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Maccagnan and Bowles Will Have Idzik’s Picks Under the Microscope, Again


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Reilly

By Glenn Naughton

 

When an NFL team is in the midst of a disastrous 4-12 season, it’s no surprise when its fan base calls for heads to roll while dismissing any and all efforts of the sitting regime as being a display of utter incompetence at every level.  That was the case this past season as Jets fans lambasted former general manager John Idzik, largely for his twelve selections in last year’s draft that failed to make a measurable impact during the course of the season.  The GM’s lack of experience in player evaluation was cited as the reason he was unable to select any notable contributors beyond the first two rounds when he chose starting SS Calvin Pryor and TE Jace Amaro.  So bad were Idzik’s first two drafts that many fans have given up on any player he selected, despite the fact that many of those players rarely, or in some cases, never got game day reps.  Bust by association, I suppose.

In what was his biggest disservice to the organization in his final season, former head coach Rex Ryan failed to give many of the youngsters on his roster significant playing time that would have allowed the current regime to more adequately gauge their potential.  The coach could have chosen to  sit veterans such as Willie Colon, Calvin Pace, or Jason Babin to allow the likes of Dakota Dozier, Trevor Reilly and Ik Enemkpali to flash any potential.  Quincy Enunwa, a wide receiver out of the University of Nebraska faced legal problems for much of the season, but once cleared he was kept on the practice squad until the season reached its final weeks.  Even then, he only saw action on special teams.

Of course it’s no surprise that any NFL head coach wouldn’t try to do his boss any favors just weeks before he was sure to be fired, or perhaps Ryan really believed that a late season surge could save his job.  No matter the reason, the fact remains that the opportunity to develop and evaluate several young players was passed up, and the onus is on new GM Mike Maccagnan and rookie head coach Todd Bowles to decide just how right or wrong Idzik was on many of his picks.

Of the players mentioned, the one who made the most of his limited opportunities was Enemkpali.  A situational pass rushing outside linebacker from Louisiana Tech, the youngster showed terrific burst off the edge. He managed to register five quarterback hurries despite having been on the field for just forty plays according to PFF.com.  While that may not sound like very much, a comparison to all other 3-4 OLBers shows that Enemkpali was one of only two players to notch as many pressures while playing fewer than 100 snaps.  Shaun Phillips of the Colts had 8 hurries on 98 snaps.  In addition, the other two OLBers credited with 5 hurries were Quentin Groves and Dee Ford who did so with 246 and 122 reps respectively.   In an interview with JetNation.com earlier this season, second year guard Oday Aboushi who faced Enemkpali in college, referred to him as a “physical player with good burst who plays hard”.  It’s been quite some time since the Jets had a legitimate pass rusher that opposing offenses had to game plan for, and Enemkpali has the physical tools to be the first to fill that role since the departure of John Abraham.

Reilly, another outside linebacker, was on the field for only 60 snaps this season, and while he didn’t make any impact plays in that time, he did hold his own when asked to give Calvin Pace a breather.  A seventh round selection from the university of Utah, Reilly was considered a value pick by many.  Projected by NFL.com as a 4th or 5th round selection, the linebacker was still available in round seven, a development that many attributed to his age.  At 26 years old, Reilly was drafted several years later than most rookies as a result of performing mission work during his college years.  NFL.com writer Dan Greensapan raved about Reilly’s potential and versatility as he bounced back and forth from linebacker to defensive end in college.

Offensive lineman Dakota Dozier was a small school prospect out of Furman and had a great reputation as a physical run blocker with better agility than you’d anticipate from a 300 pound lineman.  Primarily a tackle in college, Dozier was expected to move inside for the Jets last season.  When Ryan announced late in the year that his young players were going to see increased playing time, many hoped Dozier would be one to benefit.  As it turned out, the lineman didn’t see the field at all, so like many of Idzik’s other picks, Maccagnan and Bowles will evaluate Dozier largely from pre-season and practice session film.

