Breakdown: Reviewing the 2017 mini-camp invitees

Earlier today, I posted a review of the Jets' reported undrafted free agency signings from Saturday night. I'm now going to move on to discuss some of the players reportedly invited to attend rookie camp on a tryout basis.

In the past, players such as James Ihedigbo and Matt Simms have earned contracts and eventually ended up contributing on the main roster having attended mini-camp on a tryout basis. Last year, the Jets signed Bryson Keeton and - after a two week delay - Romar Morris after their mini-camp tryouts.

We will publish an in-depth scouting report for any tryout player that earns a contract next month.

The list below will be incomplete and will probably also contain a couple of veterans when all is said and done. However, the following names have been rumored or reported and when rookie camp takes place, we will update you with any interesting additions.

Tulsa QB Dane Evans

Evans has been reported elsewhere as an undrafted free agent signing for the Jets, but a source has confirmed to that this is not the case. However, Evans will get a good chance to show what he can do in his tryout.

Evans is not very big but has great intangibles. He has a well-founded reputation as a good deep passer but he also has some good mobility.


Tulsa WR Keevan Lucas

Lucas was Evans' favorite target in college and led this year's class in terms of touchdown catches from the slot. In all, he posted 15 touchdowns and had his second thousand-yard season. He had caught over 100 passes in 2014, but missed most of 2015 with a knee injury.

Lucas is an inspirational story having bounced back from losing both his mother and grandmother in high school to forge a successful college career for himself.

He posted disappointing numbers at the combine, apart from hand size, but still had issues with drops in college. However, he shows here, on a nicely lofted pass from Evans, his ability to go up and make a contested catch.


Tennessee State OL Kevin Kenton

A small-school offensive line prospect who is being projected as a guard, Kenton was one of the key cogs of an offensive line for the top scoring team in the Ohio Valley Conference. He is 316 pounds but lacks ideal length and athleticism.

Albany OL Kevin Malloy

Another small-school offensive line prospect, Malloy is a three time all-CAA selection, who put up good athletic numbers at his pro day but is undersized at 283 pounds.

Troy EDGE Rashad Dillard

Dillard is undersized and put up disappointing numbers at his pro day. However, he was extremely productive in terms of generating pressure last year and is solid against the run:


Arkansas P Toby Baker

Despite drafting Lachlan Edwards last year, the Jets probably still intend to bring in some competition for him. A good showing from Baker, whose gross average of 44.4 yards per punt was good for fourth best in the SEC last year, might prompt the Jets to sign him and give him that opportunity.

Vanderbilt C Barrett Gouger

Gouger has good size and is regarded as a good leader, but struggled as a run blocker for most of the last couple of seasons. However, he only gave up one sack last year and finished the season strong, perhaps showing development. You can get a sense of his effort levels here.


Towson RB Darius Victor

Victor took over from NFL running back Terrance West and had thousand-yard seasons in 2014 and 2015. Unfortunately, he missed most of his senior year with a toe injury. He has ability but is only 5'7" and ran just 4.7 at his pro day in the 40-yard dash.

Southern Miss OLB Ja'Boree Poole

Poole developed into a decent contributor at Southern Miss, finishing up his career with a three-sack game in a bowl game win over Louisiana-Lafayette. He ended up with seven sacks in 2016, more than in his first three years combined. He ran a sub-4.7 40-yard dash and posted a 35.5" vertical at his pro day but is again slightly undersized.

Dylan Haines S Texas

Haines went from walk-on to three year starter at Texas and was productive with 161 tackles and 13 interceptions. He also posted tremendous numbers at his pro day. However, he has had a reputation for taking bad angles and missing costly tackles in open space.

Alabama LS Cole Mazza

The Jets already re-signed Tanner Purdum and guaranteed him some money, so the chances of earning a contract are pretty slim for Mazza. However, if he can put on an impressive performance, it gives him a shot at being on the team's shortlist for the role in future, if there's an injury or Purdum leaves at the end of the year.


Louisiana-Lafayette QB Anthony Jennings

Since this article was published, Jennings has been added to the list of players with social media posts confirming they are heading to the Jets. It's unclear whether this is a tryout deal or a contract, but we assume the former. Jennings, an undersized dual-threat quarterback, played in some big games at LSU before losing the starting job and transferring. He might be a candidate for a position change.

Florida Atlantic DT Shalom Ogbonda

Ogbonda isn't a great athlete or pass rusher, but has some nice size at 6'5" and 310 pounds and did a good job in a run-stuffing role in 2016.

James Madison WR Rashard Davis

Davis is another diminutive small-school receiver who posted excellent workout numbers at his pro day. He caught 42 passes last year, but the real interest will be in his punt returning. He averaged over 28 yards per return last year, breaking several long runbacks and scoring four times.

