The New York Jets have signed 10 undrafted free agents who are participating along with the Jets' four-player draft class and about 20 tryout players at the rookie minicamp that runs from Friday through Sunday.
Here is a quick look at the UDFAs who have signed with the Green & White:
Despite being named Big Ten Freshman of the Year and then an all-conference first-teamer as a junior, Michigan cornerback Donovan Warrenwent undrafted. The Jets were reported to have landed Warren over the weekend and it couldn't have hurt that new Jets DL coach Mark Carrier is the defensive back's godfather.
The 5'11", 195-pound Warren, who started 12 games last season and tallied four interceptions, 11 PDs and 66 tackles, has incredible bloodlines when you consider his father, Alvin, played collegiately at New Mexico State and his cousin, Chuckie Miller, spent time with the Indianapolis Colts and Detroit Lions.
One of five Vanderbilt Commodores to start every game last season, Vandy DE/OLB Broderick Stewart is an athletic prospect coming a 23-start career in which he recorded 18 sacks and 27.5 tackles behind the line of scrimmage. A triple-jumper in high school, Stewart recorded a 44'9" jump his junior year.
After electing to forgo his senior season, Nevada Reno DE/OLB Kevin Basped will have to take the long road to the NFL. Last season Basped (6'4", 254) had 9.5 sacks and earned All-WAC second-team honors. He racked up an impressive 19.5 sacks combined over his last two collegiate seasons.
In one of the many feel-good stories you could hear about this weekend, Keith Buckman is set to become the first pro athlete from Belfield, N.D., once he signs a free agent contract. The 6'5", 321-pounder started 33 games and was an All-Missouri Valley Conference first-team player last season as he moved from tackle to guard. Two years ago, the Jets reached out to North Dakota State after the draft and signed RB Kyle Steffes.
The Green & White may not have drafted a player from the Big 12, but three of that conference's products are expected to be at the Atlantic Health Jets Training Center in Florham Park, N.J., for the minicamp.
Charlie Tannerstarted 23 games at left guard for the Texas Longhorns the past two seasons. The 6'3", 305-pounder was all-conference honorable mention the past two years and he was named UT's Boss Hog Award winner as the team's most productive lineman on five occasions.
"Charlie is a hard-working, self-made type player," said O-line coach Mac McWhorter. "We signed him here at Texas at 255-60 pounds. He left here about 310. He's over a 500-pound bench presser, he repped 225 35 times for the NFL on our pro day, he had a 36-inch vertical jump, so he's very athletic. He was a three-year starter and he's very bright. I think all of those factors will give him a chance at the next level. His main strengths would be his physicality and his strength level. There won't be many coming into the league that will have a better strength level than he will."
Jets head coach Rex Ryan can't get enough corners and he's got another one in Oklahoma's Brian Jackson. Starting his last 26 games at OU, Jackson finished with 137 tackles (97 solo) and seven interceptions. Four of those picks came in 2009 as Jackson was named All-Big 12 by numerous media organizations and became only the second Sooner to collect interceptions in four consecutive games.
The Jets' most dominant defensive player hails from the University of Pittsburgh. And while Darrelle Revis will get a weekend off, Pitt product Ernest "Mick" Williams will attempt to impress the Jets' coaching staff. Williams (6'0", 281) was a highly regarded defensive tackle for the Panthers.
"We consider Mick to be the heart and soul of our group,'' Pitt defensive line coach Greg Gattuso told the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. "He's got a motor that just doesn't stop, and he had a very good year for us.''
A pair of Big Ten products — Illinois TE Jeff Cumberland and Minnesota T Matt Stommes — round out the reported list of UDFAs. Cumberland, who had 1,001 receiving yards and 11 TDs for the Fighting Illini, had his best statistical season in 2008 when he caught 20 balls for 352 yards with four TDs. The 6'6", 311-pound Stommes, who has a 36-inch reach, played defense his first two years for the Golden Gophers and then converted to right tackle before finishing at left tackle.
Here are the undrafted free agents who have signed, including uniform numbers:
|51||Basped, Kevin||Sam LB||6'4"||254||Nevada|
|69||Buckman, Keith||G||6'5"||321||North Dakota State|
|48||Stewart, Broderick||Rush LB||6'4"||232||Vanderbilt|
|95||Williams, Ernest "Mick"||DT||6'0"||281||Pittsburgh|