New York Jets strong safety Bradley McDougald makes it clear that he feels like he’s one of the most slept on players at his position.
There’s just one little problem: the NFL world has yet to clue in on his official superstardom arrival.
“I’ve had success (in) other places, but I still feel like I’m one of the most slept on safeties in the league,” McDougald said on the Jets’ official podcast with Eric Allen and Ethan Greenberg.
McDougald, 29, comes to New Jersey as part of the blockbuster Jamal Adams deal in late July. McDougald arrives with a pair of first-round picks (2021 and 2022) and a 2021 third-rounder.
The Kansas product entered the NFL as an undrafted free agent in 2013 (signed by the Kansas City Chiefs), but it hasn’t been easy. McDougald has been forced to scratch and claw his way to starting status. Perhaps that’s why his rabid attitude is so hard to overlook.
“I’m hungry,” McDougald added. “I’ve always been hungry. I got a chip on my shoulder that’s never left.”
After dressing for a single game in Kansas City, McDougald caught on with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers his rookie season. It was not until his second season in the league, 2014, that saw McDougald elevated to starting status.
Production on the field is only one element of his overall game. Leadership is an attribute he’s always ready to place on his shoulders.
“I like to motivate those people around me,” McDougald said. “I just wanted them to know that they have a good guy coming, that’s hard-working, and like I said, I’m humble, but I know the value I bring to the team.”
McDougald has started 14 games at safety in four of the last five seasons. In 2019, he dressed in 15 contests, picking off two balls, deflecting six and piling up 70 combined tackles.
While Bradley McDougald is nowhere near the safety Jamal Adams is (he’s even a different type of strong safety), the New York Jets are welcoming in a guy who adds significantly to Joe Douglas’ culture.