Saturday, May 5, 2012
Rookie camp, Day 2: Sideline observations
By Rich Cimini
Some quick takes on the second practice of the Jets' rookie minicamp:
1. It was another big day for second-round WR Stephen Hill, who was the best player on the field -- at least from my perspective. In 7-on-7 drills, Hill was a huge presence over the middle, making several grabs on in-cutting routes in the 15- to 20-yard range. In team drills, he made a nice, over-the-shoulder catch on a sideline route. This was a long way from game conditions, so let's not put him in Canton just yetbut the Jets have to be thrilled with Hill.
2. Third-round LB Demario Davis has something the Jets' other LBs don't have -- speed. He recorded a "sack" in team drills, blitzing up the middle. Okay, he was unblocked, but you could see the burst. He also drops smoothly into coverage. Message to Bart Scott: You'd better be on your game when camp opens.
3. The safeties -- Josh Bush (sixth round) and Antonio Allen (seventh) -- worked as a tandem, alternating in the free and strong roles. Allen looks more comfortable in the box, which is no surprise. At South Carolina, he played what they call the "spur," a hybrid safety/linebacker. Bush is undersized -- looks like a corner -- so I wonder how he'd hold up as an every-down player.
4. There's an interesting mix of quarterbacks in camp -- G.J. Kinne (Tulsa, UDFA), Matt Simms (Tennessee, tryout) and Dan DiLella (Albany, tryout). Kinne performed the best on Day 1, but the gap closes. Simms, son of former Giants QB Phil Simms, can really zip the ball. But he was erratic with his accuracy and he also needs to develop some touch. Afterward, Simms spoke to a few reporters. (The resemblance to his dad is uncanny.) He was as polite as could be, hoping he can show enough in this camp to earn a contract.
5. I like "Aussie" -- er, I mean TE Hayden Smith. He's doing a nice job for someone who never played football. The former rugby star made a terrific catch over the middle between two defenders. I'm sure he's running some wrong routes and making some mental errors, but all things considered, he doesn't look out of place. Well, except for one thing: He's the only player wearing white knee socks. Must be a rugby thing.
6. Of the undrafted free agents, the one that jumps out to me is CB Ryan Steed (Furman). He made a nice pass-breakup, closing quickly on a short route. The Jets have depth issues at corner, so they need someone to step up.