In a dramatic fashion fitting of the Jets, they let the clock run all the way down before announcing they have selected Calvin Pryor out of Lousiville with the 18th pick of the 2014 NFL Draft. He is a junior free safety who is known for his physicality and can be depended on to shut down his side of the field. Though he will need to develop his man coverage skills at the next level, his instincts and athleticism help him account for any mistakes he may make when reading a play.
In the Jets’ current defense, it seems Pryor will be expected to compete for a starting job alongside Dawan Landry, allowing Antonio Allen to be used as a linebacker as Rex Ryan prefers to do. Their secondary held it together pretty well after the loss of Darrelle Revis and Calvin Pryor will only help solidify the backside of the defense. He has excellent range and vision, which lend to zone defense a bit better but will also help him cover some of the big threats in his division like Mike Wallace and newly drafted Sammy Watkins.
I do think the Jets eventually needed to upgrade the secondary and even if Calvin Pryor isn’t completely polished as an NFL safety, he plays with the swagger and tenacity that fits the mold of Rex Ryan’s defense perfectly. Unfortunately, when I say that, I mean he may not be the most disciplined player in the draft and his bone-crushing hits could cause him some trouble in the NFL. Not just his physical play but until he improves in man defense, I could see Pryor drawing a fair share of pass interference and holding calls as he relies on athleticism and physicality to make up for getting beat by a receiver.
The Jets’ next pick will be coming up in the 2nd round, No. 49 overall. They certainly took care of a need here but I’d expect them to take a playmaker – could be WR, TE, or RB – to give Geno Smith a little bit of support on that side of the ball as their offense was miserable compared to their defense last season.
What do you, the fans, think? Did the Jets make the right pick at No. 18? If not, who would you have liked to see?