jets

The second of two undrafted defensive linemen that the Jets signed, Sterling Johnson actually stands a decent chance of sticking around — at least on the practice squad — despite the quality depth at the position.

The Coastal Carolina product stands at 6-foot-4 and weighs in at 285 pounds making him slightly undersized for a 3-4 defensive end. Still, the former Clemson recruit could make for an interesting chess piece in Gregg Williams’ defense.

Johnson tallied 65 tackles, 15.5 tackles for loss, and 6.5 sacks in two seasons with the Chanticleers. And following in typical Joe Douglas fashion, Johnson was named a team captain in both seasons at Coastal Carolina.

He’ll face a difficult challenge trying to crack a deep defensive line rotation. But the $60,000 investment they gave him — fourth-highest on the team — indicates that the Jets see a future for Johnson on the roster.

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5. Lamar Jackson, CB, NY Jets

The lesser-known Lamar Jackson has one of the most intriguing skillsets among all Jets undrafted free agents. At 6-foot-2, 208 pounds, Jackson is a massive cornerback who uses his size and physicality to overwhelm opposing wide receivers.

Jackson was named second-team All-Big Ten in 2019 and led Nebraska in passes defended (15) and interceptions (3). His aggressive technique combined with his above-average man-cover skills makes him an appealing fit in Gregg Williams’ man-heavy defense.

However, his below-average speed and athleticism could hold him back in the NFL. He’ll likely be in direct competition with former second-round pick Quincy Wilson who was acquired in a trade on Day 3 of the draft and boasts a very similar skillset.

The measly $27,500 investment from the Jets doesn’t bode well for his future, but Jackson’s size and length will be enough to get him looks from Williams and the coaching staff.

Next: No. 4 and No. 3

NY Jets (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
NY Jets (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images) /

4. Jared Hilbers, OT, NY Jets

Jared Hilbers represents everything Joe Douglas has targeted at the offensive line position this offseason.

The Washington product has the versatility to play both left and right tackle starting on the left side in 2018 and the right side in 2019. On top of that, his basketball background is evident in his light feet and agile movement.

The Jets clearly think highly of the 6-foot-6, 310-pound Hilbers as the $62,000 investment that they gave him ranks third on the team. And there’s a very good chance that he at least sticks around on the practice squad.

Finding a spot on the 55-man roster might be tough, but if he could edge out a veteran like Conor McDermott, he has a shot. Either way, expect Hilbers to at least get an extended look in the preseason.

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3. Shyheim Carter, DB, NY Jets

Shyheim Carter joins a long line of former Alabama defensive backs to receive NFL opportunities and the former high school quarterback will look to crack a suddenly crowded Jets secondary.

Carter was listed by the Jets as a defensive back rather than the safety he was projected to be drafted as, likely because he has experience playing everywhere in the defensive backfield.

While at Alabama, he played the “STAR” position which is basically a hybrid safety/nickel cornerback. At just 5-foot-10, 194 pounds, he’s undersized for a safety but lacks the athleticism and hip flexibility to be an every-down cornerback.

The Jets gave Carter a hefty $72,000 investment — second on the team — meaning that they likely think very highly of his versatility. Don’t be surprised if Carter earns a roster spot as the team’s fourth safety if he can excel on special teams.

Next: No. 2 and No. 1

NY Jets (Photo by Joe Murphy/Getty Images)
NY Jets (Photo by Joe Murphy/Getty Images) /

2. Lawrence Cager, WR, NY Jets

Despite some offseason overhaul at the wide receiver position, the Jets clearly still need help at that spot. And Georgia’s Lawrence Cager will enter training camp with a good chance of sticking around if he could make a solid impression.

Much like the aforementioned Campbell, Cager’s college career was destroyed by injuries and he transferred to Georgia after four disappointing seasons at Miami. And with Georgia, Cager quickly became one of quarterback Jake Fromm’s favorite targets.

Unfortunately, a midseason injury limited him to just nine games in 2019 halting what looked to be a very promising season. Nonetheless, the 6-foot-4, 220-pound Cager is a big-bodied red-zone threat who could make for an excellent role player in the Jets’ offense.

He’s an underwhelming athlete, but his size and ball skills give him potential to be a red-zone monster in the right offense. Look for the Jets to give Cager every opportunity to earn a roster spot.

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1. Bryce Huff, EDGE, NY Jets

If there ever was an undrafted free agent in the perfect situation it would be Bryce Huff with the Jets. The Memphis product joins an edge rusher group with little to get excited about, but Huff could be the exception.

A two-time second-team All-AAC selection, Huff totaled 18 sacks throughout his four-year career at Memphis really only seeing substantial playing time in his junior and senior seasons. And when he was on the field, teams took notice.

While not the biggest or strongest player, Huff has been praised for his energy and work ethic which allowed him to have the success he did in college. Dane Brugler of The Athletic even described him as “an energetic ball of butcher knives.”

The Jets handed Huff the most guaranteed money out of all their undrafted free agent signings ($90,000) meaning that they clearly think highly of his chances to make the roster.

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