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Draft

Jets use back-to-back Picks in Round six to add CB and D-Lineman

The Jets used a pair of back-to-back draft choices to address their need at slot cornerback and depth on the defensive line by drafting Tulane product Parry Nickerson who ran a 4.32 at the combine in Indianapolis, and defensive lineman Foley Fatukasi out of Connecticut.

Player bio’s on Nickerson and Fatukasi who were both projected as 4th/5th round choices read as follows:

A first-team all-state pick from Louisiana, Nickerson thought he would get a chance to play for his home-state team as a true freshman. But he had to redshirt with a knee injury after just one game, despite making seven stops and forcing a fumble in that one appearance. Nickerson bounced back for his sophomore campaign, earning honorable mention All-Conference USA and first-team Freshman All-American honors by starting 11 of 12 games played, compiling 51 tackles, 2.5 for loss, six interceptions (ranking seventh in the FBS), and six pass breakups. Nickerson returned to the starting lineup for all 12 games in 2015, recording 46 stops, 3.5 for loss, and a team-leading eight pass breakups. He earned all-conference recognition once again in 2016 (second team) after intercepting four passes and returning them for 171 yards (ranked fourth in the FBS). Nickerson also deflected nine passes and posted 29 tackles on the year.

Analysis

By Lance Zierlein NFL Analyst
Draft Projection:  Rounds 4-5
NFL Comparison: Tavon Young

Overview

Nickerson is a gritty, undersized cornerback who possesses some of the more impressive ball skills in this year’s draft. His lack of size and length will likely force him into the slot where his athletic ability and technique should allow him to make his mark. Nickerson is tough, smart and instinctive, but he needs to prove he can hold up as an NFL tackler. He should compete for a role as nickel cornerback early in his career.

Strengths

  • Competes hard in coverage
  • Usually plays on an island
  • Despite lack of size, can slow receivers with his press
  • Effective from press and off-man coverage
  • Quick feet and loose hips to match patterns from his backpedal
  • Ballhawk
  • Made plays on 28 percent of his targets over last two years
  • Highly instinctive and makes plays outside his area
  • Has burst to close and can carry long speed down the field
  • Tracks the deep ball like a veteran outfielder
  • Sinks and crowds receiver’s catch space before turning to find the ball
  • Punches above his weight when it’s time to get physical at the catch-point
  • Uses high-point talent and positioning to take away 50/50 throws

Weaknesses

  • Smallish with a thin frame
  • Leans on receivers after release and gets off-balance at times
  • Aggressive style can get him tossed around when big receivers get physical back
  • Gets grabby when he’s knocked out of position at top of the route
  • Plays hard but size matchups could be a challenge on NFL level
  • Lacks length for optimal recovery from trail position
  • Ducks head and throws his shoulder into ball carrier’s legs to tackle over wrapping up

Fatukasi, a projected mid-round pick is a two-gap lineman was described as follows:

Player Bio

Fatukasi (whose full name is pronounced foe-luh-RUN-soo faa-too-KAH-see) is a load in the middle that can take on multiple blockers and push through to the quarterback. “Foley” was the first player from his Long Island, New York high school to immediately enroll at a major college to play football. After a redshirt season, Fatukasi started three of 12 games played in 2014, making 31 tackles, three for loss. He garnered honorable mention All-American Athletic Conference honors as a sophomore, starting 11 of 13 games and being credited with 50 tackles, eight for loss, seven sacks, and four forced fumbles. He continued to excel as a junior, starting all 12 games with 43 stops and 2.5 sacks. Fatukasi did not earn all-conference notice from AAC coaches in 2017, but still started all 21 games for the Huskies (45 tackles, 7.5 for loss, four sacks).

Analysis

Draft Projection: Round 4
NFL Comparison: Abry Jones

Overview

Fatukasi is raw but talented and offers a well-built, versatile defender who can be played at a variety of positions by teams who employ varied defensive fronts. He needs to improve at the point of attack, but that could happen if he’s asked to slant less and improves technique as a two-gapper. Fatukasi’s flashes of power and disruption could be foreshadowing a future as a quality NFL starter with the ability to play on passing downs if he can reach his potential.

Strengths

  • Dense, well-proportioned frame with good muscle mass
  • Fires out of his stance with good pad level and initial quickness when working in the gaps
  • Has brute power to challenge a blocker’s edges and constrict rush lanes
  • Has two-gap potential, with more technique work
  • Able to rock interior blockers with heavy, punishing hands in his pass rush
  • Uses hands and leg drive to cave the pocket and force quarterbacks to move
  • Flashed a fluid spin move that could have some legs on next level
  • Plays with energy and vigor on every snap
  • Raw but talented
  • Has necessary size and strength to play play nose or three-technique in a 4-3 and defensive end in a 3-4

Weaknesses

  • Plays with some tightness in his knees
  • Production as run defender is average
  • Lateral movement is nothing special
  • Has a hard time staying ahead of blocks when plays flow outside
  • Inconsistent in recognition of blocking schemes
  • Lacks feel for down blocks
  • Needs to work with more consistent technique against double teams to improve anchor
  • Gets caught up with fist fights in front of him rather than controlling point of attack with length and power
  • Shed timing is below average
  • Loses balance when he plays out of control
  • Pass rush would improve with greater focus

This Article Was Written By Glenn Naughton

Avatar for Glenn Naughton
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Glenn was Born in the Bronx, New York and has followed the Jets religiously despite being stationed in several different countries and time zones around the world. He now resides in England and has been a JetNation member since 2005. Glenn will bleed green with the rest of us through the highs and lows.