The Jets’ refusal to play Quincy Enunwa may have been their most puzzling decision of all.  With all of the criticism the team took for having such a poor draft, the vast majority of it was rooted in their  failure to pick an impact wide receiver.  It was a glaring hole for the Jets as they prepared for the draft, and they appeared to be in the driver’s seat.  This draft class was being called “the deepest  in years” by both professional and armchair talent evaluators. Sammy Watkins, Brandin Cooks, Odell Beckham Jr, Kelvin Benjamin, Jordan Matthews, Martavis Bryant, to name just a few.  Despite that, the Jets came away with Jalen Saunders whom they would release early in the season, Shaq Evans who spent the season on injured reserve, and Enunwa.  At 6′ 2”, 225 he had good size and was considered to be a strong fit for the west coast offense.  Had Enunwa made even a few plays for the Jets, it may have taken some of the heat off of Idzik.  As it turns out, Enunwa, like Dozier, didn’t see  a single rep on offense.

The only positive to be drawn from all of this is that this time around, any analysis of these players will be done with a personnel department that has been assembled by Maccagnan, a life long scout with a focus on player evaluation and development.  This isn’t to say most teams don’t have a similar plan, but the idea of having it done by a (hopefully) more competent set of eyes will tell us just how good or bad John Idzik’s  dirty dozen really is.

 

 

 

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I look forward to seeing if any of the "Idzik Era" picks we know so little about turn out to be worth anything.

 

We could, stress could, be in for a pleasant suprise at CB (especially, injury) and WR, LB, etc. if a few guys Rex kept benched for ineffective Vets get a chance and show something.

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It's nice to blame Rex for this, but Enunwa was not poached off the practice squad despite sitting there until the final week. It would have been nice to see more of Reilly and Enemkpali, but they did not look ready to do it all when they did see the field.  IK in particular looked completely lost dropping in coverage.  That is why he primarily only replaced Babin as situational rusher.  Dozier came out of Furman and I don't think many expected much year one.  As a general rule it would be nice to have seen more of these guys, but for each one there are reasons we may have had to wait.  It is funny how many people are complaining about this while they spent last year yelling to bench Pryor and thinking they waited too long to cut Saunders.  

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It's nice to blame Rex for this, but Enunwa was not poached off the practice squad despite sitting there until the final week. It would have been nice to see more of Reilly and Enemkpali, but they did not look ready to do it all when they did see the field.  IK in particular looked completely lost dropping in coverage.  That is why he primarily only replaced Babin as situational rusher.  Dozier came out of Furman and I don't think many expected much year one.  As a general rule it would be nice to have seen more of these guys, but for each one there are reasons we may have had to wait.  It is funny how many people are complaining about this while they spent last year yelling to bench Pryor and thinking they waited too long to cut Saunders.  

Yup, the old olb that is poor at 'dropping into coverage' biggest thing an olb needs to do.  The dude made plays in the ex season and should have been on the field late in the year.  He showed more pass rush potential than any olb we have had in a while.

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So these players couldn't beat out the veterans yet they deserved more reps? Such BS. This team was headed backwards before it even started but no one expected them to have no secondary. This team despite no secondary may have won 7 games with an average QB. Cherry picking players out of 12 is a joke when JI failed at even finding a WR!

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In fairness, he was only on the field for 4 run plays all season.

 

I'm sure that is true, but he looked lost during the preseason and I remember him looking really foolish on at least one run with a few weeks left.  I think it got him pulled because I had been watching him and I was surprised how few total plays he ended up in on. I agree that it would have been nice to see more of these guys, but there are reasons we didn't that go beyond Rex trying to sabotage Idzik. We are talking about 4th, 6th, 7th round picks.  These guys generally take time.  Even if they end up good, it does not mean they belonged on the field in 2014.  It also does not mean it would have helped their development.

