The Athletic names Florida safety Trey Dean III as UDFA with best chance to make roster
The Jets signed 13 undrafted rookie free agents ahead of last weekend’s rookie minicamp, hoping to potentially find another diamond in the rough. Over the past few years a couple of undrafted rookies found a way to crack the 53-man roster, including running back Zonovan Knight and safety Tony Adams last year and defensive end Bryce Huff in 2020.
Who could be that player in 2023? The Athletic’s Zack Rosenblatt ranked the 13 players based on who has the best chance to make the roster this season and the top player is Florida safety Trey Dean III.
Here’s what Rosenblatt had to say about Dean:
He tested poorly in the 40 but posted elite results in the three-cone (6.69 seconds) and bench press (25) for safeties, both of which would’ve ranked highly not only this year but for many years running. The Jets have no safeties behind Chuck Clark and Jordan Whitehead who have proven enough to be locked into any role, so Dean can seriously push to be the third or fourth safety on the depth chart.
He’s versatile — he has some experience playing cornerback, too — and Brugler wrote that he has “promising length, toughness and loose movements” even if he has to work on his recognition in coverage. Most intriguing: Brugler wrote that his best NFL fit is as “a matchup weapon against tight ends.”
The competition behind Clark and Whitehead will certainly be intriguing to watch. Dean will have an opportunity to beat out Adams, Ashtyn Davis and Will Parks. Dean could also add some future depth, if not play his way into a starting role by 2024. Whitehead, Clark and Davis are all set to be free agents after this season.
Being a “matchup weapon against tight ends” could also be extremely valuable for the Jets with Dean, especially against a team like the Buffalo Bills, who already had Dawson Knox in the mix and just drafted Utah tight end Dalton Kincaid in the first round of this year’s draft. If Dean can help the Jets’ defense in that regard, that could add another layer to what is already a strong defense.
Dean will be very interesting to watch in camp and the preseason. We’ll see if he can crack the 53-man roster.