WR Odell Beckham Jr. (LSU) 5-11, 198, 4.43 40yd dash
Projection: 1 Description: Rex Ryan and John Idzik attended Beckham's Pro Day. Furthermore, the Jets brought him in for a pre-draft visit. Ryan McCrystal takes a look at him. "Despite a lack of height, he is well built and willing to be physical against bigger defensive backs. A tough runner with the ball in his hands. Does not shy away from contact and is capable of breaking some tackles. Willing to lower his shoulder into defenders to pick up extra yards. Extremely shifty in the open field. Elite change-of-direction ability makes him difficult to corral in the open field. Consistently beats press coverage due to his quick feet and his ability to get up to full speed within a few steps. Smooth route runner, makes it almost impossible for less athletic cornerbacks to contain him without help over the top. Makes cuts and breaks in his routes with effortless fluidity. Showed consistent development from year to year. A willing blocker who will deliver big hits to unsuspecting defensive backs. Experienced returning kicks and punts. An intelligent athlete on and off the field and is well respected by coaches and teammates. Beckham's lack of size will be held against him by some, but considering how many teams use a slot receiver on a significant portion of their plays, his size should really only be considered in comparison to others at his position. His lack of elite speed may limit his ability to play on the outside early in his career because he will struggle to consistently break free over the top at the next level, but he can be an elite slot receiver due to his ability after the catch. His fluid movements and great timing in his route running reminds of Isaac Bruce. His skill set isn't a fit for every team, so evaluations of him will vary around the league, but it's safe to assume he will have a first-round grade from certain teams."
WR Kelvin Benjamin (Florida State) 6-5, 240, 4.61 40yd dash
Projection: 1-2 Description: Rex Ryan and John Idzik also flew down to see Benjamin at his Pro Day. The Jets also met with him at the Combine and flew him in for a visit on April 24th. Here's Rob Rang. "Near-tight end size (6-5, 235) with a ridiculously large wingspan, giving him a catching radius that is probably on-par with anyone at the NFL level. Shows the gliding speed and short-area quickness to create some separation and be a terror in jump-ball situations, especially in the red zone. Big hands, good hand-eye coordination and impressive body control to snatch passes outside of his frame. Tracks the ball well over his shoulder. Experienced playing outside and in the slot and shows courage in crossing the middle. Tough to bring down in the open field, using his long arms to effectively stiff-arm defenders and showing suddenness to accelerate once the ball is in his hands. Attentive downfield blocker who works to seal off defenders as well as peel back to take out opponents in pursuit. Benjamin arrived at Florida State following three seasons with national powerhouse Glades Central in Belle Glade, Fla. He arrived in Tallahassee rated as a four-star recruit and redshirted in 2011. Benjamin ranked fourth on the team with 30 receptions for 495 yards the following season, finishing with four touchdowns. After a modest sophomore season, Benjamin has had a breakout junior campaign, but the last two performances before the BCS title game stood out as he combined for 14 catches for 331 yards and five touchdowns. In the ACC Championship Game vs. Duke, Benjamin recorded his third career 100-yard receiving game and led the Seminoles' offense with a pair of touchdowns. Against Auburn in the BCS title game, Benjamin was held to just four catches for 54 yards, but his two-yard grab with only 13 seconds remaining propelled the Seminoles to the victory. Both games paled in comparison to a dominant effort against arch rival Florida in which Benjamin torched the Gators' talented secondary for nine catches for 212 yards and three scores. With the NFL featuring a number of big, long athletes at receiver, Benjamin fits what pro teams are looking for in a physical mismatch on the perimeter."
WR John Brown (Pittsburg State) 5-10, 179, 4.34 40yd dash
Projection: 5-6 Description: The Jets interviewed Brown at the East-West Shrine game and were clearly impressed with what they heard, as they brought him in for a visit on April 22nd. Leo Howell of The Pewter Plank explains who exactly Brown is. "Brown arrived at Pittsburg State in 2011, and the team improved from 6-6 to 13-1 in his first year on campus, and took home a title in his first year with the team. He previously played for Mars Hill in North Carolina before transferring away and winding up in Pittsburg. The very first time Brown ever touched the football as a member of the Gorillas (great mascot, by the way), he took a punt to the house from 84 yards out. His team was ranked as a middling team in their conference that season, and his performance in his very first game helped lift Pitt State to a victory over ranked Missouri Western. Of course, Pittsburg isn’t a big school, so his level of competition was fairly low. But against the best competition he’d face, Northwest Missouri State (who went 15-0 and won the National Championship in 2013), Brown always seemed to step up his game. By the time he was a senior at Pittsburg State, he was the focal point of every defense, and still managed to score 17 times during his final season at the school. Off the field, Brown was nominated as a part of the “Good Works Team” and was praised by teammates and media alike for his personality off the field. Incredibly quick in addition to possessing top-end speed. Capable of changing directions well. Creative playmaker with the football. Has the vision to find space where there is no space originally. Reliable pass catcher who hauled in passes on the sidelines, over his shoulders, and on all sorts of other routes. Able to break tackles in addition to avoiding tacklers with moves and quickness. Versatile athlete who was used as a runner, receiver, and return man. Willing and capable blocker despite lacking in size. Impressed at Scouting Combine, showing good speed, change-of-direction, and technique as a catcher. Repeat team captain with Pittsburg State. Obviously, Brown has to prove that what he did in Division II will translate to the NFL, but he seems to be technically sound and he didn’t just rely on his speed to dominate at a lower level. If he’s able to make the same sort of plays as a professional, he’ll have a Tavon Austin-like impact on a team as a slot receiver who can break away on any pass, and a dangerous weapon in the return game. But as is the case with any lower level prospect, he has to translate what worked against Division II athletes into the NFL, which is no small task."
