The New York Jets doubled-down on the safety position in the NFL Draft, selecting Jamal Adams and Marcus Maye in the first two rounds. It was a surprising move for a team with so many holes on the roster, particularly with a capable starter in Calvin Pryor already in the mix.
It was a clear message to Pryor, whos been a bit of a bust after being a first-round pick in 2014. And on Thursday, the Jets traded him to the Browns for linebacker Demario Davis, who previously spent time in New York.
Pryor started 15 games for the Jets last season, making 60 tackles with six passes defensed and one forced fumble. Hes much better when playing closer to the line of scrimmage as a strong safety, a position of need for the Browns.
Hell join rookie Jabrill Peppers and Ibraheim Campbell at safety in Cleveland, all of whom are more of strong safeties than free safeties. Defensive coordinator Gregg Williams will need to come up with a plan to deploy all three players in specific roles.
The likeliest scenario is that Peppers and Pryor spend some time at hybrid linebacker on sub packages alongside Christian Kirksey, who just signeda four-year deal. The Browns are building a formidable defense thats both young and talented.
The Jets, on the other hand, believe theyve found an inside linebacker to pair with Darron Lee in Davis. Hes 28 years old, but he was a tackling machine with the Jets from 2012-15 before signing with Cleveland a year ago. He racked up 338 total tackles in New York, and hasnt missed a single game since being drafted.