New York Jets: Jeremiah George

Breakdown of Jets' rookie contracts

May, 25, 2014
May 25
9:00
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The New York Jets have nine of 12 draft picks under contract. The only unsigned players are safety Calvin Pryor (first round), cornerback Dexter McDougle (third) and cornerback Brandon Dixon (sixth). The process is moving along quickly because of the slotting system.

Let's take a look at the nine contracts:

Jace Amaro, tight end, second round -- Total value: Four years, $4.29 million. Total guaranteed: $2.45 million. Signing bonus: $1.44 million. 2014 cap charge: $780,545. Base salaries: 2014 -- $420,000 (fully guaranteed), 2015 -- $615,136 (fully guaranteed), 2016 -- $810,272, 2017 -- $1,005,408.

Jalen Saunders, wide receiver, fourth round -- Total value: Four years, $2.70 million. Total guaranteed: $481,448. Signing bonus: $481,448. 2014 cap charge: $540,362. Base salaries: 2014 -- $420,000, 2015 -- $510,000, 2016 -- $600,000, 2017 -- $690,000.

Shaq Evans, wide receiver, fourth round -- Total value: Four years, $2.67 million. Total guaranteed: $450,900. Signing bonus: $450,900. 2014 cap charge: $532,725. Base salaries: 2014 -- $420,000, 2015 -- $510,000, 2016 -- $600,000, 2017 -- $690,000.

Dakota Dozier, guard, fourth round -- Total value: Four years, $2.52 million. Total guaranteed: $300,584. Signing bonus: $300,584. 2014 cap charge: $495,146. Base salaries: 2014 -- $420,000, 2015 -- $510,000, 2016 -- $600,000, 2017 -- $690,000.

Jeremiah George, linebacker, fifth round -- Total value: Four years, $2.41 million. Total guaranteed: $191,752. Signing bonus: $191,752. 2014 cap charge: $467,938. Base salaries: 2014 -- $420,000, 2015 -- $510,000, 2016 -- $600,000, 2017 -- $690,000.

Quincy Enunwa, wide receiver, sixth round -- Total value: Four years, $2.3 million. Total guaranteed: $78,680. Signing bonus: $78,680. 2014 cap charge: $439,670. Base salaries: 2014 -- $420,000, 2015 -- $510,000, 2016 -- $600,000, 2017 -- $690,000.

IK Enemkpali, linebacker, sixth round -- Total value: Four years, $2.3 million. Total guaranteed: $78,680. Signing bonus: $78,680. 2014 cap charge: $439,670. Base salaries: 2014 -- $420,000, 2015 -- $510,000, 2016 -- $600,000, 2017 -- $690,000.

Tajh Boyd, quarterback, sixth round -- Total value: Four years, $2.3 million. Total guaranteed: $78,690. Signing bonus: $78,680. 2014 cap charge: $439,670. Base salaries: 2014 -- $420,000, 2015 -- $510,000, 2016 -- $600,000, 2017 -- $690,000.

Trevor Reilly, linebacker, seventh round -- Total value: Four years, $2.28 million. Total guaranteed: $56,848. Signing bonus: $56,848. 2014 cap charge: $434,212. Base salaries: 2014 -- $420,000, 2015 -- $510,000, 2016 -- $600,000, 2017 -- $690,000.
Your questions, my answers on the New York Jets:

 

Jets sign Jeremiah George, 5th-round pick

May, 15, 2014
May 15
11:50
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The New York Jets stayed busy on the negotiating front Thursday. They signed linebacker Jeremiah George, a fifth-round pick from Iowa State, according to ESPN's Field Yates.

George signed a four-year contract for $2.4 million, including a $192,000 signing bonus.

He led the Big 12 last season with 133 tackles, including 12 tackles for loss and 3.5 sacks. George, only 5-foot-11, 231 pounds, is projected as a backup at the two inside linebacker spots. To learn more about him, check out our Rapid Reaction from last Saturday.

Three of the Jets' 12 draft picks are under contract.
Let's take a look at the New York Jets' draft class through the prism of projected roles for 2014. I see only two significant contributors at the outset, but that number likely will grow as the season progresses. You will see many of the draft picks involved in special teams. A closer look:

Calvin Pryor, safety, first round: He should be a Day 1 starter. If not, something is wrong. The roster is filled with strong safeties, so it'll be up to Rex Ryan to mix and match. Right now, the best tandem is Pryor and Dawan Landry, with Antonio Allen playing in certain sub packages.

Jace Amaro, tight end, second round: He doesn't block well enough to be an every-down player, but he should be on the field for about 50 percent of the snaps. If he can make a relatively seamless transition to a pro-style offense, Amaro could be the tight end in the three-receiver/one-tight end personnel package on passing downs in addition to joining Jeff Cumberland in two-tight end sets.

Dex McDougle, cornerback, third round: If his surgically repaired shoulder is OK, McDougle has a chance to work his way up the depth chart. Other than Dee Milliner, no one is entrenched at any of the cornerback spots. He should be the No. 4 corner at the very least. If he's good enough to start, it can allow Dimitri Patterson to play the slot, which wouldn't bode well for Kyle Wilson.

Jalen Saunders, wide receiver, fourth round: Jeremy Kerley is the slot receiver, so Saunders' best chance to make an immediate contribution will come as a punt returner. In terms of the pecking order at receiver, he's probably looking at the No. 4 or No. 5 spot.

Shaq Evans, wide receiver, fourth round: The situation at receiver is similar to that of cornerback. Except for Kerley and Eric Decker, the depth chart is fluid. Realistically, the best-case scenario for Evans is No. 5 receiver. He'd increase his value if he starts returning kickoffs.

