FLORHAM PARK, N.J. - The words just wouldn't come.
Lorenzo Mauldin fought back the emotion as best he could, but the moment was just too real, too raw and too overwhelming.
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His long, difficult journey -- one that included so many doubters and 16 different foster homes -- had led him to this moment. And Friday night, his dream of reaching the NFL was finally realized.
With the 82nd overall pick, the Jets selected the Louisville outside linebacker/defensive end, who had 20.5 sacks in his career, including 6.5 last year. Though unknown to some, Mauldin (6-4, 259) posses prototypical size for a 3-4 outside linebacker and matches up well with tight ends.
"I'll do whatever I have to do to get to the quarterback," the 22-year-old said, choking up. "I'm going to show 'em what I got. I'm going to shut up all the critics, everyone who's ever doubted me . . . This is my chance to show everybody -- to show everybody what I can do."
Jets coach Todd Bowles said Mauldin is a hybrid linebacker who "was perfect for us" at No. 82. Bowles also noted that Mauldin's perseverance and determination are evident in his play.
The Jets originally had the sixth pick (No. 70 overall) in the third round, but traded it to the Texans to move down. In exchange, the Jets received Houston's third-round pick -- which they used to select Mauldin -- fifth-round pick (No. 152), their seventh-round pick (No. 229) plus receiver DeVier Posey.
The 6-1, 211-pound Posey has only 22 catches for 272 yards and no TDs in three seasons. He tore his Achilles in January 2013 during the Texans' loss to the Patriots in an AFC divisional-round game. New Jets general manager Mike Maccagnan was in Houston when Posey was drafted in 2012.
The Texans used the newly acquired pick to take Arizona State receiver Jaelen Strong.
Jets grab speedy Ohio State receiver
After fortifying their defensive line on Day 1 of the draft, the Jets satisfied their need for speed in Round 2.
They selected Ohio State wide receiver Devin Smith with the 37th overall pick. Not only did first-time general manager Mike Maccagnan find a complement for Eric Decker, Brandon Marshall and Jeremy Kerley, but he also added big-play ability on offense and on special teams.
Smith, a 2014 All-Big Ten selection, led the Buckeyes with 931 receiving yards on just 33 receptions last year, and 12 of those catches went for touchdowns. A senior on the Buckeyes' national championship team, Smith averaged one TD every four receptions in his four-year career.
He finished his college career with 121 catches for 2,503 yards and 30 TDs and he clocked a 4.42 in the 40-yard dash at the Scouting Combine.
Smith said on a conference call Friday night that he was "lost for words" when the Jets selected him five spots into the second round. Perhaps that's because the front office kept their interest in him under wraps somewhat. Smith said he talked to the Jets at the Senior Bowl and "a little" at the combine, but he didn't take a predraft visit to the facility.