WR Martavis Bryant (Clemson) 6-4, 211, 4.41, 40yd dash
Projection: 2-3 Description: Rex Ryan, general manager John Idzik and senior director of college scouting Terry Bradway attended Christian’s Pro Day. Tony Pauline noted that the Jets are very interested in Bryant. Here's Dane Brugler with more. "Tall, linear athlete with long arms. Above average vertical speed with long strides to accelerate and eat up yards quickly - galloping long-speed to easily gain a step (17 receptions of 20-plus yards in 2013). Flexible and balanced with easy body control to adjust and use his length. Nice job catching the ball in stride and away from his body. Wide catching radius and will make acrobatic and off-target catches look easy. Good timing and aggressiveness in 50/50 chances with very good leaping ability. Quick footwork to release off the line of scrimmage and make sharp cuts in his routes - good short-area burst to gain a step in/out of his breaks. Competitive kid. Coming off career-bests as a junior in 2013, finishing second on the team in receiving behind Sammy Watkins. A tall receiver with the ability to stretch the field, Bryant was named the No. 3 prep school prospect in the country by 247Sports.com after playing for Hargrave Military Academy in 2010. He played in the Shrine Bowl and the U.S. Army All-American game and was a top 100 recruit by every service.Bryant caught nine passes for 221 yards and two touchdowns as a freshman in 2011, adding two kickoff returns for 45 yards while seeing action in 14 games - two starts.He really emerged as a downfield threat as a sophomore, averaging 30.5 yards on 10 receptions - four of which went for touchdowns. Bryant also had 10 kickoff returns while seeing action on 245 snaps in 10 games. His average per catch led the nation among receivers with double-digit catches.Bryant, 6-4, 200 pounds, caught 42 passes for 828 yards and seven touchdowns in 2013, averaging 19.7 yards per reception. Two of his three catches in the Orange Bowl victory over Ohio State went for touchdowns.It proved to be his final game in a Clemson uniform, as Bryant told the Post and Courier in a text message two days later: "I have decided to enter the draft, it's best for me and my family."
WR Brandin Cooks (Oregon State) 5-10, 189, 4.31, 40yd dash
Projection: 1 Description: Marty Mornhinweg attended Cooks' Pro Day. He also visited the Jets. Brugler with more. "Special athlete with explosive feet and natural burst - springs in his legs. Fluid body control with excellent start/stop moves, open-field vision and patient hesitation to elude defenders - joystick moves with loose hips and joints. Beautiful acceleration with speed to burn - electric after the catch. Quick hands to adjust and pluck with very good coordination to look the ball into his mitts. Quick footwork to set up his routes and fool defenders - has worked hard to fine-tune this area. Works hard to max out his frame. Strong football character. Tough individual - has never missed a game at any level. Experience on special teams as a return man - became full-time punt returner in 2013 (6.0 average). Very productive and 2013 Biletnikoff Award winner as nation's top receiver - set Oregon State and Pac-12 records for catches (128) and receiving yards (1,730), also setting new school record for touchdown catches (24). Cooks grew up in Stockton, Calif. and went on to become a three-sport start at Lincoln High School, where he also played basketball and competed as a sprinter while earning the nickname of "Sonic Boom." Rated as the No. 22 receiver in the nation by Rivals.com, Cooks committed to Oregon State and played in all 12 games with three starts as a freshman. Cooks really burst onto the scene in 2012 as a semifinalist for the Biletnikoff Award after posting 1,151 receiving yards. Anyone concerned that Cooks' numbers were inflated while playing opposite Markus Wheaton had their fears curbed in 2013, when Cooks won the Biletnikoff Award after leading the FBS with 1,670 receiving yards during the regular season. At just 5-10 and 186 pounds, he lacks elite size for the position, but he shines with his natural athleticism and dynamic ability before and after he touches the ball."
