Jets sixth-round draft pick Jarrick Bernard-Converse is familiar with being unfamiliar. He played four years at Oklahoma State before transferring to LSU for the 2022 season and isn't concerned about adjusting to the NFL.
"I feel like we ran more of a pro style defense at LSU, so I feel like that can help me learn the game faster and translate over quicker," Bernard-Converse said. He added: "I mean, we call ourselves DBU for a reason, so I feel like that speaks for itself. It's the best unit in the country for years."
JBC has a lot of game experience. He took more than 3,500 defensive snaps in 64 games and started 56 of them – 47 for the Cowboys and 9 for the Tigers. He started his college career in Stillwater as a safety before moving to corner before the 2020 season. In 2021, he was named first-team All-Big 12 and led the team with 10 pass defenses.
"I just think it helped me understand defense better and understanding how to play the game," he said of the position switch. "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."
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Bernard-Converse said he's willing to play wherever the staff needs him in the secondary – safety, outside cornerback or nickel – but has been lining up at safety in his brief time at 1 Jets Drive.
"He can play all three spots in the back end, so we're excited to get him here," head coach Robert Saleh said after the draft. "One thing I will tell you is he does fit the mindset that we play with on defense and is very smart, good communicator. We're excited to get our hands on him and see where we can best use him."
JBC is from Shreveport, LA ,and attended Evangel Christian Academy, the same high school as Jets former RB Joe McKnight, who died in 2016 at 28.
"It's an honor," Bernard-Converse said of following in McKnight's footsteps. "Evangel Christian is known for putting guys in the league, so it's great to carry that tradition and show my high school."
Day 3 picks typically find the field early in their career on special teams, which is certainly what McKnight did as fourth-round pick in 2010. He led the NFL with a 31.6 kickoff return average his second season and had 2 return touchdowns in four seasons. JBC doesn't have return experience, but he has 4.3 speed and experience on teams.
"Special teams is part of the game and it's just as important as offense and defense," he said. "I valued it highly and I feel like I'm pretty good on special teams, so I'm looking to contribute."