The Jets have signed Brandin Echols, the Kentucky cornerback who was their Round 6 selection, 200th overall, in the just-concluded NFL Draft.
Echols (5-10, 179), who was born in Memphis and played his high school ball in Southaven, MS, was the third of three corners taken by the Green & White on day three of the draft, following Michael Carter II of Duke and Jason Pinnock of Pitt.
He began his college career as a wideout at Northwest Mississippi Community College. But he switched to the secondary as a freshman, racked up six interceptions and was named a National Junior College Athletic Association second-team All-American.
In his final two years of college ball, at Kentucky, he played in 24 games (22 starts) and totaled 12 pass defenses and an interception, 108 tackles, 4.5 tackles for loss and two forced fumbles.
Echols had a strong pro day in preparing for this year's draft. His 42.5" vertical leap was second-best, his 4.36-second 40 was third-fastest and his 4.12-second time in the 20-yard shuttle was tied for eighth-best among all corners in their pro day performances.
Head coach Robert Saleh assessed his three drafted corners this way: "Whether it's Michael Carter II being able to play that free safety/nickel role, to Echols playing corner and Pinnock, all three of them in the back end, just fantastic additions to be able to come in and compete. And that's all we're asking of them because out of it all ... competition breeds improvement and so there's just going to be a great level of competition in that room and we're excited to see it unfold."
Echols is the eighth Kentucky player to be drafted by the Jets all-time. Only the two most recent Wildcats played for the Green & White: DT Dewayne Robertson (Round 1, No. 4, 2003) and FB John Conner (Round 5, No. 139, 2010).
He is also the fifth player taken at No. 200 in the draft by the Jets. The biggest name of the group was another player who switched sides of the ball — Dan Alexander, who went from DT at LSU to 192 games played and 182 starts from 1977-89.