The New York Jets cashed in all of their assets to walk away with seven players after the 2022 NFL draft.
Although their work is far from over with the undrafted free agency game in full flower. With that, Gang Green proved they were willing to put their money where their mouth was early in the bidding war.
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A Lot of Moolah
A lot of agents prefer their clients don’t get drafted late on day three of the NFL draft so they can control the narrative.
During the draft, the power is in the teams’ hands who have the picks, but as soon as the clock strikes zero the power flips to the players.
Now all of the sudden it is open hunting season with a pool of prospects being bid on by interested NFL teams.
For the Jets, they had a unique advantage because their last selection was in the fourth round of the 2022 NFL draft. In other words, they had extra time to set their undrafted free agent board while other teams were still making selections.
They used their time wisely as they signed former Middle Tennessee State linebacker DQ Thomas. To land him they had to dole out over $130,000 in guaranteed money, per Tom Pelissero of the NFL Network.
A Clear Path to the Final Roster
Thomas played five years for the Blue Raiders and racked up some ridiculous numbers:
- 20.5 sacks
- 53 tackles for loss
- Eight forced fumbles
Those numbers would be impressive just on the surface, but when you consider he is now the all-time leader in MTSU’s history for TFLs and is third all-time in sacks, it stands out even more.
The 6-foot-1, 226-pound defender has some intriguing traits that also clearly stood out to the Jets.
Thomas ran a 4.65 40-yard dash and has a 79 5/8 wingspan. Head coach Robert Saleh has proven to be a traits guy versus production when selecting his linebackers.
DQ actually brings both of those elements to the table. With two of the starting spots locked up in CJ Mosley and Quincy Williams, there is still plenty of room to crack the linebacker rotation.
Jets analyst David Wyatt-Hupton compared his athletic score numbers to that of Kwon Alexander.
This offseason Gang Green didn’t make any significant additions at the position which leaves the door wide open for someone like Thomas to take advantage.
Saleh when speaking to senior reporter Eric Allen after the draft said, “a lot of undrafted free agents make it.”
A big reason to feel optimistic about DQ making the final 53-man roster is the amount of guaranteed money they handed him. You don’t throw around that kind of cash unless you have a clear and obvious vision for him in your defense.
The talented linebacker will get his first crack at making an impact later this week at rookie minicamp which gets underway on Friday, May 6, and will run through the weekend.
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