For Second Time In Three Years Gang Green Catches A Break As Stud Defensive Player Falls Into Their Lap

PHILADELPHIA (CBSNewYork/AP) — Jamal Adams unexpectedly slid a few spots down the draft board — and the Jets couldn’t believe their fortunes.

So, with the LSU safety still available, there was little doubt as to whom the Jets would take with the No. 6 overall pick on Thursday night.

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“In a lot of our projections,” general manager Mike Maccagnan said, “we really never had him getting to us.”

And then it happened.

“(The Jets) told me it was a no-brainer they were coming to get me,” Adams told the media not long after he was picked. “They kept their word and it means everything to me. I feel like everything happens for a reason. God had a plan and I just stuck to it. It’s great to be a Jet.”

The son of former Giants running back George Adams will immediately help a Jets secondary that struggled mightily last season.

“I know he’s excited,” Adams said of his father. “It’s crazy that he played for the Giants and now I’m a Jet. I know he’s not afraid to tell the Giants fans he’s part of the Jet family now. He’s definitely, right now as we speak, I’m pretty sure he’s bleeding green and white.”

This is the sixth time in franchise history that the Jets picked sixth, and second in three years after New York took defensive lineman Leonard Williams in 2015. That year, Williams unexpectedly dropped to New York — and the same thing happened with Adams, who was largely projected to go within the top three selections.

“He’s one of the guys we had targeted very high,” coach Todd Bowles said.

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In three seasons at LSU, Adams had five interceptions and 127 tackles and established himself as a terrific defender in both man and zone coverage with solid skills in the run defense.

“He checked all the boxes for us,” Bowles said.

NFLDraftScout.com wrote of Adams:

Interchangeable safety with a sheriff’s mentality. Adams is a physical tone-setter who should thrive near the line of scrimmage or in a robber role. Should be a commanding presence in the locker room early on and his do-as-I-do play demeanor could be the catalyst for turning a struggling defense around quickly.

Adams was also praised for his leadership abilities, something the Jets coaches and scouts found when they talked to him leading up to the draft.

“We knew he was an Alpha dog coming in,” Bowles said. “The culture we’re trying to create, we think he’s perfect for our building.”

The Jets’ starting safeties last season were Calvin Pryor, a first-rounder in 2014 who has been a bit of a disappointment, and veteran Marcus Gilchrist, who is coming off a serious knee injury.

Adams said he has his priorities in order, even hinting what he’ll do with his first check.

“First NFL paycheck is going to Chase Bank,” he said. “This one right here, I’m not spending — trust me. I might look fly, but it’s quality over quantity. I promise you, it’s going in the bank.”

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(© Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)