The Jets bolstered their secondary by picking LSU safety Jamal Adams with the No. 6 pick in the NFL Draft on Thursday, and the team is high on Adams' potential.
"He is an outstanding player, obviously. Smart, fast, tough, physical, he's an alpha, he's good on and off the field," Bowles said. "He checked all the boxes for us and really, we think we got a real good football player. We had him rated high."
Adams, a 6-foot, 214-pound defensive back, was one of the highest-rated players in the draft -- one whom the Jets originally didn't think would be there at 6, according to ESPN's Jenna Laine.
He ran a 4.56-second 40-yard dash at the NFL Combine, and an even faster 4.33-second time at his pro day. In three seasons at LSU, he recorded five interceptions, two forced fumbles, two fumble recoveries, two sacks, 14 passes defensed and 209 total tackles.
"We really like his physical aggressiveness," said GM Mike Maccagnan, whose club allowed 30 passing touchdowns and only intercepted eight passes last season. "He's a very, very good tackler. Really when we analyzed him, we thought he was a very good well-rounded player at the position and, as Todd alluded to, we felt very comfortable with his ability to play close to the line of scrimmage or backed off in space."
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Adams is regarded as the most well-rounded safety in the draft, with his duties last season split fairly evenly between deep coverage, matching up in the slot and coming up into the box. With such versatility, the question becomes not how he can fit into the Jets' defensive system, but how will the other pieces fit around him?
It's still unclear what the Jets' long-term plans are for Calvin Pryor, but there's a chance he'll be gone at the end of this season. However, perhaps they will give him this year to see if he can play more like he did in 2015 before weighing a possible extension. It's well-documented that Pryor prefers to play in the box and Adams would seem to have the range and instincts to play a center field role, which will enable Pryor to do so.
Marcus Gilchrist would work together well with Adams because he too is capable of playing a variety of roles. That would introduce some much-needed interchangeability to the defense, giving Bowles added flexibility. But since he's coming off an injury, it will be useful to have Adams available to take Gilchrist's place until he is ready to return.