General manager Mike Maccagnan will lead a large Jets scouting contingent down in Mobile, AL this week with Senior Bowl festivities commencing. There will be future Jets on the field as three days of practice start on Tuesday and the week will conclude when the North and the South square off Saturday afternoon at Ladd-Peebles Stadium.
Last year, Georgia OLB Jordan Jenkins, Clemson WR Charone Peake and Duke K Ross Martin all participated on the South side. The Jets drafted Jenkins in the third round and Peake in the seventh round while Martin, who signed as an undrafted free agent and participated in the team's training camp, signed a reserve/future contract earlier this month.
"Jordan obviously was our third-round draft pick. He ended up starting, played a bit for us as an outside linebacker," said Maccagnan. "He did some good things and quite frankly finished the season strong. I know for a lot of rookies, it's a long season they go through from when they first get on the field , the level of play and the intensity of the play. Jordan did some very good things and I thought he finished the season well."
Jenkins finished with 48 tackles while appearing in 14 games, racking up 2.5 sacks along with 11 QB hits. The 2.5 sacks came during the final four contests and included a strip-sack and his first career fumble recovery in the Jets' Week 17 win over the Bills.
In Maccagnan's first trip to Mobile as Jets GM, the Green & White scouted Louisville OLB Lorenzo Mauldin and Baylor QB Bryce Petty. Mauldin, a third-round pick in 2015, and Petty, a fourth-round selection in '15, both had injury-shortened campaigns in their second professional seasons. Limited to 11 games, Mauldin finished with 2.5 sacks, 18 QB hits and 21 tackles. Petty started his first four NFL games this season, completing 56.4% of his passes for 809 yards with 3 TDs and 7 INTs before suffering a torn labrum in his non-throwing shoulder.
"With Bryce going forward, I'm not necessarily going to speculate on what his ceiling may be. I think Bryce has a lot of potential," said Maccagnan at his season-ending news conference. "When it's all said and done, it's really up to Bryce to determine what player he's going to eventually develop into. I do think he has the physical ability to potentially develop into a starter. It's really how he progresses and develops, so that's kind of up to him."
While Mauldin was a member of the South roster, Ohio State WR Devin Smith participated on the North squad and hauled in some passes from Petty during his Senior Bowl experience. After battling injuries his rookie season, the Jets' second-round pick in '15 started 2016 on the PUP list as he worked his way back from a torn ACL. Used primarily on special teams in his four games, Smith finished with a pair of tackles and added one reception.
"He started looking, kind of regaining his old form, late in the season," Maccagnan said. "Didn't have a lot of opportunities. This will be a big offseason for him and we'll see how he does... But we like him in terms of prospect. We do think he has potential. It's a question of giving him an opportunity to get on the field and actually show what he can do."
Reserve CB Nick Marshall, who averaged 19.0 yards on his 12 kickoff returns this season, and ILB Jeff Luc, who signed a reserve/future deal with the Green & White last week, were on the South and North rosters respectively back in 2015.
Best Images of Members of the Jets Roster Participating in the Senior Bowl. Practices for 2017 Senior Bowl Begin Tuesday, January 24th.
The 2017 rosters are set and Phil Savage, the executive director of the Reese's Senior Bowl, recently put this important week into perspective.
"The hashtag for me the whole month leading up to this game is compete and connect. These players get a chance to compete against other great players across the country. The scouts, the personnel people and the coaches can make comparisons in that regard," he said during an appearance on the Kenny Rhoda radio show. "You can compare the Division II player to a guy who's at Alabama or Ohio State, you get to see them go one-on-one. And then the connect piece of it is the fact that not only do we have the two clubs that coach the game – of course that's the Browns and Bears this year – but the other 30 teams have all their representatives there.
"So there are 900 people on the ground to watch 110 players. They'll never have that ratio ever again the rest of their careers, so you can truly connect off the field, in the interviews, in the meetings and now put a personality and a face and who you are as a person with that jersey number, with the statistics and with the film evaluation that most of the clubs already have on these players anyway."