WR Mike Evans (Texas A&M) 6-5, 231, 4.53 40yd dash
Projection: 1 Description: Evans was one of the first prospects to visit the Jets. Rang has more. "Highly physical receiver who uses his size and strength to simply bully defenders. Possesses an NFL-ready body, aiding him in his fight through press coverage, pushing off to generate consistent (if illegal) separation, when boxing out defenders on jump balls and in providing excellent downfield blocking for teammates. Possesses excellent body control and sticky hands to make difficult receptions. Shows the ability to track passes over either shoulder, as well as the balance and hand-eye coordination to turn and adjust to the ball. Excellent red-zone target. Evans challenges cornerbacks to tackle him, initiating the contact and, at times, dragging would-be tacklers for extra yardage. Does not possess elite burst but is a smooth accelerator with deceptive straight-line speed, making him a very effective deep threat. Evans was a two-sport star at Ball high school in Galveston, Texas, hauling in 25 catches for 648 yards and seven touchdowns as a senior while also averaging 18.3 points, 8.4 rebounds and 5.2 assists per game for the basketball team. He redshirted in 2011 before bursting onto the scene along with fellow redshirt freshman Johnny Manziel in 2012. Evans started all 13 games, leading the Aggies with 82 receptions for 1,105 yards, both school freshman records. He averaged 85.2 receiving yards per game and finished with five touchdowns. Evans was named a finalist for the Biletnikoff Award as a sophomore while also earning first-team All-SEC honors. He led the Aggies with 65 catches for 1,322 yards and 12 touchdowns during the regular season, breaking Ryan Swope's 2011 single-season school record of 1,207 receiving yards. Evans caught four more passes for 72 yards in Texas A&M's victory over Duke in the Chik-fil-A Bowl, during which his strengths and weaknesses were on full display. Evans' size and physicality were often too much for the Blue Devils' defenders to contend with downfield, but he also was flagged for a pair of post-play 15-yard penalties - one for arguing a pass interference penalty that wasn't called and another for swiping at a defender's arms. He had to be calmed down on the sideline by Manziel and coach Kevin Sumlin."
WR Matt Hazel (Coastal Carolina) 6-1, 198, 4.46, 40yd dash
Projection: 6-7 Description: The Jets interviewed Hazel at the East-West Shrine game in Orlando, Florida. Here's Brugler again. "Adequate body type with room to get stronger. Not a burner, but shows good acceleration and long strides to build up speed in his routes. Very good focus and hand/eye coordination to catch everything in his area with his hands. Flexible and balanced with the body control to make smooth adjustments on erratic throws. Proper patience and decisiveness in his routes to deceive defenders and create room to work. Sinks his hips and drives out of his breaks with natural footwork. Stays light on his feet as a ballcarrier and in his patterns. Works hard after the catch and won't concede yards. Experience lining up inside and outside, running a full route tree in college. Level-headed and works hard to improve. Durable with 39 career starts on his resume. Improved production each season and broke many of Jerome Simpson's school records, including single-season catches (70) and career catches (183). A little-known two-star high school recruit, Hazel received some attention from FBS-level programs, including a scholarship offer from Georgia, but not until after he signed with Coastal Carolina. Hazel showed steady progression each season and quickly established himself as the team's top target, improving his stats and starts each year. He finished his career at or near the top of almost every school receiving record and was a big reason Coastal Carolina advanced to the FCS playoffs three of his four seasons on campus. Hazel isn't sudden or explosive and lacks the speed to be a consistent deep threat, but he is decisive and polished in his routes - very seasoned for a FCS prospect. He is a determined, natural hands-catcher who is dependable when the ball is in his area, but he needs to spend considerable time in the weight room. Too much finesse to his game, but his reliability catching the ball gives him a chance in the NFL, likely as an underneath possession target."
WR Allen Hurns (Miami) 6-1, 198, 4.54 40yd dash
Projection: 7-UDFA Description: Jets also met with Hurns at the East-West Shrine Game. Tony Pauline gives us a better understanding of what Hurns has to offer. "Three-year starter coming off a career season which included 62 receptions, 1162 yards, and 6 TDs. Dependable receiver who significantly elevated his game last season. Fluid releasing off the line, quickly gets into breaks, and runs sharp routes. Uses the sidelines well and displays good hand-eye coordination. Easily adjusts to errant throws running full speed and smooth making the deep reception in stride. Makes the difficult over the shoulder catch and keeps the play in bounds running after the catch. Hurns flashed ability during his sophomore and junior seasons then took his game to another level last year. Though not the greatest athlete, he has enough skill to make a roster as a fifth receiver."
WR Jarvis Landry (LSU) 5-11, 205, 4.77 40yd dash
Projection: 2-3 Description: Rex Ryan and John Idzik were at LSU's Pro Day. Landry also came in for a visit. Ryan McCrystal breaks him down. "Adequate height with a decent overall build. Excels on underneath routes. Ran a lot of short in-and-out routes at LSU and has the hands to handle quick throws in tight spaces from that distance. Has the tools to be an ideal possession receiver in the slot. A tough runner who will fight for extra yardage. A strong route-runner, who has a good feel for timing and depth of his routes. Became a safety net for Zach Mettenberger. Ideal hands for a slot receiver. He catches the ball away from his body and quickly secures the football before turning upfield. Shows great awareness on the field, adjusting to find the soft spots underneath zone coverage, which helped him become a reliable checkdown option at LSU. Extremely productive despite never really being the focal point of LSU's passing attack. Led team in receptions as a sophomore despite starting just one game. A willing blocker who looks to deliver big hits to unsuspecting defensive backs and linebackers. Landry is ideal for the role of a possession receiver in the slot. He has the tools to excel on shorter routes and as a checkdown option for the quarterback. While his upside is fairly limited, he is already polished as a route-runner and displays the hands necessary to make an immediate impact if he lands in the right situation."
