It’s really hard not to like Jets’ third-round draft choice, tight-end Jeremy Ruckert.
He’s a man after my own heart.
Our stories are just too similar. I too have a story of growing up as a fan dreaming one day of being in the NFL.
My journey in fact led to the same team Ruckert now plays for, the New York Jets.
It actually brings tears to my eyes even writing about it. I understand the passion Ruckert described to reporters, “It’s a dream come true,” Ruckert said after he was drafted. “I’ve dreamed of this since I was a little kid. I grew up a Jets fan. My whole family grew up as Jets fans. Going to practices when they used to practice at Hofstra and going to games as a kid.”
Yes, Hofstra at Weeb Ewbank Hall. I spent four years there in pro scouting. I remember it well. I remember it fondly.
Ruckert’s words touch my soul.
Like I said, it is hard not to like Ruckert as a fan.
Local Long Island kid gets drafted by the Jets. It is the thing movies are made of.
However, I have to separate myself as a fan here and put on my evaluator hat for a few minutes.
Nothing personal, and again congratulations to you Jeremy Ruckert. I will be cheering for you and I hope you become a legend for the Jets.
I like (scratch that). I love everything about Ruckert as an evaluator, except the round he was taken in. After going back and watching Ruckert at Ohio State last year, the evaluator in me says he would have been the perfect fifth or sixth-round pick.
Ruckert struggled to create separation consistently in the passing game, and he was all over the road as a run blocker.
I will say this, this guy reminds me of the movie, Rocky. I mean Ruckert is as competitive as they come. Ruckert is a fighter. I have no issue with any of that.
It is just in the third-round team general manager Joe Douglas had a lot more pressing needs after dropping $44 million dollars on free agent tight ends C.J. Uzomah and Tyler Conklin.
The Jets’ line offensive is hanging together by a thread at tackle with their two starters coming off knee surgeries, and the pass rush needs a lot more juice if the Jets have any chance of getting off the runway in 2022.
Again, I think Ruckert would have been the perfect Jets draft pick in the fifth or sixth-round with the perfect story.
I just don’t see how he is going to get onto the field a whole lot with the kind of money Douglas has soaked into Uzomah and Conklin. Barring injury and unless the offense goes into three tight-end sets with some new innovative offensive concepts, I am just not catching Douglas’ vision.
Former NFL Scout Criticizes Jets For Drafting Ohio State TE Jeremy Ruckert
Grading Jeremy Ruckert
6-foot-5, 252 pounds
2021 game film reviewed: Penn State, Michigan and Purdue
Grade: C+ (Average; nothing special about the player)
Extremely competitive tight-end with average one-gear football speed and inconsistencies. In the passing game comes off the line and shows methodical speed. Occasionally able to gain separation if he is not tightly covered. Could not create separation against tight man. Average hip flexibility at route break points. Average athletic ability. No Burst. Struggled to get open when covered downfield. Did catch a couple of nice intermediate level passes when lightly covered. More of a short-range check down option in the flats. Tough as nails after catches and tough to bring down. Works at it as a run blocker. Good with leverage on down blocks or corner hook blocks. Good when he can get into a defender with momentum. Outside of that, struggles to sustain and he has a tendency to get out of control. Lacks playing strength to sustain. Works at it and gives top effort, just lacks technique as a run blocker. Barely held up and lost way too many times in these three games. He does have some Mickey Shuler to his game.
Like I said, I am one of Ruckert’s biggest fans.
I love everything about him except where he sits on the Jets’ depth chart, the round he was taken in - - and his limitations and inconsistencies.
One thing we can all bank on is Ruckert will give it everything he has to give and he will leave it all on the field.
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