California (PA) S Jordan Bowman

Bowman is another small-school player who put up excellent pro-day numbers. He ran a sub-4.6 40-yard dash and a 6.82 three-cone drill. He doesn't have great size, but put up 22 reps in the bench press. California of Pennsylvania is the same college current Jets safety Rontez Miles attended.

Purdue WR Domonique Young (Note: Initial reports indicated this was a UDFA signing)

Young is also rehabbing from surgery, having suffered a season ending leg injury early last year. Prior to the injury, he had been on the cusp of a break-out, having caught 29 passes in five games, including an eight catch, 136 yard performance against Cincinnati.

At 6'3", Young clearly has some good speed and athletic ability, although he hasn't been able to test due to the injury. However, he will need to prove how reliable his hands are after having dropped four passes in those five games.

Illinois DT Rob Bain

Bain is regarded as a workout warrior and lifted the bar 41 times in the bench press at his pro day. The 296-pounder has blocked four kicks in his college career.

Southern Connecticut State WR Mark Anthony Thomas

Thomas played just one year at SCSU having also attended Kansas and California (PA). He impressed with a 4.36 40-yard dash at Stony Brook's pro day, along with some other impressive numbers.

Ole Miss TE Hunter Thurley

Thurley is 6'4" but only 235, so he may need to bulk up to play tight end at the NFL level. After transferring from Wofford, he caught just four passes in two seasons in a reserve role but has some ability as a blocker.

William Patterson WR Anthony DiMarsico

DiMarsico impressed by running a 4.39 at one of his two pro day workouts. He played wide receiver in 2014 and 2016 for William Patterson but was actually their starting quarterback in 2015.

Maryland CB/PR/KR Will Likely

Likely is reportedly headed to mini-camp for "a physical and more" according to reports. He's currently rehabbing after having knee surgery. He'd be a small slot-specialist as a cornerback, but he has more value as a return man, having set records and run six kicks back for a touchdown while at Maryland.

Garden City Community College DL Jeremy Faulk

Faulk is a transfer from Baylor and was the NJCAA defensive player of the year. He has experience of playing in a 3-4 defense and ran a 5.03 40-yard dash at his pro day, at 304 pounds.

North Texas P Eric Keena

Keena was the punter for North Texas last year and also handled kick-off duties. He was on the Ray Guy watch list and had a longest punt of 68 yards.

Texas Tech FB Tyler Scalzi

Scalzi is a 240-pound fullback with some impressive power and explosiveness. He posted 37 bench press reps at his pro day and a 126" broad jump. He has not played much on offense over the past three seasons.

Fort Hays State RB Shaquille Cooper

Cooper is undersized at 5'9" and 192 and hurt his chances of being drafted when he injured a hamstring at his pro day workout and couldn't complete it. He rushed for over 1,400 yards in 2015 but fell short of the thousand yard mark in 2016 despite starting every game. He caught 34 passes and also returned some kicks last year.

North Texas DE Jareid Combs

Combs is 6'2" and 253 pounds and ran a 4.77 40-yard dash at his pro day, although some sources clocked him at 4.6. He posted slightly below average numbers across the board otherwise.

From what I've seen of him so far, he seems a little slow footed and can struggle with pad level at the point of attack in the running game. However, he developed as a pass rusher in the second of his two seasons at North Texas and put up some good pressure numbers to go along with three sacks.

Mississippi State WR Fred Brown

Brown was dismissed from college before the 2016 following an allegation of plagiarism, which he publicly accepted. He had averaged over 15 yards per catch on 27 catches as a sophomore in 2015 and posted excellent pro day results with a sub-4.5 40-yard dash, 37" vertical and a 6.82 three-cone drill.

Nicholls State OL Chris Bordelon

Bordelon is 6'5" and 315 and started all 12 games at left tackle last season on an offense that was dramatically improved. He had sat out the 2015 season with a shoulder injury.

Rookie camps will take place either next weekend or the weekend after. A source tells that it will be next weekend for the Jets, with the first on-field exercises on May 5th.

QB McLeod Bethel-Thompson (veteran)

The first of what will probably be a few veterans on this list is a 28-year old former Arena League and CFL quarterback, who has been with five different NFL teams but never played in an NFL game. He is 6'4".

RB Khiry Robinson (veteran)

Robinson was with the Jets a couple of times over the past few seasons, but twice broke his leg. He'll be hoping he can finally put those injuries behind him and make it back onto an NFL roster.

P Ben Turk (veteran)

Turk is the nephew of former NFL all-pro Matt Turk. He was the starting punter for Notre Dame but went undrafted in 2013 and hasn't played in the NFL.