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Coaching in the Senior Bowl as a staff this week for the first time since 1979 is a significant opportunity for the New York Jets. That’s because it will give head coach Robert Saleh and the rest of his staff a chance to see half of the players up close and get to know them a little better than if they simply were watching the weeklong practices and Saturday’s game between the American and National teams. 

With that in mind, here, in alphabetical order, are several players on the Jets’ National squad they should pay close attention to. (By the way, why are the Jets of the AFC coaching the National squad and the Detroit Lions of the NFC coaching the American team?) 

Coby Bryant, cornerback, Cincinnati 

The Jets believe they have a pat hand at corner with the late-season improvement of sixth-round selection Darrin Echols. I’m not so sure. 

Bryant didn’t get as much publicity as Sauce Gardner, the Bearcats’ shutdown corner who played opposite him, but he won the Jim Thorpe Award as the nation’s top defensive back and projects as a third-round selection. 

Jahan Dotson, wide receiver, Penn State 

The speedster projects at the end of the first round or early in the second, and could give the Jets another deep threat to go with 2021 second-round pick Elijah Moore. That is, if offensive coordinator Mike LaFleur opens up his playbook in quarterback Zach Wilson’s second season and dials up more downfield throws. 

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Jeremiah Hall, fullback, Oklahoma 

The Jets seem satisfied with converted tight end Trevon Wesco at fullback, although they did pick up veteran Nick Bawden in September. Hall, a tight end and H-back with the Sooners for the past two seasons, began his career in Norman as a fullback. He has solid receiving skills, with 68 career receptions for the Sooners. 

Zion Johnson, guard, Boston College 

Yes, the Jets still don’t know long-term if 2020 first-round pick Mekhi Becton, who didn’t play a full game in 2021 because of injury, is the solution at left tackle. But New York’s most pressing O-line concern is at right guard. Pending free agent Laurent Duvernay-Tardif was not impressive in his late-season audition. 

Johnson, a top-notch run-blocker, projects as a second-rounder and could be a plug-and-play type.   

Kerby Joseph, safety, Illinois 

Granted, it’s possible the Jets may take Notre Dame’s Kyle Hamilton, thought by many to be a generational talent, at No. 4 overall. Still, they need a lot of help at this position. Joseph’s overall rating of 90.4 by Pro Football Focus was tops in the country for a college safety, and he is considered to be excellent in coverage. New York has struggled to cover opposing tight ends for several seasons. 

Trey McBride, tight end, Colorado State 

Wilson established a good rapport last season with Ryan Griffin, but the Jets need a potential star at the position. McBride, the winner of the John Mackey Award, could give them that star quality. He had 90 receptions for a 12.5-yard average for Colorado State last season and is thought to be a solid blocker as well. 

Bo Melton, wide receiver, Rutgers 

Melton is an intriguing Day 3 prospect as a potential slot receiver, special-teamer, and gadget-style player, just in case the Jets don’t re-sign free agent Braxton Berrios. Melton averaged 12.3 yards on 164 receptions over parts of five seasons for the Scarlet Knights, but didn’t benefit from having NFL-caliber QBs. That won’t be a problem for Melton this week, with Pitt’s Kenny Pickett, Cincinnati’s Desmond Ridder and Nevada’s Carson Strong on hand.

Andrew Mevis, kicker, Iowa State 

Yes, Eddy Pineiro seemed to finally stabilize the position for the Jets down the stretch, making all eight of his field-goal attempts and going 9-for-10 on PATs. 

But they will have a chance to make notes on Mevis for future reference, and special teams coordinator Brant Boyer will get to know him a little more than if the team just brought him in for a Tuesday workout during the season. Mevis went 20-for-23 on field-goal attempts for the Cyclones last season. He was perfect inside 40 yards and 2-for-2 from 50 yards or more.

Source: Forbes

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