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What is this "IK looked lost in coverage" horsesh*t? He barely got any snaps. A handful at best per game. And when he did play he was asked to go after the QB. I noticed him dropping back in zone coverage twice in one game, and he showed excellent awareness by reading the QB, deflecting 2 passes. He made more plays in coverage on 2 plays than Pace/DD did all year.

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He was.

 

EDIT:  He also looked lost setting the edge

Young guys still need to get playing time even if they need to learn that.  this team has had guys who know the system, can set the edge and play great run defense for years, guys like thomas and Pace.  they also can't rush the passer worth sheet.

 

When people talk about the great or impactful 3-4 olbs in this league they don;t talk about setting the edge or dropping into coverage.  they talk about how many sacks and pressures the guy gets and how the other team has to account for him.

 

Hey, I have no doubt the guy has a lot to learn but this team has been one really good olb pass rusher away from really being great.  Hopefully Bowles can find a spot for a true outside disruptor.

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I'm sure that is true, but he looked lost during the preseason and I remember him looking really foolish on at least one run with a few weeks left.  I think it got him pulled because I had been watching him and I was surprised how few total plays he ended up in on. I agree that it would have been nice to see more of these guys, but there are reasons we didn't that go beyond Rex trying to sabotage Idzik. We are talking about 4th, 6th, 7th round picks.  These guys generally take time.  Even if they end up good, it does not mean they belonged on the field in 2014.  It also does not mean it would have helped their development.

 

Yeah, even in the pre-season he had 4 run plays, so he had 8 total.  He was being used strictly as situational pass rusher which is fine with me.  When you look at how well he did at applying pressure, there was really no reason not to put him out there on every third and long, especially considering how this defense got killed on third down all season.  They tried to use Babin in that role but I think it's clear that he's lost a step.  Babin was a better all around player than advertised, but he wasn't getting to the QB which is the one thing he was supposed to be able to do.

 

It's all a matter of what philosophy you subscribe to, but I feel like once the season is lost, use games that mean nothing to your team in order to see what a guy can do against other NFL players who might have something on the line and won't be going less than full speed.  I'm not suggesting these guys should have been playing every snap, but nothing wrong with giving them 40-50% of the reps at that point.  If you put them in there and they're atrocious, you pull them before they get somebody hurt.  If they hold their own, let 'em stay out there and learn.  Again...JMO.

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What is this "IK looked lost in coverage" horsesh*t? He barely got any snaps. A handful at best per game. And when he did play he was asked to go after the QB. I noticed him dropping back in zone coverage twice in one game, and he showed excellent awareness by reading the QB, deflecting 2 passes. He made more plays in coverage on 2 plays than Pace/DD did all year.

 

 

Stop making sh*t up. Honestly.

 

Watch the ******* kid.  It seemed obvious that he looked good going forward, but not going backwards.  I am making sh*t up, but you have him with two passes defensed dropping in coverage? 

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I look forward to seeing if any of the "Idzik Era" picks we know so little about turn out to be worth anything.

 

We could, stress could, be in for a pleasant suprise at CB (especially, injury) and WR, LB, etc. if a few guys Rex kept benched for ineffective Vets get a chance and show something.

^^ this guy gets it. 

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^^ this guy gets it. 

 

Really anxious to see McDougle.  I was at camp the day him and Milliner got hurt and I was so pissed.  Definitely one of the guys I was looking forward to watching when I went up there.

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Yeah, even in the pre-season he had 4 run plays, so he had 8 total.  He was being used strictly as situational pass rusher which is fine with me.  When you look at how well he did at applying pressure, there was really no reason not to put him out there on every third and long, especially considering how this defense got killed on third down all season.  They tried to use Babin in that role but I think it's clear that he's lost a step.  Babin was a better all around player than advertised, but he wasn't getting to the QB which is the one thing he was supposed to be able to do.

