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Corners Post-Combine: Quotes, Commentary

Posted by Eric Allen on March 3, 2010 – 5:43 pm

The NFL’s 2010 offseason is in full swing this week as the scouting combine reached a conclusion Tuesday in Indianapolis, college pro days began today and the free agency period/uncapped year will commence Friday at 12:01 a.m. Everything ties together for the Jets as they begin to shape their roster for the fall.

While the Jets haven’t made their intentions public, the prevailing notion is the Green & White will release CB Lito Sheppard from his contact on Friday. Sheppard, who had an injury-plagued season and was limited to just nine starts, is reportedly due a large roster bonus and the Jets are expected to part ways with the veteran corner.

If that transaction occurs, then there will be a starting vacancy across the way from Darrelle Revis. The Jets own the No. 29 selection in April’s draft and they’ll have a great shot at a quality cornerback if they choose to hold firm. The consensus heading into Tuesday was Florida’s Joe Haden was the best corner prospect in the class and he’d probably be a top-10 selection in April.

But then Haden raised a few eyebrows in Indy, posting a pair of 40 times that averaged just 4.57. While he’ll have his chance for redemption at UF’s pro day on March 17, let’s not forget that the 5’11”, 193-pounder is a pretty good football player who didn’t let many receivers behind him in SEC play. He registered four interceptions last season and added 10 PDs and 68 tackles.

"I haven’t nearly reached my peak at all," Haden said at the combine. "I just feel like whatever team I go to, they’re going to get a person they can mold into a way better corner than I was in college. I’ve been doing this for three years and I feel like I’m getting pretty good at it. But I want to learn more. You’re getting someone who really wants to learn the game and really wants to be the best they can be at corner."

Before anyone drops Haden too far down on their big boards, let’s see how he runs in Gainesville in a couple of weeks.

Wake Forest’s Brandon Ghee, a 6’0”, 192-pounder who led all corners with a 4.45 time in the 40, is an excellent athlete and he performed well in most of the tests in Indy. But Ghee didn’t have a great week at the Senior Bowl and is said to sometimes react slow to plays. Ghee had just one career interception and some scouts think he might be better suited to play safety eventually.

Rutgers standout Devin McCourty’s stock is on the rise. His recorded a 40 time of 4.48 and whoever picks him up is getting a two-for-one deal because this 5’11”, 186-pounder is a special-teams stud.

"He might be the best special-teams value in the draft in addition to being a potential starting corner," said NFL Network’s Mike Mayock of McCourty, who had six career picks for the Scarlet Knights. "He’s a gunner and a jammer, he’s a return guy. I think he could fit in quickly in the nickel package. He’s a very, very physical defensive back. Most people have him in the second round but he could be a legitimate late ‘one’.”

You have to feel a little bit for Alabama’s Javier Arenas. He tweaked his right hamstring on his first 40-yard dash and was forced to miss the rest of the drills. Alabama is schedule to host its pro day next Wednesday and it will be interesting to see if Arenas will be able to go by then.

Kareem Jackson, who played with Arenas for the national-champion Crimson Tide, posted a solid 4.48 40 time. The NFL Advisory Committee projected the 5’10”, 196-pound Jackson as a second-round pick, but it might be a surprise if he doesn’t go in the opening round. Virginia’s Chris Cook also raced to a 4.46 time and we haven’t even mentioned Boise State’s Kyle Wilson (a dangerous returner who benched 225 pounds 25 times) and Florida State’s Patrick Robinson.

At safety, Tennessee’s Eric Berry is just a stud and it would be a stunner if he got out of the top 10. But Taylor Mays, a 6’3”, 231-pounder from Southern Cal, ran the fastest of all the defensive backs with an official 4.43. Playing predominantly in the box in 2009, Mays racked up a career-high 96 tackles, but will he be able to cover wideouts at the next level?

