|NFL DRAFT: Jets trade up twice; select CB Revis with 14th pick, LB Harris at No. 47|
|Written by Admin|
|Saturday, 28 April 2007 14:37|
The Jets traded their first-round pick - No. 25 overall - to Carolina for the Panthers' first-rounder - No. 14 - and selected Pittsburgh cornerback Darrelle Revis on Saturday.
``My first reaction was, I just started crying,'' Revis said on a conference call. ``It was something that I dreamed about my whole life and now it's here.''
New York also gave Carolina a second-rounder (No. 59) and a fifth-rounder (No. 164) in this year's draft, and received the Panthers' sixth-round choice (No. 191).
``As a player and as a person, we think he's a good fit,'' general manager Mike Tannenbaum said.
The Jets also moved up in the second round, acquiring Green Bay's pick (No. 47) and using it to select Michigan linebacker David Harris.
Revis should immediately fill one of the Jets' biggest needs. Veteran Andre Dyson started every game at left cornerback until he was injured in Week 15, but the right side was a different story. Justin Miller, David Barrett, Hank Poteat and rookie Drew Coleman all took turns in the starting lineup.
While all return, none is viewed as a long-term solution. Revis could be. He played left cornerback before moving to the right side last season as a junior.
``He's a good player with a lot of ability, so we'll try him at different spots and see where he fits,'' coach Eric Mangini said. ``His athleticism and the things that he brings to the table in terms of his overall style of play could work on either side.''
Revis isn't concerned about what position he plays, or if he starts - not yet, anyway.
``It's going to be competition and I know there are guys already there,'' Revis said. ``My job is to learn the system and be focused on being a Jet and building relationships around my teammates and coaches.''
The 5-foot-11, 204-pound Revis is a versatile player, something Tannenbaum and Mangini covet, and could serve as the Jets' punt returner.
``We looked at a lot of different scenarios throughout the week,'' Mangini said. ``We felt like this was a really good situation for us and we're really excited about Darrelle and looking forward to getting him here to start working.''
Revis, the nephew of former NFL defensive tackle Sean Gilbert, was also the first player in Pittsburgh history to return interceptions for touchdowns in consecutive games last season, and started 34 of 35 games for the Panthers.
Most figured the Pittsburgh Steelers would take the hometown kid until New York spoiled that possibility. The native of Aliquippa, Pa., said he wasn't disappointed.
``Whatever team picked me, I think that's a great situation for me,'' adding that he has cousins in New York who are Jets and Giants fans.
With the Panthers on the clock, it was announced that there was a trade and that the Jets were up next. The fans wearing green and white Jets jerseys cheered loudly - until the details of the deal were announced. Those same fans tempered their cheers, perhaps thinking New York gave up a bit too much for the pick.
``I was surprised; I didn't know what was going on,'' Revis said. ``When I looked on the TV, I saw Carolina picking and then I got a call from the Jets organization and that's when they told me the news.''
Revis is the first cornerback selected in the first round by the Jets since Aaron Glenn in 1994.
``Studying the other successful teams in this league, having depth at corner and having multiple corners that play a role is a common element of those teams,'' Tannenbaum said. ``In free agency, it's a premium position. So on account of all those factors and the totality of all the information we had, collectively as an organization, we made this decision.''
Harris is a tackling machine who improved his draft status with an outstanding senior season, during which he helped the Wolverines lead Division I in rush defense. He gives the Jets a nice complement to Jonathan Vilma at the inside linebacker position in New York's 3-4 defense.
``I played 3-4 in my sophomore year at Michigan, so I don't think it'll be much different,'' Harris said on a conference call.
The 6-foot-2, 243-pound Harris had 96 tackles, an interception and three sacks last season. He'll be reunited with Jets linebackers coach Jim Hermann, who left his post as Michigan's defensive coordinator after the 2005 season to join Mangini's staff.
About five hours after its first deal, New York traded its remaining second-round pick (No. 63), its third-rounder (No. 89) and sixth-rounder (No. 191) for Green Bay's pick at No. 47 and the Packers' seventh-rounder (No. 235).
With the deals, the Jets are left with just a sixth-rounder and a seventh-rounder. If New York makes no more moves, the four draft selections would be the team's fewest ever.