Jets draft wrap up

The Jets finished the second and final day of the 2003 draft with four selections. The Jets traded their fourth round draft choice as part of the compensation package as part of the trade that moved the Jets to the fourth spot overall in the draft. The Jets ended up, in total, with seven players from the 2003 NFL Draft. <BR><BR>

With the 140th pick overall in the fifth round, the Jets selected University of Iowa safety Derek Pagel. A 6-1, 210-pound native of Plainfield, Iowa, Pagel recorded 154 tackles, 14 passes defensed, five tackles for losses of 14 yards, five interceptions for 90 yards, two fumble recoveries, a forced fumble and a blocked kick. He was a two-year starter for the Big Ten Champion Hawkeyes.

"I want to get myself on every special team possible, show them what they are looking for and make myself a backup," said Pagel. "I want to learn their system and know what's going on with the other teams' offense and come in and make plays."

"This is a kid who has been a starter for the last year-and-a-half and he had an excellent workout for us. He ran a 4.52 in the forty and benched 225 25 times. He's very smart and had the respect of his coaches at Iowa," said General Manager Terry Bradway. "(Jets special teams coach) Mike Westhoff had him rated as the third best defensive back from a special teams standpoint."

With the 150th selection in the fifth round in a pick the Jets moved up three spots to acquire from Kansas City in return for the Jets' 153rd pick and a swap of sixth round picks (189 to and 200 to the Jets), the Jets tabbed defensive lineman Matt Walters from the University of Miami (FL). The 6-4 ½, 272-pound Walters was a four-year letterman and two-year starter at left defensive tackle for the perennial national contending 'Canes. He started 26 of the 47 games he played in and racked up 186 tackles, 45 quarterback pressures, 25 tackles for losses of 79 yards, 14 sacks for minus 51 yards, nine passes defensed, two forced fumbles and an interception.

"We traded with Kansas City and moved up three spots in the fifth to make sure that we got Matt Walters," said Bradway. "He's a guy who was highly respected in their program and won their off-season strength and conditioning awards and was a leader of the group of defensive lineman there. He was a four-year player on a pretty good defensive line with some pretty good players."

"I think it will be an easy transition," said Walters of moving from collegiate defensive tackle to defensive end. "We had a lot of injuries throughout the years and almost half the season I practiced at defensive end. Most of the time I practiced defensive end during the week and played tackle on Saturdays. It won't be a big deal. I'm used to the position already."

In the sixth round, the Jets traded their own pick, the 189th selection to the Kansas City Chiefs in exchange for the 200th overall selection as part of the move up earlier in the previous round. The Jets, in turn, selected University of Wisconsin quarterback Brooks Bollinger.

Bollinger, a 6-1, 205-pound native of Grand Forks, ND, was a four-year starter for the Badgers and became just the seventh player in Big Ten history to win 30 games in his career. He completed 414 passes on 771 attempts for 5,627 yards with 38 touchdown passes to only 17 interceptions and a 53.7 completion percentage. He also owns the Wisconsin record for most rushing yards by a quarterback (1,767) on 518 carries for a 3.4 average and 26 touchdowns.

"I think they saw my decision-making ability and my ability to protect the football with a tremendous upside," said Bollinger. "I think the physical attributes that I have can only get better in their system."

"He's a very good athlete and a guy who has been a starter there for four years and been to two Rose Bowls and been the Big 10 Player of the Year," said Bradway. "He's competitive and a good athlete and our coaches really liked that and thought that he could fit into this system."

In the seventh round with the 237th pick, the Jets tabbed Temple University offensive lineman Dave Yovanovits, a 6-3, 295-pound native of Stanhope High School in New Jersey. He was a four-year starter for the Owls and played every offensive snap in 40 of the 45 games he appeared in during his career. On the collegiate level Yovanovits primarily played at the demanding left tackle spot.

"I think my main strength is my work ethic and I am very coachable. I always want to get better. I work real hard and I'm easy to get along with. I always play to the whistle," said Yovanovits. "This is a nice surprise for me," he said of being selected by the Jets.

"We had good reports on Dave," said Bradway. "(Offensive line coach) Doug Marrone really liked him and liked his athletic ability. He played left tackle at Temple and is probably better suited to play guard, although in a pinch, he could play tackle."

The Jets drafted one player from the SEC (Robertson), four players from the Big Ten (Hobson, Askew, Pagel and Bollinger) and two players out of The Big East (Walters and Yovanovits).

Jets Insider Top Stories