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Jets Might Have a Keeper in Basped

Manish Mehta of The Daily News writes that undrafted rookie Kevin Basped is part of the Jets long term plans.

The undrafted rookie free agent outside linebacker is far from a finished product, but the Jets believe that he will be part of their future.

Basped, a projected 5th-7th round pick, had more than 40 tackles for loss as a passing rushing defensive end at Nevada.

“We were surprised that he went undrafted,” Jets defensive coordinator Mike Pettine told me. “I got a little taste of (his abilities) watching tape in the draft room, but I went back and really studied him when I knew we had him. He just kind of jumped off the tape. There were so many pass rushers taken in this draft. How did this kid not get drafted?”

Basped, who had 9 ½ sacks en route to second-team All-WAC honors last season, dealt with knee issues as a junior before declaring early for the draft. He passed up post-draft invites from the Browns and Raiders to make the transition to outside linebacker in the Jets’ aggressive 3-4 scheme.

Although the 6-4 Basped, who has gained about 15 pounds from his college days of 236 pounds, is raw, the coaching staff firmly believes he can develop into a pass-rushing contributor down the road.

“He’s probably a year or two away from being a legitimate NFL guy,” Pettine said. “At the same time, he has the tools. A lot of times you get these free agents that are solid players. But they’re just limited physically. No matter how hard they play, you’re just not going to be able to get them to be legitimate guys, whereas this kid has a chance.”

While I’m not convinced Basped is going to turn out a key player, he sounds like am interesting project that Rex and Mike Pettine can mold into a pass rusher.

Although I wouldn’t get too excited just yet. It is the the slow time of the offseason and reporters have nothing better to write about than an interesting, underdog story.

If he pans out great, if not no harm done.

At least, he should be fun to watch on Hard Knocks this summer.

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