PICK: Seventh round (242 overall)
PLAYER: Antonio Allen
SCHOOL: South Carolina
WEIGHT: 210 pounds
What it means: After losing Brodney Pool (Cowboys) in free agency, and with Jim Leonhard (knee surgery) still floating in free-agent limbo, the Jets needed numbers at safety. They accomplished that, picking Allen and Josh Bush in back-to-back rounds. Allen is a solid tackler and demonstrates play-making ability. He played the "spur" position in the South Carolina defense, a hybrid strong safety/Cover-2 linebacker. He was a second team all-American, recording three interceptions and four forced fumbles last season. He speed (4.64 in the 40) is borderline, he's a bit stiff in the hips and he may have problems absorbing the Jets' complex defensive scheme.
How he fits into the defensive scheme: Allen is a strong safety, effective near the line of scrimmage. Basically, he's a poor man's version of LaRon Landry. He recorded 20 tackles for loss, 10 turnovers and three touchdowns in his last two seasons, so you know he can make plays on the ballcarrier. He will have issues in pass coverage.
Projected impact: Allen and Bush, complementary safeties, should be solid backups for Landry and Eric Smith, respectively. Landry is on a one-year contract, so who knows? If Allen develops and can grasp the system, he could have a real shot in 2013. For now, his role will be on special teams, although Rex Ryan and Mike Pettine have a knack for finding small roles for one-dimensional players in the sub packages.