The New York Jets had one of the weakest passing games in the NFL last year, but that doesn’t bother Jace Amaro a bit. Potentially, that just means more footballs for him.
The Texas Tech tight end said the Jets are the team for whom he wanted to play as he prepared for the draft, and now he has his wish. The Jets selected Amaro in the second round of the NFL draft Friday night, using the 49th overall pick to land the Red Raiders’ unanimous All-American.
“It’s a great opportunity,” Amaro said. “It’s going to be a lot of fun. I’m really excited about it. I’m just glad the process is over.”
Amaro, who had realistic hopes of being a first-round selection, had to sit through Thursday’s first 32 picks without being chosen. Two other tight ends went ahead of him, but Amaro’s selection byNew Yorksoftened the blow, because he says he will fit what they want to do with their offense.
“They want to move me around and give me the ball,” he said. “Of course, (not being drafted in the first round) was frustrating, but the team that I wanted to play for was the Jets.”
There’s no doubt the Jets need Amaro to be a player for them.
New York, 8-8 last season, ranked 31st in the NFL in passing yards. The Jets’ leading receiver was TCU ex Jeremy Kerley with 43 catches for 523 yards, so Amaro should have a chance to make an immediate impact.
Amaro said he had visited the Jets about two weeks ago and has been toNew Yorkfive or six times in his life.
“It felt like home visiting,” he said. “It felt right. I feel good about it, and I’m ready to go.”
Amaro caught 106 passes for 1,352 yards – FBS records for numbers by a tight end – and seven touchdowns before giving up his senior year of college eligibility.
Even with his staggering junior-year numbers and ideal size at 6-foot-5 ½ and 266 pounds, Amaro saw two other tight ends go before him. The Detroit Lions used the No. 9 overall pick onNorth Carolina’s Eric Ebron, and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers spent the sixth choice in the second round onWashington’s Austin Seferian-Jenkins.
Ironically, Amaro also was ranked as the No. 3 tight end in the nation – behindFloridaStatesignee Nick O’Leary and Seferian-Jenkins – when he came out of high school in the class of 2011.
“I plan on proving everybody wrong,” Amaro said, “like I did in high school, like I did in college.”
Rounds 2 and 3 of the draft were Friday, and the three-day affair concludes today with rounds 4 through 7.
Among other players with West Texas ties who went Friday was ColoradoStatecenter Weston Richburg, who was chosen by the New York Giants with the 43rd overall pick. Weston Richburg is a relative of former Tech football players Aubrey and Nathan Richburg and Seth Doege and former Tech baseball player Chris Richburg.
Weston Richburg went from being a little-known recruit from Class 2A Bushland to one of the top centers in the nation.