Post Draft Notebook

Hobson is good, but he doesn't upgrade speed at linebacker<p>

The Jets selection of Michigan linebacker Victor Hobson in the second round was surprising. There is no doubting he's a very good football player. He led the Wolverines in tackles and was All Big Ten this past season. He's a solid football player with good leadership ability.

But after telling us the last few months that they wanted to improve their team speed in this draft, why are they picking a linebacker who ran 4.85 at the Combine. The Jets claim they timed him faster than that, but it's questionable that he is going to upgrade their speed at linebacker.

And the bigger question is will he be able to handle the coverage responsibilities that come with playing strongside linebacker in the Jets defense. The Jets feel he's a good coverage linebacker, but others don't agree with them.

"He is much better vs. the run than the pass," wrote the late Joel Buchsbaum for Pro Football Weekly. "He is stiff in drops and gets turned easily in coverage. He can get lost in space. He lacks top end speed and needs work in space and in coverage."

"He needs to develop his skills in coverage," wrote Ourlads draft guide. "Is primarily a forward moving player. He struggles against backs in man-to-man."

And what does Hobson consider his strength?

"I think I'm stronger against the run," said Hobson. "I'm a run-stopping linebacker." Let's throw out this theory that the Jets are trying to play the Tampa Bay defense. Aside from the Cover Two and three-technique tackle positions, it looks like they are playing more of Ted Cottrell's Buffalo system.

If the Jets were truly playing the Tampa system they would have picked a 4.5-4.6 linebacker in the second round, not a 4.85.

Hobson would never be on Tampa's radar screen. Is Hobson is a good player? Yes. Will he help the Jets? Definitely. Will he help improve their team speed? No.

Askew a terrific third round value

You have to love the Jets third round selection of B.J. Askew. Remember the team entered the draft thin at fullback with the departure of Richie Anderson. They also lacked a third string tailback after Chad Morton left. Askew fills both of these roles.

Remember while this guy is built like a fullback, he was Michigan's primary ball-carrier in 2001. So despite being built like a fullback at 6-2, 241 pounds, he can be featured. As a senior he alternated between tailback and fullback. While he clearly needs a lot of work on his blocking, he is a very tough player. He should turn into a good blocker with some coaching from Jets running back coach Bishop Harris.

Another plus about Askew is that Mike Westhoff thinks he can be an excellent special teams player.

So this guy brings a lot to the table for the Jets in the third round. He will give them quality depth behind Jerald Sowell at fullback. He can be the feature back if Curtis Martin and Lamont Jordan get hurt, and he will instantly become one of their special team's head-hunters.

Who's this Yovanovits dude?

The Jets might have a seventh round steal in guard Dave Yovanovits. While he wasn't listed in any of the published draft guides, he blew the Jets away in a recent workout. He ran a 4.88 forty at 300 pounds and showed very good flexibility for a big man. They love his athletic ability.

One reason he was below the radar screen is that he was a 6-3 offensive tackle at Temple. That is obviously short to play tackle in the NFL. But the Jets feel he could make a good NFL guard. He was certainly worth taking a flyer on in the seventh round.

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