“I take pride in being a big DB and being able to move. I’ve never really heard from NFL people about playing linebacker,” he told NFL Network. “They’ve asked me about playing linebacker maybe in nickel and covering the tight end but never really moving to linebacker. If that’s what they want to do, I’m a football player, I love football and I’m going to try to be the best linebacker I can be. Playing linebacker sometimes is just like being a safety and playing the box every play, so I guess it’s not that much of a difference.”

The Jets’ offensive backfield will look much different in 2010 without Thomas Jones. Numerous media outlets have reported that the Jets asked Jones to restructure his deal and they’ve decided to move on after he declined the offer.

“It’s tough. You lose a great leader — not only on the field but also in the locker room,” said WLB Bart Scott this week on an appearance on ESPN’s “Mike and Mike” radio program. “He’s a guy that came in and worked hard and was an example, and I think Shonn Greene took a lot from him. With that being said, it’s the nature of the business right now.“

It was the drafting of Greene last year that eventually helped pave the way for Jones’ departure. Scott, who inked a lucrative free agent deal with the Green & White last spring, knows time is short in an ever-changing, violent, win-now profession.

“We all know some guy is going to come in and push me out and it will be time for the Jets to say goodbye to me. It’s just the nature of the business,” he said of the draft. “I don’t worry about that. If they bring somebody in my position, I’m going to tell them everything I know because I’m a competitor and if I feel like I can’t compete for my job and win it honestly, then I don’t deserve to play and I can accept that and move on.”

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Posted in Eric Allen | 28 Comments »

28 Responses to “Corners Post-Combine: Quotes, Commentary”

  1. By uncle joe on Mar 3, 2010 | Reply

    Brandon Ghee needs to be polished,but the tools are there and who better to learn from than Rex,PetineThurman and Revis! That Donovan Warren looks nice too.Forget Devin McCourty,he is too small. Hey Ira,I checked some Washington Video,that boy can hit a hole with the best of them,nice size too.

  2. By Jeff on Mar 3, 2010 | Reply

    Some recent mocks have Cal’s Jahvid Best falling to the second round. With Leon’s health still in question and Greene still rather unproven it sure would be tempting to pick up the 2nd “best” RB in the draft at 29th pick for insurance and a return to the three headed monster that was in 2009.

  3. By scjoe on Mar 3, 2010 | Reply

    I believe Haden will improve on his 40 time at his pro day, but even if he don’t, do not expect him to be there at #29. Most scouts and GMs know the difference between 40 times and game speed. I think either McCourty or Patrick Robinson from FSU will be there. But what I would like to see is Dunlap (DE) be available at 29, and going with a guy like Donovan Warren of Michigan with the #2. He has a nice size speed ratio and his numbers have improved each year.

  4. By Stephen on Mar 4, 2010 | Reply

    Jets please draft Devin McCourty, he is a good physical athletic CB and he can return kicks. Also, offer a trade package of Kerry Rhodes, Vernon Gholston, and Kellen Clemens to Arizona for S Antrelle Rolle. I really wanted the Jets to go after Richard Seymour but the Raiders tendered him. I know he would love to get back at the Pats for releasing him. Also, we could use AdaliusThomas…he is unhappy in N.E. so why not bring him here and let him play in REX’s defense where he can excel..

  5. By Jets Fan Since '64 Tom on Mar 4, 2010 | Reply

    NFL site reports that Leon’s tender’s worth $1.759 mil for 1 yr, more than 3x what he made a yr before he nixed 10 mil for 2 yrs (!). No one knows if he’ll ever be able to play at that level again or even play at all. So anyone who thinks the Jets are being cheap with him had better never gripe about PSLs again. A guy posts that the Jets might be looking to take Best 29th and then use 2 #2’s on a CB and a DE and that it all might be a “smart move.” I agree, though I love Leon and wish him well.

