What are the New York Jets getting in UDFA CB Lamar Jackson?

New York Jets

The New York Jets signed Lamar Jackson! No, not the electric QB/RB that’s coming off an MVP campaign. Instead, the Jets got a corner (who played QB in High School) who was projected to be a late-round pick. Lamar Jackson, a CB from Nebraska adds versatility and continues to add more depth to the secondary. He could be a solid pickup, so let’s breakdown his skill set.

Strengths

Lamar Jackson adds a few key things the Jets like. Durability and leadership. He was the defensive MVP in 2019 after a breakout season. Besides that, he was a 3-year starter. Jackson is an accountable corner capable of being left on the island. He has an excellent size which makes him a very physical press corner. Do you know who likes corners like those? Gregg Williams. Lamar Jackson will fit very well in Williams scheme and has the potential to be an impact player at some point. He played his best football last season when he put up 40 tackles, 4 TFLs, 3 INTs, and allowed a 55.7 passer rating. Lamar is capable of being left on an island and is a player overall capable of being a starter at some point at the next level.

Weaknesses 

As much as I raved about Lamar, he does have weaknesses. Although he’s a lockdown corner against physical receivers and in the red zone, in the vertical game he leaves much to be desired. He lacks speed to hang with some of the speed threats at the next level. He lacks a strong football IQ as well. He’s a more matchup specific player who would excel in 1v1 matchups. If he can’t prove his worth on special teams and doesn’t draw the eye of any of the higher-ups, he won’t stick on the roster.

Overall Outlook

Lamar Jackson has some of the most potentials of not just the UDFAs, but even some of the draft picks. The issue is, he also is flawed in his game. Ultimately, the scheme fit is going to benefit Lamar’s chances of sticking on the roster, but he’s still going to need to develop his IQ and speed if he wants to be a long term NFL player.

NFL Draft Top 5 EDGE Rusher Rankings

With the NFL Draft rapidly approaching, over the next few days, I plan on breaking down the best and brightest talents in this year’s class. This class is full of some unique prospects. There is a plethora of depth, but there are 5 guys who really stand out to me.

1. Chase Young, Ohio State

Pro Comparison: Jadeveon Clowney

I don’t know if there is a single-player as talented as Young in this class. Young wreaked havoc on college football this year. Young is going to be an absolute ANIMAL at the next level. He’s going to be an absolute superstar. There’s not much for me to nitpick in his game so I won’t even try. Clowney is a physical specimen just like Young and I think Young is going to be that type of game wrecker at the next level.

2. Zach Baun, Wisconsin

Pro Comparison: T.J. Watt

Zach Baun is one of my favorite prospects. Baun is another high IQ linebacker who is very good with his hands to come from Wisconsin. He’s explosive and he’s put up solid numbers at Wisconsin. Baun could struggle if he doesn’t gain a little more size, but Baun has the makeup to be a very talented player at the next level. Watt was a great edge rusher from Wisconsin and Baun can continue that trend.

3. Yetur Gross Matos, Penn State

Pro Comparison: Cameron Wake

Gross Matos was one of my favorite players to watch last year. He was so good against the run, in fact, he was a lot better than Chaisson and Epenesa last year, two guys he’s often bundled with. He was a very productive edge rusher last season. He was able to be a force against the run and against the pass. He also allowed for stellar production from the guys around him. At the very least, he’s going to be an average defensive end. At best, Gross Matos could be a very productive edge rusher. The ceiling is high, but his floor isn’t low. He’s a safe prospect. He lacks the speed that guys like Chaisson and a Young have, but he makes up for it in strength and size. Wake was a productive edge rusher who’s a unique blend of size and speed is reminiscent of Gross Matos.

4. K’Lavon Chaisson, LSU

Pro Comparison: Vic Beasley

I’m not entirely sold on Chaisson. I think he’s a very good edge rusher. He’s good at disrupting the pass with good speed and good hands. Overall, Chaisson has great potential as an edge rusher. However, Chaisson has bust potential. He struggles with the run and he definitely needs to develop as a run stopper. Chaisson reminds me of Beasley because of his ability to be a productive sack producer and average in the run game.

5. Bradlee Anae, Utah

Pro Comparison: Kamalei Correa

Bradlee Anae is a unique prospect. Anae plays with a chip on his shoulder and demonstrates a lot of heart on the field. He’s a good run stopper and a good pass rusher. He’s not elite, but he’s efficient. Anae has good speed and strength. Anae does struggle with really asserting his dominance and using length to an advantage. He’s kind of the opposite of Gross Matos where Anae would be best suited at linebacker rather than at the end. Anae reminds me of Correa because if their abilities to play with lots of energy and effort and both are high character guys with versatility.