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Scouting Jets UDFA edge defender Bryce Huffby Bent on June 3, 2020 at 6:00 pm
Photo by George Walker/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images Over the next few months, we’ll be providing an in-depth scouting report for each of the Jets’ undrafted free agents. We begin today with edge rusher Bryce Huff. Huff, who went to college at Memphis, is listed at 6’1” and 254 pounds and was a two-time all-AAC second rounder. He racked up 18 sacks over the past three seasons, including 9.5 in 2018. Background Huff was an all-state linebacker as a high school senior in Alabama. He was originally going to attend South Alabama, but then de-committed and went to Memphis instead. As a freshman, Huff saw action as a rotational backup and special teamer, although he was only credited with five total tackles and five pressures. His role increased in his sophomore year and he made the first three starts of his career. He ended the season with 30 tackles including five for loss of which two were sacks. As a junior, Huff’s role continued to increase. He started eight games and led the team with 9.5 sacks and 19 tackles for loss. Huff was voted to the all-AAC second team at the end of the season. In his senior year, Huff was again an all-AAC second-teamer, although he only had 6.5 sacks and 15.5 tackles for loss. He did set a career mark with 52 tackles though and was among the nation’s leaders in total pressures. While he started all 14 games, Huff actually played fewer snaps than he had the previous year. Huff wasn’t invited to the scouting combine but helped boost his stock with an impressive showing at the East West Shrine Game. The Jets signed him as a priority undrafted free agent after the draft, guaranteeing him $90,000 which was the highest guaranteed sum for any of this year’s Jets undrafted rookie signings. Let’s move onto some more in-depth analysis of what Huff brings to the table, based on in-depth research and film study. Measurables/Athleticism Huff displays some good athletic ability on film but we cannot quantify this because he wasn’t invited to the scouting combine. He has bulked up well since being an undersized high school recruit but lacks ideal length with his arm length having been measured at 31.75 inches at the East West Shrine Game. That would put him in the bottom five percent of all edge defenders to attend the combine. Usage In his first three seasons, Huff primarily lined up as an outside linebacker, although he would occasionally play off the ball, drop off to pick up a receiver in the slot or put his hand in the dirt. In his senior season, Huff officially moved to defensive line, although he still played a lot of reps while standing up. He dropped into coverage a lot less though. When originally recruited, Huff was viewed as an inside linebacker in some places and there are still analysts who consider that could end up being his NFL position, where his length would be less of an issue. Motor Huff describes himself as relentless and you can see some of this in his effort on film. He will keep working to the football to help in clean-up and his effort in pursuit is apparent on plays like this one. He showed the capability to handle a starter’s workload in college, playing over 750 snaps in each of his last two seasons. Run defense Huff has been a productive run defender, especially over the last two years, and has shown development in that area. One of Huff’s best attributes is his quickness, which will see him blow up plays by shooting gaps or exploding into the backfield unblocked. An area of concern would be how well he might hold up in the trenches at the NFL level. There were examples of plays where he was dominated at the point of attack and he struggled to hold up against double teams. At the NFL level, he might be better equipped to set the edge against a tight end than on the defensive line. Huff does display some good awareness in the running game though. He takes on the block well here and disengages at the perfect time to make the play. Unfortunately, because his arms are so short, that may mean he struggles to get off blocks at times. Pass rush Huff’s statistical production as a pass rusher speaks for itself. He racked up 64 total pressures in 2019, placing him in the top five edge rushers in the nation according to Pro Football Focus. However, there are some questions over the competition level he faced. It would have been interesting to see how he would have fared again Josh Jones from Houston but Jones missed this year’s Memphis-Houston clash. In the previous year, they matched up extensively but Jones didn’t give up a pressure. Huff did have a couple of good reps against a potential NFL prospect in Will Fries from Penn State in the Tigers’ bowl game, though. Based perhaps mostly off highlight reels, some fans and draft analysts have describe Huff as a “bendy” pass rusher. It’s true he does show an ability to dip and bend to get around the edge and force the quarterback to step up. However, more extensive research