Updated, 6:12 p.m. ET
For the second time in the 2012 draft, the Jets targeted a native North Carolinian.
With the 187th pick in the draft, they selected Josh Bush, the safety from Wake Forest, five rounds after they picked first-rounder Quinton Coples out of North Carolina.
Bush and the DE from UNC are opposites in both school and body type. Bush supports a compact physique (5'11", 205) primed for speed, illustrated by the 4.49-second 40 time that he said the Jets timed him at.
The redshirt senior was not invited to the NFL Combine, but many draft analysts highlight his abilities to also play cornerback and contribute on special teams and possibly play in the slot. He did visit with a few NFL teams, including the Jets, and received some feedback.
"I knew there was interest, but I didn't quite know how much," said Bush on his conference call with Jets reporters this afternoon, "but everything played out how I wanted it to."
As a Demon Deacon, Bush redshirted his freshman season and then saw limited playing time in 2008 as a defensive back and on the special teams. Throughout his career he juggled playing time between cornerback and safety. In 2009 he began his transition to free safety, starting six games and recording 25 tackles and one interception.
Then in 2010 he reverted to corner and wrapped up 25 tackles his junior year. As a fifth-year senior he returned to safety and had a standout season with a much improved 55 tackles and six INTs. He was also named a 2011 All-ACC first-team selection.
"I'm a safety with cornerback attributes," he said. "I feel much more natural at the safety position."
Bush adds depth to the Jets' secondary, joining veterans Eric Smith and unrestricted free agent signee LaRon Landry plus Tracy Wilson, and could also contribute on special teams.
Bush becomes only the second Wake Forest product ever drafted by the Jets and the first since 1960, when the New York Titans selected G Nick Patella as one of their 31 first-round choices in the American Football League's first draft.