  6. By Rickie New York on Mar 4, 2010 | Reply

    After trading for Brett Favre , Kris Jenkins and Lito Sheppard and also trading up in the draft to get Darelle Revis , David Harris , Dustin Keller , Mark Sanchez and Shonn Greene over the past few years – is the anything Mr. T cant do? I hope this offseason he completes the trade that brings tampa safety Tanard Jackson (12 games 5 ints 2tds 1ff 1fr in 09) to the jets as a playmaker, moves up for OLB Sergio Kindle to improve pass rush and steals Org RB Blount in the 5th or 6th, and also a 3/4 DE

  7. By Truth on Mar 4, 2010 | Reply

    I’m tryna figure out how n the world u give Edwards a 1st round tender & 3rd & give washington a 2!!! That is a dumb move cuz Edawards isnt worth that & washington has proved that he is over the years. Eveytime we get a gd player jets decide 2 trade them or let them go like TJ & dnt 4get J.Abraham & he still a monster. B4 rex got here we had no passrush since Abraham..Ghloston is a bust!

  8. By Ira on Mar 4, 2010 | Reply

    uncle joe,
    Thats right that dude has some potential. The Jets [while i don’t agree] didn’t cut TJ with no plan in place. EA i really believe McCourty will turnout to be the best CB in the draft when we look back in 2 -3 years from now. A lot of TJ to go to SD rumors. I actually think thats a good place for him to play. Warm weather and teams have to worry about Rivers and Co. TJ could have a big year for SD.

  9. By coat on Mar 4, 2010 | Reply

    Hey Uncle Joe –I’m not a huge McCourty fan I could take him or leave him but he is the same size as Revis –is that to small?–I have faith in the draftability of our experts besides a few mis-steps they’ve done excellent this year will be a real test since we basically can’t sign any UFA’S if we can spin something out of this it would be an A+— GO JETS

  10. By Stephen on Mar 4, 2010 | Reply

    JETS get Devin McCourty!!!! He is a steal. Good CB. If Jahvid Best is available, take him too.

  11. By Tom Spicer on Mar 4, 2010 | Reply

    I just read the Broncos are only giving Marshall a 1st round tender when they could give him a 1st & a 3rd so the Jets could get him for a 1st round pick very tempting. I also read the Cards are ONLY asking for a 3rd round pick for Boldin to bad we dont have 1 cause I would do that in a heart beat.

  12. By KevinHOFforKlecko on Mar 4, 2010 | Reply

    Hey coat…look what you are saying, McCourty is same size of Revis, “is that too small” Who the heck did Revis cover this past year….and shut them down…some of the tallest receivers in the NFL. Yes size sometimes is a factor, but skill, positioning and quickness goes a long way. Just ask Leon and/or Sprowles (SD). McCourty has the skills and will learn more.

  13. By Frank on Mar 4, 2010 | Reply

    Broncos “only” put a first round tender on Marshall vs. Edwards first and third clearly putting him on the market. Tanwoody needs to do everything humanly possible to trade Edwards to the Broncos for Marshall. He would be a significant upgrade over Edwards and a much better receiver for an erratic Sanchez unlike Edwards Marshall catches everything in his vicinity. He is both a possession reciever and a deep threat.

  14. By scjoe on Mar 4, 2010 | Reply

    Leon’s agent says he is 50/50 to return to the Jets given a 2nd round tender. I would be shocked if any team gave up a #2 knowing Leon’s injury and where he is right now. Randy, can another team give Leon a physical after the Jets have already tendered him? If not, then I can’t see any offer forthcoming.

  15. By Mr. Green on Mar 4, 2010 | Reply

    Give Denver the #1 they want for Brandon Marshall be fore somebody else does. He is only 25 years old with 3 consecutive 100 catch seasons.

  16. By jason on Mar 4, 2010 | Reply

    I am not understanding why the Jets wouldn’t just pull he plug and trade for Brandon Marshall and use Edwards as trade bait. I think Edwards inability to catch the easy ball makes him a serious liability. With the 29th pick in the draft the odds of them getting a impact player that can start on the field in Sept is highly unlikely and Marshall is that kind of player. And if there is someway that we could sign Peppers that would be a perfect fit a power pass rush without blitzing any thoughts?

