Murphy's take: More of a in-the-box type safety that plays hard, but may lack the true range and speed to make the same plays he did at the college level in the pros. Earned high grades from coaches and teammates for his work ethic and intangibles; hard to see him getting enough reps in camp to make a push for a roster spot.
Rayshaun Kizer (CB\5-9, 185\Walsh), was a three-year starter at NAIA Walsh University (OH). He finished his career with 12 interceptions, third-best in school history. The All-MSFA (Mid-States Football Association) Mideast Selection picked off five passes his senior season, including two that he returned for touchdowns.
Murphy's take: An interesting small school defender that impressed a handful of area scouts that saw him in pre-draft workouts. Shows good ball skills on tape, but it's hard to judge him against skill position players that are so much slower than the ones that populate the NFL. Worth observing early in camp to see if he might have the skills to earn a trip to NFL Europa next season.
Jared Newberry (LB\6-2, 235\Stanford) was selected in the sixth round (183rd overall) by the Redskins in the 2005, but was cut during camp and spent time on the Patriots' and Titans' practice squads in 2005, and 49ers' practice squad in 2006. Played for the Frankfurt Galaxy in NFL Europa in 2006 and started 10 games in helping the Galaxy to a World Bowl victory. He is a former Stanford University walk-on who became a co-captain his senior season, finishing with 112 tackles, six sacks and two interceptions.
Murphy's take: Young veteran player that was drafted two years ago and has bumped around with limited opportunities thus far to make an impact. Seen as more of a backup and special teams player. A bright, versatile linebacker that can be tried at several positions and will give an honest days work on special teams. The type of guy that could grow on a defensive staff like the Jets.
Jesse Pellot-Rosa (WR\6-4, 195\Virginia Commonwealth), is a former high-school wide receiver, who was recruited for football at Tennessee, Alabama and Virginia before choosing basketball at Virginia Commonwealth. He averaged 13.3 PPG and shot over 42% from three-point range in leading VCU to a Colonial Athletic Association title and a first round upset of Duke in the 2007 NCAA Division I Basketball Tournament (14 points).
Murphy's take: The Jets shoot for a wild card here as the former two-sport prep star has not played football since entering college. He is a long armed kid with enough athleticism to be offered this type of chance since it has worked several times in the past. Question would be what type of speed and toughness he possesses in order to run routes at the NFL level. This will likely be a free agent spot that the team continues to rotate until they find the right fit.
Renard Stevens (WR\6-4, 215\West Liberty State), began his career at Marshall before transferring to Division II West Liberty State in West Virginia. Stevens finished his collegiate career with 140 catches for 1,751 yards (12.5 avg) and 19 TD. He also recorded two TD receptions in the Sixth Annual East Coast Bowl for Division II All-Stars.
Murphy's take: An interesting and highly productive small-school receiver that made an impact at the East Coast Bowl, but also ran in the mid 4.7's, which caused many scouts to fear that he was just not explosive enough out of his cuts or down-the-field to contribute much at the pro level. He is all arms and legs in the sense that he is a thinly built guy for his size, so it is doubtful that they would look to bulk him up much, but he does give the Jets a taller-framed receiver for their cornerbacks to face in 1-on-1 drills during training camp.
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