DraftFix: Do the Jets care about arm length?

As we get into evaluating each of the rookies drafted or signed by the Jets this offseason, it's tempting to try and see if we can identify any trends that will tell us about which attributes Joe Douglas values most.

To that end, having carried out the first three in-depth scouting reports on the undrafted rookies, one such pattern appears to be emerging.

Bryce Huff, Jared Hilbers and Shyheim Carter - the three Jets undrafted rookies to whom they guaranteed the most money - each have extremely short arms. In fact, their arm length would fall below the 5th percentile at their position based on historical combine measurements. For Hilbers and Carter it actually comes in at the second percentile.

Furthermore, for Hilbers, that's only if we treat his position as offensive lineman, rather than offensive tackle. For offensive tackles, the shortest arm length in combine history is 32 inches, whereas his measured at just under 31.5 when he was at the East West Shrine Game.

In all three cases, it is almost unprecedented for a player with arms that short to have NFL success at their given position. Already there has been some talk of Hilbers moving to guard, Carter to safety and Huff moving to inside linebacker to mitigate these issues.

Last year, the Jets drafted Blake Cashman, who similarly has such a short wingspan that it's almost unprecedented for anyone with arms that short to have NFL success. Cashman did have some initial success but his bigger concern right now is not with the length of his arms but how securely they are attached to his surgically repaired shoulders.

Cashman was a bit of a departure for Maccagnan, though, as the previous general manager had seemed to prioritize length, at least in the early rounds. Former defensive line coach Pepper Johnson actually specifically criticized the Jets for caring too much about length and drafting Leonard Williams when they could have had a more disruptive player in the stockier Grady Jarrett.

So, how about this new regime? Do they just not care? Or do they feel like they might be able to find some bargains like Jarrett because decision makers like Maccagnan have taken guys off their board due to arm length when they might still be capable of producing?

Moreover, is there even a pattern? If you've been paying attention, the rest of the draft class did have a few other players with less than ideal length; namely Jabari Zuniga and Ashtyn Davis. However, the only other draft pick that doesn't have good-to-great length is Braden Mann and he's a punter so who cares? The top two picks - Mekhi Becton and Denzel Mims - actually have elite length, therefore continuing the previous trend set by Maccagnan.

The pattern doesn't see to follow for the rest of the undrafted free agent class either. While there is no published arm length for George Campbell or Domenique Davis, Lawrence Cager and Lamar Jackson have good length and Sterling Johnson and Javelin Guidry are in the middle of the pack.

Ultimately, we can conclude that the Jets haven't necessarily gone out of their way to seek out players with short arms, but at the same time they're not going to let traditional measurables dissuade them from taking a look at some talented rookies.

As to whether any of those three can make it - at their usual position or a new one - we'll have to wait and see, but one thing they do have in common is potential based on their collegiate film.