Flying Under the Radar: Five Jets Who Could Make an Impression
I was looking through a lot of lists on Jets players, and kept seeing the same name, Vernon Gholston.
It is a little bit too soon to consider him as being a under-the-radar player. He is after all just one year out of college and his top 10 selection.
We should see a lot of him to start the season with the suspension to Pace.
So for this article, you will not see Vernon Gholston's name again.
5. Emanuel Cook (Safety)
First, we all know that Cook is a long shot; he won't start, unless there is some freak incident which sees Rhodes/Leonhard go down with some kind of injury. Let's hope not, though.
Emanuel Cook is a talented player, there is no doubt about that. His personality is questionable, and his off-field issues are a cause for concern, but right now, he has one of the biggest upside of all undrafted players.
There are a lot of things to love about Cook.
He is extremely physical, hits harder than most safeties in college and although he does not possess blistering speed, he can run with the best of them.
His work ethic will be questioned, and he will need to learn that he needs to wrap players up in the tackle. A big hit might put a receiver or runner on his back in college but in the NFL you need to bring the player to the turf.
He was named a second team all SEC performer in 2007, and he had all SEC honors as a true freshman.
Not long ago experts were touting him as a first day pick in 2009 and a first round pick in 2010 if he was to stay in school for his senior year.
He was named academically ineligible for South Carolina's bowl game, and had previously had a gun charge against him. Although, it is worth mentioning that these charges were later dropped.
Under Mangini and the tough study schedule, there is no way that Cook would be worth mentioning, however under Ryan and his free style, he might be one to look out for in 2009 on special teams and on defence.
4. Jamaal Westerman OLB/DE
Earlier in rookie camp, Rex Ryan singled out Jamaal for individual praise, stating that he was a quick learner.
If you were to look at his numbers at Rutgers, you wouldn't be blown out of the water. Then again, if he had great eye-opening numbers at Rutgers, he would not of gone undrafted.
However, one thing that Jamaal does have is consistency. He locks down his player and is fundamentally sound.
He wont wow you with supreme athletic ability, or impressive combine work outs (Vernon Gholston anyone).
However, we can't hold that against him, numbers do not tell the whole story. In any sport.
Westerman also possesses something that Cooke doesn't seem to, and that's passion and commitment to improving.
How well with Westerman make the transition from 4-3 DE to 3-4 OLB is still up in the air, however without pads and with no hitting, he looked good.
3. T.J Conley Punter
Many people will consider this absolutely crazy. Having a punter in the top five players. However, in my personal opinion, the kicking game is highly under valued in the NFL.
Field position is increasingly important in a game where territory is everything. The ability to pin the opponent in it's own 20 is a skill that is valuable in the modern game.
T.J Conley was named to the prestigious Walter Camp All American team. A first team All Western Athletic Conference player and a member of Phil Steele's all WAC first team.
He finished 2008 with the NCAA best punting average at 47.43.
In five games in 2008, Conley averaged over 50 yards.
The Jets punting game is by no means sorted. With Reggie Hodges the man to beat, T.J Conley should be given every chance to succeed.
With Rex Ryan's attacking pressure defence, pinning the opposition in there own territory could be more important this year than any year previous.
Who wouldn't be interested to see how a guy who averaged over 50 yards a punt in five games, and reached a average of over 52 yards against Louisiana Tech does in the NFL.
2. Kareem Brown TE
Kareem Brown is a interesting selection. I have to disregard his previous achievements, because they have come on defence. Now Rex is trying him out at TE.
Ever since Chris Baker left to join the rival New England Patriots. There has been a little bit of a void at the TE position past Dustin Keller.
Keller needs to improve his blocking in the NFL. There is little doubt that he will continue to create mis matches over the middle in the receiving game.
Brown is a big body, and reports coming out of camp suggest that Brown has the intangibles and the work ethic to succeed at the TE position.
Brian Schottenheimer will run several fronts that require numerous TE's, with Bubba Franks re-signed and Dustin Keller on the roster, the pressure will be off Brown to perform.
However, if he can catch a ball or two, and more importantly block a few people for Jones/Washington and Greene, we could see the start of a new position for Brown.
He is my fourth player to look out for in the 2009-2010 season for the NY Jets.
1. David Clowney WR
If you are a Jets fan, you will know all about Clowney. Perhaps no other player is talked about as much in relation to having the biggest opportunity to break out this coming season.
Clowney has blistering speed. His two receiving TDs last season against the Browns, sent Jet fans imaginations running wild. Here is the burner that we have been looking for.
Last season although we had a deep threat QB, we didn't have a deep threat WR. Coles has lost a step or two, and Cotchery is a mid-level possession guy.
With Clowney performing, it opens up so many possibilities for the offence.
With the running backs performing, a deep threat will present Sanchez with that play-action pass.
With a deep threat, it prevents teams from loading the box and offering our running game some room to manoeuvre.
With a running game, it offers more space over the middle for Dustin Keller and Jerricho Cotchery as well as some space for Stuckey to work out of the slot position.
If it were not for a collar bone injury last season, we might of seen more of Clowney in 2008. However he will have to prove himself in pre-season all over again.
With the receiving situation as it is, Clowney will have a good chance at making serious contributions this season. He could even become the No. 2 receiver behind Cotchery, although Stuckey seems to be ahead at the minute.
That rounds out my five players who are under the radar right now, but might make a contribution in 2009. I am sure there are other players out there, so if you have one on your mind, then leave a comment and let me know who it is.
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