To match their league-high 12 draft selections, the New York Jets have signed 12 undrafted free agents to bring in to their rookie minicamp, which began today.
The Jets signed wide receivers Jermaine Jones, St. Augustine; Terrence Miller, Arizona; and DeMario Bennett, Coastal Carolina. Also on the offensive side were fullback Chad Young from San Diego State and two tackles, Brent Qvale of Nebraska and Tevon Conrad of Saginaw Valley State. (Conrad has since been cut because he did not pass his physical.)
On defense, the Jets signed defensive linemen Kerry Hyder Jr., Texas Tech; Zach Thompson, Wake Forest; and Anthony Grady, Missouri State. They also signed two linebackers, William Penn’s Nick Dimarco and Boston College’s Steele Divitto. Tennessee kicker Michael Palardy also signed with the team.
There’s no telling if any of these players will catch on with the Jets and make the final roster. Michael Palardy, for example, is likely nothing more a “camp body” now that Nick Folk has a long-term contract. A few thoughts:
~The Jets have completely turned around their wide receiver depth from last year. Jones, Miller and Bennett join three drafted rookies and free-agent signings Eric Decker and Jacoby Ford for a total of eight new wideouts on the roster.
~Meanwhile, it’s curious that the Jets did not continue adding depth at their other biggest need, the secondary. No defensive backs were signed to join draft picks Calvin Pryor, Dex McDougle and Brandon Dixon.
~Steele Divitto is the kind of name I want my linebackers to have. The former Don Bosco Prep standout played college ball at Boston College, which in recent years has produced NFL linebackers Luke Kuechly and Mark Herzlich. Divitto racked up 296 total tackles, five sacks, 16 passes defended and two interceptions in his college career.
The Jets also brought in an additional 37 unsigned players to rookie minicamp for tryouts.
Tight end Jace Amaro made the biggest impact on day one of minicamp. He reportedly caught every ball thrown at him, and he told reporters he would like to become the next Tony Gonzalez. “Eventually, I’d like to do that on a consistent basis, be a tight end that catches 100 balls a year,” said Amaro. “That might be five years from now, it might be 10. That’s kind of a goal for me.”
Amaro also signed a four-year, $4.3 million contract Thursday. The only Jet draft picks yet to sign their rookie deals are the corners – Pryor, McDougle and Dixon.
News and Notes: TMZ reported earlier today that Jets defensive coordinator Dennis Thurman slapped a woman in a Morristown, N.J. restaurant, but since then the team has stated that no charges have been filed against Thurman.
~The Jets claimed former St. Louis Rams running back Daryl Richardson off waivers. Richardson, a seventh-round pick by the Rams in 2012, lost the Rams’ starting job to Zac Stacy last year and now becomes the fifth member of the Jets’ backfield. I see Richardson getting a chance to play during the preseason, but I’d be surprised if he makes the final roster.
~Rex Ryan told WFAN that “teams won’t want to play us this year,” and of course everyone in the sports media is needlessly up in arms like he predicted they’ll win the Super Bowl again. But no surprise there.