 

It's all a matter of what philosophy you subscribe to, but I feel like once the season is lost, use games that mean nothing to your team in order to see what a guy can do against other NFL players who might have something on the line and won't be going less than full speed.  I'm not suggesting these guys should have been playing every snap, but nothing wrong with giving them 40-50% of the reps at that point.  If you put them in there and they're atrocious, you pull them before they get somebody hurt.  If they hold their own, let 'em stay out there and learn.  Again...JMO.

 

Agreed.  I think that is what happened with IK down the stretch. Like I said, I think they pulled him at least once after one run play.  I posted about it at the time.  Babin seemed very lazy against the run in the preseason, but he looked to be less lazy and more complete player as the season wore on.  I think they rewarded that.  I am little unsure why we didn't see more of Reilly who seemed more adequate all around, but with way less upside.  The thing you guys should have a problem with is bringing back Antwan Barnes.  He duplicates Babin and takes snaps from the other two.  I was shocked when they brought him back and that was the kind of move that I had a problem with in the context of "playing the kids." 

 

You have to figure that the Oline does not warrant rotating in and out and Dozier had the potential to get somebody killed, so not playing him can't be a shock.  Enunwa was never poached and some of the guys ahead of him are young with decent upside (Graham, Owusu, Powell).  I think they cut Nelson to get some of those guys more time and Salas had shown some life, but has been constantly dinged. Interesting thing is that Nelson is the guy that got dumped, but he came up and had some decent success with Chan Gailey.

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Agreed.  I think that is what happened with IK down the stretch. Like I said, I think they pulled him at least once after one run play.  I posted about it at the time.  Babin seemed very lazy against the run in the preseason, but he looked to be less lazy and more complete player as the season wore on.  I think they rewarded that.  I am little unsure why we didn't see more of Reilly who seemed more adequate all around, but with way less upside.  The thing you guys should have a problem with is bringing back Antwan Barnes.  He duplicates Babin and takes snaps from the other two.  I was shocked when they brought him back and that was the kind of move that I had a problem with in the context of "playing the kids." 

 

You have to figure that the Oline does not warrant rotating in and out and Dozier had the potential to get somebody killed, so not playing him can't be a shock.  Enunwa was never poached and some of the guys ahead of him are young with decent upside (Graham, Owusu, Powell).  I think they cut Nelson to get some of those guys more time and Salas had shown some life, but has been constantly dinged. Interesting thing is that Nelson is the guy that got dumped, but he came up and had some decent success with Chan Gailey.

 

Good points, but Enunwa is more of an unknown because of his legal trouble.  Even being exonerated, how many teams were going to risk grabbing a kid with a DV charge on him earlier in the season, especially THIS season?   If the Jets were going to hang on to him and wait out his legal stuff then that's fine.  I just couldn't believe he didn't get on the field in one of the last couple of games.  I thought he came on strong at the end of camp and he was on the final 53 before the DV charge.  I guess part of it was my expectations.  I really thought that once the charges went away, he'd get a shot.  Obviously didn't as they went with Owusu over him.

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I look forward to seeing if any of the "Idzik Era" picks we know so little about turn out to be worth anything.

 

We could, stress could, be in for a pleasant suprise at CB (especially, injury) and WR, LB, etc. if a few guys Rex kept benched for ineffective Vets get a chance and show something.

 

nope.  they are all busts.  if you're not a probowler by year 2 you are a bust.

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Good points, but Enunwa is more of an unknown because of his legal trouble.  Even being exonerated, how many teams were going to risk grabbing a kid with a DV charge on him earlier in the season, especially THIS season?   If the Jets were going to hang on to him and wait out his legal stuff then that's fine.  I just couldn't believe he didn't get on the field in one of the last couple of games.  I thought he came on strong at the end of camp and he was on the final 53 before the DV charge.  I guess part of it was my expectations.  I really thought that once the charges went away, he'd get a shot.  Obviously didn't as they went with Owusu over him.

