Dan's take on Joe McKnight

Based on the fact that the Jets moved up to pick Joe McKnight, two things are pretty clear . . .

First off, they had a very, very high rating on the runner. They picked him in the fourth round. In the minds of most NFL people, he was viewed as a second or third round-type player.

Secondly, Leon Washington's rehab is going slowly. It would be shocking if he was ready for the start of the season. Expect him to start the season on the PUP list.

McKnight was the #1 recruit in the country coming out of River Ridge, Louisiana. While he wasn't the player at USC that many people envisioned, injuries had a lot to do with that.

But there was another factor. McKnight was billed as "the second coming of Reggie Bush," and that build-up had a negative impact on him.

"I let it get to me at times," said McKnight. "I had to learn to let it go."

Now that he's out of USC, he can finally, truly "let it go."

He's now a New York Jet. He's no longer the guy who had to fill Bush's large shoes.

His skillset is very impressive.

He's a very instinctive runner with terrific vision and very quick feet. He also has soft hands and is a natural receiver. When you throw in his kick return skills, he gives you a lot of bang for your fourth round buck.

He has done some punt returning, but considering some issues he had catching the ball at USC, it's unlikely he will be used in this role with the Jets. They have too many other punt returners to put a shaky rookie back there.

Perhaps his punt catching issues were related to an accident a few years ago where his hand was caught in a door and he messed up three fingers.

Now this kid isn't going to run much between the tackles at his size, but the Jets have other guys to do that. He can be an effective jack of all trades.

This pick was clear Leon Washington insurance policy.


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