He might be able to help

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New Jersey – The Jets tweaked their rotation a little bit, and now this guy has a shot to grab a job. People don’t know a lot about him . . .

The Jets are now platooning Josh Martin and Lorenzo Mauldin at the outside linebacker spot opposite Jordan Jenkins.

It’s about time they opened up this competition a little more.

The first couple of weeks of camp, they were strictly starting Mauldin and Jenkins in practice. It was time to put away the anointing oil and open up this competition.

Neither Mauldin or Jenkins is a dynamic pass rusher with the footstep quickness to scare offensive tackles.

Now they both have great motors, and will get to the QB on occasion through sheer desire and effort, but both are guys who run 4.8-4.9 in the forty and neither has loose hips.

And the first two weeks of camp, these two have had a mighty hard time shedding the blocks of the Jets’ starting offensive tackles – Ryan Clady and Ben Ijalana/Brent Qvale. Ryan Fitzpatrick has generally had a lot of time to throw.

If I were the running the Jets, I wouldn’t be inclined to have Mauldin and Jenkins as my starting OLB pair. I’d have them compete for the starting job on the strong-side, and use somebody on the other side with more “quicks” and pass rush moves.

And not just for pass rush reasons, but for coverage reasons as well.

Neither Mauldin or Jenkins has good range in coverage.

In yesterday’s practice, Zach Sudfeld beat Jenkins soundly on a deep out from Ryan Fitzpatrick. The pass was incomplete, too far out in front of Sudfeld, but Jenkins lumbered running behind Sudfeld, who isn’t a speed merchant.

Look, I’m not looking to beat up Mauldin and Jenkins, they can both help the Jets, but to start them at the two outside linebacker spots in unison doesn’t make a ton of sense. One yes, not both. Too similar.

Martin clearly runs better than Mauldin and Jenkins. You can see that in his pass coverage work in camp, and on special teams.

Martin spent a couple of seasons with the Kansas City Chiefs where he was a special team’s standout and backed-up Tamba Hali and Justin Houstin at outside linebacker. The Chiefs waived him injured on September 8, 2015 with a concussion to make room for offensive lineman Jah Reid. They needed another body on the offensive line, and Martin was going to be out a while.

Martin signed with the Indianapolis Colts practice squad, and the Jets stole him from the Colts, but signing him to their regular roster on November 24.

For some strange reason the Jets didn’t use Martin over the last six weeks of the season, which was odd, considering they needed help on their punt coverage, and this guy excels in that area. They also could have used some pass rush help. It’s still a mystery why they put him on ice after signing him.

But now he might come in handy.

I’m not saying he’s Von Miller, but he’s flashed more as a pass rusher in camp than Mauldin and Jenkins. He’s lighter on his feet and has better movement skills.

Martin graduated from Columbia. He was an under-the-radar recruit out of Denver, who signed with Wyoming out of high school, but then when Columbia called, he figured, why not go to one of the best schools in the country, get a great education, and if I play well, the scouts will still find me?

The plan worked out well.

And now he might be able to help the Jets.

August 15, 2015

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Dan Leberfeld
Dan Leberfeldhttps://www.jetsconfidential.com
Publisher of Jets Confidential Magazine. Call 1-800-932-4557 (M-F, 12-4) to subscribe. Co-host of Press Coverage every Saturday on SiriusXM NFL Radio from 11-2.

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