Steele Divitto, right, led the Eagles in tackles last season. Credit: Getty Images
The Jets added more competition for their 12 draft picks Sunday afternoon with the signing of eight undrafted rookie free agents.
The team has gotten good contributions from undrafted rookie free agents in the past.
Damon Harrison, Nick Bellore and Jamaal Westerman have become prominent parts of the 53-man roster in recent years after going undrafted and signing with the Jets.
Harrison is a starter at nose tackle and Bellore is on the two-deep at linebacker and a special teams standout. Westerman spent three years with the Jets before becoming a free agent and 2014 will be his seventh season in the NFL.
The Jets signed eight players to undrafted free agent deals:
Tevon Conrad, tackle, Saginaw Valley State Steele Divitto, linebacker, Boston College Anthony Grady, defensive end, Missouri State Kerry Hyder, defensive lineman, Texas Tech Terrence Miller, tight end, Arizona Brent Qvale, tackle, Nebraska Zach Thompson, linebacker, Wake Forest Chad Young, fullback, San Diego State
Most prominent among the players is Steele Divitto, the Boston College graduate who led the Eagles with 112 tackles a season ago. A strong leader and a solid tackler, the linebacker can possibly add some depth to the Jets who are thin at the position. Divitto went to high school in New Jersey at powerhouse Don Bosco Prep.
After an injury-plagued junior season saw him miss nine games, Miller rebounded to haul in 40 receptions for 467 yards and a touchdown in his fifth season at Arizona. The tight end has a good build and is a relatively solid blocker in run support.
Grady is a late bloomer at Missouri State but possesses the height at 6-foot-6 to play as a defensive end in the 3-4. He plays good assignment football and is constantly behind the line, even if he is a bit raw in terms of technique.
NFL notes ...
» After a surprising fall from the middle rounds of the draft, Brandon Coleman signed with the Saints as an undrafted free agent. The former Rutgers star was originally thought of as a selection in the first three rounds, but concerns over a hip injury caused his stock to drop.
» Fellow Scarlet Knight Jeremy Deering, a safety prospect and a freak athlete, who tested very well at his pro day, continued the Rutgers pipeline to New England by signing with the Patriots.
» Terrence Fede became the first player in the NFL from Marist when he signed with the Dolphins after the draft. The defensive end has a tremendous motor and is solid coming off the edge.