seems to indicate that he’s still a bit out of control coming off the edge and will often overshoot the quarterback because he can be too easily re-directed. This may affect his ability to be a finisher at the NFL level if he can’t improve on that aspect. It could also explain why nobody in the top 20 for pressures last year had fewer sacks than him. However, it is encouraging that he had a better sack count in his junior year. Technique Huff does bring some promising technique in terms of some of his pass rush moves. For example, check out the footwork on this jab-step as he blows by the left tackle on an inside move. The technique on this move is impressive too. He shoots his hands in an effort to get the right tackle to brace for the bull rush, but Huff’s upfield momentum continues so he is able to beat his man to a spot and gain an outside leverage advantage, which he converts by transitioning smoothly to a rip move. Huff will also try to use a spin move at times, but didn’t seem to have much success with that particular move. His lack of length could be a detriment to his ability to beat some of the NFL’s long-armed pass protectors, but he does use his hands quite well in an effort to mitigate this. Tackling Huff had some good production as a tackler with over 100 tackles over his last two seasons. He seems to close well on the ball, hit hard and wrap up securely. He hasn’t had major issues with missed tackles, as seven is the most he’s had in any season. However, he will tend to overpursue at times. This is a similar issue to what we see from Huff when rushing off the edge as he perhaps struggles to break down or change direction. Coverage Huff didn’t drop into coverage very often in 2019 but did it from time to time in his first three seasons. This often just required him to drop into a shallow zone near the line of scrimmage and he did a solid job of limiting yardage on short passes in 2018. He’s been credited with three pass-breakups in his career, two of which saw him bat the ball down at the line. On this play, he drops off rather than going after the quarterback and gets his hands up to force the turnover on downs. Instincts/Intelligence Huff seems to read the action quite well in terms of diagnosing when he can shoot a gap or keeping his eyes up when engaged in the trenches. However, he can be caught unaware by a down block at times. On this play he finds himself isolated on the outside and ends up getting caught on a block, which allows the receiver to go down the sideline for a long touchdown. His instincts in coverage are perhaps somewhat lacking. On this play, he let the fullback leak in behind him for a big gain as he was caught peeking into the backfield. Huff only had five penalties in his college career. Both his 2019 penalties were for jumping offside. He was one of several Memphis players awarded a “Tiger Scholar” award for his academic achievements last season. Special teams Huff has seen plenty of action on special teams, primarily as a blocker on the kick return unit, which saw some decent success with him in that role. Tony Pollard returned seven kickoffs for touchdowns in Huff’s first three seasons. He has seen limited action in kick coverage, although he wasn’t credited with a tackle. He did field two kickoffs and returned them for 15 and six yards, though. Attitude/Demeanor Huff is regarded as a player with a good work ethic, who apparently developed into a leader during his career at Memphis, where the coaching staff preached accountability. Apparently, he spent a lot of time refining his technique over the past two seasons, notably in terms of improving his get-off. He doesn’t appear to have any red flags in terms of off-field issues or anything like that. Injuries Huff didn’t deal with many injury issues at Memphis, as he played in 52 games during his career. However, he did miss the 2017 bowl game with an undisclosed injury. Scheme Fit Within the Jets’ system Huff will fight for a role as an edge defender and could perhaps get in the mix for a situational pass rush role. As noted, there are some analysts that feel Huff could try his hand at becoming an inside linebacker if he doesn’t make it as an edge rusher, but that would probably be a few years down the road. He has been a teammate of one current Jets player. In his freshman year at Memphis, Arthur Maulet was in his senior year and starting at cornerback. Conclusions Huff is probably the undrafted free agent who has received the most attention this offseason and he does bring some enticing attributes to the table in terms of his production, explosiveness and pass rushing technique. However, his lack of length is a concern, as is the jump in competition. He’ll also need to show he can hold up at the point of attack and stay in control when rushing around the corner. He does play a position whereby it will be easy to make an early impression and that seems to have some roles up for grabs. Hopefully the truncated offseason will not prevent Huff and the other undrafted rookies from getting a chance to turn some heads.
