With the departure of starting FB Richie Anderson, the Jets needed to address the fullback position in the draft. Jerald Sowell is being viewed as a capable first-team fullback but the position lacked depth. The selection of 6'3" 241 lb. BJ Askew in the third round gives the Jets depth and versatility at FB. We caught up with Jets GM Terry Bradway, Running Backs Coach Bishop Harris, and Director of Scouting Jesse Kaye to discuss BJ Askew...
GM Bradway, you stated on ESPN that this was going to really be a defensive draft. Can you address the offensive selection of BJ Askew?
Terry Bradway: "Well, we strayed from defense and addressed another need.. That need is a backup fullback...Mike (Westhoff, Special Teams Coach) also likes him in terms of special teams and feels like he can contribute in that area."
Coach Harris, aside from versatility, Jets fans also know that Richie Anderson functioned primarily as Curtis Martin's lead blocker. Can BJ Askew be an effective blocking FB after very little experience without the ball at Michigan?
Bishop Harris: "Things I look for is not how much he can block, but whether he has the ability to reduce and strike a blow, if he has the ability to change direction. Then it all becomes whether or not he can adjust to the coaching of what we ask him to do. I feel very strongly that he can and there is no question in my mind that he's a tough player. He plays tough. He plays physical and those are the attributes you look for.. If a guy is like that, he will be a good blocker."
As Director of Scouting you did a lot of evaluating draft prospects. Can you talk about how the Jets look for a different kind of fullback than the rest of the league and how BJ fits that mold?
Jesse Kaye: "It's a pretty difficult combination of skills to always fill. The guy has to be intelligent enough to lineup in a number of different positions and define his blocking assignments, which vary when the ball is snapped. He's got to be able to catch the ball and run routes. He has to be able to recognize blitzes and he's got to be able to run the ball at times and primarily be a blocker. Now, he doesn't have to be the old fullback type of smash-mouth blocker, but he's got to be able to move and be athletic enough to get pieces and angles and screen people and be an efficient blocker. That is a lot of skills to bring to one position in a guy that is big enough to do that and physical enough to do it. It's a combination and this guy, I think Bishop has said, seems to have that versatile combination. As far as a blocker, I think one reason, if he is not a finish blocker, is probably because he has been a running back most of his life and that is a difficult transition to make for players because it is a mindset. I think this guy has the mindset and he's blocked this year and played this year at fullback, so I think that is a definite advantage there..."
Jets like what they see B.J. Askew
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