The New York Jets ignored one major need early in the draft and ad
NEW YORK (AP) _ The New York Jets ignored one major need early in the draft and addressed another. On the second day, they tried to make up for it.
After the trading of Pro Bowl receiver Rob Moore to Arizona, the Jets lacked a standout wide receiver. When their turn came up Saturday, ninth in the first round, they could have grabbed J.J. Stokes of UCLA to fill that void.
Instead, New York took tight end Kyle Brady of Penn State, even though incumbent Johnny Mitchell, the team’s No. 1 pick in 1992, is considered a rising star by many.
``I haven’t seen a tight end like him come out in many, many years,″ coach Rich Kotite said of the tight end who had 27 catches for 365 yards and two TDs in Penn State’s 12-0 season. ``He’s big, strong and has great agility. He’s also a devastating blocker, and we want to make sure we get back to our running game.″
The selection of Brady elicited loud boos from Jets fans in the crowd at the Paramount, site of the draft. Brady heard them.
``New York’s tough,″ Brady said. ``I’ve never been booed before in my life.″
Not that the choice was a bad one. Mitchell will be used occasionally as a wideout, perhaps as an H-back, and as a receiving tight end. Kotite likes the idea of double tight end sets.
``This in no way diminishes what Johnny Mitchell can do,″ Kotite said. ``He’s very important to us.″
On their other first-round pick, acquired in the deal for Moore, the Jets went for defensive end Hugh Douglas of Central State, an NAIA power in Ohio.
``One of the things everyone believes has been missing around here is a pass rusher,″ said Dick Haley, director of player personnel. ``This kid played in a smaller level of competition, but he’s an exceptional pass rusher. He’s natural at it.″
Douglas is 6-1 1/2, 255 and had 15 1/2 sacks last season. He might need more weight to become more than a sack specialist, but he has drawn some comparisons to Charles Haley.
``With proper coaching, I probably could be one of the best pass rushers,″ said Douglas. ``I want to be one of the best.″
The Jets got around to drafting two receivers on Sunday: Tyrone Davis of Virginia on the fourth round and Curtis Ceaser of Grambling on the seventh.
Davis scored 10 touchdowns last season and averaged 18.2 yards per catch. He doesn’t have blazing speed, but knows how to get deep.
At nearly 6-foot-4 and 225 pounds, he might be compared to Herman Moore, but doesn’t have that kind of talent.
Ceaser comes off a knee injury as a senior. He has what NFL teams call ``game speed,″ meaning he doesn’t clock that well in the 40-yard dash but is quick enough running routes. Ceaser had 12 touchdowns in 40 receptions as a senior.
Another priority was shoring up the offensive line. While fourth-rounder Melvin Hayes of Mississippi State was a reach, the Jets traded up to get the first pick in the second round from Jacksonville and took guard Matt O’Dwyer of Northwestern.
O’Dwyer, a 6-4, 298-pounder, was rated in the first round by some NFL personnel people, including Haley and Jets general manager Dick Steinberg, who is battling from stomach cancer.
``We were looking for help in that area, and I think we got it,″ Kotite said. ``We got three players on our top 20 list.″
New York’s other selections were defensive back Carl Greenwood of UCLA and linebacker Eddie Mason of North Carolina.
Greenwood’s senior season was shortened by a broken right ankle. He can play cornerback or safety, and can handle man coverage. But he is injury prone.
Mason is just 5-11, 225 and has little experience in coverage. Special teams might be his route to the NFL.
The running game got a boost on Friday when the Jets got halfback Ron Moore in the deal for Rob Moore, a free agent who was unable to work out a contract with the Jets. Rob Moore signed a four-year, $11.2 million deal with Arizona.
Ron Moore, a fourth-round pick in 1993, was the Cardinals’ leading rusher both seasons and signed a two-year deal for $1.25 million.