Grading the New York Jets 2014 NFL Draft
With 12 picks entering into the draft, the Jets left with 12 players they hope can make their roster and deepen their team.
But of course there were a couple reaches and head scratchers throw in. It was a good draft overall for the Jets, who found some value in the middle rounds and did well with their first-round pick.
Here are Metro’s draft grades for all of the Jets selections, based not on the player’s skillset but the value presented at that point in the draft, especially considering other players still on the board.
Calvin Pryor, safety, Louisville — In terms of his skillset, Pryor brings the proverbial boom on every play — a welcome addition to the Jets’ backend. He’s good in run support, can go sideline to sideline and he sheds blockers well. He’s short even if he is well built, and his aggressive tackling style — including leading with his crown — might quickly irk the referees. He likes to play close to the line of scrimmage much like a player the Jets already have on their roster: Antonio Allen. Pryor’s technique needs some work, but he’s a real solid pick. Grade: A-
Jace Amaro, tight end, Texas Tech — A position of need is filled with this pick, although how he transitions to the NFL is a bit of a mystery. Amaro played in a wide-open passing offense at Texas Tech, which explains his gaudy reception numbers, but it also leads to questions about how good he really is. He has smaller hands than most tight ends, which can be an issue in cold weather or with a linebacker draped over him. His blocking is also not a strong part of his resumé. Grade: B
Dexter McDougle, cornerback, Maryland — There are some nice components to his game, including good overall speed and some nice fluidity to his hips. He did battle injuries at Maryland but he’s a nice value pick here with some upside. Grade: B
Jalen Saunders, wide receiver, Oklahoma — They finally added a wide receiver with their first pick of the fourth round. The Jets perhaps reached to take him this early but had to fall in love with his speed and hands. While he isn’t big, he’s elusive. He is a slot receiver with some shiftiness. Grade: B-
Shaq Evans, wide receiver, UCLA — The wide receiver-heavy fourth round continued with the selection of Evans. He can be a good possession receiver though he boasts little upside. Won’t generate much in terms of elusiveness or yards after the catch. But he can be a solid target down the field. Grade: C+
Dakota Dozier, guard/tackle, Furman — Though he played mainly tackle at Furman, he will move inside at the next level. He gets good leverage from his hips that transitions to his upper body. He will need a year or two to get ready for the next level, but can be groomed to be a starter eventually. Grade: B+
Jeremiah George, linebacker, Iowa State — Not the tallest of prospects at linebacker, George has a thick build and is hard-hitting. But he doesn’t possess great instincts and a knock on him is that he doesn’t always play assignments, which is crucial in a 3-4. The good news is that he has time to develop. Grade: C
Brandon Dixon, cornerback, Northwest Missouri State — A bit of a project who is raw and lacking in technique. Strong and physical but not a fast player. In a draft with this many selections, worth a role of the dice. But may be a stretch to make the roster. Grade: C-
Quincy Enunwa, wide receiver, Nebraska — He has a nice build to be a target wide receiver, but isn’t a tremendous talent in terms of technique. He makes the catch but doesn’t get much yardage after. A nice pick, but with Jeremy Gallon still on the board this was a bit of a head scratcher. Grade: C
IK Enemkpali, defensive end, Louisiana Tech — A bit of an unusual selection. The Louisiana Tech all-conference standout is too short and narrow to play end in the 3-4 defense, and a bit too stiff, heavy and slow to be an outside linebacker. He’s not a bad player, just not right for the Jets. A real reach here in terms of fit. Grade: C-
Tajh Boyd, quarterback, Clemson — He came into last year as a Heisman frontrunner and left a bit of a mess. Boyd was a nice college quarterback but has questionable accuracy and decision making. He won’t beat out the incumbent starter Geno Smith or veteran Michael Vick anytime soon — or likely ever. He will have a tough transition to the NFL and shouldn’t be considered more than a No. 3 QB. Grade: C
Trevor Reilly, linebacker, Utah — As an outside linebacker or a defensive end, Reilly can be a real good one to bring along. He has a good frame and length, although he isn’t terribly explosive. He does look good in pursuit. A nice value pick in the seventh round. Grade: B
Overall grade: B
Pryor and Amaro will likely be starters by the end of training camp and some players, like Saunders and Dozier, could work their way into the two-deep. It wasn’t a bad draft for the Jets, but it lacked the “wow” factor that could take this team to the next step. That they couldn’t move up and had to settle for quantity rather than quality hurts this grade.
Follow Jets beat writer Kristian Dyer on Twitter @KristianRDyer.