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New York Jets Off the Clock: Sixth-Round Pick Defensive End Foley Fatukasi, Connecticut
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15 May 2018 02:05 PM EST

-by Daniel Mogollon, Staff Writer; Image: New York Jets sixth-round pick Foley Fatukasi. (Image Source: Associated Press)

The New York Jets had six picks in the 2018 NFL Draft, including four on Day 3. As we take the Jets “Off the Clock,” we’ll breakdown all six of their draft picks, continuing with their second of three sixth-round choices:

Round 6; Pick 6 (180th Overall): DE Foley Fatukasi, Connecticut

Measurables: A very big man, Fatukasi has above-average height at 6’ 3 ¾” with large hands (10 ¼”). His bulk (318 pounds), arm length (34 1/8”), and wingspan (82”) would place him in the elite category, even for interior linemen. He’s slow, with a 40-time (5.29) that was near the bottom, but the Husky flashed some explosiveness (112” broad jump) and rather nimble feet with excellent three-cone (7.44) and short shuttle times (4.53) for the position. Maybe more important was the upper-body strength he displayed (33 reps).

Skill Set: A productive lineman at UConn, Fatukasi was an excellent run defender. He’s strong at the point of attack with the power to take on multiple blockers and enough quickness to win one-on-one battles. Not just upper-body strength, he produces drive from his legs with the strong hands to mix it up in the trenches. Plays to the whistle.    

Value: Another player who ESPN.com had rated much higher than he went, as he was their 12th ranked defensive tackle and 128th overall. Not the steal Parry Nickerson was but had the Jets drafted Fatukasi a full round earlier no one would have blinked an eye.

Need: The Jets lost two defensive ends (starter Muhammad Wilkerson and backup Kony Ealy) and added none until they drafted Nathan Shepherd in the third round. You do the math. They needed to add talent and depth to the position.

Jets Off the Clock: Offensive Needs | Defensive Needs | Sam Darnold | Nathan Shepherd | Chris Herndon | Parry Nickerson |

Mogollon’s Pick: There wasn’t a ton of guys who interested me between the 180th pick and New York’s final (204th) selection so taking Fatukasi, who the Jets worked out, made sense.  

Who Did They Pass Up? One pick later the Chicago Bears selected Utah edge defender Kylie Fitts who could have filled their need for an outside linebacker, as could have Temple’s Jake Martin.

The Fit: With his elite size and ability to handle multiple gaps, Fatukasi fits the prototype for what the Jets are looking for at five technique. There’s a value of strength over footspeed at defensive end in the scheme. He’s an excellent fit.

2018 Outlook & Beyond: Because his lack of pass rush potential, Fatukasi has a somewhat limited ceiling but his ability to play on early downs could have him starting at some point in his career. The question is whether he will develop enough when it comes to getting after the quarterback to stay on the field. For now, the Jets would be happy for a rotation player who can help off the bench. He will compete for playing time with fellow rookie Nathan Shepherd and Xavier Cooper, a career backup. Snaps opposite Leonard Williams are wide open.

Daniel Mogollon is a member of the Pro Football Writers of America and the Football Writers Association of America. He is also a voter for the Thorpe and the Rotary Lombardi Award, as well as the Latino Sports MVP Awards. You can reach him via email: danmogollon@gmail.com.

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