The New York Jets might have landed two steals in the 2020 NFL Draft

New York Jets, Jabari Zuniga

While the New York Jets have strengths across-the-board, they do have several weaknesses that could hurt them in 2020. The secondary is a bit thin at the cornerback position, especially after releasing Trumaine Johnson, who failed to earn his keep as the number one option on the defense. The pass rush is also a bit tumultuous, but the Jets took to the draft to try and att competition.

Of course, stating a player is a steal is always optimistic, but the Jets landed two high-upside players that could be immediate starters in the NFL.

1. Bryce Hall

Hall was drafted in the fifth round, and there are a number of analysts who coined him as a potential steal. Injuries derailed him in his senior year with Virginia, and the Jets took advantage of that, landing him in the later rounds. Some projected at Hall as a potential first-round pick if he remained healthy. He’s one of the best man-coverage corners coming out of college and recorded the most pass breakups last season in all of collegiate football.

Scouts are excited about the potential he brings to the NFL, but he does have some weaknesses that require refinement. His lack of ball skills and experience in zone coverage could hold him back a bit, but his strength in man should match up well with the defense Gregg Williams tends to utilize – a nice dosage of off-ball-man.

With Johnson leaving the Jets, Hall is expected to take a more in-depth role quickly. I believe they will allow him to develop earlier in his career, hopefully putting him in a starting position in 2021. However, I wouldn’t rule out the possibility of him earning starting reps early on considering the lack of talent at the position. The Jets currently have Pierre Desir, Quincy Wilson, Arthur Maulet, Bless Austin, and Hall, as their options at corner.

2. Jabari Zuniga

Zuniga is an exciting pass rusher coming out of Florida. In 2018, he posted 45 total tackles, 11 tackles for loss, and 6.5 sacks. However, injury significantly hurt his draft stock, and the New York Jets eventually landed him in the third round. Jabari is a talented athlete with explosive traits, with the capabilities of emerging as a potential start early on in his career.

His strength at the line of scrimmage and aggressive mentality allow him to dominate blockers. His build allows him to play multiple positions, as his length and thick frame give him the necessary tangibles to hold his own.

Zuniga’s motor promotes a more dynamic pass rush style, as he often burns out due to fatigue. Overall, I like his physical abilities and desire to win in the trenches, but he needs a bit more development, especially after coming off a significant ankle injury in 2019. He has incredible upside, similar to Hall, meaning the Jets could’ve landed two solid players on defense moving forward.

Can New York Jets’ Bryce Hall land a starting corner spot right out of the gate?

New York Jets, Bryce Hall

Did the New York Jets land a steal in cornerback Bryce Hall?

The New York Jets knew what they were getting in Bryce Hall when they drafted him in the fifth round of the 2020 NFL draft. A considerable amount of NFL analysts coined Hall as a potential steal in the draft, and the Jets managed to grab him in one of the later rounds due to injury in 2019.

Hall was on pace to end up in the first or second rounds, but as stated above, injuries derailed his season and ultimately forced him to settle as a day three draft pick. The Virginia stand-out lead the nation in pass breakups, and his most significant positive is his ability in one-on-one coverage.

Scouts are really excited about his potential, but there are some negatives that he needs to work on at the NFL level. Improving his ball skills, which translates to turnovers, and adapting to a zone coverage system would aid him in his development. However, Hall is a perfect man coverage player for the Jets, who recently cut Trumaine Johnson after his disastrous contract.

Ironically, Hall was formally a wide receiver in high school, which makes his ball skills problem a bit more interesting. Of course, as a receiver, your eyes are on the ball at all times and tracking the throw from your quarterback. As a corner, you have to swing your head around the last second or break on a route to land an interception. The reaction timing and anticipation hast to be there, and that is what Hall really needs to work on.

Analysts have also claimed that he is the epitome of a lockdown corner, and is a player that can take away a section of the field, Revis style.

I believe the Jets will designate him to island duties in the future if he progresses as they hope, but he does need to develop a bit before they can trust him in that role. He is bouncing back from the season-ending ankle injury while featuring on Virginia’s special teams unit. At 6-foot-1, 202 pounds, he has the perfect frame to be a stand-out corner in the future, but the Jets seem dedicated to leaning on Pierre Desir for the time being.

