New York Jets undrafted free agent Hamilcar Rashed Jr. has the traits that give him a shot at the NFL level, as seen on his college tape.
The New York Jets stacked up on defensive line talent prior to the 2021 NFL draft. Bringing in names like Carl Lawson, Sheldon Rankins and Vinny Curry made it clear that a new defensive bosses were in town—Robert Saleh and Jeff Ulbrich.
Adding the new guys to a group with some upper-echelon talent, in Quinnen Williams and Foley Fatukasi, Saleh’s inside-out philosophy he made work in San Francisco has made its way to the east coast.
Still, the Jets need another young edge rusher to complete the front, taking it from very good to very … very good—perhaps even dominant.
While it wasn’t a primary need—the Jets already have a ton of talent on the front and an impactful spot rusher in Vinny Curry—the defensive line should never go just four deep. At least eight need to be considered when thinking about a defensive unit. Also, considering the Jets haven’t had a legitimate threat since John Abraham—who hasn’t played for the Jets since 2005 (just in case you haven’t heard that repeated over 100 times the last decade)—adding as many names as possible was a welcomed sight.
The Jets were able to convince Oregon State edge defender Hamilcar Rashed Jr. to sign with the team, once the draft completed. Another name that Jet fans saw projected to go as early as the third or fourth round chose Florham Park, NJ as his next professional home (in a hopeful manner).
While projections—especially with players anywhere past the first and second round are largely meaningless and very inaccurate in terms of projecting where a certain player will actually go—it inevitably gets fans to look into certain players. The popular undrafted free agent news forces some folks to assume that certain players may be better than other drafted players or veterans without much real substance.
Does the previous notion apply to Hamilcar Rashed Jr.?
Is he more of the 2019 version of himself, when he posted 22.5 tackles for loss and 14 sacks? Or is he the 2020 version that saw him tally just two tackles for loss and zero sacks in four fewer games?
What went wrong in 2020? What does he offer? Where does he potentially slot on? Can he be the guy opposite of Carl Lawson with some development?
Let’s take a look at some plays showcasing Hamilcar Rashed Jr.’s major strengths and weaknesses. Below, you will also find a full list of strengths and weaknesses, plus a free episode of Blewett’s Blitz that breaks down his collegiate tape.
Full Blewett’s Blitz Film Review
Highlighted strength: Straight-line explosion
This isn’t the most flashy or technical rep, but it’s a good play to show the highlighted strength.
The offense runs outside zone away from Rashed Jr. (lined up outside of the right tackle). He’s unblocked, as the right tackle climbs to the backside linebacker, and they both assume he won’t get in on the play. Rashed Jr. initially closes ground on the mesh point between the quarterback and running back, but he doesn’t want to get too flat just in case the quarterback bootlegs out.
After he confirms that the back has the ball, he turns it into full gear and chases the ball carrier down for the tackle.
Highlighted weakness: Change of direction/tightness
Rashed Jr. (left side wide-7-9-tech) is unblocked as the offensive line has a miscommunication—the left tackle doesn’t shuffle to the outside to pick up Rashed JR.
The undrafted Jets edge rusher has a free shot at the quarterback, who steps up to avoid him. Rashed Jr. has three steps to make the adjustment but isn’t able to do so. Here, he shows off some of his tightness, lack of change of direction, and limited tackle radius.
- Some pass rush moves including- Chops, arm overs, rips and ghost moves
- Can win with inside and outside moves
- Dropped into some shallow zones and played some man coverage
- Flexible upper body
- Straight-line burst/speed
- Hand strength
- Brings some thump
- Flashes of good hands/leverage in the run game
- Gets hands up for pass deflections
- Good pursuit angles
- Finds RB on 2nd level well
- Snap timing
- Will short stride to read OL blocks
- Tight hips
- Inconsistent hand usage in the run game
- Can struggle to shed
- Isn’t overly twitches
- Change of direction
- Tackle radius
- Inconsistent leverage
- Needs to play more linear
- Reps of him playing high in run and pass game
- Lacks pass rush plan at times
- Strength in trunk
- Unproductive 2020