Twenty-one tryout players are in for the Jets' rookie minicamp this weekend, and they face the longest of odds since the Green & White have assembled a roster full of talented vets in addition to a four-player draft class that they're high on. New York's AFC representative also signed 10 undrafted free agents, but the following players all hope they can show enough to receive a contract offer.
A seventh-round pick of the Houston Texans in 2008,Alex Brinkhas already experienced plenty of NFL practices. The Washington State product, who studied under a pretty good offensive mind in Texans head coach Gary Kubiak, threw for 3,818 yards and 26 TDs his last season up in Pullman. At Wazzu, Brink became a starter as a freshman and ended up passing for 10,913 yards and 71 TDs in his career to become one of only six players in Pac-10 history to have thrown for 10,000 yards and 70 touchdowns.
Eric Ward is familiar with winning football, having compiled a 41-12 record and passing for 60 TDs at Richmond. He led the Spiders to a national title in 2008 and conference championships in '07 and '09. With Ward at the controls, Richmond went 17-7 against FCS Top-25 teams.
Defensive Line/Offensive Line
This tryout class has a family pairing as NT Simi Toeaina and OT Albert Toeaina are cousins. Simi, a 6'2", 307-pounder, played 21 games for the Oregon Ducks and had 14 tackles, including three behind the line.
Albert (6'5", 329) is a big man who possesses a lot of power. He played collegiately for Tennessee but has bounced around the pro circuit the past couple of years and most recently saw action with the CFL's Hamilton Tiger-Cats.
Damon McDaniel, one of the nation's prized recruits at Landstown High in Virginia Beach, Va., was a teammate of Percy Harvin. But after selecting Florida State, McDaniel had just seven receptions in two seasons before transferring to Hampton. A big-play threat, McDaniel averaged 19.0 and 23.8 yards a catch his last two seasons after the transfer.
It's going to be interesting to watch Wesley Lyons match up with some defensive backs. Lyons, who played at West Virginia, is 6'8" and easily will be the tallest man at the Atlantic Health Jets Training Center this weekend. Lyons is coming off a 20-catch, 263-yard season and his career totals included 42 receptions, 564 yards and two touchdowns.
Having studied to become an electrical engineer at Bethune-Cookman, Phillip Kirkland should be ready to get into Brian Schottenheimer's playbook. Nicknamed "Captain Kirk," he had 41 career receptions for 564 yards and two TDs.
Keep an eye on Alabama linebacker Cory Reamer. A converted defensive back, Reamer started two seasons for Nick Saban's Crimson Tide. Reamer, who amassed 90 tackles, three sacks, two forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries last season, is a true intangible type and a willing special teams participant.
After transferring from Hawaii, Erik Pedersenstarted 16 games at Portland State and collected 126 tackles, 12.5 stops behind the line and 2.5 sacks. Pedersen, who missed the final four games of his career after undergoing surgery to repair a broken left forearm, was coached by none other than Jerry Glanville as he followed the former Falcons/Oilers head man from Hawaii to Portland State.
Inside linebacker Marcus Burton made weightroom waves at Colorado, twice earning "Iron Buffalo" honors for hard work, dedication, toughness and total poundage. Burton plays fast, is a solid run defender and was a valuable member of CU's special teams.
Hawaii's Brashton Satele, nicknamed "Crashton," did not play at all in 2009 due to a shoulder injury. An athletic prospect, Satele did showcase some position versatility and the Rainbows used him to rush the passer at times. He had 53 tackles, one sack and one interception in 2008. Raiders C Samson Satele is his cousin.
Not drafted in 2008, Nebraska's Marlon Lucky signed with the Cincinnati Bengals as an undrafted free agent. But Lucky was waived in camp and his release actually made it into an episode of HBO's "Hard Knocks." Lucky was productive for the Huskers, finishing 17th on the school's all-time rush list with 2,393 yards and fourth with 4,214 all-purpose yards. He also caught 135 passes and his 75 receptions in 2007 are a Nebraska single-season record.
In his final season at Arkansas–Pine Bluff, Mickey Dean rushed for 451 yards and five touchdowns.
Anthony Wiseman, a two-year starter at cornerback for Maryland, was credited with 19 PDs over that time period and that number tied for most in the ACC.
Knowledge Timmons, a Penn State corner, played some gunner on the Nittany Lions' punt coverage unit. While a student at William Penn HS in York, Pa., he won the state Class AAA titles in the 100 and 200 meters as a junior and finished second in the 100 meters at the state championship as a senior.
The 2008 season was a memorable one for Cal safety Marcus Ezeff as he recorded all three of his career interceptions and took one back for a 69-yard score against UCLA. Considered a solid, tough player, Ezell appeared in 44 games, making 25 starts and totaling 153 tackles.
"I am confident when I leave New York next Sunday, I'll leave with a contract," he said in an article published in the Santa Rosa Press Democrat. "I am confident they won't let me go back to California without signing me."
Bart Scott represented Southern Illinois well in his first season with the Green & White and now his cousin, Lance Caldwell, will get a look in Florham Park. Caldwell, a safety for the Salukis, was named to the conference's honor roll in 2007 and won the Commissioner's Academic Excellence Award in '08.
Mike Owen played under former Jets offensive line coach Doug Marrone at Syracuse. A fifth-year senior and two-year starter, Owen caught 39 passes for 319 yards and three touchdowns for the Orange.
"I couldn't even say anything," said Owen of the prospect of joining the Jets in a phone interview with the Riverhead News-Review. "I was bouncing off the walls. I was running all over the place. I broke down in tears. It was the greatest moment in my life."
Opposing defenses couldn't keep Buffalo TE Jesse Rack out of the end zone last season as seven of his career-high 30 catches resulted in touchdowns. Rack has good hands and found favorable spots working against zone coverage. This tough, hard-working prospect hails from the Maspeth section of Queens and attended Christ the King High School.
Last year at this point, K Brooks Rossman inked a deal with the St. Louis Rams. At Kansas State in '08, he earned All-Big 12 honorable mention honors after converting on nine of 12 field goal attempts and 54 of 55 PATs. and finished his career third all-time at KSU in field goal percentage (77.5 percent).
Mark Petroarrives via four accomplished seasons at Hillsdale College in Michigan. Petro's 51 field goals are a school career record, his 106 points in '09 set a single-season record, and he owns three of the top six single-season scoring marks in school history. He was true on 19 of his 23 attempts last season.
Here are the 21 players reported to be coming in to work out for the Jets this weekend:
|4||Brink, Alex||QB||6'2"||211||Washington State|
|39||Caldwell, Lance||S||6'1"||204||Southern Illinois|
|26||Dean, Mickey||RB||5'9"||225||Arkansas-Pine Bluff|
|83||Lyons, Wesley||WR||6'8"||233||West Virginia|
|59||Pedersen, Erik||LB||6'0"||230||Portland State|
|1||Rivera, Joel||WR||5'11"||182||William Paterson|
|7||Rossman, Brooks||K||6'1"||175||Kansas State|
|27||Timmons, Knowledge||CB||5'10"||187||Penn State|