Sometime between now and April we will finally know how the Jets have attempted to fix the Safety issue(s). That solution could come as early as March 13 or as late as April 28th, either through FA, The Draft, or some combination of both. We have all been on here going to bat for Free Agents like Michael Griffin, Tyvonne Branch, Laron Landry etc..We've also gone to bat for Draft Eligible guys like Mark Barron, George Iloka, Harrison Smith, Trumaine Johnson etc.. I'm here to go to bat for a guy that hasn't been mentioned much, if at all on here.
That guy Jets Fans is Janzen Jackson of McNeese State formerly of Tennessee. This is a guy who many scouts think if he had stayed at UT would be a first round pick this year but because of being dismissed from the UT Football team for off-field issues will probably go somewhere in the 3rd or 4th round. Hmm, the Jets drafting a former SEC player with first round talent playing at a school in lower level of competition after being dismissed for Substance Abuse. Sound familiar? Yes Jets fans our very own Kenrick Ellis, yes I know you guys probably aren't excited by this information but I'm getting there.
As a True Freshman at UT playing under defensive guru Monte Kiffin, Jackson started at FS next to current NFL Safety Eric Berry, who said of Jackson "The most talented cover man I'd seen in the SEC". That year he posted 37 Tackles and one Interception. The following year, with no Eric Berry, he posted 69 Tackles,1 sack, 5 Interceptions, and 11 passes defended. After his sophomore year he was dismissed from the football team. He went on to play at McNesse St where he played CB and in 9 games he posted 29 Tackles, 2 Ints, and 8 passes defended. After just one year he has decided to declare for the draft.
Jackson won't wow anybody upon first look, he is 6'0 190lbs. He plays the game much bigger than that flying around laying hits on receivers and ball carriers. He is also expected to run between the 4.38 to 4.29 range in the forty yard dash which gives him the range to make plays all over the field and has the ball skills to intercept passes. He has the versatility to play anywhere in the secondary which makes him an even more versatile Safety which is exactly what we need. I've read about him before but this article I read today has really got me thinking that he could be a real possible solution. It seems like he has all the athletic ability and versatility to be a good NFL safety. He must have a good football I.Q to have started for Monte Kiffin his freshman year. Also he only played one year at McNeese State so most of the football he learned and played was at UT. His case is somewhat similar to Janoris Jenkins but Jenkins was tagged a first round pick as a Junior and then played at that level as a Senior. So in the end his case will probably be most similar to Ellis for having first round potential but will be drafted significantly later due to character issues. In the end I believe Ellis will be worth way more than the 3rd round pick we spent on him. I believe that Jackson also has that type of potential. Again he is someone that can be available in the 3rd or 4th round but the payoff in the end could be tremendous. If you guys have read anything I've ever posted on here then you will know that I think taking Mark Barron at 16 would be a big mistake. I also believe that no safety in this draft warrants a first round pick. But here is a guy that has the talent to be a first round pick but will most likely be available a lot later than that. And if he is available past the 3rd round I think Rex and Tanny need to pull the trigger on this one. Let me know what you guys think.
Here is a highlight of his freshman year, not much but it gives everyone an idea: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CBxOLMm7DYs