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Jets hope Pryor not a 'fine' choice

5/9/2014


FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- Asked to compare himself to a safety in the NFL, Calvin Pryor named two -- Kam Chancellor and Dashon Goldson, both big hitters. In Goldson's case, he sometimes crosses the line, resulting in nearly $500,000 in fines for illegal hits.

In the new NFL, tightly governed by the safety-conscious league office, Pryor could be a marked man because of his physical style of play. Rex Ryan called him an "enforcer." ESPN analyst and former NFL executive Bill Polian said Pryor "brings a lot of wood." Said Pryor: "I feel like I've always been a hard hitter."

General manager John Idzik insisted he's not concerned.

"I guess you would rather have that problem, a hitter that you would have to idle back a little bit -- and I don't think he's going to have to idle at all," Idzik said. "He'll learn technique at this level. In viewing his tape, when he gets the impact hits, they aren't illegal hits, they're just hard hits. We like having that style of play on our side."

Long-term durability also could be an issue. After all, he's only 5-foot-11, 207 pounds.

"He usually inflicts it instead of receives it," Idzik said. "Some guys are just thin. When you look at his body type, his build, he's a nice sturdy, thick frame, so the measurables don't always tell the story. It's really his flection, his ability to uncoil and the thickness, in particular his lower body. So, we don't have a concern that way."

Idzik scouted Pryor in person during the season and attended his pro day, as did Ryan. Pryor also made a pre-draft visit to the Jets' facility.

"When I came in for a visit, I felt like I fit their scheme very well," Pryor said. "Coach is a very defensive-minded coach and he wanted to go with a defensive guy that could help improve the secondary, and he felt like I was a great fit."

Indeed, this marked the fifth straight year in which the Jets picked defense in the first round. Pryor is the fourth defensive back they've taken in the first round since 2007, joining Darrelle Revis, Kyle Wilson and Dee Milliner.

Pryor was widely projected as a mid-first-round pick. There was talk about the Chicago Bears taking him at 14, maybe the Dallas Cowboys at 16, maybe the Baltimore Ravens at 17.

"Once the Jets came [on the clock]," he said, "I felt very confident they were going to take me and I was their guy."