WR Marqise Lee (USC) 6-0, 192, 4.43, 40yd dash
Projection: 1 Description: The Jets brought Lee in for a visit after Marty Mornhinweg attended his Pro Day and came away impressed. This is what Rang had to say. "Explosive straight-line speed that makes pressing him risky for even talented cornerbacks. Remarkably fluid athlete, capable of changing directions quickly and shows developing savvy as a route-runner, often using a hesitation move and shoulder-dip to get defenders off-balance. His vision, elusiveness and acceleration make him a terror after the catch, whether as a receiver or returner. Plucks the ball easily and can track over either shoulder. Plays bigger than his size, showing the ability to go up and high-point passes amidst tight coverage and is an attentive, physical downfield blocker. After taking the Pac-12 by storm as a freshman and winning the Biletnikof Award as a sophomore, Lee struggled with durability in 2013, posting the worst numbers of his career. Nevertheless, he elected to make himself eligible for the 2014 draft shortly after the Trojans' season ended. Despite only starting eight games in 2011, Lee caught 73 passes for 1,143 yards and 11 touchdowns, sharing the Pac-12's Freshman Offensive Player of the Year with Oregon's equally dynamic DeAnthony Thomas. Exciting as a freshman, Lee was virtually unstoppable a year later, earning the nation's top honor among receivers with an eye-popping 118 receptions for 1,721 yards and 14 touchdowns, while doubling as the Trojans' starting kickoff returner (28.5-yard avg.). The departure of quarterback Matt Barkley and wide receiver Robert Woods (among others) allowed defenses to key in on the playmaker in 2013 and this focus, along with a nagging injury to his left knee, left him with a disappointing 57 receptions for 791 yards and four scores as a junior. Lee's build and struggles with injury in 2013 will certainly draw red-flags from scouts but when healthy, his talent is obvious. Further, he's not as polished as his former teammate, Woods. Few can boast Lee's explosiveness, however, which will almost certainly result in his earning a first round selection come May."
WR Jordan Matthews (Vanderbilt) 6-3, 212, 4.44, 40yd dash
Projection: 2 Description: Jets interviewed Matthews at the Combine and also met with him at the Senior Bowl. Here's NFL.com's analysis. "Ended career as SEC's all-time leader in career receptions (262) and receiving yards (3,759). Also set school records for receptions, receiving yards and touchdown receptions (24). 2013: Third-team AP All-America and first-team All-SEC selection. 2012: First-team All-SEC pick after starting in all 13 games. 2011: Played in all 13 games and made 10 starts. Had three consecutive games with 100-plus yards and a touchdown. 2010: Played in all 12 games as a true freshman. Good length. Big zone target. Good form as a route runner. Sinks his hips and pops out of breaks. Concentrates, tracks and adjusts. Soft hands and sticky fingers. Has leaping ability to compete in the air. Opens up his stride in the clear and shows nice long speed. Good field awareness. Gives effort as a blocker. Competes and plays with intensity. Tough and intelligent. Lined up outside and inside and has punt-return experience. Team captain and four-year starter with record-setting production. A relative of Jerry Rice, Matthews departs Vanderbilt as the most productive pass catcher in SEC history. He’s a tall, narrow-framed, West Coast possession receiver with soft hands, a professional approach and the versatility to line up inside or outside and become a solid No. 2 or No. 3. High-floor prospect whose timed speed could dictate his ultimate draft value."
WR Walter Powell (Murray State) 5-11, 189, 4.54 40yd dash
Projection: 7-UDFA Description: Powell visited the Jets. Pauline with his outlook: "Record-setting wide out who's displayed game breaking skill as both a receiver and return specialist. Smooth, quick, and fluid. Works to come free, runs solid underneath routes and uses his hands to separate from defenders. Flashes strong hands and the ability to snatch the pass from the air. Effective running after the catch. Powell comes with average size and speed for the next level but has enough pass-catching skills and return ability to make a roster as a fifth receiver."
WR Paul Richardson (Colorado) 6-0, 175, 4.40 40yd dash
Projection: 3-4 Description: Jets brought in Richardson for a visit. His father played for the Jets. Rang gives us his take. "Terrific athlete who appeared every bit as agile and explosive in 2013 after missing the entire 2012 season with a torn ACL. Very good straight-line speed making him an excellent option on vertical routes. Savvy route-runner who alters his gait off the line and throughout his route to gain separation from cornerbacks. Sinks his hips and explodes out of his breaks. Generally plucks the ball cleanly out of the air with his hands, securing it quickly. Can track the ball over either shoulder and flashes the ability to dive and haul in the extraordinary catch. Good vision to set up blocks. Good bloodlines. Father, Paul, Sr., played wide receiver in the NFL with Philadelphia, Oakland, Green Bay and the New York Jets. The NFL is a sucker for speed at the receiver position, and few possess a more exciting combination of height and explosiveness than Richardson. Despite limited weapons around him, Richardson scored 20 touchdowns during his illustrious career with the Buffaloes, averaging an eye-popping 41.8 yards per score. Richardson answered critics who questioned his ability to stay healthy with a career-high 79 receptions for 1,280 yards and 10 scores for Colorado in 2013, proving remarkably explosive after missing the 2012 season with a torn ACL. Richardson's less than ideal frame might best be protected as a third or fourth receiver in the NFL. Considering how often teams utilize multiple receiver sets in today's pass-happy offenses, that won't necessarily mean that he'll make it out of the top 100."
