The New York Jets have been a little biased when it comes to the NFL Draft in Rex Ryan’s tenure as head coach of the team.
The last time the Jets used a first round pick on an offensive player was in 2009 on quarterback Mark Sanchez. We’ll call it learning from your mistake.
Since then, the Jets have brought in defenders with every first round pick they’ve had, and they’ve scored some really good players. Starting with cornerback Kyle Wilson in 2010, the Jets have added Muhammad Wilkerson, Quinton Coples, Dee Milliner, and Sheldon Richardson with their first round picks since 2010, and they added another in 2014.
With the 18th overall pick in the first round, the Jets added one of the hardest-hitting safeties in the draft in Louisville’s Calvin Pryor, who should start immediately and be a huge contributor for Ryan’s defensive scheme.
At just under 6’0″ and 207 pounds, Pryor has good size for a safety with explosiveness, ball skills, and athletic ability to go along with his hard-hitting nature.
The Jets preach physicality defensively, and they desperately needed that kind of presence on the back end. Pryor can provide that and then some.
Pryor’s lack of development at this point is in his fluidity and coverage as well as straight line speed, but playing up on a slot receiver isn’t his game.
He aims to bring pain.
That kind of ability will make him beloved among Jet fans, but most importantly, at the 18th overall slot in the draft, the Jets snagged arguably the top safety in the class and a guy who can fit into their system immediately.
After having drafted the top corner in the 2013 class as well as an instant superstar on the defensive line in Sheldon Richardson, the Jets’ recent hits in the draft lead me to believe they could be primed for a playoff run on the heels — or by the teeth — of their nasty defense.
Pryor’s fit is the tip of the iceberg, but it’s the latest in a growing line of strong draft choices by the Jets’ front office in the first round. In three seasons at Louisville, Pryor racked up nine forced fumbles and seven interceptions. He’s going to help the Jets create turnovers, and give them a physical presence over the middle.