The Jets just felt right to Jace Amaro.
This was the place the Texas Tech tight end wanted to be. But when the first round of the NFL draft came and went without his name being called, he began to worry a bit.
But in the end, the Jets got their man – and Amaro got a new home.
“It’s the greatest day of my life,” the 6-5, 265-pound said on a conference call Friday night, shortly after he was selected 49th overall.
“…That was the place I wanted to play at – the Jets.”
Despite a flurry of receivers flying off the board due to Day 2 trades, the Jets were fortunate enough to land a tight end with good size and play-making ability. Amaro, the first Texas Tech tight end drafted in 44 years, set an NCAA single-season record at his position with 1,352 receiving yards. He also finished his college career with 138 receptions for 1,818 yards and 13 touchdowns.
But despite Amaro’s on-field production, North Carolina’s Eric Ebron garnered much of the pre-draft attention as this year’s top tight end. And that didn’t go unnoticed, said Amaro. The newest Jet said he deserved to be in the same discussion as Ebron – who was taken 10th overall by Detroit – because of his versatility. And as a result, Amaro’s determined to prove he should have been a first-round pick as well.
For the second straight night, the Jets wound up staying with their designated pick. The organization was confident that it’d be able to secure top-tier talent by standing pat on Day 1 and they ended up with hard-hitting safety Calvin Pryor. But according to NFL Network, the Jets were “furiously” trying to trade up on Friday to get a receiver. The Jets reportedly were hoping to swap picks with the Bucs (No. 38) in order to stave off the Jags at 39. But Tampa Bay stayed put and Jacksonville did exactly what the Jets feared: they took USC’s Marqise Lee. Three picks later, the Eagles drafted former Vanderbilt receiver Jordan Matthews.
But in the end, the Jets still were able to bolster their offense by adding Amaro.
Though there are questions about his pass-blocking, he’s sure to improve a Jets offense that finished 25th overall and 31st in passing offense in 2013.
Amaro called Jeff Cumberland "a great TE," adding that he and Cumberland "complement each other pretty well." And, naturally, the former Texas Tech standout envisions offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg will run two tight-end sets.