WR Sammy Watkins (Clemson) 6-1, 211, 4.39 40yd dash
Projection: 1 Description: Rex Ryan, general manager John Idzik and senior director of college scouting Terry Bradway attended Christian’s Pro Day. The trio (plus Marty Mornhinweg) also interviewed him at the Combine. Brugler once more. "Smooth acceleration and doesn't take long to get up to full speed. Follows blocks well with controlled burst to weave through defenders - multiple gears to win at every level of the field. Sharp footwork off the line of scrimmage to beat press and get vertical with his galloping strides. Terrific body control and coordination with smooth hips and joints. Good depth in his routes with quick footwork in/out of his breaks, working the soft spots vs. zone. Above average ball skills and has shown steady improvements in this area over the years. Nice job adjusting his frame and watching the ball into his soft hands, snatching the ball and quickly getting upfield. Good hand size and uses his quick mitts to pluck off-target throws. Tracks well with the hands to highpoint and finish. Good patience before bursting to top speed and sets up his routes well - veteran at playing the ball and the defender. Dangerous catch-and-go pass catcher and will create yardage on his own, forcing poor angles by defenders. Tough and will lower his pads to initiate contact. Active blocker and gets the job done in this area. Versatile experience lining up wide, in the slot and in the backfield - also as an impact return man. Productive career, school-record for career receiving yards. A unanimous top 50 recruit coming out of South Fort Myers in Florida, Watkins was rated as the top wide receiver in the country by 247Sports.com. The all-time leading receiver in Lee County history with 133 catches for 2,997 yards and 36 career touchdowns. Watkins burst onto the scene as a true freshman, catching 82 passes for 1,219 yards and 12 touchdowns. He added 231 yards on 32 carries and returned 33 kickoffs for 826 yards and one touchdown. Watkins was voted a first team All-American by Pro Football Weekly, the Associated Press and FoxSports.com. While he wasn't as productive in 2012 after serving a two-game suspension to begin the season and with defenses focused on containing him, Watkins still caught 57 passes for 708 yards and three touchdowns. He earned honorable mention All-ACC from the coaches and media, while also returning 13 kickoffs for 257 yards in 10 games. Watkins returned to his elite form in 2013, catching 101 passes for 1,464 yards and 12 touchdowns. He closed out his prolific Clemson career with a dominating 16-catch performance in the Tigers' dramatic victory over Ohio State in the Orange Bowl. A more dynamic athlete than former teammate and Houston Texans' 2013 first round pick DeAndre Hopkins, Watkins caught his passes on a variety of routes, including quick screens to take advantage of his ability to make defenders miss in close quarters, deep passes due to his acceleration and jump balls to highlight his leaping ability and hand-eye coordination. Every fan of the sport knows that there is a difference between timed speed and football speed. Football is rarely a game of straight-lines, making fluidity and general athleticism much more critical than just a 40-yard dash time. In much this same way, some receivers possess a natural ability to pluck the ball, tuck it away and accelerate in one smooth motion that makes them even greater than the sum of their parts. Sammy Watkins is one such receiver.
WR Brandon Coleman (Rutgers) 6-6, 225, 4.52 40yd dash
Projection: 4-5 Description: Coleman was part of the Jets local workouts. Jets personnel also attended his Pro Day. Rob Rang continues. "Looks the part of an NFL split end, possessing broad shoulders, long arms and great height. Towers over cornerbacks, showing the ability to reach over them and pluck the ball. Possesses a deceptive gait and surprising straight-line speed which helps him sneak over the top for big plays. Can stick his foot in the ground and create space for himself, especially on slants, where he can use his size to shield defenders from the ball. Tracks the ball well over his shoulder. Extends his arms to latch and control defenders as a run blocker, though too often he'll stop moving his feet on contact and fail to sustain. In 38 career games and 26 starts at wide receiver, Coleman caught 92 receptions for 1,743 yards and 20 touchdowns - tying him with Tim Brown for the school record. While his size is obviously one of his greatest assets, Coleman also possesses good speed, averaging 18.9 yards per reception over his career and recording three of the 10 longest receptions in school history (92, 86, 85). Coleman possesses many traits to intrigue scouts but may not be the sum of his parts. He struggles to gain separation - especially against press coverage - and with more and more clubs taking this approach on defense, he could find that his draft stock doesn't quite match up to his hype. Despite a junior season (43 catches for 718 yards, 10 TDs) that wasn't nearly as successful as his 2012 campaign (34/538/four), Coleman elected to leave Rutgers early for a shot at the NFL. While perhaps not the guaranteed top 100 prospect that his buzz suggests, there is no question that Coleman projects well as a red zone specialist."
