The San Francisco 49ers have agreed to a trade with the New York Jets for pass rusher Jordan Willis, per NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero. New York Post’s Brian Costello reported the Niners are acquiring Willis along with a 2021 seventh-round pick in exchange for a 2022 sixth-round selection.
Willis is playing in his fourth NFL season and has two appearances for the Jets so far in 2020. He was a third-round pick by the Bengals in the 2017 NFL Draft coming out of Kansas State. Willis spent his first two years with the Bengals before joining the Jets in 2019.
Willis was more productive with the Bengals notching 45 tackles, seven quarterback hits and an interception in his first two NFL seasons. He has spent time playing linebacker along with defensive end and the 49ers are likely hoping Willis can help with the team’s pass rush given the number of Niners’ injuries so far this season.
Former Kansas State Coach Bill Snyder on Jordan Willis: ‘Epitome of What Our Program Is All About’
During his final college season, Willis received high praise from former Kansas State head coach Bill Snyder. The legendary coach described Willis as the “epitome of what our program is all about.”
“Jordan is the epitome of what our program is all about,” Snyder told Kansas.com. “He comes to practice exactly the same way he goes to a ballgame. If you were unaware of the setting you couldn’t tell the difference between what he does on the practice field and what he does on the game field. Like I have said so many times, he is a young guy who gives you his very best of every second of every minute of every hour of every day of every week. He has learned the value of that and what it has meant to him. He has allowed that to carry over into every aspect of his life. He is going to be a highly successful young guy in a lot of ways, because he is that committed to doing the best that he can.”
Willis Was Selected as the Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year
Willis had success getting to the quarterback while at Kansas State. The pass rusher notched 8.5 sacks in 2015 and 11.5 sacks during his senior season in 2016. Willis was selected as the Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year, named to the second-team All America team and earned an invite to the Senior Bowl. 247 Sports D. Scott Fritchen described Willis’ outstanding work ethic while at Kansas State.
“It’s no surprise one of the hardest workers in the Bill Snyder era was also one of the most detail-oriented, game film-watching, muscle-conditioning, agility-drilling, quarterback-rushing dynamos ever to walk through the Vanier Family Football Complex,” Fritchen explained.
The 49ers announced a few additional roster moves as linebacker Joe Walker has been promoted to the active roster, and the team added linebacker Jonas Griffith along with tight end Daniel Helm to the practice squad.