Building A GGN All Time Jets Team: Linebackerby MacGregor Wells on June 3, 2020 at 4:02 pm
Photo by Al Pereira/Getty Images We have the 13th position filled on the GGN All Time Jets Team. The winner of the first vote at Linebacker is: David Harris! David Harris played 11 years in the NFL, from 2007 through 2017. The first 10 of those years Harris was with the Jets. The leader of the linebacking unit on the back to back Jets AFC Championship Game teams of 2009 - 2010, Harris was a tackling machine who led the Jets in tackles nearly every year he was healthy. Harris was named to the 2007 NFL All Rookie team and was named AFC defensive player of the week twice in his career. In 2009 David Harris was tops in the NFL in Pro Football Reference’s approximate value metric. Though he never won Pro Bowl or All Pro honors, David Harris was the heart of the Jets defense for a decade. From now until mid July I’ll be putting up a daily poll asking GGN to vote on the best Jets players of all time. The idea here is to build a 55 man roster of the best players ever to wear the Green and White. The roster will consist of 26 offensive players, 26 defensive players, and three special team players. OFFENSE Quarterback: 3 Wide Receiver: 6 Running Back: 4 Tight End: 3 Offensive Tackle: 4 Interior Offensive Line: 6 DEFENSE Safety: 4 Cornerbacks: 6 LINEBACKERS: 7 DAVID HARRIS EDGE MARK GASTINEAU JOHN ABRAHAM GERRY PHILBIN SHAUN ELLIS INTERIOR DEFENSIVE LINE JOE KLECKO MARTY LYONS DAMON HARRISON JOHN ELLIOTT ABDUL SALAAM SPECIAL TEAMS Kicker PAT LEAHY Punter TOM TUPA Returner LEON WASHINGTON Every day I will be putting up a poll at one position. The choices will be limited to players who were on the Jets roster for at least three seasons. I will not be including players who were great for other teams but not great for the Jets (for example, guys like Matt Forte or LaDainian Tomlinson will not be included in the polls, though both those guys would be excluded for not meeting the three year rule as well). Each day we will close the previous day’s poll and the candidate with the most votes will be added to the GGN All Time Jets Team. In the event of a tie vote both players will be added to the team. In the event I have made an egregious omission and a name you think should be on the poll is not there you can write in candidates in the comments section. If a player gets support in the comments section I’ll add him to the next day’s poll. So let’s get to it. Today we continue voting on the linebackers. Who will it be? Vote early, vote often, and let’s hear who you think are the best players ever to have played for the New York Jets.
Jets Podcast: Taking Stock on Defenseby John B on June 3, 2020 at 3:30 pm
Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images On yesterday’s podcast we took at look at the Jets offense heading into the new season. We went position by position to figure out where the playing time will go in 2020 and which positions will have competition for playing time. Today we move to the defensive side of the ball. Of the two units, the defense is stronger on paper. The Jets were much better on defense than they were on offense in 2019. Still there are a few positions where things look unsettled. The team will need some players to step up and develop if the unit is to have the same amount of success in 2020. Among these spots are the key positions of edge rusher and cornerback. Things look much more settled at linebacker and defensive line. We will talk about all of this and more on the show today. Thanks as always for tuning in to the podcast.