WR Quron Pratt (Rutgers) 6-0, 195, 4.51 40yd dash
Projection: UDFA Description: Pratt joined Coleman for the local workouts on April 17th at the Jets facility following the Jets coming away impressed at his Pro Day. The Trentonian's Tyler Barto had a fantastic article on Pratt prior to his Pro Day. "It is almost 9:30 a.m., and Quron Pratt is dozing off. His schedule doesn’t allow for much deviation these days, and in a few minutes the former Rutgers receiver will start the first of two 90-minute workouts. So Pratt will take some down time where he can find it. Blue-tiled brick walls blanket the basement facility where Pratt begins to stretch, a 40-by-30-yard string of AstroTurf at the Newtown Athletic Club in Bucks County, Pa. Thousands of players across the country are taking part in the same process: hiring an agent, training for a pro day and anticipating May’s NFL Draft. Many do so in relative obscurity in places like this: a low-lit multi-purpose facility that leases out time to NFL hopefuls. Pratt’s pro day at Rutgers’ practice bubble is in a few days. He hopes the under-the-radar work he puts in leads to a coveted 4.4-second 40-yard dash, a 36-inch vertical leap and sub-4-second time in the shuttle — all to impress only one of dozens of NFL scouts looking for the next big thing. It’s an unglamorous lifestyle. “We really don’t have time to really talk to anybody,” said the 6-foot Pratt, a Palmyra native. “It’s just us. We’re sleeping at 10 o’clock every night. We’re not going out anywhere. It’s really about working out every day and having no days off really.” *** Wearing a gray Under Armour T-shirt, blue mesh shorts and shin-high socks, Pratt loosens up, part of a training regimen he started in January. March 4 is a 5-10-5 shuttle morning. A group of five other players and two trainers will pore over the drill — one of several Pratt will take part in at his pro day — for nearly an hour and a half. Each part of the shuttle run is dissected. From the first 5 yards to hand placement to extending past the cone, head trainer Jason Bloom scrutinizes each detail. Pratt reviews his first try on an iPad. “We kind of tone it down here more because we have to focus — the 40’s more of a priority and the 5-10-5,” Pratt said. “We’re focusing on that more than the strength stuff at Rutgers. Rutgers is more about strength and getting stronger rather than faster and technique. Right now we’re focusing a lot on technique and then getting stronger.” Five days a week begin like this. Mondays focus on the 40-yard dash, the most scrutinized pro-day drill for scouts. Tuesdays, like this day, are shuttle runs. Yoga and massages follow on Wednesday. Thursdays highlight the three-cone drill. Weight-room work is on a daily itinerary. It is all part of Pratt’s plan to impress talent evaluators, who last year represented all 32 NFL teams at Rutgers’ pro day. “At the end of the day, I just want to prove to any coaches or general managers that I’ll be the right fit for them,” Pratt said. “I’m not going to drop any balls. I’m going to be the most efficient guy out there.” He already has a supporter in Rutgers head coach Kyle Flood, who said Pratt would be the most likely of the Scarlet Knights’ non-combine invitees to wow scouts. “He’s such a valuable player on special teams,” Flood said. “He’ll be what they call a ‘Big Four’ special teams in the NFL: kickoff, kickoff return, punt, punt return. That kind of value to an NFL team goes a really long way.” *** After each 5-10-5 shuttle effort ramped up in intensity — the last one topped out at 85-percent effort — the NFL hopefuls move on to ladder drills. Front, side, shuffle and single-leg hop variations follow. Pratt takes a break at a fold-out chair a few yards away. Most of this is standard practice, Pratt says, but some drills get creative to produce the explosion Pratt will need in several pro-day drills. “We do a lot of things with medicine balls,” he said, “like maybe slamming medicine balls from side to side and jumping on little balancing balls.” More than two months remain until the NFL Draft, the three-day event Pratt hopes will make all this work worth it. The reality for most prospects is that the week that follows May’s draft — when undrafted players control which teams they sign with — is as important. Nothing in the NFL is certain, and the constant drops and rises to players’ draft stocks without any real on-field work is evidence. For players on the fringe, an impressive pro day could pay dividends. Pratt has looked on as former Rutgers teammates faced the same fate and succeeded. “It’s definitely a confidence boost, keeping my head down because things didn’t go my way,” he said. “Seeing guys (like) Tim Wright, Marcus Cooper maybe getting drafted or getting drafted late but still making a big impact in the game, making a team and having value on the team. Watching that over the years — guys consistently having that opportunity — it’s a great thing. I know my work ethic and how I am as a person and player, I’m going to do well.” A month of meeting with NFL teams for closed tryouts awaits. Teams have a maximum of 30 sessions to meet with prospects in April. Pratt says he is anticipating those dates. He thinks he will remain in Newtown. “Basically all I can do,” Pratt said, “is stay ready.”
WR Malcolm Eugene (Stony Brook) 6-4, 218, 4.82 40yd dash
Projection: UDFA Description: The Jets worked out Eugene. Here's The Baltimore Sun's Aaron Wilson. "The 6-foot-4, 218-pounder caught 57 passes for 894 yards and five touchdowns last season. He was a first-team All-Colonial Athletic Association selection. The Temple transfer bench pressed 225 pounds 15 times with a 31-inch vertical leap and a 10-3 broad jump at his campus Pro Day workout. He didn't have a fast 40-yard dash time, though, running between 4.69 and 4.8 seconds. Eugene redshirted during the 2012 season."
WR Eric Ward (Texas Tech) 5-11, 199, 4.63 40yd dash
Projection: 7-UDFA Description: John Idzik was at Ward's Pro Day. Rang is back with more. "Ward's numbers speak for themselves, but it is combination of size, strength and athleticism that has scouts intrigued. The well-built Ward is a reliable route-runner and hands-catcher and has the toughness to handle playing the slot at the next level. With the Red Raiders focusing so much of their offensive production on the passing game, it should come as no surprise that several of their more intriguing pro prospects come at the receiver position. While no one currently on Tech's roster is going to challenge the draft position of former two-time Biletnikof winner Michael Crabtree, Ward emerged in 2011 as the Red Raiders' most dependable pass-catcher, securing a team-high 84 grabs for 800 yards and 11 touchdowns."
