by Joe Grinwis
JetNation Senior Columnist
Time to take a closer look at the players we got in this years draft, Jets fans.
K – Mike Nugent:
Nugent, a former Lou Groza Award winner, is entering this year with a lot more pressure than many imagine. Nugent has to replace Doug Brien and he has to live up to being the Jets first pick in the draft, something he should easily be able to do. Nugent is a very consistent and stronged leg kicker who can hit your long game-winners and nail your opponent for a touchback. Nugent was a former quarterback in high school, as well as a kicker. When he arrived at Ohio State he just went to straight kicker and after a so-so freshman season, he has been accurate, deadly and clutch since. Nugent will be a huge upgrade over Brien in the end.
CB / KR – Justin Miller:
Miller comes into this summer battling for both a kick returner / punt returner spot, as well as the other starting CB spot alongside David Barrett if Donnie Abraham does indeed retire. Miller averaged 30.7 yards per kick return in college and also had five returns for touchdowns. He is a return man threat who the Jets hope will fill the void left by Santana Moss. Miller is a little on the short side, standing at only 5’9″, but he is very physical. Miller was projected as a first-round draft pick, but after two minor altercations with the police, he fell into the Jets laps at 57.
T – Sione Pouha:
Pouha, though 26, should be run-stopping force early on. He was an underachiver at Utah but with a defensive line that includes John Abraham, Shaun Ellis and Dewayne Robertson. Pouha is 6’3, 330 pounds so he may turn into a future Pat Williams type player for the franchise. He is already mature so that is something that us fans or the organization will have to worry about. Pouha will battle for the other DT position and is the early favorite.
FS – Kerry Rhodes:
Rhodes, who the Jets traded 4 spots up to get, was a stand-out safety at Louisville after converting from high school quarterback. During his senior season he picked off six passes, including one returned for a touchdown. He continues to get more physical and is becoming more of a ball hawk, something the Jets need as evidenced by their lack of interceptions the past handful of seasons. He is a natural FS, so he probably will end up backing up second year man Erik Coleman, but he may make a switch over to SS if Andre Maddox / Jon McGraw don’t pan out as expected.
SS – Andre Maddox:
Maddox, who played SS at NC State, recorded 341 career tackles in his four years and he was also a very good special teams player: the kind of player Mike Westhoff has been salivating for. Maddox also brings a certain swagger and cockiness to the Jets, saying he is better than Brodney Poole, a man the Jets coveted before the draft. Maddox joins his former teammate, second year WR Jerricho Cotchery, with whom he was good friends at NC State.
RB – Cedric Houston:
Houston is compared to current Bills RB Travis Henry, another former Tennessee Volunteer back. Houston ranks fifth all-time on the Tennessee rushing list with 2,634 yards. His senior season was his best season (1,005) even though he split time with Gerald Riggs Jr. Houston has a chance to be the Jets future running back and bears alot of similarities to former Jet Lamont Jordan.
TE / LS – Joel Dreessen:
Â Dreessen, a long snapper who might take current James Dearth’s job, was also a pretty good pass-catching and blocking tight end at Colorado State. His main purpose this year could be as the #3 TE and as a special teams player.
WR – Harry Williams:
Williams, who went to Tuskegee, is a small-school product who calls himself the “steal of the draft.” He never put up any great numbers on the football field, but his size and his speed were tempting enough for Bradway and Co. to take late in the seventh round. He should end up on the practice squad at best, but you never know–if the coaching staff is tired with Jonathan Carter’s act, he could make the final roster.