 

Who knows? Maybe the charges still had something to do with it.  IIRC, there was some kind of settlement that had terms including him not contacting the woman for x amount of time.  They may have wanted to wait until the whole thing was gone and could not be brought back.  Owusu is an interesting kid anyway.  I think he is from Stanford and plenty quick, but he had lingering concussion issues.  One reason we wanted to see Enunwa is that he is the only WR pick that supposedly showed anything in camp.

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Enunwa i thought had the best chance of being a WR at the NFL level of all the 3 picks made in last year's draft. That's not saying Evans will not anything but i did not like his concentration on some plays which led to some horrible drops.

 

It was surprising Enunwa did not see a lot of the field in the last game.

 

I honestly can't recall reading a single positive or optimistic word about Evans during the pre-season.  They may very well amount to nothing when all is said and done, but every reporter covering the team ripped him, and one after the other said he just couldn't catch the  ball.  Nerves?  Concentration?  Who knows?

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I honestly can't recall reading a single positive or optimistic word about Evans during the pre-season.  They may very well amount to nothing when all is said and done, but every reporter covering the team ripped him, and one after the other said he just couldn't catch the  ball.  Nerves?  Concentration?  Who knows?

 

Evans was a bad pick and has some horrible drops. But he has made some incredible catches as well. Makes me believe it's something more that bad hands.

 

What i am saying is he may as yet become a player. There is some potential there.

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Evans was a bad pick and has some horrible drops. But he has made some incredible catches as well. Makes me believe it's something more that bad hands.

 

What i am saying is he may as yet become a player. There is some potential there.

 

Absolutely.  It's always such a puzzling thing when a guy gets to the NFL and struggles to catch the ball.  I mean, if you caught enough passes in college to even warrant consideration to be drafted, it's odd that they can't carry that through.  I get that players are bigger and faster so maybe you just can't get open or beat a jam.  However, when  you are open and the ball hits you in the hands???  I just don't get it.

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Absolutely.  It's always such a puzzling thing when a guy gets to the NFL and struggles to catch the ball.  I mean, if you caught enough passes in college to even warrant consideration to be drafted, it's odd that they can't carry that through.  I get that players are bigger and faster so maybe you just can't get open or beat a jam.  However, when  you are open and the ball hits you in the hands???  I just don't get it.

 

He had dropsie issues in college and that too the kind of drops Amaro had where the ball goes thru your hands and hits the numbers on the way down to the ground.

 

That's why never thought he was worth a 4th round pick. But he does have some good potential and hopefully he comes thru.

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Absolutely.  It's always such a puzzling thing when a guy gets to the NFL and struggles to catch the ball.  I mean, if you caught enough passes in college to even warrant consideration to be drafted, it's odd that they can't carry that through.  I get that players are bigger and faster so maybe you just can't get open or beat a jam.  However, when  you are open and the ball hits you in the hands???  I just don't get it.

 

I think it is because you are worried about everybody being bigger and faster.  Confidence is huge and your concentration suffers when you have to go from concentrating on catching to concentrating on running (not being killed) a split second sooner.

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So these players couldn't beat out the veterans yet they deserved more reps? Such BS. This team was headed backwards before it even started but no one expected them to have no secondary. This team despite no secondary may have won 7 games with an average QB. Cherry picking players out of 12 is a joke when JI failed at even finding a WR!

There was no competition at QB.  There may have been no real competition at some of these other spots where Rex's guys were embedded.  We don't know, really?  Probably never will now.

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Really shows how the Idzik/Ryan era was a case of the blind leading the blind. I hope Dozier can fill one of the many holes on the O-line, and I agree that Enemkpali and Reilly showed promise.

Not really sure what they should do with Milliner. I am rooting for McDougle, but let's face the facts: he is coming off a season-ending torn ACL and hasn't even been through a full camp yet. The odds of him making it are slim

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