I do like Hall’s mentality toward film work and focusing on improvements on a detailed level. If he can translate all of these positives to the NFL, Bryce could absolutely be one of the bigger steals in the draft. With that being said, I don’t think he will be a starter for the first few games of the 2020 regular season, but since the Jets haven’t invested in a premium level corner, I think he will begin to earn starting wrap sooner rather than later.

Is New York Jets’ rookie corner Bryce Hall the answer to their problems in the secondary?

New York Jets, Bryce Hall

Why did Bryce Hall fall to the fifth round for the New York Jets, and what did they get in the talented cornerback?

When the Jets landed Bryce Hall in the fifth-round of the 2020 NFL Draft, most were blown away at the value of the selection. The former Virginia star is in a position to pick up where he left off in 2018, leading the FBS with 22 pass breakups, 62 tackles, 3.5 tackles for loss, 2 sacks,  interceptions, and 2 forced fumbles.

Hall has fantastic size at 6’1″, 202-pounds, and after undergoing surgery on his left ankle, he missed ample playing time in 2019. Hall believes missing so much time last season played a significant part in his draft-stock tumbling:

“I think that definitely played a factor in me going a lot later than where I went, but at the end of the day I’m exactly where I’m supposed to be,” Hall said after he was taken with the No. 158th overall selection. “I know God brought me here for a reason. I don’t ask too many questions that are above my head and I’m here now, so I’m ready to look forward from now on.”

Hall might be the steal of the draft for the Jets according to one senior advisor:

“He clearly was a first-three-rounds type of prospect. There were mock drafts literally a year ago that had him in the first round,” said Phil Savage, GM Joe Douglas’ senior advisor. “I think realistically he was a second- or third-round kind of talent. He unfortunately had that ankle fracture and he’s not able to participate in the Reese’s Senior Bowl and he’s not able to participate in the combine. Then with this pandemic, there was really no way to ultimately follow up with him from a medical standpoint other than just the combine.”

What does Hall bring to the Jets?
Bryce is a very instinctive corner that works primarily on the outside. His long arms allow him to disturb passes and torture opposing receivers in coverage. He still needs some refinement in his hip movements as they can lack fluidity, but he’s fast and can match up with pass-catchers on vertical routes. Good agility and reactionary instincts allow him to play off-ball coverage and break well. He’s decent in man-coverage but could use more awareness on stop-and-go routes, getting beat deep on occasion.
Hall can undoubtedly be a quality starting corner for the Jets, but I believe he will need more time to develop.

Report: New York Jets signing veteran corner Logan Ryan to prove it deal

New York Jets, Logan Ryan, Tennessee Titans

Throughout this offseason, New York Jets GM Joe Douglas has been very active in signing players to prove it deals to attempt to fill critical needs. He’s also been very aggressive in trying to fill one of the Jets’ biggest voids. Last season the Jets’ cornerback group was one of the worst in football. With minimal depth and no proven entities, the Jets had to upgrade the position this the offseason.

They released Trumaine Johnson and Darryl Roberts, two bad signings from the old regime, and added Pierre Desir on a one year deal. They also brought back Brian Poole on a one year deal as well. The Jets still have Bless Austin, Nate Hairston, and Arthur Maulet, but they looked to upgrade the position in the draft.

The Jets then came out of the draft with two more new corners—Bryce Hall from Virginia and 23-year-old former second-rounder from the Colts, Quincy Wilson. Although there were reports before the draft of the Jets’ interest in CB Logan Ryan, it seemed as though the team was comfortable with their corners. Well, apparently they were not. The New York Jets have reportedly signed Logan Ryan to a one year deal per Manish Mehta of the NY Daily News.

Who is Logan Ryan?

As we’ve covered extensively here at ESM, Logan Ryan is a reliable veteran coming off a very successful season. Ryan is a hometown kid who attended Rutgers University. After a solid career there, Ryan was drafted in the 3rd Round of 2013 NFL Draft by the New England Patriots. When Ryan debuted, he immediately carved himself a role with the Pats. Ryan was an excellent corner with them until he left in 2016.

He then joined the Titans, where he’s been coached by Mike Vrabel. He comes from a very good coaching tree, and he’s got a championship pedigree with two rings under his belt. Ryan is also 29 years old; he’s still got a few years of good football left. After remaining unsigned for the first two months or so of free agency, he now goes to a team in need of a reliable lead corner.