WR Damian Copeland (Louisville) 5-11, 184, 4.47 40yd dash
Projection: 7-UDFA Description: John Idzik was at his Pro Day. NFL.com profiles Copeland. "Led team in receptions each of past two seasons. 2013: Played in all 13 games with 12 starts (did not start against Miami in the Russell Athletic Bowl as the team started game in two tight end formation). 2012: Started all 13 games and led the team with 50 receptions. 2011: Played in one game before suffering season-ending hamstring injury. 2010: Played in eight games before torn meniscus ended his season. 2009: Redshirted, and fractured his foot during the season. Misc.: Was granted a medical hardship waiver and a sixth year of eligibility by the NCAA, but decided to forgo the season and enter the 2014 NFL Draft. He made his decision before coach Charlie Strong left for Texas. Nickname is "Honey Mustard" due to his haircut. Makes good adjustments to the ball and has a fairly wide catching radius. Runs with urgency after the catch and carries a swagger. Solid production -- two-time team-leading receiver. Runs a lot of simple digs, slants and bubble screens and is effective as a short-area, stationary target when he has free releases. Could compete for a job in the slot.
WR Josh Ford (Kansas) 6-3, 206, 4.65 40yd dash
Projection: UDFA Description: The Jets have expressed interest in Ford. He's a special teams demon. Think Wallace Wright. The following is from kuathletics.com. "2013 (Sr.): Played in 10 games, starting four games at wide receiver… Finished the season with nine receptions for 126 yards, including a career-long reception of 38 yards at Oklahoma State… Also had five solo tackles and two blocked punts on special teams… Recorded his first career reception in KU’s season-opening win over South Dakota... Finished the game with one catch for 22 yards... Blocked a South Dakota punt in the first quarter of the KU win... Also recorded one special teams’ tackle… Had his first multiple catch game in the win over LA Tech with two catches for 20 yards... Recorded two solo tackles on special teams vs. Texas Tech... Had one special teams stop at TCU... Recorded his second blocked punt of the season vs. Oklahoma... Credited with a 12-yard punt return on the block... Also had a six-yard reception vs. the Sooners... Caught a career-long reception of 38 yards at Oklahoma State... Had two catches for 17 yards at Iowa State... Caught two passes for 23 yards vs. Kansas State… Also had a tackle on special teams vs. the Wildcats. 2012 (Jr.): Played in all 12 games, seeing action on both offense and special teams... Made first career start at wide receiver at Baylor... Collected nine tackles on special teams and added a blocked punt and a forced fumble... Blocked a punt and also returned the ball six yards in KU debut... Recorded two special teams tackles and a forced fumble against Rice... Recorded a pair of solo stops on kickoff returns at Kansas State... Registered two tackles on punts at Baylor. 2010-11 (Fr.-So. at Arizona Western CC): Earned All-ACCAC and All-Western States Football League first team honors in 2011... As a sophomore at Arizona Western Community College, he recorded 58 receptions, good for 845 yards and 10 touchdowns, which were all team highs... Had six catches for 117 yards and a TD in the 2011 El Toro Bowl, which was the NJCAA National Championship game... As a freshman at AWCC, he hauled in 20 receptions, good for 252 yards and a touchdown... Suited up for Tom Minnick at AWCC."
WR Kenny Shaw (Florida State) 6-2, 221, 4.59 40yd dash
Projection: 7-UDFA Description: John Idzik & Rex Ryan attended Shaw's Pro Day. Here's Pauline. "Posted 54 receptions, 933 yards, and six touchdowns as a senior when he also averaged 9.7 yards on 26 punt returns. Occasional starter the past three seasons. Undersized but dependable receiver who also impacts the game returning punts. Comes back to the ball to make himself an available target, nicely adjusts to errant throws, and pulls the pass from the air with his hands. Displays terrific concentration, makes the difficult reception downfield with defenders draped on him, and extends or lays out for the catch. Quick, elusive, and effective running after the catch. Creates yardage as a punt returner. Shaw is a serviceable prospect who comes with return skills which makes him attractive as a potential fifth receiver."WR Donte Moncrief (Ole Miss) 6-1, 211, 4.34 40yd dash
Projection: 2 Description: Jets Director of College Scouting Terry Bradway attended his Pro Day. This is Ryan McCrystal's scouting report of Moncrief. "Built like a tall running back and essentially played that role at times for Ole Miss, getting multiple targets on screen passes each game. Has the frame to excel as a possession receiver. Gives a strong effort as a blocker and displays the technique to continue to excel in this area in the pros. Has experience running the full route tree at Ole Miss. Does a nice job tracking the ball over his shoulder on deep routes. Game speed is modest, but he's a smooth runner and accelerates to top speed quickly, which makes him dangerous enough that defensive backs have to respect his ability to get over the top of the defense. Has experience lining up out wide and in the slot. Quick enough to occasionally make a defender miss after the catch and fast enough to break off chunks of yardage if he's given a running lane. Runs hard after the catch and is strong enough to break an occasional tackle attempt. Moncrief is a talented prospect, but much development is still needed before he's capable of being a steady contributor in the NFL. At Ole Miss, Moncrief attempted to play the role of a speed receiver, but he simply lacks the speed or agility to play with that style in the NFL. To excel at the next level, Moncrief needs to embrace his size and focus on developing the fundamentals of running routes as a possession receiver and putting himself in position to make contested catches. All of his flaws are fixable, so his ceiling is reasonably high, but he shouldn't be viewed as a strong candidate to make an immediate impact."
