Dexter McDougle must have been cursing his look throughout the entire 2014 New York Jets season, if there was ever a situation which enabled a rookie to make a difference, it was the Jets secondary last season. Dee Milliner was injured for the year, Dimitri Patterson went AWOL, and the Jets were forced to use a number of unheralded corners for the majority of the season, players such as Marcus Williams, Phillip Adams and converted safety Antonio Allen.
It may have been a lost opportunity for Dexter, a 2014 3rd round selection out of Maryland but the promising corner is back in the fold and running at 100% through voluntary workouts:
"I'm blessed to be out there getting reps again, I got the heads up a couple of days ago, and they're going to let me get in the mix. I'm just happy to be out there."
Not only was Dexter back on the field, but he flashed a little speed when covering lightning fast Jets receiver Saalim Hakim, and the trainers noticed:
"I was just in the trainer's room and I finished up and they said, 'Yeah, we saw you running with Saalim,'" McDougle said with a big smile. "I made a joke like, 'Yeah, he's kind of slow.' I was just joking, though, but I trust my speed right now with all the work I've been doing."
I'm sure McDougle will work his tail off to get on the field this year, but the competition is a little tougher in 2015 after GM Mike Maccagnan aggressively targeted players to improve the secondary. In 2015 the Jets will start with a Revis/Cromartie tandem with Buster Skrine acting as the #3. Dexter will be competing with the likes of Dee Milliner and Marcus Williams for the #4 and #5 spot on the roster, but he's not worried:
"It's cool, man," McDougle said. "Revis and Cromartie are good to learn from. I'm in (Revis') ear all the time, and Cro as well. They're two of the best. I'm a younger guy and they take me under their wing and go from there. It's good to have guys you can look up to and learn from.
"I'm going to contribute to this team however they ask me to."
It's going to be interesting to see what Dexter can do this year but when you look at the below, it's easy to see why a lot of Jets fans are excited by the depth of the position.In many ways the Jets don't need Dexter to come along as quickly as they did a year ago, and he can be afforded the time to get up to NFL speed, we all know how much Todd Bowles likes to play in sub-packages, so as long as he performs, he'll get his opportunities.
|Dee Milliner||Darrelle Revis|
|Dexter McDougle||Antonio Cromartie|
|Marcus Williams||Buster Skrine|
|Phillip Adams||Dee Milliner|
|Antonio Allen||Dexter McDougle|
|Kyle Wilson||Marcus Williams|
|Darrin Walls||Darrin Walls|