You had to know something was up

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The Jets picking receivers in the third and fourth rounds didn’t pass the smell test. Entering the draft, there was no shortage of talent in their receiving room. That is one reason they were willing to move on from Brandon Marshall.

So when they did this, I think many of us were wondering what was up.

We found out after the draft when Mike Maccagnan announced that Devin Smith re-injured his surgical knee and is out for the season.

Like I mentioned yesterday – Maccagnan is a big believer in sticking to the value board, but if two players are close, you go with need as the tie-breaker.

Clearly with Maccagnan knowing entering the draft Smith had re-injured his knee, this factored into the selections of ArDarius Stewart in the third round, and Chad Hansen in the fourth.

Stewart reminds me of a another very good receiver the Jets drafted from Birmingham, Alabama – Jerricho Cotchery – a really tough receiver, with good hands, who runs excellent routes with good, not great speed.

And Stewart is also a guy who could emerge as the Jets’ kick returner.

As for Hansen, he’s Eric Decker insurance. He is very similar to Decker – similar size, great route-runner, terrific hands and he could probably also model like Decker.

It’s hard seeing either Stewart or Hansen flopping on the next level.

Speaking of passing game additions, the Jets added Clemson tight end Jordan Leggett in the fifth round. He’s Jace Amaro with better hands and bigger hands. Remember, Amaro had really small hands, and in my opinion, this led to some drops.

And like Amaro coming of Texas Tech, Leggett is a lousy blocker. That is a big reason he slipped to the fifth round. The Jets feel their tight end coach, Jimmie Johnson, who was a very good blocker during his NFL playing days, can take this guy’s blocking to the next level.

If Johnson can do this, this pick will be a steal. Leggett already gets high marks for his receiving talent.

Also picked in the fifth round was West Georgia outside linebacker Dylan Donahue.

It’s about time the Jets got around to picking an edge rusher.

What I like about him is he has flexible enough hips to dip under tackles to get to the quarterback. The last two edge-rushers the Jets picked, in the last two drafts, don’t have that. He also has a great motor. The Jets new outside linebacker coach Kevin Greene probably sees a little of himself in this guy. I’m not saying Donahue is going to the Hall-of-Fame like Greene. But don’t forget, Greene was a fifth-round pick when he entered the league, just like Donahue.

Greene didn’t have great speed, but an amazing motor, and he could trim the edge like Donahue can.
Donahue will have to overcome his really short arms and really small hands. Long arms and big hands are an ally in the art of passing rushing.

April 29, 2017

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Dan Leberfeld
Dan Leberfeld
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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