WR Kevin Norwood (Alabama) 6-2, 198, 4.44 40yd dash
Projection: 3 Description: Jets scout Jay Mandolesi administered the vertical jump drills at Alabama's Pro Day. Brugler. "Flexible body type with adequate height and hand size. Good speed for the position with sharp footwork and leverage in his routes. Quick-starter with short-area burst. Smooth body control and excellent mid-air adjustments to twist and look the ball into his hands. Very good concentration and a natural hands-catcher. Nice awareness to locate and pluck, working back to the ball and aggressively attacking it. Never quits on his quarterback. Smart with an alert sideline sense. Knows where the sticks are. Good football character and known as a reliable option on and off the field. Positive attitude and carries himself like a professional. Already has his master?s degree. A three-star WR recruit, Norwood chose Alabama over Mississippi and Southern Mississippi and redshirted in 2009. He was a back-up as a freshman and sophomore, only seeing the field due to a few injuries. With Marquis Maze and Darius Hanks leaving for the NFL, Norwood became a starter as a junior in 2012 and posted consistent production his final two seasons in Tuscaloosa, leading the Tide with seven receiving scores in 2013. He needs to get stronger to better beat press coverage and hold up vs. physical defenders, but he is a mature route runner with excellent hand/eye coordination and reflexes at the catch point. Norwood isn?t a speed demon, but he accelerates well with natural body control. He isn?t elite in any one area, but solid across the board. He was somewhat overlooked and underutilized at Alabama, but could end up having a better pro than college career."
WR Nathan Slaughter (West Texas A&M) 5-9, 184, 4.35 40yd dash
Projection: 7-UDFA Description: Jets have shown interest in Slaughter. Here's Aaron Wilson. At his Pro Day, he ran the 40-yard dash in 4.34 seconds with a 44.5-inch vertical leap, an 11-6 broad jump and bench pressed 225 pounds 16 times. The 5-foot-9, 184-pounder caught 50 passes for 516 yards and three touchdowns last season. He had three touchdowns on 36 kickoff returns, averaging 36.1 yards per return."
WR Corey Brown (Ohio State) 5-11, 178, 4.55 40yd dashProjection: 7-UDFA Description: John Idzik was at his Pro Day. Here's Pauline. "Two-year starter who finished with 62 receptions, 771 yards, and 10 touchdowns as a senior. Underrated possession receiver with reliable hands. Smart and efficient. Plays with excellent balance and body control. Uses the sidelines well, consistently makes catches with his hands, and shows run-after-the catch skill. Fights for the ball and makes a lot of difficult receptions. Easily makes receptions in stride running laterally and keeps the play in bounds running after the catch. Knows where he is on the football field and works back into the clearing to make himself an available target. Brown was productive and reliable in Ohio State's system and nicely projects as a fourth/fifth receiver in a West Coast or timing offense."
WR Cody Latimer (Indiana) 6-3, 215, 4.44 40yd dashProjection: 2 Description: John Idzik attended his Pro Day. Here's Derek Stephens. "Possesses thick, athletic-looking frame and an impressive speed/agility combination that enable him to separate consistently as a route-runner, and extend plays after the catch both in space and on contact. Flashes soft hands and good coordination when asked to extend and pluck the ball off his frame, and positions his body nicely when adjusting to balls thrown off stride. Flashes the physicality and initial quickness to develop into a receiver who could beat press coverage at the next level, and is a willing blocker in the running game with room to improve his technique there. Latimer was a two-year letterwinner on the Jefferson Township football team in Dayton, Ohio while also playing basketball and baseball. He played in eight games as a freshman at Indiana, starting two games but missing the final three due to an injury. Latimer finished the season with 12 catches for 141 yards and two touchdowns. Latimer was named to the All-Big Ten second team by the media and conference coaches, following an honorable mention sophomore season in which he caught 51 passes and scored six touchdowns. He was named the Hoosiers' MVP in 2013 as the third-leading receiver while leading the team with 1,096 receiving yards. "I want to thank Indiana University, it's alumni and fans for giving me the opportunity to be able to join this great university and be apart of a great family.." Latimer wrote on Twitter and Instagram on Jan. 5. "A special thanks goes to my football family starting from the coaches to my teammates.. it's been a great 3 years in the making so many ups and downs but we continued to fight every game until the end.. In closing I want to say thank you and I will always bleed that cream and crimson!!! IUFB" Despite still being raw in some areas, Latimer has the potential to emerge as a quality NFL receiver with his strong combination of size, athleticism and ball skills."
Analysis: Obviously the Jets have been linked to several receivers in the lead-up to the draft having brought all of the top receivers in for an official workout. Although they've improved their receiving corps by replacing Santonio Holmes with Eric Decker and also adding some depth in the form of Jacoby Ford, that doesn't necessarily mean the Jets aren't in the market for another receiver in the first round. It's clear they've done their homework on some guys that will be going later on in the draft too, with a view to perhaps picking up a bargain in a later round or finding a longer-term project with some upside.