  17. By Mike Jet Vet on Mar 4, 2010 | Reply

    Why overlook A-J Jefferson & Eric Berry? both very good DB”s & believe 1 may be available at #29 .On drafting LB’s not high on my list -D-Harris -B-Scott B-Thomas C-Pace are collectively the best in the league .On drafting TE’s Keller is a stud catching the ball & believe Hartsock is the blocking TE the team was lacking ..(Receiver) with B-E now in place J-Co catches everything & anything thrown his way Clowney when ready is the deep threat DE is our 1st need DB/Safety our second

  18. By Jets Fan Since '64 Tom on Mar 4, 2010 | Reply

    Truth, Leon hasn’t proven anything since he broke his leg. BE’s legs are fine, it’s his hands that are the problem. As for TJ, bet you no one offers him anything but a middling 1-year deal — exactly what he should’ve taken from the Jets. Jeff, keep talking up Best for our 1st pick at 29 or earlier if we trade up, the guy’s the kind of explosive player we badly need on O. Which reminds me, I love DK but if they’re even thinking of trading him, it means we’re finally making speed a priority.

  19. By Anonymous on Mar 4, 2010 | Reply


  20. By Tom Spicer on Mar 4, 2010 | Reply

    Frank, I must say I am suprised by you wanting to have Marshall on the Jets I agree that he is better than Braylon but you have never been the type of guy who likes trouble makers on the Jets. Why the exception for him?

  21. By Gary C. on Mar 4, 2010 | Reply

    If jets get second round picks for Washington and Brad Smith they should be doing handstands,and highly commended.Players always look out for their best interest and so should the team.Draft is deep and Jets need to find way of acquiring young talent.

  22. By Frank on Mar 4, 2010 | Reply

    Spicer he is not a Vick or Pacman he has done a few dumb things more like a Randy Moss but I think playing in our system and with the veterans we have on the team he will have enough infrastructure around him to help him mature and be an even better player. Marshall is the best pure receiver in the league he is young and I think he hasn’t reached his potential yet.

  23. By Ray on Mar 4, 2010 | Reply

    Ex, I know nothing about A J Jefferson, but Eric Berry? At #29? That might be how many minutes into the draft before he is taken…. And EA or Randy, aren’t these exactly the guys we can’t go after unless we lose someone of the same level because we ended up in the final four? And if that’s true then maybe that is exactly why the Jets put some of these guys out there. If anyone takes Clemens, Hunter, either of the Smiths or Leon we can go after someone like Boldin.

  24. By Eric Allen on Mar 4, 2010 | Reply

    Ray, that rule applies only to unrestricted free agents. Restricted FAs do not enter into the “Final Four” equation.

  25. By Row on Mar 4, 2010 | Reply

    I would take a 1st rounder for Braylon every single time. While I feel we used him completely the wrong way, the guy helped us very little. He was just like Coles, running when he had the room, catching when he wasn’t gonna get hit and mouthed all season. To think we can successfully run the screen with Schotty/Sanchez in an option filled offense is the definition of lunacy. I see us really scratching our heads if someone doesn’t change things and fast. B. Smith starts as QB. It can happen!

  26. By jets28 on Mar 4, 2010 | Reply

    In regards to free agency Rolle from the Cardinals just came on the market, so if we want to release Rhodes and sign Rolle I think that would work out greatly.

  27. By Jets Fan Since '64 Tom on Mar 4, 2010 | Reply

    Man, Row, you almost had a completely sane post there until the insanity about Smith at QB! Just kiddin’ you, Mizzou, all your other points are great.

  28. By Rene on Mar 8, 2010 | Reply

    why get rid of edwards. he at te top of his game. picture him and terrell owens on the same team. omg,at this point we to close to winning a superbowl.please give terrell owens a 2 year deal.

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