Sat, 08 Aug 2020

3 Jets Undrafted Free Agents to Watch in Training Camp

New York Jets
07 Jul 2020, 18:56 GMT+10

Following the Jets' nine-player draft class, general manager Joe Douglas and his staff signed nine undrafted free agents - three players on offense and six on defense - in the "eighth round" as assistant GM Rex Hogan put it. Hogan said they're excited about all the players they signed, but here are three to keep an eye on throughout training camp.

Memphis DE/OLB Bryce Huff

Huff was a menace for the Tigers, leading the team in tackles for loss and sacks in both 2018 and '19, and earning second-team All-AAC honors each year. The 6'1", 254-pounder totaled 34.5 TFLs and 16 sacks in that span and also had 3 forced fumbles in addition to his 101 tackles. The Jets finished No. 23 in the NFL with 35 sacks last season and Huff could add some fire off the edge to go along with Jordan Jenkins & Co.

"The way I described him in my report was an energetic ball of butcher knives because that's what he is," The Athletic's Dane Brugler said. "He's not afraid to play with power or quickness and the motor is always revving. There are some questions like can he be a consistent run defender, can he drop in space, can he develop some counter moves? There are some questions there, but there's no question about the energy and the pass-rush juice he can bring off the bench."

Georgia WR Lawrence Cager

Cager played one year with the Bulldogs as a grad transfer after four years with the Miami Hurricanes, where he became friends with Jets TE Chris Herndon and WR Braxton Berrios. Cager (6'4", 220) plays with a power-forward mentality and quickly emerged as one of QB Jake Fromm's go-to targets in Athens, totaling career highs in catches (33) and yards (476) in nine games (six starts). He also had four receiving touchdowns.

"He's a bigger outside receiver and for the Jets fans that really follow college football, if you watched the Notre Dame-Georgia game, he played quite well in that contest," Jets senior football advisor Phil Savage said. "Then when he went up against C.J. Henderson, the Florida cornerback who went in the top 10, he made some plays in that game as well. We have high hopes for Lawrence once he gets to the facility."

Nebraska DB Lamar Jackson

Jackson was a reliable player for the Huskers as he started in all but one game since 2017 and totaled 106 tackles, 4 tackles for loss, 27 PDs and 5 INTs in '17-'19. The 6'2", 208-pounder led the team with 15 pass defenses and 3 interceptions last season and earned second-team All-Big Ten honors. Jackson is a big corner, similar to most of the CBs Douglas brought in this offseason like Pierre Desir (6'1", 192), Quincy Wilson (6'2", 193) and fellow rookie Bryce Hall (6'1", 202).

"Lamar Jackson out of Nebraska is not quite the athlete of the Lamar Jackson that's over in Baltimore and that's kind of the issue with him," Brugler said. "He's got good size, but he's more of a 4.6 athlete. Do you maybe move him to safety? Maybe that could be what he does because the ball skills are there and he has size and the length. He has kind of that mean, competitive approach as far as run support, but does he have the speed to hold up? That'll be kind of the question with him."

Honorable Mention

Brugler likes the undrafted free agents the Jets added to their secondary outside of Jackson in Alabama's Shyheim Carter and Utah's Javelin Guidry, who ran the second-fastest 40-yard dash at the combine at 4.29 seconds.

Hogan also mentioned Washington OL Jared Hilbers (6'6", 310), who fits the versatility bill as he started 11 games at LT in 2018 and 12 at RT in 2019.

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