After the draft, the Jets invited an ample amount of undrafted free agents. This system provides an opportunity for players who weren’t drafted to possibly make an NFL roster, and maybe even start in the NFL. Recently, there have been several UDFA success stories, but by far the most intriguing story is that of Arian Foster, who became one of the best running backs in the league out of nowhere. So who, on the Jets, can potentially become one of these phenomenal starters on the Jets? These are the two most impressive UDFAs that the Jets have signed.
RONTEZ MILES, S CALIFORNIA (PA)
The Jets have an immediate need at safety after the losses of Laron Landry, Yeremiah Bell, and Eric Smith. Although they signed Laron Landry’s brother, Dawan, they still have a gaping hole in the secondary that they did not address in the draft. Rontez Miles may be the answer.
Obviously, Miles was by no means the best safety in College Football but he was arguably the best in Division II, winning just about every single award imaginable for a Division II safety. Also, he was even invited to the NFL Combine, which is extremely rare for a Division II player. During his final three years at California PA, he had 206 tackles, 9 interceptions, and 15 pass-breakups. Yes, he is a ball-hawking safety but what is even more impressive are his tackles. If you look into his tape you find that he is one of the hardest-hitting safeties I’ve ever seen at the college level.
Obviously, one of the biggest concerns about a player like Miles is the level of competition he was playing in college. Yes, getting 11 tackles in a game, 1.5 TFL, and an interception in a game is impressive, but when it is against the Mercyhurst Lakers, one has to question if he’ll be able to post these numbers against NFL teams. Despite all this, it is hard to ignore his pure talent and he has a great chance at making the roster and even starting.
ZACH ROGERS, WR TENNESSEE
Yet another position the Jets need is wide receiver. Stephen Hill appears to be a second-round bust so far, and Holmes’ future on the team is definitely in doubt. However, the Jets were one pick away from the prized jewel of Tavon Austin, and after that they decided not to pursue any other recievers in the draft. Instead, they collected a boatload of WR UDFAs, and Zach Rogers has the potential to make the roster over everyone else and potentially start in a few years. Rogers didn’t particularly shine on Tennessee until this year, in which he posted nearly 500 yards and a whopping seven touchdowns- all this playing behind 1st round selection Cordarrele Patterson.
One of his greatest attributes is his big play ability, and last year he averaged over 15 yards a catch, which is quite an impressive stat. Rogers ran a 4.47 40 time, which is a terror for opposing defenses who will try to contain him. Also, last year he proved to be a redzone target as well amassing several touchdowns from inside the 20. His route running is quality, and his head fakes are enough to fool NFL corners.
One of the major concerns for him is his consistency issues. There were a few games this year at Tennessee in which he was essentially a non-factor, and this consistency issue will be a major concern especially on a team like the Jets. Also, his hands aren’t perfect which could be a problem for the Jets when quality passes are rare and he will need to get every single catch he can get. If Rogers can overcome these obstacles, he has the potential to be a quality number two WR on the Jets in the years to come.