News


Print

Rd. 6: RB McGuire, CBs Clark & Jones

Posted Apr 29, 2017

4-Year RB Ran for 4,000-Plus Rushing Yards for LA-Lafayette; Jets Also Swing Draft Trade No. 5

Updated, 6:45 p.m. ET

The Jets opened their suddenly well-populated sixth round of the 2017 NFL Draft this afternoon by selecting running back Elijah McGuire from Louisiana–Lafayette with the 188th overall pick from Cleveland.

Then the Green & White came back later in the round with their first cornerbacks of this year's draft — Jeremy Clark from Michigan with No. 197, courtesy of the trade with the L.A. Rams, and Derrick Jones from Mississippi with No. 204 from Tampa Bay, their final pick of nine in this year.

In the middle of those picks, with their own sixth-rounder (191), the Jets and GM Mike Maccagnan executed their fifth trade of the draft. This time their dance partner was the Dallas Cowboys in a 1-for-1 trade: the Jets' sixth-rounder for a Cowboys fifth-rounder in 2018.


Grand Man Down on the Bayou State
McGuire (5'10", 214) led the state of Louisiana as a high school senior with 2,603 yards and has followed that with 4,301 career rushing yards and 42 touchdowns in four seasons for the Ragin' Cajuns. He led the FBS as a freshman with 8.4 yards/carry, then peeled off three consecutive 1,000-yard seasons, finishing with last season's 1,168 yards and seven TDs, plus 238 yards and two TDs on 29 receptions.

His per-carry average dropped each season, from 8.4 to 7.6 to 5.0 to 4.9, but he was limited last season with a problem foot injury. At the combine, he ran a 4.53-second 40.He is the first player ever drafted by the Jets out of Louisiana–Lafayette.

McGuire credits where he is today to the memory of his father, who passed away when he was 12.

"That broke me a lot because he was a big part of my life," said McGuire, whose Twitter handle is @Mr_Adversityy. "I wanted to stop playing sports at that time, and the people I had around me influenced me to get back on my feet and just continue doing what I love to do. One of my coaches said adversity was hitting me. So I overcame the adversity and got back on my feet and I got back to playing sports."

This pick was No. 188 overall, which came from Cleveland as a part of the teams' four-pick swap that was forged a round earlier.


Fighting Through Injuries
Clark (6'3", 220) started strong last season for the Wolverines before tearing his ACL in Game 4. He petitioned for a sixth season of college eligibility but was denied by the NCAA because he was a non-injury redshirt in 2012.

He said today that he's feeling healthy and ready to take advantage of his draft status.

"I feel like I had the odds against me already, and then on top of that, it was even more" due to the injury, he said. "To even be in this situation is a blessing. ... That's all I need was to just get my foot in the door. I feel with hard work, I can be able to skyrocket from now on."

Clark was a safety his first two seasons at UM, suffering a shoulder injury that cut short his 2014 season. Then he moved to corner and had his most productive year in 2015 with three interceptions.



Clark didn't run at the combine but did post 20 reps in the 225-pound benchpress, third-most among all corners this year.

He is the 15th Jets draft pick from Michigan all-time, the first since DT William Campbell was drafted in the sixth round in 2013. Before that, it was six years back to the next Wolverine pick, LB David Harris in Round 2 in 2007.


Diamond in the Ole Miss Rough
As they began their draft with three Southeastern Conference players, the Jets ended it with an SEC candidate in Jones (6'2", 188), who played both corner and wide receiver for Ole Miss. As a wideout in 2014-15, he had only 11 catches, but for 175 yards (15.9 yards/catch) and two TDs. As a senior he moved to CB and recorded two interceptions with 54 yards in returns and a TD.

Jones turned in a strong pro day with reports of a 4.40-second 40, a 41" vertical jump and an 11'0" broad jump and also looked sharp in positional drills.


Facebook Comments

Let us know your thoughts. Comment below through Facebook, AOL, Hotmail or Yahoo accounts.
Please read the Terms of Use for our commenting policy.