New York Jets Draft Review

The Jets lost a ton of offensive power-fire in the off-season as free agents fled in droves to the Redskins. As a result, the franchise picked up several extra selections and made a bold move just before the start of the draft.








Dewayne Robertson*





Victor Hobson





B.J. Askew





Derek Pagel





Matt Walters


Miami (FL)



Brooks Bollinger





Dave Yovanovits



After a rough start to the '02 campaign, the Jets defense eventually jelled and became a solid unit, though there was room for improvement. Therefore, when the opportunity arose New York swapped the 13th and 22nd pick of round one and in return got the best defensive player in the draft.

Dewayne Robertson is as complete a lineman as one was going to find in this draft; he is a tremendous run stuffer with the ability to rush the passer. He was a one-man show for the Wildcats even though opponents doubled him in the middle. Parallels are being drawn between Robertson and Warren Sapp; a comparison we feel is justified. Robertson has the explosion, athleticism and tenacity to be an impact player at the next level. Factor in he will be joining a Jets front-four not devoid of talent and the pressure will not be what it usually is for a pick this early. We expect the UK junior to have a big campaign in 2003.

We were not as high on the team's pick in round two. Scouting Victor Hobson extensively since his freshman year in Ann Arbor, we concluded last season that he was a nice college player with a limited pro-future. Hobson is short, not very fast and does not have a true position. New York selected Hobson with the hopes of grooming him to eventually replace Mo Lewis; the franchise feels Hobson was the best linebacker in the draft covering tight ends. We'd disagree and though he was successful in that venture at Michigan, six-foot/one-half inch strong side linebackers who run a 4.85 in the forty (his official combine time) just don't project all that well to the next level. In fact we do not think Hobson is all that much better than recently departed James Darling.

Staying with the Michigan program, BJ Askew was taken next. Many eyebrows were raised as most considered Askew a reach in round three. We say, "hold the fort." Askew is an athletic fullback with terrific hands out of the backfield. He fits the Jets offense like a glove and should quickly replace another free agent loss, Richie Anderson. Was round three a bit early for Askew's services? Possibly, but considering the Jets did not have another pick until the late part of round five, when Askew most certainly would've been off the board, you cannot blame them for getting their man.

Derek Pagel in round five was surprising as he epitomizes what the Jets secondary does not need; another run stuffing safety with very limited skills in pass coverage. An eventual replacement for Sam Garnes, at the very least Pagel should be a knockout special teams player.

Seizing Matt Walters in the same frame was a bargain. Walters is perfectly suited as a back up and could see spot duty at either tackle or end. He is tough as hell and gives top effort. Should he fill out his tall, lanky frame Walters could be a very good player in the NFL.

Brooks Bollinger was worth the risk of a late round pick. The Jets need a young quarterback to develop as a back up for Chad Pennington and from a physical standpoint, Bollinger has what is needed. They will either stash him on injured reserve or try to sneak him onto the practice squad. Should the technical and mental aspects of his game come close to his athletic skills, Bollinger will be in the league for a while.

Dave Yovanovits in the last frame was a joke. Coming into the season people within the Temple program told us Yovanovits had no pro-future and we saw it first hand when scouting the Owls live against Oregon State. Passing up several solid wide outs still available was surprising.

The only undrafted free agent of note the Jets signed was local product Ian Smart, of CW Post. A quick-footed runner, he must excel as a return specialist and give the franchise a glimmer of hope that he can replace the production lost when Chad Morton left.

This could be a one-man draft as the better Robertson plays the more people will consider it a success. Unfortunately, the Jets did not come away with a big-bodied receiver or any prospects at cornerback, both areas of need.


Scout NFL Network Top Stories