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The situation at this Jets’ position is a quandary right now and it’s for more than one reason . . .
The situation with the Jets’ returners is somewhat bizarre. Two players who were heavily involved in the return game last year, and perhaps moving forward, are both suspended for first four games of the season for PED violations – Jalin and Nick Marshall.
So the Jets might need to go returner shopping in this draft.
The Jets could use a dynamic returner in this draft, and they might not need to look any farther than Brooklyn.
Ohio State’s Curtis Samuel could really help them in the second or third round.
“He’s a terrific player,” said former NFL scout Daniel Jeremiah, now with the NFL Network. “He’s very, very talented. I think the comparison that a lot of people would like to make is Percy Harvin in terms of his ability to make an impact as an occasional running back, a slot receiver and an impact player in the return game.
“When you watch him, I think he has been one of the underrated explosive players because what he put on at the combine was barely talked about just because John Ross kind of stole the show with the 4.22. The fact he’s a 4.30 forty guy. He’s slippery with the ball in his hands, gives him the opportunity to be a difference-maker. When you take on a player like, that you must have a very clear plan for getting him the ball, putting him in a position to thrive of. He’s an 18- to 20-touch per game guy. That’s a combination of rushes, returns, possessions.”
That Jets have to think long and hard about what they have in Jalin Marshall.
They felt they had a special kick and punt returner when he arrived. He was the talk of training camp last summer. But honestly, he had very little impact on the return game.
And aside from perhaps dancing too much, and not being more decisive, he also had a ball security issue.
And now throw in the fact he’s suspended the first four games of the 2017 season for violating the NFL’s performance enhancing drugs policy, and his hold on the job(s) is shaky.
The last two years now, the Jets return game has been underwhelming. They need to do something about this. They need to do a better job in the field position game. Whether it’s with better punting or it’s better returns.
They don’t have an offensive juggernaut. They need better field position! They can’t expect their quarterback, whoever it might be, to be starting on the 15, 17 whatever, and march them down the field from a deep hole, like they often had to do the last two years. They don’t have Tom Brady, Aaron Rodgers or Drew Brees.
So that is why a guy like Samuel needs to be on their radar.
They do have a couple of decent returners on the roster in UConn’s Deshonn Fox and Virginia’s Darius Jennings.
Whoever they chose to go with, after two years of substandard returningj, it finally need to fixed.
No more kicking the can down the road.
It’s interesting. Jalin Marshall was brought in first and foremost to help the Jets return game, but he turned out to be a better receiver than returner.
April 18, 2017
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