Jets Sign Third-Round Pick Jabari Zuniga

Florida Gators DE Totaled 18.5 Sacks and 34.5 TFLs in 42 Games 

Draft Pick Signed - ZUNIGA - 1920x1080

The Jets signed their second third-round pick DE Jabari Zuniga, whom they selected No. 79 overall out of Florida.

Zuniga battled a high ankle sprain his senior year and racked up 3 sacks and 7.0 tackles for loss in 6 games. In 42 games (27 starts) at Gainesville, he totaled 118 tackles, 34.5 TFLs and 18.5 sacks. The 6'3", 264-pounder was impressive at the combine as he a ran a 4.64-second 40-yard dash and put up 29 reps in the 225-pound bench press.

"I definitely consider myself the steal of the draft," he said. "I feel like I can do a lot on the football field and I'll show that next year."

He added: "It was extremely frustrating because one of my main reasons of coming back was to improve my on-the-field performance, so I feel like when I got injured, it was just adversity that I had to overcome. I just feel like I had to make the most out of my senior season and deal with it. It was definitely frustrating."

Zuniga, a basketball-first athlete growing up in Marietta, GA, was only 5'11", 210 pounds during his junior season at Sprayberry HS before hitting a growth spurt. He played up and down the defensive line at Florida, which was a part of the reason the Jets thought he would be a good fit in green and white.

"When you're watching tape on Jabari, even when he was dealing with the ankle injury, his explosiveness, his suddenness jumps off tape," Jets GM Joe Douglas said. "He plays with really good hand strength. He can really disrupt gaps. He's an edge presence. I mean, his disruption percentage rate was high. He was close to a 16% pressure rate. And still with the injury he was able to get three sacks last year. When he wasn't dealing with the injuries as much he had six sacks. He's been a consistent producer in his four years at Florida, even with the injury."

Zuniga is the 11th Florida player drafted by the Jets all-time and the third in the last four drafts. He joins a Jets team that has five other Gators on the roster — Marcus Maye, Brian Poole, Jonotthan Harrison, Quincy Wilson and his former UF teammate La'Mical Perine.

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