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An up-to-date depth chart for the Jets would currently have Trumaine Johnson and Darryl Roberts as the starters with Brian Poole pencilled in as the nickel back. While the team might hold out hope that youngsters such as Derrick Jones or Parry Nickerson could step up and challenge for a role, they ideally need to improve their depth and find an upgrade to start over Roberts.
Whether or not they trade down in the draft, the Jets are expected to have their eye on a handful of potential day two picks at the cornerback position. They'll be looking for a long-term solution, but ideally will be targeting someone who can contribute right away.
One such cornerback who could potentially drop to the third round is Penn State's Amani Oruwariye, although some experts believe he could go earlier than that. If the Jets were to pick up a second-round pick in a trade down, could he be a possible target?
Projected Pick: Day two
College (career): 106 tackles, eight interceptions, 20 passes defended
Combine: 36.5-inch vertical, 4.47 in the 40-yard dash
Oruwariye certainly looks the part with good height and a strong frame. This enables him to be physical at the catch point and to be able to effectively jam his man at the line of scrimmage in press coverage.
Ball skills are arguably Oruwariye's most impressive attribute. He tracks the ball well, getting his head turned around and locating it early, and has a knack for disrupting as the receiver tries to secure the catch. Oruwariye has seven interceptions in the last two seasons, with a number of these coming on contested catches.
While he's capable in press coverage, Oruwariye also has good awareness and positional sense in zone coverages. This positional versatility could be invaluable at the NFL level where creative defensive coordinators will constantly seek to vary up their coverage looks.
Oruwariye also has the size and willingness to make contributions in run support and to come up and make the tackle on short passes underneath.
One concern with Oruwariye is that he's not very experienced, having only moved into a full-time starter's role in his senior year. However, he had always performed well in a rotational role and his coverage numbers were just as good when given a starter's workload. He's strictly a boundary corner though, as he hasn't played much in the slot.
There is still some technical rawness to Oruwariye's game, but he's a developing player and NFL coaching could fix this, which could create immediate improvements to his game in terms of his ability to stay with his man and recover when initially beaten.
Oruwariye is not considered to be an elite athlete, but his combine performance was more than adequate for a player of his size. He was said to have trained hard to get his 40-yard dash time under 4.5, so perhaps additional performance gains are possible once he gets onto an NFL roster. Such improvements will benefit his on-field play, where his long speed and ability to recover have been underwhelming at times.
One final weakness some experts have picked up on is his tackling. However, this may again be a technique issue which could be improved upon with NFL-level coaching. He has the size and displays the ability to be a secure tackler and make the occasional big hit, but his technique can let him down from time to time.
There are a group of day two options that could interest the Jets in this year's draft with Oruwariye appearing to be one who would be a good fit. If the Jets are high on a number of these options, then the smart approach might be just to wait and choose from whichever ones fall to them in the third round where they are currently scheduled to pick at 68 and then again at 93. However, if they identify someone who is an ideal fit, then it might make more sense to use an earlier pick on that player.
The team has already had Oruwariye in for a visit, so they'll have a good sense of where his value lies and if he's a viable option. If the Jets acquire more picks by trading down, as is widely expected, perhaps Oruwariye could be the type of player they target earlier on, rather than waiting for the third round.