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Possibility at 17: Brandon Pettigrew

As we head for the Draft, Gang Green Nation will take a look at some potential picks for the team. Today we will profile Brandon Pettigrew, a tight end from Oklahoma State University.

What NFL Draft Countdown thinks:

 

Strengths:
Outstanding size with a large frame...Very long arms...Smooth and a good natural athlete...Has big soft hands and can make the difficult catch...Great strength...Excellent blocker in-line and in space...Stout at the point of attack and can anchor...Gets a good push in the run game...Really knows how to use his body...Powerful runner who can do some damage after the catch...Tough with a killer instinct and plays with a nasty demeanor...Has lots of experience... Still has some upside.

Weaknesses:
Average timed speed...Is not real quick or explosive...Motor runs hot and cold at times...Has room to improve as a route runner...Needs to work on his ball security...Not very elusive...Questionable football IQ ... Minor durability concerns ... Ran into some  trouble off the field.

What SB Nation's Mocking the Draft thinks:

Strengths: Pettigrew is an NFL-ready tight end with good athleticism and a frame well-suited for the pros. Good enough athleticism to be a serious threat in the passing game. Has solid hands but tends to catch with his body from time to time. Size causes mismatches for defenders. He’s too fast for most linebackers and too big for safeties.

Weaknesses: Too often catches the ball with his body. Seriously lacking as a route runner. Struggles to find holes in zone coverage. Always had a top-flight receiver to keep the underneath open. Charged in January of 2008 with felonious assault and battery on a police officer as well as public intoxication. Coaches and teammates say he’s improved his character, but this could scare some teams off completely.

What I think:

Some might think selecting Pettigrew would be counterintuitive since the Jets just selected Dustin Keller in the first round a year ago. However, the tight end position is not like quarterback, where only one guy can be on the field at a time Pettigrew would compliment Keller, not minimize his impact. Right now the Jets have no quality blocking tight end capable of sealing the edge on run plays. Pettigrew would fit the bill there. His excellent athelticism as a receiver would create matchup nightmares on passing plays when Gang Green showed double tight end sets.

If the Jets got a pure blocking tight end, opponents could stack the box the way they did when Robert Turner and Wayne Hunter lined up at the position. Pettigrew would force defenses to account for him. Having a quality pair of receivers at the tight end position would give whichever inexperienced quarterback who emerges as the starter an extra safety blanket. This would be a surprising pick but likely a good one. Keller and Pettigrew could turn into the bizarro version of Johnny Mitchell and Kyle Brady, first round busts selected within four years of each other.