Ryan not a fan of Jets' draft grades

Rex Ryan has always be a glass half full kind of guy. So it should come as no surprise that Ryan laughed off the skepticism swirling in the media over the Jets draft grades. Find out why Ryan believes that this year's draft class could be the best one on his watch.

--The instant reaction to the Jets' draft was one of skepticism. NFL.com gave the Jets a C+ grade while the New York Post issued the Jets a D. In a separate story, NFL analyst and former scout Dave Razzano told the paper the Jets' decision to trade up in the second round to select Georgia Tech wide receiver Stephen Hill was "a head-scratcher" and that the Jets were "just taking a guy because he can run fast. He wins the Combine."

Coach Rex Ryan, not surprisingly, feels a bit differently about the Jets' haul.

"Everybody put everybody (in the AFC East) ahead of us, which I think is hilarious, but I think we had a heck of a draft," Ryan told reporters at a charity function.

Ryan said he counted Tim Tebow-whom the Jets acquired from the Broncos in March for a fourth-round pick-as part of the Jets' draft.

"When you put Tim Tebow in there as a fourth-round pick, it looks even better," Ryan said.

Ryan initially declared Quinton Coples (the first-round defensive end out of North Carolina whose motor has been questioned) and Hill (who had just 28 catches as the deep threat at Georgia Tech last year) would be immediate starters, though he later tempered his words.

"They're going to play significantly," Ryan told reporters Saturday. "Is it 100 percent that it's all 16 games? It really depends on what we're in."

--Ryan wasn't the only one to predict big things from Hill. Ex-Jets quarterback Vinny Testaverde, who worked out with Hill at IMG Academy in Florida prior to the draft, told the New York Post he thought Hill was "going to be one of the standout receivers in years to come.

"In NFL terms, this kid's a stud," Testaverde told the Post. "Physically, he reminds me of Terrell Owens, that type of body. He may be faster than Terrell Owens. We'll see. I hate to compare him to anybody, but certainly his attitude and his work habits are outstanding."

--The Jets created a competition at kicker Wednesday by signing veteran Josh Brown, who will vie for the job in training camp with incumbent Nick Folk. Brown, 33, is a nine-year veteran who spent the last six seasons with the Rams before he was released once the Rams selected Missouri Western kicker Greg Zuerlein in the sixth round of last weekend's draft. Brown hit 21 of 28 field goals last season. Folk was 19-of-25 on field goals in his second season with the Jets last year.

--The Jets don't technically have an open competition at quarterback, but all eyes will be on Mark Sanchez and Tim Tebow once camp opens. Rex Ryan said he was pleased with how both players looked when he got his first look at them on the practice field this week but unwittingly provided a glimpse into the delicacy with which the situation must be handled. Asked about Tebow's performance this week, Ryan said he was "outstanding" but quickly added "Same thing with Mark." Sanchez was famously unhappy when Ryan gave some first-team reps to former backup Mark Brunell, who was nowhere near a threat to Sanchez' job, as a motivational tool last November.

--The Jets cut defensive lineman Ropati Pitoitua and wide receiver Logan Payne Wednesday. They also signed long snapper Derek Chard, who spent time in the Steelers' training camp last year.

--A player with a last name very familiar to New York-area football fans will be among those participating in this weekend's rookie minicamp in Florham Park. Matt Simms, the son of ex-Giants quarterback Phil Simms, is one of nearly three dozen undrafted free agents who will try and earn an invite to training camp. Simms starred as a high schooler at Don Bosco Prep in New Jersey but had an up-and-down collegiate career at Louisville, El Camino College in California and Tennessee.


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