The New York Jets continued their 2014 NFL Draft pillaging Friday night by drafting Texas Tech tight end Jace Amaro with their second-round (49th overall) pick and Maryland cornerback Dexter McDougle with their third-round (80th overall) pick.
The Jets were criticized by some analysts for not drafting a more pressing need with their first-round selection Thursday night. They selected safety Calvin Pryor from the University of Louisville instead of a wide receiver like Oregon State’s Brandin Cooks or a cornerback such as Michigan State’s Darqueze Dennard, both of whom were on the board. In taking Amaro, Gang Green selected the best available at a position of dire need, and with McDougle, the Jets will get another body for depth at a weak position.
In his three years playing for former Jet quarterback Kliff Kingsbury at Texas Tech, Amaro, standing at 6’5, 265 pounds, caught 138 passes for 1,818 yards and 13 touchdowns. In 2013, he was five receptions shy of the FBS record of 111 catches in one season by a tight end. (Remember, also, that this was a college-length season – Amaro averaged over eight catches per game.) Some scouts saw Amaro as similar to Eric Ebron in many ways, while being a better blocker than the North Carolina product who cracked the Top 10 Thursday.
Amaro made it clear he saw himself as a better overall prospect than Ebron.
“I was the best guy. I was the most versatile,” Amaro said on a conference call, according to Newsday’s Kimberly A. Martin. He continued that he and Ebron are “very similar, but he ended up being a top ten pick and I didn’t. The only thing that I can do is show them why I should have been there.”
Last year, the Jets drafted a player with the Twitter handle “@Godforshort.” Any perceived Jesus complexes aside, that player went on to do divine things for the Jets’ defense, ultimately winning the league’s Defensive Rookie of the Year Award. Now the Jets have a new rookie whose Twitter name may be even more straightforward than Sheldon Richardson’s.
Dexter McDougle, the son of a black man and an Asian-American woman, calls himself @Blasian_Kiddd (that’s three D’s, if you want to look him up) on the social media site. McDougle is 5’10 and 195 pounds, and missed the final nine games of his senior season due to a shoulder injury. Before that, he led Maryland in solo tackles in 2012 with 58. He didn’t work out at the Scouting Combine but ran a 4.43 in the 40-yard dash at Maryland’s pro day.
The Jets have nine picks Saturday, the most of any team. Some wide receivers still on the board I’d like to see the Jets take include Brandon Coleman of Rutgers and Devin Street of Pittsburgh. Otherwise, they still need to address cornerback with one more selection, as well as outside and inside linebackers and offensive line for depth. If they don’t decide to package any picks to trade up on Day Three and use all of their remaining nine picks, I can still see them taking fliers at quarterback, running back and punter, too.