Updated, 9:16 p.m. ET
The Jets added a second safety late in today's draft when they selected South Carolina's Antonio Allen with one of their two Round 7 compensatory selections. Allen, an All-SEC second-team performer last season, started 12 games and registered a team-best 88 tackles, 9.5 tackles for losses, four forced fumbles, three interceptions and two fumble recoveries.
Then two picks later, the Green & White ended their 2012 draft with the selection of record-breaking Western Michigan wide receiver Jordan White, a sixth-year senior.
Allen was taken with the 242nd selection of the draft. White was picked at No. 244.
Allen (6'2", 210) seemed worn out by the draft process, perhaps in part because there were some expectations that he might get drafted much higher, on Day 2 rather than Day 3.
"It's been a long week," he told Jets reporters on a conference call this afternoon. "This is the most I have stayed in tune to the draft. I've been watching everybody go. It's been exciting and I'm just happy I got chosen when I did. I had heard things from late second to early third, and I was hoping to get drafted then, but it doesn't matter. I got drafted in the seventh round and I am here."
Did he have a theory on why he may have slipped in the draft? Perhaps the hybrid SS/LB position in the Gamecocks defense called "Spur"?
"I think mainly because of my position," Allen agreed. "It's not a traditional safety spot. I'm not 12 yards deep covering the post every play. I'm up on the line of scrimmage tackling people for a loss."
In fact he did quite a bit of that in 2010-11, registering 23.5 tackles for loss plus four sacks.
Head coach Rex Ryan admitted the Jets were "a little shocked" to see Allen still on the board as No. 242 approached.
"I'll tell you, he was almost unblockable one game I watched, I think it was against Auburn," Ryan recalled. "He forced six fumbles in his career, made tackles all over the field and he had three interceptions this year. He's just an outstanding football player. Maybe he doesn't have experience as a true deep safety now, but as he's learning that I'm sure he's going to have an excellent chance to be a good player for us on special teams. We took a great football player."
Just a couple of hours before, the Green & White added S Josh Bush with the first of three selections in Round 6. The Jets also signed former Redskin LaRon Landry in free agency, so they've increased the numbers at the safety position this spring.
Meanwhile, White (6'0", 215), a Cleveland native, had a different story. He fought through two injuries that KO'd him from Western's 2006 and '08 seasons to have a highly productive career (306 catches, 4,187 yards, 13.7 average, 32 TDs) and a monster 2011 season (13 games, 140 catches, 1,911 yards, 13.6 average, 17 TDs).
"Our offense was more of a West Coast-style offense. We did have a running game in the first half of the year. In the second half we went more exclusively with the pass," White explained. "My quarterback had trust in me. Whenever he was in trouble or he needed a guy to count on, he'd throw it my way. And I had trust in him to get me the ball, and if not me get the other guys the ball.
"Jordan White had incredible production," general manager Mike Tannenbaum said. "He's a great kid. We think he can come in and not only play but also help on special teams. He had a couple of significant knee injuries but our doctors cleared him and we feel we've added two receivers this weekend [along with second-rounder Stephen Hill] that can help us."
White said the Jets' interest surprised him late today.
"The Jets kind of surprised me with the call in the later rounds, 'Be aware of the picks coming up, we could take you,' " he said. "I had never spoken to them before except with their receivers coach [Sanjay Lal] at the combine. But there were no workouts, no visits to New York. What a cool team to come play for. I'm happier than ever."
Randy Lange contributed to this story.