Which NFL Teams Need to Pursue Former Florida RB Jeff Demps?
Jeff Demps, who won a silver medal at the 2012 Summer Olympics and is a former Florida running back, wants to play some professional tackle football.
According to Ian Rapoport of NFL Network:
The Olympic silver medalist has signed a standard representation agreement for football, a source close to Demps said Tuesday, with the goal of playing in the 2012 season.
Demps, in addition to the track, is an accomplished college ball-carrier.
While at Florida he compiled 2,951 yards from scrimmage with 24 touchdowns. Demps also served on kickoffs, returning 21 for 604 yards and one touchdown.
Certainly some teams needing a versatile threat will likely pursue the speedster. Here, we look at those who must pursue Demps before Week 1.
New York Jets
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Together they won a lot of games at Florida, most notably the 2009 national championship and 2010 Sugar Bowl. During the 2008-09 seasons, the Gators were 26-2 with this combo in the backfield.
With Tebow's exciting improvisation and Demps' dynamic skill set, Gang Green's offense would cause some headaches to opponents. Demps boasts a quicker acceleration than virtually any slot receiver and is even better on screens and checkdowns.
New York could also utilize Demps on punts as it ranked just No. 18 averaging 9.7 per return in 2011.
On a more fascinating level, put Tebow in the slot or wing and Demps in the backfield with Mark Sanchez. From here, the Jets can attack any creative variety of ways from a package that only expands the playbook.
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So, pursuing Jeff Demps is a must for the offense.
He's a great complement to Jacksonville's spruced-up receiving corps and would ease some pressure off Blaine Gabbert. Demps coming out of the backfield beats any zone or man coverage from the linebackers, and he could dart downfield to split a Cover 2 as well.
Defenses won't be able to game-plan a typical blitz package and play-action off jet sweeps allows Gabbert more time to survey the field. The Jaguars also ranked No. 25 on kickoff returns last season averaging only 22.4 yards per return.
They were even worse on punts getting just 4.4 per return (ranked No. 31).
Regardless of MJD's situation, Demps fills multiple needs in Jacksonville and would also be a fan favorite.
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Michael Turner needs a No. 2 complement back with a supreme amount of potential.
Well, Jeff Demps is just that, and his track speed alone bodes well for Atlanta. Since the Falcons are an offensive-oriented team, Demps' abilities opens up the field to numerous options.
Defenses can't afford to try and double cover Roddy White and/or Julio Jones; however, both are capable of beating single coverage, and Tony Gonzalez can still get open between linebacker and safety zones.
Adding Demps simply widens a defense, and the Falcons face more nickel-and-dime packages. This then provides an edge with Turner because he's a reliable interior runner that will benefit off Demps in two-back sets.
Jacquizz Rodgers may be a third-down back but Demps is way faster and his college numbers will transition. The return game is another facet because with Eric Weems gone, Atlanta has to maintain a field position advantage.
Demps would be great for kickoffs and his talent creates the opportunity for development on punts. No matter where Atlanta puts him, Demps fits the Dirty Birds quite well.
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From a longer-term perspective, the Seattle Seahawks make great sense for Jeff Demps and vice versa.
Right now the Seahawks have a solid two-back tandem in Marshawn Lynch and Leon Washington, but Washington will be 30 at month's end and also serves double-duty on punts and kickoffs.
So Seattle has to look ahead now because Lynch is only 26, but the NFC West has significantly improved defensively. Therefore, in order to keep the two-back system alive and special teams consistently reliable, Demps has to get considered.
As a rookie he can split the returning duties with Washington and gradually takeover both once 2012 progresses. That aspect will really keep the Seahawks in games against tough teams like San Francisco, Green Bay and New England since special teams are so crucial.
Regardless, Pete Carroll's team a nice solution down the road and Demps follows suit for Seattle's offense anyway.
The Seahawks have some fast receivers (namely Golden Tate) and putting him and Demps on the field gets a defense on its heels rather quickly. And taking that pressure off the quarterback is imperative, especially in Seattle.
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