Ryan: Pryor will 'knock your face in'

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- The New York Jets threw two curve balls during the first round of the draft.

First, they picked a safety over a cornerback. Second, they selected Calvin Pryor over Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, widely regarded as the top safety prospect. The Green Bay Packers picked Clinton-Dix three spots later.

On Wednesday, Jets coach Rex Ryan gave a rather blunt explanation when questioned by the Green Bay media.

“Both guys were excellent players,” Ryan said. “We would have been happy with either guy. But I took the guy who will knock your face in."

Ryan has been touting Pryor's hard-hitting style since draft day. The Louisville slugger made three big hits in his preseason debut, but he wasn't involved in any highlight-film hits in last week's season opener. He was deployed mostly as a free safety, playing away from the line of scrimmage. He finished with two solo tackles and two pass breakups, including a dropped interception.

Clinton-Dix didn't start the opener, but he ended up playing 40 snaps in various sub packages. He recorded five tackles and a sack (on an out-of-bounds play) in the Packers' loss to the Seattle Seahawks, but he also missed three tackles and blew two coverages.