It's been quite a week for Jets rookie DB Jarrick Bernard-Converse. Last Saturday, he was selected in the sixth-round (No. 204 overall) by the Green & White on his 23rd birthday. And on Thursday afternoon, he signed his first NFL contract.
A four-year starter at Oklahoma State, Bernard-Converse transferred to LSU for a "super senior" campaign. He started seven games at cornerback and two at safety for the Bayou Bengals, registering 44 tackles, 5 PDs and 2 INTs.
"He can play safety, he can play nickel, he can play outside," said GM Joe Douglas. "He's played a lot of football and obviously, the talent speaks for itself."
An OSU Cowboy in 2022, Bernard-Converse registered 51 tackles and 11 PDs as the team finished 12-2. Starting 11 games in 2020, JBC lined up at cornerback and was credited with 7 PBUs and 27 solo tackles.
"You watch as much tape as you can on all of these kids and one thing that Joe hit on is that he has tremendous versatility," said Jets HC Robert Saleh. "He can play all three spots in the back end, so we're excited to get him here. One thing I will tell you is he does fit the mindset that we play with on defense and very smart, good communicator, very smart. We're excited to get our hands on him and see where we can best use him."
Over 64 college games, Bernard-Converse had 240 tackles, 175 solo stops, 31 PDs, 4 INTs and 2 FF.
"I feel like I'm an all-around DB, pretty versatile," Bernard-Converse said. "I can play anywhere in the secondary. I feel like I have good instincts, I use my length and I have good speed."
At LSU's pro day, Bernard-Converse (6-1, 205) blazed to 4.42 and 4.40 times in the 40-yard dash. He also recorded a 42-inch vertical and 16 reps on the bench press.
"I'm bringing versatility, smarts, instincts and a lot more speed to the room," he said after getting drafted. "I feel like I'm going to do some great things."
The experience at both cornerback and safety made Bernard-Converse see the field differently and his position flexibility made him an attractive option on Day 3.
"I just think it helped me understand defense better and understanding how to play the game," JBC said. "It just expanded my mind and challenged me to learn more than one position and that was corner. I feel like playing safety helped me gain more knowledge of the game."
A pre-draft visitor to One Jets Drive, JBC will return this weekend for rookie minicamp. In addition to picking up his defensive playbook from Jeff Ulbrich, Bernard-Converse knows he will have to carve a role on Brant Boyer's special teams' units.
"Special teams is part of the game and it's just as important as offense and defense," he said. "I value it highly, and I feel like I'm pretty good on special teams, so I'm looking to contribute.