New York Jets Undrafted Free Agents: Need-to-Know Info for Every Signee
They may be 12 players richer, but the New York Jets are not done adding young talent to their roster. The conclusion of the draft beings the undrafted free agent (UDFA) signing window, in which there is a massive race between teams to sign as many leftover prospects as possible.
These players went undrafted for a reason, but there are always stories of overlooked players who went undrafted that turn out to have incredible careers. A successful UDFA signing can be the difference between a successful franchise and a team in turmoil.
Here are all of the Jets undrafted free agents and everything you need to know about them.
All signing info courtesy of NePatriotsDraft.com
Kerry Hyder, DT, Texas Tech
The Jets don't have a need for a defensive tackle with Damon Harrison and Kenrick Ellis on the roster, but extra camp competition never hurt.
A tough, durable three-year starter, Kerry Hyder is a two-gapping run-stuffer whose strength is using his hands effectively. Hyder is another player who fits the Jets' profile of a high-character, high-effort player that goes all-out on every play.
However, Hyder is a bit undersized with average length and explosiveness. Hyder is going to have to make most of his money stopping the run with effective hand use and effort against double-teams.
Because of the Jets' enormous depth on the defensive line, the odds of Hyder making the team are minimal, and the odds of him finding the field on defense are even smaller. At best, he can be stashed on the practice squad as an emergency player in case the Jets find themselves with bad injury luck this season.
Tevon Conrad, OT, Saginaw Valley State
Tevon Conrad is a big, talented offensive tackle from small-school Saginaw Valley, but he comes with some baggage. He, among other teammates, was suspended from the team after being investigated for sexual conduct in what appeared to be some type of hazing ritual.
Conrad is a huge prospect at 6'8", 320 pounds, but it will take some adjusting to compete at the NFL level. His size makes him a better prospect at guard than at tackle.
Because the Jets interior line competition is crowded after the addition of Dakota Dozier, Conrad will struggle to find a spot on the 53-man roster. Unless he is overly impressive, Conrad sounds like a prime candidate for the practice squad.
Nick Dimarco, LB, William Penn
At 6'3", 240 pounds, Nick DiMarco will need to put on a bit more size to survive in the NFL as an inside linebacker, especially in a 3-4 scheme.
Even with David Harris potentially leaving in free agency in 2015, DiMarco faces an uphill battle to earn a spot on the 53-man roster. Using a draft pick on inside linebacker Jeremiah George makes it even more difficult for DiMarco to make the team as an undrafted free agent. The recently tendered Nick Bellore will also be waiting in the wings for Harris' eventual departure.
DiMarco will have to stand out on special teams to be considered for a roster spot, but he could earn a spot on the practice squad with a strong training camp performance.
Steele Divitto, LB, Boston College
The Jets continue to add competition to the backup linebacker position with Boston College product Steele Divitto, a local New Jersey native who played his high school football at powerhouse Don Bosco Prep.
Divitto took over for Mark Herzlich in his sophomore season, who was forced to quit football with a cancer diagnosis. Divitto has been a productive player throughout his time at Boston College, but he certainly benefitted from playing next to players like Luke Kuechly.
Divitto fits best as a two-down run-stuffer, which is something the Jets may be looking for with David Harris set to hit free agency in 2015.
However, It won't be easy to make the team. with the Jets adding inside linebacker Jeremiah Goerge though the draft .His best chance to earn a roster spot will be through stellar special teams play.
Terrence Miller, WR, Arizona
The Jets continue to add bodies to the bottom of their receiver depth chart, bringing in the big-bodied Terrence Miller of Arizona.
At 6'4", 234 pounds, Miller's obvious size advantage alone is worth bringing in, but he is far underdeveloped as a player. He has suspect hands and is a bit one-dimensional as a deep threat.
If he can clean up his drop issues and become more versatile as a route-runner, Miller may be able to prove he is at least worthy of a spot on the practice squad, but finding a spot on the 53-man roster with so many other new receivers coming in is going to be increadibly difficult.
Anthony Grady, DL, Missouri State
Anthony Grady spent his college career at right defensive end, but at 6'6", 271 pounds, he has the potential to make the conversion to outside linebacker.
The Jets did spend a pair of draft picks on outside linebackers in Ik Enempali and Trevor Reilly, but Grady will have a chance to compete with these two players for a reserve spot on the roster.
If he can transition to outside linebacker quickly and prove his worth on special teams, he faces (relatively) good odds to find a spot on the practice squad.
Jermaine Jones, WR, St. Augustine
Jermaine Jones has a lot of good physical traits as a 6'2" receiver with 4.48 speed. He also provides value as a part-time return man, even though the Jets stocked up on returners in the draft (in addition to Jacoby Ford in free agency).
Because of the sheer amount of receivers brought in to compete in training camp through both the draft and free agency, Jones faces long odds to earn a paycheck from the Jets this season without any physical traits that make him stand out.
To stick around, Jones will need to put on a Ryan Spadola-esque performance in training camp. Coming from a small program at St. Augustine, Jones will need to adjust to the NFL quickly to stand a chance.
Chad Young, FB, San Diego State
The Jets have added competition at fullback for Tony Bohanon, bringing in San Diego State product Chad Young.
Like Bohanon, Young is a versatile player who contributes as a blocker, runner and receiver. He had 22 carries for 115 yards in addition to 15 receptions for 70 yards in 2013.
Young's best attribute is his strength—he put up 225 pounds and impressive 34 times at his pro day. With a similar skill set to that of Bohanon, the competition for the starting fullback job should be an interesting storyline in training camp.
Michael Palardy, K, Tennessee
With Nick Folk locked up under a long-term deal, Michael Palardy will simply enter training camp to get his name visible on the NFL landscape for other kicker-needy teams.
On the heels of a strong senior season in which he hit 14 of 17 attempts, Palardy has developed into a potential NFL kicker. He does not have a "Legatron"-esque boot that can score from outrageous distances, but he has at least an average range with a career-high 51-yard kick to his name.
Palardy won't be the Jets' kicker this year, but he can at least try to prove himself to other teams looking for competition.
Brent Qvale, OT, Nebraska
The Jets will throw one more hat into the backup offensive linemen ring, adding Brent Qvale to the bottom of the roster.
Qvalue is an intriguing prospect at a massive 6'7", 315 pounds. Part of a stout Nebraska offensive line, Qvalue actually played the 2013 season as a graduate student.
Qvale was a rotational player at Nebraska—he played in every game in 2013, but did not start at left tackle until the final five games of the season because of injuries to the current starters.
He may not have been a full-time starter for Nebraska, but he has enough size to warrant a look in training camp and see if NFL coaching can get more out of his frame.
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