How Will Ryan Fit?

Logan Ryan is coming off a season where he had 113 tackles, 4 INTs, and 4 TFLs. In one of the best years of his career, he also picked off his former teammate, Tom Brady, in what was ultimately the last play of Brady’s time in New England. Now the former Patriot is coming home to the Jets.

Ryan will be tasked with leading a young cornerback group while also trying to perform well to earn himself a long term deal. What better coach to have with that pressure then one of the best defensive coordinators in the game, Gregg Williams. The opportunity to play under Gregg has been a critical reason that players like Brian Poole and Jordan Jenkins took such cheap deals to return to the Jets and is likely a reason Logan Ryan is coming to Gang Green. Williams gets the best out of his players, and he will try to do that with a veteran player who’s had a lot of success.

Even if this move bombs, the Jets have loads of young talent in the secondary that need mentorship. Bryce Hall and Bless Austin could both benefit from learning behind an experienced player, and even Quincy Wilson and Pierre Desir could pick up a thing or two from Ryan. Overall, the Jets have solidified their secondary for the upcoming season and formulated serious competition for the starting roles.

If there is anything you can pull from this offseason, it’s that Joe Douglas likes two things, leadership and establishing competition. By adding a talented player like Logan Ryan, he did just that. 

New York Jets Draft Pick Bryce Hall Shares Marriage Proposal on Instagram (Video)

After he was chosen by the New York Jets, Bryce Hall’s week got even better, as he shared a video of a successful proposal to his girlfriend.

No matter how your week is going, it’s going to very hard to stop how the past few days have gone fro Bryce Hall.

The former Virginia cornerback was first chosen by the New York Jets last Saturday afternoon in the fifth round of the 2020 NFL Draft. Hall has now donned a ring before playing his first professional down.

On Instagram, Hall revealed that he proposed to his girlfriend, fellow Virginia Cavalier Anzel Vilojen. Like Hall, Vilojen partook in Virginia athletics, representing the school’s field hockey team as a back. She led the team with 26 points (7 goals, 12 assists) and helped them reach the semifinals of the 2019 NCAA Division I Field Hockey Championship in November. The New Zealand native also earned second-team All-ACC honors.

Hall shared his surprise proposal, which Viojen accepted, on Instagram.

“She’s in it for the long Hall,” Hall declares in his caption “excited [sic] and ready to start this next phase of life with my best friend, lover, ride or die and answer to all of my prayers!!”

In the video, Hall is asked by an unseen party what convinced him that Violjen was “the one”. He happily recalled Vilojen visiting him in the hospital after a broken ankle suffered in an October tilt against Miami ended his season.

“When she came to my hospital after I had broken my ankle, that’s when I was like, yeah this is the one, “It was 11:00 at night, everybody else went home and it was just me and her chatting it up. So I knew she was one to keep then.”

Hall’s engagement comes five days after he was the penultimate pick (158th overall) of the Jets’ 2020 draft proceedings. He put up 154 tackles and five interceptions during his four-year tenure in Charlottesville to go with 38 pass breakups. Of that latter tally, 21 came in 2018, which led the nation.

Geoff Magliocchetti is on Twitter @GeoffJMags

NFL Draft: New York Jets select Virginia CB Bryce Hall

Entering the second half of their Saturday selections, the New York Jets made Virginia cornerback Bryce Hall their fourth pick of the day.

With their fourth of six late selections, the New York Jets added cornerback Bryce Hall out of Virginia with the 158th pick of the 2020 NFL Draft.

Hall missed most of his senior season in Charlottesville after undergoing ankle surgery. He nonetheless was able to make a name for himself during his junior year, tallying 21 pass breakups, good for best in the nation and the 13th-best single-season mark in NCAA history. Overall, Hall tallied 38 pass breakups to accompany 154 tackles and five interceptions during his time as a Cavalier.

The cornerback becomes the Jets’ first Virginia alum taken in the draft since 2013’s fifth-round tackle Oday Aboushi.

Barring any trades, the Jets have two more picks to work with on Saturday. They next pick in the 191st slot before potentially ending the afternoon at No. 211 with a pick acquired from Kansas City.

Geoff Magliocchetti is on Twitter @GeoffJMags