The Jets drafted Maryland corner Dexter McDougal.

The Jets drafted Maryland corner Dexter McDougal. Credit: `AP

The Jets finally addressed their cornerback needs in Round 3 of the NFL draft – and raised some eyebrows in the process.

With the 80th overall pick Friday night, the Jets selected Maryland cornerback Dexter McDougle.

He may not be a well-known name to some football fans, but the 5-10, 196-pounder can play when healthy.

"He’s the type of player you had your eyes on him early on," said Jets general manager John Idzik."You’d like to see the entire season, but when he did start he had three picks in three games, (was) very productive in his short time. So it didn’t do anything to tell you that he was anything different than you had seen before."

McDougle missed final nine games in 2013 and the Combine workouts due to season-ending shoulder injury. But despite being sidelined, he traveled to every away game and attended every practice and team meeting. As a result, Maryland coach Randy Edsall presented him with the inaugural Dexter McDougle Ultimate Team Player Award at season end.

The cornerback also suffered a broken collarbone in a scooter accident in 2010.

But the front office isn't concerned about his durability.

"When we watched him, we saw a guy that we think has versatility, can play outside, can play inside as a nickel possibly," said Rex Ryan. "Obviously, we like his cover skills. But we think he’s a complete corner. We think he can tackle. We know he can tackle. He’s aggressive. He’ll challenge you at the line of scrimmage. He’s got good ball skills. And obviously, we feel good (that) he can run. But (he’s) a very aggressive player as well.

"And the thing that I thought was impressive, Terry brought this to our attention, the coach there named an award after this young man. Dex is a tremendous person. He loved his team. He wanted to support them in every way he possibly could. But we think he fits that Jet profile. I think he’s a great teammate and (we) look forward to seeing what he can do here."

Though draft expert Nolan Nawrocki had McDougle projected as a sixth or seventh-round pick, NFL.com's Gil Brandt listed the Maryland DB as a possible third-rounder. McDougle posted 40-yard dash times of 4.53, 4.47 and 4.51 at his Pro Day.

But despite his injury history, the Jets believe they’ve added a solid corner to join Dee Milliner and first-round safety Calvin Pryor in their secondary.

“It was indescribable,” McDougle said of being drafted by the Jets.It’s just a feeling, you just get a loss of words. I’ve been waiting for this my whole life, since a little kid and my dream has finally come true. I’m just ready to play ball."

"...When I walked in there I just liked the environment, I liked the people that were there. ...It just felt right when I went there. It was definitely my best visit. I’m just very happy right now."

McDougle, who underwent surgery in September, said he’ll be ready for minicamp -- and Idzik later confirmed.

"Oh yeah, definitely. I’m back. I’m healthy," the corner said. "...I just want to come back and show everybody that I’m a competitor. I’ll come in and do whatever I have to do to get on the field. I want to make an impact no matter where it’s at. I’m just going to play my role and just do whatever I have to do and just go 100 percent."

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