Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Calvin Pryor Nails His Debut for the New York Jets

Jets rookie safety Calvin Pryor made his preseason debut last weekend against the Bengals, and the first-round pick out of Louisville did not disappoint. Pro Football Spot's Johnny Shea named Pryor as one of five Jets to watch against the Bengals, and the coaching staff gave us plenty of opportunity to see him in action. Pryor played 49 snaps in Saturday's win, making seven tackles (four solo, one for loss), defending two passes and recovering a fumble.

As always, the box score doesn't tell the whole story. While the numbers look good, many defensive backs can rack up tackles without them having much meaning. A poor front seven can lead to copious tackle opportunities for an NFL safety, but if most of those tackles come more than five yards from the line of scrimmage, is that safety really an impact player?

This was not the case with Calvin Pryor's performance on Saturday. In the interest of full disclosure, Pryor was one of my favorite players in this year's draft and somebody I was higher on than many of my peers. I watched a good amount of Louisville football last season and Pryor absolutely popped off the screen. He's a hard-hitting playmaker with range and ball skills, the protype for a top-tier NFL safety.

Pryor certainly has his flaws, which I went into in this scouting report on the opening Thursday night of the draft. I also note in that report that I think the Jets should have taken a cornerback, namely Darqueze Dennard, and that position is certainly the albatross of the Jets' defense at the moment. Regardless of need, Pryor is proving why the Jets' brass was so high on him: He is ALWAYS around the football.

Read more at Pro Football Spot

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