Yes, you’ve read the title correctly…the New York Jets are close to signing a 6’7″ Australian Rugby player named Hayden Smith. Smith played rugby for the U.S. National Team and went on to play professionally in England for a bit. Listed at 240lbs, Smith can be the tight end the Jets so desperately need. Is he going to be Rob Gronkowski? Most likely not…but a blocking tight end with tremendous athleticism (He also played college basketball in the U.S. for Metropolitan State in Minnesota) and good hands may be just what the doctor ordered. We all know Sanchez has a habit of throwing high to receivers. What better way to fix it but bringing in a 6 foot 7 tight end?
Smith visited a few NFL teams, but seems to prefer the Jets, who worked him out back in February. According to the Daily Telegraph in Australia, Smith has been working out with former University of Minnesota coach Tim Brewster on transitioning into a formidable NFL tight end. Brewster stated:
“A lot of coaches shy away from guys who haven’t played the game because it is an exhausting process. To me, that’s the exciting part. Taking a piece of clay like that. And I am going to tell you Hayden Smith is one beautiful piece of clay. Just mold him into what you want him to be.”
It seems the Jets and Rex Ryan have a plan to mold this kid into the next Gronkowski or Jimmy Graham. Keep our fingers crossed that this works out. As the offseason has gone with the Jets, this move may be the only one that works out positively.