You knew it was only a matter of time.
Mike Tannenbaum morphed back into his old self today, moving up eihgt spots in the fifth round to select TCU wide receiver Jeremy Kerley. To make that move, the Jets swapped fifth-round picks with the Eagles, and shipped their sixth-rounder (No. 194 overall) to Philadelphia for their seventh-rounder (No. 227).
Kerley, a 5-9, 188-pound native of Hutton, Texas is also a a return specialist, which could signal the end of the Brad Smith's tenure as a Jet. Should the old rules stay in place, Smith would be a restricted free agent.
So the Jets got themselves a big insurance policy just in case he winds up as an unrestricted free agent when the new collective bargaining agreement is agreed upon.
"It's a great weight lifted off my shoulders," Kerley said. "I'm ready to go and just do whatever I can to help this team."
Kerley finished second in program history in return yards with 2,305 yards as well as punt return yardage (1,299), and fifth in kickoff return yards with 1,006. He also set TCU single-season records for most touchdowns (10), total yardage (1,042) and punt return yardage (563) during his career.
He was also named Mountain West Conference Special Teams Player of the Year as a junior and this past season as a senior. He knows where he's going to make a name for himself is as a member of Mike Westhoff's unit.
“I’m definitely a special teams guy," he said. "My special teams ability is definitely what makes me the player that I am."
Still, he can also play the slot receiver and could be asked to contribute right away given the Jets' situation with their free agent wide receivers. The only sure one returning is Jerricho Cotchery. Smith, Santonio Holmes and Braylon Edwards are all free agents, meaning Kerley could get some serious burn as a rookie.
"Just being able to come in and look at guys like Santonio and Jerricho, I'm ready to be a student of the game, and just ready to take whatever criticism they have to give to me."