By Glenn Naughton
While none of the moves are official until announced by the team, the names of several undrafted free agents have begun to surface through tweets from players or the agents themselves about coming to terms on a deal with the Jets.
Here’s a quick look at those names that have been making the rounds thus far.
QB Dane Evans, Tulsa- The Jets didn’t draft a QB as many had hoped, but Evans will give them a strong-armed signal caller in camp. Evans’ arm strength and football IQ make give him a better shot to stick with the Jets (or at least their practice squad) than many may realize.
WR Brisley Estime, Syracuse- Despite having shown excellent return ability, Estime is a long-shot to make the Jets as they currently have a glut at the wide receiver position with Eric Decker, Quincy Enunwa, Robby Anderson, Charone Peake, Jalin Marshall and the recently drafted Ardarius Stewart and Chad Hansen.
In four seasons in Syracuse, Estime returned 47 kicks for 956 yards, an average of 20.3 yards per attempt, while adding 41 punt returns for 738 yards, an 18 yards per attempt average, and 2 touchdowns.
LB Connor Harris, Lindenwood- Relentless tackling machine is probably the best way to describe small school product Connor Harris. During his time at Linwood, Harris tallied a whopping 633 tackles, good enough for an average of 13 per game.
Projected as a round 5 or 6 pick by NFL.com, Harris went undrafted and has reportedly agreed to terms with the Jets where there is an undeniable lack of depth at the inside linebacker position behind David Harris and Darron Lee.
Per NFL.com, one college scouting director had this to say about Harris:
“He’s a good player. He’s a Division I player who happens to play Division II. I don’t think he ever gets tired because he is always in on plays or right there next to them.” — NFC college scouting director
At 5′ 11” 242, Harris will look to stick on special teams while spelling David Harris whenever necessary if he can find a way to make an impression on the Jets coaching staff.
DE/OLB Jareid Combs, North Texas- Combs, is a 6′ 3” 258 lb DE/OLB tweener who wasn’t overly productive in his two seasons at North Texas (21 games, 31 tackles, 7.5 takckles for l0ss, 3 sacks) but clearly Gang Green saw something they liked.
Perhaps it was his JUCO production where Combs’ production was off the charts when he was second in the nation with 17 sacks in 2014.
On film, Combs looks to have excellent awareness in tracking the ball carrier and plays with a good motor, but the lack of production at a small program raises some questions.
FB/TE Anthony Firkster, Harvard- An H-back product out of Harvard, Firkster may get an extended look at fullback where the Jets don’t have an established starter while most assume that John Morton’s new offense will feature a fullback.
LB Austin Calitro, Villanova- The 23 year-old Calitro is a punishing hitter at inside linebacker who led Villanova with 90 tackles (11 for loss) in 2015 to go along with, 4.5 sacks, 3 forced fumbles and an interception. On film he shows excellent awareness and patience in the middle of Villanova’s defense.
CB Xavier Coleman, Portland State- Another small school player out of Portland State, the Jets snagged the 5′ 11” 190 lb Coleman who led the big sky conference in pass break ups each of the past two seasons.
Faced one of the draft’s top receivers in Cooper Kupp of Eastern Washington, holding him to 67 yards through the air, one of only three teams to do so this season.
An inspirational story, Coleman was told during his freshman year in High School that a heart condition would prevent him from ever playing football again, but following heart surgery that same year, starred at PSU and now gets his shot to make it in the NFL.
WR Gabe Marks, Washington State- A longshot to stick with the Jets, Marks is a 5′ 11” receiver who projects to the slot in the pros after a career at Washington state that saw him catch 316 passes for 3,453 yards and 37 touchdowns.
Marks’ quickness may make him a candidate to get some looks at punt returner despite having returned just 11 punts in college.
Marks’ most impressive collegiate performance came in his final season while facing what as arguably the top secondary in the nation in the Washington Huskies and managed to pull in 11 receptions for 112 yards and a touchdown.
DT Patrick Gamble, Georgia Tech- Gamble was projected as a seventh-round draft choice or priority free agent by NFL.com and was clearly a priority for the Jets. After very little production through his first three seasons at Georgia Tech, the light appeared to come on for Gamble during a senior season that saw him log 53 tackles and 7.5 sacks.
A projected 3-technique tackle whose long arms could allow him to develop into a disruptive rotational player, Gamble’s best shot with the Jets is likely a spot on the practice sqaud.
OT Javarius Leamon, South Carolina C State- A left tackle at SC State, Leamon lacks ideal strength at this point to be expected to contribute right away, but projects as another possible practice squad player according to NFL.com.