The New York Jets were aggressively active during free agency whether it is was hiring new coaching staff, new scouts or consistently bringing in players into Florham Park. The new management spent money fixing the weaknesses carried over by the previous regime. Here are six players that were either from the previous regimes as practice squad players, injured reserved players or undrafted free agents that current General Manager Mike Maccagnan picked up after the NFL draft.
Brent Qvale: Qvale was an undrafted free agent from Nebraska who was picked up by the New York Jets in 2014. He spent all of last year on the practice squad. Outside of the quarterback position the offensive line is the second biggest weakness on offense. Although, Mike Maccagnan has picked up and signed some key pieces on the offensive line, Qvale has the tools and the intangibles coaches like in an offensive lineman. He has been impressive during the offseason and has even got some first team reps with the starters during mini camp. He is quick, athletic, a great pass blocker, and knows how to protect the quarterback. His biggest competition for the starting role at Guard will come from veteran Willie Colon and Oday Aboushi.
Taiwan Jones: Jones is a linebacker from Michigan State. Out of all of the undrafted free agents Mike Maccagnan has picked up, Jones is the most NFL ready out of that group. He was projected to be a mid round pick in 2015 and wound up being an undrafted free agent. Jones is a thumper who shares similar skill sets to veteran New York Jets inside linebacker David Harris. He is versatile linebacker who can play inside and outside linebacker, who can also contribute on special teams. He is a great blitzer who is an ideal player for a Todd Bowles defense since he loves to blitz on defense. His biggest competition for a roster spot will come from veteran inside linebackers Joe Mays and Jamari Lattimore.
Rontez Miles: Miles is a safety who was an undrafted free agent from California University of Pennsylvania who will be entering his third year in the league. He spent most of his time on the Jets practice squad, last year he was promoted to the active roster however just two days after being promoted to the active roster he suffered a shin injury and was placed on the injured reserved.
This year, Miles has been impressing the new coaching staff with his athleticism and his ball-hawk skills. During the offseason he has been making a name for himself showing the coaching staff why he deserve a spot on the roster. His versatility, his ability to contribute on special teams and his ability to blitz will be a great asset on the Jets defense.
Dexter McDougle: McDougle is a cornerback who was a 3rd round pick out of Maryland University, whose season got caught short after suffering from a torn ACL. A lot of analysts would call McDougle a wildcard, however he has the skills and traits to excel in Bowles defense. He has the skill sets to be used in nickel and dime practices. During the offseason, he flashed and showed he has the ability to develop into a shutdown cornerback by picking off quarterbacks and flashing his physicality. During mini camp, McDougle has even contributed on special teams which will help him stand out from the other defensive backs he is currently battling for a spot on the roster.
Shaq Evans: Evans is a wide receiver who was a 4th round pick drafted from UCLA. He had a rough start at first by reporting dropping catchable balls thrown his way; however, he has a big upside and has been one of the players that has been impressive during training camp. Evans is a versatile possession wide receiver who has the ability to play inside and outside the slot. One of the biggest disadvantages of his game is the lack of speed. Special Teams Coach Bobby April has expressed how he likes Chris Owusu, T.J. Graham, Jeremy Kerley, Hakim Saalim, and Walter Powell as candidates for special teams purposes which might hurt him in clutching a spot on the final roster. His saving grace, is that Todd Bowles will make the final call as to who makes the roster and who does not. If Todd Bowles feels Evans can be a big time contributor on the Jets offense he can find himself on the final roster, however if the Jets are looking for speed and a wide receiver who can contribute on special teams it might ultimately hurt his chances at getting a roster spot.
Wes Saxton: Saxton is a tight end who was an undrafted free agent from South Alabama. He has a big upside who was one of the fastest tight ends out of this years draft class. Chan Gaileys offense would work to his favor since he played a similar system at South Alabama. He a big upside who has the ability to develop into a solid hand catcher and a good blocker, however there are still parts of his game that is still raw and might be a year away from being NFL ready. He has the athletic traits that has some Charles Clay to his game. The Jets need a blocking tight end, and if Saxton can show the Jets coaching staff that he can block well it will help improve his chances of making the final roster. His biggest competition comes from veterans Kellen Davis and Steve Maneri.