Thursday, May 15, 2014
Rookie talk: Getting to know draft picks
By Rich Cimini
A smattering of leftover "sound" bites from some of the New York Jets' draft picks, which will participate Friday and Saturday in a rookie camp:
Third-round cornerback Dexter McDougle, who underwent shoulder surgery last Sept. 16 and missed the final nine games of Maryland's season, on whether he's healthy: "Oh, yeah, definitely. I'm back. I'm healthy. The big thing is just working on strength now, but I'm doing that every day. As far as healing, everything's healed up. I'll be ready for minicamp, OTAs (organized team activities). I'm just blessed and I'm happy everything worked out for me."
Fourth-round offensive lineman Dakota Dozier on making the switch to guard: "I've really enjoyed it. My O-line coach at Furman, Coach [Scott] Smouse, made us learn all assignments at all of the positions, not just tackle, so I already knew all of the guard stuff and was able to play our last two playoff games at guard. That was really exciting. Then going out [at the] East-West [game] playing guard as well, I really enjoyed the opportunity. I showed that I could do that as well."
Fourth-round wide receiver Shaq Evans on why he transferred from Notre Dame to UCLA: "I mean, it just wasn't a good fit. I feel like, as an 18-, 19 year-old kid, you need to feel comfortable in your surroundings and I just didn't feel comfortable being that far away from home as a young kid. But, now I've grown up. It's been five years, I'm 23 years-old now, so I'm ready to venture off and see what New York has to offer.
Fifth-rounder Jeremiah George on the challenges he faces as an undersized (5-foot-11) inside linebacker: "I've heard it my entire life. It doesn't bother me at all. ... I play the game of football with my heart, not my height."
Sixth-round cornerback Brandon Dixon on his interaction with the Jets throughout the scouting process: "I talked to a couple of scouts from the Jets. They loved me, their DB coach (Tim McDonald) loved me. They showed me love throughout this whole process. They came to my school (NW Missouri State), I want to say three times. A scout named Aaron [Glenn], he came to my school three times and talked to me and said he really loved the way I played, my man coverage skills and everything, so we were interacting real well."
Undersized pass rusher IK Enemkpali, a sixth-round pick, on whether he's more comfortable as an end or outside linebacker: "In the scheme I played in college [at Louisiana Tech], I stood up a little bit, but most of the time I had my hand on the ground. I'm acclimated with standing up and I can do it. I'm pretty confident in my talents standing up."
Seventh-round linebacker Trevor Reilly on whether his age (26) could be an advantage: "The thing to me is that I've been able to do some other things in life, so playing football is something that I really love and something that I haven't taken for granted, with my [knee] injury, with my [Mormon] mission and with my family. Now that I'm going to be doing it as a profession, I'm really going to take it serious. That aspect may help a little bit, the fact that I've been able to do other things in life. It helps me kind of understand a little bit the opportunity that I have and the situation I have."