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Jets trade down again, take Virginia’s Farrior

April 19, 1997

HEMPSTEAD, N.Y. (AP) _ Put a fast, strong linebacker in front of Bill Parcells and he finds it hard to resist.

Make Parcells the coach of the woeful New York Jets, give him a few months to assess their leaky defense, and he doesn’t even try to resist.

The Jets dropped to No. 8 in the first round of the NFL draft after a series of trades brought them more selections in later rounds and picked Virginia linebacker James Farrior on Saturday.

Earlier in the week, the Jets surrendered the No. 1 pick for the sixth choice in the first round and three lower selections. On Saturday, they swapped No. 6 for No. 8 in a trade with Tampa Bay that brought them an extra fourth-round pick.

The deals helped replenish the choices the Jets had to give New England as compensation for hiring Parcells as their coach after he took the Patriots to the Super Bowl.

In taking Farrior, Parcells clearly has an eye on building a defense like the ones that helped him win two Super Bowls with the New York Giants, who had one of the greatest linebackers ever in Lawrence Taylor.

Saying it would be unfair to compare Farrior to Taylor, Parcells called the Virginia linebacker ``a guy we can integrate into our front seven. The best thing about him is he can be an every-down player. We don’t have to take him off the field.

``He’s a different style player from Lawrence. Lawrence was a 3-4 linebacker. This guy’s a 4-3 linebacker. Not too many compare to that guy, though, I have to say that. There are bus stations full of them that were going to be thge next LT.″

Farrior, 6-foot-1 and 235 pounds with 4.6-second speed for 40 yards, had 107 tackles, including eight sacks, with the Cavaliers as a senior last year.

Farrior said he realized that the top-notch linebackers Parcells coached in the past would put pressure on him as the coach’s first pick for the Jets, who finished an NFL-worst 1-15 last year.

``But it’s quite an honor to be picked by a coach who has had linebackers like Lawrence Taylor and Chris Slade,″ Farrior said. ``It’s going to be a big challenge for me.″

Farrior said Slade, now a defensive end with the Patriots who has the same agent as Farrior, ``told me to be ready to work hard″ with Parcells as his coach.

The Jets took another defensive player from the Atlantic Coast Conference with the first pick of the second round when they took North Carolina defensive tackle Rick Terry.

The 6-3, 305-pound Terry recorded 47 tackles as a senior, including 32 solo stops, three sacks and 15 tackles for losses.

Farrior said his strong point as a linebacker is his diversity.

``I can do a lot of things: rush the passer, drop back in coverage, also play the run,″ Farrior said. ``I’m bringing a lot. I hope I can do well.″

Farrior plays the same outside linebacker position as Marvin Jones, the Jets’ first-round pick in 1993 who has never had an injury-free season.

But Parcells said the presence of Jones had no effect on the decision to draft Farrior.

``I’m just trying to collect good players,″ Parcells said. ``Hopefully, with the extra picks we’ve added, we can put a dent in some of our needs.″

Asked to explain his reason for making the trade with the Buccaneers that gave them a fourth-round pick and the eighth choice in the first round rather than the sixth, Parcells said, ``There were three guys we liked at No. 6 and so we knew we would get one of them if we went to No. 8. We had an offer to drop to No. 12, but we couldn’t gamble one of the three would still be there.″

Parcells declined to name the other two players the Jets were interested in.

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