Jets draft O-linemen in fifth, sixth rounds
Florham Park, N.J. — A day after making a stunning move to draft Geno Smith, the New York Jets wrapped things up by adding some depth to their offensive line.
They selected Virginia offensive tackle Oday Aboushi in the fifth round Saturday, and then took Michigan defensive tackle Will Campbell — but officially listed him as an offensive lineman — in the sixth round.
New York capped their seven selections by taking Wake Forest fullback Tommy Bohanon in the seventh round.
Aboushi was a standout with the Cavaliers as an athletic and agile lineman. He was a first-team all-ACC selection last season and was an early roster selection to the Senior Bowl. The 6-foot-5, 310-pound Aboushi could play at right and left tackle, as well as potentially guard.
The Staten Island native, who went to Xaverian High School in Brooklyn, was back home in December helping victims of Superstorm Sandy.
"I don't think I can put it into words how excited I am to be a New York Jet and be playing for my hometown team," Aboushi said during a conference call.
Aboushi worked out for the Jets at the team's facility a few weeks ago, worked at various spot on the line.
"It went really well and really smooth," he said. "When I left, I felt very positive."
He was initially thought to be a potential second- or third-round draft pick, but slipped a bit. Jets area scout Mike Davis said it was "a steal" for the Jets to be able to get him so late.
Offensive line coach Mike Devlin has already spoken to him about some ideas he has for the big lineman. He has also spoken to Jets left tackle D'Brickashaw Ferguson, also a former Virginia star, over the last few years.
"I'm hoping to hear from him here and see what he's got to say," Aboushi said. "Working with a fellow Wahoo is always good, and I'm sure he'll teach me the ways and continue the brotherhood that we're taught at Virginia."
Aboushi is one of 10 children, and one of his brothers, Aymen, was a star defensive lineman at Fordham in the early 2000s.
The 6-foot-5, 310-pound Campbell played in 51 straight games for the Wolverines, and moved to the offensive line in 2010 before going back to defense later that season. The Jets see him more as a prospect on the offensive line, where Campbell worked out some and a move New York once made successfully with Brandon Moore, who was a college defensive lineman.
"Defensive guys can come over and play guard because I played both ways in high school and the transition was from one series to the next," Campbell said. "So I feel like it will be a good transition with help from the coaches."
Campbell was an All-Big Ten honorable mention last season after having 44 tackles and a sack. Despite that, two of the three private workouts he had before the draft were on the offensive line.
"I guess they saw something in me that I can make that transition to be a better offensive lineman than defensive lineman," he said, "and I guess that's what's going to happen."
The Jets also drafted versatile Kent State offensive lineman Brian Winters in the third round. He, Aboushi and Campbell fill what had been a position of need for the Jets, who allowed Moore and Matt Slauson, the team's starters the last few years, to become free agents.
The Jets signed veteran Willie Colon in the offseason and still have Vladimir Ducasse, their second-round pick in 2010, but Winters might be able to start immediately.
Bohanon was known as a punishing lead blocker who was outstanding at picking up the blitz as a pass protector for the Demon Deacons, but played in more of an H-back role last season. He played with wide receiver Brad Idzik, the son of Jets general manager John Idzik, the last two years.
"I think that is one of my strong suits is my versatility and being able to block, run, as well as catch the ball out of the backfield," Bohanon said. "I think the West Coast offense suits me well and I think that I will be able to come in and do well in that type of offense."
The Jets took Alabama cornerback Dee Milliner with the ninth overall pick in the draft and Missouri defensive lineman Sheldon Richardson four spots later, but the Jets made their biggest — and boldest — move in the third round when they took Smith.
"I think we hit our objectives," Idzik said. "We wanted to add quality depth. ... We feel like we really improved this team."
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