Dakota Dozier, guard, fourth round: He has upside, but there are two factors working against him -- he comes from a small school (Furman) and he's learning a new position (guard). There will be a learning curve. Don't be surprised if he ends up with the Idzik Red-Shirts -- i.e. the bottom-of-the-roster players who remain inactive every week.

Jeremiah George, linebacker, fifth round: He probably will back up at the 'Mike' and 'Will' linebacker spots, joining Nick Bellore as the top reserves. Obviously, George will get a chance to be a significant contributor on special teams.

Brandon Dixon, cornerback, sixth round: This is a huge leap for Dixon, who played at NW Missouri State. He's a raw, developmental prospect who could join the Red-Shirts or perhaps the practice squad.

Quincy Enunwa, wide receiver, sixth round: See Evans.

IK Enemkpali, outside linebacker, sixth round: He played defensive end at Louisiana Tech, but the Jets are listing him as a linebacker. If that's where he plays, it'll be a major transition. Hello, practice squad.

Tajh Boyd, quarterback, sixth round: He will battle Matt Simms for the No. 3 job. Boyd has some intriguing traits, but he has to learn a pro-style offense and clean up some mechanical flaws.

Trevor Reilly, outside linebacker, seventh round: The Jets have four veterans ahead of him, so it'll be tough to make the team. There's always room at the Inn for a pass-rusher and a big-time special-teams player, so he'll have to excel in those areas.

Jets' brass evaluates draft picks

May, 13, 2014
May 13
10:30
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Leftover "sound" bites from draft weekend, with general manager John Idzik, Rex Ryan and senior director of college scouting Terry Bradway discussing some of the New York Jets' second- and third-day draft picks:

Amaro
Idzik on whether second-round tight end Jace Amaro can block well enough to be used in-line or flexed out as a receiver: "I think we can do both, really. He hadn’t been in-line as much. He did do a little bit of that at (Texas) Tech. He certainly has the size and he has the will, too. You see him get after it as a blocker. I think he has the size and now it’s just a matter of getting a (few) more reps at doing it. We’re not concerned that way.

Ryan on third-round cornerback Dex McDougle: "When we watched him, we saw a guy that we think has versatility, can play outside, can play inside as a nickel possibly. Obviously, we like his cover skills. But we think he’s a complete corner. We think he can tackle. We know he can tackle. He’s aggressive. He’ll challenge you at the line of scrimmage. He’s got good ball skills. And, obviously, we feel good he can run. But (he’s) a very aggressive player as well. And the thing that I thought was impressive."

Bradway on fourth-round wide receiver Jalen Saunders, listed at 5-foot-9, 175 pounds: "I think he’s played both inside and outside. You’re right, he is smaller in stature, but he’s as tough as they come. You go watch him play ... no fear. He’s blocking bigger guys. He’s breaking some tackles. He’s a dynamic playmaker with a ball in his hands, too. He brings that return element. It was really an attractive pick for us."

Ryan on sixth-round cornerback Brandon Dixon: "He’s coming from a small school (Northwest Missouri State). So I get that, that there’ll be some developing there. But at his school, wow, it was zero coverage or cover-1. So, he’s got the guts, I’ll tell you that. He’s played it. The measurables, he’s got size, he’s got speed, and the thing that I was impressed with when you saw all the scouts’ grades and the coaches’, it was competitiveness. This young man is a competitor, and I think that’s what he’s going to bring. How quick he learns the system and all that, we’ll have to determine that at a different time. But I love the competitiveness and obviously his God-given size-speed combination is rare."

Ryan on fifth-round linebacker Jeremiah George, only 5-11, 234 pounds: "I like having the flexibility of playing a 'Mike' linebacker or a 'Will' linebacker. ... So here, he fits a role. We’ll try to teach him both. We’ll flip both those guys. That’s what you want to have, that kind of flexibility. We love the fact that he’s a run-hit guy, loves to play. He’s got great passion for the game. You mentioned the production. We saw all that. We really like him. ... Sometimes (size) can be overrated. Zach Thomas was one of the best linebackers in the league and he was much smaller in a 3-4."

Idzik on whether linebacker Trevor Reilly's age (26) dropped him to the seventh round: "That may be a factor. The bottom line is, what do you think of him as a player and a person? Again, he fit that way for us."
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FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- The pick: Jeremiah George, linebacker, Iowa State

My take: This was a classic "need" pick -- and a bit of a reach in the fifth round. The Jets are perilously thin at inside linebacker, so they opted for the undersized, but highly productive George (5-11, 231 pounds). He's a run-and-hit player who will contribute immediately on special teams, which need an infusion of young blood. In terms of his future on defense, George's size could prevent him from being an every-down player in Rex Ryan's scheme. He and Nick Bellore should be the primary backups behind Demario Davis and David Harris, who enters the final year of his contract.

You can't quibble about George's college résumé, though. He led the Big 12 last season with 133 tackles, including 12 tackles for loss and 3.5 sacks. He has excellent instincts and good range. His intangibles are off the charts; he was a team captain and has an upbeat personality. The Jets like players from Iowa State; their director of college scouting, Jeff Bauer, is an alum.

Gambling Jets: Say this for the Jets: They're not afraid to take chances on players who fall short of prototypical size. They did it in the fourth round, selecting smurf receiver Jalen Saunders (5-9) in the fourth round and grabbing the diminutive George in the fifth. Chances are, they'll never become starting players in the NFL, but it shows the Jets are drafting with an emphasis on special teams. Their coverage units suffered last season because it lacked top athletes. They have a new special teams coordinator, Thomas McGaughey, and they're giving him some new toys to incorporate into his master plan.

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