Friday, May 16, 2014
Practice report: Amaro catches on quickly
By Rich Cimini
FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- The New York Jets opened rookie camp with a two-hour practice in the rain. A few takeaways:
- No. 1 debuts: It was a rather non-descript practice for safety Calvin Pryor. He missed his one opportunity to make a big play. Lined up against a slot receiver, the first-round pick made a great read and jumped the route, but he didn't get his hands up in time and the pass sailed over the his head. It should've been an interception. Rex Ryan made sure to point that out to Pryor. Interestingly, Pryor lined up as the personal protector on the punt team. Another Tim Tebow?
- Jace impresses: Tight end Jace Amaro was among the standouts in practice. The second-round pick caught everything, displaying sure hands and good body control. You could tell instantly that he has caught a lot of passes in his career. His speed doesn't jump out, but he's a fluid route runner. He's known as a pass-receiving tight end, but he certainly has the size (6-5, 265 pounds) to be an in-line blocker.
- Busy Boyd: The Jets have only two quarterbacks in camp, so sixth-round pick Tajh Boyd got plenty of reps. (In case you're wondering, the other quarterback is B.J. Coleman, a former Green Bay Packers draft pick who is participating on a tryout basis.) Boyd has mechanical glitches in his delivery, as the pre-draft scouting reports noted. He drops his release point at times, throwing at three-quarters. He also has an elongated motion. On Day 1, the former Clemson star struggled with his accuracy on short and intermediate passes. He threw behind sixth-round pick Quincy Enunwa over the middle, resulting in a deflection and an interception by fifth-round linebacker Jeremiah George. On the positive side, Boyd threw a couple of nice deep balls. That was the takeaway from his pro day; the Jets' scouts were impressed by his deep-ball accuracy.
- Three's company: The trio of rookie receivers -- Enunwa, Jalen Saunders and Shaq Evans -- had an OK day. Evans jumped out early with his smooth route running and quick hands, the ability to snatch the ball out of the air. But later on, he dropped a well-thrown deep ball by Boyd. Saunders dropped a pass in an early drill, but he rebounded with a strong practice. To quote Ryan, Saunders is an "itty-bitty" receiver at 5-9. Jeremy Kerley has enjoyed success at the same size, but Kerley is well built. Saunders is a wispy 165 pounds, so you wonder if he'll be able to take the pounding.
- McDougle off-limits: Eight months removed from shoulder surgery, cornerback Dexter McDougle wore a red jersey (non-contact) and didn't participate in team drills. Afterward, the third-round pick explained the nature of his injury at Maryland, saying he suffered a dislocated shoulder and fractured shoulder blade in the third game.