Jets draft-watch list, 2.0

March, 31, 2011
3/31/11
10:08
AM ET
Here we go again, with the second version of our watch list -- the top players on the Jets' radar. (The first list appeared March 11.) As you probably know, the Jets are picking 30th overall, but there's always the possibility of moving up -- and we introduce that possibility in 2.0.

OLB Ryan Kerrigan, Purdue, 6-4, 267 -- A new name on our list. He's projected to go anywhere from 12 to 21, but we hear the Jets are quite smitten with him. In fact, he's scheduled to visit the Jets in the coming days. Obviously, they'd have to trade up to get him, but since when did that deter GM Mike Tannenbaum from landing his man? Kerrigan is everything you want in a football player -- productive, smart and passionate about the game. The one question: Can he make the switch to 3-4 OLB after playing 4-3 DE in college?

NT Phil Taylor, Baylor, 6-3, 334 -- Big Phil was prominent in our 1.0 list. He'd be the ideal replacement for Kris Jenkins, but his stock is rising because of the supply and demand for pure nose tackles. It's starting to look like he could be gone by 30.

OLB Akeem Ayers, UCLA, 6-3, 254 -- Another holdover from the 1.0 version. He improved his sluggish 40 time from the combine (4.8) by running about 4.69 earlier this week at his pro day. It's still not a great number, but Ayers is one of those players that shows better on tape than on the stopwatch. Because of his experience as a stand-up linebacker, he'd transition easily into the Jets' base defense.

DE Cam Heyward, Ohio State, 6-5, 294 -- Ironhead's son makes his second appearance in the watch list. His surgically-repaired elbow still isn't 100 percent, but he ran reasonably well and performed well in positional drills Wednesday at his pro day. He's widely projected as a late 1.

DE Adrian Clayborn, Iowa, 6-3, 281 -- Another newcomer to the list. He's regarded as a mid-1 talent that could slip because of a mediocre senior year (3.5 sacks) and a nerve condition (Erb's Palsy) in his right shoulder. He's had it since birth, but it didn't stop him from an 11.5-sack season as a junior. Clayborn is intriguing because he'd provide more pass rush than Heyward. Know this: The Jets' scouting department has a high regard for Iowa players because they respect Kirk Ferentz's pro-style system.

Off the list: UCLA S Rahim Moore and Georgia OLB Justin Houston.

Rich Cimini

ESPN New York Jets reporter

SPONSORED HEADLINES

Comments

You must be signed in to post a comment

Already have an account?

Insider