As a veteran high school football coach, I’m used to telling young players that they’ll play wherever the team needs them the most.
The evolution of football dictates that players need to be comfortable playing different roles and that flexibility, both mentally and physically, is a key element to success in this sport.
This mode of thinking describes Bryce Huff who is one of the newest members of the Jets. Huff wrapped up the NFL Draft in April undrafted and still managed to find his way onto the Jets roster.
Despite the lack of rookie mini-camps, OTA’s and any type of physical workout regimen with his teammates, Huff looks to make an impact next month when the NFL opens up its training camps once again.
Many football analysts were surprised that Huff went undrafted in April; however, the Jets under GM Joe Douglas realized that there was a silver lining to Huff still being a free agent and signed him to a rookie contract.
In fact, Douglas has so much faith that Huff will not only make the Jets roster but quickly become an impact player that he offered him a $90,000 guaranteed free-agent contract which was the largest salary offer to any of the Jets’ undrafted FA’s this season.
Huff was a four year standout at Memphis and played multiple positions during his collegiate career. The biggest change came when he was moved from an outside linebacker position to DE and Huff shined in his senior year in 2019. Registering 15.5 tackles for losses, 6.5 sacks, 16 QB hurries and 2 forced fumbles, Huff became a team leader and was fourth in the nation last year with 64 total pressures.
Huff demonstrates the new hybrid position that is evolving on defenses with many DE’s becoming OLB pass rushers and vice versa. All football fans have to do is see how high Ohio State’s Chase Young was drafted to see the importance of the new hybrid edge rusher position in defensive schemes.
Huff’s familiarity with and willingness to play multiple positions will certainly work to his advantage in finding a home somewhere on the Jets defensive roster:
“I’m willing to play multiple positions,” Huff said. “I came into Memphis and played middle linebacker, so I have that ability and experience. I played a lot of positions in high school. But the majority of my college career I played defensive end and outside linebacker, so there are a good bit of things I can do on defense.” Bryce Huff, NewYorkJets.com, 6/10/20.
Bryce Huff comes into the upcoming Jets training camp with the ability to make a final roster since this organization doesn’t have a deep depth chart at edge rusher. Huff also looks to complement Jabari Zuniga who was drafted in the third round by the Jets.
These two young players will both look to make their mark not only with the Jets but with the NFL this season bringing continual QB pressure.
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