The New York Jets were able to add a strong, incoming player in July without giving up a draft pick, Brandon Bryant through free agency.
The New York Jets managed to snag an NFL supplemental draft prospect without surrendering one of their 2019 draft picks, welcoming in Mississippi State safety Brandon Bryant as a free agent.
Tom Pelissero of NFL Network was the first to report rumors of the signing, while Bryant himself confirmed his new green paint job shortly after.
NY Jets I have something to prove! This decision will be one that I will never forget 💪🏽
— Brandon Bryant (@blb1_era) July 11, 2018
Byant ends his Mississippi State career with 157 tackles (including 1.5 sacks) and five interceptions, one of which was taken back for a touchdown. Though he was set to take a larger role in the Bulldogs’ defense this season, he was recently ruled academically ineligible, causing him to seek an opportunity in the supplemental draft. He’s also had to over a DUI arrest on New Year’s Day 2017.
That didn’t stop 14 teams, including both the Jets and Giants, from attending Bryant’s pro day in June, where they witnessed him run a 4.45 40-yard-dash and post a 34-inch vertical. During his freshman season in 2015, former Heisman Trophy winner and SEC Network analyst named Bryant his “Freak of the Week,” an honor that has also be worn by 2017 top overall pick Myles Garrett, and New York Giants’ 2018 third-round selection Lorenzo Carter.
In Bryant’s last tweet before commemorating his newly minted Jets status, he left a bit of a warning to his doubters, ready to embark on a new tale of redemption.
Drafted or Undrafted doesn’t matter to me. I just want the opportunity to step on the field amongst the best to showcase my ability that’s God has blessed me with. Also I just want my family to know through everything I tried my hardest to live out my dream ❤️
— Brandon Bryant (@blb1_era) July 10, 2018
The top of the Jets’ defensive depth chart already posts young, agile, hard-hitting targets in Jamal Adams and Marcus Maye, the Jets are in need of some depth with Rontez Miles’ knee surgery set to keep him out for an extended period. Bryant’s primary competition will likely be J.J. Wilcox, an ex-Cowboy, Buccaneer and Steeler who signed in June, as well as third-year man Doug Middleton and former Baltimore third-round pick Terrence Brooks.
Bryant was one of five players eligible for selection in the supplemental draft, but also one of the trio who went unchosen. His fellow defenders, cornerbacks Sam Beal and Adonis Alexander, respectively went to the Giants and Redskins in the third and sixth round. The Jets’ only supplemental selection came in 1990 when they forwent an ensuing first rounder in the traditional draft to take Rob Moore from Syracuse.
The Jets will report to training camp on July 26.