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-by Daniel Mogollon, Staff Writer; Image: New York Jets fifth-round pick Blake Cashman with sack against Nebraska. (Image Source: Adam Bettcher/Getty Images)
The New York Jets had six picks in the 2019 NFL Draft, including three Day 3 selections. As we take the Jets “Off the Clock,” we’ll breakdown all six of their draft picks, continuing with their fifth-round choice:
Round 5; Pick 19 (157th Overall): LB Blake Cashman, Minnesota
Measurables: The opposite of New York’s fourth-round choice Trevon Wesco, Cashman is undersized but extremely athletic. The Gopher stands at just 6’1” and he tips the scales at 237 pounds with extremely short arms (73 5/8” wingspan, 30 1/8” arms), as well as small hands (8 ¾”) for a linebacker. He makes up for his lack of size with speed, explosiveness, and quickness, which he put on display at the NFL Scouting Combine. Cashman ran a 4.5 40-yard dash, with a 37 ½” vertical jump, a 124” broad jump, a 6.95 three-cone time, and a 4.12 short shuttle. He crushed the drills in Indy.
Skill Set: As you can imagine, Cashman can really cover a lot of ground against the run with his speed and agility. That translated to triple-digit tackles as a senior, including 12.5 tackles for loss against the run. He can struggle to get off blocks once engaged but excels at making offensive linemen miss, similar to a running back when he attacks the line of scrimmage. His 7.5 sacks as a sophomore displayed pass-rush potential. He can be an effective blitzer, while his change-of-direction ability could make him an ideal cover linebacker. When healthy, Cashman was a versatile playmaker.
Value: Like most of New York’s picks, other than Quinnen Williams, Cashman went higher than most expected him to go, which is why some would view this selection as a reach. Having said that, if he can stay healthy, Cashman’s ceiling is higher than given credit for.
Need: With C.J. Mosley and Avery Williamson, the Jets are very set at inside linebacker, however if they part ways with Darron Lee the depth behind them is lacking. So, while not a pressing need, Cashman’s selection could fill an opening on the depth chart.
Mogollon’s Pick: Once thought of as a potential first-round pick, Wisconsin’s left tackle David Edwards slid all the way into the fifth round. The two-time second-team All-Big Ten performer has enough talent that he could develop into a starter. He’s got the size and agility but lacks the arm length teams look for in their tackles.
Who Else Did They Pass Up? USC inside linebacker Cameron Smith (No. 162) was considered by many to be a better prospect than Cashman, while Georgia’s D’Andre Walker (No. 168) is an intriguing edge rusher.
The Fit: The Jets have a great inside linebacker tandem in C.J. Mosley and Avery Williamson, who are similar players in that they are downhill thumpers. Cashman can provide a complementary piece who can get on the field in obvious passing situations.
2019 Outlook & Beyond: As a rookie, Cashman’s most-likely path to playing time is as a special teams contributor. With his speed and explosiveness, as well as toughness and desire to play to contact, his tools should make for an ideal special teamer. If he’s going to earn reps on defense it will be in nickel and dime packages. Cashman’s fleetness of foot and change-of-direction agility makes for a potentially excellent cover linebacker. If he proves to be a capable blitzer it will only help his chances. Maybe I’m reaching, but I believe Cashman has enough talent to be a starter in this league one day, but more likely a situational player. The key will be his ability to stay healthy as he’s had surgery on both shoulders.
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: email@example.com.
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