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The Jets group of undrafted free agents is a pretty strong class. We talked about cornerbacks Donnie Fletcher and Ryan Steed last week.
Another player to keep a close eye on is Nevada DE/LB Brett Roy.
He really is a heck of a football player.
In 2011, he had 10 sacks and 18.5 tackles for losses, and earned first-team All WAC honors.
The year before that, he had eight sacks and 13.5 tackles for losses.
Why would a player with this kind of production go undrafted?
There are two issues at work here.
First of all, he ran a 5.0 forty at the combine, which isn’t very good for a DE/OLB prospect.
Secondly, he’s a tweener – a little undersized for 4-3 end, and not fast enough for 3-4 outside linebacker.
And at 6-3, 277, he’s not really big enough to play inside.
But no matter what you think of his triangle numbers (height, weight, speed), the guy just makes plays consistently.
He has good instincts and plays with a mean streak.
In the Jets’ defense, his best fit is as 3-4 outside linebacker.
And he’s a smart guy, so he can learn multiple positions and be moved around.
It’s also possible he can move inside, but his hips are somewhat stiff, so he could be a liability in coverage.
One of Rex Ryan’s all-time favorite players is outside linebacker Jarrett Johnson. Rex had him in Baltimore, and he’s now with San Diego.
Roy is similar to Johnson. Like Johnson, he’s not a speed merchant and a great athlete, but with his motor, toughness and intelligence allows him to consistently make plays.
In Rex’s defense, the outside linebackers need to do a good job setting the edge against the run. The Jets suffered in this area last year when Bryan Thomas got hurt.
Roy is the kind of guy who can set the edge.
There is so much to like about this guy, including the fact that he’s a great leader with outstanding character.
He’s a classic overachiever, who made the Nevada roster initially as a walk-on safety.
Over the last four years, through hard work, he went from 205 to 277 pounds.
Clearly he is a long shot to make the roster, but Roy is the kind of guy who is going to get a lot of ink this summer.
He plays 200 miles an hour on every play, and is prime candidate to get into a practice fight.
He is the kind of kid who the coaches are going to take a liking too, and he’s going to make himself very hard to cut.
Clearly he was one of the Jet priority free agents. Within minutes of the draft ending, he signed with Gang Green.
I think Pro Football Weekly’s draft guru Nolan Nawrocki summed up Roy best when he said, “A wardaddy who will find a way and would fit well with a physical, hard-nosed defense such as the Ravens, Texans or Jets.”
He wrote that before the draft, but he was dead-on. This guy is a Rex Ryan kind of player.
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