John Idzik: Draft picks all 'fit the Jet profile'
FLORHAM PARK, N.J. - The NFL draft really is John Idzik's "lifeline."
The Jets, who entered Thursday's first round tied with the Rams with 12 picks, walked away with a dozen at the conclusion of Saturday's final four rounds.
To the surprise of many, there was no wheelin' and dealin' on Day 3 by the Jets' general manager. But during his introductory news conference in January 2013, Idzik stressed the draft "will be a lifeline for us, year in and year out."
The Jets entered Saturday with nine picks left. The last time they had this many picks was in 1998 (Bill Parcells' second draft).
"There's pretty much a common thread with these fellas," Idzik said. "They fit our profile. They're aggressive, they have a passion for our game, they're great teammates. They fit the Jet profile."
The Jets addressed several needs during the three-day draft, including wide receiver and cornerback, selecting Louisville safety Calvin Pryor 18th overall, tight end Jace Amaro in the second round and cornerback Dexter McDougle in the third.
They used their first two picks Saturday to improve their offense and special teams. With the pick they acquired in the Darrelle Revis deal, the Jets selected Oklahoma receiver-returner Jalen Saunders 104th overall. Eleven spots later, they grabbed UCLA wideout Shaquelle Evans.
Barely 5-9, the 165-pound Saunders is best known for his quickness and route-running.
"I'm a savage on that field," Saunders said. "I would say between a gorilla and a terrier. They're real small and people don't expect too much from them."
The 6-1 Evans, a transfer from Notre Dame, caught 19 passes for 309 yards and two touchdowns in 13 games in 2011. He also had 17 punt returns for 115 yards.
The knock on Evans is that he doesn't stretch the field well and doesn't have great speed. But the addition to an already improved receiving corps raises questions about Stephen Hill's role on offense.
The Jets wrapped up Round 4 by selecting Furman offensive lineman Dakota "Bull" Dozier 137th overall. After adding Iowa State inside linebacker Jeremiah George in the fifth round, the Jets took another cornerback (Brandon Dixon, Northwest Missouri State), wide receiver (Quincy Enunwa, Nebraska) and linebacker (IK Enemkpali, Louisiana Tech) in the sixth round.
Things got interesting in Round 7 when the Jets selected Clemson quarterback Tajh Boyd, a former Tigers teammate of Rex Ryan's son Seth.
"I think we all know my pick," Ryan said with a laugh. "It's pretty obvious."
Despite joining a crowded QB room, Boyd said he's excited to be with Geno Smith, Matt Simms and his "mentor," Michael Vick. "As a kid, he was my idol," Boyd said of Vick, who also grew up in Virginia.
Ryan said his son often spoke of Boyd's character. "He said [Boyd] was the leader of that program," Ryan said. "He said if Tajh would have called a meeting at 2 a.m., the entire football team would have been there."
The Jets drafted 26-year-old outside linebacker Trevor Reilly (Utah) with their final pick.
Despite having "multiple conversations" about packaging picks and possibly moving up and down the draft board, the Jets were pleased with the outcome.
"Did we have opportunities? Yeah, we had opportunities," Idzik said. "But we felt like the players we selected, it was not worth moving out of that pick. We'd rather have them as a Jet."