New York Jets Flight Connections 6/3/20by Thomas Christopher on June 3, 2020 at 11:00 am
Photo by Brett Carlsen/Getty Images Good morning, Gang Green Nation! I hope you’re all having a great start to the day. Now that the Jets have added some cap space to this upcoming year, pundits are speculating that the team is getting ready to acquire another FA. With multiple talented players like Clowney, Ryan, and Warford still available, it’ll be interesting to see if the Jets decide to make a move on one of them. Each of those players fit a need that the Jets desperately have to fill at some point, but even though that’s the case I’m not sure any of those players will be in Green and White. At most you can expect Joe Douglas to find a veteran presence to acquire on a 1-year deal, but don’t expect him to spend more than he should. Though the team needs help I don’t think Douglas will sacrifice the future in order to compete for a year in the same way that Mike Maccagnan was seen doing during his tenure. With that, here are your links to the Jets to start your morning off. Tyler Sullivan - 2020 NFL salary cap space: Jets, Falcons among teams clearing significant space post-June 1 Kristian Dyer - New York Jets currently have $25 million in salary cap space (but may not use it) Brian Costello - Jets capable of late splash with Trumaine Johnson’s $11 million off the books Matt Severance - Jadeveon Clowney or Logan Ryan? New York Jets now have salary-cap space to sign one Tyler Greenawalt - Expectations for the Jets’ 2020 free agent signings John Moriello - The Jets' Message to Sam Darnold by Signing Joe Flacco Isn't What You Think Spencer Aber - Joe Flacco contract breakdown: New Jets QB guaranteed just $550K Brian Miller - Miami Dolphins best and worst trades with the Jets Ethan Greenberg - Which Jets Player Did PFF Choose Most Underrated? SNY - Which New York wide receiver will have the most 2020 receiving yards? Justin Fried - NY Jets: 3 interesting things to know about new WR Denzel Mims Sam Neumann - Jets sign fifth-round pick CB Bryce Hall Seth Everett - What the New York Jets are getting in rookie Bryce Hall Seth Everett - NFL Draft insider thinks New York Jets UDFA Bryce Huff has a high ceiling Clark Judge - State Your Case: "There isn't much that Jets' star LB Larry Grantham didn't do" Nathan Cunningham - Father's Day gifts for the New York Jets fan Here are your missed connections from yesterday. Here’s the thread about nothing, make sure to check out the new thread! I hope you all have a safe and wonderful rest of the day!
Building A GGN All Time Jets Team: Edgeby MacGregor Wells on June 2, 2020 at 4:00 pm
Photo by Rich Kane/Icon SMI/Icon Sport Media via Getty Images We have the 12th position filled on the GGN All Time Jets Team. The winner of the fourth and final vote at Edge is: Shaun Ellis! Ellis joins Gerry Philbin, Mark Gastineau and John Abraham to complete the edge position on the roster. Shaun Ellis played 12 years in the NFL, from 2000 through 2011. The first 11 of those years Ellis was with the Jets. A key part of the defensive front on the back to back Jets AFC Championship Game teams of 2009 - 2010, Ellis earned Pro Bowl honors twice, in 2003 and 2009. Shaun Ellis had back to back double digit sack years in 2003 and 2004 and he finished his Jets career with 72.5 sacks, second to Mark Gastineau on the Jets all time sacks list. Only seven other players have played in more games in a Jets uniform than the 170 games Ellis played for the Jets. From now until mid July I’ll be putting up a daily poll asking GGN to vote on the best Jets players of all time. The idea here is to build a 55 man roster of the best players ever to wear the Green and White. The roster will consist of 26 offensive players, 26 defensive players, and three special team players. OFFENSE Quarterback: 3 Wide Receiver: 6 Running Back: 4 Tight End: 3 Offensive Tackle: 4 Interior Offensive Line: 6 DEFENSE Safety: 4 Cornerbacks: 6 Linebackers: 7 EDGE MARK GASTINEAU JOHN ABRAHAM GERRY PHILBIN SHAUN ELLIS INTERIOR DEFENSIVE LINE JOE KLECKO MARTY LYONS DAMON HARRISON JOHN ELLIOTT ABDUL SALAAM SPECIAL TEAMS Kicker PAT LEAHY Punter TOM TUPA Returner LEON WASHINGTON Every day I will be putting up a poll at one position. The choices will be limited to players who were on the Jets roster for at least three seasons. I will not be including players who were great for other teams but not great for the Jets (for example, guys like Matt Forte or LaDainian Tomlinson will not be included in the polls, though both those guys would be excluded for not meeting the three year rule as well). Each day we will close the previous day’s poll and the candidate with the most votes will be added to the GGN All Time Jets Team. In the event of a tie vote both players will be added to the team. In the event I have made an egregious omission and a name you think should be on the poll is not there you can write in candidates in the comments section. If a player gets support in the comments section I’ll add him to the next day’s poll. So let’s get to it. Today we begin voting on the linebackers. Who will it be? Vote early, vote often, and let’s hear who you think are the best players ever to have played for the New York Jets.