Jets rookies looking very Green at training camp

By on August 4, 2014

CORTLAND — Rex Ryan gave his draft class an “A-plus” last season, but even he wouldn’t be so generous grading the early performances of this year’s rookies. Opening day is still five weeks away but Gang Green’s first-year players are almost all getting off to a slow start. That could be seen in Saturday’s Green & White scrimmage, where the rookies failed to make an impact. Let’s take a look at the draft picks who have been disappointing:

Jace Amaro, TE

The second-rounder caught 106 passes at Texas Tech last year, but he’s having trouble hanging on to the ball in camp. It’s clear Amaro is working hard — he is one of the last people off the field every day after running extra routes — but he’s also having trouble picking up the offense. Offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg targeted next week for Amaro to turn it around.

Dexter McDougle, CB

The talk about McDougle has quieted significantly from the spring, when Ryan singled out the corner in front of the whole team and commended the youngster for picking up the defense. Now? The only reason Ryan mentions McDougle is because of his groin injury, which kept him out of Saturday’s scrimmage. It’s been a rough camp for McDougle, who has drawn a comment from defensive coordinator Dennis Thurman, who rarely criticizes his players.

“Well, he is not playing as well as he can play, but the expectation is that he will continue to work to get better,” Thurman said.

Shaq Evans, WR

All the rookie wide receivers have struggled, but none more than Evans. When he’s been healthy, Evans has had issues with drops and has rarely made plays. Now, after dealing with a shoulder injury, Evans isn’t even able to get on the field. He also missed Saturday’s scrimmage.

Calvin Pryor, S

Compared to the rest of the rookies, Pryor’s problem early in camp — a concussion — isn’t that bad. The safety has yet to demonstrate the hard-hitting style he’s known for, but he basically has a clean slate because he’s starting a little late.

Tajh Boyd, QB

Boyd is looking like a draft mistake. The sixth-round pick out of Clemson brings plenty of charisma to the locker room but virtually nothing to the field. Boyd has thrown at least six interceptions in camp while getting very few reps.

Quincy Enunwa, WR

Enunwa battled a hip injury for the first part of camp and just appears to be getting over it now. Unlike Evans, Enunwa is probably on the outside looking in at a roster spot given that he was a sixth-round pick.

Jalen Saunders, WR

Saunders has been the best wide receiver of the three selected in May. The fourth-round pick made a few plays early in camp but hasn’t done much since. He’s actually shown surprising tenacity as a blocker despite his 5-9, 164-pound frame.

Cunningham out: OLB Jermaine Cunningham tore his Achilles tendon in Saturday night’s intrasquad scrimmage, according to a source. A borderline candidate to make the Jets’ 53-man roster, Cunningham is expected to be out for the season.

The Jets signed Cunningham in November 2013.

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